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[INFJ] What's Your Experience of Anxiety and How do You Cope?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Night Owl, May 18, 2016.

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  1. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    I experienced quite a lot of anxiety in my youth, but there were external factors that created that. I think studying it and meditation has been my most effective ways of coping with it. I had a few panic attacks in my early twenties but was lucky enough to have read about them beforehand, so knowing what it was reduced the severity. Basic theory is that under stress the body tenses up, and goes into shallow breathing. This deprives you of your normal oxygen intake and triggers the attack. Forcing yourself to breath deeply and just letting it happen are probably the best immediate things you can do.

    Longer term I think I've had quite bad nausea and ibs at times, but just making time to relax, watching comedies, engaging in hobbies all helped. Anxiety can feel terrible but can actually spur you on to do things. It's something that I think impacts a lot of people, especially in the "rush rush rush" society that's been created. Skeptically I can't help but consider if this is in part an attempt to create stress, and prevent significant numbers of people taking time to think about how society really is. Just a thought.
     
  2. Sinny

    Sinny Community Member

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    Yea, I know what you mean. I developed anxiety just after I split with my ex in 2010. He was living locally and making life rather difficult and uncomfortable for me... I soon found myself having these attacks of anxiety with all the physiological symptoms you outline .. But I never spared the events much thought save for trying to regain my composure and in just keeping on , until the symptoms would pass.

    It wasn't until I was at the doctors a year or two later and the doctor suggested that I seemed rather anxious, and I should perhaps spare greater thought to concept of anxiety, it's causes, effects and treatment.

    I'm a dismissive individual, and previously associated anxiety with weakness... However with my own symptoms only abating, but not yet disappearing it's a concept which I've had to come to understand better, in order to make personal progression.

    In my experience it's like a disease... I figured out the original trigger... My ex...
    Yet the ex is no longer a bother to me, those wound have healed.. Yet since that time, the traces of anxiety remain, most predominantly in a tick which manifests it's self through my hands. It's ceaseless, and unrelenting. I think I need behavioral therapy or something.. But I'm usually one for working things through alone.

    A guy I worked for a few months ago kept getting anxiety attacks .. they were moderately sever from my perspective, but he would avoid discussing the fact. His were triggered when ever it came to dealing with official business stuff. He lived a life of lies, but he couldn't lie well. Consequently, the pub shut down the other week. 
     
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    #22 Sinny, Jul 23, 2016
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  3. OP
    Night Owl

    Night Owl This Bird Has Flown

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    Maybe you need to pull the trigger on the original trigger in order to clear it up. Just don't blame me if you go to prison. Some wounds take a long time to heal, sometimes their scars remain almost indefinitely. Metaphorically speaking, you might have tissue scar remaining. I know what you mean by the tick, I have one with my hands - yet in situations where I'm excited or anxious it may play up. I've somehow managed to swap it over from my hands to (this sounds funny haha) wagging my tounge from cheek to cheek inside my mouth (duh) whilst keeping my lips closed - this way it's not see-able by outsiders. When I'm consciously aware of it I generally stop immediately (it's never been out of my control, simply an automatic response in certain situations, I make sure no one's around) and over the years I think it's become less pervasive. I know many people recommend going straight to a specialist, but yes, like you, I'm one for DIY insofar as its manageable. Things like magnesium supplements (even D and Zinc on top of that), light exercise, regular stretching (easier for a lazy person), prayer/meditation, minor shifts to one's diet (maybe one has certain minor intolerance's that put the system under stress), deep breathing can help (as you likely know already). If every DIY avenue is closed and one knows they can't do it by themselves with the means in ones reach, then I'd say talk the stroll down the yellow brick road of professional help. Hope your situation improves!
     
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  4. Rigby

    Rigby Community Member

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    I think a lot of what causes anxiety today, at least for teenagers and young adults, is the underlying need to fit in. As a result, bullying is getting worse and most people tend to ignore it when they see it happening. Many children and teens who were bullied struggle with social anxieties, and that's become a huge issue. Another thing that I have seen spark anxious thoughts in the people around me is the rapid decline in security in the world. There is constantly a new story about a recent shooting, terrorist attack, or crime of any kind. Of course things like this have been happening for years, but many people chose to ignore it and it's also happening much more now as more and more groups fight for their rights as people.

