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Anxiety Counts Too

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”*  

Anxiety is beginning to cripple me.  Actually, I think it has been crippling me for a while and I’ve just now realized how much of a grasp it has had on me.

I feel stuck and frozen and unable to do any of the things I know I need to do.  Interestingly, I know they will get done and I know they’ll get done well (or well enough).  In the meantime, however, the anxiety is killing me.  It is eating me alive.

I am feeling overwhelmed for no reason – Overwhelmed from anxiety – nothing else.
I am doubting myself and my decisions – Because anxiety makes me over think everything.
I am feeling needy and lonely – because my anxiety is making me feel insecure in my own skin.
I am nauseous.  All the time. I thought it was just my abdominal problem causing the nausea, but suddenly, I am even more nauseous.

I’m not new to anxiety – it started when I was 19.  It probably started before then, but I only began to recognize it then.  I was doing well, managing well, keeping it together well until a year ago when I started clerkship and an unfortunate situation took place.  Things have gotten better and then worse and better again over the past year.  But now, with some of the biggest changes in my life coming up, I think my anxiety is on the road to becoming the worst it’s ever been.

The scariest thing: I don’t know what to do about it.  I’m already taking medication.  I’m already seeing a psychiatrist.  I am already exercising regularly.  I am already reaching out to the people whom I know can help me (without being too needy).  But at this moment in time, I feel like everything is failing me.

Until I find an appropriate way to manage this anxiety, I think it will only continue to cripple me.  And with each new situation that comes my way, it will only become more and more debilitating.  This situation will be over in 3 weeks.  But another one will come.  They always do.

*Blog for Mental Health – 2014

21 thoughts on “Anxiety Counts Too

  1. We all feel anxious from time to time, but I have a friend, who is constantly anxious. Like you, she seems to be doing all the right things, but is also stuck in the grip of her anxiety. I change my words into a positive affirmation when I’m depressed or anxious, so I’ll say things like – this will go away soon, or I’ll feel better soon. This seems to be something she simply can’t do. I guess that is what makes the difference between someone with serious anxiety, and someone with normal anxiety. It’s hard to know how to help her. She definitely seems better when she’s distracted, so that’s what I try to do.

    I’ve always been a fan of letting depressed people talk out their problems, but do you think there’s a possibility that you increase your anxiety by doing that. You are telling your brain that it will happen again, almost like an affirmation. Could you turn that around?

    Good luck. If you find the answer, please let me know so I can perhaps help my friend.

    I hope you feel better soon.

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    1. Thanks. I think the difference between anxiety and depression, for me at least, is that with anxiety I know that things are going tow ork out okay, I just get overwhelmed with the process of getting there. With depression, there is no hope of things turing out okay. I think my anxiety is heightened because I have been riding the top of my stress curve for a long time and I dont have as much resilience left in my bank. It will be okay, I know it will. I just need to get into it and then the anxiety will dissipate!

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      1. Your attitude is far healthier than my friend’s. I get the feeling that she thinks it is a part of her identity and there’s nothing she can do about it. She hates it but is afraid to lose it.

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    2. Hi,
      I have been diagnosed with GAD and PTSD. Every single day of my life has been anxiety ridden going ranging from worrying incessantly to crippling panic attacks. What has helped me the most is to talk about my anxiety with my therapist or my spouse. You are right that the anxiety increases as I talk about it but what helps is, the person on the other side asking me logical questions about whatever I am being anxious about and getting me to answer them. This eventually gets to the point where I can see the irrationality in some of my fears and I get to calm myself down. Its not always possible to achieve this result so sometimes, Zanax is the crutch to lean on when I am too far gone in certain cases. Hope this helps!
      -deadlikeme79

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      1. Hey! Talking is HUGE for anxiety. It’s amazing how helpful another person’s perspective is on making you realize the fault in your logic. Good luck with everything!

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  2. Thanks for being so honest. As medical professionals, we are often the last to admit when we have a problem, especially when it’s a mental health one.

    I suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of my first child and everyone around me knew something was wrong but I was in denial for months. It wasn’t until I returned to work that I realized just how bad it was when I struggled with keeping my own emotions in check during patient encounters.

    I think it’s great that you continue to see your psychiatrist but I wonder if maybe you should consider some CBT?

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    1. I am still sometimes afraid to admit that I have anxiety to my friends and colleagues. I do a very good job of being put together on the outside. The anxiety just eats away at the inside.

      As for CBT – the psychiatrist I see is actually part of our physician wellness program (which is how I started seeing her in the first place) and she does a lot of CBT. It’s great because I don’t have to pay a psychologist or counsellor and I get the best of both worlds!

      I have a feeling that my levels of anxiety will go away very quickly after interviews, and especially after match day. I think I am more anxious about interviews because it is something i have to “do” and prepare for. We now have 3 weeks off for interviews, but mine don’t start for 2 weeks! I have all that time to ruminate! Match day will be fine because it is out of my control – what happens happens – so I don’t think I’ll have much anxiety around that.

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  3. I have found a couple of things that help the crushing weight of anxiety. Mindfulness exercises, you can find some good ones on Youtube. The other is music. I have an MP3 player just for panic, depression, and anxiety. Singing the words engages my mind, and away from anxiety. I thought of another circular breathing, five in through my nose hold one count five out slowly. So it several times. If you can visualize a leaf falling or waterfall as you are breathing out, it seems to help focus on your core breath. ~Hope

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    1. Thanks for coming by and reading! I agree with you about the music thing. I find, especially when I’m driving, I like to sing to music and it helps me relax when the conditions are stressful. I’ve also started to listening to “spa music” when I;m doing crafts or baking or other “relaxing” tasks.

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  4. I also have suffered from anxiety for years so I know what you are going through! At the moment I am trying to use healthy eating to reduce my anxiety but I am only on day 3 so can’t tell if it is working yet. Also agree with Hope ^^ breathing exercises can help x

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I checked out your blog and your plan to reduce anxiety through food sounds interesting! Good luck and I’ll keep checking to se how things are going! Anxiety is an interesting thing to learn to live with. I do try many things, including breathing and exercise, stretching and mindefulness, just to name a few!

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  5. Hi, I used to have anxiety to the point of stomach problems too, it is very awful and my heart goes out to you. There is a lot of good advice in these comments and I have one more suggestion to add. Meditation. It is not a quick fix, it works over the longer term. You don’t need to be spiritually inclined and you don’t have to be good at it, you just need to do it regularly. I still take medication – that too has been a great help – but I have become so much calmer from the meditation that my quality of life has improved beyond belief.

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