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Born to be anxious or is there some leeway?

  • 15-08-2022 6:34pm
    Registered Users Posts: 24

    I've just turned 23 and I've been in denial for years. I'm not happy, I'm just coasting with enough coping mechanisms to stay afloat and relatively functional. I'm sick of living my life by about 30%. Anxiety stops me from doing everything. I keep up this facade of being extraverted, happy go lucky because I would hate to be vulnerable and burden people with my problems. And I know deep down that most of my problems are nonsense or aren't a third as bad as my anxiety makes them out to be. I've long told myself this is just who I am, I can't change...but deep down, I want life to be more than this. Is this just me for life or do I have some control? From a younge age it's always been "oh (my name) you just suffer from the nerves" or "you're just a worrier, it's just who you are".If I start actually taking the cliché advice of "workout/ eat healthy/find a hobby/ self care", is it possible I could feel more OK? I'm exhausted and I'm sick of being this way. I don't want this to be my life.

    Post edited by Scattered99 on


  • Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭Sonic the Shaghog

    Any of that could help.

    But it could be just in the genes too and medication might be the only way forward as well, unfortunately it was for me

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    I’m like that, definitely in the genes. I’m cynical, impatient, uncomfortable a lot of the time, can’t keep quiet, very often can’t sleep, but I’m well occupied and keep my brain engaged in something I cope best. I know all this self-help guidance stuff, I’d nearly hit the wall before doing that at times! I do have a great sense of humour though, and if I can find any opportunity for humour I’ll take it.

    I was born hyperactive, and would now totally fit into the ADHD category. I scored myself against online questionnaires and fit it 100% as a female. I move at a fast pace, have neuro-sensory overload issues at times, have severe convergence difficulty in vision. In spite feeling very uncomfortable a lot of the time I am blessed with being creative, imaginative and a great capacity to learn. So I take that as a real positive. If I applied myself I could achieve a lot, but with my difficulty in focussing it is very difficult to stay on track.

    ADHD I’m has been described as being like a computer with lots and lots of wi does open at same time, and being clicked from one to the next in rapid succession. This is described the way I think perfectly, flitting from one thought to the next rapidly and then remembering what I was at in the first place.

    Being born in 1961 there was no such thing as a diagnosis nor supports or meds. A lot of people come to Kate various diagnoses of neurodivergence and really the benefit is that with a diagnosis you may be able to “forgive yourself” for having such negative uncomfortable feelings so much of the time.

    De thick plottens

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,681 ✭✭✭zoobizoo

    First up, find a decent Psychologist.

    Buy a book called The Feeling Good Handbook. The CBT exercises will help you tackle some of your anxieties.

    You can begin to control your worries and start enjoying life more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 601 ✭✭✭Esho

    Such a great post Nicefella.

    You're 23 which is great , and you see what's holding you back. Fantastic start!

    Theres always a good reason why we feel like we feel - as Nicefella said, unprocessed emotions.

    Journalling will give you a new perspective on how you're feeling. If you can find a good psychologist then, maybe they can help you to process the trapped emotions.

    It can take a while, and is rough but it's worth it to stick at it - you won't know yourself .Good luck with it

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  • Registered Users Posts: 722 ✭✭✭Jafin

    Hi OP, I have suffered from anxiety all my life but didn't realise what it was until my mid 20s (I'm 33 now). It's mostly social anxiety, and I wouldn't call it debilitating or anything, but the way it would manifest itself would be that if I was due to go out to the pub with some friends I would all of a sudden think of a million reasons not to go, get that anxious pit in my stomach and end up telling them I was sick and couldn't go. The worst was when it came to dating, first dates specifically. I went on a first date in April and ended up physically getting sick before I went to meet him.

    Those cliché things you mentioned - they can work. I would also advise finding a therapist. I started therapy in June and it has been really helpful to me. We have dug down to find the root of the anxiety and my therapist has given me tools and exercises to combat the anxiety when it arises. Don't be fooled though, this is not a quick fix. There is no quick fix. You will have to continually work on yourself and, most importantly, be kind to yourself.

    Best of luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,198 ✭✭✭Sunrise_Sunset

    Anxiety seems to run in my family too, definitely from one side and I myself "suffer with my nerves" too. I'm a worrier, I don't sleep well, I have a few specific fears, I have health anxiety, social anxiety and probably generalised anxiety disorder too.

    I exercise, but I need to work on the other areas of self help mentioned. I do believe they can help to quite a high degree. But there will always be cases or times when more is needed. Sometimes medication. So I do think there is leeway and definitely lots of things you can try to improve your quality of life and mental health. Don't write off your situation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 327 ✭✭Alex86Eire

    I've been anxious my whole life similar to you. I was diagnosed with a particular connective tissue disorder last year and the specialist told me that people with my condition are actually born anxious which I thought was interesting. Not many people would know I was an anxious person.

    Echoing the people above - exercise/diet/meditation/therapy and surrounding yourself with people who love you all will help. I've found my anxiety hugely decrease as I get older strangely enough. I'm 30 now and its much better than it was in my 20s.

    Best of luck.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 486 ✭✭curiousb

    Is it hypermobility you were diagnosed with? My 17 year old daughter has hypermobility and severe anxiety (amongst other issues) and we had been told something similar.

    She is also diagnosed just this year with ADD, ASD and dyslexia and this fuels her anxiety as as it makes learning very difficult for her.

    I've just ordered the Dare book, as mentioned above, and I hope that will help her deal with her anxiety.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,874 ✭✭✭chicorytip

    We inherit personality traits from our parents which can result in a predisposition to anxiety and many other mental health disorders and phobias but negative environmental factors during childhood and adolescence can lead to anxiety in adulthood. An unhappy home life during the formative years, is what I mean. I can speak with authority on this having experienced such. I have suffered with anxiety since adolescence and am now middle aged. You are right. It is completely debilitating and restrictive in so many ways. I have tried many techniques and lifestyle behaviours to try and cope better but none have been successful other than on a temporary basis. I made the decision long ago not to go down the medication route despite being advised to the contrary by doctors. Pills may work for many sufferers I am sure but from an intellectual point of view I am simply unwilling to subject myself to chemical treatment in order to bring about a calmer demeanor or enhanced mood .