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

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Astar Offline
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Anxiety came back - March 5th 2017, 06:03 PM

A couple of years ago I had bad anxiety- panic attacks daily, constantly questioning if people like me, hating myself, doubting myself.. often scared about little things.
Anyway I clearer up quite a bit.. I had counselling (which didn't really help) and just got myself feeling better.. idk how..
Cut to now.
The anxiety is coming back.. I'm permanently second guessing what people are saying, never believing they like me, I try to be friendly and nice to people but I just want to hide away. I feel guilty that I've hurt someone else all the time. I doubt myself again.. talk myself out of everything to nearly the point of not going out.. although so far I've forced myself to go.. although often on the way there I'm composing myself after having a panic attack. It's getting worse and I ant find an escape. I have friends, I am in a good class where I talk to people, I go to a great drama group who I'm good friends with lots of people, I've got a nice family, I've got hobbies, I'm on top of coursework. Yet none of it matters. Just today when I met some people in town late, I was convinced they were bitching about me before I came. I nearly didn't go.. I was sure they hate me. Same at college, even with my best friends. There's better people for all of them. Not me.

I can do it and I can get through it. So can you xx
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Re: Anxiety came back - March 7th 2017, 01:03 PM

Sorry to hear that your anxiety has come back, especially when things seem to be going well for you. Counselling was a good idea, and I'm sorry that it didn't work for you. Perhaps it was the counsellor or the type of counselling that you didn't find helpful? It's always worth remembering that even though you didn't find one counsellor helpful that you may find other counsellors more helpful for you. Would it be something worth trying again?

It sounds like a lot of your anxiety is linked to your thoughts, more specifically, what others may think of you. I'm wondering if you can start to notice when you are second guessing what other people are saying, and then perhaps gently remind yourself that this may be your anxiety acting up? The more you second guess things, the more you are feeding your anxiety and this can cause you to start avoiding people, when it's unlikely that people are talking about you etc. You sounds like a friendly and lovely person, so it's also unlikely that you have hurt anyone. If you have unintentionally hurt someone, I'm sure they would let you know, and then you can apologise, but otherwise, when you spend time worrying about what you might've said, you may only be feeding the anxiety that you aren't good enough. You are good enough. Try repeating positive phrases about yourself- it may seem silly at first, but the more you repeat the phrases the more you'll start to believe it and perhaps you'll feel less anxious about what others may think.

Keep going to things! I know it takes a lot of effort, especially when you talk yourself out of things, but this is the best thing to do. If you start to avoid things, though it may feel good at the beginning, it may only make you feel worse in the long run.

Also, try not to compare yourself. It sounds like you feel you aren't good enough a lot of the time, and this may cause your anxious thoughts. I notice that you say that "there's better people for all of them" but people can't be compared. Everyone is different and unique, and friendships are never the same. Your friends are your friends for a reason. There may be other people that they can be friends with, but they can't replace you in any way because you are YOU.

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Re: Anxiety came back - March 9th 2017, 07:27 AM

There's something called Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) you could try.

The basic idea is to force the brain to rewire itself so you think positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts. I haven't tried it myself but I've heard some people espouse the idea.

Another thing to possibly try is Mindfulness Meditation. There's an app called "Headspace" that gives a good free introduction to this.

Counseling didn't really help? Maybe try a different counselor?

There's anti-anxiety medications, but they're mostly a band-aid fix, meaning they may reduce anxiety, but they don't really fix whatever the underlying problem is. That's something a good counselor might be able to figure out.

Interesting that the problem just got better, for no apparent reason, and then returned. Could it be exercise? Maybe try going on a walk once in a while. (A calm soothing place to walk can also help. You get both exercise and a calm soothing place.)

Anxiety is probably coming from the emotional midbrain, which doesn't really have the capacity to verbalize things, it just communicates by making us feel certain ways. It can be not happy, even when the rational part of our brain says everything is fine there's no need to ba anxious. The rational part of our brain needs to figure out why the more primitive emotional part isn't happy and feels anxious, even when there's really no reason for it. Again counselors are supposed to figure these things out.

I know depression can cause anxiety as a side effect, and when the depression is fixed the anxiety goes away too.

Anything that helps activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System can help combat anxiety. (You can research ways to do that.)

Best wishes! Hope you feel better soon!
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