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Extreme anxiety tonight, need to tell someone!(13 Posts)
I've suffered with minor to moderate anxiety over the years. I found that after the birth of my son it ramped up significantly, the year after he was born I was plagued by it. It eased off somewhat after that but tonight it's reared its head. Racing thoughts, panic, worrying about non-events and over thinking/ruminating and allowing my brain and imagination to run riot and create scenarios to fuel my anxiety. It's like torture. Sat here taking deep breaths and waiting for it to pass.
Keep thinking things like...
What if my parents died soon, how would I cope? I'd be devastated What if one of them died suddenly in their sleep? what if something happened to my son or husband? I'd be beyond destroyed. It's like my worst fears are coming to the forefront to make me anxious.
What if my dog got off her lead during her walk and got run over? What if the wheel falls off the car while I'm driving on the motorway? What if the house sets on fire and my pets die ? What if, what if, what if......
I know all these are irrational thoughts and my silly brain is going into overdrive!
I'm also re thinking events and past embarrassments and failures and cringing about old conversations I've had where I've said the wrong thing, wishing I could turn back the clock and really over thinking everything. I've had medication in the past but seemed to make my panic worse and side effects of the meds affected me. Also had contact with IAPT but didn't find it very helpful at the time. Day time I find it easier to dismiss these silly thoughts and they don't bother me but at night i find it harder. It's helped just typing this out.
Does anyone have a similar experience or any tips at all please?
Oh you poor thing. I’ve experienced similar...
While your thoughts/worries aren’t irrational as in, they’re genuine worries, you know you’re catastrophising, right? I used to do this a lot and would fall into a hole of intrusive thought after intrusive thought. I found telling myself that they were merely thoughts and that they didn’t mean anything was actually helpful. And whilst it’s not a good idea to give such thoughts too much power, it is worth acknowledging them rather than wishing they’d go away. The more you fight against having them, the more prominent they can become.
That being said, I’m on sertraline now: what a difference!
Hang on in there.
Oh OP I'm so sorry to hear you're feeling this way
I get the exact same thing. I had therapy last year which helped me get through one particular bad period of it but it recently came back and I've been struggling a bit to get it under control by myself.
What helps me in the moment when I feel my worst is having a bath, watching something comforting on Netflix (a rerun of a TV programme I've watched a lot or rewatching a favourite, easy going film) and having a mint tea as my stomach is usually really bad.
Physical touch helps me calm down too, so a hug off my husband or if we're in bed I might hold his hand or lie in a position so that my arm is pressed against his etc.
When the worst of it has passed I try and make a note (either in my phone or written down) of all the things running through my head (no matter how ridiculous those hypothetical thoughts are).
One thing I was told in therapy which helped at the time but I'm struggling to stick to at the moment is to set aside 10 minutes a day in a quiet spot for "worry time". This is where you spend an uninterrupted 10 minutes where you don't try to stop the thoughts or rationalise them, and you write them down. Then after 10 minutes you draw a line and promise yourself that you will do the same again tomorrow. Every time your mind starts to race, do breathing techniques and try and tell yourself that you dont need to worry now, because you have worry time tomorrow scheduled in with yourself and you can worry about it then. This admittedly doesn't help straight away but can be good to practice every day to help in the medium term.
I hope something here can help you even a tiny bit OP because anxiety is the worst!
Oh gosh you poor thing- sounds horrible.
If any of those things happened, it would of course be awful but you would find a way through. I know from experience as have had parents suddenly die very young (in 40’s). Was my worst fear before but I found a way through and you would too.
All of these things are extremely unlikely to happen and playing them out in your head is wasting precious time in your life.
Enjoy every day. Make the most of it. Imagine each one of your fears as a helium balloon in your mind and make a resolution to let it go. Imagine is floating away. Make a resolution to enjoy the present as much as you can because worrying about the (unlikely) events of the future is robbing you of today
Op I know exactly how you feel, I’ve been there. Agree you are catastrophising but know you can’t help yourself
I think @MrsWhistledown has done great suggestions
Can’t help but sending you lots of support 💐
Horrid, isn’t it. Someone on here recommend a distraction basket a few years ago. Biscuits, colouring books and pencils, crosswords but not too hard, a craft.
Hope you feel better soon. 💐
Sorry to hear this OP, it’s such a horrible feeling. I’m on fluoxetine now and not had a bad attack in years, but can still remember how bad it is.
Sounds very silly, but I used to reread books that took me back to a comfortable place and time - in my case it was pony books from my childhood Nothing new, as I didn’t know how it would affect me, just old favourites.
Comforting tv or films would possibly help? I like well-listened to audiobooks too.
And hug a pet if you have one! Hope it passes soon w
Don’t know where that random w came from!
Oh OP, I feel for you so much... I've been there and it's horrible .
I used to suffer very badly with anxiety. One of the things that helped me turn a corner with it was to actively, intentionally remove the power from the thought, hard as that may sound. This is going to sound ridiculous but the best way I found to do this was to sing 'que sera sera, whatever will be, will be' to myself ... I found it extremely liberating to tell myself (in the form of song!) that I had no control over what might happen, that whatever does happen, will and that I'd just have to cross whatever bridges I face when I face them. That song was a magic talisman for me.
Also, I started to visualise the anxiety as a little twat of a monster /demon thing that lived inside me and fed off my fear/anxiety (I am aware how bizarre this sounds). I then used to enjoy starving the little bastard by refusing to feed him with the thoughts (usually by distracting myself with the aforementioned song). Again, I found this very empowering and liberating because it made me accept that I was the one who was creating the thoughts and feelings, and I had the power to change them.
If I can do it, you can too... You honestly do have the power within you to rid yourself of anxiety .
So sorry you’re experiencing this. Some really good suggestions. I’d definitely recommend getting up if you find yourself worrying in the night and watching or reading something easy and familiar.
Also when I was going through a really bad time at work someone told me ‘We’re OK today and we’ll be OK tomorrow.’ It can really pull you back to the present.
You’re not alone and I hope you feel some relief soon.
You have my sympathy OP. It doesn't happen to me very often but in the rarer occasions when my racing mind has kept me awake I find it terrifying. My DS is more like you and relatively minor work issues can keep her awake for hours night after night.
One solution that has worked very well for both of us is listening to familiar audiobooks or podcasts played at a very low speed as we try to drift off. It can't be anything new or exciting, but something you know well. I find the Anne of Green Gables stories at 0.6 of the normal speed engages my brain enough to stop my thoughts running away with me but are so familiar that I'm not waiting for the next word. I set it for an hour but am often asleep within the first 15 minutes or so. My DS sometimes listens to audio books but also replays uni lectures from years ago. I wear a speaker headband so as not to disturb my DH.
Thank you for all responses and advice. Sorry I didn't reply last night, I did a bit of ironing to distract myself and fell asleep finally ! Feel a lot better this morning. Thank you for helping me last night, it was good to know I wasn't alone. This anxiety can be very isolating and make you feel quite lonely so thank you