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How to cope with Anxiety?

Community Member

Hi, I'm Dan and I'm 16 years old.

For as long as I can remember, my mum has been horrible towards me. She doesn't like me, she picks on me, she yells at me for literally no reason and blames me for everything. Basically, I cannot say anything around her (good or bad) without getting a negative reaction. I think she has depression and she sometimes admits it to try and get sympathy but when we encourage her to get help she says she's fine. My younger brother has autism and it has always been hard living with that. Up until about 7 or 8 weeks ago I had been fine. I had thought about seeing a counsellor but decided against it because I was coping well. Doing fairly well in school and in sport, and enjoying life. However I got sick and had to have an extended period of time off school. We were finally able to find part of the problem, but we think another part of my sickness was me having anxiety. I have always been kind of a perfectionist, and have worked hard at school. Its in my personality to worry a lot and be constantly thinking and I have tended to get nervous often in the past but have been able to keep myself calm. I think any anxiety I have, got a lot worse during the 6 or so weeks I was away from school as I had to stay home, with my awful mother, abusing me all the time. Sometimes I randomly get nasty headaches and even become dizzy. These can last anywhere between 60 seconds to all day. I get extremely sore stomachs, sometimes my whole abdomen area and again, that can be very up and down and come when I'm least expecting it. Also, over the last 3 days, I've felt at times my chest tightening up, my heart beating harder (I could really feel it pumping in my chest) and having a feeling in my throat as if I have to vomit. Sometimes I can be sitting there and not feel stressed out, not feel nervous or anxious about anything, yet I will still experience these pains. I'm not sure if any of them have been panic or anxiety attacks, its not as if I have fainted or anything like that. I am struggling to get back to school, I have been for 2 periods at a time for 3 days last week but even that is hard. Apart from my mum, and my brother and the problems I have to deal with there, school is always stressful as I'm in year 11 and I have missed a lot of school so catching up is going to be very hard. I am booked in to see a counsellor this Friday and have also told my year coordinator at school that I need to see the school counsellor, and I believe that I will be able to. Is there anything I can do in the meantime to help? I am considering using these "rescue pastills" that my younger sister uses as she gets nervous about catching the bus. For anyone that may not know, they are similar to a lolly and you chew them. Apparently they calm you down and have worked in my sister's opinion, but I wouldn't want to become dependent on them. Does anyone have any advice on this or other things to take or treatments to have to help? Any help is much appreciated and I thank you so much if you have read all of this!

19 Replies 19

Dear Facetious,

Being acknowledged or thanked is great ! Specially by old time responder Geoff.

I guess high standards are only good for the ones setting them.   You know, even if you were seleced to be Superman in "Man of Steel II" the "people in my [your] life" would still be narky.

Even if you saved the world.

Adios, David.

Unfortunately I believe you're point has an unacceptably high degree of accuracy. That may have read like an oxymoron. Sorry.

I feel delusional. I know that, statistically speaking, it is virtually impossible for those people to accept me as I am. They have proven this point to me so many times, yet I resist. Why? Is it hope? I don't know.

I already have trust issues. If I give up hope that my immediate family will one day accept me, it will set a dangerous precedent. I would most likely get healthier, building trust and confidence in the people left in my life, but would I feel regret and guilt for having rejected their attitudinal eccentricities as "too hard." How can I expect to receive help and support despite my bad attitude if I won't tolerate theirs? How can I expect to receive, or accept in good conscience, support from anyone ever again?

Hi Facetious,

I agree with The Real David Charles, try not to worry too much about what others think, especially if they are always negative. I kinda feel like a hypocrite when I write that because I do the same sometimes. I think your post was great, it gave a lot of great information, and I will be taking your advice on the movie, as I'm going to see it tomorrow evening! 

I saw a counsellor yesterday, and it was the first session so it was more of a "getting to know the problem" kind of session, but my next one is in just under two weeks. I did get a bit of advice, to try and be physically active and to practice "letting things go" which I will try to work on. Thanks again to everyone for your help and support! Much appreciated 🙂

Unconditioinal Love.

Community Member

This issue of peer pressure is a bulging can of worms. It seems small and simple and manageable, but yank that lid and snakes go flying in all directions.

If one person says something one time that is negative, I can shrug it off. Easy.

If one person is repeatedly negative, I can avoid or unfriend them. Easy.

If an immediate family member says something repeatedly negative, I feel torn between keeping them as part of my support network for those times when they are helpful, and cutting them loose to avoid the times when they hurt me. It's a confusing internal conflict.

If several people, including some family members, repeatedly say negative things, and they're all pretty much as helpful and harmful as each other, I get frustrated and angry. Who can I rely on to help me under which circumstances without causing more harm than help?

You thought that would be a nightmare, right? now I'll introduce you to my world ...

