What are these symptoms of?

Posted , 4 users are following.

I've never been diagnosed for anything, nor have I ever been on anti-depressents or anxiety medication. But I'm struggling with some things and I had this realization that hit me that this feeling albeit in a different context, is something I've felt for a long time going back to childhood. 

When going to work during stressful times of company "change" or if my numbers are not at plan, or even when I first started this job before I knew everyone there, I would have trouble falling asleep the night before. I would wake up long before my alarm clock went off, my mind racing. Sad songs would play in my mind. I would sit in the shower before work, my head held low, I'd pray to make it through that day. I'd get anxious as I left the house. Suddenly the people in my life, I felt like latching on to. I didn't want to leave the house in the morning. Somehow I wished we could just all call out and be together. But off I'd go to work and I'd take deep breaths and head in to face the day.  I always felt like every mistake I make is processed incorrectly. I let it really strike my core, feel shame vs guilt when I would make a mistake or when my work wasn't up to par. When I would have a bad day or month, I wanted to quit. To run away from it all, but I never would. It always alieviated itself in the afternoon as the day went on. Especially on Fridays. I would be in a bliss at that point and through the weekend until the dreaded Sunday night blues would kick in. 

At first I thought, I just didn't like my job. Fair point. I've been there awhile and that might be true. 

But, I realized something. I used to feel this same way before school when I was younger. Middle school especially. We had moved to a new state, and I had no friends. I was overweight at that time and the kids were awful. I dreaded school. 

My mom made a comment to me the other day. "Do you remember as a kid in elementary school, you'd walk halfway there and then come home and beg me to stay home?" We had a laugh, but I realized, wow that was even earlier. I was like 6 then and she's right I'd do that. 

You see, in all these situations it's less about the job, the bullies, school, etc. The same feelings of worrying, of feeling this sadness in the morning, of not wanting to go, of wretched shame when I would make mistakes. All the same. 

I have also realized that the FEAR OF THIS FEAR, has created a sort of stockholm system in my life. It keeps me in situations stuck, longer than I should be. Or there has also been times where I've quit things rather than see it through. 

There is deep sadness added to the above in my life now as I realize in my mid 30s, that a lot of my friends are passing me by. Married, kids, etc. My siblings are incredibly successful, and while I'm not some total loser, I pay all my own bills, have a retirement account, own a small house, etc, I now started this terrible thing of comparing myself to everyone. I just feel like I can't be super successful, that I'm not that smart, that I'm flawed. I know it's not true, but in a way it is. 

I'm just not sure what all this sounds like. Is it anxiety? Is it depression? Is it some sort of thing that I don't even know about?

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  • Posted

    Your school years obviously impacted upon you in a negative way. You say you were overweight? Kids can be cruel and sadly it is the school years where, when we are dipping our toes into the social circle of life, we want to be one of the "herd" We want acceptance and to be part of the popular crowd. The school years are the growing years, not only in bodily terms, changing hormones, but in finding our place in society. Where we stand in the pecking order.

    When reading your post I recognized much of myself in you. It's obvious you lack confidence. I did too. I was shy as a growing child and whilst I wasn't overweight I was scared of being judged and found wanting. I would feign illness so that I would not have to attend. For me school was torture. I went to a private school which was small and there was no place to "hide" to go unnoticed. Whether that is worse than being in a large school where one can hide I don't know. But it is not relevant. It is how it affects the individual that is important

    It's interesting that you feel shame when making mistakes.I can relate to that. I suspect like me you are pedantic, wish everything to be just right. No room for errors.  Deep down you are a perfectionist and feel disappointed when you do not reach those dizzy heights or are afraid to try for fear of failing

    The yardstick by which you judge yourself should not be one born of comparisons to others. You should not look at friends/family then in comparison find yourself wanting. You pay your bills, have a retirment account, own a small house. For someone in their mid thirties that does not say to me you are not smart nor that you are flawed. You have achieved much and should be proud of yourself.

    If you could take on board that which took me years of struggle to understand, which is, we are individuals, we have our own set of strengths and weaknesses. That what matters are those who love us and those whom we love in return, That  we do our best in life, especially at work. No one can ask more nor should ask more. We work to live not live to work. In the grand scheme of things we have to be happy in our own skin

    You speak of not being super successful. And if you were what would that bring you? Financial gain? Would it feed your ego? Would you be able to bask in the admiration of others? Would you feel happier ? I doubt it. Because the people who matter love you just as you are. They don't want to change you, push you to better things. Only you want that for yourself. And yet it is meaningless

    You should speak to your GP. A frank and open exchange concerning what I suspect to be Anxiety Disorder. AD is a sneaky devil. It creeps up on you and catches you unawares and if you don't get  a hold on it, it will get a hold on you.

    Be yourself, more importantly be happy with yourself!

    Best wishes.


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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I read it 3 times and appreciate it. 

