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Author Topic: Learning from Anxiety  (Read 983 times)

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Offline Ellsac

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2014, 11:26:59 AM »
This is a very insightful post. I agree with all of it.

I learned all of this myself several years ago, but life loves to throw curveballs, and I am again in the throws of anxiety. The waters are murky for me, as I have some genuine health problems, but I know I need to stop my compulsive behavior eventually to get back on top, as it won't help me either way.

Nicely said.
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Offline Egg

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2014, 10:34:28 AM »
Bumping yet again.

Sometimes I steer clear of this forum because some posts and topics can trigger anxiety in me -- but I'm so glad when I stop in and find a gem like this thread.

ShawnW, thank you for being so open about your battles and so clear about your solutions. I agree with all of them and have found all of them to be helpful.

It truly is a fight, and we need good weapons. You can't fight when you're curled up into a little ball, literally or metaphorically. Think about what weapons will help you, and obtain them for yourself.

For me, in addition to others' suggestions: journaling (to lay out in writing WHY I am feeling anxious and my plan to address those concerns); breathing exercises to calm me (I use Dr. Weil's breathing pattern), and distraction.

I am a Catholic ... I hold tight to St. Padre Pio's admonition to "pray, hope, and don't worry." Also, Jesus' many reminders to "be not afraid," and the Psalm that says, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; of whom should I be afraid?" And the verse from Philippians about focusing on what is good, right, and true, and the peace of Christ will be with you.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2014, 12:21:58 PM »
Thanks everyone for your kind words.  Today I just want to be a part of the solution. 
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline MLB2805

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2014, 09:32:34 PM »
Great post!
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You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.

Offline Dafoi

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2014, 01:06:47 PM »
Very good, thanks
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Offline Ihadcancer

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2014, 08:52:42 AM »
ShawnW said:
Quote
Good post, and you brought up one of the things I failed to mentioned...so important.  Acceptance.  Stop trying to control the uncontrollable.  Accept mortality.  Change what you should...accept what you can not.

This is the hardest thing for me.  I am a Christian and believe God is in control.  My anxiety began after my colon cancer came back 3 years later as a small spot (oligo-recurrence) on the back of my liver.  I had 80% of my liver removed, rib spreaders, 27 staples, a drain from my side for a month..... and allergic to the pain killers so I healed but went through a horrible month of pain followed by a year of pain from even simple movements. It's been 31 months and opening a window can cause abdominal pain for days.

I'm afraid of dying a horrible, pain filled, and ugly death.  12 friends on the colon cancer forum died in 4 weeks. Their families return and most had peace at the end but many refused hospice until they were screaming in pain and bleeding ........ messing themselves....... constant vomit.....   I don't want my family to see that or have to deal with that, so now everything is magnified in my H/A state.

I need help overcoming this fear of dying (not death because I know heaven awaits).  My pastor said this is my thorn in my side and Satan's ploy to try and keep me so focused on fear that I don't share my healing with others to give them hope.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2014, 11:01:34 AM »
ShawnW said:
Quote
Good post, and you brought up one of the things I failed to mentioned...so important.  Acceptance.  Stop trying to control the uncontrollable.  Accept mortality.  Change what you should...accept what you can not.

This is the hardest thing for me.  I am a Christian and believe God is in control.  My anxiety began after my colon cancer came back 3 years later as a small spot (oligo-recurrence) on the back of my liver.  I had 80% of my liver removed, rib spreaders, 27 staples, a drain from my side for a month..... and allergic to the pain killers so I healed but went through a horrible month of pain followed by a year of pain from even simple movements. It's been 31 months and opening a window can cause abdominal pain for days.

I'm afraid of dying a horrible, pain filled, and ugly death.  12 friends on the colon cancer forum died in 4 weeks. Their families return and most had peace at the end but many refused hospice until they were screaming in pain and bleeding ........ messing themselves....... constant vomit.....   I don't want my family to see that or have to deal with that, so now everything is magnified in my H/A state.

