I'm a 29 female from California. Just started my account today. I've always read this forum over the years, but never joined the community for some reason. I also never openly admitted that I suffered from anxiety and depression until very recently, so creating an "account" here made it feel oddly official. This is a good thing, as the constant denial of the reality of my situation has not only caused things to get worse for me, it's also living a lie and delays any progress I may make with dealing with this more effectively.
I don't really know where to begin. It feels like the last 20 years of my life have been framed, more or less, by these anxiety attacks and incessant worries. On a good day, I only wrack my brain at night and quickly drift off to sleep. On a bad day, I can't leave the apartment and lose track of conversations because I'm constantly in my head. Once convincing myself I had a brain tumor, I spent an entire MOVIE (that I paid $12 to see!) Googling symptoms in my phone. Probably saw five minutes worth of the movie and couldn't tell you a thing memorable about it.
My parents were divorced rather traumatically as a child and I immediately developed a nervous stomach. I got sick a lot and had a lot of health anxiety as a child, something that plagues me to this day (no pun intended). I used to count from my age to 77 and calculate how long I had left to live; I used to think every person that looked at me twice wanted to murder me; I sometimes have to sit in a closet to make a phone call because the idea of "making a call" is so stressful. I used to sleep on my mom's stomach for fear that her heart would stop in the night. If I went to get coffee and saw the person that helped me the day before, I'd go two blocks up to another place. I regularly flake on social obligations because the idea of being in a social situation is worse than disappointing friends and family.
I have body dysmorphia even though I am of regular height and weight. I become fixated on different features about myself and slowly grow to feel that they are freakish. My knees, my nose, my eyelids, my freckles. Due to my nervous stomach, I had severe bouts of anorexia and through most of my twenties, battled with bulimia as I have tried to recover from the anorexia. I do all of this without doctors or therapy -- a mistake, I feel, since I know now that this is something I obviously can't fix alone.
I haven't been to a doctor in years as I have too much anxiety about the actual visit / social aspect as well as the myriad of things I fear that are wrong with me. It changes: skin cancer, brain tumor, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, ALS, diabetes... The list goes on.
This general cycle of fear and anxiety has affected my relationships, my job, and most of all, my sense of well-being. I worry about EVERYTHING unless I distract myself -- but even then, the distractions don't always work, especially if the fear is developed.
I hoped to join this community 1) to solidify in my mind and identify myself publicly (in this small way) as an anxious and depressed person 2) to actively engage in conversations in hopes to break cyclical thought patterns that get in the way of my management and treatment and 3) to meet other people so I don't feel so alone.
As an anxious person, I also worry about burdening others. Other than my boyfriend (who has mild social anxiety), I have opened up to very few people and only recently, my immediate family.
Hopefully this post isn't too much of a bummer. Happy to be here!