MDAO Forum

Support for People with Mood Disorders => General Discussion => Topic started by: Amanda on March 15, 2016, 02:47:32 pm

Title: Problems with Anxiety
Post by: Amanda on March 15, 2016, 02:47:32 pm
I'm having a really bad time with social anxiety and delusional thinking. I am on a nice private Facebook group of friendly women, several of whom are friends. The focus is physical wellbeing and personal goal setting, with an emphasis on encouragement and mutual support. What could be nicer? But suddenly I became fixated on the idea that the group (and especially the group owner) did not want me on the group and wished I would leave. Every time I posted anything I was tormented by this image of people rolling their eyes and saying "oh no, there she is again". I also had very clear fantasies that the group administrators (including two friends) were talking together about the group members and especially agreeing that I am crazy and a negative presence on the group. In my anxiety I actually emailed the group leader and asked her if it was okay for me to be part of the group. Of course she was confused. I had been invited onto the group by a friend who is also a friend of hers. Afraid of damaging my relationships with people I left Facebook altogether for a while and just let my friends know by email that I was having a bit of bad health but would be back. I am trying to post on this group again (completely innocent posts congratulating people on reaching their exercise goals or wishing them well if they have a cold) but every time I do I feel sick with anxiety and am tortured by these ideas that they all think I am very disturbed and difficult and that they really dislike me. Rationally I know this doesn't make any sense. I can't even talk about it with my friends on the group because, although they know I have bipolar disorder and are sympathetic, they don't understand how I could think one thing and feel another and really not be able to make the two line up. Hoping that someone here understands! I don't want to walk away from a nice group of nice people - I need those in my life - but it's starting to occupy my every waking moment.
Title: Re: Problems with Anxiety
Post by: paulm on March 15, 2016, 08:36:04 pm
Hello Amanda.  I can understand that. I've been posting on line for years.Between this forum, it's predecessor and another forum that I moderate, I've read about 50,000 posts and believe me you are not the only person who worries about saying or posting something wrong. A lot of people quit posting as they are afraid that their posts will be taken wrong.

 I've also posted about 10,000 replies and I still get the extreme jitters some nights and I'll erase a reply 10 times before I post it and then I'll worry all night about how that post was received etc.

 Of course when I look back, I usually see that the post was just fine, but at the moment it can bring me a lot of stress for no known reason. Actually there is a reason, I have a variety of problems with anxieties, plus additional problems with bipolar. So you are not alone in your worries about this.

 In my case and probably a lot of other people's cases, perhaps even yours, I can also feel that people in general don't like me.

  What helps me the most is that I try to spend at least a part of each day telling myself that I'm a good person(not hrs, but a couple of minutes) .  I have bad moments, I've even had bad yrs due to my illness, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm still a good person.  People like to be around other good people who share common interests.  I just have to make myself realize that. My personality is such that I'm never going to be elected the most popular guy, but there are still enough people in the world that I can be friendly with.

 Having said that a couple of other things help to keep me on the sane side. First, when I start to think that everyone hates me, my wife is liable to tell me that I'm not important enough for everyone to hate and that most people don't even think about me, much less dislike me LOL . Second, most of my friends these days have a mental illness. Some of them are extremely functional stage of their illness and some not so much, but they all understand what mental health issues are all about and that really counts for a lot to me.

 Anyways, I've rambled along enough for today, I hope that you post more. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Problems with Anxiety
Post by: Dragonfly on March 16, 2016, 09:46:43 pm
Hi Amanda,

I too can have a real problem that I think people don't like me. Sometimes I really don't think my grandchildren like me that much. I discipline them when they do something that isn't right. I will yell at them. I think they hold it against me. Then before I know it they have totally forgotten that I reprimanded them. They will ask me questions or be very loving to me. I am Oma to them which means Grandmother. I will think that they like their other Grandmother better. Both of us do different things with the grandchildren that mean something to them.

I think a lot of this comes from low self esteem and thinking that we are not worth anything. I believe everyone is special and has something to offer this world. You sound like a very kind person. Thinking about the group of woman on facebook. Supporting them by encouraging them and wishing them well.

I become quite negative when I am tired. Also when I become depressed due to my mental illness - bipolar. I am quite stable now most of the time due to a great deal of support from family, friends, health professionals and medication.

