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Anxiety and Depression are Killing me Slowly and Painfully

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  • #385008
    Kodi
    Participant

    I have had severe anxiety and depression since I was a teenager. I’m now 40 and I have tried everything through the years – many, many, medications (most of which I cannot tolerate) counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, supplements (I’ve been tested for lack of every nutrient under the sun, also my thyroid multiple times). You know how people with anxiety have different triggers? It could be driving, leaving the house, etc. My biggest trigger has ALWAYS been the fear of severe illness. Whenever my son gets a fever I freak out and am afraid he’s going to die. Needless to say, when COVID hit my anxiety went through the roof – especially since I work at a senior Living facility and my husband is a teacher. I managed to push through every day from March until Sept. when I had to take a month off because I just couldn’t handle coming into work. My son being in school was also a big fear for me. When my husband & I got vaccinated, along with most of the people I’m around on a daily basis, I started to get better. The CBT seemed to be helping, I was feeling more positive, things were starting to look up. Then the delta variant hit and I hit the roof again. My 10 year old son will very soon be going to school 5 days a week and I’m terrified. I’m utterly exhausted from all the fear, frustration, anger, depression, irritability, guilt – basically every negative emotion you can have. I don’t like my son to see me like this. I try so hard to turn the negatives into positives, but it seems that whenever I do, something goes wrong. I can’t even make it an entire day without something going wrong or without my mind going off the rails. I call my parents crying at least every few days as I try not to lean on my husband too much – he too has anxiety & depression. I truly do not know what to do, I feel like I’m out of options. I know logically that I have a wonderful life but it’s completely passing me by.

    #385016
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kodi:

    I read your 2016 and your 2017 threads where we communicated. I read your current post. I see you as a very conscientious, caring and responsible mother, wife and employee, very caring to not stress your husband, not wanting to negatively affect your son, and caring about doing a good job as an employee.

    You have suffered from severe anxiety and depression since you were a teenager. You tried everything, including supplements, medications, therapy and yoga. Currently, at 40, anxiety and depression are killing you slowly and painfully, and you are utterly exhausted from all the fear, frustration, anger, depression, irritability, and guilt.

    I try so hard to turn the negatives into positives, but it seems that whenever I do, something goes wrong…. I feel like I’m out of options“-

    – Maybe you are not out of options: maybe you have an option you did not adequately explore, and that is to no longer try so hard to turn the negatives into positives. Maybe if you accept the negatives, they will become less scary, think of the negatives and take deep breaths as you do.

    “I know logically that I have a wonderful life but it’s completely passing me by“- the way we experience life is emotional, not logical. To experience a wonderful life emotionally, we need to be less afraid.

    I am taking a moment right now to do what I suggested just now that you do… I just did, just a few moments. I imagined the things I am personally afraid of, bad things happening to people I care about. At first I had to remind myself that thinking/ imagining such things will not make them happen in real life, that my thought don’t have that kind of power. Next, I breathed slower and I felt depressed, but calm. Then I started to imagine myself panicking in the future when this or that happen, and felt that I should stop imagining my reactions to bad events and focus just on the events themselves.

    Do you want to try it yourself? I think that it can be helpful to allow these thoughts and images to be. They don’t hurt anyone in real  life, and when I just allowed them to be, I felt an unexpected relaxation. Again, I remind myself (and let you know) that in no way do I want the things I imagined to happen, and I will give my life in an instance for these things to not happen. Thing is, me being so afraid is not helping anyone.

    You say: “anxiety and depression are killing me“- it is the thoughts and images of bad things happening that are killing you, correct? So, when you sit comfortably in bed or on a sofa, somewhere comfortable, and when you are alone and it’s quiet around you: think those thoughts, imagine those things that scare you so much (minus your reactions to such things happening) while breathing slowly. It may work for you just as it did for me.

    anita

    #385018
    Kodi
    Participant

    anita,

    Thank you so much for your kind and supportive response. I plan to ask my husband to read the second half of your post to me while I have my eyes closed so I can try as you suggest.

    Kodi

    #385022
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kodi:

    You are very welcome. Let me know how it works for you (I am still feeling relaxed as a result of my exercise more than two hours ago, works for me so far).

    anita

    #385523
    Rosalind
    Participant

    Dear Kodi

    I hope Anita’s suggestions are helping you.

    In addition, it may help you to remember that acute anxiety won’t harm you. It will feel horrible but will fade.
    Chronic anxiety is more debilitating, but if you can identify your troubling thoughts and sit with them knowing that they are just thoughts and not facts, then you will learn to release the chronic anxiety.
    I hope this helps you.

    Rosalind

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