      I know those years when I was a kid did impact me. I'm certain of it. But even before that experience I can think of patterns that make me believe that I've always had some inherint sense of feeling inadequate. I think that is what drives the lack of confidence. I take what other people think/say about me to heart. Probably too much. 

      I think a lot of the shame I feel is because I've let myself become complacent in my job. The pay was pretty good when I first started, but the career advancements aren't really there and I got sort of trapped in the finances behind it. Well as corporate America has cut back, it's affected me too. I now realize I attached myself to something for the wrong reasons because now that I make less than I did, the true nature of my job is all I have, which I don't really enjoy nor feel like I'm especially good at it. I'm not terrible, I'm just not that great and after this long I don't think that will change much. 

      When I speak of success, I really mean a sense of fulfillment. A purpose. A meaning. Not necessarily financial based, but I guess it would be nice to feel like I do something where I can make a difference not simply exist. I want to help people, not drive profits for an office. That's the extent of knowing what I want to do with my life. I considered going back to school for a healthcare career path, but I was a business major and my grades weren't terrible but not that great when I was in college. My priorities at 18 were to have fun, not focus on school. Yes, a mistake that I'm not paying for when considering applying to schools for a healthcare career program that are highly competitive. I think a lot of my shame comes from this. And that impacts my self confidence. If you think about it, how could it not? Average grades, didn't do dilligence in considering a career, not that great at my job, don't feel good about who Iam professionally, etc.  And I think my anxiety comes from the realization that I'm older now, what in the world am I going to do? And a lot of my sorrows come from realizing that you can't truly be good for someone else unless you feel good about who you are. And if I don't feel good about my life, I'm never going to find someone to settle down with. So there is an overall sense of feeling lost. Scared to make the wrong move, and in the meantime, all that makes me very sad and unhappy. 

      Thanks for listening. 

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    • Posted

      You are extremely harsh upon yourself. Ah, but that I can also relate tosmile Some people are their own worst enemy.

      Life, in retrospect, is far easier then it is when we live through it. Is youth, after all, not wasted on the young?  At 18 we all want fun, all make mistakes, rarely consider what our lives in the future might be, what path it might take.

      Complacency is our safety net. We are all, to some extent or other, guilty of it. The majority of us fear change. Hovering above us like the Sword Of Damocles is the question, What if?  We dismiss it with Better The Devil We Know. We fear change because we fear making a mistake. That saps our courage and so we stay put. Scared, as you say, to make a wrong move.

      I don't believe you will never find someone to settle down with. You are obviously a diligent, hard working human being. You are also intelligent, erudite and a thinker. Someone will see in you a person they can share a life with.

      But you have to see your own worth, your true value. You have to love yourself in order for someone to love you! Perhaps in order to do that you need to find a career that will not only fulfill you as a human being, but ignite confidence in you. There are many varied forms of employment you could research and whilst doing so search for one that ignites an interest or the beginning of excitement/passion in you. Something that doesn't make you fear making a wrong move.

      It is difficult to overcome negativity and you have slumped into that mindset. This is something you must alter. You must look at what you do have in life and not  at that which you don't and take it from there.

      You have to dig deep for both positivity and for courage. It is there in all of us but we have to bring it to the fore, believe in ourselves, to make that happen.

      You are young yet. Your whole life spread before you. Time enough to make changes if that's what it takes. Carpe Diem!


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    • Posted


      Helen, that was an inspired reply. BBB, take every word to heart. She has nailed it.

      BBB,   I want you to do something for yourself. Get a legal pad out, and write the heading...MY GRATEFUL LIST at the top of page one.   Over a period of two or three days, add things to the list as you think of them. Nothing is too small or unimportant  to leave off the list...my favorite coffee mug, my blue slacks, my gold cufflinks, my wonderful mother, the anxiety forum, my comfy recliner, etc. Get the point??

      The first time I did this I was in pain and depressed. By the time I was done listing, three days later, I looked at all those pages of things and people I was grateful for and cried about how sorry for myself i had let myself get.

      Then my roommate turned on the TV for me and went out for the night and I didn't know where she put the remote, so I was stuck with this channel.( I was in so much pain I couldn't get out of bed to look for it).

      Well, it was a two hour documentary of the awful things that were going on in the world....abused children, countries where women were treated like cattle, thousands homeless because of disasters, etc. Well, by now, I was really crying, Boy, was i grateful. Between the grateful list and this show, everything I was going through had a different perspective.

      I hope this helps you, BBB....it certainly changed my attitude about my life around. I only needed to do a list one more time in my life...again, it did the trick.  Kind of like... I was sad and upset because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet. PERSPECTIVE.

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    • Posted

      Oh Cia, my dear, dear friend! That is such a beautiful post! Your courage never fails to amaze me! Your unselfishness in helping others when you have so much to deal with personally.

      If ever there was a blessing to my AD it is you. But for AD I would not know you!!!!

