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12 years ago 0 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Hi everyone

I am new here and very happy that I found this site. There are no CBT or anxiety specialists in my area and I've been feeling quite hopeless. I've read a ton of books, being seeing numerous therapists, and have considered going away to a residential treatment program but they are sooo expensive!!! I have been experiencing severe anxiety/panic attacks daily for several months and I'm hoping I can find some answers on this site...with this program.
 
One thing I have found helpful is the work of Claire Weekes. I am trying to practice what she says time and time again--acceptance and letting time pass. Boy, that can be tough sometimes :)
 
I look forward to sharing with and learning from everyone!
12 years ago 0 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Hi everyone

Thank you both for the welcome :)
 
My personal goals are to basically get my anxiety down to a more manageable level. My struggle is mainly with negative, repetitive thoughts that pretty much induce the panic. Interestingly enough, I feel better when I am out somewhere and distracted, but I recently lost my job, am homebound most of the time due to money issues, and I think that makes things worse.
 
I am supposed to be starting a PhD program in August and I am very scared that I will mess it up if I do not make siginificant progress by then. At this point, all my time and energy is devoted to dealing with the panic on a daily basis and I can focus on little else. It seems as though as soon as I rid my mind of one bad thought, another is waiting to take its place.
 
I am going to work with this program and hopefully I can make some progress. I was doing better about a month ago, but then I had a massive setback and it really threw me for a loop. But I think that despite the progress I had been making, I did not have the appropriate tools/knowledge I needed in order to handle a setback.
 
Linda
12 years ago 0 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
thoughts that provoke attacks

Hi everyone,
 
I've read through a lot of past posts and have found comfort and hope in them. I am very grateful for this site and I hope that I can soon help inspire others as well.
 
There's one thing I am stuggling with terribly right now and I am hoping that someone has had experience with it. I greatly appreciate any insight at all. I've mentioned it to two therapists in the past week and some of the things they said have actually made it worse. I had been feeling a bit better for a couple of days until that happened.
 
It may sound silly since I know that there are much worse things that can go through our minds, but this is effecting me very badly because it leads to worse thoughts. Ok, here we go...I have an 18 yr old son whom I love dearly. He is a wonderful kid and we have a wonderful relationship. I have never felt anger towards him or thought unpleasant things. I understand that it is normal and common for parents to feel and think things from time to time with their kids, but I just never had it happen. Part of it is defintiely because he has always just been a great kid and also because I have a lot of patience with kids. I don't get bothered or annoyed with typical kid things. I'm actually kind of a big kid myself :)
 
So anyway, I recently started having this thing happen where as soon as I think of my son (which is often) or see something of his, the word "jerk" pops into my head. I have no idea why this happens, I do not think he is a jerk, and it literally drives me crazy that I would think such a thing. It gets so bad that I let it send me into a massive, daylong panic frenzy. I start thinking that maybe there's some strange subconcious thing going on, wondering if I have some buried bad feelings, or that I'm going crazy and could hurt him. He is the most precious person in my life. I love him more than anything and these thoughts are killing me. I almost tried to check myself into an institution last night, but they don't take people with panic/anxiety. Last night it got really bad, I calmed myself a bit and took more xanax (which I beat myself up for) and then the word "kill" popped into my head and I almost had a heart attack.
 
One therapist said that maybe I did think the word "jerk" one time because I was feeling something perfectly normal and know it's just sticking because of the anxiety. That made me kind of freak because I'm very uncomfortable thinking anything derogatory about my son. Then she said that maybe I just miss him because he hasn't been home much. I really don't think I feel bitter about that because I understand that he's 18 and it's normal to be out with friends a lot. I worry, but I am happier when he's out having fun rather than being stuck in the house bored.
 
The other therapist asked me if maybe he reminded me of his father and that scared the hell out of me. His father was very violent and abusive. We actually had to move half way across the country to get away from him. My son is nothing like his father and I've never felt that he was, but this therapist's comment scared me into thinking that maybe I think it on a subconscious level.
 
I am almost afraid to be around my son right now ebcause of this and it's killing me. I don't know what to do. I've tried avoiding the thoughts, challenging them, changing them, letting them occur, but I keep getting stuck. I feel sick to my stomach. I can't eat or sleep.
 
I'm sorry this is so long. I just really needed to get it off my chest.
12 years ago 0 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Hi everyone

Hi Davit,
 
Thank you for the words of wisdom :) I believe that you are absolutely correct...I guess I'm just struggling with it right now and it's difficult at times to have faith in myself. But today is definitely a bit better than yesterday, I just have to try to not let myself get too discouraged if/when I have another bad moment. That's the worst part for me. I get so tired of the ups and downs. It can be quite discouraging, but it's all about perseverance, right?
12 years ago 0 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
thoughts that provoke attacks

Thanks so much, Davit. You are very kind and your insight is so helpful. I'm feeling a bit better now and I will definitely get to work on the journaling. I've always used writing as a release in the past, but I've had no desire with this panic stuff. I do, however, realize the importance and helpfulness of it so I am going to make the effort.
 
