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Relationship Anxiety/ Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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Toast6219

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
9
Location
WI
Hello everyone. I've been struggling with my mental health for the past 4-5 months. I've done a lot of research, am now seeing a therapist, but am continuing to struggle. I was hoping I could seek some advice, or others who may have experienced something similar.

I am in a loving relationship with my boyfriend. We have been together for the past 1.5 years. He is everything I could have ever hoped for in a partner. But recently, I have been having these obsessive thoughts, questions, fears, worries, doubts, etc. I had looked into OCD/ Pure OCD, ROCD. I can relate to the ROCD, but I don't really have any other "major" OCD symptoms. My therapist believes I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I have always been an overthinker and a bit of a worrier. While I believe I do check off a lot of the criteria, I find it hard to relate to others who have GAD (the stories I've read at least). It seems their worries are more about things such as, (Losing their job, Failing a class, what others think of them, etc.) Where my struggles are about MY feelings, thoughts, questions, worries, etc. about my boyfriend. How I feel about him. Its so bad that I am in immense emotional distress. From the time I wake up, to just about the time I go to bed. To the point now, that I feel disconnected. Like there is a wall between my feelings and emotions, and him. Ill look at a photo of him and know that he is my boyfriend and that I love him. But its like there is a wall that prevents me from feeling it. I am so terrified. I am so scared that if I continue down this path, that I will grow distant and lose him/ lose feelings. That is the LAST thing I want to happen. I feel very lost and alone. I am unsure of what to do.

I don't really have any past trauma. I don't have any past "bad" relationships. My relationship with my parents is good. All this anxiety and depression started after a serious of very stressful events happened though. So I'm thinking that may have played a part/ triggered it. Those stressful events made me fall into depression it seems. Due to this, I found it very hard to find happiness/ enjoyment in anything. Which of course, is a scary feeling. So, I turned to the thing that made me the happiest. My boyfriend. When I still felt the same an the intrusive thought came into my mind. "Do you still love him?" and I panicked. When we cuddled, my stomach would go into knots. I knew I loved him, but its like I can't think clearly. And since then, Its started this series of obsessive thoughts and questions. It consumes me. It really affects my day to day life. I have no motivation to do anything. All I can do is sit in my room and ruminate. I've been trying to mediate, journal, etc. I love this man and I do not want to lose him. But I don't know what I am feeling/ thinking this way.


I am trying everything to get the help I need. I just feel extremely hopeless. I want this to end, without it ending my relationship. I want to go back to enjoying my life normally. Please, any advice, or relatable stories would be appreciated. Thank you.
 
soul searching

soul searching

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2020
Messages
102
Location
Clearwater, Florida
How long have you been in therapy? Does your therapist give you ideas on how to manage your worries? I worry a lot about what other people are thinking or if they like me. I have recently come to the conclusion that this kind of thinking only makes me feel worse. So I'm trying not to overthink my interactions with others-only leads to self doubt, imagining negative possibilities. I've decided, am tryng, after a quick review, to assume that everything is fine. All is well. If its not I'll have to find out in a normal way, with that person saying something directly to me.You can't control people, places, and things. The only thing you can control is yourself(or at least try to). Also, I think if that when you interact with others, if you words come from a kind and loving heart, you should do well. Other worries, do what you can, pray, then let it go-at the very least until tomarrow.Hope you can use some of this
 
T

Toast6219

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
9
Location
WI
How long have you been in therapy? Does your therapist give you ideas on how to manage your worries? I worry a lot about what other people are thinking or if they like me. I have recently come to the conclusion that this kind of thinking only makes me feel worse. So I'm trying not to overthink my interactions with others-only leads to self doubt, imagining negative possibilities. I've decided, am tryng, after a quick review, to assume that everything is fine. All is well. If its not I'll have to find out in a normal way, with that person saying something directly to me.You can't control people, places, and things. The only thing you can control is yourself(or at least try to). Also, I think if that when you interact with others, if you words come from a kind and loving heart, you should do well. Other worries, do what you can, pray, then let it go-at the very least until tomarrow.Hope you can use some of this
Hello! Thanks for responding!
I started going to therapy for the first time a month ago. This week will be my 4th session.
While I have always been an overthinking and have had anxiety, and occasionally worry what others think of me. I'm not worried about what my boyfriend thinks of me in this situation. I am worried about my feelings for him. Despite knowing I love him, I am having these intense obsessive thoughts, questions, and emotions.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
678
Location
California, US
Please, any advice, or relatable stories would be appreciated. Thank you.
My hasty conclusion? Spend no more time researching conditions, devote that time to curiosity and open exploration of what's going on in you in your therapy and right here.

