Scared of war, apocalypse, doomsday, death...
Hi everyone, I'm new here.
I'm 18/19 and have had depression, anxiety & OCD for a few years now, but for the past year or two I've been doing quite well... up until recently.
When all the news about the North Korea situation started surfacing a month or so ago I found a video basically simulating and explaining what would happen to the world if nuclear war broke out (including the 'nuclear winter' theory) and from then on I was terrified of nuclear war/WW3 breaking out. Every time I thought about it or saw the latest news headlines relating to it I would get very anxious, scared and would cry.
This continued on and off for a few weeks and then progressed to thinking up scenarios of other disasters such as an apocalypse/doomsday, economic breakdown, worldwide disease outbreak etc and a general fear of dying, the afterlife (or lack thereof), being in a crisis without my parents or boyfriend with me and dying without them...the list goes on.
The smallest things seem to trigger my fear/anxiety and I find it difficult to 'not think about it'. Sometimes I can think logically and tell myself that certain things won't happen for certain reasons, but then my anxiety kicks in and says 'but what if it did?' or 'but what if this happened?' and I get upset again. When I'm not scared, I just feel depressed and have the feeling of impending doom. It's very difficult to go about my daily chores and carry out my home business duties and I have been avoiding social activities at the fear of having a breakdown in front of people. It's very hard to get to sleep at night and have spent a lot of nights sharing the bed with my mum for company/comfort when my boyfriend is unable to come over due to work.
I am booked in to see a psychiatrist next week and my mum and I are looking into doing some meditation/yoga together, but I recently discovered NLP and am wondering if this is something I should look at getting as well. I have considered going back on medication but would prefer not to rely on medication, although I am starting to think I may need it.
Is anyone else here struggling or has struggled with similar fears/anxiety? Is there a name for these feeling & fears? What have you found to help? Could anyone offer some wisdom on the subjects concerning me?
It took a lot of courage for me to post this so publicly (even if anonymously) and I would greatly appreciate any replies.
A big welcome to you and you have a ton of strength to have posted tonight. It took me weeks to write my own thread topic when I joined....seriously....I was scared big time
I understand your concerns as I used to have chronic anxiety for years when I was in my late teens and 20's. I remember even watching a movie and if it was sad I would burst into tears....I didnt know what was going on.
Being over sensitised (anxiety depression) it would be more than understandable to be concerned about the global situation. I would be if I was back in my old severe anxiety state too!
North Korea are just flexing their 'little' muscle to let their population know that their leader is a mighty 'legend'
The chances of anything happening are very very small. I follow the global news and study whats been happening
I would be at more risk of having some drunk driver hitting my Ford XR8 than another war occuring.
I have never been pro meds until my anxiety/depression became serious after 13 years. My female GP kicked me hard and changed my mind. I am so glad she did. I have been on antidepressants since 1996 and they gave me my life back....just a small dosage too!
My career performance increased....my relationships improved and I am not teary and scared as I used to be.
Its like a diabetic having to take their insulin.....I just take my meds and have regular counseling for a 'tune up'
Its no different to a physical illness....sometimes we need the meds so we can have a solid platform on which we can function reasonably okay on a day to day basis.....with therapy 🙂
Meditation and Yoga are great tools too of course. If the anxiety & depression are effecting your quality of life the meds may be a good option to work with Natural Therapy/Remedies. (Subject to your GP's approval of course)
You are not alone here Bec....at all. I really hope you can post back....even if you just want a chat or ask a question you are more than welcome to 🙂
my kindest thoughts for you.....an amazing proactive person!
Hello and welcome to Beyond Blue. It does take a lot of courage to write your first post, especially when you have written in such detail. Thank you for trusting us.
I remember many years ago when I was a teenager (I'm a grandma now), there was a program on TV about nuclear war. In those days we were not so well informed about what could happen although the program did make an effort to talk about the points you have listed above. It was the closing remarks that gave me nightmares for many years. I won't repeat them as I do not want to add to your concerns.
I don't think the comments filled my everyday life but I became quite anxious and would feel quite scared when I saw, or read, or heard something on nuclear war. My questions were pretty much the same as yours, what if... ? Life was pretty tense with the Cold War between Russia and the USA and its allies. Lots of demonstrations about disarmament, much like today, tension between nations etc.
