Relationship anxiety help please

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Naprat
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/18/2009 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok so I am sorry this is long but if you have the time please read it; I need some opinions from others.
Thanks in advance =)

Background info:
For as long as I can remember I was an extremely enthusiastic, energetic, positive and courageous child. I used to talk to anyone I felt like, say anything, and do whatever. I actually remember that being that bold was how I had most of my childhood fun and met most of my long standing friends. However, something changed at age 16 when I got my first serious girlfriend. Getting the girlfriend was easy, but once she was my girlfriend and I decided I actually liked the girl is when things got complicated. I started getting nervous and anxious like nothing I had never felt and ended up vomiting. Something notable is during my childhood my older sister had this exact problem and I remember telling her that she had nothing to worry about and how good of a person she was. So did I subconsciously adopt her fear or problem as my own? Or is it just coincidence? Many times my anxiety would happen when I would take my girlfriend to dinner or to a movie, but as time went on I began to get comfortable with her. I figured my problems were over but whenever we would do something monumental or pivotal in the relationship I would again feel nervous. These were things that I really cared about and tried to make very nice and perfect like her birthday, prom, or our year anniversary. From that point on things changed and I was no longer the enthusiastic, courageous, and energetic kid I remember. I became this guy who was always concerned with something and thinking about things way to much. I am 20 now and these issues are still present with women and new and intense social events. Nine times out of ten I am fine at social events but there is that one where I’m completely out of my element and I begin to feel anxious. After I do get these feelings of anxiousness or attacks and I vomit I feel SO SO much better and most of the time I get back out the party, event or girl and end fine and happy; just a little empty, thirsty and in need of a mint ha! Another observation is my anxiety is always worse when I am alone and thinking about the situation rather than if I am actually just put into it. My thoughts tend to be so powerful and come on so fast when I am having an attack. My mind runs wild thinking about the situation but I am never sure what it is exactly I am afraid or anxious about. To this day I still don’t know and can only take guesses. A recent example is a girl that I have spent time with at a few parties and in passing showed some interest in me. We were at a party, both there for separate reasons, we were flirting and instead of thinking about it I just went for it and we ended up getting physical and having a really good time. So, last night she sent me some flirting text messages and says how she wants to get together tonight. The moment I read it my body temp skyrocketed and the attack began and then ended with me vomiting and feeling relatively better. Ironically, two days ago I was reflecting on that party she and I were at and thought that I actually might want to try and date this girl. I feel like when I made that realization or had that thought I subconsciously screwed myself into anxiety. I say this because only after I decided I cared did I get any anxiety. Also, there wasn't any anxiety before I started thinking about the whole situation; her and myself together. Why is it that when I actually care and think do I get anxious? Is acting without thought, like I did, my solution? I can still only guess that the reason for my anxiety is her interest and now that she has shown interest in me I’m afraid of losing it. Why do you think I get anxious? What should I do?

Coping methods:
I have tried a bunch of different relaxation methods to cope with my attacks and stop me from vomiting but in general when they do work I still feel horrible; I just don't vomit. But I have found that when I actually just let my vomit happen I feel great, just a little empty and thirsty. I have done a bit of research on beating anxiety or your fears and most say you have to recognize the worst things that could happen because of the anxiety attack. For me I just think "ok let's get this over with so we can get back to the party, etc." and mentally help or control the worst possible result of the situation which is my case is vomiting. This is the best way I cope, I get it over with as fast as I can. I am determined to beat my anxiety, I am just figuring how. During my research of defeating anxiety I found that most people say to strip that which makes you anxious of its power. They say to do this by "flooding" myself with the anxious stimuli to show yourself that the worst case scenario or what you fear won’t happen. I am definitely willing to try this method because I am really tired of vomiting or feeling like I’m going to vomit in social situations. The girl who has recently been making me feel anxious is very kind and I am sure she wouldn’t mind helping me conquer my anxiety. I am guessing that my issue is that I fear that she will lose interest in me (again I really have no idea because I just get anxious with the whole thought of getting together with her). So if I am to flood myself with my issue I should spend lots of time with her and have her show me constant signs of affection? This would make sense considering I became comfortable after a while with my old girlfriends. Or am I afraid that I actually like and want the girl? And if so how do I flood myself with that? I really don’t know, so any incite or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. In general, I am a very logical and empirically thinking person and I can admit to myself that I dig her, she digs me, my anxiety attacks ending in vomit get me nowhere, and I always end up fine. I feel like me recognizing all this and the way I used to be as a child should negate the attacks or at least strip them of their power but unfortunately they still happen. Anyway thanks for reading this and I appreciate any help.

