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Trapped by my anxiety :(

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Spot, May 24, 2019.

  1. Spot

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    I feel so awful right now. I’m actually crying and I don’t cry very much at all but my anxiety’s been so bad recently. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to fix it. I have Social Anxiety Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I don’t take medication for it besides anti-depressants which were prescribed to try and manage both my depression and anxiety. I think I want to go on stronger meds because what I’m on now just isn’t working but I don’t know how I would go about changing them. I think I need Xanax or Valium, something stronger like that, I’ve taken SSRIs for years and they keep bumping up the dosage but it’s not helping. Like I said, I’m worse than ever now. My depression is too but that’s not what this post is about. The SSRIs don’t seem to help at all except taking them is keeping me from going through antidepressant withdrawals which is the worst feeling ever.

    I’ve had a lot of trouble going out in public and being social. Like I couldn’t really imagine socializing right now. Weird things are giving me anxiety, stuff that wouldn’t give me anxiety in the past. Stuff like making eye contact and knowing when it’s my turn to talk, thinking about that is stressing me out and just seems impossible. I’m even having trouble at work because I’m a cashier and recently I’ve noticed that my hands are trembling while I’m talking to customers or they’re just watching me while I work. But it was really bad when I saw my new psychologist this week. It was my first appointment with her and I had a full-on anxiety attack during the session. I just hate the idea of being in a room with a stranger and having to share my deepest secrets with them but I know it’s what’s good for me. I’m scared that I’m going to become agoraphobic because I’ve noticed that I don’t have the desire to go out in public much anymore and I prefer to stay home. It feels safer, like public spaces are too big and crowded and loud and other awful things.

    What’s bothering me more than that is my generalized anxiety. I’ve started stressing over stupid things like if gravity just stops working at any second or a meteoroid hitting the Earth or the sun just not coming back in the morning or bees dying out so humans die too without pollinators. And I worry about nuclear fallout but I don’t think that’s as stupid. I don’t know if anyone can ever comfort me or reassure me that that won’t happen. Because how do you know? It’s like nothing is definite, even if we assume they are and take it for granted. What if the world ended tomorrow?

    I’m also a major hypochondriac. Like the worst I’ve ever known. Mostly I worry about being diagnosed with terminal cancer…or a terminal illness in general but mostly cancer. It seems like a really horrible way to go, like the worst possible death in my mind. I don’t want to die before I’ve even gotten the chance to be happy (I’ve had depression almost my entire life), I don’t want to finally start enjoying life and die either. I don’t want any of my family members to have a terminal illness. Or a potential partner. And I guess these fears are normal but I think about it all the time and it’s just consuming my thoughts and I don’t know what to do. Literally just tonight, I found these small bruises on my thighs and I don’t know how I got them…so my first thought was it’s leukemia, I’ve discovered it too late or it’s terminal and I’m going to die. And I know that logically, it’s probably not leukemia. It’s probably something harmless but there’s still this fear consuming me? And I’m afraid to let my guard down and try to enjoy life because I feel like the minute I stop worrying, that’s when I’ll get sick. I know that doesn’t make sense but it also feels like it does?

    I’ve also started really stressing about dying suddenly. Or just having a heart attack or a stroke or anything randomly. I mean, it could happen at any moment. My body could just stop working. And what if I go to sleep and just don’t wake up? I never used to worry about this stuff but it could just happen. Now I stress about it a lot. I wouldn’t even know what to do. I don’t know what a heart attack or stroke feels like; how would I warn someone?

    I worry about dying…partially because I’m afraid of what will happen after I’m dead. Like I guess I’m an agnostic atheist? I think that’s the right term. Because I don’t believe in God or the afterlife but I know I also can’t prove for certain that they don’t exist so we can never know? I just don’t believe in any of that. Doesn’t mean I’m right. And I think about if I’m wrong…and I’ll go to Hell if the Bible is right and I think about that. Like an eternity of suffering. It really scares me and I’ll never know the truth until it’s too late. That’s what freaks me out. I worry about if I’m a good person or not. It’s something I obsess over. Like I’ll ask people around me and drive them up the wall.
    “Do you think I’m a good person?”
    “But do know really mean that?”
    “You can say no, it’s okay.”
    And it just goes on like that, round and round because I’m never satisfied with the answer. If they say yes, I feel like they’re lying to shut me up but if they ever said no, I’d obsess over that too and probably self-flagulate until they said yes.

    I’m so over this. I don’t want to feel bad all the time and some of this probably sounds stupid or funny but it’s so serious to me and I don’t know what to do. I’m posting here for two reasons; to ask how to change my medication but also, I want to know: will I ever feel normal again? Will I ever get out of this…emotional abyss? I just don’t want to stress out about stuff that’s probably statistically unlikely by I’m worried that since the idea’s in my head, it’ll never leave now.
     
