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Offline mta214

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Anxiety is getting worse
« on: September 06, 2013, 08:20:58 AM »
I'm fairly new here but haven't posted much because my anxiety causes me to isolate a lot. Although I do have friends and family, most of them don't understand anxiety. 

Lately (within the last month or so) my anxiety has gotten much worse.  I have rarely left the house, and I've even stopped driving.  I've never liked driving, so that aspect isn't too concerning to me.  There are other ways I can get around.  But not wanting to leave the house is troubling to me.  Last week I went out with a friend, but I wasn't out long at all because I felt very uncomfortable.

My sons (18 & 16) try to understand my anxiety, but I don't think they really get it.  However, my older son is helpful and tries hard to be supportive.  Still, there are times when I feel like the anxiety interferes with my relationship with them, and that upsets me.

I have a therapist whom I like a lot.  She doesn't yet know about my inability to leave the house because she was on vacation, and I cancelled this week's session. I have an appointment with her next week.  I don't know how to deal with the intense anxiety until then! :(
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Offline kconnors

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 09:07:59 AM »
Hi,

It is nice that you have such supportive sons . . . they probably don't understand what is going on . . . they are at an age, however, that you might consider involving them in your issues . . . anxiety is not an experience that people can appreciate if they have not suffered from anxiety, but often if you explain it and involve them in making sure that what you are going through is a health issue, then especially younger people can learn from the experience . . . they may not understand why Mom does not want to go outside, but you can let them know that it is a health issue, that you are seeking help, etc. Involve yourself in their lives as much as you can (but, at that age, you have to tread lightly between involvement and their perception of wanting too much information  :goofy: If they know even to a small extent what is happening, then they probably won't feel that it is something that they have created, etc. You know your sons and what level of discussion works best but at that age I do not think that you are protecting them so much as isolating them so try to involve them in your life as much as you can . . .

I am glad that you are reconnecting with your therapist . . .perhaps your older son can accompany you to the appointment and wait for you to bring you home . . . just to lend a support and give you a comfort zone . . . in the meantime, I would suggest that you keep a journal and take it to your next therapy session . . . in the journal, write out your feelings and thoughts . . . . try to do a couple of things every day to give you a sense of accomplishment . . .perhaps getting out and walking to the end of the block or however far . . .perhaps a friend or one of your sons may go with you . . . .thinking of when the anxiety started and why . . . any insights that might help you and the therapist come up with a plan . . .

Anxiety is terribly skilled at isolating people and that is something that I have seen in myself and in others  . . . .so try to stop that process sooner than later and keep going out with friends as much as possible . . . it does not have to be for a long period of time because that usually comes with practice . . .for me, I could only be around friends for the length of time to go for a tea and then I had to get home to my safe place; then I went with friends to a shopping mall for about an hour, etc.  I had to repeat the small steps before I got to the point where I could go out for 2 hours, etc. I won't lie to you . . .I still feel more comfortable when I am home, but my anxiety no longer encourages isolation . . . .

Keep posting here as much as you want . . .take care, kc
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Offline mta214

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 02:22:14 PM »
Thanks for your reply, Kc.

My older son is away at college, so he can't accompany me to therapy, but thst might be something for me to keep in mind in the future.

This afternoon I am going walking with a friend.  I was also able to run a quick errand this morning.  Baby steps, right??

Unfortunately, the anxiety was horrible over the weekend.  Two nights in a row I woke up in the middle of the night filled with anxiety.  That's the scariest for me because the cooing tools weren't working at all.  However, I went into the chat room here the other night, and that made me feel somewhat less alone.  I racecar call into my therapist to give her a head's up on how bad the anxiety is getting.  I'm hoping that she will have some tips for me about how to deal with the anxiety in the middle of the night when nothing seems to be helping.
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Offline kconnors

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 07:56:09 PM »
I think that it was super that you went with your friend and you were able to run an errand . . .for me, baby steps are the only way to go . . .I tried to deal with anxiety as I had dealt with all other issues . . . create expectations and then work until I met them . . . ha! anxiety did not recognize my rules of the game . . .I had to take giant leaps back from how I used to handle issues and then I started very, very very slowly chipping away at the anxiety . . . it was not always a straight line but it did get better . .  .not perfect but a heck of a lot better . . . . that's great that you came into the chat room and found others there to help take the edge off and it is really great that you let your therapist know what is going on so s/he can come prepared to focus on what your needs are . . . . please do not become discouraged . . .it is a process and one with speed bumps but you will make it . . .check in whenever you can . . .take care, kc
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Offline mta214

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 09:17:10 PM »
Thanks again, kc. 

