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Hi, long-term anxiety sufferer seeking help

Joined
Jan 11, 2019
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#1
Hi all I'm Sam.

I was born with extreme anxiety and struggled my entire life, especially when having to deal with people or having to socialize with them. I don't know a good solution for it, and I need some help. My mom does so much for me, but like she says- she's not going to be around forever and I will eventually have to learn how to be an adult and handle things on my own.

I was severely bullied growing up (way more than just teasing) and I know I brought it on myself because of how scaredy-cat I acted around everything. The boys that picked on me constantly were jerks, but I don't blame them in the sense that a lion must always chase the gazelle and whether we like it or not it is a dog eat dog world. Men especially should not be that way, men should be strong and confident - and I was just some overly sissified easily bullied anxiety-ridden mama's boy. I was terrified of almost everything, if I seemed cool and calm on the outside- I was just masking a nervous breakdown or meltdown that I would later have in front of my family. I would be afraid of the weirdest things, not just people- but certain books that were actually tame. It was so bizarre.

I was always so certain I had some serious life-threatening illness (I don't, but always feel that I do) that I wasted a lot of mine and my mom's money on a few trips to the ER. The anxiety is so bad if I have a mild or moderate cold I can feel like I'm literally dying, everything becomes way too exaggerated and 'real.' The tiniest sensation is incredibly magnified in my body, and feels about 20x worse than it actually is. When people say 'Sam, you're just too sensitive' it's the under-statement of the century lol.

I got my first and only job in my mid 20s (I'm 35 now) and I ended up throwing up every day before having to go in due to nerves and stress. I was able to tough it out until they eventually laid me off, but it was a miserable experience. Going crazy alone in my room is worse though.

I would like to do more things with friends IRL but the anxiety stops me. The one friend I have that I met IRL via online gaming is really nice and supportive of me, but I still feel nervous around him even after he's so nice to me. It sucks , I wish I could show him how much he means to me and that I appreciate his kindness. I know it's something internally in me that I wish I could just 'fix.' As you could be the sweetest non-bully person in the world, and I probably still would end up feeling face-palm-ishly terrified of you. I was literally for a long time, actually afraid of my own shadow.

Just going out and doing a chore with my mom can be a nightmare. If not, if I have it under control that day of sorts, it still just ends up exhausting me instead. I'm not that out of shape, I'm losing weight and eating better- why do I feel so drained and tired all the time. Everything tires me out, due to the overthinking and worrying and stress. It is hard to even enjoy things that used to give me some relief from it. I know it's genetic, because my mom and dad and grandma all panicked way too easily. But I got it the worse out of all of them, I think. It is hard to function in day to day life because of this.

There probably isn't a 'pretty ribbon' solution to these problems like I want there to be but anyway, thanks for listening.
 

He Man

Active Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
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#2
Sam, Thanks for sharing your experience.. And sorry to hear about your trials with anxiety. I think u should take pride in your survival.. and keep taking it day by day.. maybe making small progress toward your (friendship & health/diet) goals. I know there are a lot of work opportunities from home now, if that interests u at all (?)
I'm gonna be praying for your success & peace of mind.
 

triceps

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Aug 7, 2018
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#3
Sam, Thanks for sharing your experience.. And sorry to hear about your trials with anxiety. I think u should take pride in your survival.. and keep taking it day by day.. maybe making small progress toward your (friendship & health/diet) goals. I know there are a lot of work opportunities from home now, if that interests u at all (?)
I'm gonna be praying for your success & peace of mind.
Hi Prismpower. I'm sorry, but the bullies need to be blamed for their destructive actions. Secondly you are not at all alone as I think I'm as severely disabled by anxiety as you are. Every single day is a challenge for me. I'm scared of anything social, have severe difficulty and get exhausted from doing the simplest of daily tasks.
Just wondering if you're on any medication of if you've been able to get disability payments.
 
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Jan 11, 2019
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#4
I'm currently not on any medication for it. I thought about it, and have mixed feelings. First, I heard they made you gain weight and I am already too fat. I don't really want to put even more pressure on my heart but idk, I get so anxious sometimes I don't work out enough as I should. Also I'm recovering from bronchitis which scares me. (I really do have the bronchitis, was really bad this morning but I got better as the day went on. It takes a long time to heal) I get paralyzed with fear. But I do think I need them , the anxiety is too in-grained. I try like drinking chamomile tea and other stuff that naturally calms your body down but they feel like a shallow band-aid fix.

