• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Anxiety around responsibility of owning a home

  • Thread starter FearoftheUnknown
  • Start date
F

FearoftheUnknown

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
4
Location
Manchester
Hello - I'm new here, but thought I'd sign up in the hope of speaking to some people who understand how my mind works.

I'm a real worrier, but only about things to do with my house! It took me so long to save up the deposit, and to make it how we want it internally (decorating etc.), that when something goes wrong I get into a complete panic. I can't switch off or stop thinking about the thing that is worrying me, until it is resolved. And my mind always goes to worst-case-scenario. For example:

My current worry is because the electric keeps tripping off. I did as much of my own investigating as I could for about a week, but in the end I called out an electrician - who also can't work out what the issue is. There is no pattern to when it trips off (sometimes it's raining, sometimes it's not - sometimes we're home and using items in the home, sometimes we're not - sometimes it happens when we're awake, sometimes when we're asleep etc.), and I can immediately reset the switch so it's very hard for an electrician to diagnose the problem when it is actually all working. It just trips off one day, and will do an hour or so later...but then it's all ok for a few days, then will trip off again. Only thing the electrician did find is that the main feed coming into the house and into the Consumer Unit/Fuse Box wasn't even screwed in - it was just loose in the fitting, which he said COULD be causing an imbalance on the circuit and tripping it. I hope it is that, but as I say, my mind goes to worst-case-scenario and I'm not allowing myself the satisfaction of believing it is something as simple as that, and so I'm thinking about him coming back again in the future and having to rip the plaster off the wall to find the fault somewhere else, and wrecking my house - and then not being able to afford to have it all replastered and redecorated etc.

Anyway, I know this isn't an electricians forum (I did put a message on one of those, but everybody had a different idea of what it could have been, and so I now have countless possibilities swimming around my head of what the cause could be) - just thought I'd give some background to what kinds of things cause my anxiety.
In general, on a day-to-day basis, I think I'm ok. I'm sociable, friendly, outgoing - I go to the gym, eat reasonably well (though I do love a pizza and doughnuts), I don't take drugs, but I am a social drinker, I have a decent and stable job, an absolutely beautiful and amazing fiance (genuinely can't believe I landed myself a 10/10 girl like her - she actually looks like Rihanna) - generally, life is quite good. But, when something like this happens, I completely nose-dive. I don't want to eat, I can't concentrate at work, I feel tired all the time - but can't actually sleep soundly due to the worrying. I am just non-stop thinking about when the electric is going to go off again, and how much mayhem is going to be caused by having it fixed.

After the electrician left yesterday, I called the doctors and managed to get an appointment an hour later. As soon as I walked in the GP Room, she said "How can I help?" and I just had a complete breakdown. Trying to explain to her how I'm feeling, what triggers it etc. between breaths. I scared myself a bit when she asked me if I have ever wondered whether life was worth living - as I couldn't really give her an honest answer. Now I have calmed down, my answer should have been "No, I haven't thought that life isn't worth living - however, during my episodes of anxiety I have had fleeting thoughts where I've felt like I can understand why people would feel like that." If that makes sense...? But my actual answer was, "*Long Pause* No." She didn't look convinced, and tried prescribing me a low-dosage anti-depressant on a 6 month course, but I really don't want that - and genuinely don't feel like I need it. Once this worry about the electrics has passed/been resolved, I'll be back to being 'me' again - which could be resolved in a few days/week, so don't want to be tied into a 6 month course of anti-depressants. In the end, I agreed to taking Beta Blockers as and when I need them, and she referred me for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - which I've heard of, and believe has positive effects on people, if you're open minded enough to try it.

I don't really know what to expect from this post, if anything. I just thought I could dump all my thoughts down on this page and see if anybody can relate, or advise on how to control these emotions, as I really just don't feel like myself during these times. My fiance is as supportive as she can be, and is always trying to reassure me that it'll all be ok - but, again, worst-case-scenario comes to the forefront of my mind and what she says gets pushed to the side. Eg. She'll say "The electric is back on now, it's all working." But I'll just be thinking "Yeah but it'll go off again soon - then what!?"

I also sit on the tram on the way to/from work, looking at all the other people on the tram, and at all the houses the tram goes past, and try to make myself feel better by thinking, "These people are all in the same boat - one day something will go wrong at their house, and they'll just deal with it then get on with their life...so why can't I?" But then the little voice in the back of my mind says "None of them have got it as bad as you, mate! The problem at your house is far worse than anything they will ever have at their house!" Again, worst-case-scenario!

All I want is to know what the problem is with the electric, and someone to fix it. But as it goes off at completely random times, it is so difficult to diagnose it. But, equally, he may have fixed it yesterday - only time will tell. The problem is living through this time! I just want to time travel to 2-3 weeks into the future and see what the outcome of all this is...not have to sit around feeling anxious about it, and dealing with the stress that comes with it.

Sorry for the long, overly detailed, and self-pitying post - like I say, just thought I'd dump all my thoughts down on a page and see if anybody else is in the same boat!?
 
B

BatDuck

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
216
Location
Kent, UK.
Hi fearoftheunkown, welcome to the forum :welcome:

I hope getting that all down has helped a bit. I know writing things down helps me if I can't seem to find a way to talk about it, or my head feels like a bit of a mess and I can't get my thoughts straight.