Thanks

-Naprat

Allestaria
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 6/18/2009 10:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Naprat and welcome.

I have to say wow. You gave some major incite into your situation. And does it help a ton!

You don't mention your parents. Are they still together? Is there or was there problems in your parents relationship that you might have stored in the back of your head. Break ups, divorce? Etc.
When you sister had her BF'S where the split ups hard for her? Did it affect you the same way it did her?

To me. It sounds like you have a fear of commitment and then rejection. Which is actually normal. (Again I dislike that word). Everyone gets nervous around others and anxious. You just take it one step further. And seem to release your fears down the drain. (So to speak.. )

I see you want to come to terms with the feelings you are having. Well that is going to be harder to do without therapy. As you have something deep inside that is causing your fears.
Could be something between your parents, friends, family etc. And I'm no therapist lol.
You do seem very out going though. But fear both commitment and rejection.
-Commitment on the part of actually having a relationship. Not the "friends with benifits" part but the actual dating part. It seems "getting together" doesn't bother you. Which is good.
-Fear of Rejection. Comes down to actually letting your feelings be on your shoulders. Putting yourself out there to be hurt or better yet not. And finding out she does not feel that much for you.

So to relieve this fear you vomit. And move on. Well ok everyone has there little things. But yours could if done enough be very unhealthy. With that said. A good therapist to dig deep into that wonderful mind of yours is a really good idea. Maybe even just a fast acting Anxiety med like Xanex. (there are others but I can't recall the names right now) These can help you cope with the situations.

I personally can't offer a whole lot of help and I'm sorry. I had the anxiety feeling when I was dating. But never went as far as vomiting. I paced my room and did a journal of all the feelings I was having at the time. That helped me.

I'm glad to see you want to face this and put a stop to it. Acting fast now and nipping it before it turns into full fledged social anxiety is smart. And I commend you for it. Now talk to the doc and a therapist and get to work!!! Don't wait and think it will just go away. Because hun it doesn't. It can and will only get worse if you don't act fast.

Good luck. Take it one day at a time. One step at a time. And being open and honest with your possibly new GF is a really good idea. If anything if things don't go as far as your thinking. You have another really good friend that knows how you feel and Hey she might be the shoulder you need to move on to the next "BIG ONE"!!

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/19/2009 5:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I think Allestaria gave you some great advice. My thought is that maybe you need to get in and talk with a therapist about this issue. I think there is some fear deep in your mind that is causing your anxiety. As for the vomiting, when my anxiety ramps up I get nauseous, sometimes vomit, and diarrhea right away. I take Xanax (lowest dose) as soon as I recognize my anxiety ramping up and it stops it and the symptoms I get with it. Maybe talk to your doctor about whats going on and see how they can help.

Good luck,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 6/19/2009 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Do you think this anxiety could be a habit for you? You think relationship, or hot girl, and you automatically think, "I'm going to get anxious. I'm going to vomit"? People actually vomitting is rare. Being nauseated is a common symptom though. Feeling better right after you vomit is interesting, too, because when I'm having an anxiety/panic attack, it doesn't go away "just like that".

Like the others suggested, a therapist will be able to get to the bottom of this and you won't have to worry about it anymore. When you become anxious, float with it, don't fight it. Also, tell yourself it's just anxiety and it will pass.

