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How much is too much?


confused12
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Frankly it depends on the person. How much anxiety are willing to put up with? What is the point in which it begins to effect your life? Some would argue that any anxiety is too much. However anxiety is a part of life. Feeling anxious about something is natural when things are happening in your life. Be it an upcoming change, or something bad happening.

I can see this is a concern. If it is a concern, at least enough to write about, this could be a good red flag. However there are questions you have to ask yourself. First and foremost is your anxiety beginning to effect the workings of your day to day life? Are you distracted from work? Fighting more with the people close to you? Do you find yourself irritable? Why are you anxious, and is it worth being this anxious about? All of these are valid questions. If you answered yes on the first four questions, you're probably having much to much stress and anxiety in your life. Why I ask the last question, is not to imply that you are overreacting. It is actually figure out if there is a good reason that you are anxious. If there is a good reason, I would say your fine and just going through a lot of things. If not... well you might be far too anxious.

I really can't know if this is worth it. So why don't you tell me what you're anxious about and we can go from there.

- Anonymous.

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Thank you Pseudonym and existindeath.

I will try and respond to you Pseudonym as existindeath has stirred me by the expressed honesty, I don't think I was prepared to read that much detail. Sorry existindeath.

I have been aware of my anxiety for a few years now. It has and still is present everyday but at different intensities. Symptoms range from tingling sensations to vomiting. Does it affect my daily life, well yes too different degrees, depending on the day and triggers. I have even taken time off work this last two months because it has been so overwhelming (something I rarely do). Work has been a positive distraction and the anxieties it normally triggers I seam to manage with ease but not at the moment.

As for fighting with people. I don't fight with people and never would. I would not even allow them to know how frustrated I get with them. But I am so irritable, irritable with myself. The irritable sensation is becoming unbearable mixed with the anxiety.

Why am I anxious? That's it I don't know why I need to be anxious now. My anxieties are about the past and the past has been and gone but I am still anxious (the knowing and the feeling are not matching). Are my past experiences reasons to be so anxious now, well I don't really think so because I know there is no danger now. There is no reason for me to be fearful now, but the reality is I am. I am freaking out with fear.

What am I anxious about? Almost everything where people are involved in the past, present and future. Certain environments make me anxious. Even I make myself anxious, I am anxious about discovering my memories, thoughts and feelings.

I am just about anxious about everything at the moment, it is so not in proportion with reality.:confused:

1confused12

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Anxiety is our body and mind's way of protecting us. It has helped us from the threats of life since... well since ever. We need anxiety, with out it people would walk into dangerous situations and get killed much more often.

That said, any time anxiety is effecting our life with no IMMEDIATE threat, it is much too much anxiety. If you are vomiting or feeling numb, this is ALWAYS and bad sign. Fear vomit is very rare outside of immediate threat situations. You had mentioned that you are anxious because of the past. This indicates to me that you have had a recent self realization where you have uncovered a buried memory. If you have uncovered a suppressed memory than that can be very disconcerting. And a good indication of why you are anxious. I remember when I uncovered the fact that I was raped as a child, I became anxious as well. It became hard for me to function, and most of the time I would rerepressed the memory.

If this is not because of an uncovered memory, that indicates that the past you are talking about is very recent. If it is very recent that can be a good indication of why you are anxious.

I like telling people that they are probably fine. Truth is most of the time when we post concerns, we're worried about something happening that is natural. But the intensity of the emotions we are feeling are troubling. Unfortunately I cannot in all good faith tell that for any reason, unless what you are anxious about so extreme and so recent, that you should feel this anxious. This is a good cause for concern, and I would STRONGLY suggest speaking to a therapist about this. I know it's not always easy, but it is important to get this away before it causes any sort of damage to you and your lifestyle.

In conclusion, I WOULD say that yes, your anxiety is a cause for concern. If what we are talking about is a childhood problem, I would suggest a Psychodynamic Therapist (a freudian), if it is more recent than a Cognative Learning therapist is a good shot too. In any way I would strongly recommend it. I wish you the best of luck.

- Anonymous

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Confused

How much is too much anxiety? I agree with pseudonym in that if you have so much that you are feeling it is too much, then it is too much. Dysfunctional anxiety is chronic or repetative anxiety that is out of proportion to the actual dangers and threats you face.

Do you know about panic attacks? These are intense and sudden episodes of raw elemental fear that take you over unexpectedly - you get a racing heart rate, and a sense of impending death, etc. These things scare the crap out of people when they happen, but the thing is, they are not all that dangerous from a medical point of view. That's important to keep in mind. Anxiety is very uncomfortable, but it is mostly harmless from a medical point of view.

Nervousness, ocassional vomiting, tingling sensations may not rise to the level of a panic attack. There are other lower level forms of anxiety. There is what is known as "generalized anxiety disorder" where a person goes about in a constant state of low level distress and worry, for instance.

There are reasonable treatments for the anxiety disorders these days, but they are not always widely available. The best therapies for anxiety problems are pretty much exclusively cognitive (CT) in nature. CT focuses on remediating symptoms and not so much on understanding why you became anxious in the first place. It is more focused, than dynamic therapies which can leave you with a good understanding of what you are upset about, but little relief. It's not so cut and dry either. Dynamic therapies can be very helpful, but my bias here is that if you are going to spend for a therapy, you want the one that is most focused on relieving your distress.

So far as educating yourself, one thing you might do is to listen to this podcast with Richard Heimberg, Ph.D. Dr. Heimberg is a world-renown authority on social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder and it is an interesting listen. This podcast with Michelle Craske, Ph.D. is on the subject of panic attacks, which may interest you too.

