Anxiety Worsening

I am a college student with anxiety. Today was the day that I realized that it is starting to control me. I somewhat prematurely emailed my professor about uploading a test grade, and he got a bit annoyed. I knew it was not time yet to email him about when he would be posting the grades but I kept getting so anxious that somehow something messed up and the grade was not uploaded correctly and then somehow I would mess up and get a 0 on the test if I did not check up on the status of the test. I knew I should have waited a bit to email him, as I only took the test a little over 2 days ago. But I could not help myself; my anxiety gnawed away at me and would not let up. I felt physically terrible sometimes. Any tips for controlling anxiety?

16 Replies

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  • You give a perfect example of why someone would consider medication for their anxiety. Lack of the ability to control themselves and their impulses in the face of their anxiety. Your anxiety controlled you. I know you know this, but do you know the solution? More self control or control of a different kind. Which will it be? It's your decision. You should probably have a talk with your doctor. What do you think?

    I've had 29 years of med controlled anxiety should you ever want to talk about it. I also have a long list of non-drug resources for ways to cope with anxiety mostly with a few resources for depression and can print the list here for you if you want it. It's from many different people from this community who've had success with these resources.

    No matter what you choose, I wish for the very best of outcomes for you!

  • Thank you so much for the reply, because today just has not been a great day. I would love to hear more resources for non-drug solutions, because medications would be my last resort.

    You are very right that I can either control it, or have something else intervene. I want to try self control as long as possible.

  • I doubt there are really any non-drug solutions for generalized anxiety which sounds like what you are referring to in terms of it controlling you.

    GAD typically ends up ruling an individuals life and no matter how less stressed or calm you try to live, even if you successfully eliminate all sources of worry and fear from your life, it won't matter.

    As someone who has also been hit by this monster of a thing called GAD, I would recommend you we your psychiatrist/neuropsychiatrist to start working on taking back your life from GAD.

  • Thank you for your perspective... because I feel that my anxiety is only going to get worse until I get into grad school (which is the main source of my problems)

  • What you just described is classic anxiety. That series of thoughts that jumps right to the worst case scenario is very typical of anxiety. But, there is something you can do about it. I had similar issues a while back where my thoughts would immediately go to the worst thing that could happen and I felt completely helpless. The thing that helped me most was seeing a therapist and practicing what's called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. I won't go into detail, but one thing that helps me stop that catastrophic thinking (that's what you're experiencing) is to do the following: 1) Recognize that I am thinking catastrophically. 2) Identify the conclusions I am jumping to. 3) Ask myself the likelihood of that happening (10%? 20%?). The likelihood is almost always around 10% or less. That helps me to stop that thinking in its tracks. Then, once I've got my thinking under control 4) Find something to distract myself with. The human brain cannot focus on more than one thing (no matter what society says, scientific studies have shown that you cannot devote all your attention to more than one thing at a time), so I distract myself with a movie, take my dog for a walk, call a friend, plan a vacation, work on other school work (I was getting my masters at the time), read, do a logic puzzle (this one really helps because it takes all my concentration) do a craft project, or clean my apartment. You can control the thinking, it just takes practice and time. It will get easier, I promise. If you're interested in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, there are several workbooks available for not much money. One that has helped my friend and I is "Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks". But there are many others that could work for you. Talking to a counselor at your school could also help. Hang in there and remember that you can overcome it!

  • Thank you so much for replying! I like that method of weighing things out and using distractions. Those sometimes work for me. Unfortunately I am still on the journey of learning how anxiety impacts me and how to deal with it in ways that work for me. I currently see a therapist and I will have to bring this all up to her

  • It's good that you're seeing a therapist. That is where I initially learned what helps with the day-to-day anxiety. Dealing and coping with anxiety is a life-long journey. I learned how to cope with the lesser issues of my anxiety (catastrophic thinking) but I'm still wrestling with my fear of the unknown. So, even though I've gotten better, I've still got work to do, which is why I keep going to therapy.

    I hope that you can conquer that thinking. Try to remember that even though giving in to the anxious thoughts (like emailing your professor) helps relieve the anxious feelings at first, in the long run it's only fighting those thoughts head on that will lead to healthy coping mechanisms.

  • Thank you for your guidance; Instant gratification is definitely not the right way to go

  • Some natural remedies and non-drug sources of information are books, videos, and workbooks suggested by other people on this site:

    1---"I've found David D. Burns' "Feeling Good" and "When Panic Attacks" to be very helpful."

    2---"I am working through the anxiety workbook by Dr David Carbonell and it has helped immensely!!! " His website is anxietycoach.com

    3---psychcentral.com/lib/9-ways...talks about ”9 ways to reduce anxiety now”

    4---The book “Freedom From Fear” by Neil T. Anderson. Addresses the spiritual aspect of the battle of anxiety with a holistic approach and the peacefulness God gifts to us.

    5---Dr. Jonice Webb authored "Running on Empty: Overcome your Childhood Emotional Neglect"

    6---Mindfulness has helped many people and is now recommended by doctors in the UK. Here’s just 1 link that explains it’s usefulness: heartwoodrefuge.org/benefit... Another option of many is called MINDSHIFT. You can download it to your phone from Google Playstore.

