Total Failure

Postby Mspanic » Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:46 pm

I am a 30 year old bipolar woman who also has problems with severe anxiety and panic attacks. Several years ago when I was younger I struggled with really bad social phobia. I'd barely go out for fear of people judging me and when I graduated from grad school and it was time to get a job I pretty much had a nervous breakdown/manic episode because I knew I couldn't get a job. I couldn't even go through an interview without shaking and freaking out. The social phobia got better though and I finally got a job in my field (I am a librarian). But then I started getting panic attacks. I quit the job impulsively after just 3 months. Since then I've lived my life as an even bigger failure. The anxiety and panic attacks have been so bad I decided to go on disability. I am currently volunteering at a library but today I cancelled at the last minute again because I can't stand the panic I sometimes feel there. So I can't even volunteer at a library one day a week without becoming a total basket case. My parents and boyfriend are sympathetic and I have a great psychiatrist but this feeling of failure and inadequacy follows me wherever I go. Sometimes it all feels unbearable.
When I get panicky my head and arms start to tingle and I get tunnel vision and my brain feels almost thin and my thoughts go from one nightmare scenario to the next. Today I had another panic attack while driving. This is the scariest because I'm so worried about getting in an accident and I don't seem to notice things the same way as I would if I were feeling normal.
I don't know if I'm looking for help so much as a sympathetic voice. It would be nice to hear from someone whose had similar experiences.
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Postby Danacovert82 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:20 am

I'm gonna say something: YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!!!!! You can get over this. Try talking to your therapist and seeing what they can do to help you through panic attacks while driving.
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Postby laureat » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:47 am

your comment has too much on it, but I want to focus my reply on the fear of failure , if you don't get all what you want better make specific questions , so you can get specific answers

why do we fear failure?
it is because we want to succeed to bad and we fear that we cannot do it, and we don't want to fail it is emotionally unacceptable

you need to make sure about expectations that you have from yourself

for example I would tell to a student
READ your books 6 hours every day, STAND FOCUSED
but when it comes to exam, don't care too much about the results, because as you keep STANDING FOCUSED good results soon will come and you also have to accept the fact that you may fail sometimes, you should not give a sh&t about if you fail

you have to think about expectations you have from oneself
for example a student should not expect himself to know as good as the teacher, because the student is learning, while the teacher has done so much review of the same topic and it is all memorized too good, that a student has no chance to compete with the teacher no matter how talented the student is , so a student should act like a student, should understand he has too much too learn, and stand RELAXED, and proud of himself, learning , progressing

even when a student finishes all the studies, and graduates becomes a doctor, for example , he still doesn't have good enough experience to compete with other doctrs that has visited so many patients before
so he has to stand relaxed, proud of himself, and focused to keep learning, to keep experiencing,

and than soon comes the good moment when a student who was standing SILENT and listening, becomes the one who teaches the others, after he has all the experience,

the reason why you are too much anxiety, too much panic attacks is because you push oneself to perfection or whatsoever, and so you are disrespectful to the process of becoming, you want to BE GOOD< you don't like BECOMING, you don't enjoy the process , you simply want results straight a way,
BTW I am just saying this, I don't know really who you are what you do, I am just taking an example if that is the case
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Postby McCain » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:58 am

Mspanic wrote: .this feeling of failure and inadequacy follows me wherever I go. .

It's not following you...your carrying it around, quite comfortably too.
Look, most everyone fears failure. If we didn't, we wouldn't stear ourselves in the right direction.
I'm not going to tell you there's rainbows around every corner if you just get out there and try. No, life is full of ups and downs even when the fear is gone. But how many ups are you giving yourself by hiding from your expectations. Really, your avoiding your own expectations by retreating before you even try. You need to do what makes you happy. You didn't go to school and gain all that knowledge to sit in the shadows and hide. You had expectations of where all that hard effort would take you. You had ideas, visions of what impact you would make with your views.
Fear has taken a lease in your mind. Fear has kicked out the other tenants like wisdom and integrity. You may still posess these qualities, but the world will never know as long as fear is paying all the mental "rent".
It's your life, not mine or some anonymous person you see out there. I will go on and so will they. I may fail, they may fail, but you will fail if you don't realize we don't matter.
What you think carries you to your destination. I didn't put you in that house hidden away and neither did those anonymous people. You did. So really all that fear about the what ifs doesn't matter. You retreat on your will. The world had little to do with it.

Be your own advocate. Stay on regime with your psychiatrist and medications. Take baby steps with a therapists to gain self assurance. You want it? You make it happen.

Regards McCain
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Postby laureat » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:31 am

i want to focus this reply on social phobia

in my past i have been extremely social phobic
what has helped me the most was a job I had in interviewing people about statistics of the economy and registering those private companies

this has helped me a lot because I had my interview questions that I had to focus on, and I did not have too much time to focus on the other BS I was focusing before

and after every single interview success I was becoming more confident because I get to know people better and fear them less, also I get to trust myself more that I was not as extreme bad as I was judging myself with BS

and another mister is that I had to surrender some of my nonsense expectations, I had to surrender my EGO
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Postby Cooler » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:21 am


Sorry to hear that you are suffering so much.

I would like to reinforce the point "You are not a failure". Some people find that they are coping with severe, diagnosed illnesses: bi - polar, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder; these are very hard calls.

How can we compare ourselves with someone who doesn't have the illness? IMHO, we are very strong to handle these experiences, and deserve much respect for what we are facing. This includes you.

Warmest thoughts,

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Postby Mspanic » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:19 pm

Thank you for saying I'm not a failure. Having a mental illness has been a big part of my life since I was 19 and it's always been a struggle. I just sort of feel like I'm giving up by going on disability but this is the best I can do right now.
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Postby Trying1 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:31 am

I know it is very easy, almost automatic to feel like a failure. I know in my heart that it's wrong to, but I catch myself doing it too. I've lost 99% of what my life used to be due to panic attacks. I try to drive a few miles a day, but in reality I believe myself to be an agorophobic. I'm not that much more relaxed at home either. I would tell you, if anything, next time you're volunteering, and get that terrible feeling, fight it for a few minutes. I'm sure you have, but I mean past the furthest point you have so far. I truly hope you feel a lil better day by day.
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Postby lostwoman » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:48 am

medications help...
people can't help you...
i lost almost everything ..i was like you... still somewhat like you
get professional help before its too late
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Postby Mspanic » Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:51 pm

I'm very worried about becoming agoraphobic. I don't want to leave the house a lot or drive for fear of having a panic attack. But I saw my therapist today and she said every time I run away my world gets smaller. Every time I breathe and work through a situation and stay I will gain respect for myself. I think she's right and I am going to try to push myself more.
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Postby kathyjoyce » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:15 pm

I've been fortunate enough never to suffer a panic attack, but do suffer from anxiety at times so can sympathise. Deep breathing exercises really do work, as I've tried them. I felt a bit panicky after starting to drive again following a stroke. What works for me is visualising a calm, happy drive and reminding myself that I'm a good driver. Running away from a fear isn't the best approach no matter how bad you feel. Facing a fear and realising it was no where near as scary as it seemed will make you feel more confident and happier that you've overcome it..Best of luck and hope it all works out for you.
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