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Anxiety and Depression Support
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“Think Positively” makes me angry

Hello all. Just a brief bit of background... I have MDD, PD, and OCD. I also struggle with anorexia. I just recently moved to a new city (for a job) and graduated from college in December. All of this change has made the anxiety so much worse and I don’t know what to do. I’m so far away from all my old support systems. I already started one new job but quit because the panic attacks were so bad I literally could not go in the building. I had to tell everyone I was fired instead of the truth about quitting because of my panic attacks. Now I am set to start a new job in two weeks. But I’m so scared because what if the panic is so bad I can’t keep this job either? I’m a single mother and my savings are gone. If I can’t be successful at this job, I will lose my home, my car, my son; everything. I don’t have health insurance so I can’t afford to see a therapist or go to a psychiatrist unless I can keep a job. My panic attacks are so bad right now, I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t shower. I can’t leave my bed much less my house. You guys are all I have. Everything I google about “new job jitters” says to think positively. And that’s just a bunch a bull if you ask me, but that could be the depression talking. Every time I try to give myself a pep talk it all sounds so incredibly false that I end up rolling my eyes at myself. I just need to be successful at going to work. That’s all. I just need to not lose my son or my home. And I don’t think any amount of thinking positively can change whether or not you will be fighting that demon that is panic and anxiety.

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So much anxiety. I suffered panic attacks as a teen that were triggered by smoking weed. It was more like it open the flood gates to what had welled up after so many years prior. Anyways, what helped me was doing sports. Volleyball, basketball, track, and then becoming a flag girl. So, basically exercising is what really helped me in the long run. Get ur body moving every time u feel that anxiety. Jumping jacks, running in place, arm circles. It’s all the adrenaline that needs to be used up.

Another thing, write what u feel at that exact moment, even if it seems like gibberish.

Spend time in nature.

I had horrible anxiety when I was going to school for my BS in math. I drank and it was probably was the worst/best thing I did. I literally forgot what anxiety attacks were, but I got so much regret and sadness in the long run. Don’t self-medicate.

I will be praying for you. I hope u consider some of these things, if not something else someone else might say. U are not alone. Always remember that. 🙏❤️💕

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Lu,

Thank you so much for your reply and for sharing your experiences. It feels so comforting to hear from you. The funny thing is that I am a nurse. And I have devoted so much of my time to studying anxiety and depression. Science backs what you say, you know? Exercise has been proven time and time again to be helpful for both depression and anxiety. I just can’t figure out how to force myself to do it. Every time I try to exercise it makes my heart beat fast which sets off a panic attack. I know logically that an increase in pulse rate is expected and normal and that I’m not about to have a heart attack or a seizure. But the greatest liar of them all (anxiety) convinces me otherwise. Then it triggers all my checking because I have a health anxiety too. It’s so frustrating because logically I know I’m safe. But that’s not what it feels like. I will try again though. Thank you so much for responding. It means the world to me.

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Your welcome! With so much that I have researched and learned throughout the years, I should have become a nurse instead. Lol and I had the same feeling too when I took a conditioning class in my early 20’s. I had to do a mile running and I freaked so many times! Panic attacks galore. All I wanted to do was tone up. It’s horrible how our mind is so strong, but amazing all at the same time. I can take a couple steps forward and then a whole leap backwards. It’s like I need the constant reassurance that I am going in the right direction and encouragement to keep going, like a child. It’s ok, but can be frustrating... curious, maybe having a stress test and a heart monitor might help ease ur mind a bit. I was having heart palpitations quite frequently and chest pains also. Both came back normal. I pushed the doctor to check my iron. Sure enough, my ferritin levels were at a 4. Got prescribed 325 mg twice a day, but when I took them i got headaches, nausea, and constipation. Sometimes, I just bombard myself with too much knowledge... thank u for allowing me help in some way. And also, for making me see I am never alone in these experiences ❤️🤗