If almost everyone you know (excluding your psychologist, GP, and a few kind people here), were seriously mentally ill, most with undiagnosed conditions and a large dose of denial, and some were demanding of help with constant complaining, and others cope by becoming OCD control freaks, and others are all about isolation and helping/hating from a distance, and this plethora of beasts from Pandora's Box represented your support network, what would you do? This is EVERY member of my extended family that I know worldwide, and most of the people brave enough to be a Facebook friend till I post something that offends them. I can't trust anyone with anything because it's so confusing, but I've written it all down and had my psych read it and the only thing he keeps telling me is that I'm an excellent writer. I write because I have a poor memory, which comes from my mother's genetic side of the family, so half my family are really forgetful and feel ashamed. The other half expect brilliance, most have failed to achieve such standards which lowers confidence, and the few who succeed have a superiority complex which reinforces everyone else with disgust and inferiority.

Ready for the Vaudeville moment? I am the only person in my family that freely admits mental illness. Their shame is so strong, and constantly negatively reinforced between them, that I have been alienated for admitting my weakness. Their denial is so strong that they don't want to know someone, even their own son, that reminds them that they are also ill.

Now you know why I chose my screen name Facetious. The situation is so absurdly dysfunctional whenever I think of this I am at first depressed, but then I see the humour, and I realise how easily I could become an assistant scriptwriter for Home and Away or Neighbours.

You're thinking it couldn't possibly get any worse than this, right? The source of my anxiety is completely unrelated and unconnected to any of this, and I've written 50 pages on it (which wouldn't fit on here). In short, things are going to get much harder, and they will continue to get harder till I won't have to worry about how to commit suicide. This is a rare form of paranoia which isn't even covered in the DSM-V. What happens when a conspiracy theorist broadcasts finding a real, genuine conspiracy? They have no credibility so, even if they present irrefutable evidence, it is usually ignored.

Welcome to hell. Jump right in, the water is warm.

Community Member

Hi Facetious,

I am extremely sorry to hear that. I thought my life was hard, and I suppose to a certain extent, and in comparison to what society expects as "normal", my life is hard. But I couldn't even begin to imagine, let alone understand what you are going through. All I can tell is that saying life is hard for you in an under-statement. You are going through hell, and by the sounds of it, have been for a very long time. I am only 16, and I certainly wont pretend to be an expert in the field of mental health, and therefore I'm sorry, I cannot give you any advice, certainly no advice that the psychologist wouldn't have already given you.

From some of your other posts, you seem like a pretty intelligent person, you know a lot of information and you are a very good writer. It is good that you can see you are a good writer as well. These two qualities mean that you definitely can have a bright career, as being a good writer and being very knowledgable would surely have to be two qualities well sort after. I'm not sure if you are employed, and if so what your occupation is or what your interests are, but you can be a success!

You also seem like a very kind and caring person. You care about those closest to you, even when they hurt you, and you also care so much about complete strangers on this website. 

Your situation is very very very very hard, but all I'm going to say is please don't give up. I believe there is always hope, and there is no exceptions to that. You are not alone! You may think no one understands, and no one else feels what you do, but there are people that care about you and want you to be okay. I'm sure your family, despite their mental illnesses, care for you, they just can't always show it. Please don't give up, and try not to get to a suicidal stage. You seem like an incredible person, and indeed you are, if not for anything else, than just for putting up with what you have to in life. Plus you have talents, and you're a nice person! Please hang in there, things will get better! 🙂


Community Member

Hi Facetious,

I am so sorry to hear that. I thought my life was hard, and to a certain extent it is, but I can't begin to imagine, let alone understand what life must be like for you. I am not an expert in the field of mental health and I won't pretend to be, and therefore I'm sorry, I can't give you any advice, certainly no better advice than what your GP or Psychologist would be able to give you.

However, I can observe from your post and other posts that you are an intelligent person. You are very knowledgable and smart. You are also a good writer, that is clear, and it is good that you know that as well. You are also a very kind and caring person. Despite all of your problems and everything that you have to put up with, you still care about not hurting those closest to you, and you also try to help lots of complete strangers on this website. 

I believe you have 3 very very good qualities, and if anyone can get through these hard times and live a life in which they are content, than it would be someone like you, with the qualities you possess. 

I believe that there is always a chance things will get better. Please never ever ever give up. A grim and distressing situation would be an understatement, and while you may believe that no one truly understands your situation, that doesn't mean that there aren't people that care and want to help. I'm sure your family do care about you, they just can't always show it, and your GP and Psychologist will do everything in their power and ability to help you. As well as that, you have the support of everyone on these forums on this website. 

I'm not going to pretend I know everything, and I'm not in a position to give you advice, but all I'll say is please just hang in there! Never give up! 🙂

Community Member

Thanks Dan. I'm trying. Hey you too, eh? Hang in there mate.

Community Member

Sorry about the double post, I posted the original one last night and checked it earlier today but it wasn't up so I didn't think it went through and I wrote another one trying to remember what I'd said lol

Community Member

No worries mate. We live and learn, and all that jazz. Our stupid western culture has made making a mistake into a big deal, like "how could you be so ignorant?" and I'm always like "Well if I don't know that I don't know, how could I possibly do otherwise than what I did?" 

Usually shuts them up LOL