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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
blacklilac Offline
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Is this anxiety? I guess I need help. - September 5th 2015, 04:17 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Uhm, I have no idea how to start, and this may get pretty long and rambly so I'm sorry and I hope it doesn't take too much of your time.

I'm not sure if this is anxiety, really, but I'm always worried and scared, and sometimes I'm not even sure why? I'm not sure if I have mood swings, but I'm pretty frequently on the verge of tears for no good reason (and it's not like I can cry it out either). A few weeks ago I was supposed to confirm my registration for a workshop by paying, but before I could do so I was informed that places had been filled already (even though I had already contacted the person in charge and fixed a time to pay), and I actually started tearing even though this is such a small issue? And other times I can just be reading something completely random (facebook, class readings), and suddenly be on the verge of tears. Sometimes I just feel really scared even though nothing seems to warrant this fear. I'm never sure how long the fear will last or when it'll come. I'm usually really comfortable with flying, but once (some years back) the fear came before the plane took off, and I spent the ride worrying that it was a premonition or bad omen or something. It gets very tiring being constantly worried and worrying over what other people think of me and if they're judging me or if I'm making the wrong decision.

I'm in my second year in university and I'm overloading pretty heavily this semester so I can graduate on time (my scholarship has a limit on how many semesters I'm allowed to take, and I guess this is what you get for being interested in too many things) so I am pretty stressed out about the workload and grades and all that, but I'm also finding it hard to settle down and do my work. I get so worried and stressed out that I can't do my work and turn to escapist procrastination like youtube videos and facebook, the works, and this obviously creates a vicious cycle. I think this can be remedied by just getting into the groove of things, so I'm trying to discipline myself with this one. My family finances are really not doing well, and my scholarship only covers my school fees while my sister is in a pretty expensive university with no financial aid, so I took on a semester internship to earn some extra money, and I've been looking out for ways to save+earn money.

I find it really hard to make decisions. Sometimes I waste time avoiding having to make tough decisions, or I just worry and worry even after I've made the decision, worrying if I should have taken the other route instead. And I don't think I used to be like this? I honestly don't know. Sometimes I'm quite happy going with the flow and doing things spontaneously, but nowadays I don't seem to be able to do that anymore.

I've been avoiding a lot of things, I guess. I enjoy playing floorball, but I haven't been back to play since the semester started (or since halfway through the previous semester) because I'm really bad at it and the people there make me uncomfortable because they get impatient (it's warranted, though) or patronising. They are nice friends outside of the floorball court, but inside, I honestly don't feel comfortable. And this year with my increased workload and chronic lack of sleep, I guess I just don't feel prepared to go back yet? We just concluded a university-wide sports competition that I participated in last year, but I didn't go for any trainings this year because I just didn't feel up to it, and I feel as if I should have just pushed through it? One of the captains asked me a few days ago if I'll come back to play with them and I told him that I had issues I needed to deal with and I'll come back when I'm ready. They seem to think I'm making excuses, and I guess I am. I really like playing softball (again, bad at it!), but my university only has it at the varsity level so I didn't go for tryouts (also workload), but I feel as if I'm missing out? I guess I have a very intense fear of missing out, but at the same time I don't have the energy to go for gatherings or meetups.

Thing is, I spent my first semester trying out random things and being hilariously bad at floorball (and enjoying it anyway).

--this might be triggering--

I'm not sure if I can trace this to last year, the end of my first semester, when my suitemate's (I stay in a six room suite with a shared bathroom) boyfriend attempted to take photos of me in the shower. I'm going to write out the entire story, even with the irrelevant details, so I'm sorry and please bear with me.