As for going on disability, I thought about that too. However I am worried about being stuck in the house all the time. If I get too comfortable, I can have a massive panic attack that comes on brutal and suddenly all at once. I think it will also make me more naive and sheltered than I already am, I think learning how to function in the real world is good for me- but I need a lot more support and help than most people to do it. I think I would ideally like to go out more, but have a better support network.

As for getting a job at my house- my mom mentioned that to me before too. Haven't looked into it yet... but yes I need more of an income coming in. I might do this, if I also have some means to also explore the world a bit- but I never even got my driver's license. Failed the non-written part three times and just gave up. I am way too scared of driving and don't think it will ever be appropriate for me. Maybe, but I doubt it. I do feel more confident if the money is mine and not my mom's. I had a job on the outside once (thankfully it was pretty close to home) before and my boss said I was the best employee she ever had. I think she was just trying to be nice because she empathized with my struggles lol. But even tho I threw up before going in every day, I felt it made me stronger and I was over-all happier then.
 
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Jan 11, 2019
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#5
"Hi Prismpower. I'm sorry, but the bullies need to be blamed for their destructive actions."

You're right. Even though I know I brought it on myself in a way because of how easily scared I got, the bullies made me fear school so much that I completely dropped out and then all these asshole state and government agents tried to make *me* into the problem. Nobody did a thing about bullying in school back then, esp. in my small conservative town. Now its different I think, its probably better but I'm still bitter because my childhood was ruined because of it. I also was institutionalized by the state simply for not going to school.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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Jul 28, 2018
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#6
Hey there Sam - so glad you're here, and thanks for sharing your story. You will find some good encouragement here...

I've spent most of my life fighting panic attacks and looking completely normal and functional on the outside. So even if you FEEL alone because you're disabled by your anxiety right now, believe me, you're not. There are lots of us.

I have also worried about the weight gain associated with medications, but here's my experience in case it's helpful... You can ignore it if it's not. :) I struggle with weight, AND I take a medication for anxiety/depression (Lexapro). I can't tell you whether my weight is caused or affected by the meds or not, but I CAN say that when I'm having extreme anxiety, I tend to not take care of myself as well. I overeat. I don't feel motivated to exercise. I don't want to meal plan to have healthy options. When my mind is healthier, my body is healthier, and vice versa. I was really afraid of medication too, but it was the best decision for me and I've not regretted giving it a try. Also, nothing is permanent - if you try for a couple of months and it doesn't help you, you can stop.

Either way, I hope you can find some help - there are some really good resources out there now. You are worthy of care and love, and this can get better and more manageable. So glad you are here and thanks again for sharing!
 
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Jan 11, 2019
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#7
@Hurt&Hopeful

Thank you, yes I do think I need meds for sure. Like the anxiety just comes on all of a sudden, like a wave of doom. I just had a mild attack about ten minutes ago that I am recovering from now.

My body turns cold and my heart races... there isn't even a physical trigger. Well I was tortured a lot as a child, and that has something to do with it. Not torture for real, but in the sense that I was bullied/belittled so much that it felt like it was physical abuse, being so sensitive on top of it. The way I handled this was to become numb to almost everybody around me, to my family/friends, just distance myself out of numbness- as I can't take the feelings sometimes.

I think I am going to die its so bad. But then suddenly I am fine again, I feel normal and just like a regular person. Until the next attack. Theres nothing wrong with me... is what other people see. They think I am being ridiculous or a baby, chastise me/say something condescending to me, and move on. But then on the inside, it comes back again. I haven't been able to live on my own due to these panic attacks but some day, I would like to.
 
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Hurt&Hopeful

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#8
So I'm not a doctor, but it really sounds to me like your panic attacks could be trauma-based or at least made worse by what you experienced as a kid. We tend to think that trauma has to be one big event that we can't get over, but experts are now talking about 'complex trauma' as something different. Complex trauma is something you are exposed to over time, such as childhood abuse. Google CPTSD if you're curious. There can be long-lasting effects - and anxiety attacks are part of it for sure. The good news is that therapy can help overcome it in this case - I have attacks exactly like you're describing - the cold feeling, etc. Fingers and toes start kind of feeling weird...I get spacey and lose touch with reality completely. I used to sometimes get disoriented, and then afterwards just feel wiped out completely. With some therapy targeted to work on the parts of my brain that are doing it, it's gotten a lot better.

Hoping you can get some answers! Best of luck to you!
 
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