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Anxiety and Life
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TOPIC: Anxiety and Life

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#25523
kittenluvvr (User)
Contributing Survivor
Posts: 90
graphgraph
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Anxiety and Life 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
I have been seeing a lot of posts lately by people that have anxiety. I have severe agoraphobia and generalized anxiety. I am happy to see it coming to the forefront but at the same time I am confused.

I have been single for seven years and because my last relationship was abusive I have locked myself in the safety of my house. I think I might have to do a post about that as well. Anyways, I am happy to see that people are opening up about their experiences with anxiety and how it affects their lives. but...

Where are those people in real life? It is like everyone is willing to open up on the internet and tell other people that they have anxiety and what it feels like and how lonely they are but when it comes to real life no one wants to talk about it. If I tell someone I have anxiety they look at me like something is wrong with me and I am broken. Maybe I am broken, but that doesn't mean I can't be a fun person to hang out with right? Maybe I can't go to the movies or crazy nights at bars but I am still worth loving and I can still make people laugh. I think.

So I see all these posts about acceptance of mental health issues and anxiety and depression but no one is living it in real life. I wonder if we have been trained to be tough in real life that we are scared to be who we really are. Scared to feel and show emotion in the real world.

Where are these people and why can I not find them in real life. I am so alone in life. I have literally no real life friends, I have friends on the internet but they aren't very helpful when I'm bored or want to go hang out somewhere. I want someone to want to be around me. I know I should stop chasing people but I just want to feel wanted and needed. At the same time, I am scared to let anyone in because of what happened the last time I did. I just don't want to be alone anymore.
 
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Last Edit: 2015/09/05 21:42 By
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#25524
tsuki (Admin)
Administrator
Posts: 927
graphgraph
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Re:Anxiety and Life 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
I think the majority of us are living fully or partially incognito because of the stigma attached to our mental and emotional disorders.

In my experiences I found that

1) People are afraid that we may have an attack and they may end up becoming caregivers.

2) They may think that we are constantly depressed and will spoil their fun with our depression or by dumping.

2) They may feel that if they listen to us once, they may become obligated to do it as part of a friendship.

3) They are not educated in anxiety.

4) They may feel that we are attention hounds.

5) They may feel frustrated that we are weak and lack the ability or desire to "get well" and "suck it up".

6) People may think that we are crazy and delusional.

These are just off the top of my head but the list can go on and on. I am also a survivor of agoraphobia and after Cognitive Behavior and Exposure Therapy was deemed successful, I was able to slowly venture from my home. I would have not been able to do this without the support of my husband, daughter and sister. They became my "outside" companions who brought fun back into my life through love and compassion.

Unlike you, I was more comfortable being alone and not caring to renew my "outside" friendships. If untreated I would have been contented to live the rest of my life home bound. In my home I felt I could handle my anxiety without explanation or judgement. I was fine with my pets, garden and home improvement projects which amazingly helped me get through my on-going therapy giving me time for realigning my thoughts and preparing the way for me to step outside my house.

As soon as I was able to be with "friends" and after a multitude of questions as to where I've been, I let them know that I was a Panic Survivor. They asked questions and I answered honestly. I was fortunate that my friends were understanding and went out of their way to educate themselves on Anxiety. It was never discussed again. It turns out to be best that way.

As for my work associates and clientele, I have never discussed my anxiety. It is hidden and discreetly handled thanks to therapy and meds. Also best that way.

Unfortunately, not many public mental health facilities or local non-profit agencies offer group support like AA or AlAnon. Here would be a good resource for finding people like ourselves who do not want to live in exile either. Friendships and organized outings are possible here through mutual need. There are many private organizations who offer in-house short or long-term therapy but may be cost prohibitive unless you have excellent medical insurance.

My reply may be long and all over the place, but I think you'll get what I'm trying to say. One last note: I am a person living with PTSD and diagnosed bi-polar. It's a constant effort for me to be well.

There are many out there living with anxiety. 1 out of 5 people in the U.S. suffer anxiety at some level with only 1/3 of them receiving treatment. The other 2/3 not seeking treatment may be the people who do not live their anxiety in "real life" due to ignorance, fear or the inability to pay for treatment.

There are no local groups available here but I started a small dedicated group of women, initially only three, who suffer anxiety. Being a past president of a small AA group, the group is administered to using concepts somewhat like a combination of AA and Red Hat Society. Out of curiosity, women come and go but at least they know that we are here if they ever decide that they need support and a little fun outing. I started by posting a bulletin at our local mental health clinic.

Don't be afraid to let people into your life. There are people out there whom are trustworthy. Like in all instances, we must choose our friends very carefully.

I wish you well. It's too bad that I can only be one of your "internet friends" . . . hugs
 
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Last Edit: 2015/09/05 23:07 By
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