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honey915

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello to all. Just popping back in with a question. I have been following the acceptance method for around five years (had anxiety for 10 years now, ish).

Although I know it's not important for recovery I have always struggled with and am currently finding it difficult to understand which type of anxiety I have. You see I know they all overlap and let's not get caught up on labels, but for the purposes of exposure to things that cause anxiety, I feel it's important I nail this as I feel quite close to being as recovered as I feel I'll ever be.

My anxiety began with a panic attack but during the course of my conditioning I have only had a handful of attacks. I am mostly just fearing attacks or severe anxiety where people will notice and I'll end up looking stupid for overreacting. I know I won't die or go crazy. I just hate feeling this way (who likes it right)?

My anxiety is usually in work situations. Especially meetings, one to ones and majorly during presentations which I feel horrendous doing and often avoid. Sometimes when out meeting friends or eating in restaurants. Im not sure exactly what I fear the most about it but it's usually having an attack and being seen anxious. I always thought I had GAD but in the grand scheme of things I don't overly worry that often and when I do I don't get caught up on worry so worrying doesn't really distress me. I do however have anxiety feelings when I'm home with my loved ones or just basically for no reason. This circulates around a fear of getting ill so I can't work or so work will find out so ultimately I am socially anxious am I right? After 10 years I've always thought my anxiety was not social as generally I'm really sociable and love being sociable but some work situations fill me with absolute terror and looking back on my life they always have done. I've always hated presentations. I know this is to some degree normal.

Now I know I hear you say it doesn't matter what type my anxiety is but you see the route cause of social anxiety is low self esteem ami right?

I've been facing and accepting all the way in these situations (as best I can), but if the route fear is low self esteem and I'm not doing anything to tackle that is this going to ever get better? I feel like it's my final hurdle. During my maternity leave with my kids for a year each time I was virtually free of anxiety completely. Some days it didn't even cross my mind.

I'm so close to recovery but this is my last hurdle and I feel I need to explore these esteem issues once and for all because this is holding me back.

Sorry for looonnnng post!
honey915

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Reply with quote  #2 
Anyone?
Jonmike

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Reply with quote  #3 
what difference does it make to know? sounds like you are looking for answers of why this is happening to you.... theres no point looking because there may or may not be a root cause...
it could be anything, its going to be pretty hard for you to find out, I look at what you have written and straight away I think about humans as social animals, if you can imagine us as a species (I'm picturing hunter gatherers) sitting around a social gathering possibly eating then the last thing any human would want to do is be outcasted by the rest of the group, this could mean starvation..... so we are all wired differently to react to different things, a very common thing we hear is peoples anxiety when talking in front of people, if you think about it, your brain could see this is a threat..... its basically saying (sit down you idiot you're going to get us killed!) here have some anxiety so you'll fear doing this again!
now, when I say anything could be making you feel like this, what I mean is, it could be literally anything that has happened to you in all your life, take being in a classroom, say aged 6.. the teacher asks you to come to the front of the class, you get an overwhelming feeling of fear, you don't know why... but your limbic system will always remember even if you don't that you felt fear and should never do that again...... do you see what I am saying, it really doesnt matter where or how it came about, the way of dealing with it is the same everytime, let it happen, let it happen as a normal bodily function that is overreacting, recognise that its overreacting, by letting it happen and breathing deeply and waiting for it to go you are sending another message to your brain to say, hey you know what thank you for the protection but its really not needed this Time, if you panic, run, be scared, hate it, dread it, it will never learn and you will keep getting anxiety...

hope that makes sense. good luck jon
Shen

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Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by honey915
Hello to all. Just popping back in with a question. I have been following the acceptance method for around five years (had anxiety for 10 years now, ish).

Although I know it's not important for recovery I have always struggled with and am currently finding it difficult to understand which type of anxiety I have. You see I know they all overlap and let's not get caught up on labels, but for the purposes of exposure to things that cause anxiety, I feel it's important I nail this as I feel quite close to being as recovered as I feel I'll ever be.

My anxiety began with a panic attack but during the course of my conditioning I have only had a handful of attacks. I am mostly just fearing attacks or severe anxiety where people will notice and I'll end up looking stupid for overreacting. I know I won't die or go crazy. I just hate feeling this way (who likes it right)?

