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To tell you about my anxiety.

(56 Posts)
TheoriginalLEM Thu 23-Jul-15 16:14:54

I read something today that made me think i should share my experiences of having an anxiety disorder. I dont want to put this in mental health please.

If i really think about it, i have suffered from anxiety all of my life. I didn't have an especially unhappy childhood and i wasn't a victim of abuse. I remember convincing myself i had HIV and passed it on to DD1. Total rubbish of course, but every time i got sick or my lymph nodes were inflammed i was convinced it was the begining of the end.

Then when i had DD2 it really came to a head, resulting in a breakdown. I spent a good few years in a state of paranoia and it nearly cost me my relationship with DP. I think it has severely damaged my relationship with DD1 as i never allowed myself to get too close because i was convinced either i would die, or she would. I have managed to keep that side of things under control to a degree with DD2. There is a big age gap.

I have had lots of counselling and am on anti-depressants and at the moment i am doing ok. The reason i am writing this is what i read on "time to change" website, i could have written so i want to raise awareness.

So what does my anxiety mean to me now?

It means that I can just feel anxious for no apparent reason, the anxiety can happen and i can feel my brain going through my filing system of thoughts looking for a reason for the feelings. IF i can catch this before i find a reason to justify the elevated heart rate, that pit of the stomach sickness that you get when receiving bad news and rationalise that its just my anxiety i can control it. If there is something i jump onto, like at the moment im waiting for my smear results, unwated thoughts take over and i am playing out a whole scenario in my head of hospital visits, tears and terror. I can, with effort, rationalise my way out of panic.

I have to keep busy, inertia is anxiety's best friend. If i allow my brain to meander it will go down the anxiety road and there will be "voices" telling me how rubbish i am, how everything is going to shit and not to bother doing x y and z beause its not worth it because something bad will happen.

People close to me try to understand, but its hard for them. When i tell my DP i feel bad but can't explain why.

The postman can send me into meltdown, we can't have a landline because i would be terrified of the phone ringing.

If you met me you would never know. I have a job now (only part time and sessional hours) and my colleague commented how calm I am when it is crazy busy and i have to do lots of things at once. The thing is, i thrive on this, because i don't have time to think. Unless I am solving a practical problem, thinking leads to paranoia and depression.

I am constantly exhausted because my brain never shuts the fuck up, ever - sometimes i have to play really loud music to try and stop the unwanted thoughts.

Its not all bad - I am the most dilligent worker you can ever employ because a mistake is not acceptable, it keeps me awake at night, even if its not my fault. If there is a crisis i am the one that deals with it because trust me, im ready, Im like a swan, graceful and serene on the outside, paddling like fuck underneath. Only really my DP and DDs have seen me lose the plot. I get things done, NOW because i can't have things hanging over me, but also i will not start something if im unsure which can hold me back sometimes but it will mean i research the arse off something before i go and do it. It will be done properly or not at all.

I can however freeze at simple tasks, i sometimes have to walk away from the dishwasher because my brain is too full to consider how to load it. Other times i can dismantle the dishwasher and diagnose and fix a fault.

I live in fear of "what if" but usually when it happens, its never as bad as i thought and i deal with whatever life throws at me - so why is it so scary before it actually happens.

If you have read this far, thankyou. Im not looking for sympathy, im OK, i just don't work properly when it comes to anxiety. I just want to make people aware, and maybe tell others that is not just you, lots of us get this - for various reasons and that its ok, you don't have to let it ruin your life. It nearly ruined (actually it nearly ended my life) mine but i wont let it anymore. I will be on medication forever and thats ok, and ive started running and am stunned at how much it really really helps. I always used to make a hmm face at the drs when they suggested exercise.

AngularMurky Thu 23-Jul-15 16:21:18

Bloody brilliant post, OP. Thank you flowers

AFingerofFudge Thu 23-Jul-15 16:25:35

Omg, I could be you, reading that post - but you are really articulate and I've just found myself nodding along as I just wouldn't have been able to put it into words the way you have.

The funny thing is that I started going to this HIT class last year, and it has really really helped too, I go about 4 or 5 times a week.

PurpleSwirl Thu 23-Jul-15 16:25:51

have some flowers from me too, thanks for sharing

MrsNippyCat Thu 23-Jul-15 16:26:09

Thank you OP.

I'm going to print your post and keep it to re-read when things get a bit "much".

The80sweregreat Thu 23-Jul-15 16:26:58

I didn't want to read and run. You sound as though you are controlling your anxiety, having your job obviously helps you and it sounds as though you are a lot stronger than you think you are. I, too, over think things and when you said you already run through the worst in your head I also do this too. the what ifs are terrible to live with , so I can sympathise. My dh doesn't do this and if I try to explain how I feel he just says that I am paranoid or being negative all the time! I had CBT for about 8 weeks around 3 years ago and this did help a lot at the time, hasn't cured me completely though.
I don't know what else to suggest really, but wanted to just say your not the only one who thinks like this. Anxiety isn't funny at all. I am sure other people will come on with much more advice for you. sending you a virtual hug.

FarFromAnyRoad Thu 23-Jul-15 16:28:33

Where's the buggering 'LIKE' button when you need it? flowers

PurpleDaisies Thu 23-Jul-15 16:33:11

That's a great post op. A lot of people seem to think anxiety problems are the sort of thing that you can just snap out of, especially if the causes of the anxiety don't seem to be logical. The more people who've had anxiety problems are willing to share their experiences the easier it'll be to get help for these sorts of difficulties.

