View Full Version : This type of Anxiety


Delphine
11-18-15, 06:08 PM
I definitely experience anxiety.

But it's not 'anxiety' in the sense that most books/ posts/ online sources or support systems describe it.

Because I've never suffered from Panic Attacks. I do not suffer palpitations, trembling, insomnia, indigestion, dizziness, perspiration etc. (All of these things show up in searches when I try to google 'anxiety'.)

It's like, my type of 'anxiety' is trying to be my friend, or something!? :o (In a weird way, I might add)...

Trying to...
- Prevent me from forgetting important things...
- Keep me on my toes so I see things through...
- Prompt me to remember names, or what that person said last time we met
- Keep me from being late...
- Remind me of today's priorities and promises...
- Remind me of who was mean last time we met... (who to avoid)
- Keep me focussed in general..
- Remind me who said what in conversation, just to keep me on my toes
etc. etc.

It's definitely anxiety, because it is very uncomfortable. But not the more described form of anxiety.

I suspect now that my type of anxiety is a learned coping mechanism... a clumsy, somewhat inept thing.... willing to 'help me' cope. (...really does seem to think it's helping!)

Perhaps a part of my brain that developed from trying to cope with undiagnosed ADHD-i for all these years.

Almost like a 'clumsy friend' part-of-me that stepped up (in my earlier life) and tries desperately to help me cope with the non-functioning part of my brain.

It's very uncomfortable to live with. It over-functions quite a bit, and nags me on things that don't need my attention this very minute!!!
("Don't forget this.... don't forget that.... did you remember to..etc.

- Very funny, in a way :)... but so uncomfortable to live with!)

I can dismiss it to a large extent these days; tell it to be quiet right now.... I can breathe and do my best to let it go... but it is relentless - like a programme simmering away quietly in the background, waiting for it's chance to nag me into action!

Handling it can be exhausting some days.

Am I on my own with this particular type of "anxiety"? Or are there plenty of experienced posters here who know what I'm talking about?

Not sure if my description is very good, but best I can do right now....

Would appreciate any help or suggestions :grouphug:

Delphine
11-18-15, 07:51 PM
Added to this...

I can easily enough track where the discomfort is coming from when I take a moment to check in...

I can recognise this 'annoying old friend of mine' that is constantly nagging me to remember this or that...
I can say "here we go again.."... and do my best to let it go.

But I suspect there are others out there who have found better or more efficient ways of dismantling this old bugbear of mine.

Perhaps it's down to meds (am still currently unmedicated, due to change this any day now).

Or perhaps this particular discomfort is peculiar to me alone.

I used to call it 'insecurity'... but as I've matured, I'm secure enough in who I am per se.

Chronic discomfort.... restlessness.... perhaps these are better words than "anxiety".

It just never allows me to fully rest.

If I could find the right word, maybe I could google it.

TangledWebs
11-18-15, 08:35 PM
Anxiety isn't all bad. A healthy amount of anxiety improves focus and increases motivation.

Delphine
11-18-15, 09:17 PM
Anxiety isn't all bad. A healthy amount of anxiety improves focus and increases motivation.

Thanks. I agree.

But should chronic 'anxiety' of this type interfere with life to the extent that I describe..... this incessant, consistent, chronic discomfort?
(I can 'put it aside'... but am rarely fully free of it!)

It certainly feels incessant and relentless. Like there's always something I have to persistently ignore in order to enjoy the moment!

I had a recent week free (holiday) from this constant thorn-in-my-side, and it really brought this issue into sharp focus.....

I wonder if there are people out there who've learned to live somewhat free of it? Or maybe, not?

Maybe this is life?!

It's just that I didn't realise..... until this week.... exactly how much of a drag it is.

It's exhausted me anyway, for much of my life so far. I sense there is a finer balance than I've ever experienced before now.

I suspect many people have found a better balance than I've ever managed.

I meditate daily, find the spaces between my concerns.... but still, there is a certain unrest that is fairly constant.

Perhaps thats true for everyone in the whole world, and I'm asking too much of life....... Or perhaps there are many out there who've found another way.

No harm in asking anyway. I'd love hear opinions. Maybe I am asking too much of life! :) Don't want to jinx my blessings either!!!

Pilgrim
11-19-15, 03:24 AM
My 2 cents, when I was younger I didn't know what that feeling was but I didn't like it.

