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Author Topic: Anxiety getting the better of me again  (Read 203 times)

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Offline Chilly

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Anxiety getting the better of me again
« on: January 17, 2014, 01:04:18 PM »
I thought it may help to provide some back-story, so sorry if this is a bit long.
    I've recently discovered that I have suffered from Anxiety for most of my life. As a kid, I was worried that I would spontaneously choke to death. I would have what I know now to be a panic attack and feel like I couldn't breathe. Doctors confirmed it was not Asthma or anything physically wrong with me. As I grew into my teens, These fears subsided and I learned to deal with them. I haven't worried about spontaneously choking in over a decade now and I have not had any problems with anxiety either. :happy0151:
    ...Until last year.
    Last year, I took on more work responsibilities and a new position at my job. Long story short, I beat myself up pretty hard trying to do a job that I didn't really like. I thought if I started to excel at this new job, I would like it more. Unfortunately, all that happened after months of trying is that I slipped into severe anxiety and depression.
    It started off slow with a panic attack here and there (I thought I was dying with that first one, I've never had a panic attack like it before. I was numb, sweaty, dizzy and my heart raced). After that, I started become slightly agoraphobic, but I still functioned. Around october is when anxiety and depression really started kicking in like I've never experienced before. I would wake up shaking in the middle of the night. I had to pace around the house for an hour or more to get tired enough to fall asleep again. Everything was scary. I started to doubt my sanity and started having intrusive thoughts. I saw my GP, and he prescribed me 20mg Citalopram (I'm currently on 40mg). About a month later I started to see my therapist. At that point, I was BARELY functioning at work and life in general. I was having many intrusive thoughts, Doubting myself and my sanity. I was always tired and depressed. I also experienced a lot of DR/DP.
    Things have been slowly getting better. However, the past week has been really tough on me. All of the old intrusive thoughts have been creeping in again. I go from fears of hurting myself, to hurting others, to being a pedo and losing my sanity. I hate it and am feeling all of that self loathing disgust again, and I'm worried that this will somehow permanently scar me mentally. I just want the easy-going, happy old me back.
    Does anyone have any similar experience with intrusive thoughts? like I said, I'm seeing a therapist and taking meds, but I feel like I could/should be doing more to regain my peace of mind.
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Offline kjoe

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Re: Anxiety getting the better of me again
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 05:09:50 AM »
Probably a lot of people here have had, or regularly have had similar thoughts like that Chilly. I have a background where I went through all kinds of stuff like that.

If I can suggest a few things... 'Intrusive thoughts' are just what the mind does. They're not us. We're inside our minds somehow, watching those thoughts, yeah, but thoughts simply arise. And they can be as meaningless as ads on tv, regardless of how convincing or 'true' or scary they may seem at first.

And thoughts become particularly troubling when we believe them to be true in some sense. But we're just getting confused. "True" is something like the feel of the chair underneath you. The colour of the wall across the room. The person nearby and the sounds that they're making. That's the world, the stuff you can't argue with. Thoughts are just temporary, a strangely vapid mixture of images and words that appear inside us somehow, then disappear as soon as we stop paying attention to them.

And our minds are SUPPOSED to do that: give us a sort of continual stream of stuff to stare at if we wish to, or to ignore if we don't. To believe in, if we want to get confused, or even to be entertained by if we decide that it's kind of cool how the mind just keeps doing that.

I think the more we get stressed by the world around us, the more we try to escape the world by going into our thoughts; which is fine but it means that we're trying harder than usual to believe that our thoughts are actually real. Which is fine and all when the thoughts are ones that we like, but not fine when they start to become the things that scare us. And the scariest thoughts of all, by far if you ask me, are the ones that are telling us stuff about ourselves.. "I'm crazy.. I'm a such and such..". Or "There's clearly something wrong with me..I'm a bad person.."

But in fact those are themselves just thoughts again. They're not "us". Just pictures and words (scary ones, terrifying ones even) and the moment we stop believing them to be true, to have any importance at all, they have no choice but to dissipate away. Leaving us back where we always were, sitting on the chair etc..

To take it one last step further (I don't know if any of this resonates for you at all..)  I'd suggest that every time you get faced with some particularly scary thought, whatever it might be, and you stare at it for a bit and then simply let it go, well you've not only survived a sort of challenge, you will afterwards have grown just a tiny bit stronger. Like someone who's just jousted with something scary and won. So in a very real sense, in times when things seem particularly bad, it is likely that our minds are in fact sending us exactly what we need right now--tough challenges in the form of thoughts that strike down into our own deepest fears about who we are and aren't... so we feel like we're fighting for our lives, but at the same time it's the kind of fight that makes you wiser about life every single time you win, about what truly is, and what actually isn't. Stuff to make us grow into something even more than we've been before. Which means you can almost, just almost.. start to welcome some of those tougher thoughts just now and then.. like a buddy that's back to mock-battle you again, but who actually never posed any danger at all, could never have touched the real you at all.

Hope it goes well, and besta luck, Chilly.


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Offline Chilly

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Re: Anxiety getting the better of me again
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 12:28:42 AM »
Thank you for the reply, kjoe. I really appreciate the time you took to read my post. Logically, I know it's anxiety, even if it's hard to accept sometimes. It's hard to look up when you are so down. I'm glad I found this community, though. It helps to have so many people who can share experiences and can help each other out.
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Offline Chilly

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Re: Anxiety getting the better of me again
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 02:55:23 AM »
Thanks for taking the time Eric, I appreciate the support. I will always try in the future to pay it forward. I hate these setbacks. I was doing a little better for a few days, so I thought I was getting a hold of it all. Then it hit me pretty hard again. Anxiety and depression are a rough road to have to travel. I'm just trying to keep forging ahead. Best of luck to you as well! :action-smiley-065:
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Offline Chilly

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Re: Anxiety getting the better of me again
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 03:41:44 AM »
Eating is not a problem right now, though I could probably chose better food ::). Sleeping has been a bit of an issue, since I was  having some racing thoughts and odd dreams. Today was mostly about depressed feelings and anxiety over self harm. I don't like these thoughts, so I'm pretty sure they would lie under "intrusive thoughts".
How about yourself? How's the food going down?
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