Living with Anxiety
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When anxious do you self-harm?

I scratch my chest.. does anyone have a habit when nervous that they do and don’t mind sharing? About 5am where I’m from and of course my anxiety is keeping me up.

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Hello :-)

This can be part of anxiety and could be called self harming and many people do this so you are not alone but as you are aware you are doing it that is a positive because you could stop before it gets any worse

One trick could be to help is get an elastic band around your wrist and every time you feel the urge flick that instead it will hurt but not as much as scratching yourself will especially if you break the skin which if you do make sure you keep it clean

Are you getting any help with your anxiety ?

I would talk with my Doctor and let them know how bad it is getting and what habit you have now started to pick up when you are feeling stressed and hopefully they will be able to offer you support but you always have somewhere where you can come and chat when you need someone to listen now you have found these Communities and I hope that will help you a little :-)

Take Care x

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Scratching your chest is a totally normal thing in the life of Kirbs (me. Kirby haha). I am 26 now, but ever since i was about 5 or 6 my init reaction to what seemed to be the onset of a panic attack or extreme anxiety has always been honestly, attacking my chest. I used to be super ashamed and embarrassed of it but i gradually have learned to not do it. When i have a super extreme panic attack like where i feel like my throat is closing up and my body is swollen and i feel completely out of body even though i appear completely healthy i still go directly to my chest and claw it. I think i do it because i feel like i can’t breathe and trapped maybe? I also think it’s because i need something extreme to focus on other than the panic attack so subconsciously i decided clawing (it looks like i have been attacked my animals with long sharp nails) somehow helps. However if you need resources i was recently asked to start a YouTube channel of allllll my resources, tips, tricks & advice just because this has been a life long struggle (panic disorder accompanied with agoraphobia, OCD, GAD, Depression) i didn’t leave my house for 11 months, went from living on my own with a full time job to moving back in with my mom at age 24 and never letting her leave my sight. If i woke up alone i would end up calling 911, if i thought i was okay to leave to go out i would end up blacking out in urgent care until i seemed treatment st s place called The meadows which helped a lot just getting into a routine again. Since i moved to Santa Monica all by myself! (I know right what a big girl, being 26 and all haha) oh yeah i did move from Houston, Texas to Santa Monica, California, have taken myself off of my antidepressants, lived alone for 10 months until i met someone to room with oh and I’m back in school (which i thought i would never be able to accomplish). I went to university of Arizona in 2010 and had to leave on a medical leave Bc of my anxiety. So sorry about the rant but yes i have scratched my chest like not scratched like drawn blood every time i did it. I even used to pinch or scratch whoever i was with. I went through a ripping my tank top off or shirt off , no shame. Message me if you need someone to talk to or need advice ! I got you you got this!

Xoxo

Kirby

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It sounds like a form of ocd which is anxiety related.

I have a friend that pulls hair out and another that skin picks.

Have you tried cbt therapy?

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I have done both and am ocd. Def talk to your doctor. I don’t mean to dismiss the severity of the situation. I guess i feel better when i find out people can relate. That is the point or one of the points of this website I’m assuming. So when I explain my situation or my experience with humor or in a casual form it’s because I know I appreciate it when it’s normalized and there’s no point and feeling ashamed or embarrassed because that’s not gonna help the situation at all. So just know you’re not alone and I’ve gone through the exact same thing it’s not exact very similar and I’m here for you

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I can really relate to this as I never realised it was self harm. When I’ve having a particularly bad moment I tend to dig my nails into hand and arm. Although I know this is a bad habit you have to give yourself some allowance. By me putting my nails into my arm it’s a bit of grounding technique as it brings me back to the present moment. Each week I’m keeping a close eye on it with my therapist as it’s important that if you have concerns you should speak to someone professional.

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I know exactly... it’s like bringing yourself in the current moment and that I’m real and I’m here. It’s so frustrating feeling like I’m the only one even though I know there’s lots of us that go through this. My bf is super understanding and he knows when I’m feeling uncomfortable. I talk a lot and so when I’m quiet, there’s a problem lol. But yeah, tonight was another bad night for me. I’m still breathing it out..... 😓 I did actually go to a therapist a couple of times but her fee was way high and I have no insurance at the moment. So the only things that help me get through is reading people’s stories, my Vick’s is my go to smell, reading up on stuff so I can do a checklist in my mind and confirm that I am normal etc.

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Trust me you’re not alone with this. A lot of people do it without even noticing. It could be something as little as touching your hair or rubbing your arms - it’s the bodies way of grounding you.

You sound just like me, I’m one of the loud ones but when I go quiet that’s when people know there’s a problem. They say you should watch out for the super loud ones as well as the super quiet ones.