Whether we are at a greater risk of this kind of war now than before I don't know. What I do believe is that there is a lot of posturing between nations almost like playing 'chicken'. I have to believe that we, the human race, is not so silly or blind to the consequences of another war that they are prepared to be the first to fire rockets. It's a war that no one can win and since people are concerned about their well being and would most definitely prefer to stay alive I think there is no need to be as scared as you are.
So back to the way you feel. Fear and anxiety go together and it certainly messes up our lives. I see you have an appointment with a psychiatrist shortly which is a good first step to regaining your freedom from these fears. It's also good to try meditation and yoga. Have a look at mindfulness as well. There is an app called Smiling Mind which many people her use and have make good reports. I practice meditation and in fact am about to leave to join my group.
I know nothing about NLP but I am certain there will be other people along soon who can talk about this.
Please remember your thoughts are just that, thoughts. Thoughts cannot make anything happen other than distress you. I know it can be hard to stop thinking about one topic. Can you go and do something physical which needs your concentration when you start to think about the scary topics.
Please continue to write in here and chat. I would like to continue talking.
Hey Bec and welcome to our caring community;
Catastrophizing outcomes before they happen can be like an addiction. The reason is because it takes us away from our own little world of pain. "Look at what's going on in the world now; my problem's are miniscule compared!" This avoids responsibility to yourself. Your world is too big; the bubble you live in is what matters.
The question of what you can do has to be asked, because as an individual there's basically nothing. Admitting and accepting you're helpless and must sit and wait like the rest of us is a hard pill to swallow for some. But reality says; "All I can do is be the best me there is" And that's the size of it hun. Keep plodding along your journey of recovery and do the doing.
And let's face it; the leader of the US is someone I wouldn't like to get in a dog fight with. There's hope ok. Hope springs eternal and that's what we can sit on until we know for sure what's going on. There are plenty of positive outcomes in history too don't forget.
I wish I had time to write more, but I have to go. You are the centre of your Universe, not an actor in someone else's play. Please be kind and gentle with yourself...
Thanks for the replies 🙂
Paul, I've read some of your replies on older similar threads on here, your comments re the Korea situation are quite comforting to read. I am considering going on some medication for anxiety. I was on medication for OCD/depression for a while but found it hard to remember to take it every day and also got bad headaches as side effect. I'm going to discuss other medication options with the psychiatrist on Monday. Thankyou for your reply 🙂
Mary, the program you are talking to may even be the same one I saw recently, it was quite old. I am aware of the probable outcome on the Earth/humanity if a nuclear war were to break out. I've done quite a bit of research on nuclear weapons, fallout etc. I would like to think that the leaders involved are also aware of this and would not allow such a war to happen. I say to myself they might seem a bit nuts, but they're only human too, right? I'm sure they don't want the world to end. I've read that the chance of nuclear war breaking out during the Cold War was much higher than it is now. But that doesn't stop the images going through my head.
I found Smiling Mind the other day and did a couple of sessions, I have been meaning to continue with it. I believe NLP/neuro-linguistic programming is similar to hypnotherapy (which I have tried before) but perhaps a bit more...intense. I'm looking into it further, I don't know heaps about it but have read some very good 'reviews'.
I'm trying to do activities that I enjoy to distract myself like horse riding and photography, but working up the motivation and energy is very difficult, and I'm very nervous about being around other people or in public.
Thanks again for the replies, I look forward to reading some more. I'm very glad I found this site, I've used online helpline chats before but never knew these forums existed. I think it will help me a lot being able to vent anonymously to like-minded people. I'm feeling okay at the moment, but I'm sure I'll be back to vent when things go downhill again.
You may wish to check out the thread below, you're not alone in having these anxieties and we've had a few good discussions about this previously:
Thanks so much for posting back to everyone and being here on the forums too 🙂
The links that Sophie M has provided are realistic and helpful for you
I am rapt that you have found my posts comforting to read and appreciate the huge compliment too
I think you are amazing for posting and being part of the Beyond Blue Family
Good on you for having your appointment with your doc! It can be a pain to go through and sit there but the end results are really worth it
Even if you see your GP regularly its great stuff to have a really good vent and blow off some steam
I hope you can let us know how you go after your appointment on Monday Bec (if or when you wish of course)
The forums are a Judgement Free Zone for you Bec. You will never be judged here. We can be here for you though even if you just need to vent or chat
I hope today is a good one for you
my kind thoughts for you
Thought I'd post a bit of an update, I have some more things worrying me lately. I've been seeing a psych but I'm thinking of trying a new one or going back to hypnotherapy/trying NLP. I'm on medication which is helping somewhat with the symptoms, but not so much the thoughts. I have been doing okay for a while, distracting myself, trying to live life to the fullest and brush off the thoughts. But these last couple of days have been pretty dreadful. This may have been triggered by watching '2012' the other night.. not the best idea! I've also been reading up a bit on global warming which has me quite scared about the future..
