Trying To Cope

Hi, I'm new. I've been reading several posts and can relate to so many. My anxiety is something I have struggled with for most of my life. As a child, I remember not being able to take full deep breaths and experiencing racing heart beat during stressful situations. As I got older, and still today, I suffer from social anxiety. I feel very uncomfortable socializing in large groups and often need to self medicate with alcohol in order to get through these types of events. All of this I have dealt with until this past year when my anxiety level has gone through the roof. I now quite often experience frequent stomach pains, nausea, back pain and headaches as a result of basal cell carcinomas found on my face and having Mohs surgery. I know it's nerves. I've had every test in the book. As a matter of fact, I'm scheduled for a CT scan on my kidney on Monday just to rule out another ailment. I don't like the idea of taking medications for my anxiety. I just want to LIVE and get my life back and stop worrying about my overall health. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

4 Replies

  • Carry on what you are doing, except the alcohol bit (Everything in moderation) Allow yourself to feel anxious. Don't fight it. Go out, socialise. Your mind and body might scream at you not to do it but they are only thoughts and feelings which can't harm you. Just anxiety calling your bluff. You have to go through it repeatedly. recovery lies on the other side. The good thing about anxiety is that it is a learned behaviour which means you can "un-learn" it 😄 Just takes time and a little patience. If you want self help, I strongly recommend a book called Essential Help For Your Nerves by Dr Claire Weekes. In my opinion, that is the bible for anxiety recovery. Worked for me and countless others. Best wishes

  • Beevee, Ah, Dr. Claire Weekes, she was the best. I still have the first book I had by her. It never gets outdated. I agree that anxiety is a learned behavior and once you change your way of thought, it is possible to recover. It took me a long time but one day it all made sense and I was ready to change. Worked for me too. Thanks for sharing

  • Ditto. It's about developing a different attitude towards the symptoms of anxiety. Changing the "What ifs?" to "So what?" What also helped me is a website called Anxiety No More created by Paul David, another ex-sufferer. I best describe this website as the practical application of Dr Claire Weekes' teachings. Overcoming anxiety isn't a method and there is no immediate cure. It is about understanding anxiety in all its manifestations (which takes away a lot of the fear) and allowing your mind and body the chance to heal by not constantly interfering with the recovery process as nature intends. I.e. Don't fight Against all the horrible thoughts and feelings (there is no battle to fight) which are just the symptoms of anxiety. They are not the cause of anxiety which is why it took me a while to let go of the thoughts. I believed them, I'd been bluffed but eventually saw it was all a lie. It is also important to understand that recovery is not linear. There will be lots of setbacks but this is all part of the recovery process so sufferers should not be too disheartened if they feel they are back at square one. Recovery lies within those setbacks by having the "so what" attitude and meaning it. There will come a time when the symptoms no longer matter, by which point, you are home and dry.

  • Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I ordered the book and will definitely read and try whatever I can to manage my stress. :)

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