Parents don't believe in Anxiety Problems

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I've been getting panic attacks and bouts of dizziness when going out. And now I find it hard to go out without intense levels of distress that puts my mind on edge all the time, even when at home.

They think it's not real and I should not feel stressed because I have food to eat, a place to sleep and I just finished college. It's impossible to make them understand that you don't have to be really poor or have a very bad life to get stressed and have mental health problems.

I feel incredibly depressed and and like crying. It's making me find it harder to tolerate my anxiety.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there. You are absolutely right when you say you don't have to have a "bad" life to have anxiety. I've been dealing with it for more than half my life. I didn't have a easy life as a child and teen, but things got better for me as an adult. However, despite things going good I've been struggling with anxiety again these last 2 months.

    How long has this been going on for? You mentioned you just finished college? Are you still enrolled or did you graduate? College is stressful! I'm wondering if maybe your anxiety came from a hard course especially if you care about your grades. I have a degree and two certificates I remember being very overwhelmed and stressed during exams and final projects.

    It's a shame your parents don't believe you. Do you know if anxiety runs in the family? It can be hereditary. Even if your parents don't get anxiety doesn't mean another family member doesn't. Can you reach out to another family member? Honestly I think you could benefit from therapy as well. Therapy is great for anxiety and your therapist could even help you communicate with your parents so they understand this is real for you and you're struggling. Remember it's hard for people who don't get anxiety to really understand how bad it is for someone. It literally takes over your life and they don't get why. They'll say "relax" "just don't think about it" well if it were that easy none of us would be here talking about it!

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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you for the reply. Both of my parents have experienced some symptoms of anxiety disorder in the past, but they don't know that it was a disorder. My mum is really ill right now so my Dad got angry when I tried to talk to her about it as he says it will make her illness worse. My Dad keeps dismissing it as nothing. Today I had to force him to read an article on panic cycles.And even then he went on to rant about how I have graduated now and no longer alone at college in the stressful situation that caused the attacks, so I should get over it. He admitted in the end that he understands about anxiety attacks because he has been dizzy for years because of stress but he still tells me I should get over it. Just like that. He is unsympatatic and says that this is something I need to deal with on my own. He keeps repeating that.

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    • Posted

      Well I'm sorry to hear about your mom I hope she will be okay. It sounds like maybe your dad has a lot on his plate and is concerned about your mom? Maybe he feels like what you are going through isn't a big deal because even though he admits to experiencing anxiety he's never had it as severe as you.

      Although yes, anxiety is something that we battle ourselves it doesn't mean that we can't or shouldn't get support from the people we love. If your parents aren't willing to listen you should try to get support elsewhere like some friends or other family members. These forums are great too. I would even suggest therapy I'm not sure if you've been in therapy before but it's wonderful.

      You don't want your panic attacks to control your life. I've dealt with anxiety for so long but the older I got (I'm 32) the easier it was for me to control the panic attacks. When I was younger they controlled me, now I'm able to mostly fight them off if I feel one coming on. It's not easy to do it honestly takes practice.

      However, i still suffer from general anxiety. I'm a worrier, I get overwhelmed and stressed very easily. These are things I also need to work on. You're not alone. I would start by finding things to ease your mind and relax.

      Baths, massages, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, muscle relaxation exercises. Also exercising is sooo good for anxiety. I found the more I maintained a healthy lifestyle with eating good and exercising my panic attacks diminished. You can even download apps that are good to keep your mind busy like games. I have an app called color therapy where you color pictures on your phone. It's great. Find something you like to do and stick with it.

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    • Posted

      Hello, yes you are right about my dad having a lot on his plate with my mother. I don't think he had panic attacks but he had anxiety to the point of always feeling dizzy for about 3 years where walking is hard. Feels like he could fall. I at least expected his answer not to be so harsh. He's my dad and I expected and the very least a vit of sympathy and understanding instead of getting angry and shouting and saying hurtful things. Makes you ask what the point of family is anymore.

      You said that you've had panic attacks for years. Is it not possible for us to recover back to the way we were when we never experienced panic attacks? Because that is one of my main fears.

      Thank you for the advice. smile

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    • Posted

      This occured somewhere in July. I had just finished my Internship. I recieved some rude remarks from my Boss. That coupled with the realization of adulthood and the things that entails hit me like a truck. Then I got news about my mother being ill. She has cancer. That set off the first very intense panic attack where physicall symptoms were very bad. Heart pumping, lightheaded, jelly legs, hard to breathe. Then several days later again. Spiralled from there.

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  • Posted

    Sending you strength and encouragement.

    Unfortunatly if someone has never experienced true anxiety they can never really understand how it feels.

    My partner never has and although he supports me and helps me get on with beating this thing. 

    He says he cannot really understand how it can happen, we have good jobs, good home etc etc.

    But it is what it is and so i use as many coping skills as possible , breathing excersises, plenty of fresh air, and keep dehydrated as this all helps.

    Good luck and i hope you can turn this around soon.


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  • Posted

    Aww. Sadly, it is often difficult for family and friends to understand these issues unless they also suffer from them. Many of us here have experienced that same reaction from loved ones, and honestly it can be quite hurtful. There are two sides to this in my mind. On one level, we can't expect people to understand exactly how we feel unless they have the same condition. I can understand your anxiety and depression because I deal with the same things, but someone who doesn't won't be able to really grasp what you're going through. But on the second level, I think families and friends sometimes need to try harder to educate themselves about mental health. That way they can be more aware. If your family isn't willing to read up on mental health or take an interest in your struggles, then you need to find support elsewhere and try super hard not to be bitter. This forum and other places on the web help a lot, as does therapy. You can even find weekly or bi-monthly support groups in your area. It's important to get the support from someone, even if family isn't always there. 

    Sending love to you. smile 

    Nicholas xx

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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you for the reply. Yeah it was pretty harsh hearing that from my Dad. My mum's the same.

      I'm from Asia and here anyone with any sort of mental health problem is immediately labeled as "CRAZY". It doesn't matter what the problem is. Very close minded.

      In Asia people prefer to cover up any sort of problems in the family and only show the "good" side to the public and outside family members. Even if you feel bad you are suppose to act and say you are ok. My parents and I'm sure other asians parents are quiet superficial like this. Family is suppose to help each other and try to be understanding, but it's rarely like that here.

      There isn't much acceptance and sympathy here for people like us. I believe it is much better in Western countries where, even though there is a stigma, they still take it quiet seriously and make efforts to help and educate the public. I find people are more empathetic and willing to try to understand.

      If there's something physically wrong with your body you go to a Doctor. If there is something wrong with your mind you go to a Doctor. It should be like that. Simple. But for some reason people think that it's impossible for the mind to be "sick". And if it is you're immediately CRAZY.

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  • Posted

    Im so so sorry. This really makes it all a bit more challenging for you and lonely. Its common. It can be overwhelming for them to accept..almost like they are familiar with it themselves but deny it at the same time. Support isnt always available. Go get yourself a anxiety workbook from the store or online and pour yourself over it. Watch videos of anxiety disordrs and self calming. The app store has tons of stuff breathe right, anxiety, cbt, mindful exercises. So you can self help yourself as well.

    if you ever feel very overwhelmed go see you gp and discuss it with the gp. The Doctor can explain it to your parents. It is a mal function , a glitz but you can learn to self calm. 

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  • Posted

    This night is a time of new beginnings where people are looking to the future of a New Year, where anything is possible and we make plans and anticipate changes in our circumstances.

    Yes I understand your feelings and fears, although tonight should a positive one that will lead to great Expectations

    Happy New Year


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