I already had a particularly bad day, and was planning on taking a nice shower to relax and chill a bit and stop worrying before I got back to studying (it was near finals and also deadline season). Halfway through the shower I saw a camera phone peeking over the divider (the shower cubicle I was in was the one right next to the toilet cubicle), and I was so shocked I turned off the water immediately. The camera disappeared. My first thought was to catch the person before the person got away, so I pulled on my clothes without bothering to dry off and charged out, and waited a few moments before the person flushed and came out of the cubicle. I didn't have my specs on, but I didn't recognise him, and chased him out of the toilet and confronted him. He was noticeably shaken, but when I confronted him he said it wasn't him and I could check his phone if I wanted to. I didn't see the point because he could have deleted the photos in the time before he came out of the toilet, and I honestly didn't know what to do so I just let him go back to his girlfriend's room and I went back to my room and texted my friends and my dad and cried. Then he came back to apologise and said that he did want to do it but controlled himself before he did, and I could check his phone (I told him he could have deleted them anw) and asked for forgiveness and for me not to tell anyone. I didn't promise anything, but I told him he had a serious problem and needed help. My only other suitemate witnessed the whole thing, and went with me to the residential assistant (a senior on the floor that acts as a sort of leader??) and we reported it to the hostel professors (we have professors staying in the college, every few floors).

The professors seemed inclined to let him off the hook, they just took him out (I never followed and I wish I did), took a photo of his identity card (he's currently serving national service so they said they'd report it to his platoon or something) and told him never to come back. I waffled over whether to report it to the police, my parents were pretty insistent on it (I'm a foreign student so my parents were just furiously whatsapping) but the professors were trying to gently dissuade me (the female prof commented on how it was a pity that he made a stupid mistake and stuff) and the male prof (there was another one but I don't recall what happened to him) was about to leave when I told him I wanted to call the police. He called campus security first, who sent two officers, and took my statement and took photos before calling the police, who were rather annoyed with the prof for not calling them immediately when they came. They took my statement and banged on the my suitemate's door (it was midnight by then and she came out saying that she had a test tmr) to take her statement.

After it was done she asked if her bf would go to jail, and I didn't hear the reply but she started crying. The police took photos of the bathroom and all that, and I realised my pad and underwear was still there so I tried to discreetly remove them and when I think back I wonder if, since I had the presence of mind to that, I wasn't really affected by the incident? The male professor had fallen asleep on the suite couch by the time everything was done, and I apologised for keeping him up as he left. She started crying after everyone had left, and hugged me saying sorry and I nervously laughed and just told her it's not her fault (which is true, it isn't her fault she has a creep for a bf). The next day, or the day after or something, I saw her eating with her whole family in the dining hall and I smiled and waved, and the family all looked at me strangely, although that could probably just be my imagination.

The police investigation is still ongoing (this happened in December, do investigations take this long?). The girl and I were both orientation leaders for the recent freshmen orientation, and she was the programme director. She recently changed her whatsapp profile pic to be her and her bf, which just... I don't know what to feel about it? Everytime I have to message her I have to see his face. I had to interact with her so much during the orientation, and this is so petty but seeing the freshmen warm up to her so quickly and like her just makes me uncomfortable. It isn't her fault! But I can't forget how she was so annoyed at having been woken up (and she knew about the incident, she told the police that she made her bf apologise to me) and that she started crying after she realised he might go to jail.

I'm not sure how much it still affects me. For a month afterward I showered with my specs on and in constant terror of small noises, but I went home and later for overseas travel and didn't have to worry there. Now when I'm back and in a different suite with different people I don't have to wear specs in the shower anymore, but I do keep looking around and up, and get terrified whenever I hear quiet noises that don't seem to be my suitemates. It might be because of that or it might just be me being overwhelmed by all the activity, but during the end of orientation camp (they had a mini club with pounding music and alcohol in the hall) I was on the verge of worried and unhappy tears even when our house won first place, and stuck it out till my friend finished performing before going to a quiet corner in school to cry. I called the police a few months ago, but the investigating officer said it was still under investigation so I had nothing to say. I should have made my other suitemate then (not the gf) tell the police how she saw the bf leave the toilet, pause outside/in the gf's room and then go back to the toilet?? But she was a foreign student, and I guess she didn't want to deal with the police. I called the police the week after to tell them, but they told me I had to come down to the police station to give a statement, and I had a final the next day and I just didn't want to deal with it any more, so I didn't. I hope it doesn't make a difference? I don't know. More to worry about.

Sometimes my head hurts from the frequent worrying, and I sometimes have to watch youtube videos until I fall asleep instead of lying there quietly because I'll start worrying. I'm also very tired because I don't get enough sleep, I procrastinate too much and end up having to stay up to finish work.

