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Post Brexit Anxiety (Mental Health related)

(95 Posts)
BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 17:07:12

I've NC for this, because I feel a bit embarrassed about putting this out there. I was disappointed in the referendum result, having voted remain, but actually not really surprised as polls seemed to suggest it would be close. Since the result, my anxiety levels have gone through the roof and I was wondering if anyone else was feeling like this? I respect the outcome, although I have written to my MP etc so I can tell my DS, who was too young to vote, that I've done everything I possibly could.
It's difficult to say why I feel like this, why my level of anxiety is so high. The racist incidents in the weeks after have made me feel anxious and I've seen stuff on Facebook that I really wish I hadn't seen. For example, I signed up to the Chuku Umana (sp?) Facebook group Vote Leave Watch and it's just full of what is beginning to feel like 'the usual' comments along the lines of "suck it up" and "fuck off losers", but coupled with a lot of racist comments aimed at him. Now rationally I know these people are a small minority of leave voters, but it feels like some kind of awful Pandora's Box has been opened. I've 'unliked' the page so I don't have to read it anymore.

I think part of the anxiety comes from a feeling of utter powerlessness. After the vote, the leading leave campaigners just walked away and since then it feels like no reassurances have been given by the people who are meant to be in charge. Cameron is still meant to be PM last time I looked, but has said nothing. Meanwhile the economy seems to be in a worrying state and the place I work has given warnings of possible redundancies, sugar coated with a 'don't worry yet though' message. Meanwhile, reading posts on here - which I should probably stop doing* - leavers are saying "it will all be fine" but without providing anything to back up their certainty.
I honestly feel like I've entered into a weird parallel universe where everyone seems to be fine about all the uncertainty except me. I keep waking up in the early hours of the morning with my heart racing and a mad adrenalin rush going through me.
*I know I should probably step away from social media, but my anxiety seems to be coupled with an overwhelming compulsion to return to the subject repeatedly.
Sorry this is so long. Is anyone else feeling like this? If so, what coping strategies are you using?
Please don't post if you're just going to come back with a "sore loser" type comment.

blue2014 Sat 09-Jul-16 17:15:38

This isn't a response to anything political but more to do with anxiety. Anxiety will compel you to keep returning to 'check' the source of the anxiety ie social media. Please please step away from it if it's causing you distress.

Equally the media are notorious for publishing 'bad news'. Yes there have been some horrible incidents but the media never report the lovely things that people do for each other every day.

If this is causing you serious distress please step away for it for just a while.

fakenamefornow Sat 09-Jul-16 17:16:21

I'm sorry you're going through this op. I feel very similar, and I'm not a person given to anxiety, sorry not helpful. We don't own our house yet so that's a worry. Can I suggest that we just try not to worry? I don't know what else to do.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 17:20:40

Blue: "This isn't a response to anything political but more to do with anxiety."
Why do you think this isn't a response to anything political?

You are right about the media. It's good to be reminded of that, thank you.

NewMinouMinou Sat 09-Jul-16 17:21:45

I'm the world's most sanguine human being, but I have been knocked sideways by this.
Like pp said, I'm checking news, social media etc every few mins and I'm driving myself up the wall.
It's wearing off now, partly because we have our own exit plan and partly because I forced myself to watch/read/talk about other things.
Find a daft tv series - Curb Your Enthusiasm or similar - and immerse yourself in it.

Don't forget, 90% of everything you read about it is conjecture and opinion right now (some v considered and informed, of course).

Make some plans, learn a new skill if you can, get an allotment, whatever you can do to feel in control.

All the best op, you're not alone.

Ohchristmastreeohchristmastree Sat 09-Jul-16 17:22:22

Yup. Me too.

Trying to let myself have 'worry time' , as in setting aside some time to catch up with the latest news, then trying to get on with daily life, the best I can. It's hard though. Trying to realise that obsessing about it won't help, but also being politically active in practical ways - writing to MPs etc might.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 17:24:09

Thank you for sharing fakename. I am trying not to worry, but haven't felt this bad for around 10 years, when I was last treated for anxiety.
I think I'm struggling with the chaos of Brexit, the 'no plan' thing. I can't quite get my head around the idea of voting for something that feels so nebulous to me (the known vs the completely unknown).

NewMinouMinou Sat 09-Jul-16 17:24:39

^ Good idea about the MP
Write once a week or so, after new developments.

