Anxiety is making me question everything I know
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Physical & Mental Health Issues Marriage and relationships are difficult by themselves, but coping with physical or mental health problems can make things even more difficult.

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Old 02-06-2010, 11:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anxiety is making me question everything I know

I'm not married but this is the only place I saw about anxiety, depression, and relationships and how each is affected.

Since having anxiety, I do a 180 and question everything I know to be true, especially with those I care most about and my boyfriend, Ken.

Just a little info on the situation:

I'm under a lot of stress. I'm in an international Long distance relationship with an absolutely wonderful, supporting boyfriend, who is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm a junior in college and I feel lost here...I don't feel comfortable in this school and I felt that way before I left for Australia, where I met my boyfriend. I especially don't feel that way now. I was so happy in Australia and felt extremely comfortable and welcomed. I felt like I could relax and be myself.

Flash forward to now being back home in Boston, I have daily anxiety...feel emotionally numb a lot of them time except for tears and frustrating emotions. I can't feel love for my boyfriend and I KNOW that I do. When we are together, I am calm, peaceful, and I feel whole. I don't have this anxiety like I do now. He knows I have all of this anxiety and I've explained it to him and he's still soo supportive and he's hanging in there with me, encouraging me constantly.

I get anxiety when I can't feel love because I start freaking out like "DWhat if I don't love my boyfriend? What does this mean? Am I not supposed to be with him?..." It makes me want to crawl into a hole but I don't want to because I love him so much and I refuse to give up on the best thing that has EVER happened to me. I don't know how I got so lucky to find him.

I get anxiety whenever a thought of any other guy comes into my head. Moreso if they're guy friends or something. It's like...not romantic at all. This past week or so it's been the thought of one guy friend in particular who I ahven't talked to in about 2 months. In fact, I haven't really talked to him but like 4 times since I've met my boyfriend...before I started dating my boyfriend when we were just friends. Like...we only really talked for a couple of weeks. We shared a lot but it was mostly our issues and stuff with life...like with him he had really bad issues with his girlfriend and it was a lot of negative stuff. All of the information I've shared with him I've since shared with my boyfriend so it's not like...he's the only one who knows or anything. For example, he would send me a message on fb chat like "I hate her" and I would try to make him feel better. We only really talked in person a few times and most of those times were after I asked him if he wanted to talk because he sounded SOO depressed and worried me. He reminded me a lot about myself emotionally.

Lately he's been the Automatic negative thought that keeps popping into my head. like not romantic...just like his face here and there and this gives me anxiety and gets me going with the "What does this mean? Why am I thinking about him? DOes this mean I don't love my boyfriend...etc."

I've been a little bit better at calming myself down but it seems like because I don't want to think about it, it sort of associates itself to every single thing I think and that gives me anxiety. like I woke up with anxiety yesterday and I had a an image of trees and such in my head and for some reason that was associated with him, it's ridiculous. I'm willing to admit that there probably is something about him that does fascinate me and possibly attract me but that doesn't change the fact that I love my boyfriend and want to be happy with him. It's hard when we're apart, you know? And I know that I perpetuate the thoughts myself sometimes. I can be fine and not thinking about it at all and then it's like I notice that I'm not anxious and my mind will go "Oh good, you're not thinking about it." which just brings it back into my mind. It's hard because I don't have these thoughts with my boyfriend. I didn't start feeling anxiety until about a month before I left for home and that should tell you that I was really stressed about going back. I spent an amazing week with him before coming home and I could feel love then and I've felt love since. Just I'm getting so overwhelmed and I feel like my emotional good days are less than the bad days lately and I am constantly plagued with questions and it's just frustrating. I don't want to be like this any more. I want to be able to feel the love and affection that I know that I have for my boyfriend.