I have also been following your suggestion regarding replacing the negative with the positive and it seems to have been helpful today. I've also been practicing what Claire Weekes taught about catching the "first wave" of panic, accepting it, and not feeding it and allowing it to get worse. It can be exhausting when one has to do it every five friggin minutes, but it is worth it!!
 
Thank you again, Davit. I am so glad that you made it through the bad times and I think it is wonderful that you are on here helping and encouraging others. It is incredibly inspriring to me.
 
Linda
12 years ago 0 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
thoughts that provoke attacks

Hi Vincenza,
 
Thank you for your comforting and encouraging words. I am in fact feeling better this evening and you guys have been such a tremendous help. I have been quite weepy lately and am crying with joy over finding this site :) I was so discouraged when I realized there were no support groups in my area, nor any anxiety specialists. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a site like this.
 
I do have one more question...from what you guys know about this anxiety beast and how it feeds on our greatest fears, would it make sense that since my single most greatest fear is something happening to my son or me doing anything that could cause him harm, directly or indirectly, it could explain these stupid repetitve thoughts? I also find it interesting that when my panic first started, which I'm assuming was the result of immense stress and anxiety at work and school (and years and years of other nonsense), my fear was that there was something medically wrong. Then when I had those things ruled out I became panicky over the mental aspect...afraid of going crazy, losing control, etc...Then when those things were dispelled somewhat, this thing with my son started. Get rid of one thing and up pops another. Man, this anxiety stuff sucks!!! I am getting quite fed up. Do you think it helps if we get mad at it? lol
 
Thank you again for your wonderful support!
 
Linda
12 years ago 0 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
thoughts that provoke attacks

Ok, I have yet one more question...This morning was rough as usual, but I did the journaling and thought challenging things and started feeling better a little while ago. Now I know there are many people who have had experiences with being afraid of being around knives and stuff for fear they would hurt someone. I've experienced that as well and just a few minutes ago I was in the kitchen cutting up some fruit and my mom and son were there. I started having the usual scary thoughts, but did not panic over it. The thoughts kept up the whole time and just continued doing what I was doing, but then, and this is probably ridiculous, but I have to make sure, I started to think that because I wasn't panicking maybe it was bad. Maybe it meant that I wanted to do it and was no longer afraid of it. I'm going to drive myself nuts over this without answers. I am hoping this is just the result we hope for...that when the anxious, scary thoughts come, we do not react with fear and panic.
 
I appreciate anyone sharing their knowledge or experience with this. Thank you
12 years ago 0 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
thoughts that provoke attacks

Hi Ashley,
 
Thanks so much for responding! I am learning that journaling and thought challenging works. It is definitely tough at times when the new anxious thoughts come and I have difficulty trying to challenge some of them. The constant doubt and questioning is a problem, but I will keep at it. I think it just feels strange not panicking over certain especially disturbing thoughts and that's why I began to question the reaction. When one of the biggest fears is going crazy and hurting someone you love, it seems strange not to recoil in absolute terror and panic when the thought comes and that led to the fear of it being bad. I will continue to work with this new anxious thought.
 
Thanks so much for your support :)
 
Linda
12 years ago 0 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Benefits of a strong support network

I feel compelled to post on this discussion because today I am feel extremely fortunate and hopeful thanks to a couple of wonderful people in my life. I have been very discouraged lately because I lost my job as a result of my panic attacks and have basically been stuck in the house with nothing to do. Money has been tight so it limits my ability to do things, to a certain extent, even just having enough gas to drive somewhere to get my mind off things. It has also been incredibly hot here so going for a walk has not been much of a viable option either. So I pace around the house all day having constant attacks and that's obviously not good. I have the opposite of what a lot of people have--I am better when I am out and distracted as opposed to being home alone with my thoughts. I used to not be able to go out without a taking a ton of xanax, but now it's the opposite. Kind of strange. But anyway, I have a wonderful aunt who lives halfway across the country from me and today she offered to pay for me to join a beautiful gym near my house that offers yoga classes. My son, who is aware of my problem to a certain extent (I have not given him specific details!!!) went with me today to check the place out because he knows that I sometimes have trouble being in places with lots of people. He was so sweet and tried to assure me that it would be such a big help to get out of the house, get some exercise, and actually interact with people once again.
 
I am so grateful to have caring, understanding, helpful people in my life. I will be accountable to my aunt by checking in with her and letting her know how often I am going to classes, whether or not it is helping, and other things I am doing in addition. I am accountable to my son because he is everything to me and I need to be strong and healthy in order to be a good parent, which is all I've ever wanted to be. He has a job and offered to contribute to the membership fees so that he can go, too, especially at times when I may be afraid to go alone. I love that kid so much and I will succeed for myself and for him.