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Old 03-02-2008, 11:53 AM   #1
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allhonest HB User
anxiety when living on your own

Dear all

I don't know if you can relate to this but here it goes:
(please bare with me since English is my 2nd language).

I am 31 years old and am currently home with my parents. They relax and so adopt and relax myself. It's like a teaching thing. When my parents show me it's safe, I believe it is safe too, and so I relax.

When living on my own, anxiety comes along and keeps me from living by myself. Actually, living by myself becomes intolerable after a 6-8 months. I have tried several times living on my own but each time I have to move back to my parents to "calm down".

The very first time I lived by myself, this was 9 years ago, I went to see a psychologist for social anxiety. This was unfortunately a psychoanalytic psychologist. For a year, my home assignment was to try to remember as many unpleasant childhood memories as I could.

Every time I have tried living by myself, I have used this strategy that the psychologist suggested. That is, to try to analyze the past. In fact, since I probably have a mild form of OCD, it has become a compulsion to bring forward distressing memories when living on my own because I always though that this was good for me, since the psychologist wanted me to. This is my strategy for coping when living on my own. The thoughts that enter my mind is a stream of negative thoughts from the past and I get extremely negative. Obviously this can go on for so long, until I have to move back in with my parents.

It is just an extremely big difference between living on my own and with my parents. The difference is so huge that I cannot describe it. When living with my parents I do well in school and work, but after just a few months on my own, I lose focus, sleep and I ruminate a lot and get a lot of anxiety, in addition to poor work and school performance.

I propose that this is because of the treatment I got the very first time I lived on my own.

Do you think this is the reason and if you do, what can be done about it?
Like I said, I am 31 years old and would very much like to live on my own.

 
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:09 AM   #2
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Pri Lily HB User
Re: anxiety when living on your own

Hi

You have a very good command of English, period.....let alone as a second language.

So, let's look at this Honest.....this psychoanalyst thought that it would be good for you to relive every traumatic moment of your life....and to do it while you are alone, and have no one there to support you.

Does that sound like a good idea to you? It doesn't to me.

If you have OCD, and ruminate often, start trying to break the habit. Every time you notice yourself ruminating, change the subject of your thinking. Decide what you're going to think about in advance, so you are prepared when the ruminating starts.

You won't be good at this at first. It takes a while to be able to stop the ruminating successfully. But don't give up. Even if you break it for one second, that's a start.

I live on my own, and it doesn't bother me in the least. Two years ago, I couldn't stand it......you can do it.

Let us know....

Lil

 
Old 03-04-2008, 09:03 AM   #3
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allhonest HB User
Re: anxiety when living on your own

Dear Lil, thanks a lot for your reply.

I will try to do what you suggest but quite honestly, I am so used to this over the past years that I believe more is needed. The thoughts and bad memories just raze when I am in my flat and anxiety just keeps rising, keeping me from being social. When home with my parents, it just stops and I have a good time. When living on my own, I would always try hard to remember the terrifying thing that was supposed to have happened to me and I believed in salvation once I remembered. Of course, I never remembered anything terrible as my upbringing was very good and safe. The never-ending search for this bad thing was extremely upsetting and still is.

I actually told the psychoanalyst that I couldn't remember anything bad. Then he told me "you will remember".

"You will remember" has become the main belief when I live on my own. This keeps me from looking forward to something, or have hope. Instead, it produces high levels of anxiety.

Question is: Is this fair and should I file a complaint against this therapist?
It is over 9 years ago.

I am going to see a cognitive behavioral therapist. Do you think I can ever enjoy myself as much as I do home with my parents?

 
Old 03-04-2008, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: anxiety when living on your own

Hi AllHonest,

I understand you live in Europe? As you know, it is very common for children to live with their parents way into their adulthood, and oftentimes, well into their thirties! I'm Greek and still live with my parents, regardless of the fact that I'm a woman same age as you practically. I have an uncle in his early 50s who never left home, was a successful cop and still lives with his parents, my grandparents. He had healthy relationships over the years, but chose to be a bachelor. He has a girlfriend now and might marry her. He also takes care of my grandparents finacially.

I think that when you decide to get married and start that point in your life, and finally share it with your wife, leaving your parents house will be much easier for you.

I guess we europeans have been raised with family and formed an unbreakable bond, that makes us "too secure" in our environment sometimes. But I do believe that we each come into our own, by ourselves, and when we do, it feels much better for us.

Look, for instance at the US. Kids are sometimes "forced" out of their parents' houses at 18, and much younger sometimes. They almost become strangers, at times. The bond between child and parents weaken with time, which in my opinion, has resulted in the increase of retirement homes and senior centres. Parents of children almost never move in with their children when they age. we are often told a society is really defined by the way it treats its elderly.

I think y0u should aprreciate the level of comfort you have now, and concetrate on getting your life together, finding that special person, and prepare yourself to return the favor your parents are providing for you now.

Last edited by ms_mod; 03-04-2008 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 03-04-2008, 09:57 AM   #5
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Pri Lily HB User
Re: anxiety when living on your own

Quote:

I actually told the psychoanalyst that I couldn't remember anything bad. Then he told me "you will remember".

"You will remember" has become the main belief when I live on my own. This keeps me from looking forward to something, or have hope. Instead, it produces high levels of anxiety.

Question is: Is this fair and should I file a complaint against this therapist?
It is over 9 years ago.

I am going to see a cognitive behavioral therapist. Do you think I can ever enjoy myself as much as I do home with my parents?
You haven't mentioned why you were seeing the therapist....but that isn't that important.

The "mantra" has to go.....they are for relaxation...not to promote anxiety.

You could try to file a complaint....it may be too late, but it can't hurt to try.

Cognitive behaviour therapy will save you. It's a little hard to grasp at first, but once the lightbulb goes off, you're off and running. Keep at it, and you can overcome this problem completely.....

Let me know....

Lil

 
Old 03-04-2008, 02:23 PM   #6
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allhonest HB User
Re: anxiety when living on your own

Dear all

Thanks a lot for your replies, they are very helpful.

One thing I have noticed several times is that whenever I become aware that I am feeling okay and have a sense of well-being, that awareness itself makes me bring forward a the negative thought from the past. Anybody else experience this?

It is as if I say to myself "if I feel good now, why didn't I when that awful situation occurred 3 months ago"? And so the rumination goes and the rest of the day becomes depressing because of all the follow-up thoughts. (You know, one negative thought catches another negative thought). It is quite an observation that the awareness of ones own well-being is the starting trigger for the ruminations....

Anyway, with some cognitive work and training I think this might work!

Lil, may I ask what was difficult two years ago when you lived on your own?

 
Old 03-05-2008, 10:56 AM   #7
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Pri Lily HB User
Re: anxiety when living on your own

Quote:
It is as if I say to myself "if I feel good now, why didn't I when that awful situation occurred 3 months ago"? And so the rumination goes and the rest of the day becomes depressing because of all the follow-up thoughts. (You know, one negative thought catches another negative thought). It is quite an observation that the awareness of ones own well-being is the starting trigger for the ruminations.... This is a starting point for CBT....

Lil, may I ask what was difficult two years ago when you lived on your own?
I had the idea in my head that if I lived alone, that I should be lonely. I got rid of that idea, and now it's fine. I think it would actually take me a while to get used to living with someone else again.

Replace the "negative ruminations" with more "positive thoughts" and you'll be good to go.

Let us know how you make out....

Lil

 
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