I need help overcoming this fear of dying (not death because I know heaven awaits).  My pastor said this is my thorn in my side and Satan's ploy to try and keep me so focused on fear that I don't share my healing with others to give them hope.

I am also a believer and a follower of Christ.  I too struggle with the fear of the unknown, the fear of suffering and for my family to have to care for me and suffer with me.  I believe everyone has their thing, and this is ours.  What I know is that a good deal of this is about acceptance.  The vast majority of our suffering is self inflicted.  Pastors call it satan, Freud might refer to it as ego...but personally I believe most of our suffering comes by our own hands.  That helps me not to feel like a victim of what I can not see.  This is about facing our fears head on and coming to terms with it.  I suppose in the end what gives me some solace is knowing that all our pain has an end.  In the grand scheme of eternity that suffering has its place, and is allowed with purpose.  I serve a big God who could indeed change all of this suffering if He so chooses.  So, if it exists its there with purpose...it's there to teach us.  The question is are we willing to learn by it's stern hand?  So, what is the lesson your pain is trying to teach you today?
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline vardnas

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2014, 12:36:09 PM »
What I know is that a good deal of this is about acceptance.  The vast majority of our suffering is self inflicted.  Pastors call it satan, Freud might refer to it as ego...but personally I believe most of our suffering comes by our own hands.  That helps me not to feel like a victim of what I can not see.  This is about facing our fears head on and coming to terms with it.

Once again Shawn, I totally agree.

I'm not sure what I believe right now, but I've identified very strongly as a Christian for most of my life, even during my bout with HA. And that's one criticism I have with the church is that (it seems to me, anyway), disorders of the mind are often seen through a spiritual lens that more physical ailments are exempt from. Like anxiety is an attack from Satan, or if you feel depressed you need to be more spiritually disciplined, or worrying too much is a sin that you need to lay at the feet of Jesus. And yes, some to all of that may be true, but it does not negate the fact that anxiety and depression often need professional treatment. I have a friend who struggled for years with unacknowledged, undiagnosed clinical depression and GAD, who felt like she just needed to be "more spiritual," and to "lean on Jesus." Last year she finally got the help she needed, and she's doing better now than she ever would have trying to pull herself up by her spiritual bootstraps. And yes, she has gotten some flack from the church community for taking such steps—WHICH IS CRAZY—and what's most sad is that she's not the only person I know who thinks like that.

Anyway, this is getting off-topic, and I'll step down off my soapbox. But yes, I do think that God can help us live less fearful lives, but that does not exempt us from the work involved in getting there. We have agency in our own lives. That means taking responsibility and getting the help we need, not sitting around waiting for God to wave a magic wand to make everything better.
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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 tinam7

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2014, 01:19:14 PM »
Wonderful posts and discussion. Understand the physical, understand the mental. The spiritual was a major problem all my life until I had the courage and strength to go it alone, except for the teachings (not the religion) of Buddhism.

Am even rereading Siddhartha and meditate every day. Want to add I respect all other beliefs.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2014, 05:55:19 PM »
What I know is that a good deal of this is about acceptance.  The vast majority of our suffering is self inflicted.  Pastors call it satan, Freud might refer to it as ego...but personally I believe most of our suffering comes by our own hands.  That helps me not to feel like a victim of what I can not see.  This is about facing our fears head on and coming to terms with it.

Once again Shawn, I totally agree.

I'm not sure what I believe right now, but I've identified very strongly as a Christian for most of my life, even during my bout with HA. And that's one criticism I have with the church is that (it seems to me, anyway), disorders of the mind are often seen through a spiritual lens that more physical ailments are exempt from. Like anxiety is an attack from Satan, or if you feel depressed you need to be more spiritually disciplined, or worrying too much is a sin that you need to lay at the feet of Jesus. And yes, some to all of that may be true, but it does not negate the fact that anxiety and depression often need professional treatment. I have a friend who struggled for years with unacknowledged, undiagnosed clinical depression and GAD, who felt like she just needed to be "more spiritual," and to "lean on Jesus." Last year she finally got the help she needed, and she's doing better now than she ever would have trying to pull herself up by her spiritual bootstraps. And yes, she has gotten some flack from the church community for taking such steps—WHICH IS CRAZY—and what's most sad is that she's not the only person I know who thinks like that.