Ah I’m sorry to hear you had a bad night. What’s your plans for today? Why don’t you have a nice hot bath and take some time to yourself.

It’s good that you have a grounding smell. Mine is coconut and papaya - every where you look in my house there’s something scented with it. I even have one in my car. 😊 x

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Thank you Liberty ❤️! It’s a struggle for my everyday... I look at life so differently. I’m tense all the time, I can’t relax, my mind is just constantly thinking, I worry about bs etc etc etc. I always think my breathing is off, then that causes me to scratch or just be jittery. I’m fed up with it but I should know better that it’ll go away on it’s own. It gets the best of me... at times. Today I just hung out with one of my friends. I enjoyed myself but still anxious. I went out though and if I could avoid it I probably would. I was agoraphobic before but I’m starting to wonder if it’s coming back. I’m older now so I’m ok just staying at home chillen and Netflix. Rather then going out having drinks or whatever... what helps you with yours and how is your day like?

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Yes I know exactly what you mean. Every day is a struggle isn’t it but if it wasn’t we’d probably still be moaning 😊.

That’s so good that you got out and about and although you felt anxious you just have to think well done me! I showed anxiety it’s not going to stop me! I have high functioning anxiety so the more I do the better I hide my anxiety. I never manage to fully relax but then I think maybe that’s just my personality.

My days tend to vary, if I can distract my mind then I remain pretty calm but if I’m bored or not testing my brain that’s when it all goes to pot. I’ve really found that exercise has really helped with my anxiety and if I can I push myself to go to the gym or for a swim. That way I tend to think at least I got out the house.

Today I’ve been given an impromptu day off work and my mind went into panic! What will I do - so (when I convince myself out of bed) I’m going to the gym, going to town for a coffee and then I have my therapy session this afternoon so I’ll probably come home and have a bath after that. Perfect way to distract my mind.

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Well that’s good! I actually loved working out too and it made me tired to make me think about my anxiety. Though at times it does mess with me bc when my heart rate goes fast I’m thinking oh shit. Instead of thinking this is normal, I’m breathing hard bc I’ve been running and if I’m sore the next day it’s bc of the weights and nothing else. My mind hasn’t been kind but I know I have the power to control it as well. My bf is outgoing and doesn’t have any issues with anxiety. I look at his friends and their gfs and they’re “normal”. Able to travel, have fun etc. I feel pressure and I know I shouldn’t compare. I just wished I was more of who I was back then. I’m able to go out and stuff by myself. Even driving on the freeway was horrible but I’m fine now. God, I remember not even being able to leave the couch. Even the bathroom seemed so far. I would shower for 5mins bc I felt paranoid and like I couldn’t breathe. When I found jobs I would look for nearby places. If I could work from home I would. But I knew it wouldn’t be good for me so I pushed myself. I was even depressed and hid knives or at least I didn’t want it in the corner of my eye. But I’m very fortunate to have God and he helped keep grounded and taught me lessons.

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Morning mz_rachel,

I have been through a little what you have been through. I have been agoraphobic and had to push through that. That was very bad. Then I would have thoughts hurting my wife. Which was the most horrible, gut wrenching, vile crap any man who loves his wife can ever think of. I’ve told my wife she has to leave me, because I didn’t know what my mind was doing to me. Luckily my wife likes to do the opposite of what I tell her to do. 😂😂 I love that woman more than anyone in this world. I would give my life for her without question. Anyhew I wouldn’t have these thoughts when I was mad at her. That’s what messed me up. Also I use to be in Special Ops so it made those thoughts a 💯 worse. I still to this day don’t get near my wife with anything sharp. Believe me Rachel everyone has something wrong with them. Even me. 😂😂😂😂 Just cause you don’t see it doesn’t mean they don’t have a problem. We are all strong in our own way and we own it. GOD made you strong. Believe me. We are not weak people going through this “hot mess”. I don’t like crowds at all. I just deal with it just like you. You keep your head up and try to think positive. When life throws lemons at you. Put it on a steak and eat it.😂😂

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Morning mz_rachel,

I make a lot of jokes. Scratch my left arm or right hand. Try to exercise before going to bed or play soothing music 🎼 or watch something boring on tv. Pretty much any show my wife of 25yrs watches puts me right to sleep.

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Thank you night. It’s so scary... like right now I’m having an episode. Chest feels tight so I’m panicking

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No I don’t. What is making you anxious?

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A lot of stuff I guess but things are out of my control... ugh hate this so bad.

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It sucks the big one that’s for sure, but calm down. It will will get better. Think of things that make you happy, do breathing excercises and realize you made a great new friend. Your welcome. 😉

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