Anxiety What is your definition of hell?: Anxiety

By Spider on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 04:54 pm:

    Since I graduated college 5 years ago, I have noticed that instead
    of depression, my brain has moved onto anxiety as its self-
    torture of choice. And this change flipping sucks. I'd rather
    deal with depression. God, give me depression over anxiety any
    day. I'd much rather feel nothing at all than feel like my
    stomach is going to digest itself. I have the same type of
    thoughts -- it's like the spiritual issues are the same but they
    just manifest with different physical symptoms. Depression is a
    weight in the gut and head, or a veil over the senses, while
    anxiety is a rabid rat you've swallowed and that's trying to
    burrow out of your stomach.

    This morning I took my dad to the doctor's office for an epidural
    for his sciatica and he had a bad reaction to the medication (btw,
    what is it with my family and our inability to tolerate pain
    medication?) and fainted/had a seizure. (It was very unpleasant,
    sitting in the lobby, listening to my dad seize and the doctors
    and nurses try to bring him round.) Then he remained in the
    doctor's office for 4 hours, fighting vertigo and nausea, which
    the doctor said was an unusual side effect (usually, it seems, the
    nausea clears up after 15 minutes or so). I took him home
    around 1:00, and he went to lie down on the couch until he felt
    better. I left around 2:00 for the library (I needed to take care of
    some aggravating issues regarding registration for courses), and
    before I left I took his cell phone and dialed the cell number in
    our house phone and left it next to him, so that if he needed me
    he would just have to hit "redial" and not worry about the

    He hadn't called in the couple of hours I'd been here, and about
    30 minutes ago I had a vision of myself getting home and going
    to wake him and finding him dead. I forced myself to stay here
    this long, because I knew being ridiculous and he was probably
    fine. A few minutes ago I gave in and called to check in on him
    and he was fine -- he said he was even feeling a little better.

    I tell you, between this and my mom's cancer and her
    complications from surgery, I swear, I have had my fill of anxiety
    regarding the parental units. I know I'll have to deal with them
    dying eventually, but please, please, may it be years in the
    future. At least with generalized anxiety, I can eventually
    convince myself I'm being ridiculous and fearing things that may
    never happen, but this! This certainly will happen, and I can
    never adequately be prepared.

    Also, a couple of minutes ago, a random older man came up to
    me and started talking to me (even though -- hello?! -- I've got
    my headphones on and am listening to [don't laugh, Dave]
    Assemblage 23, and am fully engaged in typing this post),
    asking me where I was from, etc. etc., and because I've been
    conditioned to be kind to people who seem a little off, I told him
    everything. Now he's sitting across from me and paging
    through a newspaper, but I can feel him watching me.
    Hopefully, he won't follow me when I leave.

By Nate on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 05:01 pm:

    i don't know that this will help you, but the way i learned to avoid anxiety attacks is to be conscious of the signs that one is beginning and then make a conscious decision not to go down that road. sounds like malarky, maybe, but with practice it has been nearly absolutely effective.

    another thing i've found helps is making sure i have plenty of protein in the morning. a couple eggs or a one of the high protein cereals or meat. that helps regulate my blood sugar and seems to stave off anxiety attacks.

    anxiety sucks. take care of yourself.

By patrick on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 12:32 pm:

    it does suck.

    i have had some of the worst anxiety in my life most recently. stomach in knots, total and complete uneasy in even the most intimate of surroundings. like my mind was a record skipping on the same god damn note over and over...all drizzled with intense nausea.

    that mostly stopped monday of these week with my victory in court, but then on tuesday, it cranked up again with seperation anxiety as my gf took off for belize for 10 days. in the time i've been with her, ive always been the one to travel and twice shes come with and never for 10 days. so, it struck something....something that took me back to when my ex used to travel for 7-12 days at a time in asia.

    so there i was, stomach in knots, nervously doing any chore i could find....and the dog....the dog seeing the suitcases, knowing that means something is goind down and she's over in the corner chewing her ass.

    anxiety totally blows and for me it comes on so fast, i dont think nates suggestion would work, but then again, i dont have regular bouts with it.

    wine helps the anxiety spidey....a nice bottle of chianti before bed.

By Spider on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 12:37 pm:

    No, I'm with you -- that's why I made myself stay put instead of
    rushing home to see if he was dead or not. I didn't want to act
    on it.

    At least this was anxiety over something specific. Generalized
    "I'm evil and the world is evil and no good will ever come of
    anything" anxiety is worse.

    Anyway, I think this all points to my desire to always be in
    control. And when things get, or look to get, out of control, I
    have a hard time dealing. I feel so incompetent.

By Spider on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 12:44 pm:

    Oops, I didn't see your post, Patrick. See, you're right on, and
    this is why anxiety trumps depression, in my book, because it
    completely disrupts your ability to function. I don't know,
    maybe it's a distinction between being stuck in concrete vs.
    being in an earthquake -- you can't really move in either case,
    but at least the world is stable in the first instance.

By Nate on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 02:15 pm:

    alcohol makes it worse in the long run. treats you in the moment, but leaves you more susceptable the next day.

    depression completely disrupts my ability to function. though i still prefer it to anxiety. anxiety seems more physical and immediate.

    it comes before not acting on the anxiety. there is a point before the anxiety comes on where i realize i'm about to lead my mind into dangerous territory. my anxiety comes on quickly as well, patrick. i've just learned to catch it when i'm wobbling on the edge of the cliff. the first time someone told me it is possible, i scoffed in the same way.

    though, i do recall that it involves stepping backwards. catching the anxiety earlier and earlier each time. it is strange how the mind responds to practice.

    i think anxiety is a subconscious response to the conscious mind not dealing with certain emotions. in some way you're not confronting an uncomfortable situation, thought, whatever, and in response to burying it your subconscious starts shaking its cage.

By patrick on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 02:54 pm:

    i'vce always thought of anxiety as this state of mind, where you cant or don't know whether to fight or flight and your stuck in this middle ground.

    but then again, my anxieties often center around unknowns

By Spider on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 03:41 pm:

    Nate, I don't know about my own case (the perspective is tricky),
    but that's exactly what's going on with my mom. She's got all
    sorts of issues relating to being abused as a child that she
    refuses to deal with, and the issues come out anyway in the form
    of anxiety (and extreme neediness, and her anxiety flares up if
    she feels alone).

    Patrick, I think that's my problem, too -- not knowing what to
    do. With me, I think it's usually regarding some horror I sense
    looming on the horizon that I feel powerless to avoid or stop. I
    can calm myself down by planning what I would do if certain
    occassions occurred (like a couple of weeks ago when the power
    went out in the middle of the night and I had an anxiety attack
    -- I lay there and made contingency plans, and that helped me
    feel more in control again).

    I always remind myself of the Zen saying (I think that's what it
    is), "If a problem has a solution, why worry? If a problem has no
    solution, why worry?" But it doesn't make my stomach unclench.

    Likewise, my experience with Ativan and Xanax (and Benadryl
    and other sleep medication....and I would imagine wine would be
    the same) -- they make my eyelids heavy, but they do nothing
    to slow my racing thoughts down or make my stomach feel

By Spider on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 03:45 pm:

    I totally spelled occasions wrong.

By droopy on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 04:25 pm:

    i really want to say something on this thread, but i haven't had a good track record with saying helpful or encouraging things, lately.

    though last night i found out that somthing blunt and indiscrete i happen to say to my father got my sister $500.

    have you considered massage?

By Antigone on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 05:55 pm:

    St John's Wort.


    And Nate's good nutrition advice, too.

    Except don't eat too much before bedtime. That's what used to trigger my anxiety attacks.

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