T Nation

On The Topic Of Anxiety

Just a ramble, some personal notes, introspection, and typing in front of me for some visual clarity.

So I’ve probably spent the last year with 90% of my posts being in the off topics section. I went through a bit, was refinding myself, and trying to make sense of a lot. And I really appreciate the advice of some of the people on here. Smart meathead advice is advice I can trust (seriously, you guys have been amazing)

Well, it all kind of hit me about 2 weeks ago. And took me a week to make sense of it.

I’ve always thought anxiety and depression were just people with bad coping mechanisms. Well, I’m definitely not depressed, quite the opposite actually… but holy fuck is anxiety a motherfucker.

It’s this oppressive weight on my chest. I feel like my skin is buzzing. The slightest hint of confrontation (even just being confronted over some arbitrary thing I didnt do around the house) sends me into a fucking spiral. I’m constantly alert to the worst possible scenario at work and home. And if I see anything that I mistake as a sign of that worst scenario, I’m spiraling for hours, even if it’s been resolved for hours. And every-fucking-thing compounds and multiplies it.

I’m self aware enough to recognize it and not act on it in a negative manner, but I cant help the sinking feeling and I’m sure its abundantly apparent to those around me when it’s happening. And recognizing that gives me more anxiety.

It’s the most aggressively ludicrous mental reaction that I’m fully aware of but cant stop.

In good news… I’ve recently ordered some CBD tincture, and after 3 days it is significantly better. The dosage seems to be random. Sometimes 500ml is enough, last night took 1500ml before I felt calm, tonight is 500ml again. But so far it’s been amazing.

I’ve always been incredibly independent, and very good at brushing everything off, but I’ve finally hit my breaking point it seems.

I’ve never regretted anything in my life until this, all the negative thoughts I had for people with these issues. I’ve never really verbalized it, but I’m very aware how I felt about it. It’s a fucking doozy. Thank fuck for a good girlfriend, the gym, and CBD. Apparently I’ve been busting at the seams for a long time.

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I’ve had lots of problems with anxiety among other things my whole life.

It’s good that you realize it. I spent many years self medicating with drugs and alcohol, in a very high friction relationship with the rest of the world which ai couldn’t understand and didn’t really want to be a part of.

Turns out it wasn’t the world. It was me. Still have a very hard time dealing with myself too though. But things have gotten incrementally better over time with effort.

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Ooooooooooo! raises hand :wave::wave::wave:

PLEASE feel free to hop into my log if you ever need to.

I’m very big on all things mental health. Have a plethora of stuff I’m working on currently and sharing with my academic group.

If it’s of any relation, there’s been points in my life recently where I’ve been doing just…mundane stuff and will succumb to an anxiety attack. For me, there’s not much of a build up. It’s just instantaneous more often than not.

The most recent one I was just showering. You know…regular wash up routine. I ask hubby to hand me something from the bathroom counter and as soon as I took hold to it it felt like someone had their hand around my heart and was squeezing. All I could really do was just hyperventilate and cry. I’m just ass naked curled up in the tub with my mom trying to wrap me up in a towel, and my husband just hugging me.

The other time I was getting ready to clock in at work. Was feeling fine. A bit sleepy maybe. I go to scan my badge and as soon as I hear that little beep there it went again. That crushing feeling in my chest. Hyperventilating again, water works, all of that. A close friend/co-worker just sat me down in an empty meeting room and just hugged me until I felt better.

The recuperation process is different from person to person. Some people don’t like to be touched, but I need to be. Physical touch from close ones, animals laying on me, a bunch of blankets, etc.

I’ve come to find that I’m extremely empathetic. More often than not I also internalize things. Not from vulnerability, but from “placing myself where others and myself have been or could be”, a shit ton of retrospection does me in if I don’t ground myself as well (this is most often what sparks an anxiety attack for me) It usually happens quickly for me too. Often times it’s just solely rumination gone haywire. Hence why I’ve come to notice I’ll have a break down doing my regular routine stuff. Like a CD playing and it’ll just start skipping on repeat at some point during the song.