I have ME-the tiredness that comes with it limits how I can live my life and people often don't get that it's worse than just feeling a bit tired and needing to get an early night or push through so I can empathise a bit with the struggles you've had. I'm much better now and although life isn't what I'd have planned at eighteen, I'm generally happy now.

Really glad running is helping you, and wishing you a full recovery in time.

CrohnicallyAspie Thu 23-Jul-15 16:33:52

Thank you for that. I am autistic, and the worst part for me is definitely the anxiety. I identify with a lot of what you have said. It had never occurred to me before that sometimes the anxiety is just 'there' and I am trying to find a reason for it when there isn't one.

wtfisgoingonhere Thu 23-Jul-15 16:54:26

Thank you for posting. My hubby's suffering with anxiety/depression and too many people think he should just 'get over it' 'cheer up' or 'stop worrying so much'

By people like you sharing your story people will come to realise that it's not something you can 'snap out of' but that it IS something you can manage and live with


LittleMissIntrovert Thu 23-Jul-15 16:54:27

Very well articulated, anxiety is so misunderstood, a lot of people think it's just worrying about things.

The physical symptoms are horrible too, the description of feeling exhausted and your brain never switching off is spot on.

I have also been told I look calm when inside is like a volcano! I don't feel calm inside.

I feel better if I keep my hands busy, so knitting and colouring in help me.

Thank you for sharing flowers

MissPhonic Thu 23-Jul-15 17:07:17

Thank you for sharing this, you have very succinctly summarise something that I have struggled to put into words.

I am currently living through a horrible flare of anxiety and people keep asking me what is causing it. They are convinced that there must be something horrible going on in my life when there really isn't.

I'm writing a 3000 word project at the moment for uni and I just can't focus. I can't sit still for long enough to read a page, let alone the sheer number of journals I need to get through. The urge to get up and run away is too high.

Have started sertraline which I think has caused an increase in my anxiety (luckily my GP warned me this may happen) and feel horrific. But I'm willing to accept that, if it helps, I may need to be on the tablets for a long time because something about me makes me susceptible to this.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 23-Jul-15 17:18:50

Missphonic - well done for sticking with the sertraline, i am on a similar med but have heard mostly good about sertraline, despite it being a bit shite to start with.

Whenever i was struggling with essays, a good tip for lessining the reading workload cheating a bit was to look at reveiws only but you can site the original work via the review - i didn't tell you that ;)

SAHD63 Thu 23-Jul-15 21:34:46

TheoriginalLEM YANBU - thanks for sharing this. I hope a lot more people have read this than have commented. I read two appalling threads today and had to walk away before commenting on the lack of basic human understanding and empathy being displayed. Glad to see something so positive for a change and good to read you have made progress, long may it continue. flowers to you and all others fighting personal battles in what must sometimes seem an unsympathetic, frightening and mystifying world.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 23-Jul-15 22:38:00

Thanks SAHD63, and everyone else for your kind comments. It is something i am learning to live with rather than thinking i'll ever not be anxious. Its about not letting it win.

patienceisvirtuous Thu 23-Jul-15 22:43:25

I have anxiety like yours.

Thanks for sharing flowers

MrsRose1982 Thu 23-Jul-15 22:44:30

Could've written this myself. Thank you for sharing, sometimes it can feel like you're the only one who feels like this is very reassuring.

editthis Thu 23-Jul-15 22:54:29

Thank you from me, too. I haven't experienced anxiety to this degree (yet) but I have not, until now, been able to articulate the anxiety I feel when it comes to my children, daily, when I know it is unwarranted. I shall be copying this to refer to in times of need.

DaisyQuantock Thu 23-Jul-15 22:55:09

flowers for you.

I'm feeling totally overwhelmed at the moment, seeing GP in the morning as I can't go on feeling the way you describe. It has helped so much reading your post (and others) and realising I'm not alone.

More flowers

saintlyjimjams Thu 23-Jul-15 22:55:13

Thank you OP.

My son is severely autistic, 16, non-verbal. You have just described the last year with him to a tee. And what you are saying how you feel is how I have guessed he is feeling. He freezes as well, - often at doorways or when he has to initiate movement. He also can 'hang' his anxiety onto a worry & then have repetititve thoughts.

But I have had to guess all this because he is non-verbal. To have you put it into words is invaluable. Thank you - I shall print it out.

At school they are trying something called THRIVE with him. I think the idea is the anxiety is driven subconsciously & so when it starts light touch & eye contact is used to being him back into conscious thinking. I might have that wrong - it's new - but working I think as when he gets anxious now he seeks out the light touch.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 23-Jul-15 23:00:20

saintly - my friend's ds is autistic. I will mention thrive to her. thanks.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 23-Jul-15 23:03:41

daisy - i hope your gp visit goes well. Personally i find that medication works for me. of course at first i was too anxious to take them.

Kreeshsheesh Thu 23-Jul-15 23:03:42

A great post OP, thank you for sharing. Crippling anxiety is a living hell and a constant daily struggle. I'm glad you're helping yourself and getting through it. I wish I could be as brave as you. X

Jewels234 Thu 23-Jul-15 23:13:13

Loved that. I am an anxious person and I sometimes feel like I'm the only one in the world who worries this much.

thecatfromjapan Thu 23-Jul-15 23:19:15

smile Thank you.

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