Anxiety Support

Fear vs Anxiety

I am still doing battle as soon as I wake each morning. Neither I nor my drs. know why nor have any suggestions that help me so I go one day at a time. What I would like to know is how many if any of you feel FEAR not nervousness most of the day or for long periods? It is a fear that causes your stomach to "clinch" and sometimes you actually "shake". I am logical enough to know it is not normal to be like this. I practice my CBT thinking but to no avail. I think of "anxiety" as being worry, what I feel is FEAR and impending "doom". Does any of this make sense? ....then again my "condition" doesn't make sense!

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Hi kama, I was just thinking about you the other day. Everything you are describing is that of severe anxiety. I've been there. Mornings were always the worst but know that the adrenaline is at it's highest then which just feeds into your already anxious thoughts upon awakening.

It's fear of the new day and what it may bring and so your mind gets flooded with negative thoughts and "what ifs". Once that fear is established and nothing is done to bring those emotions down, it tends to wax and wane throughout the day feeling fear, nervousness and butterflies in the stomach. Shaking is a part of our over sensitized nervous system

Fear and impending doom is just a magnification of anxiety. Meditation/Deep Breathing first thing upon awakening will reduce those morning fears. Don't lie in bed longer than you have to. Get up, have something to eat and get ready for day. That alone will make you feel more in control.

Take any medication that you might be on with food (which helps it metabolize better) Use Meditation/deep breathing in mid afternoon as well as before bed at night. Do not use sleep as a means of escape with naps. They interfere with a sound restful sleep at night.

Remember that you hold the key to your success. DO not use Google but go into legitimate sites that may help you understand the correlation between the Mind/Body connection. YouTube has many audio videos that can reduce your fear and doom. Wishing you peace and calm xx

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To add more to my situation ...On Dec. 21 I suffered a TIA. Our family dr. has me on blood thinners. Of course, me the worrier is waiting for another, or to throw a clot and that is it. FEAR. Yes mornings are worse, cortisol is high. Some days I feel wound up so tight and actually think I will end up in a hospital. I am well aware that every being on this earth will one day die. I'm just "waiting" for it and thinking about it far too much. I get no help from meditation or deep breathing, it seems to make it worse...I hyperventilate! I do find that getting up and moving about helps the shaking, though the mind is going crazy. I never have naps in the day time. Sleep is not really a problem with me....At CBT class we were told to "stay off google"....of course after the TIA I did have to prepare myself...now every bit of dizziness or jabbing pain I wonder. It was not a pleasant experience. I'm glad I was with family when it happened. I battle on.

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kama, I'm sorry, I didn't know you had a TIA in December, but know that you are quite protected on the blood thinners. I'm on it myself because of A-Fib. We can't worry about something that may happen. It just adds more stress to our body that we don't need. When a negative thought or worry comes by, we have to put it out of our minds the best we can. Things will happen in life and there is nothing that will make it better by worrying. Meditation and deep breathing can give you some calm in your mind and body and blood pressure. If you find yourself hyperventilating that you aren't doing it right. YouTube has some excellent audio deep breathing sessions that can talk you through the steps as well as watching a calming scene. I'd give that a try. Life shouldn't have to be a battle. You know I care. xx

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Hi Agora, yes it was a real surprise. We were in a restaurant with our daughter an son in law when it happened. So fast and unexpected. I did not go to the hosp. I wasn't sure what had happened. I am familiar with A-Fib. I have minor bouts of it too at times. The act of breathing has often been a "curse" for me....I dwell too much on it and get all out of whack. I try to imagine myself in my fav place, the hammock at the cottage, and I take in all that I see. I'm usually a failure at that too, my fear runs so deep and strong. I will give YouTube another go. Our young neighbour just dropped dead before Christmas. No warning, was in the shower and dropped. Anneurysm of the brain. I think of him a lot. He has no idea....a teacher, out doors person, so full of like. I just need to master my fear. I start a new group support session on Tues. I will be curious to see if it is for me.

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Yes I always have fear but I can't find anyone to help me. I think it's obsessive

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If I could stop fearing I could get better. I'm afraid of the fear.