My parents have been saints, but they too have lost their patience with my constant whining (they are angry and protective over the shower fiasco, but when I whine over my constant everyday worries my mother soon blows up and my dad tells me it's all in the mind. It is, but it doesn't make it go away). My sister is under greater stress than I am, especially since she's graduating soon, and while I do have friends I can rant to I honestly don't know how to explain this? I want to be accepted and liked and best buds with people, but I take a long time to warm up to and be comfortable with people, and I guess I'm just not the kind of person that has best friends? I have friends I can talk to, but not about this sort of things. My sister told me to see a counselor, but I don't know. The health centre in my school offered social anxiety workshops, but it was going to cost a hundred dollars I did not have, so I didn't see the point.

I'm sorry this is so long and rambly, and thank you for reading this.
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
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Re: Is this anxiety? I guess I need help. - September 9th 2015, 10:38 PM

Hey there,

Your post wasnít rambly at all, so donít worry about posting long threads. The more detail you provide, the better we can try to help you. Also, being able to talk about things can be very helpful! It does sound like all this worrying and negativity is affecting your life. No-one here is a professional, so we canít diagnose you, but it does sound like you may have anxiety and/or depressive issues.

Itís also very common when we stress about work to avoid or procrastinate, making the stress temporarily go away, but then come back even more intense at times. As you know, the only way to stop this cycle is to do the work. Perhaps you could set a timetable of when you should do work, and set yourself goals as to how much work you should do (without overloading yourself!)

Iím the same with decision making, however, I have always been that way. Itís very easy when we are anxious to overthink things, and doubt our abilities to make decisions. This makes it harder and we worry about whether we made the right decision or sometimes the deadline for a decision passes. Sometimes, this might just be because of anxiety and negative thinking. Try to remember all your positive qualities and trust in yourself that whatever the outcome of a decision you make, you will be able to handle it- good and bad. You are in control here!

Though you might feel uncomfortable with the people in the floorball court, are there other places that you could go to instead? If you enjoy floorball, there is no need to stop participating in it, just because of your negative thinking. Also, when we are anxious and doubt ourselves we also try to Ďmind readí that others think negatively of us too. But we will never actually know what other people think of us- most of the time, itís just our negative thoughts. It can be hard when we feel low on energy, but itís still important to make an effort of being active and engaging in social things with others. You may find that by isolating yourself, you would feel worse off than if you were to go to sports training.

Iím really sorry about the incident in the shower. I really hope that writing out the full story has helped you in a way. Itís very understandable that after having your privacy violated you would be shaken up and may feel like the world is different and people are untrustworthy. This may be the cause of your anxiety. Iím also sorry that it was stressful with different people pressuring you to report or not report the incident. That shouldíve been made clear to you about what would happen, and depending on the laws in your area, maybe even left up to you to decide. I also understand that if the investigation is ongoing, this may be causing more stress in your life, than usual. Unfortunately, I donít know how long investigations can check. Is there anyone you can contact on your case who could give you an answer?
Do you have many ways of dealing with stress and anxiety? When we get overwhelmed, we even begin to have physical sensations- we may have headaches, not be able to sleep, not feel hungry etc. Being able to deal with stress can help our bodies too. Try to schedule in time for yourself to relax and do things that make you feel relaxed, whether thatís reading or watching a favourite movie, going for a relaxing walk, playing video games. Anything that takes your mind off the stress and is healthy is good. You might also like to find ways of expressing your emotions by writing or being creative.

Itís good that your parents have been supportive. Donít ever think that you are Ďwhiningí. If something is bothering you, itís always worth talking about, regardless of how big or small it may seem. Since you feel you canít always talk to your parents or friends about everything, I do agree with your sisters recommendation of seeing a counsellor. Does your university offer a free counselling service for students? That might be worthwhile checking out. Counsellors are confidential and there to listen to you. They can also help you learn more about your thoughts and feelings and how to improve your mood and deal with stress.

I really hope that things start to improve for you soon!

Take care

HelpLINK and Live Help Officer
Feel free to PM me! Even if I canít help, Iím always going to listen <3

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