After going to counseling and talking to my therapist about this, I've sort of realized that I put tougher restrictions and expectations on myself than everyone else in the world. Like, I feel guilty or like I am cheating on my boyfriend when a thought of another guy, even an unromantic one, comes to my mind when both my boyfriend and I have talked about how it's absolutely normal to find other people we meet to be attractive, whether it be physically or emotionally in some way. I mean, of course we're going to have thoughts about other people from time to time...it's just a part of life. It happens. We can't control it. And yet...I try to stop myself for some reason. So of course, because I stop it...I think of it more, like my guy friend who I probably am fascinated by or have some sort of emotional connection to. But it;s like...ridiculous. I mean...I don't expect the anxious thoughts to go away right away after i've realized this but I will continue to work with it, you know?

This is the first real serious relationship I've been in (I'm 20, young but old enough I think) and the first time I've been in love. I guess I'm learning as I am going and it is more difficult as I don't know what to expect or whatever and the long distance does add a lot of stress on my life. The thing is...I KNOW I love him. It just seems like there's a disconnect between my head and my heart lately. Be it hormone levels or stress levels causing it...it's frustrating. The sort of emotional stunting or whatever that I'm experiencing has escalated as my stress has escalated. I just hope that as I sort out my issues and calm down with anxiety that I'll be able to feel more like myself and feel the full breadth of my emotions, just not the negative ones, you know? I mean, when I'm not feeling anxious I feel fine and my thoughts are a lot more consistent, rational, and logical...but holy crap when I start feeling anxious I question EVERYTHING...like what if years down the line I'm not meant to be with my boyfriend? The fact remains that things might not work out in the long run but that shouldn't stop me from enjoying our time together now and I KNOW this but the thought of being without him scares me so when I'm anxious and I feel like i'm cheating on him, I can't feel the love I know I have for him, and I question if just ending things with one of the most important people in the world to me would make my anxiety go away, like a fix or something. I know it's not.

Oh I know for a full fact that my mind is playing tricks on me. I also know that feelings of love, as strong as I feel for my boyfriend, just don't go away overnight which what I felt like happened as my anxiety got bad. I'll get it back again, I hope. I just want to start to feel again.

I still talk to my boyfriend every day and I still carry on as usual...there's just not always that extra twinge, like the warm, butterfly feeling which he gives me. I generally feel at peace, calm, and whole when I am with him so to be so upset, disrupted, and not whole right now I'm sure has something to do with it.

I try breathing techniques and binaural beats. They help a bit but I still feel like I'm emotionally numb and withdrawn from all the stress I've placed on myself.

Sorry for this rant.
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anxiety is making me question everything I know

If you're asking for advice, well, you won't like what I have to say. You're 20. You have a LOT of living to do yet, before you finish changing and maturing. I don't think most relationships that start when the people are younger than 24-25 will work out. Why? Because both of you are still changing, still deciding what you believe in, what you want out of life. If you stay determined to be with this person, no matter what, but then start realizing that what YOU believe in or want doesn't match up with what HE wants (for instance, where to live), what happens? What happens is that ONE of you has to give up something. And what happens when you give up something, for the sake of someone else? You RESENT that person, whether you want to, or not. And resentment is a KILLER for a relationship, eventually.

As for the other boys and your thoughts...you are going through that because you're only 20! It is normal for someone your age to wonder, to want to date and flirt and be flirted with. It feels good. It kicks up the chemicals in your brain that are supposed to be stimulated at your age.

My advice is to tell your boyfriend that you need to concentrate on school until you graduate; can you be friends until then, and then see where life takes you? For now, concentrate on YOURSELF. Learning, growing, thinking, accomplishing things...become comfortable in your own skin. You don't have to have a guy liking you to be complete; God made you, so you are worthy, all by yourself. Be glad with that.

And give yourself time to decide who you are. Finish college. Start your career. Have fun, date, go out with people and experience life. Somewhere along the way, you'll meet the right guy, and he'll be ok with who you have become (and hopefully live in the same city as you), and you'll get more serious. Maybe even with your boyfriend from Australia.

But for now, just be yourself.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Alright so I actually registered for this site after seeing your post and felt like i needed to respond to it. So here is my rant.