I've made a list of everything that I'm worried about, as it helps me a bit to write it all down. Maybe some of you can offer some consolation on some of the newer subjects that are scaring me...
-War (as mentioned earlier) Myself or my boyfriend getting drafted, all of those related things
-Apocalypse... of some description. End of the world. A deadly virus/plague. The Sun dying/exploding, radiation etc. Zombies. Anything.
-Climate change/global warming, rising seas, flooding, natural disasters, drought, suffocation from dust or co2, an ice age? Anything related to climate change is one of my biggest worries at the moment.
I read that Stephan Hawking says humans only have 100 years left on earth.I won't be here by then, but does that mean the last years/decades of my life will be horrible?
-My future health. I'm scared that I'll get some disease, cancer etc and die young and/or die and leave my family behind.I've stopped eating red meat and have been thinking about going vegetarian/vegan because of the health risks that come from meat etc. to help my anxiety a bit. This is also one of the bigger things worrying me currently.
-Running out of oil/coal etc...economical crisis, no electricity/fuel, lack of food
-Dying, in general. The afterlife, or lack thereof. What happens when we die? Will I be able to see my family again? Does heaven exist? All these questions really worry me. I don't have a religion or really believe in God as such, but I like to think there is some sort of afterlife where we all live peacefully in some other dimension. But I fear it will just be nothingness.
I think that's all the things that I've been dwelling on lately... I look forward to any and all replies. Even writing this post has made me feel a little bit better. Sorry to double up on some things that I've already mentioned.
Wow! That sure is a shopping list. I cannot help you about the prospect of a global war. I don't believe we will come to that as even the most stupid of our leaders will hesitate before destroying our planet.
Apocalypse! It sounds very plausible in stories because there is an assumption that nations have not made provision for counteracting diseases of this nature. Every nation has a plan to safeguard their people so do not worry too much. I think the sun has a huge life span left before it dies.
Climate change has been on the world agenda for a long time. It's gathering support to stop too much damage.
Stephen Hawking is an extremely clever man. I enjoy watching his TV programs but I have never heard him say we have only 100 years of life left.
We have heaps of solar power and I think this is the way to go.
No one has come back from the dead to tell us what happens next so I cannot tell you. I have my beliefs on the afterlife and I find them comforting. I cannot tell you what to believe but if you are concerned I suggest you go to one of the mainstream churches and ask. I believe there is an afterlife but whether it will be the same as we have now I don't know.
I'm sorry I cannot give you definitive answers to your concerns. These simply do not exist. I think you are seeing a psychiatrist. I suggest you stay with him/her and talk about these fears. Trying to find someone who will give you the answers you want will cause you more stress. Please concentrate on managing these fears with help from your psychiatrist. While you spend time running from your fears you are giving up the present moment, the opportunity to enjoy your life which will be more pleasant than worrying about future possibilities that may never eventuate.
Thanks Mary, I appreciate your reply. I really try to enjoy and make the most of my life rather than live worrying about things that may not happen all the time, and a good fraction of the time I can distract and enjoy myself and brush off the thoughts when they come, but sometimes I just break down.
I often wish that someone could tell me for certain that everything will be okay and that I will live a long, happy and safe life with my partner, but of course this is impossible.
Trying to stay positive...but even though I make big efforts to avoid triggering subjects, they always manage to find me, like my mum using the phrases 'it's not the end of the world' or 'that'll cause world war 3' and people bringing up the subjects in unrelated conversations, tv ads etc. I've even found that a lot of my favourite songs involve the subjects and are triggering for me, so listening to music can do more harm than good. I just can't get away from it all!
I have been a little bit better the last few days as I've been spending lots of time with my normally very busy partner, and he makes me feel a whole lot better. I even find myself laying in his arms thinking 'if the world were to end and I were to die right now, that would just be okay'...
Sometimes I think I'm on the mend, but it always seems to come back.
There's my little diary entry for today. Thanks for the support ❤️