    #1 Spot, May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  2. smurf

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    Trying to deal with anxiety, I think the trick is to be okay with uncertainty. Literally being okay with having no control or answers for anything...which is honestly terrifying, but once you learn how to do it shit becomes so much easier.

    What if the world ended tomorrow? It might. I have no idea, but then if it does then just enjoy today. What else are you going to do? Just have to enjoy what you have and try to let go for the rest.

    I don't think anxiety at this level will ever go away. Not sure, but I do know that you can decrease its intensity and you can train your brain to move on from it faster. Its hard though I get it and it seems like you have a hard case of it, but there are tools out there for it.

    Did you let them know that you were having an anxiety attack? Did you tell them how uncomfortable you were and that you were fucking scared?

    Being honest with your therapist doesn't always mean playing the script of what you see on TV. You can literally take an hour in therapy to talk about how hard it is to be in the room. Your next 4 session can be literally just about how to feel more comfortable in the room and learn how to use tools to allow the anxiety to subside.

    Just allow the anxiety to take over the room and then get your therapist to help you navigate it. You need to learn how it feels like to let go of it and your therapist might help you with that.

    A small example is a month ago I was with my therapist and she said something that triggered me hard. I had to make myself say "Right now, I feel that what you are saying is bullshit. Why is that? Why is my heart racing and why do I want to scream at you right now?" Then we talked it out and she is helping me learn how to navigate it all. But you kinda have to feel it out.

    Are you exercising at all?
     
    #2 smurf, May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  3. regkmc

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    Sounds like a lot. I understand.
     
  4. Lek

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    This is a good first step: Determined to stop feeling so anxious. None of what you said is stupid or funny. Anxiety and depression can lie to you.

    You tell your doc that you've been feeling anxious and want to change your meds. (When I went on anti-anxiety meds, I was amazed at how much better I felt.)

    Yes, you can feel "normal" again. Meds and talk therapy are good tools to help you. I think your determination to ask for help to treat your anxiety is clear in your message here. Now, please go do it and keep us informed.
     
  5. Jude B

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    Hey, @Spot

    Yes, it does get better. I don't know how long it will take but things always get better. And no matter how much potential there is for bad things to happen, there's also a potential for good. I deal with generalized anxiety too. The way I try to see things is like this:

    I may die tomorrow. No matter how slim, there's always the chance.
    But, there's also the chance that I could get a promotion at work. Or I could find a twenty-dollar bill on the ground. Or I could talk to a friend that I haven't talked to in a long time. Or I could meet a person that I'll fall in love with in the future.

    Just as the possibilities for negativity are possible, so are the possibilities for positivity.

    This line of thinking may not work for you but that's okay. We're all different people.
    But, anyway, that's what I try to think to myself whenever I'm stressing out over things like death. Although, I'll be honest. Sometimes, my anxiety just gets too far out of hand for me to think rationally (usually, that's when I'm having a panic attack); at that point, I just have to try to coast my way through it until the panic attack subsides.

    @Lek is right though. If you talk to your doctor, you can get your meds changed. Just tell them what's been going on and they can help you; you're not alone in fighting this. No one ever is, no matter how much it may feel like it.

    I hope you get this figured out. I know it can be a lot. But you're strong. Getting on here and typing all of that out is evidence of that to me. You can do this. I believe in you.
     
  6. Waffless

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    I agree with you @Spot I am also an atheist and I sometimes think about the afterlife but I believe that their is nothing after death. But if there is something then I'll be happy. Just don't think about it. And if you have to ask you probably are just worrying to much. You are a good person
     
  7. Waffless

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    @Spot I'd also like to try and be friends if you don't mind
     
  8. bingostring

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    If you have a true anxiety condition then it needs proper management with meds and other approaches.
    It sounds like the current meds aren’t doing the trick and you should have a meds’ review by a psychiatrist who can guide you
    Things like Valium can be a great help in the short term but doctors do not prescribe them for long periods due to their addictive qualities.

    You should think about therapies as, longer term, you need to find ways to get your thoughts in perspective so they are not so overwhelming

    And some work to broaden your social life, in small manageable steps, sounds like it will help you a lot simply by distracting yourself, and breaking free of some of your thought patterns.

    Other things that may help are new interests and things you can do in a group activity.
    Things like mindfulness meditation, taking up a creative pastime
    Physical things to get your body active. Like hiking, cycling, swimming...

    In fact, everything above is what I should be doing myself but don’t get round to doing!!

    Just do one of them!
     
    #8 bingostring, May 31, 2019
    Last edited: May 31, 2019