Friday, April 22, 2011


I'm a pretty easygoing person, but I have issues with anxiety.  This didn't really start until about 1.5 years ago.  Even during college and my first couple years of teaching, I didn't have a lot of anxiety.  Stress?  Yes.  But not a lot of anxiety.

I first experienced it when I was given a couple new responsibilities at work.  It was overwhelming, and the anxiety set-in.  I would feel it every couple of months, but I would get past it after a day or two.

For the past month and a half or so, it's gotten worse.  It comes more often and stays longer.  I can usually pin-point the cause of it, but sometimes I feel anxious for no reason.  For example--today. 

Here's a little of what I'm feeling...
Emotional Symptoms:

  • Apprehension
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Blank mind (that's pretty normal for me, though) :)
Physical Symptoms:
  • Pounding heart (This is the worst. It hurts.)
  • Can't breathe
  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Really tired
  • Insomnia
  • Wanting to cry...and eventually following through :)
I'm sure some of you deal with this.  What do you do to make it go away?  (Besides going on vacation to Hawaii...I already tried that.  I was care-free while I was there.  It was only a temporary fix, and it returned the day after I got home)


Katie said...

I'm not totally sure because I've never really had anxiety before. I'm sure some people can tell you better. Although I have learned through having to be a mom on little to no sleep, that sometimes you just have to do what you can, and if you can't get it all done that's just the way it is. And also find little things that you enjoy that help you relax and try to mix them into your day, like stretching, or giving your self a little head and temple massage, going for a walk, listening to relaxing music. Come over and I'll give you a pedicure. :)

Laura Neill said...

I have anxiety problems. I take prozac for it. When I feel an anxiety attack or even milder symptoms coming on, I try and ignore every little thing that doesn't really matter. I try and focus on what really makes me happy, like playing w/ my kids, reading the scriptures, or locking myself in my bedroom and reading a good book. Sometimes something as simple as a change of place helps me. I'll go for a walk, or in bad weather go walk around a store all by myself. It helps me process my thoughts and bring myself back together. I'm sorry you're feeling this way. I absolutely hate it. I feel so worthless and unproductive when I get like this. Hopefully you'll be able to find something that works for you. :)

Annie said...

I am sure that I know the need a new job. I know that you like your job and it is hard to start over, but it appears that your job is what causes you stress. Do you want me to help you find a new job? You should seriously consider it!

Jake and Shell said...

Not to sound like a hypochondriac or anything, but have you had your thyroid checked? It does SOOO many things...I had no idea! It couldn't hurt to have a simple blood test to make sure your levels are 'normal'. You never know, it may not be anxiety at all :) Good luck and don't stress about it ;) xo

Tammy said...

Welcome to being a Lacey! Hopefully it helps to know some of your older sisters deal with it, too, to some extent. At least you recognize what it is!

I've studied it quite a bit and here's my two cents:

1. Breathe--seriously! Take yoga classes or read up on deep breathing exercises.
2. Exercise--at least 30 minutes a day--60 minutess is ideal.
3. Cut artificial sweeteners like Nutrasweet...some studies show that it causes anxiety. (It does in me!) and Ibuprofen.
4. Say NO! Seriously, add the word to your vocabulary now and you'll thank me later. Only do what makes YOU happy! (I can say that to you because you don't have a spouse or kids yet...sometimes I have to make exceptions to this rule!)

5. Find a relaxing hobby you enjoy. Sometimes playing the piano helps me.

6. Go in your car and sing at the top of your lungs or scream or hum...just "get it all out!"

7. Talk to your doctor. Like Michelle said, it may be something you haven't thought of...also have them check your blood sugar levels...high blood sugar increases my anxiety. Ask about medication. I take Wllbutrin/Bupropion for anxiety and I only wish I'd known about it sooner! (However, a side effect of the medicine is, ironically, anxiety in some people.)

Good luck! Love you! Call me if you ever want to talk.

Halls Family said...

Anxiety, what is that? :)I have found several things that help and some that don't. If I am doing things right that i have control of, i.e. exercising, reading scriptures, and eating right, I feel much better. Those are things I have control of and I know will make me feel better. Even if I'm not getting skinnier or more spiritual, I feel better just because I am doing the best I can. The other thing that helps is putting my kids to work...I just realized that. :) A lot of my anxiety comes when my house is in chaos. If I put my kids to work, they stop bothering me by whatever noise they were making, they make our house cleaner, and I don't feel like I'm tackling life alone. Now, I know you don't have kids, but maybe your students or roommates can fill the void. :) Or maybe someone else reading this will be helped by it. I don't make my kids little slaves, but just by everyone pitching in it just helps somehow.
Another thing that helps is saying no. I say that hypocritically. I know it would help me, but most times I can't say no or even not offer. (I have had a houseful of kids I've been babysitting all week, plus dinner I made for a lady, plus the skit I agreed to help with, know how it is, we're all the same way.)
Things that don't work: Getting mad at anyone that gets in my path, although that is what happens sometimes. Eating, it just makes me feel worse in the end. Sometimes I can't help that part either, but I try to at least stay in control of what enters my mouth during meltdown.
Shannon, you're awesome! Sometimes we need to just be like Dory- just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...
Love ya! You can do it!