Unfortunately, my therapist didn't call me back.  Although, I'm not focusing on having another difficult night, it would have been comforting to have had a back up plan just in case!  The anxiety attacks that occur in the middle of the night are quite distressing and very scary.  Although I tried using my coping tools, they sent work the last 2 nights.  Tonight before bed I think I will listen to a relaxation audio that I have downloaded.  Maybe that will "ward off" another potential attack.

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Offline kconnors

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 08:33:15 AM »
Good idea . . .sometimes when we anticipate an event such as an anxiety episode, we actually cause it . . . a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy . . . it is indeed difficult not too think about it but the relaxation tape might work . . . .I have one that I put on a continued loop so it is playing all night long . . . now, some might find this distracting or interruptive to sleep, but for me, it seems to act as a constant gentle reminder in the background . . .and it might just be the voice of the person on the tape which I find rather soothing . . . it's as if someone is there reassuring me . . .of course, for someone else, this might just be a bit creepy . . . it depends on each person . . .check in when you can . . .take care, KC
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Offline mta214

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 05:05:48 AM »
Kc, I like that idea of the audio playing continuously.  It's downloaded onto my Kindle, so I need to find out if I can do that.

I did speak with my therapist briefly yesterday.  She suggested that I contact my Dr. for a med increase.   I reluctantly agreed.  She Saud when the anxiety is as intense and severe as its been for me, the coping tools aren't going to work!  I was actually glad to hear her say that because I was wondering what I was doing wrong. 

Things were so bad earlier this week, that I started having suicidal thoughts!  I didn't have a plan, but I WAS thinking that I couldn't tolerate the intensity anymore.  She told me that we will get through this, which made me feel not so alone.  When anxiety/ panic strikes in the middle of the night, it's isolating and very scary.
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Offline No worries

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 05:27:10 AM »
I've just read your posts and thought.....Claire Weekes.

Listening to and reading Claire Weekes' stuff, in the early days of my anxiety literally saved my sanity. You should give her a go, there's is lots of useful clips on Youtube, books at amazon and even a thread over in Medication and therapy which I have just bumped which I think is very good http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,43618.msg431253.html#new


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All you need to know about anxiety and how to recover (I did not write this, but I agree with every word)

Here are the basics

Offline mta214

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 08:17:23 AM »
Thanks so much, No Worries.  I will definitely check out her stuff.
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Offline TheOverComer23

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2013, 10:31:42 AM »
It's almost like reading my life story, when I read your post.  My family didn't understand my anxiety one bit, they became frustrated and would hurt my feelings a lot.
My Anxiety caused other emotional problems like Depression, that felt like I was dead but still alive. I didn't want to leave the house also, and eventually I went and got help and only the medicine was temporary fixes, I mean don't get me wrong the medications helped out a lot. However, I had no type of control of myself.

The anxiety attacks would come and take over. I hated it. I didn't want to leave the house, which cause me to lose my job. Then, I had no way to support me or my children, therefore I found myself moving in with my mother, that didn't understand my anxiety one bit. I couldn't tell her that I lost my job due to my anxiety because she would have just called me crazy and ridiculed me. Therefore, I just told everyone the job was laying people off, and that I was one of them. I mean this darn anxiety has really caused pure hell in my life, and I just knew that it was going to be the death of me. I saw no positive outcome. I felt terrible, because I couldn't give my sons who were ages (9 and 11) the support they needed. However, they were the only ones that was there for me, although I felt like I was going to give up on life, they were the last string holding me up. Whenever I was having an anxiety attack they knew what to do and how to take care of me. My anxiety attacks eventually lead to panic attacks which caused me to go to the ER. I found myself experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, and just a negative feeling. I couldn't take it anymore, but I knew ***** wasn't an option because I had to be there for my sons.
Therefore, I worked over time to fight this thing and it was the toughest and longest ride ever but I overcame with the support of God, my therapist, my sons and my self. My family was not supportive and after I got myself together; I cut ties with all of them, because they were just too toxic. After 2 years of treatment and self help, I got myself together and moved me and my sons out of my mothers house, landed a great job, and bought a new house. I am back on the road to happiness, and yes I do have my moments, but now those moments do not get the best of me.

