New here...1st post...What is anxiety to you?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

LostCause
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/2/2010 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, everyone - my name is Savannah and I'm 25 years old.  I've been diagnosed recently with an anxiety disorder.  For years I've battle social anxiety issues but never did anything about it until recently.  A month ago I went to a psychiatrist who started me out on Lexapro.  Also, I've been going to a counselor for the past 2 months.  My anxiety got completely out of control, and I knew I had to do something, after having some minor health issues - I convinced myself something was seriously wrong and that I was dying.  For a couple months I was having an extremely difficult time sleeping, was very irritable, and had trouble focusing.  Those have calmed down quite a bit now that I've accepted that I don't have some incurable illness, just acid reflux and some sinus issues.  After going through the medical issues, I started thinking about how truly unhappy I am with my life.  I wish I knew how or what to do to change things, but it feels totally out of my control.
 
What I don't understand is, what exactly is anxiety?  I mean, I know the dictionary definition but what I want to know is what you all experience and how it impacts your life.  For instance, I have so much difficultly making even small decisions.  My counselor said this is due to anxiety - that it won't let me trust myself.  Could that really be the case, or is that just me?  I have such extreme fears of people judging me and I never feel good enough.  Dating is impossible for me.  I don't even like myself so how could I ever expect anyone to want to be with me?  I question every thought and feeling to the point where I'm not sure of either.  Sometimes I really feel nervous just going out in public, to say the store, by myself.  Even though I know it's ridiculous, I can't help but feel that people can look at me and tell I'm nervous.  That makes me paranoid that I look weird or suspicious and that everyone will think I'm up to something, like shoplifting.  I sound completely crazy, I know.  When I have a couple good days, something always happens to set me back.  Maybe it's because I really don't know how to deal with issues properly.
 
Anyway, I look forward to hearing from everyone.  Hope you all have a good day!

Camylou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 8/2/2010 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
My panic/anxiety attacks keep me from being able to work consistantly. I get an overwhelming fear of having too much work too do and not having enough help to get it done. I'm a postal worker as far as my vocation, and right now they are in the process of placing a new parcel-sorting machine into the facility---which is eliminating a lot of jobs, creating new ones and reposting current ones with new hours and off-days, and causing a lot of stress with my coworkers. As far as I'm concerned, I'm putting my trust in the Lord to work things out. He knows I have panic disorder and He knows I will need a job that least aggravates the condition. Bascially, my workplace sets off my panic attacks. I have good days and then I have a panic attack day, which I've been having to work through at work to keep enough money coming in. Guess what? You're not crazy. Your brain is just lacking in serotonin and GABA, among some other things and your doctor or psychiatrist has to work to find out what you need. If you're not on medication, maybe now is the time to look into it. It helps me a lot or I wouldn't be able to work AT ALL. Take care and know that you are never, never alone and we are all pulling for you. We're just a text away.
Love, Camylou

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/2/2010 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello LostCause,
 
Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P Forum.  I am so glad you found us.
 
It's normal to feel anxious from time to time, especially if your life is stressful. However, if you have ongoing anxiety that interferes with day-to-day activities and relationships and makes it hard to enjoy life, that would equal  generalized anxiety disorder.
 
I was dx 28 years ago and I do quite well with therapy and with medication.  I have gone years without any flares that disrupted my life and then again it has caused me great issues at other times.

Picturing positive outcomes can significantly reduce apprehension, which can lead to increased levels of confidence and an overall elevation in mood.

When you find yourself wondering, "What if..." Stop! Take a deep breath; breathe in through the nose, hold the air in your lungs for a count of four, then slowly let the air out through the mouth. While you are doing this, consider the possibility that you are being unrealistic and irrational. Focus on positive or neutral outcomes. This works well for me when my thoughts start spinning and I cannot decided what to do.

I hope you know you will find much support and good information here in the forum.  Again a warm welcome.

 


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Fugs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 8/4/2010 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree that anxiety is something that interferes with your day to day functioning. It can be so many different things to different people. I would worry incessantly about where my life is going. I should have a better job. Why am I working three part-time jobs and unable to make ends meet? Why can't I get one good job? Why did I go to school for all those years (I have a masters) and now I don't want to stay in the same field? Did I waste all that time? How am I going to pay for food next month? Can I make rent? Why am I still single? What if I don't meet someone? What if/when I do meet someone we're too old to have children? Every second I wasn't actively doing something else I was worrying about things like this (in the shower, at breakfast, in the car, lying in bed at night, going to the bathroom, etc). I never gave myself a break and never acknowledged what I had been able to accomplish. I only ever focused on what's wrong with me, what's wrong with my life, where I should be in life. I keep putting these highly unrealistic expectations on myself and then attack myself when I can't live up to them. I'm my own worst critic. I know other people don't judge me as harshly as I judge myself, but I can't seem to stop. And even though I know they're not as harsh as me I still feel judged by others.