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Oh my gosh, Lu. I remember reading one time that a type of exposure therapy for panic attacks is actually having the person do things (like exercise) that will cause symptoms similar to a panic attack. The goal is to try to desensitize the sufferer to the physical symptoms of panic. 😱

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Hello StarryNight72, first I would like to congratulate you for graduating, just my opinion I would have stayed where my family and friends where, moving is hard to start with and your health that's even more difficult. I know when you're told positive words its easier said than done but I thank them anyway, they're showing they care, only God knows what is going to happen. All I can tell you is pray and don't be disappointed if your prayers aren't answered right away it's God will not ours, my heart ache for you and to a lot of others here, I know how it feels I been sick for as almost a year now and haven't worked for a year......just waiting to get better....

I HOPE

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Dear Susan,

Thank you for replying. It’s so nice to feel not so alone and that’s what you did for me! I try to live my life in the way I want to live it, not in the ways that anxiety tells me is safe or unsafe. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes I am not. I wear a ring on my right hand, just a small, simple, silver ring. On the ring is the word “Faith”. I bought it when I went back to college the third time after quitting the previous two times due to debilitating panic attacks. I needed to be able to look down and see that one word to remind me to have faith. Faith in Gods purpose for me. Faith in myself. Faith that step by step I would finish college someday. Thank you, also, for being a reminder to me today to not get so caught up in my misery that I lose sight of my faith.

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Hello StarryNight, so sorry to hear about the difficult time you are having with anxiety. I can 100% identify with you having suffered anxiety and panic attacks all my life (and I still do). Like you, my job was in the emergency services (police), working in a very macho environment, most of the time as a supervisor....hmmm.... I wonder how I survived all that machismo!! Well, one of the turning points for me was just being told by a consultant that I am an anxious person, that's just the way I am wired, and I can't change that. What I can do, is learn how to manage that. For me, beta blockers have helped but also, maybe, lots of small adjustments also help: better diet, exercise, social activities and so on. Just keep putting one foot in front of another and keep moving forward. But, and I think this is the key, it's the realisation that actually all my fears and anxiety are totally groundless. I worry about everything but am so totally useless at it because whatever I worry about never happens ! Funny thing, for years I chaired interview panels, advised others on job difficulties, coached, mentored and supported others on how to succeed, but, all the time I was struggling and had very low self-esteem. I guess, what I'm trying to say, but in a very confused way (sorry !) is that you just need someone to reassure you that everything will be ok. Now, if I was your manager I would do that, I would guarantee you that everything will be ok, and I hope your new manager will do that. Please ask for help and understanding. Sorry, I haven't expressed myself very clearly here. I've rambled on a bit - but I do 100% get it (well, 110% actually). Please be kind and compassionate to yourself - we all need to give ourselves a break. Take care,

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Sebastian,

Thank you so much. Just reading you saying “everything will be ok” brought tears to my eyes. It’s funny because when I’m on duty, it’s one of the rare times I don’t have panic attacks. In fact, it’s the only thing I’ve ever found that has made them stop. I’m so caught up (and SHOULD be) in saving lives that there is no space for the anxiety producing thoughts. But the responsibility of my job and my responsibility to my patients almost kills me when I’m not on shift. It’s so hard to walk in to the hospital and take on that responsibility and even harder to go home and reflect on the day and things I could have done differently. I work in Neurology and I always get a chuckle out of how people say “Relax, it’s not brain surgery” because for me it totally is brain surgery. 😂

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Thank you and please keep sharing.....it's reassuring to me that other people see the world in the same way, although, of course, I wish we were all anxiety-free. The internet has lots of negatives but forums like this, where like-minded people can help each other, is a definite benefit. Self-reflection is good, but please reflect on all the positive things you did well (i.e. the 99.9%). Take care, and, if you work in neurology, I could do with some advice on how I can form some new neural pathways as I feel I'm running a bit low !!!

