Fear or listening to my gut?

One of the things I dislike about having general anxiety disorder is I can't tell when I'm shying away from something because I don't like it and when I am shying away because of fear of a panic attack. For example do i not want to go to a thrilling movie in theaters because of my fear of crowds and dealing with the adrenaline or am I not going because I know it is not good for my brain and body to subject myself to unnecessary drama when I have already lived through so much? I have a airplane trip coming up and I was excited to book it but as the date gets closer and I hear about incidents I wish I was staying home.

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  • You are meant to tackle your fears, not let them overwhelm and control you. That is how you deal with anxiety as long as it is not the generalised kind. Once you tackle your every fear, you should be fine.

    One thing I realised while dealing with me is that it all has to do with some foolish need to control it all. We have this innate idea that we should be able to control it all. But when we realise we can't we panic, we get anxious.

    So, if you have fears that you will have anxiety or a panic attack, ask yourself if that fear is even rational. Ask yourself if it really makes logical sense for you or anyone to give panic attack and anxiety that much control over what they can or cannot do.

    Medication won't help you overcome emotional issues such as guilt, shame, low self-esteem, fear, a need to control everything around you etc. You have to do that work on your own. It takes you digging into your own mind to fish out all that gunk that should not be there; your past to tackle all roots of worries, failures etc.

    Self-therapy essentially.

  • You make some excellent points. I find journaling helps. I know the root. I'm doing exposure therapy which is why I'm getting on a plane in less than 2 weeks.

  • What you said sounds so much like myself. I get really excited about doing things - going on road trips, having parties, etc. and then as the day approaches, I begin to panic. What if I can't do it? I've backed out of so many things before. What makes this time any different? It's easier for me to just cancel than it is for me to deal with the anxiety and panic. The messed up part about it is that I feel worse when I cancel - I feel guilty - like I'm disappointing someone. The thing is, who cares? I mean, sure, you don't want to be a disappointment, but why worry about it? It's like, let the day come and TRY. If you honestly can't hang, fine. It is what it is. People who love you will accept and understand it for what it is. The thing is, once the day does come, I don't think all the anxiety will be there. Maybe some nerves, but not the trauma we do to ourselves leading up to the day.

    Great example: I planned a trip with my family and fiance to go out of state about 6 months in advance. I was so excited! About 2 weeks before we were supposed to leave, I spent every night awake, panicked, fearful that I would have to flake out at the last minute because the anxiety was too much. Leaving my dogs? Leaving my job? Leaving my "comfort zone"? No Way! So, I tried to come up with coping mechanisms - I spent my nights going over every possible scenario where I would panic the day of and how I could combat it. Well...after the 2 weeks and the endless nights of not sleeping, the day came and, you know what? It was actually, surprisingly, easy to go on my vacation. I had an amazing time too!

    Anyway, I probably strayed a little off topic, but thank you for listening and letting me get it off my chest. =)

  • Exactly leaving the comfort zone! I have seriously considered seeing if I can get my dog approved as a service dog.

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