Extreme anxiety is ruining my life :(

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    I’ve been like that ever since, but recently it became totally unbearable and paralyzing (up to the point where I feel totally frozen). I’m terribly fearful of stepping into aduldhood. I’m 24 and I’ve just graduated from my university. I feel a great pressure on finding a job asap (even though nobody’s pressing on me) but the problem is that even thinking about sending my resume to potential employer, gives me jitters! And it’s not the matter of laziness, because I’m not a lazy person! I have a great fear of being rejected and considered unaqdequate and not good enough. Each day it’s getting worse and worse.. my parents go to work, my friends go to work, my younger brother goes to school and I stay home. It gives me feeling of being totally useless and it strongly affect my self-esteem (which is very low anyway). I’m becoming paranoid about my parents considering me to be a parasite, who’s got to be fed and equipped with pocket money. And the more they reassure me to take my time, the more I’m freaking out that deep down they are getting sick of me.

    Yet, even imaging myself at job interview (all sweating, attepting to answer all these difficult questions, making fool of myself) is so frightening that I want to hide somewhere, where I won’t be found.

    Sadly, anxiety strongly affects other areas of my life.

    Not going into details, I’ve ruined relationship with girl who was my first (and the biggest) love of my life. I was so incredibly anxious about her leaving me that I became totally paranoid. Irrational thoughts were emerging each time I saw talking to some other guy. I was becoming jealous very easily. I guess she couldn’t handle being with someone so controlling. Being tired of my passive aggresion, she left me.

    I was devastated for about a year and then I met another girl. Now I pursue relationship with her, and learning from my experience I do my best to not expose my insecurities to her. And I’m pretty good at hiding it. But they are here all the time. Demons in my head telling that she’s going to drop me like a hot potato. Now she’s abroad on 4-months college exchange program (coming back next month) and I sometimes see picture of her and some other guy on facebook. My close friend says there is nothing suspicious about that, but still I’m freaking out that she will choose that guy over me and I obsessively look for a slightest evidence of her being less affectionate towards me or even paying less attention to me. She doesn’t even know that I might be concerned about that guy becouse I have never even bother to ask about him, but still – i’m dying of anxiety.

    It takes me nowhere and I want to break free. If I only knew how to make it πŸ™


    Hi David
    You are in a perfect place for a real solution to your problem.
    Please go to “antidoteforall.com
    I know it will help you to understand your real self.
    your thoughts are lying to you.
    Please try it.


    I have been in the same boat as you with the anxiety my whole life and it affects every part of life. Medication has helped me with my symptoms but I don’t want it to become long term. It is worth building coping skills. Therapy can help, but so can just putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. It is something that will require you to be aware of. Meditation is good because it helps you control the symptoms on your own, but it takes practice. Having a good friend that helps you break out of your she’ll is also good, someone who is kind of like a life coach whether they have gone through what you have or not, it is good to hear “you can do it.” You really can do it, but anxiety can cause a person to Feel like they are dying and who wants that, it is easier to just pull back into your shell. You can’t get a job though if you don’t try.


    Also forgot to mention that an over active imagination is often a cause of debilitating anxiety. Mental Health through Will Training by Dr. Abraham Lowe is a good book for anxiety issues.


    I second Mike’s recommendation.

    This may or may not be helpful:

    You may hate me for saying this but I think it’s best to focus on your anxiety and self-esteem first since it is impacting your relationships and work life instead of the other way around.

    Another thing that may be relevant is the afterglow of being in a rush all your life. We feel rushed to finish highschool, we feel rushed to finish our degrees and we also feel rushed to get a job ASAP. Breaking out of this cycle is hard but can be useful.

    Have you noticed kids can play day and night or paint silly pictures and be happy in the moment? Well, we aren’t kids, but it’s always helpful to have some time to do anything without a real goal like reading a book or watching youtube videos that are funny. It’s relaxation time. It’s not a waste of time, it’s relaxation time and considered to be necessary for coping with stress.

    Are you the type of person who works real hard, but doesn’t really sit down to watch a movie?

    Sleep and eat on time, but try making time in your day to watch an episode of something you like.

    Try looking online for common negative patterns of thinking by searching “thought loops/traps -cognitive behavioural therapy” online. There is an interesting list of common patterns.


    Forget girls.
    Just do that meditation and stop worrying about this or that. You are only 24.
    You have to know where all this anxiety started, most likely from your childhood.
    That is what this meditation will reveal to you. gradually.
    That demon in your head and that is exactly your problem. It is real and destroys you by
    speaking to you. This meditation will send it back where it came from, that is hell.
    I know this from personal experiences.
    As I suggested, forget the girls now, you have some inner work to do.
    Let us know how it goes David.


