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My anxiety and background
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Justin101 posted:
Hi, I am a 28 year old male and I think I may have anxiety issues. Any time I am out in public, work, or even driving in my car in slow traffic, I don't feel like myself. I feel like everyone is constantly judging me, because in my head I don't feel like im right, and Im paranoid that others notice this. My motor skills seem to degrade, I feel like my brain is floating and tingling, I may get random minor twitches on my body, I feel like visually and mentally I cannot focus, and I just generally feel weak. Any time that I am anywhere, except inside my own apartment (by myself or with my girlfriend), I am most likely feeling this way - though some days are better/worse than others. Small things seem to factor in, such as what im wearing (If Its my favorite clothes, I might be more confident and have a better day.. lol). Caffeine helps temporarily, but even with that I feel like others notice that I am tweaking, and are judging me for that even. I never show anger to other people, but inside I tend to resent people and get depressed for no reason at all. I have a high stress job on a fast paced assembly line.. so I gotta keep up with the pace which I cannot control, and cannot stop until a 10min break every 2hrs (but bear in mind, I have had these problems long before taking this job, probably since I was in middle school). Im not sure why I am posting this, maybe to get some closure to my problem, maybe just to vent and let it out, but thanks for reading my story! Does anybody else feel like this?
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KyleC responded:
I feel the exact same thing as you. I am always paranoid about who's making judgement calls on me. It doesn't matter if I know the person or if I will ever see them again, I always think someone is judging me. I feel like everything I do isn't good enough.
 
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Justin101 replied to KyleC's response:
Hey and thanks for the reply. Yep, it doesn't matter if its a stranger in walmart, or even a close friend at work on the next station over, if I hear somebody laugh and I don't know what is going on, I automatically assumpe that its about me for some reason.
 
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
High stress jobs make things worse for anyone who has any pre-existing anxiety difficulties. Stress affects the body and also affects our mood and our perception of life and of ourselves. I think that's what you have just indicated in your post.

It may be, also, that you are feeling somewhat insecure about yourself and that might be the reason you think that others are judging you because, in fact, you are judging yourself in a negative light. There are many reasons why this may have happened and I'm sure you can think of some of them.

One way you can help yourself and which will also deal with the stress that is building up is simple exercise. I don't mean that you need to go join a gym or do anything terribly strenuous, but you do need to do some exercise even if it's just walking up and down stairs, walking in place, playing some active sport or what ever will exercise your muscles and give them an opportunity to help you. We know that exercise does more than we ever knew before. The latest research indicates that it has a dramatic effect on raising our mood, lowering stress and anxiety and generally contributing to our feeling better about ourselves and everything else. This is probably because exercise helps the body to produce substances that are mood elevating and, therefore, we get a double benefit from exercise; it keeps us in shape and it helps us in terms of our mood.

You might also want to try relaxation breathing which is another self-help technique that has been shown to help with anxiety levels. We have a video tutorial of this in our Tips column and I would suggest that you view this and begin using that technique on a regular basis. It won't happen instantly, but keep at it and you will notice you will feel better.

I do, of course, suggest to everyone if they are having any kind of physical symptoms that they see their PCP and get checked out just to be sure there is nothing that needs attention. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet and go out and have some fun on a regular basis. A balanced life means a happier, healthier life.