NO! Although it really does depend on how one will define a mental illness. I wrote a whole chapter in my book on this topic. Especially living in New Zealand, there is a big misconception that anxiety disorder is a mental illness. 

The reality is, anxiety is a Nervous system response that has a mental impact. But many other conditions will also have a mental impact. 

So, what is Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety is a Nervous system response. Mainly caused by stress, sometimes caused by diseases, and sometimes caused by other conditions that are of mental illness in origin. 

But most of anxiety is not a mental illness. Many of my clients have told me that the intensity of their anxiety and lack of control has made them feel like they might be going mad and then worry they have a mental illness. But when we address the Nervous system, the anxiety disappears!

I have helped hundreds and hundreds of people with anxiety disorder, and I have seen amazing results BECAUSE we work on the Nervous system.

Is Anxiety a Chemical Imbalance?

I think this is a chicken and an egg.

Some people have looked to blame their anxiety on being a chemical imbalance. Many researchers have looked for this. It’s NOT.

Being in an anxious state causes the system to change the chemistry it creates

Just the same way that if, right now, I was to jump up and smash a boxing bag, shout and scream and be really aggressive for twenty minutes, I would surely increase different chemistry in my system and brain. My testosterone would go up, probably cortisol too!

Anxiety is not caused by a chemical imbalance, at least not for the massive majority of people. 

Is it possible that some people in the world have some genetic mutation or other pathological process that causes a chemical imbalance… sure! But this is very rare when thinking about the people who suffer from anxiety. 

How To ‘Reset Your Brain’ From Anxiety

‘Resetting’ your brain needs a few things.

  1. Strategies to take the Nervous system out of defence (accumulation of too much stress). The best strategy I have ever come across at doing this is NSA.  CLICK HERE to learn more about NSA.
  1. Teach the body how to respond to stresses in new ways. Once again, NSA does this perfectly.
  1. Mindset retraining to create more control in the mind, so we don’t rethink bad thoughts and get stuck in mental loops.  

Our thinking can and often does trigger our stress response. If you think you are in danger, your body begins to create the chemistry that matches this - so you produce more adrenaline, more cortisol, etc.  

So often, our anxieties and worries come from our thoughts! We need to help you break out of destructive thought habits that cause so much pain.

Most importantly, you need to have regular sessions of NSA for a few months to reset the Nervous system. Once you do, you will be much happier in life. 

Dovvy Phillips


I am the owner of Inspiring Wellness, a wellness and personal transformation clinic in Auckland CBD and the Author of “Wellness Words, how to think speak and feel great” and “How to Break free from Anxiety”. I love helping my clients take back their lives, regain their health and get a whole new higher quality of life. If you are curious if we can help you, please contact us. We are here to help you.

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