I will say though, do your absolute best to find a…what I call “grounding routine”…essentially just self care either for prevention, or after having an anxiety attack, before considering medication. This is just my opinion though. I’m finding that I myself, and with all that I’ve come to observe people, and professionals are very quick to prescribe something, but let tactical, rational, and ethical practices or even future tactics just fall to the wayside.

I think it’s great you have a good support system in place.

But if you EVER need anything, or perhaps wanna pick my brain, or even just maybe need words of encouragement or maybe a few ideas you’re always welcome in my log.

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Anxiety issues are a mother fucker… especially because in some cases its not even a issue of not having a good coping mechanism or not. Some people are just hardwired that way.

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I have horrible anxiety along with bipolar II. Been on a lot of meds over the years. I can’t recommend this stuff enough. It’s cheap and has research to back it up.

https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Way-non-drowsy-clinically-gluten-free/dp/B007TYY2JA/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=3BJSNM1YXTKN8&dchild=1&keywords=calm+aid+lavender+pills&qid=1616687921&sprefix=calm+aid%2Caps%2C285&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExVERVSTNRMUlXV1I0JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTE2ODg1RVNWVjZOUkk1OFBJJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA1MjAzMjgySUNURE5DM0ExN0paJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

Do you break out in a sweat? Like a sudden increase in body temperature? Are you feeling warmer than anyone else in the room? Heart racing? Extreme hunger?

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Sorry for the late reply guys, life is a blur right now.

@bulldog9899 for sure. I didnt think I was wired up like that but I guess things change and you cant do much about it.

This is a really good way of putting it. Like, I don’t have a chip on my shoulder or anything, I just dont relate to the way anybody does anything if that makes sense.

I had a party phase like anyone that was an outlet for my anxiety at the time, but generally my coping mechanisms for it arent unhealthy by nature, they’re just obsessive. Like, I’ll take working out way too seriously and ignore everything else, or I’ll pick up art again and not bathe for a week, or I’ll suck myself into a videogame for 8 hours a night. Not inherently bad things, but I just perform them with relentless overkill.

I just might! I appreciate your write up. Mine isnt necessarily like… sudden onset, it’s this deep brooding feeling. Nothing close to an attack. I’ll catch something, and either misread it, or overthink it. And it’s this spiral downward for hours. And I’ll compound the anxiety from overthinking it. Then I just feel like I’m in a hole. Its ridiculous because I’m fully aware that I’m doing it, and I’m fully aware that its most likely nothing, but I just cant get off edge. And lately it’s not something that working out or going on a long drive seems to fix. My girlfriend has been amazing and has picked up her own tricks for helping me, which so far has been the only real solution aside from the pretty impressive CBD.

@ChickenLittle pretty much yes yes and yes. I run pretty hot by nature, but its like… if I could describe it, knowing you’re in trouble as a kid. and knowing your dad is going to find out, and you know he’ll be home in five minutes, so you get super stressed and your face gets really fucking hot, pins and needles, that child fight or flight feeling.

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Also a small update, the CBD has been a fucking miracle for this. I never liked smoking pot, It either made me super tired, or gave me ridiculous anxiety and stress. So I was a bit apprehensive. But holy shit the first dose just leveled me right off. And so far seems to be keeping the pace.

I’m also going to guess when certain things trigger your anxiety stuff . That logically you know in the back of your head that at the time your bodies response is disproportionate to the cause. But it doesn’t matter because you just end up as the passenger on the ride.

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Low body fat, low-fat diets, low carb diets, and low calories in general can all mess up your hormones and make your brain act crazy.

How has your sleep been? You’ve mentioned your stressful job. If you can’t rest and “recharge” properly stress and anxiety will build up day after day instead of dissappating over night.

Too much caffeine can throw off your system and get you all jacked up and get your mind anxious and racing.

I don’t know if any of that applies to you, but once these factors start adding up it can start a viscous cycle of addrenaline, stress hormones to get you through the day. Then you’ re too keyed up to rest. Then more stress and more anxiety, no rest, more caffeine…

After awhile you’re stuck in Fight or Flight mode and every minor thing seems like a life or death issue and you can never relax.