    Dear David,

    I understand a bit of the anxiety you are currently going through. I have had it for many years and i still do in limited amounts. The truth is that sometimes we have to allow our body to flow before our thoughts, seize the moment if you please. I will give you a minor example – i was in class a few days ago and it was election time for the position counselors of the placement cell team. Now interested people were supposed to give a speech in front of their classmates about themselves and why they should be selected.

    As someone suffering from social anxiety and post-depression, this was a big deal for me because i really want to start working and this would be a good way to interact with companies. Anyway, the story goes like this – when the seniors came and asked “Who wants a job?” – many raised their hands and then “who wants to be placement cell counselor” – quite a number raised their hands (including me)…of course, the inevitable popped up when it was added we have to give a speech and then people would vote. Do you know what happened then?

    Only 1/4 or lower of the actual hand-raisers turned up to speak!

    And there i was literally shaking at the thought of doing the same. Thoughts like “God, you will make a fool of yourself, they will never choose someone as unsmart and shabbily dressed fattie types like you…and some blah, blah” (yeah i do have mental voices like these) Then i remembered something i read about social anxiety and before i knew it, i just forced my body to get up and walk without thinking..a bit like how one feels when they are pushed off a building..it just happens and you dont analyze then..

    Anyway, to my utter horror, there i was standing in front of them..a huge classroom dressed so drab, at my worst overweight state, hair a mess, slightly nervous looking but internally hyperventilating. But i decided to just say any shit and get it over with. Its not like the others had given award-winning speeches or something. I spoke and despite the fact that i was about to faint cuz my heart was beating so fast, i did it. People did vote for me and i became a counselor πŸ™‚

    Now the point i am trying to get across from this tiny story is that despite appearances, everyone is kinda scared of these things. You arent alone but one needs to be a bit brave despite the overwhelming thoughts. I still get these exhausting buzzing bad thoughts, i start shaking for no reason and its perplexing but this isnt the whole of me – similarly David, a woman you loved and this fear isnt your whole life. Work on your fears by taking little steps. It will happen and also if you are interested, try this ebook – it is probably the most lucid and practical book i came across for social anxiety and maybe it might give you some insights πŸ™‚


    I do have the pdf of this book – please let me know if you would like a copy mailed to you.

    Also, try to write down these thoughts more, talk to yourself like a convincing friend to make yourself pepped up for the stimuli. I suggest you shift your focus right now – make it a point to start working out, making plans with friends, sending those resumes anyway – these things will get your mind off the girl. After all, this is a part of your life, not your whole.

    – Moon

    Shawn McKibben

    Hi David,

    Man, I know exactly how you feel. I used to be so wrapped up in my own head, it was so hard to feel comfortable doing anything. The interesting thing was that I frequently put myself in uncomfortable situations and thought that would help. It does help but after while, I still felt like I wasn’t good enough, a failure, and it was always going to be this way. Even when I succeeded! I still felt miserable on the inside.

    Let me share something with you. It’s not about you. It is but it isn’t. Let me tell you what I mean. The more you actually convince yourself that the outside world is against you, the more you actually believe it to be real. The truth is that you’ve had the power all along. Nobody else can take that power from you. We cover ourselves in so many layers that can no longer see and experience that power.

    One step I suggest you take right now is to practice gratitude. Your entire post basically lays what isn’t working for you and what you don’t have. Try writing 10 things today that you do have. I’ll bet you have more in your life than you even realize right now. It’s hard to appreciate things when we feel this way. I get it. But just try it. Write it out.

    Be well,


    Thank you, everyone for sharing your wisdom! Some of you made some excellent points (ie. Shawn about my lack of gratitude! Indeed I need to practise it!)

    I went on few job interviews but so far I was rejected by everyone. It’s getting harder and harder each time becouse after each failure, my self-esteem is totally ruined. It is very difficult for me to convince myself that I’m not a loser and I should give myself another chance… I hate feeling so inadequate and not good enough πŸ™

    and there is this girl in the equation… I think that I have feelings for her. Before she left for that student exchange program, we used to be very affectionate towards each other. I’ve never before felt so loved and accepted. With her by my side, I felt like a valuable human being. But now I’m terribly worried that when she comes back from her exchange program (by the end of september) and finds out that I’m unemployed, she will not want to stay with me. I know… it looks like a faulty script in my head which says that “I’m worthy only when I have a job and earn money” but I can’t stop making such stories in my head.