Let us know what happens!
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
 
60 mg. Prozac, Ativan as needed.
 
"Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets." Paul Tournier


Naprat
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/19/2009 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   
First off I want to say thank you to you all for your advice and opinions; this is exactly what I need.
Allestaria,
Thank you so much for your detailed response and for asking me further questions. I really appreciate it when people take the time to care. The situation with my parents is good as far as I can tell. They have been together 26 years and still seem very much in love so there aren't any problems there I think. I had some issues in the past with my dad, authoritative and such, but for the most part those issues are gone.
My sister's break ups were always hard on her and yes I was always right there to see it. I do know that affected me in a large way I think because I made it a point to never treat a women the way the guys she was with treated her, most of them were jerks. And I'm not gonna lie the few break ups I have had that I cared about ended nearly the same way; she and I would do everything right and our partners would seem super happy but then they would just leave no reason or something ambiguous. My first serious girlfriend that I talked about above really left me high and dry. She told me one day out of no where that she "felt defined through me" and that she had to leave me. Honestly I still don't know what that means and the break up was very very hard on me because as far as I, her family, my family and all of our friends could see we were doing super well. So yeah I'm sure that messed me up somehow lol.
You assessment that I have fear of commitment and rejection is spot on i think but there is something weird. I want a steady relationship very very badly, that is the time in my life where I remember feeling the happiest and I have always had a fear of rejection. Something that might be aiding the anxiety is my childhood past; yes I was very happy, positive, enthusiastic and courageous but I get picked on and beat on quite a bit. I guess I just really didn't let it bother me that much at the time. I mean everything hurt but I never had any anxiety issues.

Nanners,
Thanks for all you advice. I feel like vomiting is my way of expelling and ending the anxiety because when I have an attack my stomach goes nuts; I produce so many gasses and I end up burping like crazy, etc. I do feel like I am going to have diarrhea but I guess i have come to think that vomiting is easier to conceal and quicker than having a movement at a party or around a girl. Plus like many times in the past I can blame it on something else like "oh that shot went down wrong" or "oh crap there might have been dairy in that" because I'm lactose intolerant. I'll definitely check into xanax and some otehr things.

Aries8,
Thank you! Yes I do feel like it is more of a habit or ritual for me now. Because, again, I am a very logical and empirical thinker and my anxiety makes no sense to me. Yes, I believe that is exactly whats going on in the back of my mind and I try to suppress it each time but its SO powerful and fast. And yes I do always feel better after the vomit, always. That's why it seems like more of a ritual that I picked up from my sis. Since I have been trying to flood myself with the anxious stimuli I went to a party after I wrote this last night to test some things out. I went to a house I had never been to with some people I didn't know. The perfect place to test. I think that I might have been thinking about my anxiety too much during the day and it might not have helped but it was still a good experiment. So I got there and hung out and felt fine for about 45 minutes but then randomly while listening to the conversation we were having I got rushed. I went from calm to "crap gotta find a covert way to find the bathroom" in about 30 seconds. I went found the bathroom calmly and just went in and did some breathing exercises. I did the square breathing one and it was ok but the nauseous feeling was still stuck right at my lymph nodes, then came all the saliva and then woosh, the problems went down the drain along with the vomit. I felt seriously 120% better and went and finished the party. I think I might be a bit weird, because I really don't care when I have the attack I just want it over. From what I have read most of the time in attacks people are really really afraid, I just tend to be really really uncomfortable and I have no idea what I fear; maybe the new situation? But what about it makes me scared and nervous? ugh!
Anyway I really appreciate all of your guys' help, it really means a ton.
Thanks so much

-Naprat

Naprat
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/19/2009 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh one more thing, my dad is a worrier. He is always stressed and concerned about some problem even if its not a problem and my sister is a huge hypochondriac. I tend to take after my mom who is very confident, outgoing and headstrong.
Thanks again

-Naprat
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