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So focused on myself. How can I change?

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Emotinium

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I’m suffering from agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder. At least that’s what the doctor said 2 years ago.

I’m so focused on myself. What I think and I how I feel. Also I developed irrational thoughts of going crazy etc. because of my current situation I believe. I think it’s all connected with each other.

Anyway, I wanted to ask something about a few symptoms I experience. Before I really suffered from anxiety I already was a very dreamy person. Sometimes I just was ‘away’ in my own world. Since I developed anxiety this became worse. It’s now so bad that sometimes things goes completely behind me. When I watch tv or listin to the radio often I don’t really hear what they are saying, I’m just away. It really bothers me. I’m just in my own world all the time and now I’m having all my negativism in my head all the time, there is almost not a single break where I feel relaxed. I do have a strong sense of how people are feeling around me strange enough. I also suffer from derealization which is such a nasty thing.

I just wondered what this could be. I was already thinking of ADD or autism or something. It may be not a good idea to really focus what the label is, but what I can do about it. In the past I already was confinced that I had other mental health problems as well. It’s like health anxiety, but then on the mental health part. This may be a very important point in my recovery though, because I’m fighting with my anxiety for 3 years now, did multiple therapy and tried medicine, but my symptoms gets worse and worse. Because my agoraphobia I have a very hard time getting outside. I’m trying, but it never really seems to get better. Sometimes I feel like I lost myself entirely and that nothing is going to help. It’s now so bad I can’t even talk to strangers anymore and even at people I know I feel very nervous. My heart starts to raise and my eyes will get very tight where I have a hard time just to focus on someone. This level of stress in such situation is kinda new for me, but it makes sure that I just can’t live.... I also have very negative expectation of situations. So before things already started I have thought about all the stuff that can go wrong and usually they are getting wrong. I try to work on this last part, but it is so hard.

I hope someone can help me out and maybe reconize stuff about what I wrote. Hopefully it’s all understandable what I said, because I’m not great at English.
 
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AnxiousPaul92

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I can relate to some of what you're saying (almost exactly). I don't have all the answers myself, but I can offer suggestions for what I do when I am in that situation.

- Sit in a quiet and safe place and close your eyes. Picture a happy place of yours filled with the people you love. Envision in your mind all the positive things that would make that happy place ideal.
 
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baba yaga

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Focus on self?

Someone gave me a brilliant book called "There is Nothing Wrong with You" by Cheri Huber (keepitsimplebooks.com). It came out in 2001 so don't know if it is still available. She thinks that child rearing and discipline causes a lot of us to believe there is something "wrong" with us, we are not "good enough", and this creates a focus on self hate, self blame and mental self punishment. She doesn't mention mental illness as such, but it is pretty obvious that this can be a cause of severe anxiety -- such as my own.

Her remedy: meditation, letting the thoughts go, and self-love: you are good enough just the way you are, you don't have to keep trying to change yourself. Of course it's not quite that simple, and she doesn't pretend that all this is easy to do -- it takes time and patience -- but those are the basics. It may sound a bit similar to the "mindfulness" CBT our local mental health services keep going on and on about -- but I think she explains it better than they do.

There are things she has included in her book that I don't agree with at all, but nevertheless I have found it very helpful recently. I am finding some ways, sometimes, to let go the thoughts about how I have got it all "wrong" and I "should" have done this or remembered that and I am "not good enough". I have started doing a short meditation and some exercises in the morning, and I hope (!) I will be able to persuade myself to keep on doing it -- not just lie in bed until everything is too late....
 
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baba yaga

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by the way.....Emotinium, it does sound as though you think it's all your fault for being away in your own world. It isn't.
 
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AnxiousPaul92

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Focus on self?

Someone gave me a brilliant book called "There is Nothing Wrong with You" by Cheri Huber (keepitsimplebooks.com). It came out in 2001 so don't know if it is still available. She thinks that child rearing and discipline causes a lot of us to believe there is something "wrong" with us, we are not "good enough", and this creates a focus on self hate, self blame and mental self punishment. She doesn't mention mental illness as such, but it is pretty obvious that this can be a cause of severe anxiety -- such as my own.

Her remedy: meditation, letting the thoughts go, and self-love: you are good enough just the way you are, you don't have to keep trying to change yourself. Of course it's not quite that simple, and she doesn't pretend that all this is easy to do -- it takes time and patience -- but those are the basics. It may sound a bit similar to the "mindfulness" CBT our local mental health services keep going on and on about -- but I think she explains it better than they do.