Even when I'm not having a panic attack my anxiety often shows up physically. My arm will hurt, or my chest will feel tight. I might have a "piercing" pain that feels like it's going through my heart. Other times it feels like my hand is falling asleep.

However it plays out for you, it's a process Savannah and over time you'll learn how your specific anxiety plays itself out. Hang in there!

LostCause
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/4/2010 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your responses.  Fugs - I definitely relate to your post.  That is exactly what I do.  I think about how I've messed things up.  How I feel so much regret over past mistakes.  Worry if I'll ever be able to date.  Am I destined to be alone?  How could I ever expect anyone to love me when I don't even like myself?  I hate my job but stay there because I guess it's safe, I don't know.  I worry will I ever have enough money to support myself?  I want to go back to college but I'm in the process of trying to get exemption from having to take public speaking - never will I be able to pass that class.  I'm afraid if I do go back to college, I won't be able to handle it and will feel like even more of a failure.  I'm always comparing where my life is to  where other people my age are, which makes me feel pathetic.  How did I let things get to this point?  I do exactly what stkitt says not to do, I think constantly about the "what ifs"...What if I done this or that differently maybe my life wouldn't suck so much right now.  I worry about if counseling can even help me, maybe I'm just wasting money.  Maybe medication can't help me.  There are so many things I can't do and it feels completely out of my control.  It's so frustrating!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/4/2010 3:58 PM (GMT -7)   

We often waste way too much of our time and energy focusing on what we don't like, what we're worried about, or what we think needs to be fixed, changed, or enhanced.

There are great things happening in your life and around you all the time.

Celebrate the good stuff around you , in others, and in yourself.


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

melodee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 800
   Posted 8/5/2010 7:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitt, that is a great comment. yeah It is true that we tend to waste our energy on the negatives and we forget the positive things happening too us! That's really sad because we are missing an opportunity to enjoy life. It is up to us to decide what we want to focus on, but wouldn't it be much clever to focus on the positives than the negatives if we had a choice? Life always has it's ups and downs. All sentient beings suffer. Some people just stay positive no matter how much they've been thru. They continue to smile and see the positive side of things. I've learned so much since I was diagnosed with PAD. I've learned to appreciate the smallest things that happen around me. Now I feel so much joy about things that didn't even matter to me before. It's amazing really how your thinking pattern can change your life.
 
One of my favorite quotes:
 
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”  ~ Buddha

The thing always happens that you really believe in, and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright ~


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/5/2010 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Totally agree
Kitt has explained it best imho
lyn
CO MOD FOR CROHNS..A/P...ALZHEIMERS

DX..PYODERMA GANGRENOSUM/ CROHNS..FIBRO

SEIZURES,,NEUROPATHY..DEAF
MEDS..LYRICA..VALPROIC ACID..DIAZEPAM..ATIVAN
DILANTIN..PENTASA
LYN

Fugs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 8/5/2010 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
There's a book called Quarterlife Crisis that I once read. I didn't think the book itself was that great, but I really liked the concept. It's the idea that things are different today (historically speaking) and there are challenges faced by 20 and 30-somethings that didn't exist in prior generations that are very prevalent now. For instance, a high school degree used to be the "norm" and a college degree essentially guaranteed a job. Now it seems that a college degree is the new norm. Then you come out of college with no work experience and a huge debt; often unable to find work. Many 20/30 yr olds are moving back in with their parents because they can't afford to live on their own. That affects the adult child as well as the parents. It's hard to "discover yourself" as a young adult when you're living back home and it's hard for the parents as well.

One of my best friends in college never completed her degree because she became more focused on finding a relationship (and some serious medical issues). I took the opposite approach. I got so involved in my academics that I missed out on getting into a real relationship. Today we're both in our early 30s. She's married and still trying to go back to school. I have an advanced degree and wonder if I'll ever get married.

Life is tough and it's hard not to focus on the negatives at times. But focusing on the positives no matter how small they may be is sooo important. I'm trying to remind myself of what I do have and what I have accomplished. I take a walk each day and if I go one extra block I congratulate myself. If I make a phone call I was dreading I do the same. I try to "talk myself up". It feels weird at first because I usually just criticize myself. Also it's easy to "be positive" for a day or two, but the bigger challenge is acknowledging the little things over time.

