Chris’ anxiety seemed to come out of nowhere. It happened while watching a reality show about cops.
CHRIS' (SAN DIEGO, CA) QUESTION:
Chris: Well, basically, it all started from watching an episode of COPS. The cop tried to get a bad guy. The bad guy had AIDS. He stabbed the cop and transmitted AIDS and all of a sudden, I got scared and thought I had AIDS. I went to the doctor and had the test done, because I had this constant worry, and the test came back negative. I had a full physical and everything was good.
Now, after all, that has passed. I still get the anxiety from when I thought I had AIDS, but it’s not about the AIDS anymore, it’s just a constant worry. I go to work; I work the graveyard shift from 11pm to 7 in the morning and all I do is think and worry and worry. I’ve talked to the doctors about it, they just give me Xanax and stuff, but I’m trying not to take the pills because it makes me think even more and I feel I’m getting worse off.
Dawson: You have the wrong medication. It takes a while when you have high anxiety to get everything tweaked just right. Every person’s different, so it takes a while to play with one pill versus another, one medicine versus another, until you finally get to the place where you feel like you’re balanced.
Obviously, you have an anxiety disorder. That’s what they told you, didn’t they?
Chris: No, they didn’t. They just said it was from the AIDS things. This just came out of nowhere. I’ve never had anything wrong with me ever in my life.
Dawson: Have you acted in a reckless manner as far as AIDS is concerned?
Chris: No, it just scared me all of a sudden. I don’t know why; it just came out of nowhere.
DAWSON MCALLISTER'S ANSWER:
Dawson: Well, I’m not a professional psychiatrist, don’t pretend to be one, but sounds to me like you have an anxiety disorder, and you are trying to be your own doctor. Now, there are reasons why you have the anxiety disorder…probably goes deeper, but before you can deal with the deeper issues, which a good psychologist can help you with, a good therapist can help you with, you’re going to have to get stable. Because as long as you have this anxiety buzzing around in your head, you really can’t deal with the deeper issues. So, you are making a mistake in that you are trying to be your own doctor. You need to go back to your doctor and say, “Xanax isn’t working. What else can you do for me?” Just because these particular medications aren’t working, doesn’t mean that the next one won’t.
Do you overthink and worry about everything? Click to read Hazelle's story about her overwhelming anxiety. Find hope and help for your anxious tendencies.