Welcome to the Anxiety Forum - A Home for Those with Anxiety, Fear, or Panic Attacks.
Driving 468x60
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1

    I can't understand why my anxiety won't go away

    Hi all!
    Sarah is my name and I'm 20. For the past number of years I have been experiencing anxiety and panic attacks mainly when I leave my house. I'm terrified of being out on my own. For college, I need to get a bus which takes me an hour away from home and I haven't been able to do that for the last few months. I know what makes me anxious and I know that it's irrational. I know that anxiety is harmless and panic attacks won't result in anything bad. When I think about leaving the house or getting that bus to college it doesn't seem like such a big deal and I always tell myself that I need to just go for it. I always think of a time (not that long ago) where I could leave the house and even use public transport alone without feeling anxious at all. My panic attacks are so severe that I can't 'just go for it', though. I get extremely lightheaded and dizzy to the point where my surroundings spin and I feel like I'm going to faint. The symptoms are too strong and too much for me to cope with. I don't know what happened to make my anxiety become so debilitating. I have been trying out exposure therapy for over a month - I put myself in situations that make me anxious and I stay in the situation, sitting with my anxiety until it passes. This hasn't made any improvement to my anxiety. I'm at my wits end and I can't see a way out of this. Please help!

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    7
    Hi Sarah -

    I feel for you. When my anxiety was at its worst, my therapist at the time gave me a CD called "Panic Busters - Calm Down." Unfortuately I can't post links because I'm new, but if you google it you should find it on the wholeperson site. It is a meditation CD which taught me (through meditation) how to let my thoughts drift and not dwell on it, and it also taught me calm-breathing (focusing on the breath and present moment). She told me to practice calm-breathing every morning and before bedtime (or whenever I catch myself mildly anxious...the earlier the better). I can see mindful meditation helping you out during the bus ride to college.

    Is there a specific thought that triggers the anxiety when you are by yourself? I've learned through CBT that changing the way I think changes the way I feel. It takes practice. Our mind is always thinking about stuff...yet we decide to focus on a specific thought and assign meaning to it (and obsess on the thought and affects us physically). One of my triggers is a stuffy nose. This one trigger...I decide to assign meaning to it and I get anxious and become fearful that I will have another panic attack or fear that I will go "crazy." It sounds trivial and it is! I'm currently reading Mind Over Mood, advice from my new therapist (I have a new therapist because I just recently moved for a job). Every day is progress, keep positive!

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    21
    Heyy Sarah!
    When my anxiety was at its highest I was the same, I couldn't be too far from home, I couldn't be in crowed places I completely stopped going to college also. But one day I did just go for it! I got on a train went all the way to Surrey (which is quite far from where I live) to a house party which was full of people and the next day I felt sooo proud of myself and it made those fears seem like nothing, and it was from that point that my anxiety started to disappear too. Sometimes it is good to just go for it and face the things that make you anxious, I know it's hard bcz once you associate an attack with certain things you start to avoid them, but try not to. They won't last forever, keep that in mind!

  4. #4
    Hey! Thanks so much for your reply - it's reassuring to hear that you have been through the same and gotten through it! I have recently been trying to just go for it. I got the bus to college a few times, but I was still incredibly anxious and, although I felt proud of myself, not a whole lot changed. I guess I just need to do it more. It's hard though! What was it that helped you to go for it despite your anxiety?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JudJud View Post
    Heyy Sarah!
    When my anxiety was at its highest I was the same, I couldn't be too far from home, I couldn't be in crowed places I completely stopped going to college also. But one day I did just go for it! I got on a train went all the way to Surrey (which is quite far from where I live) to a house party which was full of people and the next day I felt sooo proud of myself and it made those fears seem like nothing, and it was from that point that my anxiety started to disappear too. Sometimes it is good to just go for it and face the things that make you anxious, I know it's hard bcz once you associate an attack with certain things you start to avoid them, but try not to. They won't last forever, keep that in mind!
    The comment I just posted was supposed to be in reply to you, I don't think I did that right hahah

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Randomize View Post
    Hi Sarah -

    I feel for you. When my anxiety was at its worst, my therapist at the time gave me a CD called "Panic Busters - Calm Down." Unfortuately I can't post links because I'm new, but if you google it you should find it on the wholeperson site. It is a meditation CD which taught me (through meditation) how to let my thoughts drift and not dwell on it, and it also taught me calm-breathing (focusing on the breath and present moment). She told me to practice calm-breathing every morning and before bedtime (or whenever I catch myself mildly anxious...the earlier the better). I can see mindful meditation helping you out during the bus ride to college.