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I can relate to what you saw. Often people fear another panic attack so they live in fear waiting. I can logic it out what a waste of time it is to worry about something that may never happen, but it still consumes me. Often I have to resort to an Ativan to settle myself down. I still think there is a big difference between anxiety and fear.

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I'm starting to think that also

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Try to identify the fear. Is it fear of a feeling ... a fear of an incident that may happen... is it fear of lack of control over something ... try your hardest to think and analyze it so that you can develop a starting point. If you don’t come up with answers don’t be hard on yourself, sometimes we don’t know and that’s okay too. I’m going through a process myself. I study and talk to help me decipher myself. It’s a process.

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I'm afraid of the fear. I have pain in my body and always crying. This has been going on for five years. Now my bladder hurts

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Don't give up. There are many things to try, it never hurts to try something new. What do we have to lose? Pan can consume a person and rob them of a "life"...others often don't understand. I'm assuming you have been to a doctor(s). Don't give up!

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I can't drive the car. My husband barely talks to me. I'm always in the house and getting depressed. I all alone.

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Could you find a hobby you'd enjoy or perhaps sign up for volunteer work if you could find a place near your home/

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I know. I'm trying to find help

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I'm always upset and crying and scared

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I know what it is like to feel that you are encased in a "block" of fear. I often ask myself why I'm even taking medications if they don't help me. We once asked my physciatrist what would happen if I weaned off all of them. He said he didn't think it would be a good idea & that I'd likely suffer full blown panic attacks again.

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See my husband wants me off the meds but I'm bad with the meds. That's why I need a professional that's knows about the meds.

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Does your husband know more than the doctor? A specialist in the field however usually has more knowledge and training than a GP

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I asked my psychiatrist and my therapist. The therapist said she has lots of people on meds that drive

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This is something to really think about. I’ve been reading hope and help for your nerves by dr Claire Weekes. She speaks of fear holding us hostage in our already fearful minds. We get to where we fear the anxiety. But I have lots of fears about life which in my opinion causes my second fear that she speaks of. You get to the point to where you fear the feelings of fear and anxiety. It sounds pretty complicated, but I do believe that all of my troubles stemmed from fear itself.

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I read that book too. You have nothing to fear but fear itself....how true! I tend to agree with you, that my problems with fear and being a prisoner of my own feelings is most of my trouble. Now to try to get free. It's been almost a life time.

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I'm afraid of the fear and the physical pain and emotional pain

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I have fear most of the day and right I'm crying.

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Sometimes I cry out of frustration, I get angry at myself! I feel I should be able to "just stop the fear"! Not so easy to do. Hang in there, you are not alone.

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I'm trying but I feel alone

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Awe, how long have you had this fear and crying? I went through a crying spell also. When this first happened I couldn’t cry at all. I think that was worse. Once I started crying I seemed to feel a little better, but the grueling anxiety was still there.

I quit taking Xanax 3 days ago. Yesterday was a horrible horrible day. Today has been better. I’m hoping every day gets better from here on out. I had to quit in order to keep my job. I am really thinking that the Xanax is what was keeping my anxiety so bad. Every time it started to wear off I could feel the burning anxiety, so I’d run for another pill. Just thought I’d share my story.

I hope you can find some relief soon. I know how horrible it can be.

Best wishes for you to get better.

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I've suffered panic attacks from age 12, panic earlier.....long story. I was on a med for 18 yrs that did give me a life....finally started to not work and the dr. weaned me off of it over the course of a month. Major reaction....that was 3 1/2 yrs ago and her I am still paying the price. Originally it was just nausea 24/7 for 2 yrs....numerous medical test were negative. Suddenly the nausea left last July but gripping fear took over, fear of death...it consumes me. It doesn't help that I have a few health issues to deal with as well. I will continue to battle this. I just want to enjoy what is left of my life.

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Thank you so much. I'm having a bad day. I'm in the house all day. My husband won't let me drive. I'm so lonely.

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Not all volunteer work is done "outside" the home. I do computer work on my own and also crochet for an animal rescue. If you have your driver's licence why can't you drive the car?

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My husband won't let me because I'm on meds and had a little accident and hit a mailbox

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A lot of people are on meds and drive safely. If concerned you could always ask your dr. if ok to drive on the dose you take. Even the best of drivers have had minor fender benders.

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I asked the doctor and he said it was ok but my husband won't let me

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I found that to be true Lostjoy. There is a time and place for medication but after a while, it's the medication keeping you in that state of anxiety and we need to move on. (at least that's how it was for me) I support people either way, we do what we have to do at our time of need. xx

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Thanks for your input Agora1. I had been taking the Xanax about 9 months pushing my luck with my job. Today is day 4 and I’m feeling it some, but I still don’t have that burning anxiety like I did. I can even function enough to get done things done.

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I was left on Xanax for 30 years (small dose) but never the less, taking it daily. And yet I was able to wean off it slowly and safely. You are on day 4. Congratulate yourself for each day you don't give in to going backwards. Wishing you success in going forward, you will start feeling the good effects of being off the medication soon. :) xx

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Thank you maybe that's my problem too

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I feel like I know exactly what you are talking about! This feeling of just fear, always in my stomach, can come on out of nowhere. I can't identify what I fear specifically. I always think that if I could figure out what it is, I could make it go away. I have learned to deal with it as best I can - it really doesn't stop me living my life, but it would be so much nicer not to have that feeling at all. I don't have it all the time, but it comes and goes. I have a psychologist that has really helped me learn to deal with this anxiety/fear. The biggest problem I have is that it sometimes affects my sleep and that can make things even worse. I am trying to get a handle on this without meds because like I said, I can function and do what I have to do with few problems and it is usually not an every day thing. Ughhh! I wish I could just wish it away!

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Yes it's in the centre of my stomach like a fist at times! I am terrified of my death or a possible illness. It haunts me. Sometimes it limits my actions, leaving the house alone, as I'm afraid of what if I had a heart attack, stroke etc. I'd be alone. I prefer to go out with someone but no always possible. I would be unable to hold down a job (if I were young again). It somehow helps to know we are not all alone with our problems.

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I am alone. No support from family. They want me off meds

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Have your husband go with you to the next drs. appointment so he can hear what the dr. has to say

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He won't I feel I need to be inpatient that's how scared I am. My meds are not working

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Perhaps you should go to the Emergency Dept. at your local hospital. All hospitals have a ward for those with mental illness

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I'm not so afraid of dying (not that I am I an in anyway ready for it!), but more of what will happen as I age - I fear of what will come before I die. I dealt with my mother developing dementia and having severe pain due to spinal stenosis/osteoporosis. Until last summer, I had never had any issues with anxiety/fear. I turned 60 last year and I truly think that it was kind of the catalyst. I don't feel old, I am a semi-retired teacher, and according to my GP, I am in excellent health! I have a good life and a husband who is very supportive and does all he can to ease my fears. My mother was in her early 80's before her health issues became serious. It broke my heart to see her so confused and in pain. I can't seem to accept the fact that my path doesn't have to be the same, and even if it is, there are many good years left. I have just made up my mind to keep living like "normal" and hope that I can get through this. It really does help to know that we are not alone and others are dealing with many of the same issues. Sending good wishes and hope that you find some peace.

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I don’t fear death either. I fear what will happen as I age like you do Claire0410.

I am 53, and up until last year I felt as if I could conquer the world. Now I feel at my age I am limited to what I can do in the way of employment anyway. I always thought I would pursue a new career as I have hated mine for the last 10 years or so. I never did. It felt like I woke up one day and realized it’s too late. I am too old now. Then my anxiety and fear just spiraled from there.

Wishing you all will feel better soon.

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Remember when we were children and we thought by the time we became what we deemed old ... we’d just somehow magically know how to be old. Just like I thought at like age 21 I’d be way more of an adult than I was. And then the ultimate ... I’ll never forget my grandmothers face when as a child I said “well when you get old, aren’t you just ready to die?!” What a surprise life had in store for me when I was not adulting like I thought at 21... how as I age I still look in the mirror at my grown up face wondering when did this happen ... and there is no life epiphany that happens that makes you just ready to die! This post made me remember how ya think so diff as a child as opposed to an adult lol.

My grandfather went to college at 61! He’s in his 80’s now. There is no age limit for chasing dreams!

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You are so right. I can remember thinking a lot of those things as a child about getting old. I always just figured it would be a piece of cake and I’d breeze right through it.

Thank you for your encouraging words about your grandfather. It does give me hope that I can still have another career at my age.

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It’s like a second chance! I recently struggled with the same type of stereotype. I’m too old to begin chasing all the dreams I let go down the drain. I realized my own stigmas and thoughts are the only thing hindering me. Never stop chasing dreams... it gives us purpose and keeps ours minds exercised! If you could choose a new career... if money didn’t exist... what would you be?

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I would be a registered nurse. I know I’m too old to pursue that career, but I was thinking about phlebotomy. The course is pretty short. 6 weeks I think. I’m pretty sure I could do that. Not sure about the cost though.

I also loved the office environment when I went to have my mammogram. I think I would like working in a front end office like that checking patients in.

How about you? What do you do? And what would you do if you could?

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That is definitely a goal that is obtainable and worth it! Currently I am unemployed staying home with my kids until I get this in check. I have gone through 5 years of college but didn’t obtain my degree. I want to be a psychiatrist or at least psychologist. That was fueled by watching my mother struggle w disorders herself. I have kind of worked in all different fields, the most recent, managing restaurants as I was taking a break from the business field.

I think the medical field is a good fit for us who struggle ... across the board we all seem to be extreme empaths.

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I agree :)

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I went to nursing school when I 32. Would you believe I thought I was too old for that. I was laid off from the electronics industry and after a year of school, I was called back to my old job and I went back. Biggest mistake in my life. A couple years later I was laid off again. When I was in nursing school, we had a guy who was 54. He was probably the brightest person in there and very successful. Years later, my wife and I had a beautiful little girl. My wife was in her earlier 40's , myself in my late 40's. We already raised 2 girls. One was married, the other last year in college. Once again I was laid off and stayed home with my daughter. At that time, I was kind of freaking thinking what am I gonna do for work when she is ready for school. There was a program at the university of Connecticut , if you had a bachelors degree in any profession and you had completed certain science classes, you could obtain your rn with a year of clinical. I was quite old, as a matter of fact the same age as the gentleman I referred to. I was accepted, but the year I was gonna go my daughter was sick every other week. I waited a year and was reaccepted and my wife fell down and broke her arm in 4 places and the following year my dad moved in with us and I took care of him. I never got to do the program, but tried not to let my age deter me from doing it. In fact if I got accepted I would do it now at age 57. How about trying a lpn program, they are usually only a year long. Go for it, the years will pass anyway. Might as well finish out your working years doing something you like.

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Thanks so much for your reply! So many seniors are still traveling, active in sports & other activities. I do keep busy with a local animal rescue, but my panic disorder has really consumed me with age. Medications are not helping. My husband is older than I and still plays hockey 3x a week and bowls, not to mention golfs in the warm weather. I need to somehow get this awful fear of death out of my head.

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don't use your anxiety to trick you into focusing on your age as an excuse to try not try something new. I did this also, but then I see people all around me changing careers in their 50's. My cousin was sixty and started a new career and she just turned 70 and she is still working it.

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Thank you for your reply. Time seems to move faster as we age. I still cannot believe I will be 70 this year....I should be enjoying life while I am physically able, but instead I am worrying about what and when my demise will take place. I do try to talk myself sensible but I guess I'm not listening!

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Thank you for sharing. There are days when I just don't know how I got so old lol I will be 70 this year. It seems ancient even though I see and know people in their 80's still very active. I have always been terrified of death, rather what comes before the final act. I fear pain and have always had a terrible terror of not being able to breathe so that is in the back of my mind too. Whatever happened 3 yrs ago when I had the horrible reaction to withdrawal from Paxil has remained with me. It does lessen a bit near evening, of course that is when our cortisol levels go down too. I do not want to live the remainder of my life with this all enclosing "fear". I start a new support group next Mon. and will see if I can find any relief there. I simply want to enjoy what time I have left.

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We are the same people inside as we were at 10... bodies age... we gain experience and knowledge... but that voice we talk in inside our heads to ourselves with ... that voice has been the same since we were tiny!

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The problem with that voice, for some, is that it is not always our friend!

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