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Author Topic: trying to focus on studies with anxiety  (Read 168 times)

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Offline radiance_94

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trying to focus on studies with anxiety
« on: April 19, 2014, 02:55:43 PM »
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!
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: trying to focus on studies with anxiety
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 01:44:07 PM »
Hi Radiance, and welcome to Anxiety Zone!  My name is Chuck, and I am one of the Global Moderators here on the site.

You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

The good news I have to share with you, Radiance, is that there is treatment available for anxiety/depressive disorders.  Medications know as anti-depressant, can be used to treat both depression and/or anxiety.  I am on Celexa (Citalopram), which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-deprssant, and it is really working well for me.  In many cases, therapy can be as effective as medication.  Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the therapy of choice for many anxiety disorders.  I have just stated to learn CBT in the last month.  Exercise is a great form of treatment too; it really helps to stay active.  Keeping yourself hydrated, and eating a healthy, well balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, with an intake of omega 3/fish oil, can also have benefits.

Again, welcome to Anxiety Zone, Radiance.  The very best to you!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline forever young

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Re: trying to focus on studies with anxiety
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 02:22:35 PM »
MobileChucko do you have any sideffects from the celexa? I am on 20 mgs and I have ringing in my ears. I don't know how long I have had it I tend to ignore it. I do have some muscle tension in my shoulders but not too bad. I saw were you are seeing a specialist with anxiety disorders. I was wondering what he tells you about sideffects and the correct dosage. I have been having some weak spells and that is how my problem came back as I had tapered off Prozac and started having weak spells. I worry about sideffects and the one insights talks about with the heart if I could get past all this I might get myself under control. I have agrophobia so I need to work on that too. I feel I need to be stable on the medicine. I don't have access to that many good Dr. I have seen Pdr and am going to see another one soon. I wish I could find one I feel good about hope you don't mind just sharing what your Dr tells you about the medicine. I think it is important we feel more comfortable about the medicine we are taking. we hear so many horror stories.
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: trying to focus on studies with anxiety
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 04:00:50 PM »
Hi Forever...

I for one do not read any of the "horror stories".  Filling one's mind with side effects is a sure way to get them, and then you have to wonder if the medication caused them, or your mind.  I can tell you that per my panic disorder, I have experienced much worse symptoms than I ever did from a medication.

I am making an assumption here that by side effects, you are referring to long term ones, and not the initial side effects that so many people experience when starting an anti-depressant.  I have no side effects what-so-ever, with being on 20 mg of Celexa for exactly five months now.  It use to be that some doctors would prescribe up to 60 mg of Celexa.  At 60 mg, there were some problems with heart dysrhythmias.  They also found that 60 mg didn't work any better than 40 mg at controlling anxiety/depressive disorders, so now the therapeutic range for Celexa is 20-40 mg.  I am 61 years old, Forever, so my doctor will not be exceeding 20 mg of Celexa, as we "older" people can run into problems with higher doses.

One thing you should always keep in mind, and I do, is that just because we have an anxiety and/or depressive disorder, does not make us immune to all the other ailments out there.  You mentioned ringing in the ears and some muscle tension.  What makes you believe those are being caused by the Citalopram, and not something else?  My anxiety has caused me plenty of muscle tension.  I have never had any ringing in the ears, but if I did, I would be seeing an ENT physician.

As far as heart problems, the vast, vast majority of those are caused by stress, a sedentary life style, poor diet (that means you, McDonald's), smoking, and heredity.  Anti-depressants are very safe, and Celexa has helped over thirty million people since its inception.

I hope this has helped to answer your questions, Forever.

The very best to you!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline forever young

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Re: trying to focus on studies with anxiety
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2014, 04:27:23 PM »
thank you for your reply. I am older too I will be 60 my birthday so I was wondering if staying low was the best way to go than rushing up. the ringing could be from something else. I don't know it doesn't bother me that much. I feel the muscle tension could be from stress. I just want to get better I am tired of worrying about my health and need to start facing my phobias. I wish I could learnt the CBT but like I said I am so limited in this area for therapist.
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Offline positivethinking

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Re: trying to focus on studies with anxiety
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2014, 09:09:26 AM »
I can completely relate to this concern!!! I am also a student and I absolutely loved uni. I have always lived in villages and remote areas, so to move to a city and meet lots of like-minded people was great. When it came to exams I used to get really stressed as I always do, but I found it lots easier to cope with. However, this year (my final year of undergrad), my anxiety has been lots worse. I have been feeling sick and tearful and I easily procrastinate when I am supposed to be getting on with essays. I have set my heart on getting a first, which I know is silly, but I can't seem to sift it from my mind. I don't real know why I pile pressure on myself, but I just want so badly to do well.

I recommend using online meditation videos on YouTube as regularly as you can, but I completely understand that it is hard to get other things done when you have so much work to do. Maybe we could help each other?

Hope you are well  :happy0151:
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Offline radiance_94

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Re: trying to focus on studies with anxiety
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 01:42:17 AM »
Hi positivethinking,

Yes i know how you feel! I'm currently in finals weeks. It's strange cause i am actually focusing alot better...maybe it's the pressure that's getting to me. But I wish i could focus like this when it's NOT finals week. My anxiety has not been too bad lately, but that's because i've kind of been trying to let it go since I have finals to study for. But i know that after finals are over, I am going to be depressed an anxious all over again..which makes me worried :( I actually like having finals cause it gives me something to channel my stress towards. But yeah, at times it can be really hard to focus. I find it really helpful when I am studying with other friends though. I feel less anxious when im with other people and not completely alone. Also, seeing other people study makes me study too lol. Every 50 minutes we usually take a study break too...so those are fun :). I think helping each other out sounds like a great idea. I hope you're well too and your studies are going well!
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Offline ProofAutumn8246

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Re: trying to focus on studies with anxiety
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 04:10:24 AM »
Hi Radiance!

This is a really good topic and I'm glad you posted it. I'm currently struggling with the same issue, so I'm glad to see a helpful thread on it! I don't really have any tips, since I'm struggling with this issue myself. But I just wanted to let you know you're not alone!
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In the scheme of things it doesn't matter much.~

Tags: anxiety focus exams studies 
 

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