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What if ??... Anticipatory Anxiety.

amathus

amathus

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goodness knows!
"Anticipatory anxiety is where a person experiences increased levels of anxiety by thinking about an event or situation in the future. Rather than being a specific disorder in its own right, anticipatory anxiety is a symptom commonly found in a number of anxiety related conditions. It can be extremely draining for people as it can last for months prior to an event. The worries people experience specifically focus on what they think might happen, often with catastrophic predictions about an event. The nature of negative predictions about the event will be the difference between an anxiety level that is incapacitating or merely uncomfortable.

Anticipatory anxiety has many of the characteristics of generalised anxiety: increase of attention, apprehension, restlessness and avoidance. During anticipatory anxiety, a person’s body may be habitually tense, waiting for the event. This can also have a disabling effect, since having a tense body may actually lead to problems such as hyperventilation, chest pain and muscle spasm. Anticipatory anxiety may also shape behavior (i.e. decisions about how to behave, what to say, where to go, etc.) in hopes of avoiding a return of symptoms. At lower levels this fear is referred to as ordinary “worry;”￾ at higher levels it may become so intense that it can be called “anticipatory panic.”￾

Common conditions that have a component of anticipatory anxiety include, panic (with common predictions regarding a fear of having a further attack, fainting or dying), social phobia (with predictions about saying or doing something embarrassing, e.g. blushing, sweating or saying the wrong thing), before public speaking (for example, forgetting what to say) and generalised anxiety (with negative worry or fears about the future). Anticipatory anxiety may cause problems in relationships with others, since individuals are often preoccupied with the thought of the feared event. It can also affect a person’s ability to concentrate, which may prevent them from working to their full potential, or enjoying favorite activities." ~ (Anxiety UK.)

Are you a 'what if' person? How are you affected?

amathus.
 
BlueGlass

BlueGlass

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I am already super stressed about a holiday I am going on in summer, I don't think ill go, is too much. it constantly plays on my mind. I don't know which I worse the going or the disappointment in yourself that you can't even do a simple thing like go on holiday and that if affects your family too. :(
 
amathus

amathus

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I often find that the 'anticipation' turns out the be far worse than the 'real thing'.

amathus.
 
tabbykitten

tabbykitten

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cloud cuckoo land (UK)
Anticipatory anxiety is the worst part of my problem. Anything that is the slightest bit out of the ordinary - even having my much loved family visit for a couple of days can be really stressful. All the usual anxiety symptoms, very bad sleepless nights, almost OCD in the way I have to plan every single thing in terms of food. Trying to work out what TV programmes I might miss and noting it all down so I can catch up later.
If I am travelling to stay with family, the strain of worrying about the travel and everything about the stay is really traumatising. I have had the odd panic attack because of anticipatory anxiety.

although I still get anxious while any "event" is taking place I normally cope reasonably well and can even enjoy myself. I get frustrated with myself, making lists of every eventuality with a coping strategy helps but it is just so damn exhausting
 
BlueGlass

BlueGlass

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I often find that the 'anticipation' turns out the be far worse than the 'real thing'.

amathus.
sometimes, my therapy was defo like that, I freak all week about it but I know it is not bad but you never know what the next session is gonna be like.

holidays are another story. usually worse or just like I worry about. :(
 
W

wanttohelp2014

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Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
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Location
Ontario, Canada
My boyfriend, who's 47, struggles with anticipatory anxiety everyday. It could be the smallest thing to something major. He used to be on meds for years, but weaned himself off them this passed July and notices he's more aware of everything. He's meeting with his new therapist tomorrow afternoon and getting a new psychoanalysis done, as he also deals with depression, ocd (checking), panic, generalized anxiety disorder. He's got his good days and bad days and I'm trying to stay positive for him and constantly reassuring him everything will be ok. I see little, positive changes but he says he doesn't see it.

As someone who is living with this, is there any advice that would help me while I'm being support to him?
 
S

sunshinedaydream

New member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
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2
Location
Wyoming
Wow. for all the years Ive been struggling with this, I can't believe I just read it!
Even as a child, I always asked what if questions. But now just normal ones outrageous scenarios that could possibly happen. Now with my anxiety and fear of getting sick, I always am asking what if this happens or that happens. I am curious to read how everyone handles that.
 
D

Dispatch

Active member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
35
Location
California
"Anticipatory anxiety is where a person experiences increased levels of anxiety by thinking about an event or situation in the future. Rather than being a specific disorder in its own right, anticipatory anxiety is a symptom commonly found in a number of anxiety related conditions. It can be extremely draining for people as it can last for months prior to an event. The worries people experience specifically focus on what they think might happen, often with catastrophic predictions about an event. The nature of negative predictions about the event will be the difference between an anxiety level that is incapacitating or merely uncomfortable.

Anticipatory anxiety has many of the characteristics of generalised anxiety: increase of attention, apprehension, restlessness and avoidance. During anticipatory anxiety, a person’s body may be habitually tense, waiting for the event. This can also have a disabling effect, since having a tense body may actually lead to problems such as hyperventilation, chest pain and muscle spasm. Anticipatory anxiety may also shape behavior (i.e. decisions about how to behave, what to say, where to go, etc.) in hopes of avoiding a return of symptoms. At lower levels this fear is referred to as ordinary “worry;”￾ at higher levels it may become so intense that it can be called “anticipatory panic.”￾

Common conditions that have a component of anticipatory anxiety include, panic (with common predictions regarding a fear of having a further attack, fainting or dying), social phobia (with predictions about saying or doing something embarrassing, e.g. blushing, sweating or saying the wrong thing), before public speaking (for example, forgetting what to say) and generalised anxiety (with negative worry or fears about the future). Anticipatory anxiety may cause problems in relationships with others, since individuals are often preoccupied with the thought of the feared event. It can also affect a person’s ability to concentrate, which may prevent them from working to their full potential, or enjoying favorite activities." ~ (Anxiety UK.)

Are you a 'what if' person? How are you affected?

amathus.
This is what I suffer from ... I hate it. It can be managed ... I’ve proven that to myself many times ... but ... sometimes ... smh
 
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