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Topic: Introducing myself and feeling discouraged by anxiety

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. hanne6
    hanne6 avatar
    3 posts
    22 July 2019
    Hi all!

    I'm new here and am a student in my mid-20s with anxiety and bipolar. Things are so much better than they used to be (when I lacked much hope at all) and I still marvel at how far I've come. Yet, I struggle with constant anxiety which is exhausting and always feels like it's threatening to throw me into depression (leaving me with yet another worry). Sometimes it feels things would be easier if I were to permanently isolate myself. I try to see my friends but feel it would be easier on myself and them if I didn't have any.

    I keep thinking that things could be even better than they are now if I could get on top of this anxiety (somehow). I'm terrified, however, of making things worse. I keep telling myself things are great so don't ruin them and worry that if I seek out further help I'll fixate so much on my anxious thoughts that I'll just make my mental health worse. Or, that I won't be able to accurately describe what's going on and my GP will think I've made an appointment for no reason, there is nothing that can be done, and I am wasting her time.

    So, it seems I am left stuck with anxiety that "could be worse" so why get help and risk making things worse. Quite discouraging...
  2. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    394 posts
    22 July 2019 in reply to hanne6

    Hi hanne6,

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for your post. I'm sorry that you're struggling so much with this anxiety.

    It sounds like the idea of things could be worse is actually making this worse. Aren't things bad enough for you? I almost feel like it's someone freaking out day and night about high blood pressure - isn't the freaking out worse than the positives of knowing and getting some help?

    You are right in the sense that sometimes therapy can focus a bit on the anxious thoughts, but it also depends on what type of therapy approach that they use. Sometimes part of therapy is challenging that anxiety and that can kind of feel like fixating sometimes, but there's also another approach called ACT. The idea with that is that it's more about accepting your anxiety and working towards the things that are important to you (like hanging out with friends). Even though both of the approaches work well with anxiety, ACT can be really good on not fixating on things and moving your focus away from all of that anxiety.

    I hope that this gives you something to think about. I'm a bit of an advocate for therapy so I know the pros can far outweigh the cons, and knowing how much better you'll feel being able to get a handle on this anxiety.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. hanne6
    hanne6 avatar
    3 posts
    22 July 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi romantic_thi3f,

    Thanks heaps for the response. You're right that thinking it could be worse is actually making everything worse. What started out me as trying calm my thoughts has become something to worry about in itself.

    I'm mostly familiar with CBT, and while I have heard of ACT don't know very much about it. It sounds like it might be worth considering.

    Do you know if most psychologists a GP would refer me to would be familiar with ACT? I'm already feeling apprehensive about seeing my GP and trying to explain things. I'm unsure if I'll need to explain what I think might help to the GP or if it would be okay to just explain what it is that's been going on. I worry if I do the latter I'll understate how bad things actually are and then they'll wonder why I even needed to see them.

  4. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    394 posts
    23 July 2019 in reply to hanne6

    Hi Hanne6,

    Great to hear back from you.

    I'm not really sure about the psychologists since everyone has a different therapeutic background. There's a couple of things that you could do though -

    - https://www.actmindfully.com.au/free-stuff/find-a-therapist Just note that these can have psychologists and counsellors or psychotherapists, while only psychologists accept the Medicare rebate. They also have a bit of a run down on what ACT is.

    - A google search with your location and "ACT" (i.e. Adelaide ACT Therapist).

    If you find a psychologist that you like or who sounds good, then you can get your GP to write a referral directly to them. It's totally okay to let them know that you like the sound of ACT, but they might not be familiar with it. If they GP thinks your wasting their time, then that's the GP's problem and not yours!

    You might find it helpful to write some things down about how you're feeling or bring someone along to help advocate for you? Either way, I hope that you'll find a GP that is supportive.

    1 person found this helpful