There are things she has included in her book that I don't agree with at all, but nevertheless I have found it very helpful recently. I am finding some ways, sometimes, to let go the thoughts about how I have got it all "wrong" and I "should" have done this or remembered that and I am "not good enough". I have started doing a short meditation and some exercises in the morning, and I hope (!) I will be able to persuade myself to keep on doing it -- not just lie in bed until everything is too late....
I was suggesting to think of a happy place for when the negative thoughts enter their head. I didn't really clarify that. My apologies.
 
E

Emotinium

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Feb 20, 2019
Messages
50
Location
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I can relate to some of what you're saying (almost exactly). I don't have all the answers myself, but I can offer suggestions for what I do when I am in that situation.

- Sit in a quiet and safe place and close your eyes. Picture a happy place of yours filled with the people you love. Envision in your mind all the positive things that would make that happy place ideal.
I am actually trying something similar called law of attraction, but not really working yet. It’s so difficult pff I’m so done with this. It’s hard to imagine something like that and really make it come true.
 
E

Emotinium

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Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
50
Location
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Focus on self?

Someone gave me a brilliant book called "There is Nothing Wrong with You" by Cheri Huber (keepitsimplebooks.com). It came out in 2001 so don't know if it is still available. She thinks that child rearing and discipline causes a lot of us to believe there is something "wrong" with us, we are not "good enough", and this creates a focus on self hate, self blame and mental self punishment. She doesn't mention mental illness as such, but it is pretty obvious that this can be a cause of severe anxiety -- such as my own.

Her remedy: meditation, letting the thoughts go, and self-love: you are good enough just the way you are, you don't have to keep trying to change yourself. Of course it's not quite that simple, and she doesn't pretend that all this is easy to do -- it takes time and patience -- but those are the basics. It may sound a bit similar to the "mindfulness" CBT our local mental health services keep going on and on about -- but I think she explains it better than they do.

There are things she has included in her book that I don't agree with at all, but nevertheless I have found it very helpful recently. I am finding some ways, sometimes, to let go the thoughts about how I have got it all "wrong" and I "should" have done this or remembered that and I am "not good enough". I have started doing a short meditation and some exercises in the morning, and I hope (!) I will be able to persuade myself to keep on doing it -- not just lie in bed until everything is too late....
Thanks for your advice I’ll look if it’s available in my country. Seems like a really informative book.

Yeah, I am indeed focusing a lot on myself and what makes it so hard is that my confidence in who I am and how I act is completely gone. I mean, it’s so bad that I can’t even trust myself anymore. The irrational thoughts have made it come this far.

Next to this I also have anxiety for anxiety attacks and it is severe. Mostly focused on social situation and places where I can’t move out. I can’t even open the door for some delivery without my heart raising and a panic attack. It’s constantly coming back and back. I just don’t know how to break this pattern.

It’s not that I want to hide away from this world, but it feels like I need to. I just don’t how I know how I ever can break out of this pattern. Constantly so focused on my own negativism that I can’t even see the beauty of things full blown anymore. It’s like if somebody gives me a compliment I think; Okay, but..... and then always add a negative twist.

Back to the focus on myself and all the negative causes of that. I’m also experiencing derealization a lot when I am anxiety. I’m not a person who run away when feeling anxious usually, but freezes in pure discomfort. I sometimes am afraid it’s a psychoses or something. Another + why my confidence is so low.

It may be not completely my fault, but I also had some triggers where I choose for myself. That’s something I am blaming myself for still.

Meditation is something I already do a lot, but don’t really makes a lot of difference yet. I don’t know how to do it in the real world and outside my house. I didn’t do a meditation for a couple of days now, but planning to do one today.

Btw, I took a oxazepam 2 times this week now and it overal made me feel more relaxed. I don’t think it will solve anything, but it’s like a break after not being relaxed 24/7. Now when I am not taking it I feel slightly better as well and my thoughts of going crazy are reduced, but the fear of anxiety attacks is still in the front row.
 
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baba yaga

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Paul, not sure what you're apologising for. I thought that what you wrote was quite clear. It's also similar to what I am trying to do. I think it makes a lot of sense. But I have to be aware that sometimes I will lose track of it and go back into that abyss...then have to dig myself out again.

I was suggesting to think of a happy place for when the negative thoughts enter their head. I didn't really clarify that. My apologies.
 
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baba yaga

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Thanks for your advice I’ll look if it’s available in my country. Seems like a really informative book.