    Is there a specific thought that triggers the anxiety when you are by yourself? I've learned through CBT that changing the way I think changes the way I feel. It takes practice. Our mind is always thinking about stuff...yet we decide to focus on a specific thought and assign meaning to it (and obsess on the thought and affects us physically). One of my triggers is a stuffy nose. This one trigger...I decide to assign meaning to it and I get anxious and become fearful that I will have another panic attack or fear that I will go "crazy." It sounds trivial and it is! I'm currently reading Mind Over Mood, advice from my new therapist (I have a new therapist because I just recently moved for a job). Every day is progress, keep positive!
    Hi there, thank you so much for your reply! I haven't found mindfulness and meditation that helpful, I have found it to make me more anxious at times. But, I probably just need to practice doing it - I know that it works for a lot of people so I should give it a fair shot. This sounds really interesting, I'll look up and try out this meditation! Maybe listening to it a few times at home and then using it when I'm anxious on the bus would help.
    The biggest thought that triggers me, I think, is the realisation that I'm out alone. It sounds so silly, but I just dwell on it and convince myself that, if something happens to me, I will be alone and there will be no way out of it. I'm also very worried about getting a panic attack when I'm on my own because I always think that it's so much harder to pull myself out of it when I don't have friends or family around me for reassurance.
    Thanks again, I hope you can beat this too

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    126
    You first have to let go of the expectation that you will take the bus without panicking, because right now it's not going to happen. Stop thinking that you need the panic attacks to stop before you take the bus, and start thinking that you will take the bus in spite of the panic.

    Acceptance is the key: you will take the bus, you will have a panic attack, it will feel pretty awful, but nothing bad will happen and you will get home safe and sound, shaken but not dead or harmed in any way.

    I know first hand that panic attacks feel like shit, feel like you might be dying. But in order to get better, at some point you will have to accept that they won't hurt you. However much you might feel light-headed or short of breath, you're not about to collapse and yes, you can still breathe even if it feels hard. And there's no other way to really learn this than by going though it, feeling the horrible-ness first hand, and then realising: 'oh hey, nothing's happened, I'm still here!'

    You either face your panic attacks head on, or become a hermit. One is momentary discomfort. The other is a slow death. I know which one I'd prefer.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by snowberry View Post
    You first have to let go of the expectation that you will take the bus without panicking, because right now it's not going to happen. Stop thinking that you need the panic attacks to stop before you take the bus, and start thinking that you will take the bus in spite of the panic.

    Acceptance is the key: you will take the bus, you will have a panic attack, it will feel pretty awful, but nothing bad will happen and you will get home safe and sound, shaken but not dead or harmed in any way.

    I know first hand that panic attacks feel like shit, feel like you might be dying. But in order to get better, at some point you will have to accept that they won't hurt you. However much you might feel light-headed or short of breath, you're not about to collapse and yes, you can still breathe even if it feels hard. And there's no other way to really learn this than by going though it, feeling the horrible-ness first hand, and then realising: 'oh hey, nothing's happened, I'm still here!'

    You either face your panic attacks head on, or become a hermit. One is momentary discomfort. The other is a slow death. I know which one I'd prefer.
    Thanks for your reply! You're completely right - I've been working on not escaping situations where I get panic attacks and things are getting better. It really does work!

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    21
    Sorry for the late reply but to answer your questions, I think what made me just go for it was that I had had enough of feeling anxious all the time and being scared so I pushed myself to do the things I avoided and was scared of. You'll still feel anxious for a while, but the more you do it the more you'll realise there's nothing to be scared of. It is very hard, but trust me you will get there eventually. When we associate an attack with certain things we kinda build ourselves up to an attack when put in them situations again if that makes any sense lol. If you get on the bus and still feel anxious about it don't let that dishearten you, bcz the fact that you still got on the bus even though you felt anxious means way more.

  10. #10
    Well dont leave because you dont confront your fears .Start confronting them and see what hapens ,you see nobody will kill you if you go outside and go in society etc .Just ask yourself why you are afraid and you will see that its ilogical becase all people go outside to work relationship ,new other people etc .Thy dont go out to make yourself a bad thing

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

 

 

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Driving Large