How does anxiety affect you in this p... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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How does anxiety affect you in this pandemic


Hi everyone, before the pandemic I had anxiety under control but now it seems to be taking over every aspect of my life. Is this normal. I managed to go to a supermarket with my wife the other day, not for long but that is the first time I went there for a while. I went for a walk today to the seafront, it was very busy but I felt safe. We were only out for and hour and I was with my wife. My family want to go for a picnic this week and I said I would find that difficult. That was met with some discussion, I know where we are going but it is the length of time we will be out that I find difficult. Am I being unreasonable. Anxiety affects us all in different ways and there are no rules. I can do some things but not others. Is that normal for anxiety sufferers. Last year I went to a rock concert alone but met up with someone I knew on my journey. My family say as I did that I should be able to go on a family picnic. How do I explain this. Should I do something I dont feel comfortable with, just to keep others happy.

18 Replies

Hi David I can understand how you feel you have done very well going shopping I know how you were some months back, this is enough to get anyone down, take little steps that you know you can cope with, we don't want you to have a relapse small steps Love & Hugs Xx

Golfer15 in reply to Mackembabe

Thanks for the reply Mackembabe, I know you understand. X

Mackembabe in reply to Golfer15

Your very welcome my friend we know how we all feel take care Love & Hugs Xx

Thanks for the reply.

Hi Golfer15,

I would not say I am an anxious person, but i have felt it these past few months, so i'd imagine for someone who suffers daily(my daughter); it is heightened tremendously.

I am an outdoorsy type of person, but have only been going out when necessary, I can't wait for the day when i can be outside for the whole day, with no restrictions what so ever; I certainly don't want to rush back to "Normal" what ever that was. It unnerves me to see so many people flaunting the guidelines, spoiling it for everyone who are trying their hardest to do things for the best of humanity.

Sorry to your family, who i am sure are wonderful people, but they shouldn't be forcing you into anything; if they want to go a pic-nic that badly then I suggest they go, but you do not; have them take pictures(of them enjoying the pic-nic, the views, anything that catches their eye) so they can relive it all with you on their return. Perhaps use the pics again some rainy day, have an indoor pic-nic. One of these days, soon, you will all enjoy the outdoors; together.

I hope your anxiety lessons sooner rather than later and I hope your family doesn't totally hate me for my suggestion, It comes from a place of care and love.

Remember and be kind to yourself.

Stay safe, keep well and be strong.

Thank you for the reply. I'm watching the news and it makes me more certain I want yo stay at home. My wife still disagrees with me. We will have to see what happens.

Hi David I dont normally suffer from anxiety although I've had a few panic attacks in the past but this pandemic has had me an absolute mess I've had to get tablets from doctor.just remember it is natural for your body to respond this way fight or flight and dont beat yourself up!!! I stopped watching/reading news tried getting a new routine bit of exercise meditation etc and its helped me a family have been good think you need to explain to yours exactly how you feel and I'm sure they will understand.take small steps at a time but try not avoid everything as this builds up your fear and becomes a phobia.good luck and enjoy picnic if you are able to go.

Golfer15 in reply to diane-g

Thanks for the advice.

Hi Golfer 15,

Before lockdown, I lived alone after splitting with partner last summer. I lost all my confidence after having to retire through ill-health.

I was getting panicky in the run-up to lock down as the last virus I caught laid me up for months & I rescued a big dog which no-one could help me with.

My ex moved back in (we get on OK) as I had no support but my anxiety - which, like you, I had reasonably controlled - became paralysing. My ex has done everything outside the house, apart from dog-walking, so I haven't driven or shopped. I know I'll need to ease myself back into things eventually when he gets back to work but I live in a rural area where infections are still going up. My neighbours have been sick for weeks & even the thought of going anywhere with people is enough to get my heart racing. I'm in Scotland & we are advised to wear a mask at the (only) supermarket. I would feel smothered.

I think all of us would be wise not to throw caution to the wind & enjoy being able to see family & friends without going on jaunts just yet.

It''s hard to get across to loved ones how you feel but I find emphasising that your choice not to participate doesn't mean you don't want to.... there''s nothing you'd love more... it''s just that current anxiety means you'd be miserable & maybe spoil it for everyone else right now. However, you WILL take small steps to get better - they just need to respect your need to manage it & not push you into things before you feel confident you can cope.

You can use the time alone to do some relaxation or other calming activity & look forward to hearing all about it on their return.

I would do what you feel is best for your health & not feel guilty.

Golfer15 in reply to Floofer

Good advice. Anxiety is strange as I can do some things but not others which my family find it hard to understand. Thank you

Sorry to read about your anxiety etc. You are not alone. I had severe anxiety, depression, germ phobias etc for years but with lots of help from a wonderful therapist overcome them. I had been well for over 30 years. Now in late 70s.

Writing this now I feel a nervous wreck. Every day I feel as if I have a mountain to climb. Live on my own and been isolating now for over 10 weeks. Today not off to good start as chemist brought my medication which started a huge panic.

My GP is brilliant and because I’m on strong painkillers rings me every 3 weeks or so. Told her last week how I was feeling and she wasn’t surprised given everything that’s going on and the fact I had an urgent admission to hospital for a pacemaker last month and nearly died.

So many people, normally healthy who seem to almost sail through life are suffering severe mental distress. It doesn’t make it any easier I suppose but do find it helps to know we aren’t alone.

Please try and go easy on yourself. I have to tell myself that because I have done, or not done, something I haven’t given in and it doesn’t mean I’ll get worse and worse anxiety but just being kind to myself. Tomorrow may be different.

We all have different mountains to climb but you’re not alone.

Golfer15 in reply to Slug_hater

Good to know Im not alone and others understand. Thank you.

Anxiety can affect us all differently as there are different types. I for example am specifically anxious about the corona virus. There can be a generalised anxity disorder where anxiety is felt about lots of things. It won't make much sense to those around you but it is completely understandable and a GP would be able to prescribe medication which helps anxiety but they do take 4-6 weeks to fully work although the calming affect kicks in sooner. That is if you wanted to go down this route.

Only take the graduated steps you feel comfortable with then retreat back to your "safe" spot. This builds confidence. It can be helpful to be with only one other person but if you feel anxious around social gatherings that can feel like a lot of pressure.

Just another thought Futurelearn on line do a great course which is free about anxiety and depression which also talks about CBT. Sometimes we can live with what we understand. Good luck.

Thanks for the advice and the online course.

It is hard when your family becomes part of the problem rather than the solution, especially during times like these. For them the picnic may represent a real need for some sense of normalcy in their lives - their chosen coping mechanism, business as usual. Your absence may work as a reality spoiler. I guess this is all the obvious.

Taking care of ourselves is about learning if necessary to set proper boundaries with others - the lighthearted, I’ll be taking a rain checks. I felt awkward turning a sibling down several times for walks, that entailed drives across towns.

As the sad daily news drags on my sibling has become increasingly cautious it sounds. The daily news for the most part is on your side. If anyone didn’t suffer from anxiety like us beforehand, they must all have a good measure of it now. Buy anxiety medication stocks! Forgive my attempt at humor.

Golfer15 in reply to Clarrisa

Thank you, glad you understand.

Hi my anxiety really bad this last week I can't sleep no more than two of three hours

I'm blaming it on the lockdown hopefully thing's will get better soon .My GP rang me this morning to see how I was I had to go see her last week she changed meds I was on as I was having terrible tremors in hands and Constance headaches like you I don't think I could be out of around people .hope you feel better soon .phyllis

Golfer15 in reply to Pbyllis

Thank you for the reply.

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