I think we need to do both. We need some "worry time", but we also need some "self affirming time". Morrie Schwartz from Tuesdays with Morrie once said that when you're upset you should allow yourself to get really mad and get it all out of your system. Go all out for 10 minutes. But after ten minutes - stop. You're life is too important to allow something (anything) to ruin the rest of your day. I think we can replace being upset with other emotions such as fear and worry. It's OK to worry, but limit how much worrying you do and make sure to balance it with something positive.

bwell
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 8/5/2010 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I think its very important to let your anxiety happen and not judge yourself. Don't get upset with youself for getting anxious, just let it happen. It's your body telling you something... just listen, don't judge. Accept it as apart of you and know that it's ok! It's ok to be anxious, its ok to be nervous, you're OK. You are an adult and you can deal with whatever comes your way and there's always help. There's always someone you can talk to about it.

A good book I highly recommend for you LostCause is "Healing Your Emotional Self - Beverly Engel" I think you would really benefit from this book as I have. It focuses on reinventing your self-image, self-esteem, and confidence. It explains alot of situations and even if they don't relate to you, you will probably get alot out of this book (as can anyone). I recommended this one in the "Good Reads forum".

bwell
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 8/5/2010 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Fugs said...

I think we need to do both. We need some "worry time", but we also need some "self affirming time". Morrie Schwartz from Tuesdays with Morrie once said that when you're upset you should allow yourself to get really mad and get it all out of your system. Go all out for 10 minutes. But after ten minutes - stop. You're life is too important to allow something (anything) to ruin the rest of your day. I think we can replace being upset with other emotions such as fear and worry. It's OK to worry, but limit how much worrying you do and make sure to balance it with something positive.
Wow, kinda bizzar, but my therapist recommended I go see the play "Tuesdays withe Morrie" once awhile back that was in my city.

Scorpiosammy
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/7/2010 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
First of all welcome to the group! =)

Anxiety to me is this horrid heavy feeling of dread and anxiousness in my lower abdomen, out of control gag reflex, either no appetite or hungry all the time YET never being able to eat anything much solid. Im tired all the time, and it brings on agoraphobia where I dont want to leave the house (despite the house being in chaos right now as its a serious fixer upper and I think this is what caused it to come back after 4 years) >_<

I wish there wasnt such a thing as A/PA...

My thoughts are with ya!

paniccu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 8/9/2010 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I just wanted to say that I do sometimes feel like you when I am out in public. One thing that has helped me to get over that is to realize that everyone is wrapped up in their own lives. Everyone has their own issues. People are not paying attention to you. They are thinking about what they need to get at the store or what to make for dinner, etc. Even if they do pick up on your nervousness, so what? You will probably never see these people again anyways, right? I hate anxiety! I hate that it sometimes limits me and I hate the way it physically makes me feel.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/9/2010 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Amen, paniccu  :-) turn :-) !  Why do we worry about what others think of us and not just learn to accept ourselves? 
 
Instead of looking and focusing on all of the negative things, find and focus on all the good qualities you possess.
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

LostCause
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/10/2010 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
What paniccu makes perfect sense and I know you are right.  However, I still can't think that way when I'm in situations that are uncomfortable.  I wish I could just be comfortable in my own skin but I can't seem to.  The counselor I've been talking to gave me an assigment to write down 10 things I like about myself.  Well, it's been a week and I've only came up with one thing and of course, had to attach something negative to that.  It's hard to see any positives right now.  I'm frustrated with myself that I can't just be like other people.  My life is controlled by worry about so many different things.

wearyRAsufferer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2329
   Posted 8/10/2010 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Lost Cause- how about some things other people like about you? Sometimes it's hard to give ourselves the credit we deserve.

Fugs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 8/10/2010 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's a start:

1. You're seeing a counselor and are on this website. That proves that you feel that you're worth living a better life and you're actively doing something about it.
2. You care about other people. If you're worrying about what others think (although not in the healthiest of ways) it shows that you care about others. Otherwise you'd be completely indifferent.
3. For the same reason, you are clearly sensitive.
4. You want to go back to college and again improve yourself. You see a better future for your life. You have hope.


I'm sure if I knew you I'd easily be able to come up with a lot more.
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, December 10, 2016 11:50 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,735,972 posts in 301,342 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151440 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Ian88.
265 Guest(s), 16 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
blueberrymuffin, wthj53, TOOTY, tennisplayer, tickcheckguy, getting by, pmm73, stevclemon, AnnabelleLee, InTheShop, Ariel Smith, Mustard Seed, sunny40, bdavis, Csweeney1002, Noni9


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer