I’m confused/ worried : Hello to everyone I... - Anxiety Support

Anxiety Support

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I’m confused/ worried

Hello to everyone I’m a 21 year old male who unfortunately has too quit his job back in August due to many reasons including anxiety/panic attacks. One day I just turned up and really really didn’t wanna be there I don’t know why I just didn’t and then all these symptoms began popping up all the classic anxiety symptoms worrying about every disease there is etc. I eventually quit and went into CBT therapy a couple of months later as at the time I was struggling to go outside without having a panic attack. Since going through therapy most of my panics about medical issues have been resolved. But now I’m in a place where I worry about what’s wrong with me I’m not normal if all this happened to me I’ve been out of work over 6 months that’s really bad what’s wrong with my mental state how gas being out of work affected me I don’t feel normal or myself I never feel at peace or relaxed will I ever be able to pursue my dreams as it now feels like I don’t even want to do my dream job the one I’ve wanted since I was 10. I’m a just unable to cope with life why am I fucking up so badly. All these feelings are here despite the fact that the improvements I’ve made are great I’m starting to go out way moe play sports more workout more etc. But I’m just not feeling right I thought I would get over my panic it would all be alright. Now I have no idea what’s going on am I mentally ill? Every doctor seems to think I’m not and not having a solid routine would make anyone feel weird. But I’ve always prided myself on not wanting to have a normal job 9 to 5 etc not that there’s anything wrong with that. any advice would be greatly appreciated I just want to feel ok

11 Replies

Hi, you've seen a doc of course, right? Just to rule out secondary causes of anxiety..

There's nothing wrong with you, you're quite normal I suspect. The docs would tell you if they suspected anything other than good old anxiety :) You just have incredibly good anxiety it seems:) Your story is common. It sounds like you made great strides in learning not to fear panic and desensitizing a bit that way, but you're still somewhat sensitized based on what you say. You can recover- anyone can. You're still on the journey and IMO the best way to get further along is to keep going to therapy of course, and also keep reading on this site- so many pearls of wisdom. Check out the resources I have on my profile- they all approach anxiety recovery the same way, based on Dr. Claire Weekes' acceptance approach. Dr. Weekes was a brilliant GP who understood anxiety and all of its manifestations. Based on everything I learned from her, the key to total recovery is a) understanding, fully and completely, anxiety and how it's working in your mind b) as you learn about it, practicing acceptance of your anxiety. Accpetance is not "putting up with". Acceptance is a "well, whatever" attitude towards everything that anxiety brings your way. Which is much easier to do when you learn about it, thus taking the mystery out of it. There's no need for bewilderment and fear of anxiety. Losing the fear of anxiety in this way will eventually bring about recovery- the symptoms and the worries start to melt slowly but surely away and you see your old self (although new and improved in many ways!) re-emerge.

I'm sure you're working on this with your therapist but one thing I'll add: I'd start heading towards going back to work. Maybe part time at first, but getting back in there should be very helpful. Anxiety is getting positive reinforcement from you that it's doing the correct thing by sending you fear messages about working. Because you're listening to it. Anxiety gets positive reinforcement that way. When you learn to defy anxiety and all its incorrect messages, and proceed with things DESPITE how you feel and DESPITE all the fear/worry messages anxiety is sending to you, anxiety slowly starts to learn that it's misfiring and that it's wrong (at least about that particular thing). This takes TIME and at first it will, no doubt, be very uncomfortable for you. But if you let time pass and keep at it, all the while learning about your anxiety and how it works and practicing the correct reaction to it (whatever!), you will get there. It's just your work/job. It's a normal thing to work. Not dangerous and a big part of your brain knows that. It's just being drowned out by anxiety's hollering. If you're in a job making you miserable that's one thing. But if you generally like your job/work, remember it's just work. Go do normal things like work. Anxiety will learn. And recovery will come.

I've been there. So sorry you've been struggling. This is hard! Baby steps. You'll get there!

JAYnLA profile image
JAYnLA in reply to Calm_mama

Hey Calm Mamma - can I ask you a Weekes question? I was reading her last night (she's been in my life for a year and a half), and she talks about working through the sensations. Yesterday I had disequilibrium so badly that I could barely walk, which I think brought on some depersonalization. I didn't know how to keep moving through it since actually standing was so unpleasant. I eventually medicated and it helped. Do you have any suggestions about what to do when actually getting around feels too uncomfortable? How do you work 'through' that? Thanks for any thoughts you may offer.

Calm_mama profile image
Calm_mama in reply to JAYnLA

Hi JAYnLA,

So glad you have Dr. Weekes in your life. There is no one, in my opinion, who understood anxiety as well as she did.

I love her books, but I am partial to her audio. I needed the audio to "get it". Plus, there is something incredibly soothing about her voice.

We all learn and process new information differently, so do what works for you, but I'll say that for me, I needed to study her material as though I was going to be tested on it. I studied until I could recite it, practically rote. I listened to this one recording (below), oh, probably 50 times in 2 weeks. Then while driving to work, I would give pretend "presentations" on the material. This drove the concepts into my brain in a way that helped it click. I started to realize that I had been seeing things so incorrectly. Part of this was due to lack of knowledge/understanding, but the other part was due to being absolutely married to my current ways of thinking. Going through the process of studying like I would be tested on it helped me to slowly, but surely, cast away my old notions about things and embrace new ones. As I did this, all the mystery, the confusion, the fear and the fog lifted. "Of course- of course!" I would shout at random times. "Why didn't I see it that way before?!"

Do listen to the whole thing! But the answer to your specific question can be found between 10:43 and 29:55

youtube.com/watch?v=REOdAWC...

JAYnLA profile image
JAYnLA in reply to Calm_mama

Fabulous... I listened to her CONSTANTLY last year. I will take your advice - and I agree.... was she ahead of her time or what???

tppppppp profile image
tppppppp in reply to JAYnLA

I wanna get a book of hers. Which do you recommend first?

JAYnLA profile image
JAYnLA in reply to tppppppp

Do you have a way to listen to audiobooks? They're my favorite way and any of these titles will do you good: amazon.com/s?k=claire+weeke...

in reply to Calm_mama

Thank you for all of your help and the time you took to write in I’m just very confused I’ve stopped behaving apprehensively but I still sleep horribly. Feel not myself have weird thoughts like I think I’m going to die but I don’t panic? Which worries me even more does this make sense? Will I ever feel myself again and how do I know this is just anxiety?

Calm_mama profile image
Calm_mama in reply to

Of course you feel this way! You're still sensitized and will be for a while.

There's absolutely no mystery here. You feel this way for a reason, and it's all very logical.

Listen to the audio I have posted above. Take notes. Repeat. Let it all sink in. Learning is harder when our minds are racing and have difficulty focusing and concentrating so repeat, repeat... allow yourself to glimpse those little "ah ha" moments. They will add up over time. If you like, check out the other resources I have on my profile. They are all supportive of the same understanding and approach. So many have walked in your shoes and made a complete recovery. "Face, float, accept, let time pass...." ~ Dr. Claire Weekes

in reply to Calm_mama

Thank you again for your help I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time. I’ve listened to the Dr and it’s very helpful however. My main concern to be honest is that I’m viewing the situation I’m in now as far more serious than it was before. I felt fine within myself before I would just worry about illnesses injury etc. However now I feel I’m in a much worse state and I can’t seem to think my way out of it. For example I think I don’t take care of myself well enough I don’t eat well enough/ sleep well enough even though my family says I eat and sleep fine I just sleep at the wrong times and if I stopped focusing on my eating (which is due to me chocking a couple of months ago) then if would be better but now I just think I don’t like the person I’m changing into despite working out most days I feel and think things like I don’t want to get all Big a muscular it’s not me it’s not who I want to be is this just anxiety or poor sleep and how do I combat these genuine thought?

Calm_mama profile image
Calm_mama in reply to

Hi- As Dr. Weekes says, "This is very much a condition of how you think". Know that we can change the way we think (our perspectives, beliefs and attitudes). Also know that in changing the way we think automatically changes the way we feel...over time. Thought and feeling are intertwined. This is the premise upon which CBT is based. And it's quite magical. But it takes time- and a lot of it for some people. It is fantastic that you are going to therapy and I would keep it up. If you feel totally tied up in knots, you can ask your therapist about IOP programs or increasing therapy for awhile. This is all very normal for the journey (to need extra help). Everything you describe is very normal for the journey as well (lots of second-guessing, lots of setbacks)

The approach to this is NOT to "think your way out of it". The approach is actually the opposite. Stop trying so hard to think your way out of it. Why would you want to think your way out of a state that is normal for the circumstances? You are in a sensitized state. It's normal to have irregular sleep in this state. Go with it! It's normal to fret over eating in this state. Know that as you chew and swallow. You know you need to eat, and eat as healthy as you can (don't we all need to work on that!), so just do your best with that and move on to the next thing on your day's list. It's fantastic that you are working out. Work out and accept whatever physique that gives you, and move on to the next thing on your days' list.

You are moving in the right direction. This takes a lot of time and practice to start letting all these fears and fixations go, and start having your interest in the outside world return. With practice, you will slowly start to lose interest in all this self-examination, start seeing things for the way they really are, and start to feel better. Stop trying to feel better, accept all that anxiety is bringing you right now, and you will naturally and gradually start to feel better.

Did you listen to the audio? Buy one of her books? I have other resources on my profile that support Dr. Weeke's approach, too.

in reply to Calm_mama

I did and thank you for suggesting it it’s been helpful thank you for taking the yoke to write you’re very helpful yourself

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