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Ugh...major anxiety once again..
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jdltx posted:
Last time I had major anxiety, it was in 2009 when I had an HIV scare that sent me in hiatus but I thankfully was tested and the result was negative and I recovered, I've had little ups and down but I was doing excellent.. Well, I was recently swimming with some friends at our gated community pool and I went to get water from the drinking fountain, I'm a 6'2 tall guy so I naturally go to the higher fountain but the water was hot so I go to the smaller one and as I drink from it at a weird angle water goes up my nose. Big deal, right? Not to my anxiety -___- then my mind starts thinking "what if that brain eating amoeba was in the water" and that's all it took. Now I'm like massively freaked out that I have this amoeba and that I'm going to die like next week (i know, I know) And I'm sure many of you know, the anxiety is so powerful that once you read symptoms you magically start feeling them... I can't stop thinking about it and it's dragging my days down baaad. I almost forgot what this was like because I was doing so good, freakin sucks.

I'd like to think I'm okay because it's water from the southern California desert that I read is treated and it always tastes like it is... but there is that "what if" you know? ugh... this sucks so bad... I was having a good week too before this, I just driven from Texas to California with friends and had a blast, and now this... I hate anxiety and I hate that that the stupid water went up my nose.... and I hate the amoeba for existing! Lol Any one with some powerful words of wisdom? Be greatly appreciated....
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Reid Wilson, PhD responded:
Hey, jdltx-

I'm sorry you are struggling with your fears about that drinking water event. Let me cut to the chase, and you will either take my advice or not. When people obsess in the way that you are obsessing, the content of their obsession is completely irrelevant to the treatment. Of course the eating amoeba is relevant to you personally; that's how the obsession "gets you." If we were to personify the obsessiveness, it looks for topics that will upset you and then it drills down, creating doubt and distress. Your mission, if you are willing to accept it, (I hope it won't be Mission Impossible), is to recognize that your worries have absolutely nothing to do with the amoeba and everything to do with the tendency to obsess. When the worry pops up, accept it as a repetitious, irrelevant, unproductive obsession. Then, "let it go". That doesn't mean it disappears; it means that you stop embellishing it, you stop chasing it, thinking about it, reassuring yourself about it. (It is very important to stop reassuring yourself about the amoeba; that just promotes more doubt. Your job is to learn to tolerate uncertainty, not remove it!) Now, if you do this, do you know what happens next? You will become distressed. The obsessive part of you that needs to be certain that you don't have this amoeba in your body will demand that you find out. You must accept this distress as well; it comes with the territory. Figure out how to accept these thoughts as irrelevant noise and to accept the distress that comes on their heels, and you will get stronger.