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I started a thread in another forum, but thought this was more appropriate.


I've noticed that every year around this time, my anxiety kicks in full blast. I worry about things I don't normally worry about, and get anxious about things I usually don't get too anxious about. At first, I thought it had to do with this being the one year anniversary of the end of my 6 year relationship, but then I remembered I've gone through this every year around this time ever since I was about 12.


Does anybody else deal with this sort of thing? During a certain time of year, all of the sudden anxiety just kicks in and immobilizes you for a few weeks?


I think I've got it down to the following causes:


-Start of school

-Anticipation of new relationship

-New work hours

-New apartment

-New classes


I've found that I'm worrying about my social life, my grades, finances, if I'll be able to sleep, what I'll do to occupy my time, etc...

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yep. anxiety follows the story of your thoughts. the more active your thoughts...the more anxious you get. the more you project yourself away from right now...and into the future...the more you worry about everything that is going to happen...as opposed to what's actually happening.


are you speaking of moderate (what some might call 'normal' anxiety)...or something more severe...a sense of completely helplessness...'impending doom' kind of anxiety?


have you ever considered meditation? perhpaps yoga, tai chi...? these practices allow you to find some inner stillness...to silence the almost constant background noise in your head. with that stillness, you'll find that your anxiety does not persist. worry is 1/10 circumstantial and 9/10 how you perceive the situaiton through your own mental filter of thought.


question: does the thought of not having any content to occupy your time with, terrify you...or at least make you very anxious?

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The thought of me being home by myself, while my friends are out doing stuff terrifies me. I guess the thought of not being included, or ignored is really amping me up at the moment.


For example, my latest attack was based on, "What if this weekend I have nothing to do? What if my girlfriend goes to parties without asking me to come along, and what if all my friends are busy doing their own thing and don't invite me?"


Then I start to panic, feel alone, and it all landslides from there. I'm working on reassuring myself that sure, every once in a while there will be tame weekends, but for the most part, the people I care about will include me in what they're doing, as I typically include them in what I'm doing.


Make sense?


Thanks for the help, btw.

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okay. that does make sense, actually.


are the ''what ifs'' really substantiated though? on some level, if you really look inside, do they actually seem logical to you? do they seem irrational in any way? i've found that often, the story behind the ''what-if'' is really a culmination of a lot of conditioned thinking. it's not usually one thought that makes you anxious...it's a multitude of possibilities. if you have a chance, can you observe the automatic thoughts that race through your head when you become anxious? that's a great place to start. often, you're not even aware because it's become such an engrained, almost habitual occurrence.

so, if you can become aware, you begin to break that pattern. the next step is to implement more rational responses to your running dialogue.




well, that's a reasonable expectation to have...but it may not be one that the people you consider close will all share with you. they may have their own expectatons...and at certain times that may involve NOT including you at some point. can you see that as something other than a personal attack?

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Excellent, excellent post.


I don't usually consider it a personal attack when I'm not included in things. I'm cool with doing my own thing on a weekend every once in a while, and it's completely reasonable to expect that I won't be included in everything all the time. I also have no problem taking the initiative and getting myself out there and involved.


That's the funny thing though, and that's where I think your suggestion will work well for me. I don't know why I panic about this sort of thing - I usually am just fine by myself. It's more of a, "What if people just stop including me in stuff?" than it is a, "What if everybody just happens to be busy tonight?" sort of thing.


It's irrational, I know. If my girlfriend never includes me in anything, then that's a bridge I have to cross then. So far, that hasn't been an issue at all - in fact, she includes me in most things. Same with my friends - they usually include me in stuff. So this fear is completely irrational.


And what's odd is it always kicks into overdrive during this time of year. Right at the start of school, which I don't think is a coincidence. Then after about 3 weeks to a month, it's gone and I'm mostly back to normal.

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right on! happy to hear that you're able to recognize some of the irrational thoughts. that can be a major hurdle for many to overcome. as was mentioned earlier, once you become aware of the thoughts behind the emotional responses, they tend to lose some of their power over you. the more conscious you become, the more free you will become of anxiety.


if you're at all interested in going a bit deeper, there are some great books out there on the cognitive therapy approach. not suggesting you need to see a therapist...but sometimes all it takes to overcome these things is to become aware of the causes. you may find yourself nodding in agreement with many of the common causes of anxiety, depression, etc.


i wish you the best.



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