Yeah, I am indeed focusing a lot on myself and what makes it so hard is that my confidence in who I am and how I act is completely gone. I mean, it’s so bad that I can’t even trust myself anymore. The irrational thoughts have made it come this far.

Next to this I also have anxiety for anxiety attacks and it is severe. Mostly focused on social situation and places where I can’t move out. I can’t even open the door for some delivery without my heart raising and a panic attack. It’s constantly coming back and back. I just don’t know how to break this pattern.

It’s not that I want to hide away from this world, but it feels like I need to. I just don’t how I know how I ever can break out of this pattern. Constantly so focused on my own negativism that I can’t even see the beauty of things full blown anymore. It’s like if somebody gives me a compliment I think; Okay, but..... and then always add a negative twist.

Back to the focus on myself and all the negative causes of that. I’m also experiencing derealization a lot when I am anxiety. I’m not a person who run away when feeling anxious usually, but freezes in pure discomfort. I sometimes am afraid it’s a psychoses or something. Another + why my confidence is so low.

It may be not completely my fault, but I also had some triggers where I choose for myself. That’s something I am blaming myself for still.

Meditation is something I already do a lot, but don’t really makes a lot of difference yet. I don’t know how to do it in the real world and outside my house. I didn’t do a meditation for a couple of days now, but planning to do one today.

Btw, I took a oxazepam 2 times this week now and it overal made me feel more relaxed. I don’t think it will solve anything, but it’s like a break after not being relaxed 24/7. Now when I am not taking it I feel slightly better as well and my thoughts of going crazy are reduced, but the fear of anxiety attacks is still in the front row.
Hi Emotinium, sorry not to get back sooner, have been thinking about it....
(By the way, are you in UK or US? Different spelling....)

It just isn't easy, for some reason, to change these things. Where I am, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and "mindfulness" are promoted as the quick fix. It sounds as if you can just change your way of thinking -- snap -- like that. No way.

I can get into a state of absolute desperation, and not so long ago I was phoning mental health services and just getting nothing....a while ago, I went to a group, it didn't help, and now they just want me to do another one....

But over the last couple of weeks, it feels like something has changed. I am now able to say It's not "my fault" that I am ill, but it IS "my responsibility" to do something about it....and actually, I can....slowly....

It took me nearly two years to get to a point where I could meditate when I was out walking -- couldn't manage it at home, just kept thinking I had to do stuff! Now I can do a short meditation at home. But I realise you have difficulties going out -- is your home big enough to walk around in? I've done that sometimes, it just helped me focus.

I don't know what your meditation is like, but mine starts with deep breathing, and then I either close my eyes or focus on what is in front of me and say stuff like "I am here, this is now". Sometimes I recite some mantras, usually ones I made up.

But believe me, this stuff just doesn't work every time! I still get this horrible anxiety that isn't even based on a conscious thought, it just takes over my body.

I am having to learn how to 1. remember to keep breathing deeply, and 2. remind myself that a lot of the anxiety is about my memory of my father constantly telling me off, and that he's not here now, and what I do is my decision. But this doesn't always work either...I just have to believe it might work again next time and keep doing it.

This is getting long, will stop now. Careful with Oxazepam, all the ...zepams can get you hooked if you use it every day. Take care.
 
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baba yaga

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Thanks for your advice I’ll look if it’s available in my country. Seems like a really informative book.

Yeah, I am indeed focusing a lot on myself and what makes it so hard is that my confidence in who I am and how I act is completely gone. I mean, it’s so bad that I can’t even trust myself anymore. The irrational thoughts have made it come this far.

Next to this I also have anxiety for anxiety attacks and it is severe. Mostly focused on social situation and places where I can’t move out. I can’t even open the door for some delivery without my heart raising and a panic attack. It’s constantly coming back and back. I just don’t know how to break this pattern.

It’s not that I want to hide away from this world, but it feels like I need to. I just don’t how I know how I ever can break out of this pattern. Constantly so focused on my own negativism that I can’t even see the beauty of things full blown anymore. It’s like if somebody gives me a compliment I think; Okay, but..... and then always add a negative twist.

Back to the focus on myself and all the negative causes of that. I’m also experiencing derealization a lot when I am anxiety. I’m not a person who run away when feeling anxious usually, but freezes in pure discomfort. I sometimes am afraid it’s a psychoses or something. Another + why my confidence is so low.

It may be not completely my fault, but I also had some triggers where I choose for myself. That’s something I am blaming myself for still.

