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Cjack1990 posted:
So I have had anxiety and emetephobia (Fear of sick) since i was about 6 or 7. Last week I had a great week, I felt great and didn't worry about anything! Then 5 days ago I ended up getting sick all night.
Im going back to work today, and I'm scared to death. I know it's been 3 or 4 days since I got sick, but I'm scared that it's going to happen again at work, and I have a half hour drive. In my mind, since last week I wasnt worrying about it, I wasn't being "cautious" enough. Which scares me.
I really don't want to go back to square one. It feels like just because I got sick I had 30 steps forward then 50000 steps back.

I just need some reassurance. Please. Thank you.
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Anyone who has ever had any type of anxiety disorder understands that there will be some backsliding or slips and that is to be expected. It doesn't indicate that you are going to go back 50,000 steps, but it may be going to happen.

The question is how do you prepare yourself for this knowing that it can happen and what can you do. I would think, since you didn't indicate what techniques you might be using, that there are probably three things you can use whenever you begin to feel you may have a slip.

The things that I am thinking of include relaxation breathing (we have a video tutorial on this in our Tips column), positive self-talk where you talk yourself down from feeling anxious and give yourself affirming messages about your ability, and thought stopping where you, literally, tell yourself to, "Stop it!" You can also indicate to yourself that this isn't helpful, you're not going to let it happen, or whatever words you find most useful. You can say it out loud if you are someplace where you will have privacy but the breathing can be done almost anywhere. I would suggest that you start with the breathing on a regular basis to keep yourself as calm as you can since it is quite good.

Another thing on which a great deal of research is pointing is any type of exercise. This is seen as quite beneficial in both anxiety and depression and all you need to do is to go for a walk, walk in place, do exercises in an office chair (if you work in an office) or any chair at home. You don't need to exhaust yourself or lift any heavy weights. You can even put on music and dance too. Dancing is a great exercise since it not only provides the movement that helps with the anxiety, but the music which can also set a more positive and calming way of looking at your current situation.

If you would like to look at a four-minute calming scene of a beach, you can go to my YouTube channel (drpat22) where there are two versions and one is appropriate for an iPhone or iPad. You can download either of these to your smart phone or your computer and also use that to help yourself calm down. Sometimes visuals are more helpful than anything else.

When driving in your car, you might want to have some relaxing music that you can play in order to help yourself there too. Riding in the car can be an opportunity to allow yourself some time to put things back into a more positive perspective and music can be an additional aid in doing this.

I hope you find this information useful and that it does help.
 
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Cjack1990 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
It does, thank you.

I'm going to try some breathing and exersizing right now. I live in the midwest and right now i'm in florida for my brothers wedding and every day since the day we've left I have had a bad episode. I'm actually missing my brothers rehearsal dinner right now. I think it's getting a little better because I'm actually eating something now where as at first I didn't eat for two days.


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