Self-diagnosis is mostly inaccurate, often counter-productive. The "nocebo effect" strengthens our belief by creating the symptoms. It is kindness to yourself to let it go.

It may be uncomfortable to discuss those "stressful events" you mentored but they are probably a good place to begin an exploration of your insides. Do you feel safe talking about those events in some detail?

I want to gently point out that "unsafe" and "uncomfortable" don't mean the same thing.
The sort of work we do in untangling the knots in our mind is always uncomfortable, cant be otherwise.

There's a beautiful mess inside of you @Toast6219 and if you dare to dive into it, there's treasure to be found. :hug:
 
T

Toast6219

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
9
Location
WI
My hasty conclusion? Spend no more time researching conditions, devote that time to curiosity and open exploration of what's going on in you in your therapy and right here.

Self-diagnosis is mostly inaccurate, often counter-productive. The "nocebo effect" strengthens our belief by creating the symptoms. It is kindness to yourself to let it go.

It may be uncomfortable to discuss those "stressful events" you mentored but they are probably a good place to begin an exploration of your insides. Do you feel safe talking about those events in some detail?

I want to gently point out that "unsafe" and "uncomfortable" don't mean the same thing.
The sort of work we do in untangling the knots in our mind is always uncomfortable, cant be otherwise.

There's a beautiful mess inside of you @Toast6219 and if you dare to dive into it, there's treasure to be found. :hug:
Thanks for the reply!
I agree, researching probably does not help. I just feel the need to I guess. In hopes that it WILL help. But Im gonna try to stop doing that.

I have talked about the stressful events with my therapist during our first session. Which she beliefs triggered what I'm currently going through. I'd be willing to post them here but its a bit long! lol

My therapist has told me about the "acknowledging without judgement, and watching the thoughts float away." I'm a bit confused on how to do this though.. without being fixated on them or ignoring them

Thanks again for the reply!
 
soul searching

soul searching

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2020
Messages
102
Location
Clearwater, Florida
Thanks for the reply!
I agree, researching probably does not help. I just feel the need to I guess. In hopes that it WILL help. But Im gonna try to stop doing that.

I have talked about the stressful events with my therapist during our first session. Which she beliefs triggered what I'm currently going through. I'd be willing to post them here but its a bit long! lol

My therapist has told me about the "acknowledging without judgement, and watching the thoughts float away." I'm a bit confused on how to do this though.. without being fixated on them or ignoring them

Thanks again for the reply!
Rereading your first text, It does seem like those stressful events could have taken a toll on you. Right now you might just be kind of numb and it might only be temporary. The lack of motivation could be a result of the same. Ask your therapist about this. Hopefully, it will pass if you can find a way to relax and free your mind(of itself). A really good book or something engaging for your brain to do besides worry. The more you worry, the worse it will be. I would also try to focus on health- lots of rest and exercise, eating right , maybe trying to meditate. There is lots of info on the internet that can give you help with taking care of yourself. Hope you can be patient and get well.
 
T

Toast6219

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
9
Location
WI
Rereading your first text, It does seem like those stressful events could have taken a toll on you. Right now you might just be kind of numb and it might only be temporary. The lack of motivation could be a result of the same. Ask your therapist about this. Hopefully, it will pass if you can find a way to relax and free your mind(of itself). A really good book or something engaging for your brain to do besides worry. The more you worry, the worse it will be. I would also try to focus on health- lots of rest and exercise, eating right , maybe trying to meditate. There is lots of info on the internet that can give you help with taking care of yourself. Hope you can be patient and get well.
I have been trying to eat healthy, getting enough rest (Sleeping is one of the things I enjoy most at the moment, due to not worrying when I sleep lol), and been trying to learn to meditate. I think I google a little too much at this point and have been trying to avoid doing constant research. I do believe the stressful events played a large part in all this, as it all started afterwards. I have been attempting to practice the "Acknowledge it without judgement and let it float away" mindset. Not fixating on it, and not ignoring it. Its quite hard, but I plan on talking to my therapist about it. I appreciate you taking the time to respond!
 
soul searching

soul searching

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2020
Messages
102
Location
Clearwater, Florida
That's great! I've done the constant research thing and it was a tremendous help to me. But I still think you might need a mental break, something totally different to think about, might also help you. Hang in there!
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
678
Location
California, US
Thanks for the reply!
I agree, researching probably does not help. I just feel the need to I guess. In hopes that it WILL help. But Im gonna try to stop doing that.
You're welcome! I admit I also sometimes ask "Dr. Google" for advice on physical health concerns. I did this recently when I found an alarming swollen bump, before emailing my doctor about it.