I'm sorry for sharing my life story, however; I just wanted to let you know how much I relate to your story, and how there is hope! I promise there is, just start working on it.
I know it feels like leaving the house is going to kill you, well; deep down in your heart you know that it won't kill you, therefore, push yourself to go out. Even if you just go for a walk. Its all about self-discipline.

It's all about hard work, and determination to get this thing out of your life. It is not real, and the feelings are just feelings and the thoughts are just thoughts; nothing else is real about it.

There are a lot of self-help books that gave me motivation and helped me work on gaining my own control. I recently just purchased and downloaded a book on my smartphone called "Anxiety Street: GAD Self-Help Techniques" on Amazon.com (kindle edition). The motivational section of this book has so much meaning and life to it.

"In order to overcome, you must undergo" that is a quote from "Anxiety Street: GAD Self-Help Techniques".

Although I have gained self-control after battling this thing for over 20 years; my mind is still on a set routine to stay motivated and positive which is why I read different books.

Good luck with everything. You can overcome this thing; I am living proof! I hope I helped ! God Bless.
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Offline mta214

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2013, 01:29:24 PM »
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I could definitely relate to a lot of what you've written. Congrats to overcoming your obstacles.  That's awesome and definitely an inspiration!

I have been going for walks this week, which has been helpful.  I also started an exercise routine, which has been helpful as well.  I'm trying, but some days it feels like 1 step forward, 2 steps back.  A work in progress for sure!  Thanks for the book suggestion.  I will check it out now.
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Offline kconnors

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2013, 01:33:39 PM »
Just to reassure you . . .1 step forward, 2 back is still the process . . . .I found that structure, any structure helped because I ended up focusing on what was next in the structure and that really offset my tendency to focus on the anxiety . . . . the walks are super . . . the exercise is super and rather than seeing the negative events as steps backward, look at them as building blocks to move forward . . . yes, it often does seem like a game but in a way, at least for me, it is a game with my anxiety and I am convinced that I am a better player than the anxiety . . . keep doing the good stuff and let us know how you are doing . . .take care, kc
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Offline mta214

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2013, 11:18:45 PM »
Thanks for the support, everyone.  I'm so grateful to have found this site!

I saw my therapist today.  The session was difficult and intense (mostly because it was very hard for me to communicate, which she noticed).  At one point, with about 15 minutes left, I said that I wanted to leave because I felt so miserable.  She didn't think that was a good idea, so I stayed.  In fact, the session went past the 45 minutes.  She told me in the beginning of the session that until the anxiety is under control, she doesn't want to get into the intense issues we need to work on.  She explained her reasoning, and I agreed with it, but it left me feeling even more frustrated.  She's awesome, though, and I got the sense that she really understood how much I'm struggling.
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Offline kconnors

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2013, 05:26:44 AM »
I also find it difficult to communicate when I am in an anxiety episode . . . .this may have been mentioned before, but have you tried a journal . . .it is difficult in the beginning . . . I felt as if I would be going around in circles until I fund a point where I could start unraveling my feelings and thinking . . . this might help you as a pre-meeting strategy and also provide your therapist with some concrete starting points . . . there is struggle and I think that is the best word for it and it sometimes is worse when we add the frustration of not being able to say what we mean probably because we ourselves are unsure . . . . but it seems as if you have a good alignment between you and your therapist which is a big advantage . . . .let us know how things are going . . .take care, kc
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Offline mta214

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Re: Anxiety is getting worse
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 07:41:39 AM »
I do write in a journal, mostly before bed so that I can at least try to clear my head.  I had planned to bring it to session yesterday, but I forgot.
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