Meditation is something I already do a lot, but don’t really makes a lot of difference yet. I don’t know how to do it in the real world and outside my house. I didn’t do a meditation for a couple of days now, but planning to do one today.

Btw, I took a oxazepam 2 times this week now and it overal made me feel more relaxed. I don’t think it will solve anything, but it’s like a break after not being relaxed 24/7. Now when I am not taking it I feel slightly better as well and my thoughts of going crazy are reduced, but the fear of anxiety attacks is still in the front row.
Yes, one more thing: The Cheri Huber book I told you about is American, she is American, if you can't find that one I think she has written a few more
 
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baba yaga

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Today was a crap day, I tried all the stuff I wrote about in previous post and nothing worked. A bit better now cos it's evening, but it just ain't easy to make the negative go away no matter what they tell you. I am determined to try it all again tomorrow.
 
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Emotinium

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Sorry that I reply so late baba yaga, for some reason I don’t get a notification in my e-mail.

I’m neither from the UK or US, I’m from the Netherlands.

I agree, changing your mindset is not something what’s going to change in a day or two, otherwise my problems where already gone. With no help though, it’s very hard to make progress.

The first thing that I want is just to clarify my problems I’m still unsure if I just have severe anxiety or that there is something else. My last big panic attack almost felt like psychosis or something, because I felt I lost all control of the situation and that I couldn’t think straight, clear and relax myself. However, my responses where completely normal, but in my head I felt like I was going crazy or something. That day is still spinning through my mind and made me super insecure about my mental health. (even more then I already was). Personally I think I have some sort of midlife crisis, but then on a early age(probably doesn’t even have a name). I don’t my true complete identity. Mostly because I never developed myself properly in my youth, because of many problems outside my reach.

2 days ago I went to a store with my brother. Such a huge step. It didn’t went well, but it wasn’t as horrifying as I was expecting. Now unfortunately the next step to do it again feels as big as the step before. I am going to try it soon though. I have to, because I have no other choice. I can’t practice it or anything with other things I feel.

My social anxiety is so ridiculous the last months and I really feel like I’m the only one who have this so severe. Especially when I’m alone who have to do the conversation I instantly get a panic attack. I try to hide it and go through it, but sometimes I can’t. I even have anxiety with people I already know pretty well... It has brought me to the point I can’t do anything anymore...

I do guided meditations from youtube. There is a pretty wide selection. I do want to try some on my own, but I don’t really have the knowledge how to do so. A lot of times when I am listining to a guided meditation my mind still going off to other distraction or false believes in my mind.
 
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Emotinium

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I have to finish another book I’m reading about depression and anxiety first. I have looked up for it and it is available in my country. Will order it soon👍 Because of my social anxiety even opening the door for someone is difficult lol. I feel so helpless because of this irrational bullshit. Hopefully one day I’ll get a reward from through all of this. I already have lost 3 years of my life and actually more, because of my past. I never been a happy person about my life and myself.

Hopefully today you had a better day👍
 
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baba yaga

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Hi again
Yes, I feel better today, thanks.
Whereabouts in the Netherlands are you? I have friends in Amsterdam and the Hoek.
It really does not sound to me as if you are psychotic -- at least, not unless you are seeing, hearing or believing things that everyone else is saying are not real. I can get to a irrational state where I feel out of control. But might be worth discussing this with an expert just to make sure.
You mention the past, but maybe you don't want to go into detail...my past has affected me hugely, throughout my life. Abuse can affect people's mental health....but it doesn't have to be abuse, at least not deliberate, can just be the parent having problems themselves, and not knowing they are passing it on through their behaviour.
I know that I ended up believing I was absolutely "wrong" all the time. Now I have to work hard to convince myself I'm not. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but at least I know what is behind this. And it IS irrational bullshit, because I'm not any more "wrong" or worthless than other people.
Any ideas what might have happened to you that would have affected being with people and talking to them, making you anxious about it?
 
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Emotinium

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I’m living close to Germany in a little city.

No, I’m not. But the last major panic attack I had I felt like I was in horror movie or something. I think it was too big of a step. I have agoraphobia and hadn’t been outside my home for a long time. A hour long conversation where I felt already overstimulated when I was sitting in the car + irrational thoughts which makes me insecure. Well, it was a disaster and it’s hard to erase from my memory.

I had a pretty tough past and it has affected my current state a lot I think. I would like to share it, but I prefer to send it in a DM if you wouldn’t mind? I think it’s crucial to really understand it.
 
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