Lighteningirll Sat 09-Jul-16 17:33:06

The remain situation is far more scary, sleepwalking into an EU Superstate, a possible EU army, loss of autonomy, the poorest in or country utterly devalued nd worthless to the metropolitan elite basking in EU funding. Google Stockholm Syndrome and stop thinking, dreading fearing a future 17 million people didn't buy into.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 17:35:23

Thanks, minou. An exit plan would be wonderful, but in the absence of one, I will try to immerse myself in something silly tonight. I usually buy a big fat newspaper on a Saturday and spend the evening reading, but maybe I'll watch 'Ted' on television instead. I haven't seen it before, but it looks quite silly and entertaining.
You mention the 'conjecture and opinion' thing. I think this is also part of the problem. While I think some remain campaigners were ridiculously 'Doomsday' before the referendum (Cameron's WWIII comment), I do tend to place my trust in 'experts' (I thought Michael Dougan was very sensible on the subject) but we're being told 'experts' are bad now. My trust in experts is probably related to the job I do.
Believe it or not, I'm an intelligent woman, but I feel like my head is going to explode with the sheer contrariness of it all, if that's the right word.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 17:37:19

Thanks, OhChristmasTree. I've written to my MP and will continue to do so. Things like that do make me feel slightly less powerless.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 17:39:17

biscuit Lighteninggirl. I don't need to Google Stockholm Syndrome thank you. I'm aware of what it is and can assure you I don't have it.
Why don't you fuck off and patronise someone else now.

lazysummer Sat 09-Jul-16 17:42:23

I totally understand where you are coming from. I feel exactly the same; the anxiety comes from feeling powerless. It has helped me to write to politicians; at least I feel I am doing something. I haven't had a response, obviously!
Ian McEwan's brilliant article online today for the Guardian also made me feel that there are millions of like-minded people.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 17:48:00

Thanks, lazysummer. I know my MP will respond - he's good like that - but it might take some days or even weeks. I expect he's been deluged. It is good to feel as if you're doing something though.
Is Ian McEwan's piece really worthwhile? I just vowed to not read the paper today (a few posts above!) Having said that, I did cheer up when I heard Ian Hislop the other evening saying of course we should continue to object, so if it's not going to make me feel worse maybe I'll read Ian. I would love to hear some positive messages.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Sat 09-Jul-16 17:48:05

Me too. Spent the first day in shock, and then a kind of anxious grief which is just not going away.

It just seems such a monumental fuck up. No one seems to know whats happening. I feel breathless if I read watch too much of it, so I've stopped. It's the only way I can begin to cope with it ( and I'm not really coping) just feel very very down.

Any change sends me into a tailspin, but this is on a whole other level

Ohchristmastreeohchristmastree Sat 09-Jul-16 17:48:34

Also remember that anxiety isn't always a bad thing. People who suffer from anxiety often are very compassionate. It can also be used to drive change.

AntiqueSinger Sat 09-Jul-16 17:54:28

Yeah me too. I feel like the country I thought I knew was all just a fantasy in my head. It feels like the country has gone backwards to 1970 or something and I genuinely didn't realise that there were so many secretly racists people around. Yeah I wish I had dual nationality because I'd pack up and leave.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 17:55:31

Emoji - do you think the anxiety is because no-one in any position of power or authority has yet come out and said something like 'this is our draft blueprint. It's only a one-page draft, but we've started on an action plan...'?
I think this is where a lot of my anxiety stems from: a feeling that no-one has - or had - the necessary vision to come up with even the most simple wishlist, for want of a better word.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 18:00:29

Thanks again for your kind words, OhChristmasTree. It's all helping.

Antique - yes, it's like the country you thought you knew is something completely different, like you've been in The Truman Show or something. I've also been very shocked by the racism. I emphatically don't believe most leave voters are racist but there seems to be a sizable minority when you look at things like the Facebook page I mentioned in my OP.

Lighteningirll Sat 09-Jul-16 18:02:32

Nice thanks for that actually my post was reassuring if you are anxious the last thing you need is people feeding it. 17 million people don't believe you should be this anxious and that should reassure you but hey if you are enjoying yourself fill your boots.

Medicaltextbook Sat 09-Jul-16 18:12:51

dont feel you are alone. Uncertainty and the lack of plans is getting me down as well (more depressed than anxious). I agree that trying to spend less time looking at the media, but I find it hard following my own advice.

Can't offer much advice just saying you aren't alone.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 18:13:46

I don't believe it was intended to be reassuring at all Lighteninggirl. It felt dismissive and patronising. The fact that 17 million people voted for it doesn't feel relevant and doesn't alter my feelings. When I see the support Trump is getting in America, for example, I don't think 'Well he must be right, because look how much people think he's great.' I feel terrified.

BrexitThunderbolt Sat 09-Jul-16 18:14:34

Thanks, Medical. It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Sat 09-Jul-16 18:38:52

My anxiety is more to do with throwing 40 years of unity away. I want to be part of a union (safety in numbers) not an isolationist. I want to be part of a community not some shitty little 3rd world country that nobody gives a fuck about.

And the current government/chaos isn't helping. Who's in power? Anyone? Who's got a plan??. No one seems to know whats happening. Part of dealing with my anxiety is always being prepared and predicting every possible outcome. I have no control over this.

Lightenin confused

MelanieCheeks Sat 09-Jul-16 18:43:56

Oh so much!

I'm not an anxious person at all, but this has been like..... A glitch in the matrix. It's a whole new world, it will take me a while to adjust to it. I'm not sure I like it so far, but it's early days.

Coping strategies- do what makes you happy. Takes exercise, eat well, concentrate on the ordinary.

But I do allow myself a good cry every now and then.

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