I have been going through the exact same thing as you. Me and my gf have been dating for 2 years, it is a long distance relationship, and i have been in depression and anxiety for almost the entire time of our relationship. And i go through the same things that you are. Days where you are crazy in love with them then the next day you are scared to death becuase you feel like you dont love them anymore. It was interesting reading your post becuase of how i felt like i could relate.

I guess the advice I have gotten from close friends and councelors is that the things that you think are all in your head and it is lies. What makes it hard is that to me, sometimes it feels like what your brain is telling you is how it should be and your actual life feels like the lie. Its wierd. But i have been told numerous times that it is depression and anxiety getting to me and i need to figure out how to control it.

The fact is that my gf is perfect for me. Others have seen it and said it. She builds me up, is obviously crazy for me, and fits everything that I look for in a future wife. THis is all what makes it even more frustrating that these random thoughts are going through my head.

And as far as other people, i go through a guilt trip every time i talk to other girls. It feels like icant have any friendships with another girl becuase my mind tries to tell me its wrong or that Im more interested in them than my gf. It is just another factor that makes me second guess my relationship, a relationship that is better than any other.

I guess my point in all this is to say your not alone. Its nice to hear that someone else is going through it too and your not the only one. Make sure to stay busy and keep from getting into any routine. I have found that a rountine week makes me depressed more and i just drown in my own thoughts. It is like you said... your heart and your head just arent connected fully. I know I am suppose to end up with this girl but I want my head to be cooperative whenever I make the next step and right now its completely opposite. Guess we just got to stick with it and know that depression and anxiety can be dealt with and rid of! Hope this helps.
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Old 02-20-2010, 03:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anxiety is making me question everything I know

Uhm, is your issue perhaps low self esteem? This sounds like you don't trust your own decision. It has nothing to do with your partners.
Those automatic thoughts are choices, not facts, not reality. Along the lines of 'hey, you sure you wanna do this?' a confident person will then think 'hell yes'. (this refers to the 'internal dialogue most of us have, specially when depressed or anxious). A low self esteem person will think 'omg, if i'm questioning this it might mean it's not right' or 'why am i thinking this?'. Just how some people have sexual fantasies and because they don't have self trust, wonder if they'll eventually end up wanting to make them reality, and other more confident people know fantasies are just for fun and they don't want that in real life, or do want that in real life. But they know for a fact what they are feeling and want. Building more trust in you and your own decissions (and getting to think that your choices and decissions are correct and responsible) will help a lot i think.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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OMG! You do not know how happy I am to read this thread! I thought I was the only one who felt this way!! I know I love my fiance but my anxiety is so strong its like I cant feel the love.. but my heart tells me that I love him but then I keep doubting myself about it.. but I know hes the right one for me.. I doubt everything... Its like a just say to myself why am I thinking this way?? Omg that means this isnt the right thing.. then I panic and then I get sick.. bc I know it is the right thing but its just like my brain wont stop doubting everything I do and every decision I make!!! I think its that I have low self esteem...
But I can just tell you that I relate...
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I feel the same way and find some comfort knowing that others have the exact thoughts, doubts, emotions as I do. I have been married for 13 years and have suffered from anxiety/depression on and off since my mom died 5 years ago. I am going through a rough time where I question my love for my husband...i KNOW he is the man for me and I love him, but still I have all these doubts that pop into my head. What if's. Again like others have said it feels like my head and heart have disconnected in some way. After reading what others say, I believe for the most part that this is anxiety and depression talking. We all sound very anxious over this, like this is NOT something we want to be feeling. I hate feeling this way. Have any of you gotten better..? Have your feelings come back?
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have been engaged for almost exactly one month now. The first two weeks I was in absolute heaven. The past two weeks I have been consumed with doubts and fears and anxiety. I feel like no one understands and no one can tell me the answer. I feel frozen, unable to make a decision to leave and unable to think about the wedding without feeling stone cold fear. Even at the times when I am happy about the wedding I have a huge lump in my throat that will not dissipate. I feel like Im losing my mind and I have been thinking in circles. I am questioning everything that I have ever thought about love and relationships and I am so confused. I had been longing for an engagement for months and I thought this would be a time of pure happiness. I know that I love my fiance deeply. The thought of leaving him behind makes me miserable. I used to wake up every morning excited to be lying next to him. Now that I have the ring on my finger I wake up terrified to be waking up in the same bed, every day for the rest of my life. Does anyone have any kind of insight on this, or any similar stories to share? I am so confused.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anxiety is making me question everything I know

How old are you?
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am 35. Why do you ask?