Anyway, this is getting off-topic, and I'll step down off my soapbox. But yes, I do think that God can help us live less fearful lives, but that does not exempt us from the work involved in getting there. We have agency in our own lives. That means taking responsibility and getting the help we need, not sitting around waiting for God to wave a magic wand to make everything better.

I had this long response and my pc once again decided to act up.  But, in essence I completely agree with you.  The church is not well equipped to handle mental illness and addiction.  This stems from much history of fear and ignorance.  There is a stigma surrounded both.  I am however very blessed to be a part of a church in a town with much addiction recovery.  Many there do get it.  But, that isn't the church as a whole.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2014, 09:33:41 PM »
What I know is that a good deal of this is about acceptance.  The vast majority of our suffering is self inflicted.  Pastors call it satan, Freud might refer to it as ego...but personally I believe most of our suffering comes by our own hands.  That helps me not to feel like a victim of what I can not see.  This is about facing our fears head on and coming to terms with it.

Once again Shawn, I totally agree.

I'm not sure what I believe right now, but I've identified very strongly as a Christian for most of my life, even during my bout with HA. And that's one criticism I have with the church is that (it seems to me, anyway), disorders of the mind are often seen through a spiritual lens that more physical ailments are exempt from. Like anxiety is an attack from Satan, or if you feel depressed you need to be more spiritually disciplined, or worrying too much is a sin that you need to lay at the feet of Jesus. And yes, some to all of that may be true, but it does not negate the fact that anxiety and depression often need professional treatment. I have a friend who struggled for years with unacknowledged, undiagnosed clinical depression and GAD, who felt like she just needed to be "more spiritual," and to "lean on Jesus." Last year she finally got the help she needed, and she's doing better now than she ever would have trying to pull herself up by her spiritual bootstraps. And yes, she has gotten some flack from the church community for taking such steps—WHICH IS CRAZY—and what's most sad is that she's not the only person I know who thinks like that.

Anyway, this is getting off-topic, and I'll step down off my soapbox. But yes, I do think that God can help us live less fearful lives, but that does not exempt us from the work involved in getting there. We have agency in our own lives. That means taking responsibility and getting the help we need, not sitting around waiting for God to wave a magic wand to make everything better.

My uncle was a Dominican priest and did a lot of counseling, to people with anxiety and depression and others, and the idea that anxiety or pain is a "sin" is so far off the mark that it might be a sin, especially if somebody in the Church is telling you that.  Did not Jesus suffer so much anxiety in the Garden prior to cruicifixion that he sweat blood?  I'm not one to call Him a sinner, but he was human and he was scared and he did ask that He not be put to death if at all possible.  My uncle always advised clinical help in addition to working on a spiritual life if at all possible.  Sometimes when the pain is so bad (I know personally) that you can't offer any sane and calm prayers or deliver it to the Lord.  Your cognitive brain is not functioning and you are reacting at a base human level.  That's why there is psychological couseling and medications, if necessary.  It is just a shame that many people go to their doctors and never get the right diagnosis,  or they go to get psychological help and find that the counseling is so bad as to cause more problems.

Mental health in this country is not taken seriously, especially when it produces physical symptoms.  We can thank Decartes for this and modern medicine, which is not holistic in so many way.
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Offline 1looneychick

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2014, 02:11:44 AM »
bump this is just awesome!  I'm working on all of these things but I still really like reassurance - one of my many flaws :(
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2014, 08:02:56 PM »
Looney, I wouldn't call that reassurance but reinforcement :) Reinforcement of good habits
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Offline 1looneychick

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Re: Learning from Anxiety
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2014, 01:08:41 AM »
Well, that's it then, reinforcement :yes:
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