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Anxiety from a young age

  • 02-05-2020 6:21pm
    Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭

    Growing up, I was very loved by my parents. They'd do anything for me. I feel guilty even writing this post, like I'm betraying them or being ungrateful. But they were always warning me about people- friends and family members- about watching what you say to them or don't give anything away or they'll use it against you or tell everyone, etc. Like as if everyone is out to get my and my parents. I realise that they were just trying to protect me but it was a very negative way of thinking. I have a sibling who was probably worse than them at being like that, the sibling is just naturally like that too. I seem to have been the only one who wasn't naturally like that, so I feel like it affected me the most as I was quite carefree as a child.

    Now as an adult, I recognise that I am an overly anxious person. I have tried CBT online and while I understand everything that I read, it doesn't really help much as my mind and body are almost always in fight or flight mode around some people. Or I will go over conversations I had with people and say to myself "Oh no, why did I say that to them." Or think I shouldn't have said that or they'll blab to others about me. I've decided to go to the doctor once this Covid 19 stuff settles down and ask for some medication or help just for my nerves and to stop overthinking. The reason I am writing all of this today is because I was texting a family member yesterday (not immediate family) and mentioned something silly about a situation that happened to me. Just a funny story in my eyes. I later spoke to my parent and mentioned that I had said this and my parent just left me feeling awful- saying "You know that person is going to tell everyone now".

    I don't know why I'm even writing this, I'm not so much looking for advice or anything. I just want to know if anyone has gone through a similar upbringing and knows how to deal with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,020 ✭✭✭Daisy78

    Can’t say my upbringing was anything like yours but to a certain extent your parents were right, well maybe fifty percent of the time. You will encounter people who unfortunately will use information against you. But then again they may be the type to gossip about you regardless of you having divulged any information at all. It is probably no harm to be mindful of what you tell people, at least early on as you don’t know how they will interpret it or how they will convey (twist!) it to others. That being said you can’t hold yourself back completely all the time for fear of misjudging someone or what you have told them. We all need to make ourselves somewhat vulnerable in order to build on relationships so they grow into something more. It would be a pity if your anxiety stood in the way of properly engaging with people you meet. To a certain extent you get a better feel for what is appropriate as you get older, your sixth sense for the trustworthiness of people kicks in. But it may be no harm to go through this with someone, some face to face CBT rather than online? The sessions can be tailored more to your particular needs, moreso than can be achievable through an online course.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,368 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12

    While I think your parents are being a little bit extreme, especially for critisising what you said to somebody recently, they have a point in that there are allot of people who will use your words against you. They can do it out of jealousy, insecurity or habit, some people love nothing more than to gossip, spread rumours or take enjoyment out of hearing your misfortune or pain as it makes them feel better about their own lives. That said, it shouldnt take over you and your relationships the way it has.
    I think it's normal to look back on conversations and kick yourself over things you said or should have said, we all do it. I get flashbacks from conversations I had like I was in the war, I cringe at myself, the feeling is awful and it comes in waves. You have to just get yourself over the thoughts and feelings when they happen and move on. The more you dwell on them, the more you will catastophise and the worse you will feel.
    I think CBT would be a great option for you and mindfulness too to pull you out of those thoughts and feelings when they happen.
    In the mean time, try to challenge the thoughts youre having, also keep in mind youre not responsible for anyone elses behaviour, if someone is intrustowrthy or if your parents are making remarks on how you speak to people, it's not a reflection on you, that's their insecurities that theyre projecting onto you, you can choose not to take it on board.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 5,693 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    I think you would probably find counselling helpful.
    Because of the current restrictions, most therapists provide an online service via zoom / skype etc.

    All the best.