I too have felt that I have said the wrong thing to people. The wrong thing on this forum. I beat myself up about it. A lot sometimes.

For a long time I was very secretive about my illness. I open up now to people who I feel will understand. If they don't understand it sometimes hurts. Not so bad anymore though.  I think that these people cannot understand my situation and have not walked in my shoes. If they can't emphazise they are not truly my friends. Too bad for them.

It sounds like you have a nice group of friends on facebook. I am sure they are supportive of you. By opening up about your true feelings you will probably help someone else. It is amazing how many people can identify with what you are truly feeling. I have a number of people who don't understand what I am going through or don't try to. I now realize that they may have some problems also. I think I am the only person who realizes they have problems but other people see the same thing. I hope I am making sense.

Please post as much as you want. We are not judgemental. What you have to say is important to us too.

Hope I haven't gone on too long.

Have a nice evening and take care of yourself.

Title: Re: Problems with Anxiety
Post by: Amanda on March 17, 2016, 10:51:50 pm
Thank you both so much for your replies!  It means so much to me that other people "get it". I get so confused by the mixed messages that seem to be everywhere right now.  You cannot listen to the radio or read a newspaper with hearing about programs for mental health, mental health awareness, fighting stigma and so on.  Where I work we devote an entire week every year to spreading awareness about mental health and the importance of tolerance and understanding.  Yet it seems to me that when I do open up and tell people that I have a mental illness and that it does sometimes cloud my perceptions or affect my feelings they really don't know what to do with that information.  They want to be kind and compassionate but they also wish I would stop talking about it.  I think it's a little like when someone accidentally has a loud public fart.  Everyone around them feels very sorry for them for embarrassing themselves and they politely pretend they didn't notice. Anyway, I do really appreciate your encouraging feedback! Paul, I envy you that say-it-like-it-is spouse!  I bet she really helps keep you level.  And Dragonfly I am sure that your grandchildren adore you and appreciate (without even knowing it) being taught right from wrong.  Your obvious love for them must be a warm hearth in their lives.
Title: Re: Problems with Anxiety
Post by: paulm on March 20, 2016, 12:58:49 am
Hello Amanda. Yes having a good spouse is helpful, but in the past when my illness was relatively new and really bad, she struggled and we had a lot of bad times. Not because she's a bad lady, just because mental illness is so difficult to understand.  She still doesn't understand it, but she "ACCEPTS" it and that's what is important. ( and yes I think that she is wonderful)

 In regards to the rest of the world, I wish that half of the money that they spend on stigma fighting didn't end up in the pockets of so many un deserving organizations.  I know of one really large mental health organization that has no one anywhere near the top with a mental illness and I only know of a couple that actively advertise for people with a declared disability when they are hiring(The MDAO, who provides this forum, is one of the good ones).  A lot of them will advertise for volunteers, but when it comes to paying jobs or  positions of responsibilities, not so many places want someone with bipolar, major depression etc in a position of responsibility, no matter how well controlled the illness is.  Ok I'm starting to rant LOL, so I will stop here, but like Dragonfly has said keep posting here, we are all friendly.

 Over the yrs I have corresponded with and even met some really great people through this forum. It doesn't happen over night, but it does happen. Take for example Dragonfly, even though I've never met her, she seems like a long time trusted friend as do many others on here. I know that she and others understand what difficulties we face. Take Care. paul m

P.S. To Dragonfly, you never go on too long and you always make sense. Besides it's my job to ramble on forever LOL. 

Title: Re: Problems with Anxiety
Post by: Dragonfly on March 21, 2016, 10:14:15 am
Paul, Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate your advice. You are my friend on this forum. I can tell that you are a good person.

Yes, Paul, we have both had our struggles and continue to do so sometimes. It is very helpful to have other people on this forum to express themselves, support us, give us advice if asked for.

I have appreciated what the people have to say on this forum and it has helped me greatly. Paul, you are one of those people who has helped me.

Thanks!    :-*

Title: Re: Problems with Anxiety
Post by: Pleeb on March 22, 2016, 03:27:48 pm
Hi, Amanda....Sometimes when you tell your problems to someone, you'll be astonished that someone has the same ones.  It's happened to me a few times.

take care....Peter