My anxiety is usually in work situations. Especially meetings, one to ones and majorly during presentations which I feel horrendous doing and often avoid. Sometimes when out meeting friends or eating in restaurants. Im not sure exactly what I fear the most about it but it's usually having an attack and being seen anxious. I always thought I had GAD but in the grand scheme of things I don't overly worry that often and when I do I don't get caught up on worry so worrying doesn't really distress me. I do however have anxiety feelings when I'm home with my loved ones or just basically for no reason. This circulates around a fear of getting ill so I can't work or so work will find out so ultimately I am socially anxious am I right? After 10 years I've always thought my anxiety was not social as generally I'm really sociable and love being sociable but some work situations fill me with absolute terror and looking back on my life they always have done. I've always hated presentations. I know this is to some degree normal.

Now I know I hear you say it doesn't matter what type my anxiety is but you see the route cause of social anxiety is low self esteem ami right?

I've been facing and accepting all the way in these situations (as best I can), but if the route fear is low self esteem and I'm not doing anything to tackle that is this going to ever get better? I feel like it's my final hurdle. During my maternity leave with my kids for a year each time I was virtually free of anxiety completely. Some days it didn't even cross my mind.

I'm so close to recovery but this is my last hurdle and I feel I need to explore these esteem issues once and for all because this is holding me back.

Sorry for looonnnng post!


You worry, you analyze, you interpret things and draw conclusions, you want to control, you look for answers. 

Maybe you don't have panic attacks anymore, but that doesn't mean you really have changed your mindset towards anxiety or panic.

Quote:
Although I know it's not important for recovery I have always struggled with and am currently finding it difficult to understand which type of anxiety I have. You see I know they all overlap and let's not get caught up on labels, but for the purposes of exposure to things that cause anxiety, I feel it's important I nail this as I feel quite close to being as recovered as I feel I'll ever be. 


Why does it matter what type of anxiety you have. you said to yourself, it doesn't matter, and also you say "exposing" to anxiety. You can´t expose to anxiety like it is a panic attack. Anxiety its the fuel to panic attacks but it isn't one in itself, exposing to a panic attack works because you accept this deep fear that you have towards the panic itself. 

But facing anxiety won´t stop your deep beliefs and perspectives towards the situation. not following your thoughts it's crucial in anxiety. changing your beliefs, and accepting your feelings towards any belief/thought its the crucial step to get rid of any anxiety. 

You clearly aren't as close as you think you are to beating anxiety because you are doing anxious behaviour that fuels your beliefs. like searching,analyzing, worrying, concluding etc..

You believe that this type of anxiety its different.
That you need answers to feel better.
that there is a root cause to your anxiety.

I hope you see what I'm trying to tell you. you are doing it wrong.
if you read your post, you can spot your own mistakes towards your problem. reflect on what accepting and floating truly means, and practice. practice a lot. that's how you deal with anxiety.




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BodhiBro

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Reply with quote  #5 
Great information! I've also been trying to find a reason for my anxiety. Like if I could find a reason it then would all make sense and go away. I see now that isn't how it works.
honey915

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Posts: 126
Reply with quote  #6 
Shen, thankyou for your input. I think it's a bit harsh to say Im not recovering. I've had anxiety for 10 years and have been using this method for five. I have a pretty good understanding of the concept of acceptance. It's the core of any CBT model and ultimately the reason that studies prove acceptance works. I HAVE been accepting for ages. Facing accepting letting time pass. But there comes a point when doing this isn't working so naturally I am beginning to analyse why that could be. I must be recovering shen because there are so many things I can now do through acceptance and there are times I have no anxiety. I never had that before this method so please don't tell me I'm doing it all wrong. That isn't actually helpful. I appreciate that my post may have made it seem like I'm not accepting at all because in that moment I wasn't. But non acceptance isn't fluid it has its ups and downs. There are days when I find acceptance easy and occasions when I wonder why I'm bothering to just accept when I'm still finding some situations very uncomfortable and it's holding me back.

