Anxiety and you

There are many ways of focusing on Anxiety. These include the things you actually do when you are anxious. What you do will depend on the situation you find particularly stressful. Your thought process can focus in on any of (or all of) the following ways:

The Fear of:

  • Looking Foolish.
  • Madness.
  • Illness/Disease.
  • Losing Control.
  • Death.
  • Making Mistakes.
  • Challenges.
  • Becoming Angry.
  • Being Alone.
  • Meeting People.
  • Being Criticised.
  • Being Rejected.

The Loss of:

  • Self Confidence.
  • Interest.
  • Concentration.
  • Libido.

The Feeling of:

  • Keyed up / on edge.
  • No one understands.
  • Impending Doom.
  • Cut off from the world.
  • Self Consciousness.
  • Irritable.
  • Unable to relax.

There are also different ways in which our bodies act towards Anxiety. These are as follows:

The Avoidance of:

  • Day to day events.
  • Socialisation.
  • Making Decisions.
  • Acting Differently.
  • Always being rushed.
  • Always going at top speed.
  • Taking responsibility.
  • Leaving home alone.

The Behaviour of:

  • Speaking too fast.
  • Stammering.
  • Hesitating.
  • Trying to do too much at one time.
  • Always rushed.
  • Smoke more.
  • Being accident prone.
  • Poor performance.

It is here that perhaps I should point out that it is usually our partners or family who spot the difference first.

It would be useful perhaps to print out this section and highlight the areas that you feel you personally focus on.

I was staggered how many of these areas could actually be associated with me. I went from a very confident, assertive person to a passive and extremely anxious one in a very short time. This resulted in me losing my job and at the time I felt that the whole world was caving in around me.

Now after 18 months off work due to PTSD & Depression, I realise that losing my job was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. At the time I did not though. I treated work as my crutch and as a result became a workaholic.

This served several purposes:

  1. It meant that I did not have to worry about how I really felt. If I was really busy it was even better.
  2. I could immerse myself into my job, thus creating a false shield for all my work colleagues to see. If I could cope with work then they would not see the real me.
  3. I would bring work home so I had an excuse not to socialise or think about my problems in the evening (a part of the day that I find the hardest to deal with).

I could go on for ages here but that is not my idea. I just wanted to show you that we all suffer from Anxiety in different ways.

By admitting that you suffer from it and seeking professional help (inc. taking time off work to recover) is not a sin. Nor is it a stigma or label which people will hang around your neck and say “He/She can’t cope” or “Point and Whisper behind your back”.

I was scared of all of that, so I am not expecting that you will be any different. Nor am I asking anything of you that you do not want to do. But please listen to your loved ones and your doctors advice. It might not seem the right thing for you at the time but they really do have your best interest at heart.

2 Responses to Anxiety and you

  1. Nonna. says:

    Thank you for your page on bullying, it helped me immensely! I have been diagnosed with PTSD after bullying by my boss. This triggered memories of traumas over the past years culminating in a stress breakdown which I am still recovering from today. (Seeing the terrorist attacks on World Trade Center from my office window, being shot at in Baghdad (he missed), 12 months in war torn Sri Lanka, the list goes on). I was redirected to your website from the MIND website and can honestly say it has been the best move of my life! Thank you for clearing up a lot of questions I had.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. suzie burton says:

    I was diagnosed with PTSD in 1999 following horrific Domestic Violence, stalking for years after leaving and the legal process that followed which was damaging in in itself. I see myself in many things you have outlined in your website which is a comfort to know that Im not the only one who has all these areas in their lives that are affected. Like you I worked covering up what it was like inside, struggling with issues that came up daily but it was a role that I played as I felt no one understood so that side of me I kept hidden from others in my professional role but the reality of my life was very different. I can so identify with almost everything thats written here and since my redundancy I feel like Ive taken a turn for the worse. Life seems to be so useless at times and I constantly feel alone, like Im trapped inside screaming to get out but noone listens or understands. I avoid almost everything and anything where I feel I have no personal control over will send my anxiety soaring, the flashbacks occur, panic and flight and fight kicks in. I dont understand why its seems to be getting worse but it is and I will try and use some of your website to learn ways to have some control. Yes Worry is a huge issue even to the point it affects me taking my dog out as I worry that she will get attacked and my mind runs through that traumatic event so Im on constant alert and in controlled panic with every step I take! PTSD for me restricts my life so much but I find it hard to explain just how – maybe its because it just seems the norm for me now as this is how my life is. I am very isolated like many who view this site but even with the very few friends I have I cant talk to them as I just dont think they understand and I wish I could find a way of making them understand how things are for me. Its nice to know people like you find a positive way of using their own experience of PTSD to help others understand and I admire the way you are able to understand your own PTSD and actually describe the areas you have here on your website as I know I can identify with most everything that is written on here but I could never describe all the aspects, emotions, behaviours etc as you have but in your doing so helps me understand myself a little better and lets me know there are people who are out there who do understand – you have put into words my life and how it is affected – thank you

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