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Asking for help even though things have gotten better

Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
10
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6
#1
I’ve struggled with my anxiety for a long time and when I started dating my current girlfriend, fears of losing her and helping her with her own mental health issues intensified my symptoms to the point that I finally broke down and got counseling through my school in secret. The counseling drastically improved my quality of life and peace of mind, my panic attacks became less frequent and I started to trust people more and there were even a few days where I thought “I can’t reach my girlfriend I hope she’s okay, but even if she isn’t, worrying about her isn’t going to change anything.” I know to some people that’s normal, but to me it was major progress.

Anyway, when the semester ended so did my counseling and I honestly thought I was in a better place and didn’t need it anymore, but some things happened since then and it’s as though I unlearned everything those sessions taught me.

I confided in a friend about my anxiety and how I was feeling and really emphasized that I needed counseling. Granted I was in a dark place then, but things are better now. The question is should I reapply for counseling again? I’m a lot better now, but I know it’s easier to get help when you’re not in crisis and I think I’d be better off for it.

I’m just really afraid of others finding out. I don’t want people to think I’m trying to get attention or pity. I’m looked up to by a lot of people for advice and strength. I love helping people and being a supportive friend and I guess deep down I feel like if they knew I was hurting this much they’d see me differently or think less of me.

I’m a big guy and a lot of people think of me as a strong person or at least they see me as someone they can confide in. I like helping others, I like making them laugh and giving them advice through tough times, I just try to be a friend to everyone I meet I guess. I just don’t know if they’d still see me as this happy go lucky guy if they knew about my panic attacks or the times the stress and fear were so bad I just wanted to die. The only person who knows the real me is my girlfriend. I get nervous at even the idea of a close friend accidentally seeing me at the health office waiting for a counseling appointment.

My biggest fear is my family finding out. They already think I’m afraid of everything and I don’t want them to treat me differently by putting a diagnosis onto it. I don’t want my family to know that I’m even weaker then they already think I am.

I’m sorry this was so long, but I’ve been trying to learn how to be more accepting of myself and this topic opened up a whole separate can of worms for me.


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triceps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
778
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377
#2
Hi Howlingvapor. You are part of the minority who have anxiety/panic disorder who find great help through a good therapist. Please consider yourself very fortunate and continue with that counselor in the future. Try to learn to take care of yourself first and you'll be even more helpful to others. If you were on a medication that works, would you get off of it from the fear that someone will find out that you're on medication? Unfortunately, many on this forum feel that taking medication shows a weakness and stay away from the many medications that might improve their quality of life.

Look big guy, it's obvious from your posts that trying to keep up the facade of being a strong, perfectly stable person that others can turn to for help is creating additional, unnecessary anxiety for you. This pattern is not easy to change as I did the same thing until I was in my 50's when mentally it was just too overwhelming to keep up. I so wish I had changed my attitude 20 years earlier if for no other reason than I think it hurt my career decisions. I'm sorry but it is difficult for me to see you following in my footsteps. Being a closet anxiety sufferer will drain the energy you need to battle this disorder. I promise you that the people who truly look up to you will still seek you out for help knowing that you truly know their pain. Your family won't treat you any worse, in fact perhaps even better knowing there is a basis for the actions by you that they've perceived as strange or weak. You can't go backwards if you decide to come out of the anxiety, people pleasing closet.
I'm confident that your counselor is already working with you towards being more of your natural self.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2019
Messages
16
Likes
9
#3
That's deep but if you need the help then go for it and if people judge you for it then they were never really your friend. Friends are there to support you and to provide you with a shoulder to lean on when you need them they are not meant to judge. Even if you are a big guy, you have to remember that you come first to you and you cannot help others if you cannot help yourself first. I know, I have been their in your shoes and it sucks. I am a struggling mom and sometimes I feel the world would be better off without me, but then someone on here told me that we are here for you and i felt better instantly. I have to remember that I am a mom and someone depends on me so I have to help me in order to help him. I know its tough but you do have us and we are all going through the some what of the same problems due to our anxiety and depression. we can all get through this together...we are a family here and we will not judge you by any means.
 
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