Mark

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Thank you Pseduonym and Mark,

Mark, yes I do understand panic attacks and since doing some cbt I do not have as many. I still avoid some things which have triggered anxiety attacks in the past. I guess this is a confidence thing. I don't fear the attacks themselves just the uncomfortable physical effects are not so nice.

But the vomiting thing is more often than I would like. At the moment basic things like watching a tv programs or movies with some intense or suspense moments trigger it. (The entertainment could even be of a comedy nature).

So this was why I was asking the question, while the panic attacks have subsided the intense anxiety I still have is becoming unbearable. If I knew that I was going to have the tingling feeling type of anxiety I think I could cope with that for a few more months.

Thanks for the links I will take another look

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Confused12,

You know, when there is an accumulation of lousy things that happened during childhood and more lousy things happen during adulthood it can all get to feeling like "Too much." My suggetion is that you should pay attention to a warning signal within yourself that you might be about to reach the point off "too much," or of intense anxiety. Lots of times, when we can figure out what that internal signal is we can make adjustments before going over the border. Is there some internal signal that, perhaps, you have not paid attention to, that lets you know ahead of time that you are heading for trouble? If you can become aware of it then, depending on what you are doing, you can stop doing it and take care of youself and calming yourself.

How does that sound??

Allan

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Hi Confused, I have figured out that with me, I feel anxious or get panic attacks because not only of triggers, but also of being overwhelmed. Do you journal? Or do any writing? What helps me is to make a list of what I need to do and do things one at a time, slowly and mindfully. I do them deliberately as I remain mindful. It sort of clears my head. Also just sitting down and either writing out or typing at the computer what is in your head is very theraputic. I just pour myself into my PC.

Benzos don't hurt either. :) Sometimes it only takes just one to help.

Sometimes I realize that I am angry at a person or many people like for example this week. The anxiety went through the roof this week! And stress can affect my mental health and also my diabetes.

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:) (it needs to be green). I have had to come home from work today. I just can't seam to settle myself. Work is not the place to be vomiting spontaneously. I have even tried the benzo's today:(.

I am so sorry to hear this, Confused. I can relate to feeling nausea when experiencing anxiety and/or panic attacks but I have not as yet actually vomited because of it. I really don't have anything to add but just wanted you to know that I am here listening and wishing you the best. Big hugs to you and sending you positive vibes your way. xxxx

EDIT: Today I was feeling sick physically, and the depression came back. I took a nap and now I feel better. Perhaps a bit of sleep would help?

Edited by WinterSky
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Hi Confused12 --

I just saw this thread. Sorry things are so tough for you today.

I definitely agree that this is too much anxiety -- It sounds sort of like you are in a heightened state of anxiety all the time and when something triggers you it just sort of goes "over the top". If this is the case, it seems like you need to find a way lower the baseline of anxiety -- relieve the underlying and ongoing fear and anxiety. Could be using meds and relaxation exercise and Cognitive Therapy techniques and then to look to underlying causes. I don't know if you have PTSD, but I'm wondering about that.

Thinking about you, hoping you get some relief from all this soon --

Appleby

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:confused: I don't know what mental space I have been in the last few days because I don't even remember responding about coming home from work. So sorry Allan, WinterSky and Appleby for the belated thank you.

Allan when you talk about internal signals would these be like emotional signals or physical signals or both? What I think is happening is I am almost in a constant state of partial dissociation, (if that is possible) by this I mean I don't pick up on any personal emotions about external things which let me know I am doing to much etc. This nothing state allows me to work full time and try and do the functional parts of being a mother and wife.

So far the only signs I pick up is when my sleep becomes even more disturbed, or I start spontaneously vomiting. It's like I am oblivious to my own needs. I don't even act on the sleep thing because it has become normal and I always have anxiety. Maybe this is something I need to work on, thanks for pointing it out Allan.

WinterSky, I sometimes write, normally if I am going through my 'allnighter' phase where I may sleep for 45minutes each night. Writing is the only thing that keeps me going. I often don't remember what I have written and I am also to scared to read it. I haven't even shared it with my therapist. So I have loads of paper sitting in a clear file ready to be opened but just can't seam to get myself to take the next step. (I am already questioning myself about why I am so scared to read my own writing).

As for the meds I dislike taking them because I often don't know what I am feeling anyway and this just numbs the feeling so then I have really no idea about how I am reacting and to what specific thing. Because I build a tolerance to them so quickly I working on, one week on three weeks off switching between sleeping meds and anxiety meds. It's kind of getting a bit ridiculous but the pdoc is prescribing so i will follow his directions. WinterSky thanks so much for listening and oh how I wish I could nap during the day. My H does it all the time and can't understand how I can't do it.

Appleby, thankyou for your warm wishes. You have it right I think. I do need to reduce the baseline. But doing it seams a bit more complex. First I need to find a relaxation exercise technique which does not trigger past trauma. Even typing about this in general terms is sensitive. I discuss the med thing and I am working on the cbt stuff. So I guess things are in progress and it will take time and wont always be smooth workings.

What I have noticed in this recent anxiety state is that I have been more emotional, in a dissociative state though. The shell of me carrying out the daily routines but the inner of me somewhere foreign but with intense sadness. Does this mean anything? Having these foreign feelings of sadness like I could cry at anytime does indicate to me that something is different right now. But I have know idea what it is. What could it be? Although I have been diagnosed with depression as well as the c-ptsd I have always said I don't feel depressed but now I am thinking I am actually starting to feel that way.

Sorry for the long post,

confused12

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