One place that gives me the most anxiety

For about a year I've been keeping a journal and tracking my anxiety symptoms trying to make sense of them. I didn't really learn anything except that one of the places I least expect to cause me anxiety causes me horrible anxiety. That place is church.

I used to love to go to church but now days I hate it. I only go once or maybe twice a month. I walk in and immediately start feeling anxious. Today I was there less than 20 minutes and my hands were numb and tingly. my lips were tingly, I could hear my heart thudding in my chest, I felt like I couldn't breath, I felt dizzy. I had to get up and go to the bathroom to try to get myself together. But it's almost impossible to do there. I don't understand why. The one time I told someone they said it was probably either God convicting me of something or the devil.... so I haven't told anyone else. People are mad at me for not coming much anymore but some Sundays I just can't do it. I have anxiety everywhere and sometimes it's extremely severe but there are no other places where it's constantly this bad.

So if you have anxiety is there a particular place that it's really bad?

8 Replies

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  • I am sorry you have difficulty going to church. Don't be overly concerned with the reason being God or the devil. There is probably some psychological reason for your anxiety. I can imagine something like this - a person feels anxious in church but doesn't want to leave because God or others would see that as bad. The more you want to leave but cant, the greater your symptoms. With time the anxiety grows and eventually just going to church causes anxiety. I am not saying this is your situation- but just an example of how the reason can be explained.

    My advice would be- find a different church. Have spiritual time at home. Or, if you really want to attend that building, work with a therapist until you can feel comfortable there again.

    For me - I don't like any place I might be locked in or have to wait to leave such as a hospital where you have to be "buzzed" out.

  • I know it isn't God or the devil. I know there is something else that's triggered this, I'm just not sure what. Thanks for the advice. I know I have to make a change. I can't keep doing this. I don't like hospitals or any place I'm going to be locked in either. I was with my mom and grandma last Summer at the hospital where my uncle was at(he had kidney cancer and had to have both of his kidney's removed) and we were 30 seconds from being on an elevator that got stuck for an hour...if I had been on there they would've been prying the doors open and pushing me out lol.

  • I also get anxious when in church myself and so I stopped attending church some years back. I could no longer deal with the panic attacks and my needing to run off hyperventilating to the ladies room every Sunday.

    Like she said, it has nothing to do with good and evil. In my case, I think it had more yo do with my expectations of God and it not happening quickly enough for me.

    on Sundays, I watch select televangelists and I read my bible on my own anytime of the week.

  • I can relate. God not intervening fast enough for my panic attack somehow left me with a mild connection between prayer and panic. I can have peaceful prayer now- but I avoid religious thoughts when anxious.

  • I still serve at the church's food pantry but told the pastor why I don't attend church anymore. It's been about 4 years since I have actually attended any church service.

  • The fact that someone told you that you were being punished it way out there. If these people were true friends and supporters they would be there for you not judging you.

  • I am sorry to hear that your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are not more understanding of your situation. Church is in my mind like a hospital, it is a place for sick people to come and be healed. However those who are being healed should be there to hold you up, not tear you down. However, I understand your difficulties in these situations. I myself am unable to be in any situation where I feel that I am trapped, or "controlled." I am unable to attend church due to the lethargy I am experiencing from depression, and the anxiety in my mind. I currently can't even force myself to do what I know what is Good for myself. Regarding the Lord's timing, His Time is not our Time, oh how I wish it was, but he answers us when the season is right, and we are ready to fulfill his will and purpose for our lives. In the meantime He is preparing our lives to do the work. This is the hardest part of Faith. The Bible states in Romans 5:3-5 "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within the hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

  • Thank you. I know this all started about a year and half ago when I was taken out of the nursery without being told or given an explanation. I only found out when I went in one Sunday morning and my name was no longer on the roll. When I asked I was always told "It wasn't my decision." and yet they wouldn't be back in there either. I'd been in there for 9.5 years. For half of that time I was in there more than anyone else(Sunday School, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and any parties or extra things the church had). I loved the kids and I loved the people who were in there with me. Being suddenly removed with no explanation crushed me. It was the beginning of this latest round of severe anxiety and depression. What I don't understand is why the anxiety has gotten so much worse at church in the last 6 months or so.

    I think I've decided to just take a break from church for awhile. There really isn't another church here in town I would attend(the joys of living in a tiny town) and I don't think rushing into another church would be a good idea anyway. So I think I'll take a few months off and go from there.

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