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Author Topic: People who don't understand  (Read 185 times)

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Offline Lily120

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People who don't understand
« on: December 17, 2013, 08:39:27 PM »
As I've been opening up more and more about my GAD, I've discovered that some people I tell seem to be compassionate but don't understand. Nods of sympathy are accompanied by, "You just have to not be afraid." or "You have to (enter fear-inducing action here) as soon as possible. If you don't, (the worst case scenario) will happen." It makes me want to scream.  >:(

None of these people have anxiety disorders. It's even worse when they end up telling me all about their "normal" stress, and they are happy to accept my help dealing with their own everyday stress, but when I talk about my struggles, they tell me about how I just need to not be the way I am. I'm trying to survive a disorder that tests my will to live every day, and somehow I'm just not strong or brave enough for them. Why would they even take my advice if I'm not good enough? It's so f'ed up. :(

Despite this kind of person/behavior, I'm really grateful for all of the people in my life who do understand, or at least try to.

Has anyone here had any experience(s) like this?

-sad and angry Lily
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Online CarrieAnn

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Re: People who don't understand
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 09:04:49 PM »
Yes, I have those kind of people in my life (who don't understand). They don't understand because they are not very well informed on anxiety, and I think only people who experience it first hand can fully understand how hard it can be to deal with. So, I totally understand your frustration; having the support from others does help lessen the load.
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Offline Lily120

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Re: People who don't understand
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 09:22:48 PM »
Thanks for responding, CarrieAnn. How do you deal with those people who don't understand? I feel so thin-skinned when I'm around them. I find myself telling myself the same things they tell me, and then I get angry at myself. I guess what I'm really asking is, how do I deal with myself believing that they're right? Are they right, and I'm wrong? Argh, I'm sorry to drag you into my drama.
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Offline scb07d

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Re: People who don't understand
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2013, 09:48:10 PM »
Obviously everyone has dealt with anxiety, it's not like it's unusual. The thing that these kinds of people miss is the magnitude of what it means to have severe anxiety. It doesn't mean you can't do things in the world but at the same time it doesn't mean you can do the same things as a person who doesn't feel this way.

I think ultimately, people with GAD just have to live a slower life. Staying inside 24/7 and hiding from reality isn't the way to go, but it's inaccurate to think that a person with GAD can just do whatever they want and they just need to "try harder" or something. Like you said, it can be something that tests a person's will to live on a daily basis.

But yeah, I think you just have to accept doing things more slowly and most of all accept the discomfort that comes with living like this.

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Online MobileChucko

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Re: People who don't understand
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 09:57:27 PM »
Hi Lily...  Several months ago I had a severe flare-up of my anxiety (GAD), an episode that I am still working to get under control.  One of my closest relatives has no understanding of what I am going through.  He thinks I should be able to just snap out of it, pull myself up by the old boot straps, use my self will.  Those of us that suffer with anxiety/panic attacks/depression, have an actual physical condition, no different than a diabetic who can't produce insulin.  It just so happens that our symptoms manifest themselves through our nervous system.  There is no such thing as mental illness, they all have a physical origin.  On page 3 of these posts (under the GAD), you can find a post that I wrote entitled "Change The "D" In GAD" (dated Dec. 6th).  It expresses my opinion more on this subject.  The only way that we are going to change people is to educate them in regard to these illnesses.  You are among people here on this site, that understand all to well.  The best to you, Lily!...  Chuck
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Online CarrieAnn

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Re: People who don't understand
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2013, 10:23:27 PM »
Hi Lily, well, I have chosen not to tell certain people--believe it or not, my own father doesn't know. I never told him because I know the response I would get from him. He is one of those 'just snap out of it' people. I know how you feel though, I have gotten angered too by insensitive remarks. But I've come to realize that only I know my own struggle, and that it is real. My Mom used to have an old saying, 'only the spoon knows what is in the pot'.

Don't believe that you should be able to 'just snap out of it' because if it were that easy we would all have done it by now. And people with GAD can't 'just not worry', whoever said that doesn't know very much about GAD.
 
Don't let it get you down; some may not understand, but there are that many more who will understand.
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Online AncientMelody

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Re: People who don't understand
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 10:45:42 PM »
Yes.....that person was myself. I spent months berating myself for being so "weak." It wasn't enough to simply be struggling with life, I was my own worst enemy for awhile. Working on CBT exercises has helped, hopefully therapy will extend that.

It can be hard to understand if you haven't experienced pathologic anxiety or a number of other conditions. But it's our job to help others learn. Beyond explaining that you're having abdifficultmtime, sitndownnand talk a bit about how the mechanisms come into play to make the anxiety persist.
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Offline Klong

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Re: People who don't understand
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2013, 02:32:11 AM »
Believe it or not, my best friend doesn't understand.  It is mostly due to his culture of being raised in a white South African society.  I understand that he is ignorant to the whole thing, but it's not entirely his fault.  He accepts me for who I am and I accept him for who he is.
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