Ooops, sorry I thought you were asking me!

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Old 04-13-2010, 08:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am 24
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Then you won't like what I say. You are too young to get married. That's why your mind is playing war with you. You've been raised like all other girls to dream of getting married. So it's a major goal for you. But as you age, you experience more and realize that there is more to life than just getting married.

Just because you're engaged doesn't mean you have to get married in the next 3 or 5 years.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The situation you find yourself in is, for me, reversed. I am the long-distance husband whose wife is feeling as you are. She suffers from low self esteem and she has a minor history of depression with a little self harm. There are also medical reasons to believe that her body chemistry is out of balance. She now questions her love for me after 19 wonderful years together and she has fled 5000 miles to the family of an internet friend in order to 'find herself.' She is disabled and needs daily care. She felt an urgent need for greater independence, which I support, but she has exchanged dependence on me for an even greater dependence on a small group of strangers.

My question is, before I finally crack up, what could your boyfriend do that would influence your feelings and clarify your thoughts?
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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You didn't ask me, but of course I have advice, lol! The first thing you need to do, Roderic, is ask yourself what about YOU made her want to leave you? Focus on this, and get the truth.

There's a questionnaire you can send her from marriagebuilders.com called the Love Buster questionnaire. If she fills it out, it will tell you what YOU did that pushed her away. You need to know, so you can stop doing it.

