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Old 10-23-2008, 11:35 PM   #1
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Worrying, especially when waking up, is starting to affect my life negatively.

Here is my situation. Progressively through the past couple of years, especially in the last year or so, I have started worrying way more than usual. I have nightmares almost every night about the repercussions of my actions, no matter how small. It could be from sending an email to my mother to speaking to someone at work or incidents I have with strangers throughout the day. It doesn't terrify me nearly as much at the time it is happening as it does in my dreams.

For example, if I send an email to a friend from school or work (i am in graduate school and work part time), I wake up and am anxious to check my email, dreading that something I have done, have not done, have said, or have not said, has become a problem or something they are not pleased with. This is totally unreasonable because at times it is just a cordial email saying hello, yet I will still worry over it, especially in my sleep. It has also affected my daily life, since I have not been getting very much sleep and the sleep I do get is after battling with the fear of sleeping because of the nightmares. It doesn't seem like a big deal once I check messages or talk to people throughout the day. It is mainly at night that I can't seem to stop worrying.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is this normal? Could I be going through that so-called quarter-life crisis (I am 24)? I don't understand why the nightmares have been occurring. I've always been nervous around people during the day to a certain extent, but it has never gotten in the way of making and keeping friends, progressing in work, etc.

I am fine during the day, but it is when I am supposed to sleep that the anxiety comes. I would just like to wake up in the middle of the night from a dream and say, "oh, that's neat" and go back to sleep, rather than feel some kind of unfounded dread every time I wake from sleeping.

Any advice would be VERY much appreciated!

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Old 10-24-2008, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: Worrying, especially when waking up, is starting to affect my life negatively.

Hi MaryJane. I know exactly what you are experiencing , as I suffer from that myself. This is "catastrophizing" . I doubt it is a midlife crisis (I am 48). It is typical in GAD.

Old 10-24-2008, 01:13 PM   #3
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Re: Worrying, especially when waking up, is starting to affect my life negatively.

I can relate to not getting a good night's rest and having bizarre dreams. I don't have nightmares where I go over in my head the things I've done or not done, but it's unsettling all the same, and like you, the lack of restful sleep affects my day.

Have you recently had any life changes? You mentioned this started a while ago. Did you graduate college a couple of years ago perhaps. I know that when I graduated from college, i went through a big transition and had a lot of anxiety and depression about going out into the "real world". A quarter life crisis may not be such a bad description of it.....but essentially it's probably some transition or change that you need to deal with.

I highly recommend seeing a therapist if that's possible for you. Getting to the root of what's causing you to be so anxious and have all these dreams is important. Lots of times there's an underlying cause that we're not aware of.....good luck!

Old 10-24-2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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Re: Worrying, especially when waking up, is starting to affect my life negatively.

Thank you for your replies. Knowing that others out there have experienced the same thing or can relate is a comfort in itself! I haven't experienced any big change that I can think of, but will continue to give it more thought. again, thanks for your responses!

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