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Author Topic: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you  (Read 656 times)

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Offline vardnas

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2014, 12:16:18 PM »
Great thread here; Tunnelvisionary thanks for posting those insights!

I just wanted to chime in here and say to the OP that, at 21 years old, you are an adult, and thereby eligible to seek out the kind of care YOU WANT AND NEED, not the kind your parents think is best. You struggle with perfectionistic thinking—I do, too—and I'd bet that your parents have, for a very long time, been the ones primarily making the decisions in your life. I could be wrong, and I only say that because my parents were the same way, and that kind of upbringing leads to a more anxious personality, too, because we're never taught self-sufficiency. All of these character traits go hand-in-hand, naturally.

As a perfectionist, I can see how you'd like to simply accept your anxiety, stop your reassurance-seeking, and move on with your life. As someone who struggled mightily in the past with her own anxiety issues, I can tell you that getting over HA or anxiety or whatever you want to call it, takes A LONG TIME. It is, by nature, an imperfect process. If anything, going through this now will set you up for a healthier future, one where you're not constantly putting so much pressure on yourself to be "correct" all the time.

Don't expect yourself to just be able to accept your anxiety and halt any and all negative reinforcement behaviors in one day—again, that is UNREALISTIC, PERFECTIONISTIC thinking that you're going to need to let go of if you have any hope of moving forward in this process. You're going to fail. You're going to know, rationally, in your mind, that anxiety is the root cause of your issues, but you're still going to find yourself obsessively googling for hours—you're going to know it's not helpful, but you're going to do it anyway. You're going to have periods where you feel good, and then you're going to feel XYZ symptom and get fearful again and that's going to make you mad at yourself because you couldn't keep it together. The road to recovery here is really a two steps forward, one step back process. Acceptance happens everyday. You have to accept your anxiety every day—it's not just a one and done proposition.

CBT, psychodynamic therapy, these are both good options, but again, they take TIME. Months, in fact. Yeah, maybe your first therapist was a dog, but even when you find a good one, don't expect magic right away. The point of them is to venture into the underlying factors as to WHY you have developed an anxious mindset and to then learn how to reverse it. But just as you didn't develop an anxious personality overnight, neither will you reverse it overnight, either. So many HA sufferers (on this board and elsewhere) are merely desperate for symptom mitigation—they want to make the headaches go away, or the palpitations, and more than that they want to jettison that awful, oppressive fear. But, as we all have learned the hard way, none of that goes away with a medical test, a prescription, or a gentle word of reassurance. It goes away once we have managed to get our stress hormones down to pre-reactive levels, and again, that takes TIME and a gradual, habitual acceptance that what we're dealing with is anxiety.

I wish it were not that way. I wish we could all go visit a doctor once, be told we have anxiety, and never struggle with it again. I wish change was instant. But it's not. Again, you're young cameronj, and you have a whole life to live that doesn't include an anxious mindset. This process is going to be slower than you'd like; you're going to struggle; it's going to be sh*tty. But at the risk of sounding cheesy, there are better times at the other end. So do what's in YOUR best interest (not in your parents' best interest), be patient, and go easy on yourself. You'll get there eventually.
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline Tunnelvisionary

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2014, 12:30:49 PM »
That was a great reply vardnas, backed 100%, especially about the part where you mention that you know your problem is anxiety but you keep googling anyway. Being a year and a half into recovery from a myriad of anxiety disorders, I can still get caught up in these repetitive behaviors. Sometimes my mind still fools me into believing that googling just one symptom will be okay, but it ALWAYS leads to more and more googling and a greater need for reassurance.

The process most definitely takes time and will have setbacks, but that is totally okay! No one's recovery is 100% smooth sailing. That means this is a great opportunity to break out of perfectionist thinking!
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Anxiety disorders in a nutshell.

Anxiety/Uncertainty ---> Checking/Reassurance/Googling behaviors ---> Brief relief but fuels obsessiveness about disease. ---> Repeat

Stop anxiety by stopping the checking/reassurance/googling! Tough at first, but stick with it.

Offline RK

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2014, 04:32:10 PM »
Great tips from TV, I have been diagnosed with HA and OCD too, I don't fear death or diseases but I have a weird phobia of not being able to breathe. I always think that I will get breathing problems if I get any disease and then I would struggle for breathe. Any advise on how to get over this phobia?
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Offline redapples

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2014, 08:17:45 PM »
Tunnelvisionary,

Oh, once I take the picture and get out the door, I look at it once...if that. And that's really all I need. Sometimes I don't even look at the picture! That of course, was before the meds kicked in.

Of course, if I'm having an OCD day, then I will take a photo ...look at it once...and that's that.  :action-smiley-065:

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Offline MLB2805

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2014, 08:36:22 PM »
Tunnelvisionary... Great posts! How long have you had anxiety?
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You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.

Offline Tunnelvisionary

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2014, 02:34:36 AM »
Great tips from TV, I have been diagnosed with HA and OCD too, I don't fear death or diseases but I have a weird phobia of not being able to breathe. I always think that I will get breathing problems if I get any disease and then I would struggle for breathe. Any advise on how to get over this phobia?