    7---TRE (Trauma releasing exercises) is something you can learn in a class but you don't have to talk about your problems and once you have learned the technique you can use it at home.

    8---UK site for stress, anxiety and depression information: panic attacks: nhs.uk/conditions/stress-an...

    9---anxietytipsoftheday.weebly.com

    10---"A good book that I came across recently is The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 6th Edition by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD. You might find this book to be of some help to you, although communicating your thoughts and feelings in a group setting is enormously helpful as well. "

    11---“The book DARE, which is about anxiety. It’s a very good book about accepting anxiety and letting go of the fear. The author is Barry Mcdonagh and he also has a YouTube channel and a Facebook support group.”

    12---For anxiety: Claire Weekes audio books on iTunes. “Self Help for Your Nerves” is one title that is good. You can see her on YouTube. “The Dr. Claire Weekes book is easy to understand and will help you on your way to recovery through acceptance.” Someone else says: “I like the paradigm of acceptance by Dr. Claire Weekes in Hope and Help for your Nerves. It is the preeminent book of self help for people experiencing anxiety disorders and the depression that accompanies it.”

    13---I would also add Don't Panic by Dr. Reid Wilson.

    14---For meditation time the app called CALM is good. Available on iTunes and Google Play.

    15---Another really good CD and book is the Linden method.

    16---How to be good with yourself: self-compassion.org/the-thr...10---Try the meditation app called Headspace. It's done in 10 min. slots once a day.

    17---Videos on YouTube by THAT ANXIETY GUY helps with anxiety re: depersonalization/ de-realization states. The Anxiety Guy podcast is currently #1 in the health category on iTunes, and will begin taking you from fear to freedom starting today. Visit anxietyexit.com to subscribe and begin downloading the latest episodes.

    18—For UK residents: Have you ever been in touch with the organization called MIND? They offer one to one sessions with a Project Worker free. They also run courses that you can attend free of charge. One of the courses is about anxiety. Their website is mind.org.uk

    19---"Go on the Psychology Today site and look for a therapist that specializes in anxiety." Psychology Today has listings with psychiatrists and psychologists and therapists with their pictures and the therapists’ specialties and philosophies, sliding scale fees if they have them, education and insurance accepted and other details they choose to post for you.

    20---Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect? self-compassion.org/the-thr...

    21---“Have you ever listened to Louise Hay on YouTube? Some of the talks help motivate you and hopefully you will feel a positive energy.”

    22---“I called one of these online therapist sites. The therapist was really good. It was prestoexperts dot com. Her name was Lori Burke. Definitely a professional and she got me through this awful depression/anxiety morning.” (There is a charge for this service)

    23---For meditation look at:

    Tara Brach and Chopra Center

    24---theworrygames.com/anxiety-f...

    25---Anxiety No More by Paul Bywater. A phone app.

    26---At Last a Life book by Paul David.

    27---The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook

    Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance

    By: Matthew McKay PhD, Jeffrey Wood PsyD, Jeffrey Brantley MD

    A Clear and Effective Approach to Learning DBT Skills

    First developed for treating borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective as treatment for a range of other mental health problems, especially for those characterized by overwhelming emotions. Research shows that DBT can improve your ability to handle distress without losing control and acting destructively. In order to make use of these techniques, you need to build skills in four key areas-distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

    Source: NewHarbingerPublications

    Caution for non-Buddhists: Zen Buddhism inspired aspects of DBT, along with behavioral science and dialectical philosophy. Source: GoodTherapy.com.

  • Thank you so much for this list; I will definitely have to go through it thoroughly and see what works best for me

  • I've found distraction helps.Treat yourself to either doing something u really like,or even buying yourself a little treat.in other words e very kind to yourself,you're worth it.hope it helps,San die x

  • haha yeah I do always like to treat myself... I could use that to help with anxiety, along with distractions. Thanks Sandie!

  • I have to say that in my struggle to deal with anxiety (I have thoughts that something is wrong with my heart and I'm going to die, even though I've had tests that say I'm fine). Watching a movie listening to music etc does not help, your brain is processing all kinds of things at once. This is why people have panic attacks when not even thinking about a trigger. My point is before taking meds try everything and anything naturally to help, when you start feeling anxious again write down why your feeling this way and read it over and over. If it's out of your control don't sweat it, if it's something you can control then list some outcomes of your actions.

    Also start eating healthy, sleeping 8 hrs a night most important EXERCISE feeling anxious go for a walk or run, lift weights, do yoga or swimming. This will send natural serotonin and endorphins to your brain and you'll feel 100x better.

    I hope this helps and I hope you feel better.

  • Thank you for your response! I did not really consider exercise before, but I will definitely have to consider it. Writing things down has also been of great help to me in the past, I should try using that again.

  • What helped me after several years of anxiety/panic was the realization that the symptoms are not life-threatening. This may sound overly simplistic, however, it worked for me. Once you are willing to say to yourself that the symptoms are no big deal so let it happen, they go away.

  • Have you checked with Student Services to see if they have counseling on campus?

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