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Community Member

Hi everyone 

I've just joined this community and I'm hoping to get some feedback on practical issues that cause me acute anxiety, particularly around family.

Because I have self isolated for the last 3 years I am finding it hard to communicate through normal channels and hope that this online forum will be helpful.

I'm happy to provide comments where I  can.

I thought I  posted already but as it's been a couple of days and I  can't see the post I'm trying again.

Wishing you all the best and looking forward to connecting.





8 Replies 8

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dee 2024

welcome to the forum and thanks fir introducing yourself.


I find big groups difficult I prefer one to one.

i even try saying hello to strangers when I walk. Hello and a smile.


This forum is supportive and friendly. 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Dee, & welcome to the forums.

I'm not sure what may have happened to your first post, Do you know, if you click on your Username you will be taken to your profile age, where you will find all the discussions threads you have created. Another way to find your profile page is to click above where it says, 'Your discussions'.

In any event, I'm glad you persisted & created this thread.

I've had very little to do with my family for many years, & wo, when I do communicate with my sis, (only her), it feels awkward, like there is a huge emotional gap between us, like one that stretches from the east to the west of Australia, although we live in the same state.

Personally, I am more comfortable with writing. I think, I tend to write too much. I tend to write a lot when answering a single question, even here on BB. When I have written to my sis, I might get a response a month or two later, & it's not about anything I wrote.

When we speak on the phone or in person, the conversation seems very superficial, or about things going on in her life, mostly practical things she has been doing. Some of that is really interesting, but it leaves little room for feelings to be shared, & I feel my attempts to repair our relationship have not proceded.

I have found it helps to keep my expectations to 'reasonable' levels. When communication is difficult it is unreasonable to expect that they are any better at communicating than I am. I have tended to think she is better at it, but in fact, that may not be so. She could be just as anxious about talking to me as I am about talking to her. I can't read her mind to know for sure.

So, what might I do?

Maybe, summon up the courage to ask her? Even to ask her "how are you feeling?" about anything - myself, herself, our relationship.

If we are ever going to talk about it, one of us has to be first.

If you have someone you talk to about your feelings of anxiety, they could help you with learning how to 'destress', how to think about how you are thinking, to gain a calmer perspective. You could take each worry & ask, "how likely is this to happen?" Or face, "what's the worst that can happen?"

Also, if you look around the BB website, in the forums, there is a section where many people talk about their anxiety & the things they do to help themselves manage their thoughts & feelings. Another place could be helpful is, Looking after myself and others.

Hope this helps




Thanks for your response. 

The communication issues I mentioned derive mainly from myself. I don't share how bad I have let things evolve, especially to my adult children.

I don't want to cause them to worry especially my youngest who is going through a highly stressful time atm.

  • I appreciate your comments and wish you well with your challenges.

Kindest regards


Hi quirkywords

Thanks for your welcome.

  • I understand what you say about larger groups of people.  I too generally avoid that but unfortunately I also avoid most one on ones, particularly people and friends I know.  I don't want them to see how I am now. It's too difficult to explain.

Thanks again for your response, it's appreciated x


Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Dee24,


 I just wanted to say hi and that I can relate somewhat to the self-isolation and reluctance to disclose anxiety.


I don’t know if it’s similar for you, but I tend to not disclose how much I’m struggling in everyday life, whether to relatives, friends or strangers, because it feels it potentially creates more problems than it solves. I’m not sure how accurate that is but it’s how I feel. It often feels easier to say I’m fine or ok rather than really struggling. I know that for me that’s a pattern I also learned from childhood growing up in an environment where it wasn’t ok/safe to say I was struggling, feeling anxious etc. The people who are aware of my struggles are my psychologist, increasingly my GP, people I have called on helplines and here on this forum where I’ve disclosed things I’m not usually disclosing to people in my everyday life.


 I’m wondering if you have anyone such as a psychologist/counsellor who you can trust to share your feelings and experiences of anxiety with? Somewhere like here is a good place too where it can feel a bit safer as an anonymous space. I hope you can feel welcome anyway and safe to post here. It can be quite a big step to even just begin to reach out, so it’s great you have done that.


 I have found it is one gradual step at a time, dealing with particular fears and anxieties I have. Just simply acknowledging they are there is a good first step. I think further insight and the beginning of healing unfolds from there. It is certainly a journey. I have spent the last couple of years living alone and having limited contact with others, I think largely because I am self-protecting this way and going through a very personal struggle and healing journey that is not easy or comfortable to disclose to others. I’m very selective about who I allow into my life now too and more aware than previously about protecting my personal boundary. As I get stronger I may be able to open more to others again but with better boundaries so I feel safer.


Anyway, just wanted to say your post resonates and I hope you can find some support as I think we do need other humans to at least some extent and it’s often just a case of finding the right people to share certain information with.


Hope you are doing ok. Very best wishes,

Eagle Ray

Hi Eagle Ray

I  appreciate your response. In the last 15 years I have been through this crisis 4 times.  This is the longest time, over a year.

Initially I did get help from psychologists and then medication but this time I didn't have the motivation. 

I was originally diagnosed as chronic depression but the last psychologist I saw said that was a misdiagnosis and my symptoms strongly suggested bipolar and the medication I had been on was actually counter-productive to my improving.  I was then put on a high dose of lithium, which caused me some physical problems. 

I feel like I brought this on myself by disregarding the early warning signs .

I feel guilty for avoiding people, especially friends and family members.

It is helpful to know that there are others struggling with similar issues.

Thanks for reaching out. It means a lot. Wishing you all the best with your healing journey. 




Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Dee,


It’s very brave of you to reach out here and I’m sure it’s been very difficult at times going through the cycles of depression. Getting different insights and viewpoints can help so it’s hopefully a positive step that the latest psychologist has provided another angle on things. I would not be hard on yourself at all as you can only do your best trying to figure out what is happening. The thing is when we are experiencing mental health difficulties the very faculties we use to problem-solve other issues are compromised. It is harder to think clearly and work our way through mental health struggles.


There are quite a few people on this forum who are diagnosed with bipolar who I’m sure would be happy to share, chat and connect with you. There’s a thread in the section Long Term Support Across the Journey called This Bipolar Life which may be helpful and I’m sure you would be welcome there. I hope you feel welcome and free to connect anywhere here that resonates for you.


 I hope going forward that you can find some meds, therapy and approaches that help with the cycles of depression, hopefully without troublesome side effects. It can certainly be trial and error sometimes with meds.


Please don’t feel guilty for avoiding people. I think it is a self-protective response that many of us have that is quite understandable. It can feel quite vulnerable disclosing mental health issues to those closest to us such as family and friends. Hopefully it will help chatting here and you’ll feel less alone. Sometimes that can help build the courage to sense how best to share and communicate with others in your life.


Take good care and remember to be kind to yourself. Very best wishes,

Eagle Ray 

Thanks Eagle Ray

I  will look for that thread. 

It's good to have this forum to connect with others without having to do it in person, as that would be a problem for me.