Thursday, July 25, 2013

Learning to Live with Anxiety

Sunny recently posted a video on her blog from the OCD conference about being reminded that the goal of OCD treatment is not to have less anxiety but to learn to accept anxiety and know that it won't kill us. The lucky side effect being that once you learn that, you are actually likely to see a decrease in anxiety.

It sure isn't easy. I've reached the point where I can recognize my anxiety, and acknowledge it, and I can even sit with it. But it isn't any less uncomfortable for me.

I don't know that it ever actually becomes less unpleasant while it's happening. What's your experience been?


  1. I guess over time my fear of the anxiety has lessened. It still makes me uncomfortable, and I don't enjoy it, but I don't run from it as much as I used to. I don't try to avoid it at all costs (that's a losing battle anyway :-)). Now if I feel the symptoms of anxiety (tight chest, quickened heartbeat, sweating, gut pains), I understand better what is going on.

  2. For me anxiety doesn't get easier. But learning how to manage it Is what comes easier. Six months ago my anxiety was literally paralyzing i couldn't even leave the house Now I feel I'm doing much better. I still have anxiety most of the time But it's easier to manage Now that I understand my central nervous system a little better. Knowledge is power I think. Once you understand the anxiety It's easier to deal with.

  3. You're not kidding, Ann, it's NOT easy.

    For me, when I feel anxiety, it still feels awful, but generally because I try not to fight it anymore, it doesn't peak as high, nor last as long as it used to. Plus, I use my knowledge of anxiety (what's happening to my body, why it's reacting a certain way, etc.) to sort of take some of the scariness about anxiety away. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.

    What I've found is that by facing a lot of my fears, my overall general daily base level of anxiety has dropped dramatically. Sometimes, I go through periods of time now without feeling any at all! THAT is amazing to me. So I definitely still get triggered and stuff, but usually my anxiety is more episodic now, rather than a constant stream. The obsessive thoughts still come pretty consistently, but lots of them don't have any real punch any more.

  4. I am new to blogging and have decided to blog to help with my anxiety. I have an issue with over analysing everything in life and judgement from others. I have been to counselling and have been taught to accept that i am feeling anxious and to ask myself is what i am feeling 'discomfort or danger.' if i am not in any danger then i was told to acknowledge the anxiety and not ignore it but wait for the feeling to pass. This has been difficult for me but after 6 months I am getting better at it! The other thing i have practiced is mindfulness and that helps to put my mind at ease. So i guess what i am saying is it does help (me at least) to acknowledge the anxieties existence,and this has lessened it from taking control of my life, but also to know that it will be with me for life.

  5. I agree, its not easy at all! i've got to the point were i can recognize mine as well, but its tough! My OCD gets a lot worse when i'm put into anxiety related situations and your right i was told the same thing! You have to learn to accept and work with anxiety

  6. Hey Ann, this is a very insightful post to OCD. I guess learning that IT WON'T KILL YOU is a very important thing. Maybe somehow, the root of our OCD fears is death, and we almost feel like we're going to die when we don't give in to the rituals of OCD.