For me there two types of anxiety one that just grounds me, another that's not a nice feeling but I guess puts me in a state of flow that helps me deal with whatever is in front of me. I try to hold onto this as much as possible.

I find with Stimulints meds this can be made worse or better. Stimulints will put me into the sympathetic flow more quickly and easily. I guess the trick is getting out of it when you need to.

Delphine
11-19-15, 08:47 AM
My 2 cents, when I was younger I didn't know what that feeling was but I didn't like it.

For me there two types of anxiety one that just grounds me, another that's not a nice feeling but I guess puts me in a state of flow that helps me deal with whatever is in front of me. I try to hold onto this as much as possible.

I find with Stimulints meds this can be made worse or better. Stimulints will put me into the sympathetic flow more quickly and easily. I guess the trick is getting out of it when you need to.

Mine is probably somewhere in between. It doesn't always ground me, but it does sometimes.... when it completely exhausts me.

But it doesn't help me deal with whatever's in front of me either.
It tells me I should have prioritised something else. (Nag..nag..nag...)

I end up with many half-done tasks!

Pilgrim
11-19-15, 03:59 PM
There is a thinking dimension here. And it doesn't always work but sometimes you can think yourself out of this.

Takes practice, discipline and routine. As a rule of thumb the more relaxed you are the more you can get done. That's why meds can be a blessing or curse.

Greyhound1
11-19-15, 04:58 PM
I definitely experience anxiety.

But it's not 'anxiety' in the sense that most books/ posts/ online sources or support systems describe it.

Because I've never suffered from Panic Attacks. I do not suffer palpitations, trembling, insomnia, indigestion, dizziness, perspiration etc. (All of these things show up in searches when I try to google 'anxiety'.)

It's like, my type of 'anxiety' is trying to be my friend, or something!? :o (In a weird way, I might add)...

Trying to...
- Prevent me from forgetting important things...
- Keep me on my toes so I see things through...
- Prompt me to remember names, or what that person said last time we met
- Keep me from being late...
- Remind me of today's priorities and promises...
- Remind me of who was mean last time we met... (who to avoid)
- Keep me focussed in general..
- Remind me who said what in conversation, just to keep me on my toes
etc. etc.

It's definitely anxiety, because it is very uncomfortable.

I suspect now that my type of anxiety is a learned coping mechanism... a clumsy, somewhat inept thing.... willing to 'help me' cope. (...really does seem to think it's helping!)

Perhaps a part of my brain that developed from trying to cope with undiagnosed ADHD-i for all these years.

It's very uncomfortable to live with. It over-functions quite a bit, and nags me on things that don't need my attention this very minute!!!
("Don't forget this.... don't forget that.... did you remember to..etc.
Handling it can be exhausting some days.


You are not alone my friend. I could have written this post myself. I wasn't diagnosed until age 45 after this type of anxiety was ruining my life and my health.

I spent many years seeking treatment and tried about every anti-depressant and anti-anxiety med. around for a decade. Everything failed and I just continued to get worse. Getting diagnosed and treated for ADHD is the only thing that has greatly helped.

Only, after so many years of failed treatments did my new smart Dr. consider ADHD. She recognized it to be a co-morbid condition since it was resistant to conventional treatment. She was so right and I hug her at every visit for changing my life.

I feel the anxiety you describe is most definitely a bad coping skill I developed in my late teens. I was so tired of being embarrassed from years of failure and forgetting or not prioritizing important things. It was causing me lots of stress and anxiety.

I soon discovered that by obsessing over important things was the only way for me to keep them in the front of my mind. I intentionally began repeating important events and responsibilities in my mind trying not forget them. I developed mental checklists and would think about them frequently and it worked well for a while.

As life became more stressful my skills couldn't keep up. My "helpful" and motivational anxiety started changing into constant worry and obsessive thoughts. This quickly manifested into OCD, an eating disorder and chronic fatigue. My stomach was always so nervous I could barely eat. The fatigue was from the constant adrenaline pumping from the anxiety. I could have one wrong thought and my body was in the fight or flight response and couldn't even think about eating.

Untreated ADHD is difficult to diagnosis later in life due to all the co-morbid conditions it can hide behind.

I would suggest you get assessed for ADHD. Being untreated could very well be the root cause of your anxiety. Treatment has changed my life so much for the better.

Best wishes with it!

Delphine
11-19-15, 06:01 PM
You are not alone my friend. I could have written this post myself. I wasn't diagnosed until age 45 after this type of anxiety was ruining my life and my health.

