paralizing fear

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paralizing fear

Postby talkthedog » June 14th, 2013, 8:49 am

Anyone have any coping skills? I get to something that I don't want to do, or is hard to do I freeze up. Add one part fear, one part ADHD. I HAVE to do some "stuff" vital to my life and my anxiety and depression flares up so horribly......
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Re: paralizing fear

Postby kitkat » June 14th, 2013, 9:15 am

I think I know what you mean. I have a problem with procrastination where I will avoid things that make me anxious, or I will literally freeze like a deer in headlights and be unable to accomplish anything that doesn't involve lying on the couch.

I'm not the best at coping all the time, so I'm not sure what advice I can give, but I do find reading anxiety and phobia books to be pretty helpful. It can be pretty grounding to think of things in a textbook sense when your brain feels overwhelmed. Another option might be to cut the tasks you have to do down to tiny steps. Like, "first, I will put on my shoes," and then wait a bit, and get on to the next step. It might help to make things seem not so big and daunting if you just look at one step at a time. And then I like to say I'll give myself a treat afterwards. Like, I accomplished this today, so I'll let myself watch this movie tonight. I also like to never underestimate the power of loud music to distract my brain from negative thoughts. And talking to my psychiatrist is of course always helpful.

Like I said, I'm guilty of avoidance and everything, but I hope this helps! Good luck! /hugs
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Re: paralizing fear

Postby weary » June 14th, 2013, 9:39 am

What kitkat says is good stuff.

A few things to add:
If you don't want to do the things you are avoiding, do you know why that is? Why are you doing them, if you don't want to do them? I know that the answer is probably that you feel like you have to do them or you should do them, but that might be the source of the anxiety. If you can find a way to reframe that by figuring out what the reason is FOR YOU to do them. Everything you do in life should in some way bring you joy and satisfaction - even if it is only the joy and satisfaction from crossing an item off your list or avoiding the guilt and shame that you expect to feel if you don't do something you feel like you "should".

You described things that are vital to your life - really think about why you used that word. Vital. Doing them will provide you with vitality - with the stuff of life. They are obviously important to you in some way, so do your best to recognize and honor the reasons that they are important things and the reason that you are worth doing those good things for.

And if you are paralyzed by fear because you are afraid of a negative outcome, that's where some cognitive behavioral techniques can come into play - try to specify what that worst case scenario outcome is (someone will laugh at you? You will lose a job? You will get in trouble?), and ask yourself - what does it mean if that happens. Does it mean you are a bad person? A failure? You will starve to death and die alone? Repeat until you can either get a handle on something specific that you are worried about that you can try to figure out how to work with, or you realize that your mind is feeding you a bundle of unspecified worry that when you peel back the layers, it doesn't feel quite as overwhelming as it did at the beginning.

Hey, I need to really take my own advice more often...
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