Anxiety-losing myself??

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I've never really had bad anxiety until about four months ago, and it came up out of no where. I was completely fine and anxiety free until about a week after I went to a summer camp. I randomly got all these worries and anxiety about almost everything, and afraid that through the anxiety I'll become crazy or lose myself. Before the anxiety I was perfectly fine, I had good grades, good friendships, I just got on the dance team and was just overall in a good place. Now, my grades are slipping and I find it hard to even make it through the school day. My friendships are slowing deteriating because it's really hard to go anywhere without feeling like I'll have a panic attack or be overcome with anxiety. I've been slacking with dance team too, because I have no energy to practice and no motivation for it. I couldn't even go to homecoming with this boy I like because the idea of going anywhere just gave me crippling anxiety. All I am able to do is sleep, and even then my mind is filled with anxious and worrying thoughts. I don't know what to do. If I don't have anxiety about something, it'll eventually get ruined because the anxiety will overtake that as well. I'll think I know something for sure and then the anxiety will make me question everything. I'm afraid that the anxiety will change me into someone else or that I'm losing my mind.

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  • Posted

    You are definately not losing your mind. You are experiencing anxiety, that's all. It is very common to think you are going mad or going to die when suffering from anxiety. But, NOBODY has EVER come to any harm from feeling anxious. After all, it is your own nervous system trying (mistakenly) to protect you. There is nothing to be afraid of. You are perfectly normal and ok. You are just experiencing nervous arousal which I know can feel very uncomfortable and horrible but it won't do you any harm.

    Can you talk to your physician about this. It may help to get some temporary support.

    The trick about anxiety (and I speak from many years of experience, research and knowledge about it) is that the way out of it is totally counter-intuitive. In other words you need to accept and allow your anxious feelings and thoughts, not try to fight them. This takes a bit of practice but the way out of anxiety is not to avoid it but to go through it. 

    According to the World Health Authority there are currently about 40 million Americans suffering from an anxiety problem so you are definatley not on your own. It is very, very, common and quite normal. If you think about it, there must be quite a few other students at your place of education who are feeling exactly the same as you are are also trying desperatly to hide it.

    So say to yourself, I accept and allow these anxious feelings, I accept and allow these anxious thoughts. It might help to imagine a silly little 'anxiety' person about a foot high, jumping around and shouting out all these 'crazy' ideas trying to get you scared. Then get on with what you need to do that day WHILST FEELING ANXIOUS and not giving it too much attention. It's okay. You wont change into someone else. You will be just fine. Bite the bullet and just lean in to your anxiety rather than run away. Don't forget to forgive yourself if you don't do it perfectly. It's the intention that matters. Do this, and it will slowly go away BUT, and here's the thing, don't do this with the intention of it going way. Attend and befriend your fear.

    You are in fight, flight and freeze mode (the sympathetic nervous system).

    If you run way or fight it you are just creating more of the same. Only by acceptance can it slowly release it's hold (and go back to the parasympathetic nervous system). it sounds like you are doing a lot of 'freeze' behaviour, i.e. sleeping, shutting down etc. I did this for years, what a waste of time! but that was because I was ignorant about how this all works. Don't worry about it. That's ok. But just try gently and slowly to face the fear rather than shut down to it. 

    Anxiety is a very ancient system in us and has allowed us to survive as a race for hundreds of thousands of years. It is not our enemy, it is a friend. But sometimes it goes off by mistake, or maybe you're under a lot of pressure to perform or succeed etc. Remember, be kind to yourself. Very important life lesson.

    When anxiety is active it actually temporarily cuts off your rational frontal cortex activity so you won't be able to think very well (except about catastrophic fantasies). Don't worry about this, it is temporary and once the anxiety calms down you will be back to your old self with no harm done. However it can make you feel a bit of an irrational idiot! (ha ha) where you feel you can't trust your own thoughts This leads to lack of confidence and self-doubt. Don't worry about this either, it is only temporary. You will be fine and all your previous faculties will return.

    It will help if you can confide in someone you trust and talk about it. Or come on this forum, or talk to your doctor. Either way, remember that you will be okay even if you don't do anything about it.

    With love and best wishes xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your advice, but it's very difficult for me to try and let go of the irritational thoughts and let the anxiety in, because of some of the things I'm having anxiety about. For example, my friends and I went to go see a movie recently and one of the previews was for a movie about a person with multiple personalities, and just in general had a lot of mental problems, and it made me get terrible anxiety for weeks after because I was afraid of getting a bad mental illness such as that, and ill even project symptoms onto myself. Or if I'm worried about failing a test, I feel as if I don't have anxiety about it I'll fail it. I feel as if I have to fight the anxiety otherwise the irrational thoughts will become true, because they're things that I can mildly control, if that makes sense. I didn't use to have these fears, I could take tests and see scary movies and all that with no issues up until recent months. And whenever it seems like the anxiety is getting better, it will end up getting just as bad/worse than before.

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  • Posted

    andrea

    You need help here, do you know what caused your anxiety ??

    Discuss this with your GP as it needs to be addressed so you can get on with studies and life.

    I do not know where you are in the world or how old you are. If you are under sixteen in the UK you will most probably take a Parent with you

    Keep a hold

    BOB

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  • Posted

    This disorder sucks and i am having the same problem, go see your dr and if needed a psychiatrist to help you
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  • Posted

    Hi Andrea, I suffer from anxiety too and sometimes feel like I can't face the world. I have managed without medication so far but it sounds like a good idea for you. It won't solve your problems but it could give you a place to start taking control of your life and your condition. By allowing you to think clearly and get on with life you can begin putting together some protections in other ways. There are things you can do to help but I will say the worst thin you can do is nothing. Hope you at least feel like you aren't alone on reading this. Claire.

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