I spent many years seeking treatment and tried about every anti-depressant and anti-anxiety med. around for a decade. Everything failed and I just continued to get worse. Getting diagnosed and treated for ADHD is the only thing that has greatly helped.

Only, after so many years of failed treatments did my new smart Dr. consider ADHD. She recognized it to be a co-morbid condition since it was resistant to conventional treatment. She was so right and I hug her at every visit for changing my life.

I feel the anxiety you describe is most definitely a bad coping skill I developed in my late teens. I was so tired of being embarrassed from years of failure and forgetting or not prioritizing important things. It was causing me lots of stress and anxiety.

I soon discovered that by obsessing over important things was the only way for me to keep them in the front of my mind. I intentionally began repeating important events and responsibilities in my mind trying not forget them. I developed mental checklists and would think about them frequently and it worked well for a while.

As life became more stressful my skills couldn't keep up. My "helpful" and motivational anxiety started changing into constant worry and obsessive thoughts. This quickly manifested into OCD, an eating disorder and chronic fatigue. My stomach was always so nervous I could barely eat. The fatigue was from the constant adrenaline pumping from the anxiety. I could have one wrong thought and my body was in the fight or flight response and couldn't even think about eating.

Untreated ADHD is difficult to diagnosis later in life due to all the co-morbid conditions it can hide behind.

I would suggest you get assessed for ADHD. Being untreated could very well be the root cause of your anxiety. Treatment has changed my life so much for the better.

Best wishes with it!

Thanks, Greyhound... that's exactly it! "A bad coping skill" developed somewhere along the way.

In my story, I think, as a child I was so determined not to forget things, to try to keep up and do what was expected of me.. trying hard not to disappoint anyone... that I developed this constantly unsettled state of anxiety.

Then later in life, I learned breathwork, meditations, stretching exercises etc, that helped cope (to a certain extent only) with this constant underlying unease.
(Only for that, it may have continued to develop into panic attacks, ocd etc. But it didn't cure the problem either.)

It was only recently, when I stopped and really looked at it. that I realised that this 'anxiety' imagined itself to be helpful!! (...and it once was helpful enough, in an odd sort of way.)

I've heard it said that 'often a problem we have was once a solution to another problem.' I never fully got that, but in this particular case, it would seem to apply.

I am sorry you had to go through all of that, and I am very glad that treatment changed your life. That is very encouraging... and thank you for sharing your experience.

jjamieson
11-19-15, 06:19 PM
I have this too. It's the itch that you can't find to scratch...like it's inside of you and you can't get to it?

I first discovered my ADHD by route of some OCD behaviors....that's a different kind of anxiety. I took care of that but the itch was still there. Now what?

Then...I addressed some of the anxieties related to my ADHD behaviors. One by one...I've been trying to knock them down one problem at a time....and still.....the itch is still there. Now what?

I now think....this is just part of ADHD. When my brain gets overwhelmed with too much to handle at any given time....it happens again. There's that itch. So I rest...I take medication and I do everything else I can to prevent it from happening. As long as I am in control of everything and I can handle things....it's not there. The medication does help with this and the other kinds of anxiety I can talk myself out of and self soothe in this way. But the second things don't go right.....there it is again.

Sometimes I do it to myself....and sometimes it happens from something outside of myself and circumstances.....

But the itch is the same. I understand what you are saying about it being like a friend. The itch and I are one and it's always the same no matter what. It's not something I learned or developed from my childhood or from experience. It's not from worrying or from being obsessive. The other anxieties can be changed and come and go based on many other things...

This anxiety is part of who I am and I can embrace it, learn to flex my anxiety muscles and make them stronger to deal with it...or fight against and keep denying it and hoping it will just go away.

Making it your friend instead of your enemy is a very good way to look at it. If it's your enemy....then you are being your own worse enemy because it's part of who you are and you are only fighting against yourself.

I think this is why I don't do things sometimes that I tell myself I need to do....I'm too busy fighting against myself and spending more time trying to find a way to scratch the itch....instead of ignoring it and just letting it be.

It will always be there and I just try and make it as welcome and comfortable as I can like an old friend who lives in the same house with me who has a tendency to snore and keep me up all night.:)

Delphine
11-19-15, 06:43 PM
Haha jjamieson! "..like an old friend who lives in the same house with me who has a tendency to snore and keep me up all night." !!
I like that :giggle:

It is like an old friend, you're right.... an annoying one who needs to take a chill pill, but won't go get a prescription!

