Hi Paws. The physical symptoms in my case were the biggest nuisance. I didn't really have any mental triggers except for being frustrated about the physical side.
Yeah...for me they're the thing that trigger the anxiety. When the symptoms appear, I tend to fret over them more than necessary. and there's all these doubts popping up. I know they're harmless and they'll pass, but my mind refuses to acknowledge this simple fact. Instead, I envision the following days in a doom-and-gloom atmosphere. So annoying :D. I guess I have to be really persistent in this case, because a shift in my thinking is necessary, and low esteem doesn't help that much.
Can you give me some more insight on your case? When did you anxiety start? Is it just physical symptoms or do you get intrusive thoughts or some other mental triggers? Why don't you consider meds?
Hmm...It's a long story, to be honest. If I were to go back to the early beginning, I'd say it all started from a very young age. Probably 5, 6 or 7. Don't remember exactly when. What I do know is that my hands tended to get sweaty whenever I got excited or nervous. This wasn't such a bad thing in the long run. I paid no attention to it and passed rather quickly. Only new experiences triggered this, but I wasn't anxious at all. Just shy and wary of fresh experiences. My mother was the protective type. She thought that preventing exposure to unpleasant situations was the better thing to do. She also happened to be an educator at the kindergarden, so me and my brother stayed in the office instead of interacting with the other kids. Some of them were mean, and we wanted to have nothing to do with them. You can probably see where this road leads from now on.
Throughout the school years, I have been bullied and taunted by the cooler kids. The badasses ( or the assholes, as I called them ). Since I lacked a father's guidance ( my father never involved in raising me ), I took the blunt of the attacks and did nothing to retaliate. Dear mother solved every issue, and soon enough I started to be the laughing stock of the school. Social interaction wasn't my weakest point, though. I tried to make a few friends, but the bullies always ruined everything. In the end, I said "screw it" and ignored all of them.
What impact did this have on me? Well, to start with, I think i developed a phobia of being judged. I'm scared of crowds and what other people might think of me. And getting the sweaty palms doesn't help one bit. Handshakes are scary, and almost every social interaction makes me nervous because of this. It's unfair, and silly. I know I over-worry about it, but I cannot help it. It's been with me for...how long now? 18 years? I'm 22 now, soon to be 23 in December.
I think this is what laid the ground work for anxiety. I became fearful of interaction, and that led to more worries and more fretting over. I thought I'll grow out of it and haven't realized I have anxiety around a year ago, when a visit to the hospital yielded more than I expected. I went through intense stress thinking about the results of the analysis, and after that I got the other symptoms which scared the crap out of me. Eye pressure, head pressure, palpitations, churning stomach, sweats, a bit of shaking when I was really nervous. The good stuff, as I call it
Mental triggers? Worries are always what trigger the symptoms. Fretting over, trying to predict the future, anticipation. They all lead in the same direction. I have no idea what intrusive thoughts are.
This would be all for now. I don't consider the meds because....well, to be honest, I don't know. I think I got too used to living like this. Being fearful of almost everything, from taking a walk to buying something from the shop. It's horrible not being able to enjoy a simple walk, but like I said, it's the usual. My mother is very supportive and says she'll do anything for me, but doesn't know much about anxiety and she's a bit naive. She doesn't think this is very bad and views me as an ordinary guy.
So I took the reins in my own hands. I know enough about anxiety to 'vanquish' it, but the symptoms are getting in the way too much. Our financial situation isn't great either, so I'm not sure if I can afford a good therapist at the moment.
All I have is self-learning and the hope that someday, I will enjoy life more than I do. Like I said, I have great days, good days, and bad days, but sadly, the bad vastly outnumber the good. I think I have around a week and a half of good days in a month.
That would be all. For now :). I'm looking forward to any tips you can give me. Being the stubborn bastard and the skeptic that I am, I tend to stick to my own flawed thinking.