If any of this seems relevant, Thibadeau has written a bunch of articles about hormones and neurotransmitters and how they affect your mind. And how to structure your intake of fats and carbs to rest “better.” And now to use supplements like amino acids to recover from stress better.

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Have you talked to your doctor about this?

You have lost a good amount of weight since you broke up with your ex, and that’s is normal, but coupled with this sudden anxiety makes me wonder. I know this sounds out in left field but I think it may be worth getting some bloodwork done. I am going to suggest you get your thyroid numbers checked. It’s not very expensive and you can even get it done at one of those private labs if you don’t want to go to your doctor.

I didn’t know I had Graves disease until I hit rock bottom. The skin buzzing description just gives me concern. For me, it’s like every cell in my body vibrating and I am literally going to spontaneously combust.

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Exactly. I’m 100% conscious of the fact that what I’m feeling is a complete hyperbole of what’s happening; but at that point theres no solution, it’s just “here we go, have to ride this out for a couple of hours”

@FlatsFarmer I’m not really on any kind of diet to be honest. I eat a lot in general, 2k calories at lunch, 1-2 at night. But nothing out of the ordinary for me, I’ve always just kind of ate when I got hungry.

The job is… I mean it’s a mental circus, high profile landscape/irrigation/hardscapes/lighting quotes with tight deadlines, and it’s pretty physically intensive, but more… exhausting, like I dont go home and say “fuck that job” I’m just efficiently tired by night time. Worst part is the long hours, but that’s it.

Sleep is great right now, I’m usually passed out by 10-11, and get up at 6-7am. I wake up occasionally, but usually just bc my other half is ravenously eating at 2am, not because I’m fading in and out.

I’m pretty fucked on caffiene. 2 cups of coffee before I leave the house, and 2 energy drinks before 10am, then it’s a hard cutoff until the next day, but it’s still bad.

@ChickenLittle I haven’t. Actually, fun fact, I’ve never been to a doctor outside of the ER in my 28 years. I’m honestly not even sure where to begin, I have health insurance, so i guess i just need to find a PCP and start from there?

I had thought about a blood panel as well, thyroid and everything, mainly out of curiosity, but also maybe they could catch something worth knowing.

But yeah, I’ve always had weird social interactions, as a teenager my fight or flight was really intense, the slightest hint of confrontation, verbal, physical, mental, whatever, shot adrenaline through me. made my mouth sticky, teary eyed, and it was hard to come back down from after the fact. But like… it was clear instigation when targetted at me. It wasnt random like this is now. I’m much calmer, probably just from age and working a shitload.

But I’m getting like… empathetically anxious if that makes sense. Whether that’s my lady having a shit day at work and coming home upset, it shoots me through the roof. Or if a contractor starts yelling at a coworker, same reaction. Not if they yell at me, but the people I work with. Then the same thing, skin is super hot, immediately start sweating, my senses dull, my vision feels like its… pulsing?

Like, I’m not angry, and I have total control expressively, but inside my body is wigging the fuck out. Idk. Wild shit.

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I am not a go to the doctor person either. (I don’t have very good experiences.) I had to literally argue with the doc to get the antibody test for Graves. He absolutely would NOT prescribe any meds, but knowing what it was gave me a direction on how to deal with it. I didn’t have a clue as to what the fuck was wrong with me, all I knew was that something was seriously not right.

Just make an appt and tell them what is going, and ask that they include a thyroid panel. Go from there.

Yes, this will send your anxiety through the roof. Especially waiting for the results. Remain calm Don’t lose your shit. (I lost my shit :roll_eyes:) The chance that anything is actually wrong is minimal at best.

Another view is that anxiety and depression can rear their heads as a consequence of too much coping and too little processing, but I’ll acknowledge that can be interpreted as “bad coping mechanisms” while I’d staunchly refrain from phrasing it that way personally. I believe the two to be two different perspectives.

Actually in some cases its a case of over processing…

Definitely, I believe there are multiple paths to the destination

I used to think the same until it happened. I went to the ER with chest pain, anxiety. Two co-workers thought they were having heart attacks and went in by ambulance, anxiety lol.