What if the reasons for being anxious are real, not imagined?

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/8/2009 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
All I read about GAD suggests that the anxiousness one feels is generally overinflated with respect to reality.  But what if this isn't so?  In my own situation, sure, some of my stress is self-generated - being overly concerned about my job (hmmm... sounds reasonable in this economic climate, plus, I go up for promotion next year), my nation's future ($11+ Trillion debt and involved in two wars), my family (my brother's newborn died last yr, my mom has cardiovascular surgeries on a regular basis, my wife spent 9 days in the hospital earlier this year, and the school district thinks my son has a speech developmental delay), my planet (the largest extinction spasm of the last 65 million years)...
So, what if the reasons for being anxious are real?  Then what?

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/8/2009 10:00 PM (GMT -6)   

Many people have real reasons for being anxious, not just perceived threats.  The therapy, medications and healing would all be the same.  A work in progress in learning how to live with your anxiety.




Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
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Not a mental health professional of any kind

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 393
   Posted 7/9/2009 7:31 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Danib

Welcome to hw ;p

Nearly all the things that set off my anxiety are real, the difference when im anxious i cant stop worrying bout them.

e.g Right now im worried bout losing my job too, so when i go into meetings i panic i talk quickly i stumble over my words etc.. as i go to more meetings i begin toworry im going to panic and panic more. As the fear of losing my job grows I start worry bout making mistakes in my daily so I inspect everything 3 times to make sure their are no mistakes or delegate to someone-else. I get so worried and obessesed by the smallest mistake at work that i lay awake at night thinking about it. So I end up going to work tired and am therefore more likely to make mistakes.

The fear of losing my job is real ( i've already had written warnings) but i know if i get really anxious about losing my job it will actually cause me to lose my job. So i have to keep my anxiety in check. Sure alittle anxiety about a very real threat is good but when it gets to the point when its making the problems worse then I know my anxiety disorder is kicking in and its time for me to get help.

Badfish :p



Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/9/2009 8:08 AM (GMT -6)   
The reason for my anxiety is real too! I suffer with a chronic incurable bowel disease, and I am always worried about how my health might affect me in different situations.
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, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 7/9/2009 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
As a child, my anxiety was about my perceptions of what I saw on the news and a traumatic witness to a tornado ripping through a trailer park.  Children don't have the skills to manuever from what is real and what is anxiety-driven.
As an adult, most of my anxiety is triggered by what-if's.  I could what if myself into a frenzy over anything and if I didn't have anything to worry about I'd be worried that I was forgetting to worry about something.  My mind tells me if I worry about something, then that keeps bad things from happening.  I will over react about my air conditioning going out or having to replace a tire. 
My mind likes to try to be prepared with a game plan for an event (having a baby, moving, going on vacation, a Saturday at the park, a trip to the mall).  If reality does not match my game plan, it triggers my anxiety and I get all worked up.
Your reasons all sound real to me.  But people who don't have major strife (me) still have anxiety.  If I could just stop it, I would.
Holly- GAD, Migraines, TMJ disorder, Thyroid Disease
75 mg Effexor XR, 1mg Xanax PRN, Maxalt, Phenegran, Levothyroxine

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/9/2009 9:19 AM (GMT -6)   
It seems that a lot of the people with anxiety are very analitical and we think about things a lot more than needed. Which of course just makes things worse. I think that since we are this way we were more prone to getting anxious. I think our minds are to blame most of the time because if we didnt have obsessive thoughts we'd be doing great. For example when my life is busy and i have less time to think about things my anxiety is gone. If i have more time to think and have a stressor thats when anxiety creeps back in.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 7/9/2009 10:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Certainly the causes of anxiety are real, however in people who suffer from GAD or PD, it is more an excessive response of worry that is the problem. The reality of life is that anything could happen at any time, but when your worry over it is interfering with your life and preventing you from doing things, then you need to get treatment to help deal with those feelings and modulate your response to worrisome things. And realistically worrying about something is not going to prevent it from happening and doesn't necessarily make you better prepared to deal with it (easier said than done and your mind has a funny way of tricking you into thinking that it will help!). Anxiety causes anxiety, and that issue is just as real as the economy or wars. It is more the response to your fears that anxiety treatment addresses, not the fears themselves. Therapy is not going to make the war stop, but it could really help you process those feelings of being overwhelmed.
No matter what the reason, if you are anxious there are ways to help you get through some of thsoe feelings. You shouldn't have to live your life around your fears and medication and therapy are two really good ways to help deal with all those feelings. Your anxiety is real, I hope you will look into getting treatment!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 7/9/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree. It's our response to stress/anxiety that can be overinflated. Like they say, it's not stress that can harm us, it's our response to it.

I think Searchingforanswers and Dixi said things worth noting.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
60 mg. Prozac, Ativan as needed.
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

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