The Possibility of Meeting with an Anxiety Group

Anxiety - Stress ... Time management vital for...

Anxiety – Stress … Time management vital for finals — cancel your Netflix subscription (7:45 PM, Nov. 28, 2012) …item 2b.. Muddy Waters – After The Rain – Full Album (1969) … (Photo credit: marsmet481)

The other day, I received a letter from a hospital in downtown Winnipeg about partaking in one of their anxiety groups. At the beginning of last summer, I attended two sessions of a quick start to overcoming anxiety program at the hospital I had been referred for by the psychiatrist who works with my mental health worker that I had been seeing last year. The letter I received from the hospital said I should contact them if I want an appointment to see if I would be a fit for one of their anxiety groups. Part of me wants to just let the deadline they set for contacting them pass without calling them so I don’t have to go.

I mean, I’ll have to meet with people I don’t know, which I don’t enjoy doing. I’ll have to go to downtown Winnipeg, either by driving or by taking the bus. Both don’t excite me and I can’t always have my mom come with me which is what I normally do in these types of situations. I’ll have to go downtown by myself and I could totally make a fool of myself at any time.

I’ll have to talk about my problems face-to-face with people I don’t know which scares me. I will undoubtedly feel anxious and may even throw up because of it. (Nausea is one of the symptoms I get when I am anxious and I have thrown up numerous times because of it.)

English: Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety

English: Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t need to go, right? I’ve improved enough in my anxiety disorder I don’t need to go, right? I can handle this on my own. It may be beneficial but I don’t need to go.

Oh, who am I kidding. The very fact that I don’t want to go should be evidence enough I should go. Anyone could read what I’ve written here and know that I should probably go.

But it’s so scary. I know a lot of people won’t understand this. Making the phone call itself scares me.

Why can’t I be like most of the people I know? They seem so sure of themselves. They do new things all the time without a second thought.

Why can’t I strike up conversations with people and make it look easy? Why can’t I make and answer phone calls without dreading them? Why can’t I do things without worrying about everything?

Why do I have to get anxious and feel like I’m going to implode? Why do I have to get nauseous, light-headed, sweaty, have difficulty breathing because of rapid breathing and my heart’s beating a mile a minute?

Why can’t I be like the normal people I see around me?

Because I’m not. I wish I was but I’m not. I’m the loner who stays to herself because it’s safer (although I do also enjoy, sometimes). I don’t feel like my body’s going to implode when I stay in my bubble. I may occasionally get depressed because of it but that’s still better than the feelings of discomfort and panic that occur when I try to step out of my bubble.

Maybe I will not contact the anxiety program at the hospital. My body will most likely thank me for not putting it through the symptoms that come with my anxiety. I know my heart-rate and breathing are already slowing down just thinking about not phoning them.

Besides, when I am at work, I see the growth I have accomplished with my anxiety disorder and maybe, just maybe that growth is enough I don’t need to call them and can continue to grow in it by myself.

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4 comments on “The Possibility of Meeting with an Anxiety Group

  1. Hi Angela. I struggled with anxiety this spring to the point of being sick to my stomach, depressed and constantly worried. I actually quit my job in part because of this, and now am much better. I didn’t know how to diagnose myself at that point. I don’t think I have a disorder, but I am curious at what point you knew you had the disorder.

    By the way, thank you for posting. I appreciate your honesty, and it helps me understand some of your posts on introversion a bit better. I see that our journeys as introverts are very different, but just so you know, you’re not a wierdo. I have had many of the same struggles–including making phone calls and making conversation.

    • Hi Geralyn. I actually didn’t realize I had an anxiety disorder until I started seeing a mental health worker and she mentioned that she thought I may have social anxiety. At first, I was a little skeptical because I went to see her because I was struggling with depression not anxiety. Or at least I didn’t think so. However, after the appointment where she mentioned this, I researched social anxiety and had to admit that it did sound a lot like me. Knowing I had an anxiety disorder which played a huge part in my depression, helped me with my depression and it has also helped me in realizing when my anxiety is kicking in even without the symptoms.

      The biggest thing for me realizing that my anxiety was worse than most people’s because a lot of people struggle with anxiety was the symptom of nausea. In the past several years, I felt nauseous and threw up in various situations and it took me a while to figure out why I was feeling nauseous and throwing up in those situations. Eventually, I attributed it to anxiety but I didn’t think of it as a disorder until my mental health worker mentioned I possibly had an anxiety disorder.

      That is the long answer of saying that I knew I had an anxiety disorder when my mental health worker mentioned it and researching it and its symptoms.

  2. Johnny Ojanpera says:

    Angela, I have bipolar 1, and anxiety is a huge part of it. If there was a benefit, it would be that it goes away sometimes. I was diagnosed at 19, now I’m 37. I have been to every kind of dr. and therapist and support group. These groups are good for many people, but not for others. This is only my opinion, but I have found that those of us who search ourselves for answers generally have the best coping/management mechanisms. No one can teach another person how to “fix” a problem; we can only talk about the problem -in a support group setting.

    I think you have a clear understanding of the symptoms, and your progress alone says that you will figure this out. Plus, you write it out beautifully on your blog. You have inspired me to think many times. This is a support group. Thank you. 🙂

    • Hi Johnny. Thank you for your response. I think anxiety is a huge part of any mental illness. My mom has depression, one of my brothers has schizophrenia and my grandpa had schizophrenia as well and I know that my mom and my brother both struggle with anxiety as well and are taking anti-anxiety pills. My brother, when he was first diagnosed, was set up with someone who had schizophrenia as well and it was not beneficial to my brother. I agree that those of us who search ourselves for answers generally have the best coping/management mechanisms. I think part of that is because we are actively involved in getting better or at least managing our illnesses. People can tell me what to do but I still have to be the one who applies what they have told me.

      Thank you for reminding me that in a way this is a support group. That my writing as well as sharing it with others is a sort of support group. I’ve never really thought about it in a way but now that you’ve said it, I think it is.

      I wish you all the best in your management of your bipolar and hope you can live your life in a fulfilling way in spite of your illness.

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