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Old 07-23-2010, 07:34 PM   #1
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Anxiety affects my day-to-day life. Why no one talks about this type of stuff?

I don't know exactly where to begin. Looking back, I have probably suffered from anxiety since still pretty young. I believe my anxiety is both generic and environmental. I say generic because I can clearly see it on my dad's side of the family. And I say environmental because there was a great deal of stressors in our home when I was growing up, and I had to deal with stuff that therapists agree was a bit too much for a child to handle.

I have done therapy, CBT and otherwise, including EMDR. I have been treated with antidepressants a couple of times in my life, once for post-partum depression and once when my partner was in the Iraq war and for 9 months I wondered if he was dead or alive. I have also been treated for PTSD following a date rape a few years ago. Traumas have had their way finding me, unfortunately. For some reason, however, I have never been able to verbalize to anyone what I am about to try to explain here.

When I hear about anxiety,I hear about the big symptoms, so to speak, which I'm familiar with and have experienced myself at some point, but those are NOT the symptoms that are destroying my life. It is the little things that anxiety brings into my world every day - the ones that I barely noticed myself until very recently - that are the most damaging and debilitating.

Anxiety paralyzes me. I don't mean literally or in a physical way. I feel that anxiety paralyzes me because it stops me from taking action and moving forward. This paralyzation spawns other issues that make me more anxious, which inevitably paralyzes me even more.

This paralysis, so to speak, seems to be a (ineffective) coping mechanism and by that I mean the cycles goes like this: I don't want to deal with something that causes anxiety, I avoid it. By avoiding this anxiety provoking stimulus, I enable an anxiety provoking issue or multiple anxiety provoking issues to arise. Then by avoiding the new issues (because they are too stressful), I cause even further issues. Pretty soon I'm drowned in my anxiety and everything that it has brought with it. To top it off, I feel like a failure because I cannot control this anxiety.

Let me give one concrete example of what I mean. Please remember this is just one example. There are other ones that have not to do with money as this one does. (Also, please keep an open mind and don't judge. ... I do enough of judging and self-hating because of it myself.)

I am getting ready for work and while thinking of all the stuff I have to deal with at work, I become overwhelmed with anxiety which paralizes me. (Again, not literally... I mean overwhelmed with anxiety to the point where I can't focus, get ready and go...) I know I'm going to run out of time but I keep acting as if I won't. This makes me delay my departure as much as possible and I end up being late to work.

When I get there late and there is no parking available anymore in the parking structure, I have to park on the street. I know that if I don't move my car within 2 hours I will get a parking ticket, but I can't think straight or deal with it better (I just want to get out of the situation of looking for parking and not risk being punished by my boss) so I park right there.

While at work I remember that I have to move my car, but I must leave in the middle of what I'm doing and that causes anxiety, so I don't go.

I get to my car at the end of the day and see the parking ticket. This is where it starts getting really messed up. I don't pay for the parking ticket because day-after-day I get anxious about things as stupid as stopping on the way to work to drop off the payment in the mail.

So I end up forgetting about it (more like avoidance now that I think about it), and don't pay for the car registration before it's due because now with the parking tickets there, the amount has become high and I worry that if I pay for it, I won't have money to eat. (I am on a tight budget but I cannot work literally work on budgets or stick with them because I feel overwhelmed.) So I avoid this and avoid that and the next things I know a cop stops me because my regitration/tags are now expired.

At that point, the costs of the delinquent ticket, delinquent registration and new ticket really start add up and the mess starts to pile up. The more they add up and pile up, the more anxious I become and the more I avoid doing anything that I should be doing, the worse it gets.

My days become filled with things like this. I had a perfect credit score until about 2 or 3 years ago and now I have debtor's calling me and harrassing me. I feel like my life is out of control because this horrible anxiety rules my every move, every single day.

Please help me. I would sincerely love to hear what others here might have to say about what I'm describing. I hope that someone out there will read this and explain help shed some light on this. I am a college educated woman, a respected professional, a dedicated and loving mother (according to my own daughter and friends and family), a very loyal partner and friend, I know that I am a good person and deserves a happy life. What I am going through brings me down and it's a very dark secret that I don't feel I can share with those I love the most. Please help.

 
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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Re: Anxiety affects my day-to-day life. Why no one talks about this type of stuff?

Hello anxietee, and welcome to the healthboards.

I see you have a sense of humor too, I love your clever name!

Let me assure you that your explanation of anxiety sounds perfectly familiar, to me as well as to many of us here.

I have suffered from great anxiety following 4 strokes, that changed my life in one day. That was 7 years ago, During those 7 years, I have been taking medications for my kidneys, my heart, my BP, my depression, specialists for everything, doctors appts all the time...but nothing was ever said about anxiety until one of my favorite doctors asked me why I was not getting help for my anxiety? I didn't know, I never asked, I didnt want anxiety, I had enough illnesses, and enough pills.

I thought about it, and asked my doctor for some help with it, and he prescribed xanex .25 twice a day. Within days, I felt that weight lift. I can honestly say that I do not suffer anxiety anymore.