I know what it's like owning a house and the stress around things going wrong, so much responsibility (the stress of the responsibility in itself is a bit of an issue for me). My anxieties are a bit different to yours, I get anxiety when something goes wrong, but I also have pretty serious anxiety around strangers coming into the house to fix things - it's my safe space. This means we either make do or put off doing things until there's no other choice (bit of a long one, but it was my parents house first and maintenance wasn't a strong point).

I'm pretty new here myself, and this place has already helped me so much in the last few days. I'm sorry I can't really help with how to handle things for the time being, I'm only just starting to face my issues myself, but the people here are lovely am I'm sure someone will be able to give you some
pointers.
What I will say is It might help to look up some breathing techniques. I didn't realise until recently that when we get anxious we tend to breathe from our ribs - i.e. upper chest - when we should be breathing from our stomach. I've started noticing now when I'm breathing from the wrong area and correcting it does have a small calming effect. The breathing technique I use is meant to be good for aiding sleep (although that's debatable) it certainly helps. I can't remember the name of it, but you breathe in for a count of 4, hold for 7 and then breathe out through pursed lips (like blowing out a candle) for 8. I just repeat that as many times as I feel I need.

Sorry for waffling on. :hug1:
 
F

FearoftheUnknown

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
4
Location
Manchester
Hello BatDuck

Thank you for your reply.

Yes it did help to get it all written down, and it also helped to get it all off my chest to the GP yesterday. However, I feel like I need to do it 3-4 times a day, as by the time I've finished writing/talking about it and got it all off my chest...I start thinking about it again and it all starts to build up again.

I have set up a security camera at home using a phone app called 'Alfred Security' and an old Sony Phone, and pointed the camera at the clock on the microwave - so I can check from work during the day whether it has tripped off again or not. I'm just finding myself checking it every few minutes haha :panic:

Thank you for the advice on the breathing exercises - I'll certainly give them a go!

If I were you, I wouldn't worry about letting people in your house to fix problems - it is a your safe space, but they are going to make it physically safer by fixing issues you find. I know tradesmen get a bad rep - but that's what websites like checkatrade are for. Or, ask friends/family for a recommended tradesmen that they have used before - rather than just finding a random person on the internet and hoping for the best.
 
H

HauntedWitch

Guest
ll I want is to know what the problem is with the electric, and someone to fix it. But as it goes off at completely random times, it is so difficult to diagnose it. But, equally, he may have fixed it yesterday - only time will tell. The problem is living through this time! I just want to time travel to 2-3 weeks into the future and see what the outcome of all this is...not have to sit around feelinanxious about it, and dealing with the stress that comes with it.

Sorry for the long, overly detailed, and self-pitying post - like I say, just thought I'd dump all my thoughts down on a page and see if anybody else is in the same boat!?
Sorry you are having such a hard time with the electric! I know of a lot of people (including myself) who get anxious when the power goes out.

I used to be a lot like you regarding household worries. I thought it was just this problem or that -- when the chimney gets fixed or the floors are finished or some other problem gets resolved, then I'll be ok again. In my case though, it turned out that Bipolar (and the Anxiety Disorder that goes with that) was what was causing all the excessive worry.
 
L

Laudanum

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
123
Location
Surrey
Everyone gets a bit anxious when they first buy a house. The worst case scenario is that you need a bit of electric work done, no biggie. My house needs a complete rewire, but I've put it off for this year as my anxiety (over other things) kicked in big time this year.

I also had lateral restraint ties put in last year, and may need a new lintel over the bay window. Such are the delights of home ownership!
 
F

FearoftheUnknown

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
4
Location
Manchester
Sorry you are having such a hard time with the electric! I know of a lot of people (including myself) who get anxious when the power goes out.

I used to be a lot like you regarding household worries. I thought it was just this problem or that -- when the chimney gets fixed or the floors are finished or some other problem gets resolved, then I'll be ok again. In my case though, it turned out that Bipolar (and the Anxiety Disorder that goes with that) was what was causing all the excessive worry.
Thanks for your message. Yes, I have wondered whether I have any other disorders which may make my anxiety a little over the top! My Dad, and friends, have offered to help put the house 'back together' should it require any work doing which has eased my mind a little - but still feeling quite on edge about it all. As things stand though, the electric hasn't gone off by itself since Saturday night (manually switched off on Monday while the Electrician was investigating). I also really want it to rain - and I mean absolutely hammer it down with rain - just to rule out whether or not water is causing it, but it isn't due to rain until Friday...so another 2 days to wait for that!
 
F

FearoftheUnknown

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
4
Location
Manchester
Everyone gets a bit anxious when they first buy a house. The worst case scenario is that you need a bit of electric work done, no biggie. My house needs a complete rewire, but I've put it off for this year as my anxiety (over other things) kicked in big time this year.

I also had lateral restraint ties put in last year, and may need a new lintel over the bay window. Such are the delights of home ownership!
I know what you're saying - but, with respect, this is what causes me a great amount of anxiety. So, in my mind it is a biggie.

We're saving for a wedding at present too, which is hard enough, so don't want to have to keep dipping into the savings to get work done on the house! I knew, and accepted, that there would occasionally be things that needed repairing in the house over time - but didn't anticipate things that require the walls being taken apart so soon after decorating! :low:
 
Top