      Love ya, girl, I truly do. You are my personal inspiration...and you knock me into shape when I get all bent out of shape!  Lol And you make me laugh! And there has to be a God because only HE could have made you xxxx

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    • Posted

      Well, now you've done it...reduced me to tears. Your post encourages me to keep on keeping on. I feel like I have my own personal cheer leader. You really have no idea how touched I am by your response, dearest Helen. This forum gives me purpose, and you inspire me. Thanks, my friend.

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    • Posted


      Your replies made me feel a sense of warmth and calm come over me. If I'm making a list, I'll start by putting both of you at the top. Two strangers who I've never met, taking the time to read what I wrote, relate to me, comfort me and encourage me. I'm grateful for that and appreciate it very much. 

      My immediate family is wonderful, but I think I'm the "feeler" or "thinker" of the bunch. They are incredibly successful and intelligent beyond belief, but I think I'm more of the sensitive/analyizer type as compared with them. They love me unconditionally, and they would do anything for me despite the fact that we all live spread out across the country these days. But that being said, that marked difference in our personalities makes relating to one another when I feel this way more difficult so while I love them so very much, we are just different in that way and I learned a while back that I can't really connect with them to share the way I feel to the level above. So, I appreciate you both for letting me do so, and hearing me. 

      Unfortunately I think I may be one of the countless people who battles depression without realizing it.  The reason I say that is because there are times that go by where things normalize a bit, I'm able to escape the rut I'm in and sometimes reading the things I write when I'm in the depths of how I feel don't even sound like they are written by the same person. I'm sometimes really struck by the level of despair that I feel when I actually write it out and read it later. 


      That being said, the problems are still there, underneath the surface. The anxiety, the quest to find a new path in my career, the lack of confidence, that "feeling" in the mornings when I don't want to leave my house much the same as when I was a child and didn't want to go to school. I just think that it gets triggered often these days as I get older because underneath it all, those same faulty beliefs are still keeping me stuck. And the longer you feel stuck the more scary and anxious it makes you. 

      I'm going to go to work early tomorrow. I'm going to do the very best job I can possibly do. I'm going to do my best to try and let any setbacks not ruin my mood or my day. I'm going to make a list of everything I appreciate and I'm going to makes sure I'm going to the gym this week and exercising. 

      One day at a time. 

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    • Posted

      I have sisters and whilst they are alike I am the cuckoo in the nest, insofar as I am nothing like them. They are beautiful ( I joke not ) They are high achievers ( I joke not ) and their lives thus far have been rich in achievements and adventures

      I, on the other hand, have lived a quiet life, one out of the limelight. And yet like your family we love each other unconditionally.

      You feel different because you are different. Just as I am diferent to my sisters. But whereas you hold all that within you I did not. I was always open and frank and honest about my feelings. You should be too. Your family might surprise you, undoubtably will.

      We should embrace the differences not see them as a failing. You are only "stuck" insofar as your inability to see this is a positive as opposed to a negative. The only person disappointed with you is your own self. And you have no need to be.

      I don't doubt you are the kind of person that gives 100% to whatever task is at hand. It is that which we put in, in terms of effort and dedication, that matters. The end result is secondry

      I am not qualified to determine whether or not you suffer from depression. The desire to cling to home, which is the "safe womb " for all human beings, the fearing making a change in life appear to me to be anxiety induced. I still advise seeing your GP because anxiety is an illness the same as any other. There is no shame in anyone's inability to cope with life at times.

      Excercise is a great start! It burns off the excess adrenalin. It releases endorphins, the "feel good "  factor And we at the Forum will always be here to encourage yousmile

      Looking back and mulling over any mistakes we made is futile. We cannot change the past. What we can do is start each day with a new resolve to take that day and live it and to not worry about tomorrow or the future. As you so wisely stated, one day at a time.



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    • Posted

      Glad to be of help, BBB.

      As to your family....there are right brain dominant people and left brain dominant people. We all use both sides of our brains all the time, but we are usually more dominant on one side.

      Ask a right brain person how they FEEL about something. Ask a left brain person what they THINK about something. Knowing the traits helps to communicate.

      Here is a partial list of each:

      Right brain dominant...



      holistic thinking


      arts (motor skills)


      non verbal



      tunes of songs

      day dreaming

      Left brain dominant...








      think in words

      words of songs


      Some people access both sides equally, like song writers who write both words and music.

      Neither side is considered "better" than the other. The world needs both. Knowing the traits makes it easier for any of us to communicate. I hope this makes it more comfortable for you to address your family, BBB. biggrin  Part of your problem is possibly trying to be like your siblings, and you can't, you were never meant to....you are you.

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    • Posted

      What do you mean....IF you make a list????eek That's homework, and that will help. Why would you not do something that will make your life better, darling????biggrin

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    • Posted

      Unfortunately I caneek Time for my sertraline ! Double dose. I can see us on a stage, me going off on a tangent and you roping me in....hey, the men in the audience will like as not throw their Boxer shorts at us, just like the women throw their knickers at Tom Jones! ( Never liked him myself. Only thing I'd throw at Tom Jones is a brick )

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