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Lex0501 01-07-2015 01:10 AM

Can I stop letting anxiety take over?
Now don't get me wrong, I know I'll need to go on some sort of medication in the future. My mother suffers from bad anxiety and my father is a major hypochondriac. These two, unfortunately (especially the hypochondriac part), have been passed on to me as well.

For now, I want to try dealing with it on my own without the help of any sort of medication. My main problem, as it is with most people, is dealing with the inevitable death. I've gotten past the denial part a couple years ago. The 'I'm immortal, it won't happen to me' part that I'm sure everyone has thought. The focus of my death anxiety is simply the unknown.

Yes, that's also extremely common. It's not the pain, it's not the 'how', it's not the 'when'. It's the 'what if after I die...' part. My struggle is getting past the fact that absolutely no one knows what happens, except for the ones who have already passed on. As someone who isn't religious but does believe more in some sort of afterlife, it's difficult. Because there's that 'what if' part again. What if there really is an afterlife? What happens in the afterlife? What if there isn't an afterlife? What happens then?

I can't say there's really been anything that has triggered it so much lately. When my grandfather passed away in 2012, I wouldn't say I ever really thought about my own death at all during that time. There wasn't even a 'what happened when he passed?' thought in my mind. Then a couple family pets passed away and one will sometime this year. Still, in that time, I wouldn't say the anxiety appeared more often. Maybe it was simply because I was focused on their own deaths to worry about my own? I'm not entirely sure.

My point is, it's the fact that this topic has caused me anxiety pretty much every day that has me posting this. Night, to be more accurate. The time where sometimes, you can't distract yourself as much. I've tried plenty of tricks now, seeing as my anxiety has gotten worse. Holding my breath for up to 10 seconds when I start really feeling the anxiety, distracting myself with uplifting things or some sort of comedic things. I've even tried just letting myself go with it and stopped trying to...well, stop the anxiety. That barely works.

I find myself going throughout my day being careful with what I do. I find myself thinking 'doing this caused it to trigger last time' or 'hearing this caused it to trigger last time' and things like that. For example, I rarely ever go to the bathroom without my phone or something to distract myself. Whenever I leave myself alone with just my thoughts, like others probably experience, it triggers.

My goal is just to find a way to basically stop myself from worrying about worrying. At this point, if the anxiety gets triggered, that's not my biggest problem. My biggest problem is the constant thoughts of when my death anxiety will be triggered. They're short, that's the only good thing. It's a simple 'Don't trigger' thought throughout random times of the day. And because of that, I find myself causing the anxiety rather than other things around me.

The anxiety is one thing, but is there any tricks or tips on how to keep myself from wondering when and how the anxiety will be triggered? I feel like I really just need a lot more self-discipline.

Thank you in advance :)

thebadwolf 01-15-2015 12:06 AM

Re: Can I stop letting anxiety take over?
I think a good way is to find a spiritual way to make you feel more comfortable.
Look into different religions or spiritualities that you agree with and practice
those beliefs.
Finding something worth having faith in and knowing others have faith in
might help you accept death.

itburns2004 01-15-2015 07:39 AM

Re: Can I stop letting anxiety take over?
Health issues make anxiety so much worse. But if you are healthy and bp is good and its clearly an emotional panic or anxiety disorder seek out a alternative doctor to help you and learn yoga or tai chi. I think a lot of people have bp issues or copd or gerd and it complicates oanic or anxiety cause cant tell real from mind causing.

Lex0501 01-26-2015 04:53 AM

Re: Can I stop letting anxiety take over?
[QUOTE=itburns2004;5339438]Health issues make anxiety so much worse. But if you are healthy and bp is good and its clearly an emotional panic or anxiety disorder seek out a alternative doctor to help you and learn yoga or tai chi. I think a lot of people have bp issues or copd or gerd and it complicates oanic or anxiety cause cant tell real from mind causing.[/QUOTE]

Thank you for your comment. BP wise, I don't have any issues. The only real health issue I know of that I currently have is mild anemia. Other than that, high blood pressure and diabetes runs in the family but I don't think I've ever really been too worried about those. But sadly, anxiety also runs in the family as well as the hypochondria, as stated in the thread.

I have been considering something to do to help either keep myself calmer during anxiety attacks or lessen the severity of the attacks. Some sort of meditation or even yoga, as you said.

3sillykidsnadog 01-29-2015 11:51 AM

Re: Can I stop letting anxiety take over?
I'm wondering if you've ever had your hormones checked? I'm 45 and about 2 years ago I started having panic attacks and anxiety for no apparent reason at all. After many tests, my doctor checked my hormones and believes I'm in perimenopause. It may be worth looking into, as well as your thyroid. I was also borderline anemic and low on magnesium. I can't say that I've had the death anxiety like you but I do understand the thoughts. Any aches or pains at night and off my mind goes on various diseases I think I might have. I'm on medication for the anxiety (lowest does possible of mirtazapine) and it does help.

Something I've been doing for myself is progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing. There are so many sources of guided relaxation and breathing vieos, books, etc. I have now got to the point where (most times) when I feel the panic coming I can stop myself, take a few calming breaths and tell myself to let it go, I am safe, I'm okay. Even when I'm driving (when it usually happens) I can calm myself. It's really incredible what you can teach your mind!

tela44 01-30-2015 04:22 AM

Re: Can I stop letting anxiety take over?
Have you thought about seeing a therapist?
My story sounds like yours. I'm not totally sure what triggered my anxiety but it could be a few things. It's been going on for 9 months now. This summer was the worst.
I've tried aromatherapy, many books on the subject, meditation, qigong, yoga, acupuncture, and so many doctors and probably other things I can't think of right now.

I too think 'I can't eat this or I can't do that' because it triggered a reaction in the past.

So, it took me 4 therapist until I found one that seems to be helping. I'm going to keep at it until my life is calmer.

Mirriam 02-11-2015 02:10 PM

Re: Can I stop letting anxiety take over?
Reading your post it sounds like something I could have easily written. I have gone through the same thing. Mine was triggered by the death of our dog that we had for 12 years. And it didn't hit me at the time, it was like 2 or 3 weeks later just out of no where. Point is, it does get better. I was on anti-depression medicine for a while but I think just time and talking to friends helped more. I will post more after I have organized my thoughts better, I just got up and things are kind of jumbled at the moment.

raandom 02-12-2015 08:49 AM

Re: Can I stop letting anxiety take over?
The thing about anxiety is that it's self-fulfilling: you worry about anxiety which causes more anxiety.

I too tried the same approach - trying to "control" the anxiety, distractions, etc. Yet it finally didn't work out: I needed help.

And that's the thing - people before you and I have had this problem and have found ways to help. Mostly it is a way of getting the anxiety under control - in my case that control gave me time to figure out what I wanted to do next.

My choices were - stay with a medication or get therapy or stop the medication and see what happens, or do nothing.

I did the first three because the last one (do nothing) clearly wasn't working out. I had (and still have) the time to try to figure out what's going on and possibly find a way through.

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