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Forums / Anxiety / Unwanted anxious feelings around happiness

Topic: Unwanted anxious feelings around happiness

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. reecemiley
    reecemiley avatar
    3 posts
    11 August 2015
    I am struggling to understand why when I come close to happiness I become extremely nervous , my anxiety goes into overdrive to the point that I feel I am losing control. I feel in my mind that in order to release these feelings I destroy the possibility of happiness. my relationship is strained from this and it has been happening for quite sometime now. I cant seem to release from these feelings quickly and I become low for several days after. I feel like in my moments of my anxiety I am fighting with my own mind. Is it normal with anxiety to not trust well or is this my way of keeping happiness away in order to not have these moments ?
  2. Jacko777
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    Jacko777 avatar
    766 posts
    12 August 2015 in reply to reecemiley

    Hi reecemiley,

    Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums, I think you will find many on here that have experienced this. I would imagine there would be several possible causes and it would help if you had a chat with a counsellor or a psychologist. Have you been diagnosed with anxiety?

    If you can catch yourself as your anxiety rises you could do some breathing exercises, I do 4 seconds in 4 seconds out, not too deep, I focus on the breath. Meditation has helped greatly to reduce such moments of anxiety. For me I have had anxiety around situations that has stemmed from events. So yes for me I was sabotaging my self, avoiding situations so that I didn't have to face my fears, fear of people, fear of failure.

    With small steps you can feel much better about this I reckon.

    Jack

    1 person found this helpful
  3. reecemiley
    reecemiley avatar
    3 posts
    14 August 2015 in reply to Jacko777

    Hello Jack, 

    thankyou for your reply, it is a warm feeling to know maybe I'm not alone with these feelings. I have been diagnosed with anxiety. I do struggle to catch myself in the start of my triggers in order to breath through them, so I have just started tracking my moods in my days and hoping this may help. I have never tried meditation Jack, I am very grateful to know that maybe that may ease things so I will try it. Thankyou so much for your advice, I really do appreciate it. 

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Jacko777
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jacko777 avatar
    766 posts
    14 August 2015 in reply to reecemiley

    Thanks reecemiley,

    Yes, catching your anxiety early takes practice and the more I have practiced the more I am aware of those moments. Tracking your moods is such a good idea, I wish I'd thought of suggesting that! The more you analyse your self the better I reckon, you will notice the warning signs earlier and actively divert your attention to something positive, I think with practice this can become a mindset, it did for me.

    It helps me to practice gratitude, it brings me satisfaction and calmness. I get a great feeling from giving thanks and love (in my mind) to the things around me. I am thankful for my family, the roof over my head, the nature outside, my job, my days off, etc. Knowing exactly what are the important parts of my life gives me somewhere to go when I need to divert my attention, spend time being active in the things that are most important to you.

    Meditation has helped me a lot to train my mind to focus, on the positive and off the negative. It has brought me much calmness overall. For me it really is about becoming the boss of your own mind, persisting with bringing your mind about to where you choose. It doesn't normally feel natural when you start meditating, some people find it a challenge to get through the busy mind at the start, of course we don't stop meditating because we have a busy mind, that's why we are meditating! What you can do is grow new paths in your mind, slowly over time you can get off the old familiar worn tracks that lead to anxiety and cut some new fresh tracks that lead to calmness and happiness. I'm doing it and I know you can too. 

    Smilingminds.com.au is a good place to start for meditations or let me know if want to chat more about this, any time.

    Jack

    1 person found this helpful
  5. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    452 posts
    4 July 2016 in reply to Jacko777

    Hi everyone,

    I thought I would add to this old thread because I've noticed that whenever I say that I'm feeling happy lately (and it needs to be to someone else) then I totally freak out. I mentioned it to my mum this morning that I was happy and that I felt I was now on a normal plane of emotions (this is after several months of a terrible depression). It felt good to tell her - but within about 15 mins I was all shaky - and it was like that all day at work - and I still can't calm down now, it is like a mild panic attack. I've tried to journal to find out what the thoughts are behind the anxiety, and stuff around me not deserving happiness is part of it, it also feels that happiness is a like a trap and a hoax and never lasts. But I'm not very clear about it.

    Googling the topic some articles say depression and fear of happiness are closely linked for some people. Has anyone ever experienced this? Made any headway on overcoming it? Figured out what it was about for you?

    I guess I'd just like to know as much as I can - its not something I've been aware of before - that I fear happiness - but I can see its been there for a while. Maybe many years. Is my identity linked to being unhappy? Just a shame because now I'm feeling good I can't enjoy it but instead am freaking out.

