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Trapped by indecision
Hello, I'm feeling totally trapped and depressed by my own inability to make decisions. It's gotten to the point it's causing problems in my relationship and I feel so stupid. I just seem scared of everything. I need to consider absolutely everything all the time and it's exhausting. I need to look at every single option of everything- it's almost like an obsession. Just had a huge argument with my partner because of my indecision affecting our life and I feel I'm ruining everything. Feeling utterly useless right now. I also think I have a control issue and this may be an expression of it. I'm constantly feeling anxious, seems like I can't be relaxed anymore. Just more and more things make me anxious, even the least important things worry me and sometimes even scare me. I don't know who to talk to, I've also been avoiding my friends for long time, don't even know why.
I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling this way. It sounds like you’re going through a tough time. It’s okay to feel anxious and indecisive sometimes. You’re not alone.
I have found an article that might be helpful - 'Inability to make decisions – what’s the link with anxiety?'
Inability to make decisions - what’s the link with anxiety? | My Online Therapy
It might also be helpful to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. A therapist or counselor can help you work through your anxiety and indecisiveness. You could also try talking to a trusted friend or family member. Calling Beyondblue hotline (24/7) to talk to a professional is also a great idea.
Hope it helps a bit.
Thank you very much for your words, they are really very helpful. I will have a look at the link you sent, and I agree I should talk to a counselor also, or some of the profesionals here as you suggested. This problem has been happening for a long time but in some ways I feel it's gotten worse. So it's probably time to get some additional help. Yesterday I was feeling very distressed. Today I feel calmer but the problem is still there so I really need to deal with it.
Thank you very much for your help, it is very appreciated.
Hello Hereandthere, being trapped by not making a decision is part of this illness, because we have learnt that making a decision always seems to be a wrong one, as seen by others and that's why we eventually leave any decisions to be made by someone else.
By feeling anxious this constantly happens because we don't have the ability to be able to think clearly, but this is not your fault, this illness causes this.
If you can manage to talk with a psychologist they will then determine any possible reasons.
I know from my own experiences that the fear of what others will think if I stuff up can make it hard. This only applies if there are critical people in your life.
Maybe try small decisions which have minimal risk to build up your confidence.
No worries at all. I think you have great self awareness, it will be helpful when talking to a professional. I believe you will be on the right track after starting this process.
Meanwhile, I know it's challenging, but don't forget to take care of yourself physically. Try to have enough sleep, eat heathy food, do some regular light exercise such as walking in the park, do something you enjoy including with your partner.
Hope everything will be better.
What you're facing sounds so incredibly stressful. When I think about the handful of skills we're taught in life, growing up, 'How to stop thinking or over thinking' is definitely not one of them. 'How to manage making decisions' can be another. With life seemingly a 'Learn as you go' experience, there are hundreds of skills we're not taught from a young age and we can definitely suffer through that while being forced to develop them at some point.
Whether it's about how to make the big decisions or how to make the small ones, there can be so much involved in decision making. How to make thoughtless ones (aka 'Simply going with your gut or gut instinct) is a skill worth exercising. How to make a fearful decision can be another. How to decide fearlessly, another. How to give our self no choice in the matter is another. How to decide as a group (friends, family, work colleagues etc) another skill. Knowing when to sit back and take a break from decision making/challenge is yet another skill, especially when we're being overwhelmed with challenge and having to make choices. Sometimes, not having to make decisions is the relief we need. How to take a step back and let others decide is another skill.
I've found a strange one to manage is when various facets of myself are in battle. To offer an example: If someone was to ask me to drive them to the airport and I have to decide whether I'm going to do it, cue the people pleaser in me, the sage, the stresser, the commander and whatever else pops in. Btw, I fear driving to the airport. The people pleaser in me will dictate 'You have to drive them, it's the nice thing to do'. The sage in me will dictate 'Simply suggest you'll drive them down the road to catch the airport bus. The bus driver will take them through all that traffic'. The stresser in me will dictate 'You can't take them. It's a terrible drive of hypervigilance and stress, through all that traffic and with all those turn offs'. The commander may dictate 'Get your sh** together soldier and stop behaving like a baby. Make a goddamned decision!!!'. While the sage offers some good advice, when the person asking me to drive them starts to beg or lead me to feel bad about not taking them, cue the people pleaser in me and it all ramps up to next level stress and indecision with it all going 'round again. Inner dialogue can be a mongrel, that's for sure.
I've found a good and strong imagination can be a truly brilliant and liberating thing but not always, especially when it gets in the way. Imagining the best case scenario is great but when you're also imagining the worst and every possible scenario in between, it becomes time consuming, fearful, confusing and it can make it so hard to decide on the best course of action. How to manage the imagination/our vision of things can be a massive challenge and something we may never have been taught to do before in strategic ways.