I can now open my mail, which was a huge step, I had the same avoidance thing as you describe. Things got easier, then I got so much self pride for overcoming the things that had been silently eating away at me. I learned to accept that I have anxiety, and I have learned what triggers me, and can now avoid them, or just charge ahead through them.

That little bit of medication took the edge off, and suddenly things did not overwhelm me. Although I still have major illness to live with, the overwhelming anxiety was gone.

I wish the best for you.

 
Old 07-23-2010, 09:17 PM   #3
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Re: Anxiety affects my day-to-day life. Why no one talks about this type of stuff?

Thank you so much for your reply. That's a huge one right there: I cannot open my mail either! It kills me if I do or if I don't. I can't win. Oh man, how come they don't give these kinds of concrete examples in all the places I read about anxiety? Thank you so very much for sharing your perspective with me. It helped a lot. Maybe all I need is validation that I'm not a bad person, that other good people share the same experiences... This board is a blessing. By the way, I am sorry about your health problems. Sending love and support your way. Blessings, "Anxietee"

 
Old 07-24-2010, 06:38 AM   #4
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Re: Anxiety affects my day-to-day life. Why no one talks about this type of stuff?

I don't know if I can help but I will most certainly not judge you.

I have always had anxiety from little on up in this almost 42 year old body. I am a big time worrier and I also have OCD. There are so many little things in my life I get anxiety over...things that other people wouldn't even think twice about. Things like you mentioned about stopping to mail the payment. I remember as a teenager in high school I would have to ride the bus. Everyday after school I made sure I was the first one on the bus because I was afraid I wouldn't get a seat. I always had to be the first one in the classroom because I didn't want to have the other kids looking at me. I carried these sort of things with me into adulthood. I like to be early for a movie not because I want to get a good seat but because I get anxious when people are looking at me.

I also have BIG TIME health anxiety. I get a feeling in my body and run to Google and lo and behold I find a disease and start to have the symptoms. I have been taking acid reflux meds for 10 years and have been wanting to get off them and for the past 7 months...or more...it has consumed, and I mean consumed, my everyday life. I can't think of a day when it hasn't been right there in the front of my brain. I went on vacation two weeks ago and my anxiety revved up the week prior giving me some physical symptoms, which I've gotten before. That in turn gave me more anxiety and more symptoms and it basically ruined my vacation. Luckily I have another one in October. I hope to control this a bit until then.

I know my anxiety is somewhat different than yours but I can certainly understand it. There are a network of people on here that understand and can help you through it.

 
Old 07-24-2010, 02:00 PM   #5
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Re: Anxiety affects my day-to-day life. Why no one talks about this type of stuff?

Thank you so much for your reply as well. Even though our symptoms are different as you point out, it is both sad and comforting to know that there are others out there who can truly understand what I am saying - from experience and not because of a checklist of symptoms.

Yesterday, after coming to this forum and another forum about anxiety, I was finally able to open up and talk to my partner of nearly 3 years about my symptoms - for the first time!

I have hid this conditions pretty well from others but it is the hiding that has been isolating me more and more each day.

Thank you so very much for taking precious time on a weekend to offer me your support. I appreciate your gesture more than I could ever put into words.

Blessings.

 
Old 07-24-2010, 08:29 PM   #6
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Re: Anxiety affects my day-to-day life. Why no one talks about this type of stuff?

There should be no more shame in suffering from anxiety as there is suffering from a broken arm, or any other medical issues...but for some reason there is... out there. Here on the Healthboards there are so many kind and understanding people who are happy to offer support based on personal experience. This is one of those places where you can let your feelings, your frustrations, and your accomplishments out, and there will always be someone here to listen.

We need to get beyond so many stereotypes, which are not based on fact, and which are taking the ability for many of us to enjoy little (and big) things in life. Learning the most we can about our ailments lets us take charge of what has previously taken charge of us. We can't keep letting the tail wag the dog forever.

I am happy to hear you felt comfortable telling your partner. I am sure your partner is glad that you told too...would you have wanted such a thing kept from you? Wouldn't you want to offer your support and concern if it was the other way around? The more we understand things about ourselves and others, the more empathetic we are, and the better human beings we can become.

Anxiety can be treated, and overcome, with the right tools. That may include medication, counseling, cognitive therapy or any combination of therapies to get there, but it is so worth it!

Have you ever mentioned your concerns with your doctor? That would be the first step, and most doctors will go to of their way to help you get proper treatment. I am being treated by my primary doctor, who happens to also be my cardioligist. He started me on medication the first time I mentioned it to him, and made be feel like my anxiety made perfect sense, considering my other health issues. He wondered why it took so long for me to ask! Good question.

About the mail, for years I have put my mails straight from the mailbox into a shoebox. There it sat, until it was full, and then I would find another shoebox for more. I just didn't want to know what was in there. These days I sort through it as it comes in, sort out the keepers into either the pay box, or the save box. Not a bookkeepers dream, but way better that the old way. Once I deal with it, out it goes! Might not sound like 100% cured, but in my book, it is a huge success, and the anxiety around the mail, is gone.

Hve a great weekend!

Last edited by writeleft; 07-24-2010 at 08:32 PM.

 
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