Hi everyone, i'm new here. I haven't been diagnosed yet with any anxiety disorder, but my anxiety and depression started from when I was 13/14 and now i'm 19. I never really opened up about it. I usually always kept it to myself, which was miserable. I don't how I managed to do that. But when times got really bad I did open up to my sister about how I was feeling and that would make me feel alot better. Anyways, I noticed that my anxiety was always really bad during break like spring/winter/summer breaks when I was not busy or mostly alone. That's why I have always tried to keep myself busy with school and work. That usually works and I can keep my anxiety under control for weeks. I usually feel the worst when I'm at home.
I have been living at my dorm for the past two years and i've always considered it my safe zone. I always preferred being on campus and feeling connected to other people. Nevertheless, about a month ago I went back to my dorm and started feeling really sad and lonely and anxious again after the tragic death of a friend. I got really depressed, and it felt strange because I was always able to get away from it when I kept myself busy on campus. But this time I felt so bad at my dorm, that i WANTED to go home. I felt like i finally needed to start seeking help, so that's when i decided to start seeing a therapist. I have met with my therapist twice already. She hasn't given me too much advice yet...she's just trying to get to know me better. But she's said it seems that I feel that sad/empty feeling (which eventually leads to my anxiety and depression) when I am disconnected. I feel alot better when I open up to people and when i'm around others. I agree with her.
But I feel as though I can't always be like that...surrounded by others and feeling "connected". When I am in a not so anxious state, I do enjoy my free time being alone. But when I am anxious i absolutely HATE being alone. I start feeling lonely from the isolation, then thinking too much about these bad feelings, and I cant stop thinking about it or take my mind off of it, and that gets me SO frustrated. My mind feels heavy and cloudy and I feel hopeless, withdrawn, and miserable. During times like these it's hard to connect. I try hard to, and eventually when i do i feel alot better and worry alot less. But it takes effort (especially after a really bad cycle of mental frustration). I would like to talk more about this in another post, but my question really is this...
How do you guys focus on important tasks when you're in a constant state of worry? I'm still a college student and I find it so hard to focus on my studies sometimes, especially when I'm in that anxious and worried phase. When I'm stable and feeling better it's a little better to focus, although I'm the type of person who always gets distracted so it's hard to study anyway. But when I get that sad feeling and get into that vicious cycle of obsessive thinking and worrying (about nothing at all.. it's mostly my feelings that worry me), I can't seem to read a textbook or feel motivated to study. I always feel so worried and sad. This really sucks because I'm pre-med and go to an ivy league university, and i feel so blessed to be getting the education i'm getting. But it worries me that anxiety is taking over my life because it sometimes stops me from studying. How do i cope with it and focus on what's important, like studying for exams? I'm hoping my therapist can help me as well but I would like to know how you all deal with it. Thanks!