    With thanks :)

  6. Melissa74
    Melissa74 avatar
    24 posts
    4 July 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi hope4joy

    I can relate 100%. I am the same. At the moment life is great yet I am full of panic and anxiety. When they go I will be looking for them again just waiting to rear their ugly heads.

    My husband is convinced that I either don't know what happy is or I am too scared to be happy.

    I wish I knew the answer 😢

    Take care

  7. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    452 posts
    5 July 2016 in reply to Melissa74

    Hi Melissa,

    thanks so much for sharing here. Yeah I hear you. To other people it must seem so simple, in that we ought to just be happy, but its hard when old habits run deep. I believe we can change them though - especially now we're aware of them. This morning I had lots of tears - but the good healing kind of ones - thinking that it is about time I accept myself. From what I want to do vocationally (visual art), to who I am as a person (kind, funny, generous and at times very quiet) and basically just everything. I think that might be a blocker to my happiness - because I'm like "of crap, wait! I can't be happy yet cause I'm not who I want to be... i'm not there yet' sort of stuff. But given I can't change who I am fundamentally, I think I'll never be there if I'm trying to be something or someone else. But to accept what I am, with all my failings. That's hard. But maybe necessary.

    Do you have any thoughts or hunches about what some of the blockers to your happiness might be Melissa? Its such an important topic because its what we're striving for... yet also we're being set up to fail. And maybe its time to change that. Its scary though, because sadly I think I'm very familiar and comfortable in the role of the depressed under-achiever. To be otherwise is absolutely terrifying, and way outside my comfort or familiar zone. Gosh its like a whole can of worms has been opened. But at least we have the strength and support of life going well right now behind us, to help us. What are your thoughts?

    Kind wishes,

    Christina

  8. Melissa74
    Melissa74 avatar
    24 posts
    5 July 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi Christina

    I believe I sabotage my own happiness because I don't think I am worthy. It's like I am waiting for the next punishment (bad experience) to come along.

    When I look back on my life I realise I suffered bad anxiety as a child. I was lonely and my parents were career driven so I spent all my time alone.

    I just need to relax and cut myself some slack. The question is how do I do this?????

    My anxiety/panic is so very real with full body tremors, chills, can't eat or sleep and the best one diarhhea. Such a joy.

     

    Take care

    Melissa

  9. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    452 posts
    6 July 2016 in reply to Melissa74

    Hi Melissa,

    I hear you on that one - feeling we aren't worthy of being happy. I had a pretty intense psychology session yesterday and it came to the fore that all the bullying and hurtful stuff that happened to me as a kid - somehow I thought it was my fault, and that I was bad/ broken/ not right... and hence unworthy. Its sad the way as children we come to conclusions to make other people look good and ourselves as the culprit, when we were the victim.

    I'm sorry to hear you had a lonely childhood too. I grew up with a work-a-holic alcoholic dad who was hardly home and a much older sister who just wanted to stay out and party. So I much pretty grew up inside my imagination - in the bushland/ river near my home and climbing trees. I think after a short while I didn't even realise how lonely I was because it became normal. Was that the same for you? How did you cope? Trying to break my fierce independence has been incredibly hard - well its ongoing - but loneliness is still probably my biggest trigger. I'm still striving for more connected friendships and a relationship in my life.

    And gee, it sounds like your anxiety symptoms are intense. I can relate to those things you've mentioned but only on a few times a year type of basis, my anxiety is not normally that severe. I'm sorry if you've written it elsewhere on the forum, but what sort of support do you have? Are you in some sort of therapy? Or meds? The anti depressants I started recently have helped with diarrhoea - they are sometimes prescribed to help with IBS - so that is a plus.

    I'm just wondering, have you done journalling before, to try to work out what thoughts are causing your anxiety? Sometimes (not always!) it can help me get to the core of the issue/ trigger and help me process it more quickly/ in a healthy way. I believe that we can decrease anxiety over time. I used to disassociate all the time (from being too scared/ overwhelmed) and my hands and feet were constantly cold... but now I can feel my extremities almost all the time and I disassociate a lot less frequently. I find focussing on my feet and wiggling my toes can help when I'm feeling anxious, to help ground me, to keep it in a manageable level. Do you have any strategies that can help you? I hope this isn't too many questions. I guess I just want us both to move forward with knowing we deserve happiness and are safe to relax, and sometimes exploring the issues can help.

    Sending kindess your way,

    Christina

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Melissa74
    Melissa74 avatar
    24 posts
    7 July 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi Christina

    I will reply tonight. Don't want you to think I won't reply.

    Take care

    Melissa

  11. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    452 posts
    7 July 2016 in reply to Melissa74

    Hi Melissa - thanks for dropping by to let me know - how was your day?

    I look forward to hearing from you later :) Christina

  12. Melissa74
    Melissa74 avatar
    24 posts
    7 July 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi Christina

    My day was fairly good. How was yours?