I had a moment of clarity this week where my last experiences and thinking on them made me think that I know what caused this. I've always asked why me but now Im pretty sure I know why it's happened. It's actually helpful because now I can accept those experiences as the reason it all started and move forward in dealing with the symptoms now, whilst having insight into the cause. My anxiety is rooted in low self esteem I'm just thinking that perhaps working on that might help me push forward a bit more. Believing in myself. Radical acceptance of my faults and down falls and making myself feel more worthy might help me to care less about what people think about me while I'm doing presentations. For me I feel that acceptance hasn't taken me all the way because I really do through caution into the wind during these episodes and challenge myself but it's frustrating when I really am usually accepting but sometimes we question why all this acceptance isn't working.
Shen

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Reply with quote  #7 
The problem that you have. Is using acceptance as a technique to get rid of the feelings and thoughts. And that's not how it works. Acceptance means to really be okay with your beliefs and just accept that it's OK to feel this way and acknowledge that this thoughts are part of an anxious mind looking for answers.

Acceptance works because you desentize to your beliefs. So you get rid of them. By exposing to them.

You are avoiding. Looking for answers and you clearly are not accepting. Atleast that what it shows in your post.

I don't want to sound harsh. But if you believe that you are so close to understand what is your problem, and I see that you are doing it wrong. You risk falling in to a setback. I'm not judging you. But inform to you that you are doing it wrong in the post atleast.

When you say that "why acceptance is not working, it must be something else, this is different". You are clearly showing apprehension and this in turn can fire back at you.

If you believe you found the answer to your anxiety, go for it. But you should also try to reflect on what acceptance, again, truly means. That's it :)



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honey915

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Reply with quote  #8 
I think the problem is that acceptance is easier said than done. In an ideal world we would fully accept this feeling and these thoughts and be recovered. But change is not linear. It has moments of utter acceptance. There are moments I feel anxiety and I truly don't care if it kills me. I'm so sick of it that I just accept it's there and I don't even care anymore. Then there are times when for some reason it feels scarier. I'm not looking for answers. The root cause might be low self esteem but I will still accept the anxiety feeling. I just feel that in addition to accepting the feelings of anxiety I should be kind to myself. To tell the thoughts that actually I am worthy of respect from others and that people are not looking down at me. Maybe once I believe that fully by working my self esteem then some of my deep fears of rejection will ease and I will care less if people see me anxious. I don't think it hurts to try and work on my self esteem as a separate issue to anxiety disorder. If I continue to accept anxiety as a separate issue and work on my self esteem as a separate issue, then holistically my mental health will improve? I expect that these issues are so deeply ingrained that self esteem work is too little too late. I still find great comfort in knowing that acceptance works, and no matter what anyone says this is not a 'method' as such but acceptance is a tool to improve the anxiety state. It's the art of doing nothing. But there have been times when I can hand on my heart say I've not added any more fuel to the fire and I've accepted fully and genuinely meant it and it's helped the situation. I am mostly accepting whilst of course there are times when it gets me down. Maybe I'm not getting better. Maybe you're right. Maybe I'm getting worse because I'm accepting less and questioning more? I'm probably overthinking it all. I must be because I feel confused today and tired. Like GAD makes you feel. And id had less of this for a while
Shen

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Reply with quote  #9 
Accepting for me it's kind of a mental exercise. It's not easy, especially for us, people that have the habit of apprehension and worrying. because if we don't act and catch our automatic behaviour fast, we tend to get in the anxious loop very easily. so it takes practice. like a mental exercise, the moment you have an opportunity to change your anxious mindset to a passive mindfulness, you rewire your brain a little more.