Taking a few minutes every day to dialogue with this old buddy of mine might be an interesting exercise. Worth a go anyway.

You're right.. it's part of me now, it has become so.
Getting irritated with myself certainly compounds the problem.

Having so recently had a whole week (of holiday time) free of this nagging little pest was pure heaven. Having glimpsed that, I want more of it.

They say "wherever you go, there you are".... But in this case, I left that part of me at home and got to feel what I could be like!!! :)

Greyhound1
11-19-15, 06:48 PM
In my story, I think, as a child I was so determined not to forget things, to try to keep up and do what was expected of me.. trying hard not to disappoint anyone... that I developed this constantly unsettled state of anxiety.


It was only recently, when I stopped and really looked at it. that I realised that this 'anxiety' imagined itself to be helpful!! (...and it once was helpful enough, in an odd sort of way.

I have the same story. I learned in college that obsessing was essential to my motivation and keeping important information from falling through the cracks. Unfortunately, I embraced the obsessing at first and was able to manage it pretty well. I could switch gears when necessary and it helped me get through a lot. It was my only way of graduating besides cheating more.:)

It feels like as a kid and life growing up, my mind was focused only on fun and excitement. The more responsibilities of life began to pile on my back, the excitement in life flipped over to anxiety.


Anxiety and fear can be powerful motivators and helpful at times or they can destroy you. Using them as coping skills is a slippery slope. I was lucky to finally get properly diagnosed and my life and mental health are in much better control.

Delphine
11-19-15, 07:04 PM
I have the same story. I learned in college that obsessing was essential to my motivation and keeping important information from falling through the cracks. Unfortunately, I embraced the obsessing at first and was able to manage it pretty well. I could switch gears when necessary and it helped me get through a lot. It was my only way of graduating besides cheating more.:)

It feels like as a kid and life growing up, my mind was focused only on fun and excitement. The more responsibilities of life began to pile on my back, the excitement in life flipped over to anxiety.


Anxiety and fear can be powerful motivators and helpful at times or they can destroy you. Using them as coping skills is a slippery slope. I was lucky to finally get properly diagnosed and my life and mental health are in much better control.

So true! A very slippery slope. It starts off with the "must try harder" stuff.... 'must get my act together'... 'must stay on top of things...'..'I can do it if I really, really, really try!'...
- but it ends up being a silent tyrant driving you on. (I'm not even an A type personality - thank goodness for that!)

Sounds like the meds are the way to go.

:) I've started calling it my PA (personal anxiety.. masquerading as 'personal assistant'.) A bit of humour lightens the grip. Irritation aggravates it.

Awareness is a good start, I suppose. Seeing the problem for what it is.

I'm glad people can relate, and know what I mean. But I wish nobody had to live with it, ever!

neewsmonth
11-20-15, 03:57 AM
Delphine, I think you should donate your brain to science :)

It looks like you managed to find a homeostasis point where harmless anxiety keeps your harmful add from taking you down.

Or, you're still too young for anxiety to take a visible toll on your body...?

Delphine
11-20-15, 07:48 AM
Delphine, I think you should donate your brain to science :)

It looks like you managed to find a homeostasis point where harmless anxiety keeps your harmful add from taking you down.

Or, you're still too young for anxiety to take a visible toll on your body...?

Nope....am 56 years young.... :)

I like your take on this. 'Harmless anxiety' is a good way of looking at it. Although it can be very uncomfortable, I suppose I have to admit that ultimately it is harmless, in the greater scheme of things!

jjamieson
11-20-15, 04:16 PM
I just turned 58 (sounds like kid keeping track here....57 1/4, 57 1/2...58 ha!) Hey...if you haven't thought of this or are not one to exercise....exercise!! I realized as I got older that when I wasn't as active physically....that pain in the *** little anxiety kept yanking at my coat tails more and more. lol


Endorphin's will kick that little anxiety right in it's little ***. Exercise and never stop. It will do you good besides.....passive aggressively knowing you are telling your house quest to shut the F&*k up!:yes:

Delphine
11-20-15, 06:01 PM
Yes, I admit to being a lazy thing over the years.... A little bit of gentle yoga and stretching, and some leisurely strolling is the sum total of my exercise routine to date :)

Time for a new plan!