The images I got from searching Dr. Google seemed to suggest it was a parasitic worm! 😮

Wrong, I was so wrong, so very, tragically wrong! 😂When I showed mystery bump to the persons who went to medical school, and have been practicing medicine for many years? They diagnosed it as a boring but treatable bacterial infection. No worm. I was a bit disappointed, to be honest. And also relieved.

Why do I do this to myself? I know it's a hopeless and silly undertaking to try and Self-diagnose.

When I drill down past all the rationalizations, the answer is always: control. I just want to feel in control of something that scares and bewilders me. Even the semblance of control will do to temporarily relieve my distress from not-knowing while avoiding the dread of actually knowing by getting it looked at by a professional. So very human.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
678
Location
California, US
"acknowledging without judgement, and watching the thoughts float away." I'm a bit confused on how to do this though.. without being fixated on them or ignoring them
I'd like to share how I practice this technique.

First, before I do anything else, I remind myself of a few things:
I am not my thoughts and I never was.
Thoughts are neither good or bad, they don't reflect my morals or who I am.
I'm not always in control of any of the million thoughts that just happen to pop into my mind in a day; nobody is.

Then I ask myself, if I believe what I wrote above is true? What stories am I now telling about myself, others, the world--based solely upon thoughts that I don't actually have control over?

Next, I'll observe my thoughts without getting involved with them or making them into little stories:
Thought: I'm a failure!
Me: Hmm. I'm having a thought that I'm a failure.
Thought: it would be nice if I was in love.
Me: Oh, now I'm thinking about love. I wonder what thought might bubble up next?
Me: Wow! Look at all these thoughts in my head, so many!

☺

Someone once said, "I can't control if a bird lands on my head but I can control whether I let it build a nest."

By practicing "watching" thoughts and not becoming involved in them, we improve at letting them come (not repressing) and letting them go (not letting them nest). And, this must be practiced on "yummy" thoughts that we like as well as "yucky" thoughts we dislike.

Is any of that helpful?
 
T

Toast6219

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
9
Location
WI
I'd like to share how I practice this technique.

First, before I do anything else, I remind myself of a few things:
I am not my thoughts and I never was.
Thoughts are neither good or bad, they don't reflect my morals or who I am.
I'm not always in control of any of the million thoughts that just happen to pop into my mind in a day; nobody is.

Then I ask myself, if I believe what I wrote above is true? What stories am I now telling about myself, others, the world--based solely upon thoughts that I don't actually have control over?

Next, I'll observe my thoughts without getting involved with them or making them into little stories:
Thought: I'm a failure!
Me: Hmm. I'm having a thought that I'm a failure.
Thought: it would be nice if I was in love.
Me: Oh, now I'm thinking about love. I wonder what thought might bubble up next?
Me: Wow! Look at all these thoughts in my head, so many!

☺

Someone once said, "I can't control if a bird lands on my head but I can control whether I let it build a nest."

By practicing "watching" thoughts and not becoming involved in them, we improve at letting them come (not repressing) and letting them go (not letting them nest). And, this must be practiced on "yummy" thoughts that we like as well as "yucky" thoughts we dislike.

Is any of that helpful?
Thank you! Yes, I found a lot of the information you wrote to be helpful and I hope that I can put them into practice.

I completely agree on the wanting to feel in control on something that terrifies you. It seems I like certainty. Unfortunately, life is far from certain! And that is something I need to work on as well.

I like that bird/ nest analogy! It fits very well. I know putting it into practice will be difficult at first, but hopefully over time, It something that will get better with practice and will become easier. I've also heard "Feelings are not facts." and I do find some comfort in that saying as well. As a lot of times these thoughts make me feel. I'll get knots in my stomach, shakiness, my head will feel heavy, etc. Which takes my mind to a place of "Well if I feel this way, it must be true. Something must be wrong. My body is trying to tell me something!" which does not necessarily make it true.

Thank you for sharing how you deal with thoughts :)
 
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