    I don’t want her to leave me.

    That’s what I’m scared. That she will leave me. Not the fact that I’m unemployed.

    The real reson of me being so scared is idea of her leaving me BECOUSE I don’t have a job.

    Which equals an ultimate rejection and prove of being unlovable and not good enough.

    If I only knew how to find a way out from this labiryth πŸ™


    First of all jobs are scarce, these are bad times for the economy.
    There are families with children whose fathers are out of work
    so stop feeling sorry for yourself.
    Second of all if you are shacking up with a girl, wherever she is
    she will also be shacking up with another user. She has no morals.
    Do you expect God to bless you for that? You are a needy person and you need to get your sense of being from another.
    You have inferior feelings because you are not living up to higher standards.
    No wonder you are in a mess.
    You can become a stronger person morally and can have a better opinion of yourself if you stop being so needy.
    Be a man, say no to using a woman to bolster up your self confidence.
    Sympathy from others will not help you, only the truth will set you free.


    I am sorry I came across so strong.
    It is what I saw in the moment, but, I shouldn’t have been so strong.


    louise, the reason I write here is that I want to find a compassion, be uderstood by someone and not to be treated in judgemental way. That’s why I talk about it here, not among people who would treat me just as you did, making me doubt myself even more.

    What I see, is that some faulty thinking patterns are holding me back, and what I want to do is to break free from them, so I won’t stress out becouse of being temporary unemployed and I won’t need a girl to validate that I’m a lovable human being.

    That’s what tinybuddha is for.


    and besides louise, what gives you right to judge that girl, by saying that “she has no morals”? you know NOTHING about her. Yes, we don’t message each other, as frequently as, before her departure but distance and living in totally different time zones, takes a toll. She might be not, as flirtarious as, she was almost 4 months ago, but afterall it doesn’t necessairly prove that she has no longer interest in me. It has been a really long time, we haven’t seen each other in person. Still, she seems to be happy that we will meet again soon. And she’s not even interested whether I’ve got that job or not.

    It’s just a voice in my head, that’s making up stories. And I recognize that this stories are not necessairly true. But somehow they still have got power over me. Irrational fear that being jobless, will make me unworthy and unlovable in her eyes. I just want to quiet that voice in my head but I don’t know how!

    I was raised in family where my father is an extremly workaholic. Since my earliest school days, I was forced to involve myself in various groups, shows and other additional activities, just to avoid being “idle” and stay “active” all the time. The message I got from that time is: “I’m accepted when I’m busy and have stuff to do”. Besides, my mother always said to me how girls envy and like such type of man, becouse they feel safe with him and that she decided to be with my father becouse of his qualities (hardworking person).

    That’s why situation, where I’m in love and stay unemployed, is such extremly uncomfortable for me.


    “I went on few job interviews but so far I was rejected by everyone. It’s getting harder and harder each time becouse after each failure, my self-esteem is totally ruined. It is very difficult for me to convince myself that I’m not a loser and I should give myself another chance… I hate feeling so inadequate and not good enough “

    Hi David,
    I am sending you virtual hugs.

    This may sound counterintuitive but I think you might want to stay away from job interviews at the moment. Trying to get a job will keep reinforcing the pressure to get a job if that makes sense. The pressure to get a job is so high that if you don’t get it, you will only damage your self-esteem further.

    Though I believe you should challenge yourself, you need to be aware of your limits at the moment. Over time as you develop a hardened armor, these limits will change as you can take more. Start off small and work your way up.

    Like the others have said, challenge yourself, but I think interviews are too much as of now. You can try meetup.com and look for toastmasters, public readings, anything that allows you to take some kind of social risk. In my opinion, I think challenging your anxiety is a first step, not so much getting a job. I know it seems really important to get one now, but since it’s leading to more self-defeating thoughts, it might be best to challenge yourself in other ways.



    HI DAvtd
    Thanks for the correction, I deserved it.
    It is good for your self image to stand up for yourself rather than allow people to walk all over you. Thats a step in the right direction.

    If your parents were hard workers it was to take care of his family, that was the way it should be raising a family.
    Did that intimidate you? Are you trying to follow in his foot steps?
    Perhaps that is part of your problem. Do you resent your father?
    WHen you marry and have a fanily you will probably do the same.

    Take care David and try to relax.
    try this to relieve your stress.


    I wish you the best in your endeavor.


    • This reply was modified 9 years, 2 months ago by louise. Reason: typo
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