Do you have any legitimate breathing problems that you need any sort of assistance for? If you do, then do whatever your doctor tells you to do to manage that, and then don't obsess about it or research it anymore than that.

If you are perfectly fine and you are just afraid of a hypothetical situation in which you feel you won't be able to breathe, then there's not much else to do except to not do things to react to that fear. Like if you spend time googling which diseases cause breathing problems and do things to try and prevent those diseases specifically, you should stop googling and stop trying to do things to prevent that situation from occurring. If it ever happens, deal with it then, but OCD will make you think you need to live your life around a future problem, which is why it is a disorder. Don't give into it.

If you just have a general fear of breathing troubles, identify things you might be doing in your daily life to alleviate that fear or try and reassure yourself that you're going to be okay. It might even just be compulsive thinking where you feel like you need to come up with good solutions to avoid breathing problems all the time. This is a compulsive behavior to avoid.

Your phobia/anxiety about certain problems will likely create sensations related to that problem, so if you feel like its hard to breathe, it might just be anxiety feeling heavy on you. In fact, my breathing feels heavy and shallow right now just kinda typing these things, but being a recovering hypochondriac will do that to ya :)

Tunnelvisionary,

Oh, once I take the picture and get out the door, I look at it once...if that. And that's really all I need. Sometimes I don't even look at the picture! That of course, was before the meds kicked in.

Of course, if I'm having an OCD day, then I will take a photo ...look at it once...and that's that.  :action-smiley-065:
That's good to hear that it's not so invasive in your life. How would your OCD feel if you never took a picture though? Would it aggravate it?

I feel like on days OCD is especially strong, it's especially good not to give into compulsions as best as you can. Maybe a little bit of the fear persists because you engage in safety behaviors like taking a picture of the stove. Maybe just even knowing you have it is reassuring to OCD.

I don't know for sure, maybe it's not a big deal to you at all. It's entirely up to you whether that's something you want to explore!

Tunnelvisionary... Great posts! How long have you had anxiety?

Thanks very much! I have had OCD-like symptoms about certain specific things since I was a freshman in high school. It was bad, but then I chilled out a little for a few years, but I was still generally really anxious. In college, it started to get really bad. Eventually I died a lot of crazy restrictive diets and that was probably the lowest point in my life. But then, I found out I had developed a full blown eating disorder, and then a year in recovery from that, I found out that I have general OCD too.

So i've been living with anxiety disorders for quite a few years, but they were only detrimental to my entire life in the past 2 years. I developed full blown mental illness and I just could not function properly at all. It was bad. I'm working every day to recover, but there have been a lot of setbacks, and only recently have I begun to acknowledge HA has had a huge effect on me as well.

Began recovery last January, and work at it every day, but have had a lot of major setbacks as well, unfortunately. Getting past a setback right now. But all in all, i'm thankful for the progress i've made and continue to experience many benefits each day, even bad days.
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Anxiety disorders in a nutshell.

Anxiety/Uncertainty ---> Checking/Reassurance/Googling behaviors ---> Brief relief but fuels obsessiveness about disease. ---> Repeat

Stop anxiety by stopping the checking/reassurance/googling! Tough at first, but stick with it.

Offline redapples

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2014, 06:45:23 PM »
T.V.

I actually do not always take a photo. Sometimes I actually forget.  :yes: The OCD is not as intrusive as it used to be....  :spineyes: :bigsmile: ;D

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Offline Tunnelvisionary

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2014, 08:32:17 PM »
T.V.

I actually do not always take a photo. Sometimes I actually forget.  :yes: The OCD is not as intrusive as it used to be....  :spineyes: :bigsmile: ;D
That's great! Intuition tells me the next step to fully getting over that fear is to completely stop taking pictures to fully get over that fear. But its up to you.
Bookmark and Share
Anxiety disorders in a nutshell.

Anxiety/Uncertainty ---> Checking/Reassurance/Googling behaviors ---> Brief relief but fuels obsessiveness about disease. ---> Repeat

Stop anxiety by stopping the checking/reassurance/googling! Tough at first, but stick with it.

Offline MLB2805

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2014, 09:10:14 PM »
I feel the longer my anxiety journey continues, the more I learn, the more helpful the informstion. Still have plenty of setbacks tho! Part of me wants to go back on meds and part of me feels I've come a Long way!
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You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.

Offline redapples

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Re: I could really use some advice. Please and thank you
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2014, 11:25:47 PM »
T.V.

I actually do not always take a photo. Sometimes I actually forget.  :yes: The OCD is not as intrusive as it used to be....  :spineyes: :bigsmile: ;D
That's great! Intuition tells me the next step to fully getting over that fear is to completely stop taking pictures to fully get over that fear. But its up to you.

That is the goal, TV....to stop taking the photos. A good sign for me is that I'm forgetting to take them!  :yes:
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