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Author Topic: Anxiety spiked in winter?  (Read 464 times)

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Offline SummerSun41

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Anxiety spiked in winter?
« on: December 11, 2013, 11:16:41 PM »
Since this is my first winter dealing with anxiety, I've been worried that it would get worse as the weather declines (because I HATE being cold, the ugliness of winter, everything about it). It seems that it hasn't gotten much worse, but there are so peculiar new symptoms I'm having. For one, there are certain times of day (mostly as the sun starts to set which is around 4pm these days!) I get really anxious. I start to feel very uncomfortable and just plain weird- I can't even describe it. The feeling goes away when it gets completely dark outside, as weird as that is. Does anyone else experience this weird feeling? I don't know how to put it into words. The closest thing I can relate it to is derealization, but I'm not exactly sure if that's what it is. It's a very vague, anxious feeling.

I am also still having some trouble with obsessions. I have some very terrifying obsessions- the fear of killing myself and the fear of randomly becoming violent, neither of which have ever crossed my mind in my life until I started dealing with anxiety. They have spurred a fear of guns (I live in an area that is very rural and people are very attached to their guns and embrace them as self-protection and "going shooting" is a recreational activity), because I am afraid I'll randomly pick one up and do something rash that I DON'T WANT TO DO. It makes my heart race just typing it out. I don't think about them often, but I can barely read or hear the news because there is always something negative to hear about guns or someone going crazy and things like that. I hate to admit it, but I'm even afraid to watch movies that have a hint of violence in them for fear that it will somehow influence me so much that I"ll become violent like that character?! Isn't that silly? I know it is, but I can't bring myself to go see "Catching Fire" because I know there will be a lot of violence and killing in the movie (even though I loved the books). I have found myself avoiding negative news, negative stories.. anything negative or that could produce a negative/sad feeling in me.

Does anyone else battle these same issues or similar ones? I know that when dealing with worry, you're supposed to imagine the "worst thing that can happen," but I feel like that doesn't apply to my obsessive worries because the worst things that could happen are literally terrifying and catastrophic!!! So I'm at a loss of what to do. Other than these issues I seem to be doing very well with my anxiety and I really feel like I'm on the brink of getting out of it (which I do believe is possible). I just need help dealing with these things. Thanks to everyone who has helped me before- this forum is awesome! :)
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Offline Leo99

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Re: Anxiety spiked in winter?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 08:04:51 AM »
My experience with issues you are dealing with are as follows:
- Uncomfortable feeling/ anxiety around sunset: Happens sometimes to me too and what I've figured out is it's probably due to strange light- dusk/gloom makes me far more uncomfortable than light or dark.
-Obsessions: had intrusive thoughts about exactly the same stuff you fear and was afraid I was going 'crazy'. Well, still here and doing quite well  :action-smiley-065:. What helped for me was letting these thoughts just be. I tried blocking them and replacing them with good thoughts but that didn't work. Now, if they emerge, I just let them buzz at the back of my brain, not paying much attention to them. I'm also on meds.
Trying to repress sad/negative feeling will make us repress all feelings in my opinion and that's what happens with depression. You go numb.
-Imagining worst possible scenarios is called catastrophizing and it's actually a flaw in thinking that can be quite succesfully eliminated with help of cognitive behavioral therapy. It take lost of practice though.

If you don't mind me asking: what ways of coping did u try out? Are you on any meds? Do you do therapy?

Take care and be well!
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Offline glavey

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Re: Anxiety spiked in winter?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 05:03:59 PM »
My symptoms get worse in winter, too. Although it is usually my depression symptoms, not so much anxiety. I believe (I haven't been diagnosed) I have seasonal affective disorder. I think it is something to do with not getting enough of some vitamin from the sunlight because the sun's rays are more indirect in winter, and also everybody stays inside. I'm no doctor and I'm not trying to diagnose your problem, but it couldn't hurt to do a little research.

I have had those thoughts about being afraid I might do something I violent or otherwise that I didn't want to do, too. I have just always assumed they were the dark side of me trying to get out, if that makes any sense. I'm sorry I don't have any real advise to give you about that.
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Anxiety spiked in winter?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2014, 02:05:38 AM »

I definitely noticed a spike in my anxiety this winter.  And it doesn't happen every winter or even most of my winters.
I found out there is something called Seasonal ANXIETY Disorder.  Similar
to Seasonal Affective Disorder, except the outcome is generalized anxiety instead of depression.

I just started a thread about this.  I'm using a lightbox, sitting in front of its bright light for 30 minutes upon waking.
It seems to help me.  After I've been doing this for one or two weeks, I'll try to report back on my progress!   ::)

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