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Old 03-24-2019, 08:20 PM #1
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Default Severe Anxiety..

..It has been a while.. Hello everyone and a to all those who accept..

At work, we have an intranet where a fair amount of content is posted. Most of it is to do with health because I work for a medical facility. There was a particular focus on Anxiety last week, for some reason. An anxiety test had been posted, along with the contact details for the company counseling/therapy.

I took the test. Twice. The questions/answers were based on how the person had been feeling in the last week. The first time I took it, I hadnít read that part.. my score came out under the sever anxiety bracket. I took it again, after reading the instructions. My result, again, came out as severe anxiety. Just a couple of points less than the first time.

I know that I have anxiety. I know that it can debilitate me at times. But I had never once considered my anxiety as Ďsevere.í I can still function, work, interact with people. But it dawned on me that even whilst doing all those things, I am still anxious. My anxiety may not prevent me from doing those things, but it is absolutely never absent. It is always niggling away in my head; making my hands shake, making me doubt myself or the person in front of me, causing my head to race..

What do I do? Do I continue as I am, struggling every day to cover up my anxiety, try to keep it at bay? Do I see a therapist (again?) do I see my doctor and start on meds? I feel ok.. I feel safe. Yes, I struggle sometimes. Yes, I have bad days. Yes, I am constantly on edge. But I am afraid that if I see a therapist, my husband will find out.. I donít want him to think that he is the cause, because he is not. I also do not want him to think that he has not, or does not, help(ed). I donít want anyone knowing if I end up seeing a therapist.. I am not one to take medication. I struggle with it after countless overdoses; it makes me gag.. I also do not want to struggle and end up pushing myself over the edge. I am very resilient. Strong. Proud.. I want to get through this myself, but I know that I have tried for a long time and I still have the odd panic attack. I still shake, I still have a racing mind, I still doubt myself, people, and situations..

My gut is usually right.. I have a terrible habit of ignoring it, it I am trying to listen to it more now. I just have no real gut feeling on this.. I want to be ok, I just donít want to be failing..

Advice, hugs, kind words.. all appreciated!

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Old 03-25-2019, 03:18 PM #2
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Smile Re: Severe Anxiety..

Thanks for sharing your concern. Actually it sounds as though you & I share some similar experiences. Anxiety... sometimes severe anxiety... has been something I've struggled with my whole life. (I could tell you stories. But I'll spare you that.)

I have a couple of thoughts right off the top based on what you wrote. One thing that jumps out at me is that you seem more concerned with what other people will think than you are with your own mental (& perhaps physical) health. (Unrelenting anxiety can take a toll on one's physical being over time as well as on one's mental health.)

The other thing is that it seems you've already pretty-much ruled out the ways in which most people address problems related to anxiety... therapy & medication. I understand both of these things though because I've been there too. And I still am. The difference, I guess, is that I'm old now &, to a large extent, it just no longer matters. You, I presume, are still young... at least by my standards since I'm 70 years old!

So it seems to me, based on my own struggles with this over the years, that perhaps you have simply reached a point where you have to make a choice. One option would be to forget about what other people think & do what you need to do to take care of yourself. (It's what I should have done many years ago but didn't.) The other is to resolve to simply "gut it out" so to speak & live with your anxiety & whatever effects (both short & long-term) it may produce... which is what I did. (Not recommended.) Yes it sounds as though you've had problems related to med's in the past. (I've been there as well.) And these are certainly concerns that must be taken into account. But if you want to try to find a way to resolve your anxiety they should not, cannot, constitute a rationale for taking the medication card off the table summarily. At least that is my personal opinion.

Of course there are things you can do to address your anxiety that don't involve therapy or psych med's. You could establish a consistent meditation / relaxation program, develop a consistent physical exercise routine, avoid anything containing caffeine, eat a healthy well-rounded diet, etc. (Perhaps you're already doing some or all of these things?) You could, perhaps, develop a journaling program to try to help you come to an understanding of what may have caused your anxiety to begin with & what triggers it now. In a sense, you would be developing your own non-traditional anti-anxiety program. It may all be the answer to your prayers... or it may not. But it might be something to try as an alternative to the therapies & med's routine.

Here are links to 11 articles, from PC's archives, that relate to the various ideas I've suggested here. Perhaps they may be of some help or at least interest:

5 Steps to Reduce Worrying and Anxiety

9 Ways to Reduce Anxiety Right Here, Right Now

15 Small Steps You Can Take Today to Improve Anxiety Symptoms

Top 10 Lesser-Known Self-Help Strategies for Anxiety

How Meditation Helps Anxiety

https://psychcentral.com/blog/5-ways...ut-meditation/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/chang...itation-fails/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/imper...s-and-anxiety/

https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-to...stress-relief/

https://psychcentral.com/blog/using-...dium=popular17

https://psychcentral.com/blog/11-tip...anage-anxiety/

My best wishes to you...
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