    Anyways, that's just what I've seen in the environment around me as far as why anxiety is such a big thing today. As far as coping goes, I have to write my thoughts down. I will write my thoughts down when I am having a tough time and after I write all I want to say, I go through and re-read. As I re-read my thoughts I'll mark out the thoughts I have dramatized or are just plain false, and I'll rewrite the truth in their place. I also like to go outside because I have found that it is essential to my sanity personally. Cloud watching has become one of my favorite pastimes. :3
     
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  5. OP
    Night Owl

    Night Owl This Bird Has Flown

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    Cloud watching is nature's visual medicine :)
     
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  6. hn87c901

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    I've been doing a lot of research into anxiety, falling in love and the Reptilian Brain (or Old Brain). There's a school of thought that every single event - regardless of it's intensity - is stored somewhere in our brain. Sights, sounds, images..everything. Before the age of being able to reason my understanding is that we store these memories in our Old Brain (OB). We notice how our caregivers smile at us, when their faces might blush slightly, when they get angry what happens etc. All of this is stored in our unconscious. As an adult when we meet someone who has the same positive and negative traits of our initial primary caregivers we immediately 'recognise' them or feel that we have known them all of our lives. Interestingly it's the negative traits that this person has that if similar to our primary caregivers negative traits that trigger that in love feeling. If the relationship is ended somehow intense anxiety can overcome us because our OB can see it as a life or death event. Triggering memories of our earliest years where we physically were dependent on our primary caregivers for our lives - literally. Even though our New Brain knows that we can indeed survive as adults without other adults (or our love interest) we still can experience intense anxiety following the end of the relationship.
    I hate this! After a relationship ends I experience intense anxiety and panic for at least a few days. AAARGH!
     
  7. OP
    Night Owl

    Night Owl This Bird Has Flown

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    That's quite interesting. Cheers for the input :)
     
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  8. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Dominate with compassion...

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    Good post.

    Could this be because emotional/psychological pain registers in the same part of the brain as physical pain?
     
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  9. Artemisia

    Artemisia Community Member

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    How old are you Night Owl? If I recall correctly, you are 24? It is common to go through severe anxiety from ages 20-25...it is called a quarter life crisis.

    At that age I had had a nervous breakdown in my early 20s and was coping with panic attack and depression for the following three years which slowly started to clear up in my late 20s. The reason I believe is that I was expected to do too much, too soon without knowing who I was. Oh, and perhaps some neurotransmitter imbalance was in the works as well. These days I find that taking dopamine-enhancing herbs helps motivate me and ground me.
     
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  10. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Dominate with compassion...

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    This was me 100% my early 20's were full of anxiety and depression. As I became more comfortable with myself and my place in the world it subsided. I'm lucky, in that I don't have a real medical problem, though I do get anxious on occasion. In that case, I find myself (in my head) mimicking the voices and laughter of the people around me, in a cat voice. Ex: hahaha=meowmeowmeow. Lol dumb, but entertaining.
     
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  11. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    I think it's really worth looking at the physiological side of things with anxiety. Under stress we all tend to rush towards things that can make life worse, not better. Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, medication, overeating. Even over thinking. It sort of reminds me of the centipede joke.

    Centipede walking down the road normally, guy asks "Hey how do manage to walk with so many feet and not trip over?"
    "I don't" replies the centipede, then trips over.

    If anyone has read Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death he gives a very detailed explanation of a theory called "Terror Management Theory". I am not going to try to give a detailed explanation (I am not nearly equipped to do that) but in essence he says all humans have a natural terror of dying. However we are clever enough to know that it is inevitable. To remove the fear we try to occupy ourselves and push the thought from our minds, and that if we don't we tend to become depressed. However this is never fully effective, and it has an impact on our subconscious and our behaviors. Hence why we build structures and hierarchies to try to protect ourselves. To become "immortal". Sadly that is impossible and even rising to the pinnacle of whichever hierarchy, however famous, rich, talented, etc we remain mortal.
     
  12. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    If you ever get a chance to read Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death, I'd recommend it. It's a brilliant look at human behavior, and gives a theory "Terror Management Theory". I am not going to try to go through that, but if you really suffer with anxiety, it's worth a look. Fear and anxiety are not a bad thing in of themselves, but they can feel bad. They act as a protective brake or warning, to deter us from behavior that is too risky, or to enhance our chances of survival in danger and conflict.

    It's only if that anxiety becomes an impediment or obstacle to normal daily living that it's really an issue.

    I think looking at the physiology is usually the easiest thing, good diet, regular exercise and avoidance of activities likely to be harmful and increase stress, can really help. I always look for potassium rich food if I'm stressed. Banana's, porridge etc. They literally strengthen the central nervous system. Exercise (in moderation) is also a great stress buster, as is laughter.