    My story is long and quite complex. But I will ket you in so to speak.

    I am 42, married 16 years to my soul mate and have a 12 year old daughter.

    I live in Qld and work in accounts.

    My parents split up while my Mum was pregnant with me. My Dad took my older brother and I stayed with Mum.

    My Mum moved in with my Step Dad when I was 18 months old. Life was fairly good growing up but I did spend a lot of time on my own. I can remember being quite an anxious child but hid it very well.

    Fast forward to when I was 17. My Mum was diagnosed with cancer and died 3 years later. I was gutted and it broke my heart. I bumbled along for years and things were ok. About 4 weeks after I got married I had massive anxiety/ panic attacks. I worked through it and was fine until 3 years later when I badly burnt myself and it was back. I recovered from that then I found out that I was pregnant. After I gave birth I had dreadful PND & anxiety. This is when I went to the Dr and was prescribed an antidepressant. I started out on 50mg. I had a lot of counseling and learned that I wasnt a shit Mum. I was fine until 3 years ago when I had weight loss surgery. Two days after the surgery BANG the panic/anxiety just smashed me. I had it on and off for 3 months. In this time I saw a clinical psychologist, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. My medication was increased to 200mg and I did a mindfulness course. I again worked through it. Now I moved 7 hours away 5 weeks ago. All was good till I got a job and here we go again. I will admit that I have dealt with this the best ever. I live in fear it will come back.

    I worry that this will eventually become too much and I will end up alone in a psych ward.

    I just always seem to have this lingering in my mind. It is exhausting. When will my happiness return. More importantly when will I allow myself to be happy.

    Hope this makes sense. Thanks for listening.

    Take care

    Melissa

     

  13. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    452 posts
    8 July 2016 in reply to Melissa74

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks so much for sharing here. Reading through what you wrote I got the sense that you are a resilient strong person who has overcome difficulty on many occasions, each time seeking help and making changes to get through that hurdle. I'm so sorry to hear about your mum passing. I'm glad to hear that you found and married your soul mate.

    My parents also separated when I was young - before I turned one. And I had one older sister. I'm just wondering, do you have a connection with your brother? It sounds like you grew up quite apart.

    Its also great that you can acknowledge that for this recent bout of anxiety you managed incredibly well. It seems that when you have a major stress it sends your emotions into a overwhelmed state. Like it just gets too much. I'm just wondering, do you try to never feel anxious? Because so many of the things you described would bring anxiety / low mood in others - and I know for me that if I try to suppress emotions - at some point I burst and feel them very intensely. I'm also wondering, it seems like you only reach out for professional support when things become overwhelming. Have you considered having counselling when you feel pretty good as well - sort of like a little top up when you see them, and also someone to talk to if you feel your mood slipping? It might sound odd but I think my most transformative therapy work is often when I feel quite good, because I have more energy for it. When I'm struggling my counselling just helps me keep the status quo. It sounds like something really worthwhile to explore, your question "when will I allow myself to be happy". You deserve to be happy now!

    Yeah I hear you about worrying that things will become worse and we'll need admitting to a psych hospital. I'm not sure how to dispute that one - I guess that we've overcome big challenges in the past without that happening - and if we needed a short respite with such a service that might be okay too. Maybe its okay to reach out for help and support.

    Thanks I had a good day - I work with kids on a holiday camp and got lots of smiles yesterday and impromptu dancing and singing! Today is the last day of the camp.

    Please be gentle and kind to yourself Melissa,

    Kind wishes, Christina

  14. Melissa74
    Melissa74 avatar
    24 posts
    8 July 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi Christina

    I would like to keep chatting if you would.

    Take care

    Melissa

  15. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    452 posts
    8 July 2016 in reply to Melissa74

    Hi Melissa,

    that'd be nice.

    I'm struggling a lot tonight. So lonely. And feeling like a social failure :(

    Kind wishes, Christina

  16. Melissa74
    Melissa74 avatar
    24 posts
    8 July 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Sorry to hear that Christina.

    Do you know any other way for us to communicate?

    Have you got something to distract you? colour in a lot as it distracts me.

    Take care

    Melissa

  17. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    452 posts
    9 July 2016 in reply to Melissa74

    Hi Melissa,

    Sorry I didn't realise you meant to chat outside the forum. Unfortunately on these forums we aren't about to share personal contact information - like email or phone - in light of keeping everyone safe and maintaining people's privacy. I have used a forum in the past that allowed personal messaging, so it can vary by site. I'm happy to keep chatting on this thread. You can also join in on other threads/ start a new one in order to connect and get the most from the forums. I hope that's okay for you.

    Kind wishes, Christina

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