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My anxiety started small with mostly math class or tests but a few years back it got REALLY bad, I had moved away to go to college 6 hours from my family and friends and lived with two toxic people, one being an narcissistic, abusive ex. So I started smoking pot, which for a while sure it helped but that's when my anxiety skyrocketed. I had no clue how the hell to talk myself done or even begin to feel calm, most days I thought I was dying. My attacks would last 2 HOURS, it would take me forever to come down. So I quit smoking pot and cigarettes and started looking at tips and tricks to try to help my anxiety. Last April-may, I stopped leaving the house, my depression made it worse cuz I wanted to go out but every time I did I panicked. I had given up hope and accepted maybe that's just my life. A year later, I dumped my ex and am now dating someone SO much better, my family helps however they can and I know some of my triggers and for the most part know what to do when something happens. In the beginning, the whole positive thing is BS, I thought the same way, but later on it does help. The main thing I'll say to you is that exposing yourself does help, try walking to the end of your driveway then go back in and push a little further everyday. Self care is also SO important, a little goes a long way. Music also is a great outlet, Weightless by Marconi Union was actually made for anxiety and helps reduce it by 60% (don't listen to it while driving, may make you drowsy). I understand where you're coming from, and you're in the right place to vent and speak your mind. We're here to help where we can ☺️Sorry this was so long, didn't. Ran for it to turn into a novel aha 😅

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Dear Gilded,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my rant... um, post. 😀. And thank you for sharing your experiences with me. It certainly gives me hope and you have really helped me re-center my thinking. I LOVE music and can’t wait to listen to Weightless. I will also try to be more open to “thinking positively”, although you are right when you say it’s hard to do when you’re experiencing panic. I so identified with you saying that your panic attacks lasted 2 hours. I always think it’s so funny when I read that the average panic attack lasts 10-15 minutes. I WISH. LOL. Well, thank you again and I’m so glad you had the fortitude to leave the unhealthy situations you found yourself in. ❤️

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Thank you for the suggestion about Marconi Union....never heard of them previously but have listened to a couple of tracks and very impressed. Very mellow and soothing, especially with a glass of red wine !

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Hi there, you are definitely not alone. I couldn’t live in a new city without my support system. Can you move back? I know you said you have a new job, but without support nearby this may not be the best situation for you. Are you on any medication to help? Is there a church group or some place of faith near you that you are connected with?

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Hi Lynn,

Thank you so much for helping me think of creative solutions. I’m such a hot mess. I kind of think of myself in two different sides. The anxiety side is constantly telling me not to do stuff and that something terrible will happen if I do. It can be anything. I can’t get out of bed today because if I do something bad will happen (ie: a car accident, I’ll catch a disease, I’ll get stuck in the elevator). Or I can’t go to college because I’m not smart enough or there are too many germs. Or I can’t go to that grocery store because the lines are long and I might pass out if I stand up too long. Or I can’t move to that city because then I’ll be alone and end up homeless when I fail at life away from everyone who could help me. I mean what if I have a heart attack? Who would call 911? What if I get in a car wreck? How would I get a new car? Etc, etc, etc. Then there’s the other rational, non-anxiety, side of me. That side says: Do you really want to spend your whole life hiding from things that “might” happen?? Do you want to be on your deathbed someday and regret never pursuing amazing opportunities to live in exciting cities and meeting wonderful interesting people? Do you really want to spend your life never making your dreams come true because anxiety tells you it isn’t safe? Or do you want to live? Do you want to decide you want to spend a month in Europe and work hard to make that happen and then go do it? Or do you want to hate yourself for not having the courage to get on a plane or to explore a forgein country alone? The answer is always for me that I want to live. I want to push myself to do things because the alternative (for me) is doing nothing. And I want to live. I want those experiences. I want to carve out my path and squeeze every drop of passion out of every moment I’m given here. It’s just that I forget how hard and scary it is to actually do it. You know?

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