But there are a lot of problems with accepting. accepting its tricky, involves being 100% ok with anything that you feel or think. even if you don't feel it like that. even if it shots you with adrenaline, even if your body its tense. you are ok with it. you take out the fear of the thought and accept it. and it's kind of hard, because some of our beliefs can be very personal and difficult to accept, as you, I tend to be very self critical about myself with others, I tend to have social anxiety here and there. But I have almost completely get rid of it, because I expose to those depressing thoughts, that maybe i`m not good enough, that I`m gonna f*ck up, or i'm gonna be rejected (one of my biggest fears, and one of the things that hurt the most, thanks to some traumas and my childhood) and accepted them. and changed it with something more positive. Letting the ego behind. Accepting that being judged its ok, that I`m gonna be ok, I let my ego out, and I'm perfectly ok with anything that will happen.(my ego says: o no everyone its gonna make fun of me!, i`m gonna get rejected, i`m not worth it((You see how the ego it's so selfish, it's always you, and you, and this is what caused me so much torment)) With this mindset, exposing to social situations, where I again feel the anxiety, I accept this feelings and I go again with my new mindset. letting the ego behind. eventually, the more you expose and you put your new mindset over the anxious one, the mind tends to react automatically like this, this new mindset isn`t as hurtful as the anxious one, in fact, it's very peaceful, eventually I just stop reacting to those anxious thoughts, and they stop coming. at the beginning its hard, because it feels like sh!t at first, your body it's very habituated to this "danger", but eventually, thanks to repetition, it fades. and fades. until one day those thoughts have no reaction in you. you are free. you need a new mindset for this, for me was accepting that my ego was the problem, being too self centered in me, giving so much importance to my situation, when in reality nobody gives a f*ck. I tend to worry so much of others thinking about me, but in reality, who cares. and Why should I care what they think. and of course, exposing to anxious-inducing scenarios.

I reflected that my ego hold up to a lot of things that torments me. like pride and dignity, so much, that the mere thought of f*cking up socially was extremely anxiety inducing. Letting go. being ok with being judged, letting the ego behind it's one of the great things I still practice. Being free of panic attacks its a way of letting the ego go. you hold up to your life, to live. and at the end, what you need to do, its letting the panic kill you. in a way you let your ego die. and that's how you get better. I know i'm being very existencial, but I think that this philosophy its the secret behind what torment us.

But ending with my original point. it's easy to go back to the habituated anxious mind. since we were so used to think in an anxious way, it tends to creep back even after a long time. and it's easy to get messed up again, thats why its so important to always catch your anxious behaviour, even years after you recovered. and anxiety will always make you believe that this time its different, that this needs to be solved, that this needs your attention, it isn't, it's always the same, for whatever symptom, belief or thought, its always the same. anxiety. and remember, anxiety at the end its a lie. a lie that for so much years we believed, and has torment us for so long.

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honey915

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Reply with quote  #10 
I suppose that because I feel I have come so far through accepting anxiety I wonder why I just can't overcome it altogether. I wonder is this the best it's going to get? Although I understand that must mean I'm not truly accepting. I am a nurse and have to socialise constantly within my role. It makes me keyed up constantly and I'm tired. I have to focus and not just pretend to be present but to be fully present and listening to patients and colleagues. So when mind is full of anxiety and I'm am gently trying to tell it to accept I feel I am failing at my job because I can't concentrate. I worry it'll get me caught out. In situations where the anxiety is huge I feel overpowered by it and by my discomfort. Because it's distracting me from what I'm trying to do, and it gets in the way of my profession. I know I am a good nurse but when the anxiety is present i can't concentrate and I wonder if it hinders my ability to practice safely.
jeff

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Reply with quote  #11 
Again, anxiety is worry. Nothing else.
Quote:
I suppose that because I feel I have come so far through accepting anxiety I wonder why I just can't overcome it altogether.


Now substitute "worrying" for "anxiety" and "it".
Quote:
I suppose that because I feel I have come so far through accepting worrying I wonder why I just can't overcome worrying altogether.


That is what you are saying.

Let it happen, let it go. That was always my mantra when over worrying.
honey915

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks Jeff. I was going to get the books out and re read them to try and reiterate acceptance to myself because I'm starting to wonder whether I'm not accepting as well as I could be. I know I accept well sometimes but more recently I've started to question. I'd say I mostly accept and I mostly don't care if it kills me and then there are those occasions where it hits me and I automatically think 'oh no I'm anxious' I tell myself that thought is automatic and don't add second fear to it, but sometimes even second fear happens automatically and then I start slipping back into that cycle. It can happen so easily. I don't want to undo any of the work I've done because I've come so far being totally accepting and I felt like I was getting so close but all this overanalyzing in the last few weeks has me slipping back into old ways.
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