    It may sound corny, but there was a phrase a manager I worked with used to repeat "Feel the fear and let go". Unless your holding a rope and hanging off a cliff edge etc, I generally think that's good advice. When I managed staff going through stuff at work, I would try to reassure them "that it's ok, to not be ok". A lot of stress/anxiety seems to me to be based on how we think we should behave and act, and how others will perceive that. If you can try to leave that behind I think that makes life easier.

    That's my totally unqualified, ten cents. I will freely admit, I was a little anxious earlier. A spider ran across the floor, and I just don't like them. I'm sure they know this and do it on purpose. It was only a small one, but still all those legs and eyes ? Creepy...
     
  13. Artemisia

    Artemisia Community Member

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    Just out of curiosity, did you go through a teenage rebellion phase? I didn't and I guess for me it occurred as a massive nervous breakdown in my early 20s. I remember what precipitated it too; I had a fight with my parents and next thing I know my entire body was shaking for two hours and I couldn't get out of bed for 14 days after that! How I managed to get decent grades in my third year at university and end up in a top PhD program in my mid-20s is beyond me. But I remember having panic attacks, agoraphobia, depersonalization, headaches and all sorts of mood changes from age 20 to 25.

    I think this age range is very vulnerable for late-bloomer types, and I bet many INFJs are late-bloomers.
     
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  14. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    My GAD has flared and seized upon something that is so painful, so distressing to imagine, that I am shaking and crying badly enough I had to leave the front desk.

    This is one of those times that I wish I had a different brain.

    Or an Ativan/lorazepam.

    I know my brain is just trying to prepare me for risk, to protect me from hurt, but it’s blowing things way, way out of proportion.

    But wow, can it create these images that are so vivid, it is like it already happened, and it’s like memory.

    I’ve calmed a bit, but my heart is a bunny named Thumper.


    Wimper,
    Ian
     
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  15. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Dominate with compassion...

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    I "liked" this, but it doesn't really mean that I do. Sorry, mate
     
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  16. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Dominate with compassion...

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    I would say most of my youth was a teenage rebellion phase as I had some life events and was raised to believe I had questionable worth at best. In my pre-teens I began acting up in school, mid to late teens I hit peak misanthropy and apathy and starting doing drugs frequently. At 18, I bought a car and lived in it for a while to escape. Early twenties, while wondering how and where I fit into the world, my drug use increased and was constantly afraid of being judged or rejected or of being unworthy of friends, love, affection, the good stuff. Anxiety and depression were a big part of my life then, the drugs didn't help, I'm sure. It wasn't until, 28 that I started paying attention to my behavior, thoughts and beliefs, realized it was all fear based and ultimately, as @James mentioned, the fear of isolation and death, surrendered it and...poof! Anxiety and depression are gone or at least are not debilitating anymore. Late bloomer indeed, yet right on time. I wouldn't change a thing about my past, it's what made me this majestic stallion that stands before you today. Did I stray off topic? Oh well, anxiety is the pits and I'm hate that anyone has to struggle with it.
     
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  17. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    Sorry to read that, it sounds not good. Hang in there, and I know it may seem ineffective at first, but try to practice your breathing, and slowing it down, be gentle with yourself, and give yourself time. Try something silly, pull a face, stick your tongue out, do a silly dance, anything. Obviously not in front of your boss. It may sound nuts (and it is) but things like that can shake your brain in a good way, out of the bad zone. You know you best, what works aside from tablets etc.

    I usually try to think of a hitchhikers guide to the galaxy quote, have you read that ? Marvin the paranoid android.. "The first ten million years were the worst"
     
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  18. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    For sure, breathing helped. But then I noticed I was sweating and clammy. Uh-oh. [​IMG]

    Took my blood sugar — 39 mg/dl / 2.16 mmol. [​IMG]

    No wonder I was an anxious emotional mess.

    But then I got to eat some SweetTarts. [​IMG]
     
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  19. Sandie33

    Sandie33 Love Often & Absolutely ♡
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    Oh my goodness! Does your blood sugar drop like this all the time? As a diabetic myself I'd be in ER with this number :anguished:
     
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  20. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    No, not often.

    My goals are 70-110 fasting, 70-160 2hr post-prandial, and I am hitting those, but sometimes if I don’t eat enough carb at breakfast I’ll get a 60-something reading late morning, and I don’t feel that.

    Sulfonylurea + metformin only, no insulin, and I starve my liver so it can’t dump, so that’s why I get in trouble from time to time.

    Thanks,
    Ian
     
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