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#46257 - 02/20/03 07:42 PM Anxiety...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
I posted this initially under Victor's Catastrophizing in the book forum but I decided to move it here for more exposure.

Recently I had one of the worst anxiety attacks that I've ever encountered. It all started when I realized that I was feeling good about myself. I had more confidence and higher self-esteem than anytime before and I was feeling the need to strike out on my own again. It seemed like everything was coming together. I even received an e-mail for job interview that would be right up my alley. I felt really good. Unfortunately later that evening it all crumbled around me. My anxiety levels hit some extreme levels and it made me feel like a worthless piece of crap. RickL quoted a book in that initial Catastrophizing post that really hit home for me:

Quote:
"...the complaint of anxiety is imagining a catastrophic outcome and experiencing distress now. This trance of the dark side of the inner child takes place as the child sees trauma in his life. The child assumes that this is how life will always be. As an adult, the child within the adult continually 'pops-up' catastrophies and thinks they are real. The result is pain and suffering in present time. Here, past catastrophies are projected into the future." (p. 40)

"In present time the adult has many resources available. It is the child within that feels there are no resources. The adult feels the child trance as real and so experiences anxiety. The past pain stays alive as an experience in the present, and as a projected, imagined future. In this state there is only frozen past time overlayed on present or future time. A negative association with the experience of the past is created and reenacted many times without seeing NOW." (p.42)
I see that part of me that doesn't want things to change. Logically I know that things will probably work out fine if I move out because I have many friends and contacts in the area. In fact, I know I would be happier on my own but I feel a strong desire to remain in my current setting. The safety of home just seems too strong of an attraction. And the thought of breaking that attraction causes entirely too much anxiety. It's almost like I'm in a state of paralysis.

I'm going to end it here but I appreciate the feedback. Thanks.
Mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#46258 - 02/20/03 08:48 PM Re: Anxiety...
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your ideas. Anxiety, I believe, is more of a problem for me than depression. Anxiety is such a poignant pain. I dread the thought of having either anxiety OR panic. Sometimes it is just good to enjoy the time when we don't have the anxiety

The book Rick quotes sound really good.

There is a joke that goes something like: "Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you."

For me I guess I would say that I lived for way too long with the idea that: "Just because I am not catastrophising doesn't mean that things are'nt going to get REALLY BAD!"

I like cognitive behavior therapy. The therapist makes a person say what was the context of a negative thought: then how were you feeling about that whole situation. Next you have to give reasons why the negative statement is true, then why it is not true. Eventually, you come up with a better way of thinking about the situation.

Most folks can easily list ideas why the negative statement is true. But in working out why it is not true, real healing does take place and new thought patterns are developed. I love bing in CBT groups--you see yourself and others come alive and crush the faulty thinking--GREAT.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#46259 - 02/20/03 10:39 PM Re: Anxiety...
RickL Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 84
Loc: Oregon
Mike & Bob,

That book is called "The Dark Side of the Inner Child" by Stephen Wolinsky. It was published in 1993, so I had to order it from Amazon. It's an amazing book that applies so well so survivors!

My abuser was also an unpredictable alcoholic when I was little. Talk about a cause for anxiety! Several years ago I got tested for depression at the request of my therapist. The test showed more anxiety than depression, although they're both related!

Change is often scary, Mike. If you can see that having an extreme reaction of anxiety is a case of your inner child putting you into a trance, then maybe you can separate from that debilitating feeling. Because the reality that I observe is that you have many strong resources as the man you are now--you certainly are thoughtful and articulate (I can tell from your posts) and well educated to the point of being a highly desirable job candidate. And moving out on your own--well, I couldn't wait to do that! It's fun!

Rick


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#46260 - 02/21/03 12:05 AM Re: Anxiety...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Bob,
Your joke made me laugh and that felt good. Thanks a lot! Fortunatly I'm seeing my T tomorrow and I'll bring up the congnitive therapy with her. We'll see what happens with that.

Rick,
Thanks for the encourageing words. I appreciate that.

Much of this revolves around commitment issues, though the panic of isolation and loneliness caused by catastophizing are very real. My inner child has a hard time getting past that.

I suppose one fortunate outcome of this is that I've become more aware of the anxiety and, perhaps, my fear of commitments. When you're not feeling good about yourself these issues might not make themselves present. Only when things are going well and then when they suddenly crumble do you then realize the true nature of yourself. So at least something positive came out of this.
Thanks
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

Top
#46261 - 02/21/03 10:09 AM Re: Anxiety...
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Mike, thanks for bringing this over to the main forum from Books. Clearly things do draw more attention here.

In fact I would like to not only encourage everyone to post on those "other" forums, like Music & Films, but also to bring things from there over here for more exposure & deeper discussion.

Rick's quotes from "The Dark Side of the Inner Child" really hit the nail on my head ! Sometimes I've tended to "look for trouble where it ain't and make trouble where it aren't."

Quote:
There is a joke that goes something like: "Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you."

For me I guess I would say that I lived for way too long with the idea that: "Just because I am not catastrophising doesn't mean that things are'nt going to get REALLY BAD!"
Bob, that's me too, bro.

I like this phrase: "If you're wrong it's paranoia
if you're right it's intuition (the inner voice)!"

Having said that, Big Victor & Little Victor are coming to an agreement that there's enuf trouble around already, and we're trying to see & live the NOW, in a more positive way.

Quote:
I suppose one fortunate outcome of this is that I've become more aware of the anxiety and, perhaps, my fear of commitments. When you're not feeling good about yourself these issues might not make themselves present. Only when things are going well and then when they suddenly crumble do you then realize the true nature of yourself. So at least something positive came out of this.
How true, Mike, and I'm glad you're trying to live in the NOW and see things in a more positive light. Facing our fears, knowing ourselves, these are key to recovery for us all.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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