Anxiety with friends

I always have this problem. If I am close to someone, say a friend, I used to always get a panic attack if I can’t get the person on phone or online chat. It’s so bad that I am quitting FB, and trying to avoid contact with said friends.

It’s better now, but the anxiety is still quite bad - hard of breathing, heart palpations, cold/hot spells, trembling limbs and etc.

Anyone has this problem too? Have anyone kept it under control. Talked with numerous counsellors and doctors, but haven’t really find relief - I got better, but it’s still quite upsetting when an episode happens.

Has anyone suggested you look at your thoughts when this happens? You are probably worrying that something bad has happened, rather than more rational thoughts like “oh, my friend is busy.” CBT techniques can help you change those thoughts. There are some good books and websites. I have got to run, but will post some later, if someone doesn’t beat me to it.

Could there perhaps be some abandonment trauma in your past that you are involuntarily reliving when you can’t reach a close friend?

(I’m not asking you to disclose your past traumas here, by the way; I’m just throwing it out as something for you to think about).

If you’ve been to multiple doctors about these panic attacks, I would be very surprised if you aren’t on any anti-anxiety medication. Are you? If not, why not? This goes pretty far beyond normal concern. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) would teach you to stop the negative thought spiral before it gets out of control, but anti-anxiety medication would help you NOW, since it takes time to learn those techniques.

Simply telling yourself, “Don’t worry, this concern is irrational,” is not enough. That’s not usually a very helpful tactic for anxious people, pre-CBT. For instance, even though *I know *(intellectually) that it’s really stupid to be scared of moths and ants, because they don’t even freakin’ bite, they still freak me out and must be killed. Or else I can’t sleep in my bedroom because ogod what if they crawl up my nose and plant eggs in my brain or what if they get inside my ear and I wake up WITH A BUG IN MY EAR OMGGGG!

Anyway, it’s really annoying and stupid, but I can’t stop it rationally. That’s the hallmark of anxiety, you know? Anxious people each have their own unique trips and triggers, but the commonality is the anxiety. You need to deal with that, and medication can greatly help.

I done CBT before - I could challenge those thoughts and reframe it as either jumping to conclusion or generalizing. However I ruminate and have to keep challenging the thoughts again, till it gets so upsetting I have panic attacks.

I can’t remember a single occasion where I was abandoned but back in kindergarten I took seperation from my grandfather (my caregiver then) badly. I cried all the time there, for a week.

It doesn’t help my mum was finalizing divorce then - the custody goes to my father but he left to start a new family. She told me those things.

I was on medication before - I have an appointment with the doctor and will seek advice. But I rather not go back. At least no Xanax and the like. I stopped medication about three years ago - the doctor deemed I can do without it. But I have had no close friends then. Perhaps I have been living in avoidant. I have seemed numerous counsellors - learnt mindfulness, CBT , schemes therapy but… I managing it better but it’s still rather intense.

I have a touch of this, too. My mind starts thinking the worse when I can’t easily make contact with my twin, for instance.

I must be evil. I thought the best thing to do was for everybody to ignore this thread.