out of control anxiety

Postby dawoDav » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:28 pm

From the age of 10 I was in and out of the hospital because of anxiety and some other conditions. My parents and a doctor told me I had anxiety at the hospital when I was 1. I was awkward and embarrassed about it so they never spoke to me about it. I've been in denial for 11 years and kept telling myself that I was fine but I never really was. I'm nervous all of the time. I was just playing games on my computer with my old friends and I've played a lot more than they have. I'm not a bad player but I'm so nervous or anxious to do well that I will make a lot of mistakes.

Even in the real world I've stopped doing a lot of things that I have enjoyed because of anxiety. Almost all of my friends have asked me about my anxiety and I will just lie and say I'm fine or just tired or whatever. If I'm being honest I've never moved on and I'm nervous and care about what everyone things of me. I went to the barber shop to get my hair cut and my head and body will shake uncontrollably. I've stopped getting my hair cut because I'm embarrassed of how much I shake. The barber has even accidentally make mistakes because I shook too much as embarrassing as that is. I've hoped that I will be okay in the following months but even I know that nothing will happen if I don't change.

I'll go the the shops and when I hand over my money the coins will be sweaty and my hands will shake. I live quite close to a corner shop and the owners recognize me and ask me about it sometimes. Its even hard to walk straight in front of others sometimes. I'm jumpy a lot of the time and get really tired after talking to my friends at university. I feel as if I have a lot of inner conflict because I believe in helping yourself and instead of talking about it I usually like to use my intuitive and do something. Causes me a lot of stress. This is just the surface of what has happened in the past few months. I have a lot of irrational thoughts that sort of just sink in to me. It's hard to think about other things. Sometimes I'll be walking to my lecture room and it will feel as if I'm not in my body and I'll completely forget what the lecture is about and seem stupid or dumb to my friends.

I've denied a lot of my feelings towards anxiety for a long time and I feel lost and alone right now. The things that are important to me I mess up when I could do so much better. Its humiliating to know I'm quite good at the things I enjoy and just totally suck. I'm going to be honest, I've contemplated suicide a lot the past few months but I won't go through with it. My family would be devastated, not fair on them. I hope someone can make sense of this because this sucks. I'm not enjoying anything at the moment and its so hard to sleep knowing that I'm not able to do well in things and have my friends think I'm bad at the things I spend the most time doing. I feel like crying.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:03 am

Seek professional help from a cognitive behavioral therapist.

Online forums, other than referring you to seek professional help, will just waste your time. This is because while an online form can provide some temporary comfort, it is not sufficient to actually address your problem.
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#2

Postby littlebrowndragon » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:16 pm

Hello.

My instant response to your anxiety is that you need to try to calm down, to reduce your emotionalism. It is imperative that you create a calmer space so that your mind can be allowed to work by itself i.e. naturally, on dealing with this problem. So, how do you do that? You need to find something that will help you relax.

When I was in a similar situation – my problem was intense anger rather than intense anxiety but the sources of the problem are similar – I knew I had to find a way of calming down to create the necessary mental space I mentioned above. After trying a variety of therapies and relaxation techniques, I found the one that worked best: meditation.

I strongly suggest you start meditation as soon as possible. At first you will likely find that you can only do a few minutes of meditation daily. However, with practice meditation sessions will get longer until you can do a morning session and an evening session. The sort of meditation you want to do is the kind where you start off with counted breathing to help you relax a little. When your breathing starts to become slower and more regular, that is the time to start meditating proper. That is, remain sitting in the dark, still and quiet with your eyes shut, try to quieten your mind. Good and bad thoughts will try to come into your head. Let them. When they arrive, you say “Hello” to them i.e. be friendly toward them and do not resist them, and then return to trying to empty your mind. (There are plenty of books on how to meditate, although there are different meditation techniques.)

Get meditation established as soon as possible.

Meditation, however, is not the cure. You need to reduce your emotionalism, get it right down.

OK, so let’s take the computer games scenario you described. You say you want to do well which makes your anxiety levels soar. OK, you MUST try to counter that. You have to tell yourself that doing well is NOT important. You need to use the mantra “I don’t care.” You need to say “I don’t care” to yourself over and over again. Say “I don’t care” over and over to yourself whenever you get anxious thinking about playing computer games and when you get anxious actually playing computer games. Try this one too: “Consequences? Shmonsequences!” Say it whenever you feel anxious that you will not do well. These approaches will not work immediately. But with practice you will find that your anxieties about not doing well will reduce. This in turn will increase relaxation.


Saying you don't care about doing well sounds counter-intuitive. However, the truth is that the less you care about doing well i.e. the less emotional you are about doing well, the better you will actually do. Anxiety stops one from doing as well as one would like. Relaxation improves ones abilities.

Of course, playing these computer games is very competitive – I have played them a lot myself – and that will raise your anxiety levels.

(As an aside, I will add here that video games by their very nature induce anxiety for one reason or another e.g. some games are actually very frightening. Is it possible, for the moment at least, to reduce the amount of time you spend playing these games?)

I’ll mention a situation I once found myself in where that “I don’t care” mantra came into its own. I had relocated to a different part of the country. To make new friends I joined a bridge club. I thought I could play bridge reasonably well. As it turned out, during my first night at the bridge club I discovered that I was actually a very bad player. I began to feel embarrassed at how badly I was playing. So much so that I decided I'd never go back again. Half way through the evening I started using the “I don’t care mantra”. I had been using it for some time as a strategy so I was fairly good at using it. By this means I was able to shrug off my embarrassment and even to return to the club the following week. I was a member of that club for over a year until I moved on to something else.

A question: when you play computer games, do your friends make comments about your playing? If so, what sorts of comments do they make?


If I'm being honest I've never moved on and I'm nervous and care about what everyone things of me.


Caring what everyone thinks about you is a good time to use the “I don’t care” mantra. So, say to yourself over and over again: “I don’t care what people think of me.” That way, if someone does try to put you down, then their attempt won't dent your self-esteem.


I'll go the the shops and when I hand over my money the coins will be sweaty and my hands will shake.


Yes, shaking and sweating are typical symptoms of your anxiety. Say: "I don't care if I sweat or shake" again and again to yourself.


I'm jumpy a lot of the time and get really tired after talking to my friends at university. I feel as if I have a lot of inner conflict because I believe in helping yourself and instead of talking about it


Work on PRIDE. Be proud of wanting to sort this problem out yourself. Independence is an admirable quality.

Also, when you finish a session of e.g. computer games, with your friends, tell yourself how well you did. For example, also tell yourself that you did well when you finish a meditation session. Tell yourself that you did well whenever you use the “I don’t care” mantra. You must work on pride.


I have a lot of irrational thoughts that sort of just sink in to me. It's hard to think about other things.


Can you give some examples of these irrational thoughts?

Sometimes I'll be walking to my lecture room and it will feel as if I'm not in my body and I'll completely forget what the lecture is about and seem stupid or dumb to my friends.


When I get anxious my memory goes too. So, say over and over to yourself “I don’t care if I forget what the lecture is about”.

I'm not enjoying anything at the moment and its so hard to sleep knowing that I'm not able to do well in things and have my friends think I'm bad at the things I spend the most time doing.


Say to yourself: “I don’t care what my friends think of me”.


I hope that some of that helps. Speaking from personal experience I know that those strategies work. But you have to practice them to make them work.

If you have any questions about this stuff, please do ask.
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