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Let's Talk About Anxiety

doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,673 Senior Member
I'll be honest - I don't know much about anxiety although I've been reading a little online. I don't think I've ever experienced an issue with it first hand. I've had moments when I've felt anxious or stressed out - public speaking, exams, periods when I've felt overburdened with work and family commitments, moments when I've felt really agitated with mistakes I've made or anger at actions and words of others and have felt physical manifestations of those feelings, but I don't think I've ever had an anxiety attack.

I see daily references here to ongoing anxiety issues. I have a few young people in my extended family who have started to have symptoms of periodic anxiety so it is something I'm trying to understand better so I can grasp what they are experiencing and be supportive where I can.

Is anxiety becoming more prevalent in society or are we just better about recognizing it, naming it, and talking about it?

I guess my thought is this could be a thread for sharing and talking about different aspects of life related to anxiety.

Replies to: Let's Talk About Anxiety

  • 1214mom1214mom Registered User Posts: 3,783 Senior Member
    I am not an expert, but my mom suffers from anxiety. I was visiting her once, and I did many things for her, including deciding where we were going to eat, what we were going to eat, etc. I wanted her to make decisions, but she just didn't, so I didn't push it.
    My last day at her house, I wanted to take her and other relatives to dinner, and I asked her to pick a place. I think I even narrowed it down to two, and neither was a bad answer. She simply COULD NOT make that decision. I remember being mad at her at the time, but now I realize it was her anxiety at work.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 2,775 Senior Member
    My anxiety and depression have manifested in various ways. When I was a child, I got intensely homesick during trips, at least the first few nights. I was generally a very scared child. I had an eating disorder when I was in high school. I got married younger than I should have; I feared financial ruin and I thought my then husband would support me well. (He did not.) In my 20s and 30s, I had a few periods of deep anxiety and depression but was able to cope reasonably well, mostly because I was very focused first on my education and then on my children. Also, my ex had and has bigger problems than I do, and I realized I had a duty to not fall apart. For the past 10 years or so, I've been anxious, depressed, or both all the time. I've gotten used to never feeling happy; I'm relieved that I can function as well as I do so I try to not get bent out of shape about my lack of highs. When I do have anxiety attacks these days, they don't last long, and they often manifest as feeling queasy and jittery.

    Ex-h's anxiety and D manifested as extreme indecisiveness and ADHD. D1 gets teary and feels sick to her stomach. D2 has OCD.
  • MACmiracleMACmiracle Registered User Posts: 944 Member
    Some of my kids have signs of a heritable disorder of connective tissue, probably a mild form of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Their ligaments are more lax than the average person which creates physical instability. There is a correlation between EDS and anxiety, ADHD, and GI problems and a lot of other stuff.

    Even before we knew about EDS, a neurologist told us he though my D's anxiety had a physiological cause.

    I tend to have a B12 deficiency and when I get low, I tend to feel very overwhelmed (besides my brain functioning taking a nosedive).

    I also have autonomic dysfunction so sometimes my body shows signs of anxiety, usually a high heart rate, when I'm actually feeling relaxed.

    I always want to try to make sure that physical causes that can be addressed are addressed before medication, especially if therapy is ineffective. I was very impressed when a psychiatrist we saw ordered blood work to check my D's CBC, thyroid levels, electrolytes, irin levels, and B12 before bringing up medication.
  • raclutraclut Registered User Posts: 3,206 Senior Member
    B12 deficiency and as well as shortage B6 and folate can make a person anxious. It just messes with the brain and the nervous system.

    Continuous stress just one thing after another just takes its toll on the body. Sometimes we need a break from it all but that doesn't happen and the anxiety just gets built up inside till our body starts to shutdown and then we experience burnout and exhaustion. If a person has experienced several traumatic events in their life they are more prone to anxiety and depression. Everyone just has their limits on how much they are able to handle.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,863 Senior Member
    My D, the psych head, would say many confuse different issues. Eg, she insists "panic attacks," with the physical romani just described, and "anxiety" are separate. And then you have to filter for depression, stress, ptsd, and others.

    I think we're more inclined to accept these labels than before. More are aware, not afraid admitting certain challenges makes one weird or mentally ill.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,673 Senior Member
    @lookingforward Are you saying that too much is being lumped into a catch-all Anxiety label? I would think that panic attacks are manifested by anxiety, no?

    In my reading I often see anxiety and depression linked together but as far as I know, they young relatives of mine have anxiety issues but no stated feelings of depression.
  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 723 Member
    And THEN I feel guilty for having woken him up with my problems.
    Don't ever worry about that. If my DW had a serious problem at night, I would want her to wake me up to deal with it.
  • conceptcatconceptcat Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    I believe it's a combination of more knowledge and more diagnosis, and the increasing rate of change of change of society. Many people nowadays, especially the college bound, have to absorb SO MUCH MORE information than ever before. Meanwhile the social connections in American society have been unraveling for decades. Isolation, overwork, information overload are not good for many people and some get sick as a result.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,863 Senior Member
    @doschicos I think she means anxiety is often self labeled as a panic attack. She insists a PA has overt physical aspects. I say I'm panicking and she says no, that's anxiety.

    I agree with you that we all get dry throat, sweaty palms moments. That's often situational, as you said - a speech, a flat tire. The trouble is when this seems to interfere often with our daily lives, ongoing.

    D isn't a psychologist but works in a therapeutic role.
  • kiddiekiddie Registered User Posts: 2,674 Senior Member
    As an anecdote, I was recently with a group of 6 moms with 16 kids among us ranging in ages from 23-14. Every mom had an incidence in their family of a kid having anxiety and/or suffering a panic attack. Those with 3-4 kids had 2 who have had an issue. Most of these kids have seen therapists or counselors at some point. I think the stress on kids today is definitely contributing to these issues. I can't think of a single friend my age (50's) who had anxiety problems back when they were young adults.
  • zoosermomzoosermom Registered User Posts: 25,968 Senior Member
    I suffer from anxiety, partly for situational reasons, and partly for health reasons. I was very severely, life-threateningly anemic for years, until I had major medical intervention last year. I had read about the connection between anemia and anxiety, but I didn't realize the impact on me until I got well. Most of my behaviors and emotions have disappeared, and it's been absolutely magical for my marriage and happiness. I wish I had found my doctor much earlier.

    On the situational front, in the immediate and monstrous aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, I developed horrible anxiety attacks when commuting. During that time, the commute was often 3 hours in each direction with no bathroom. Ever since, I've had panic attacks when the bus is stuck in significant traffic. That has eased up since getting healthy, but I don't think they will ever go away.
  • zoosermomzoosermom Registered User Posts: 25,968 Senior Member
    And THEN I feel guilty for having woken him up with my problems.
    That's his job, and I'm sure he wouldn't have it any other way.
    In the worst of my illness, actually, in all panic attacks, my husband is the only person who can comfort me. He's a big guy and I'm fun sized, so I fold myself inside him and feel better quickly. I read a study recently about the physiological response of women in extreme medical stress when their person held their hands or otherwise had physical contact. It was really interesting.
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