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

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Noire Offline
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Out of control anxiety - November 21st 2018, 03:48 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of self harm, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Hi all.

I was talking with my partner yesterday and she pointed out that my anxiety is out of control and basically ruining my life. I knew I had bad anxiety- I tried to get on medication for it back in July, but the medication my psychiatrist gave me didn't work and I let it go. I realized, though, that my partner is right, and the realization has hit me like a train.

A sample list of my anxieties, to give you an idea:

1) I can't drive a vehicle
2) I'm terrified of flying (a common fear, but still, it's irrationally high)
3) I'm scared to take the bus
4) I can't complete simply household tasks, like dishes or putting away food
5) I have to put my seatbelt on in the car first or something bad will happen
6) I can't be undressed if I'm alone in my own home because someone might commit a crime and blame it on me and I won't have an alibi unless I answer the door and to answer the door I have to be dressed
7) I can't switch my post count in the self-harm free thread to numbers because something bad might happen

The list goes on. Paranoia, superstition, OCD, anxiety- whatever. It's ruling my life and I don't know what to do with it. I texted my psychiatrist but she hasn't gotten back to me yet. I don't even know if medication can help. I'm in therapy but I can't get past this brick wall of anxiety. My therapist always asks what the thoughts are surrounding my anxious feelings but I don't know. All I feel is anxiety. It's just an emotion, I can't parse out the thoughts. And I feel so helpless and lost and small.

Bearing the weight of this realization is making me want to cut again, and that's bad. So help, please? I don't know what to do. I don't know how to stop being this way.

Thanks.


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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Out of control anxiety - November 21st 2018, 06:31 PM

Sorry to hear the anxiety is ruling your life. It's awful when everything you do or don't do is out of anxiety.

It's good that you are in therapy. Have you mentioned to your therapist that you struggle to identify thoughts? I understand that with CBT, the focus is on looking at your thought patterns and trying to change them, but I also know from personal experience that sometimes you may just feel anxious and not really be able to identify thoughts. What helps me is to visualise myself taking steps to do whatever makes me anxious and see if there are any times I notice feeling more anxious as I visualise it. That gives me a clue as to what I'm really anxious about.

As for medication, that's up to you and your psychiatrist. For some people, medication can help them to feel less anxious, and be able to take part in therapy like graded exposure (facing your fears).

I'm not a professional, but from my own personal experience, I have found that accepting fears and working on facing them at your own pace can be helpful. If we belittle ourselves and feel bad for having these fears, we end up feeling worse. So accepting them without judging ourselves for having these fears can help.

Facing fears can be difficult, more so if you are anxious about many different things. It can help to think about which fears impact you the most on your day to day life and work on them first. The way that you work on facing your fears is by breaking it down into little steps (and is best to work this out with your therapist). For example, I was afraid of the vacuum cleaner. Irrational, I know. But anytime I had to use it, all I could feel was anxiety and so I just avoided using it. But I need to use it. So I would start off really small, and simply have the vacuum cleaner in the room with me, unplugged. If I was okay with that, then I would 'pretend' I was using it, still unplugged, just to get used to the feel of it. If I was okay with that, I would plug it in. I didn't break down the steps enough and wanted to use it but was still feeling physically anxious. I realised it was the noise that was bothering me. So my next step was to listen to vacuum cleaner noises online to try to get used to it. I still couldn't switch it on, so I would ask someone to do it. When the cleaner was on, I told myself that I didn't have to do anything just stay there. I then managed to vacuum a little bit, and would do a bit more, if I felt up to it. Several times I had to get someone to switch it on for me in order for me to use it, but that's okay. Eventually I did manage to feel comfortable enough to switch the cleaner on myself and with regular practice, I either only feel a little anxious or no anxiety at all. It took months to do this. Exposure therapy is pretty similar and you don't have to move on to the next step until you feel comfortable with the step you are on, so it really is done at your own pace. I'm not sure if that would help you but it may be worth looking into. Your life shouldn't be ruled by anxiety.

With OCD, I understand it may be a bit different, but it can still help to notice when you feel anxious and stay with the feeling, not avoiding whatever might be causing the anxiety or self-harming. With time, you'll realise that nothing bad is going to happen for doing the things that can create feelings of anxiety for you.


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Last edited by Celyn; November 21st 2018 at 10:04 PM.
   
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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
Noire Offline
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Re: Out of control anxiety - November 22nd 2018, 02:33 AM

Thank you so much, Holly. I have talked to my psychiatrist and she is prescribing medication, but I am afraid to take the medication because it's a benzodiazepine and I'm taking an opioid for pain related to a car accident I had a few months ago. So I'm anxious about taking medication for my anxiety.

Which is the whole problem, really. I am actually in Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP) to deal with my harm OCD thoughts (I've talked about those before), but lately it's become all about regular anxieties and I have so many! That's the therapist who kept asking me what my anxiety thoughts are, and she, too, mentioned breaking it down into smaller steps. Like last week I had anxiety about putting leftovers into the freezer and she asked me to break down the steps it would take to do that- get the plastic bag, open the fridge, pull out the leftovers, grab a fork, etc. She wanted me to see which step I felt most anxious at but there wasn't a step, there was just anxiety and avoidance.

I'm so anxious I can't even do my exposures, the ones at home anyway, which is where most of them need to be done.


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Enduring and sacred
Eternal as time
For love, love alone will conquer all


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Re: Out of control anxiety - November 24th 2018, 05:12 PM

I'm so sorry to hear you're struggling so much. Have you spoken to your doctor about taking your medications, maybe if they explain how the pain killers and the anxiety meds work (or don't work) together, you can be reassured, and maybe you can get someone like your girlfriend or a roommate to watch you take it and make sure nothing happens to you.

I'm sorry things are spiralling though. I know how it feels to feel like your mental illness is ruining your life. I do believe that there are ways to stablize though, so hopefully you're therapy and medications will work once you conquer some of the fear and are able to practice it.
   
  (#5 (permalink)) Old
Noire Offline
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Re: Out of control anxiety - November 25th 2018, 07:44 PM

I have taken the pain killers and the benzodiazepines together and the only side effect I experience is extra drowsiness. However, I am afraid to fall asleep while I feel this drowsy because I am afraid I will die in my sleep.

I just can't seem to catch a break from this anxiety. The Clonazepam helps, for sure, but underneath it the anxiety is still there. I just feel so tired. I think I need to see my anxiety therapist more often but it's so expensive and my partner is bearing the brunt of the cost. I don't know what to do.


Love joins
Love unites
Love breaks us apart
The power to conquer here in our hearts
Enduring and sacred
Eternal as time
For love, love alone will conquer all


"A Million," by VNV Nation
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Re: Out of control anxiety - December 8th 2018, 05:01 PM

I am so sorry because anxiety is a living hell for sure and it can rule your life. I also suffer from anxiety even though different fears but still the same outcome. As for the medications my Psychiatrists had to do trial and error a lot and it was a pain in my butt to say the least until I finally did get on the Cymbalta which the only side effect I have is being somewhat drowsy at times. My Psychiatrist called it a SNRI medication whatever that means. All I know is it finally is a medication that works for me. It did take a lot of trial and error like I said unfortunately to get there. My advice is to keep plugging away with your Psychiatrist. I hope something comes along and if you haven't tried Cymbalta yet you might want to suggest that.
   
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