Anxiety Support

I'm terrified

I had 4 years of debiliating anxiety- form 2010 to 2014. Then was good for about 3 years. Feeling well again, feeling happy and hopeful and now, since my anxiety has come back since September, I am just so terrified that this is my life. I thought I was healed/cured/passed all that. The thing is that, before it was anxiety and I knew that and I wasn't afraid that it was anything more. Now, this time around, even though the symptoms are less severe, I am simply terrified that I will lose my mind, go crazy, develop depression and kill myself. NOTE: I do not want to kill myself but I've developed a phobia of doing so and that makes the anxiety worse!!

10 Replies
oldestnewest

I can't explain it but believe me your not alone I get that way every now and then it's the world we live in its going to fast got to slow down the way it used to be

Reply

You are not alone.

When I started winning against anxiety, there were periods that I was anxiety free. My psychiatrist said that they could come back, but less severe.

So they did but, I learned to "manage" them better. I started with good breathing exercises, reminded myself that I did overcome previously and also did a "thoughtarrest" to capture my panic thoughts.

If you did it once you can do it again! They may come very unexpected but will become less scary if you capture your thoughts and expose them as false.

Reply

You have used the word 'terrified' twice in your post, carolyn, and maybe that's the problem, you've had a minor setback and you're now frightening yourself half to death. And the fear hormone is pumping out again making your nerves sensitive which causes more strange thoughts of death or madness causing more fear hormone and the whole process goes round and round like a hampster on a treadmill.

You know how to stop the treadmill turning, carolyn. Just accept the bad feelings for the moment, you know you're not going to lose your mind and you've said you wouldn't harm yourself. So what's the worst that can happen?

You are allowed to have strange thoughts, simply accept them calmly, they are not nice but let them come. Just don't pay them so much attention, less introspection. When they come let your whole body go limp: your jaw, then your hands and arms, then your body and feet and legs. Feel those muscles relaxing one by one when the bad feelings come and they will soon pass on their way.

Has something happened prior to September to cause this setback? Some new problem or worry that has caused you anquish and precipitated this latest relapse? If so and you can identify it and then ruthlessly deal with it then give some priority to that. Ask the advice of a wise and trusted friend maybe. Either way accept the bad feelings and don't fight them and refuse to be terrified by a mere 'thought' and before long you will resume your progress.

1 like
Reply

Hi Jeff, I have the Claire Weeks book which you recommended and I am going through a bad bout of anxiety/ depression.I have been on anti depressants for years. My problem is I fight the anxiety but how do I accept it. When a negative thought comes will the deep breathing help, I do Mindfullness so know about how to do it. The bad thoughts crowd my brain and I get paranoid. It’s great you can help others even though you are now cured. Thanks from Lin

Reply

Dear Jeff, Thank you so much for your reply. Please excuse me for not responding sooner. I had lots of running around to do for Christmas and forgot to respond but I did and do appreciate your responses.

To answer your question, prior to September I was going up for job that I thought I had in the bag. I was working at a school and my contract was up. I was certain that they would rehire me as my colleagues and students really thought I was wonderful, but I didn't get the job and it did throw my confidence and made me down.

I think the problem is that I always felt "safe" with the anxiety because I recognized it as anxiety and always read that no one died from it but then recently, because I've had mild depression with the anxiety, I have felt less safe because I'm terrified of depression. I've never had a severe case of it, but I have a fear of it. I was actually doing relatively well the last few days, then, today, seeing in the news about the disappearance of Sophie Smith, triggered me because they think she killed herself and they described her as having severe anxiety and depression. I though people don't kill themselves with anxiety and so that started freaking me out again :-(

Reply

Hi Carolyn, I can well understand the disappointment of not being rehired for a job in which you were held in high regard by your colleagues and students. Whoever made that decision it was their loss so the right thing to do is to dismiss them as fools and move forwards. Every adversity brings with it the seed of a greater benefit. You will no doubt move on to something even better.

Claire Weekes always listed disappointment as one of the triggers for anxiety or a reoccurance of anxiety and this is almost certain to be what has caused your relapse.

Anxiety and depression can't kill someone in the physical sense but some people do despair and take their own lives, they overlook that they will not feel that way forever and everybody has the chance to rebuild their life and their happiness.

You say you are now terrified of depression which was never a major problem for you. So I'm going to suggest that anxiety about getting depressed is just another symptom of anxiety.

It's a fine line between anxiety and depression and we can all get a bit depressed about our anxiety disorder but I wouldn't call that clinical depression.

So clear you mind of your fear about an illness you don't have and concentrate on the illness you do have: a reoccurance of anxiety. Yes, I know, I have said all this before but the oftener it's said the truer it becomes!

You know what you have to do, Carolyn, once again you should accept the bad feelings and strange thoughts for the moment. Don't fight those things you fear, that just adds more fear hormone to your resensitised nerves. When the first flash of fear comes don't add to it with second fear. Avoid introspection and let the tide of anxiety swirl past you, it's not nice but you've experienced it before and you can take it a bit longer until utter acceptance of all the bad feelings brings about their dispersal. You're in no danger and nothing threatens you, if you think otherwise it's just anxiety up to its usual tricks.

I don't know if you have been offered another teaching post, if not your job for the moment is finding a new job and it's a 9 to 5 job.

Best wishes for an early re-recovery and happier days in 2018.

1 like
Reply

Thank you, Jeff. You are a Godsend! Just reading your reply calmed me!!! You are so right. I think my fear is just another symptom of my anxiety. Also, as for work. It actually felt like a breakup. I really liked the school and my colleagues and had put a lot of effort into helping many students. Once I found out I didn't get the job I sobbed and sobbed as if I had been broken up with by a boyfriend! I had nightmares about it and was very sad. I think this incurred my anxiety relapse.

Best wishes to you, as well, and to happy days for us all in 2018!

1 like
Reply

Hi Lin, if we get anxiety we often get depressed about having anxiety, it's a kind of secondary depression, so when the anxiety is resolved so will the depression.

You ask how you accept anxiety, well it's a state of mind that can only be gained with lots of practice. Use Mindfulness, deep breathing or body relaxation to preoccupy your mind. We're allowed to have bad thoughts, they are harmless and can't hurt you. Even if you only feel you are accepting the symptoms of anxiety for a minute or two, what's called 'glimpsing', that's a good start, you can build on that.

1 like
Reply

Hi Jeff, i just wanted to say you are great and an inspiration tge way you help others on our forum. Almost 2 years ago i had a terrible period of anxiety and depression that triggered an ocd crisis (1st time in 39 yrs) that lasted a few months and i felt i almost lost my mind. Many things and much hard work and meds got me through it. I tried so long to figure out why that even happened to me. I now believe it was mold contamination in my old apt along with some serious life stressors and lack of sleep at the time. I never thought id get better and always feared another relapse. I wish i would have had you to speak to at the time.

1 like
Reply

Godiswithme, the important thing is that you found a way to overcome your troubles which were considerable. Let's hope they never return but you now have the confidence of knowing that as you overcame it once you could do it again so you have no reason to fear a relapse though we pray to God it doesn't happen again.

Your achievement in managing your own recovery is an inspiration to all on this forum.

Reply

You may also like...