Is this anxiety?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2009
Is this anxiety?
Sat, 05-15-2010 - 4:40pm

I apologize in advance for being wordy, or not making sense. Hopefully I can articulate what's going on in my head. Over the past year and a half or so, I've developed an issue with what I THINK is anxiety/panic, but I don't know enough about it to be sure. Generally speaking, a few things have happened to me where I've taken the situations to extremes. Two examples:

- I was visiting my parents last year when I found condoms in my dad's travel bag on accident. I'm pretty sure my parents haven't had sex in 20+ years (I've always suspected my mom had little to no sex drive), and my dad has been traveling for his job for many of those years. There was a time when I was a teenager and saw my mom find condoms in another bag of his, give them a strange look, and then throw them away. So I suspect she knows, or that maybe they have an unspoken agreement. I confronted him about the condoms because I was so panicked about it and we had a little heart to heart where he said nothing happened, and that he loves me and my mother. I felt better after I talked to him, and after I posted on another board here. But every now and then, I get completely messed up over it again to the point that I could go days without eating. I can't tell what triggers it. And here is the disturbing mind gets so consumed by it that I've caught myself looking through his other things, trying to get into his email, etc to see if there's anything suspicious. I don't know why I can't seem to let it go. Even typing this makes me feel like scum because I know I'm invading his privacy in a big, big way.

- About a year and a half ago, I started not feeling well and displayed some symptoms, which I made the mistake of Googling. Which, of course, never leads to anything good. All of the results said cancer so I immediately made an appointment with my doctor. He did a few tests just to be sure, and things came back normal. But for whatever reason, I was still panicked and sought out second and third opinions, and even pushed for more tests that they didn't think I needed. I ended up spending so much time reading bad things on the internet, and shelling out money for more tests that came back normal. Again, the situation was something that took over my mind and I couldn't do anything but constantly worry, not eat, etc.

Are feelings like this something people who deal with anxiety/panic face? Or does it sound like something else? I've finally made an appointment with a psychologist next week so that I can talk it out with someone.

Edited 5/15/2010 4:50 pm ET by runway2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-1998
Mon, 05-17-2010 - 10:36am

Runway, it sounds like you are obsessing quite a bit, which can be a major sign of anxiety/panic for sure.

In the past obsessing has been one of my major issues. I call it getting stuck in an infinite loop, because I just keep going back to the same thought uncontrollably time and again. What's worse is that I can often recognize how completely irrational the thoughts are in the moment- and yet my brain will just jump back to them. Some people say that obsessing is like a record skipping (if you are old enough to know what a record is, and what it sounds like when it skips, LOL).

I've been doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the past year- that's just a fancy way of saying learning to change your thinking habits and change the thought paths your brain uses. It has helped tremendously, I very rarely get caught in a loop for very long these days. Ask your therapist about CBT.

Best of luck to you. I know it's tough when your brain won't stop taking you back to where you don't want to be.

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Mon, 05-17-2010 - 12:18pm

Yeah, it's the feeling of loss of control. You probably had some sort of belief of who your parents were & was quite happy about it all, but now that you're seeing them as somebody else your world is turned upside down. Yes, you are invading his privacy, but you're probably doing it to find your own ground. I understand this type of intrusion and it's hard to figure out the balance.

Honestly I believe the best possible way to deal with this is see a therapist, which you're about to do - GREAT JOB! and learn how to talk more openly with your father & realize you may simply hear things you don't want to hear & it will not all come out in one conversation.

Hopefully this therapist will help with some Cognitive Therapy so when anxiety starts to approach you'll know how to react in a different way.

I wish you peace

"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng

"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2004
Sun, 05-23-2010 - 5:28pm
Hello & welcome! We can't diagnose, but I will say that some of your symptoms run along the lines of an anxiety disorder. It's a great idea to see the dr. From there a treatment plan can be developed. Meds in combination w/cognitive behavioral therapy is the most successful way to treat anxiety. Take advantage of that.
I have learned that googling stuff about health concerns makes my anxiety worse. It is difficult, but we have to learn to push ourselves away. It's like putting our hands to a flame. We stop doing that because we'll get burned. If you cannot stop on your own, a therapist will be able to suggest ways to cope better w/your behavior.
There is hope for those of us w/anxiety. We can live good lives. We can learn to manage our symptoms by finding what triggers us & coping better. Reducing stress, getting plenty of exercise & enough sleep, as well as a proper diet avoiding caffeine, nicotine, illegal drugs, some cold meds, alcohol & drinking lots of fluids helps. GL & GBU! Don't be a stranger. You are not alone. GL & GBU! (((hugs))) jan