That's Step #1.
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have been looking for someone for months who has a similar problem! First of all, I'd like to say that I have worked through this a previous time and am almost through it again, so there is hope.
My husband and I met a little over six years ago. My husband was in the military at the time and 1,100 miles away. We began talking on the phone and became friends very quickly and eventually boyfriend/girlfriend. He's the first guy I did anything with including kiss. We saw each other once every 1 to 2 months. Around 10 months into our relationship (shortly after we started having sex) I began to experience anxiety. I started questioning our relationship and doubting that I ever cared for him. I went through this for almost a year. He was very supportive and stuck with me (obviously). I hated myself. I thought that I had used him all this time. That I didn't really love him at all. I felt so selfish.
I began taking an anti-depressant about 10 months after the anxiety started. It helped tremendously.
A few months later, he was out of the military and we moved in together. And then shortly after that we were engaged. And almost a year ago we were married.
Shortly after we got married I began to feel very anxious again. Although this time there was a good reason for it. I became confused about my sexuality and was afraid to tell him for a few months. Since then I have realized that I am bisexual, but with a slightly higher sexual preference for women and a mcuh higher romantic preference for men. But as anyone can see this could be a very confusing time in a person's life. I began questioning everything again. I doubted if I really loved my husband. My anxiety was worse than ever. I began having thoughts of hurting him and others that would make me sick to my stomach. I could not stop my mind from racing. I kept thinking of any little thing I could have done in the past that would upset my husband. Something as simple as I was attracted to another man. Or I fantasized about what it would be like to be with so and so on occasion when I saw so and so. I wasn't sleeping or eating. I lost 15 pounds easily.
I went to a pyschiatrist and started taking another anti-depressant and have been on the mend since.
So what's to learn from all this? First of all, its obvious that I had valid reasons to be anxious. I had very unrealistic views of relationships and marriage. I believed the lies my mother and Disney told me. I would grow up and meet that guy and I would just know and we would live happily ever after. When I first met my husband I was not infatuated with him nor did I find him to be very attractive. Not ugly of course, but not the best looking guy. This caused a lot of confusion for me. I had spent many years having crushes on guys and being completed infatuated with them and there I was with a guy who I was not infatuated with. I thought I had screwed up my destiny to be with "the one."
When it comes to marriage I thought (and still have trouble with) being an individual. I still feel like I have to tell my husband everything. EVERYTHING! I also feel like if I look at another man that I am doing something wrong. That I am taking away from our marriage. And I won't feel better until I tell him. I feel bad for writing on this blog because instead of going to him (even though he knows everything) I am going to strangers and when he gets home from work tonight I will have to tell him.
When it comes to anxiey, here's what I have learned. Its a cycle. You have anxiety because you are unsure and have low self-esteem, but you are unsure and have low self-esteem because you have anxiety. Professionals have told me that I feel anxiety because I need to make a choice, but how can I make a choice if I can't calm down!
Here's the key: Your brain will continue to go to thoughts that create a strong emotional reaction. It doesn't matter what kind of emotion it is as long as its strong. So it you think to yourself "Do I love my boyfriend?" and feel intense anxiety your brain will continue to go back to that thought. The key is to not have a strong emotional reaction. I know its hard, but it works. I have done it. This is why professionals and others tell you to ignore your anxious thoughts. Although it would have been f-ing nice for them to tell you why! How can I ignore having thoughts of hurting my husband? The thing is that just because you have a thought does not mean it is true. The human mind is capable of so many things.
I know exactly what you mean when you say that you feel like your mind is trying to tell you something when you question your relationship. My advice here is that relationships are all about choice. You are not destined to be with anyone. You could be with lots of people. Love is something that develops over time and is dependent on the people involved. As you get to know someone and share yourself with them and they with you, you begin to care for one another. Of course there has to be that initial attraction whether it be friendship, infatuation or physical or all 3. But once you chose to be with someone it is up to the two of you to keep the love growing. So when you wonder if you really love your boyfriend try not to have strong anxiety reaction to that question and remember that love choice not destiny.
Also, sometimes you are not going to feel strong love for the person you are with. That does not mean you do not love them. This is common in any relationship. For example, do you always feel love for your mother? Probably not. Sometimes I love my husband so much I cry, but other times I feel barely anything. He feels the same way and I think if people are honest with themselves they feel the same way too.

Tunera- You are giving really pratical advice, but it doesn't sound like you understand much about anxiety. You could be right that aangelone1 is questioning so much because she is young, but adding anxiety into the mix makes the situation different. Also, people can be ready to get married at any age depending on the individual. Although I do agree with you that when it comes to young ladies, they are raised to believe they are supposed to get married. But anyway, your advice is very good for someone without anxiety, but I suggest that if you don't know much about anxiety it would be best not to give advice to someone who does. It can just make them feel like there is something wrong with them. Make them feel guilty. You have to approach anxiety from a different angle. Kinda from the side instead of directly like your advice suggest.

Tunera and Roderic-If your wife is experiencing anxiety you probably didn't do anything to push her away. The best thing you can do for her is not get angry, upset or take it personal. First find out what the real problem is (depression, anxiety, etc). Then find out any information you can give her about her illness. If she does have anxiety DO NOT give her rational reason to be with you like we've been together for 19 years because for ever rational reason you give her to be with you she will come up with a rational reason to not be with you. Its all about choice! My husband made this mistake with me the first time I experienced anxiety. It just made me question more and made me feel guilty and selfish.

Just so you know, my husband does not make me tell him anything. He wishes for my sake that I did not feel like I have to tell him everything. He tells me not to tell him things. He never judges me or gets angry. He just says ok. Besides my anxiety, we have a really good relationship.
I think I will make a post myself about how I feel guilty all time so I would appreciate if anyone could give me advice on a different thread. Keep a look out for that post. I don't want to take up someone else's.
Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps!

Last edited by kahlan; 04-22-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm glad I saw this thread. I'm pretty sure I've got the same thing going on. :/

Sometimes brains suck.
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