At the moment I’ve got three different anxiety disorders, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder and a touch of agoraphobia. What I’ve noticed lately is that my classic symptoms have shifted several times. I used to primarily get something like nervous butterflies in the stomach, then it switched to nausea and now it’s more like being overwhelmed to the point of tears. It’s become hard to recognize it as anxiety and yet upon discussing it with my therapist it still is.
I think some of this has to do with actively fighting the anxiety. One theory I read suggests it’s a sign of getting better. Check it out here. The basic gist is that once your body realizes you’re not stopping because of the standard anxiety cues it finds another physical symptom to give you instead. Eventually you come to realize they all represent anxiety and you can push through all of them.
Pushing through the situation is common for anxiety, in fact, not following through and completing whatever you were doing makes the situation worse. Still it’s can be hard to always push through so cbt gives you tools like rephrasing your thoughts. The anxiety might not have been so bad until you had thoughts surrounding it. Your thoughts actually magnify the situation, even thoughts about the physical symptoms help magnify those symptoms.
If you have an inner dialogue like that you can use cbt to combat anxiety but many times I’m not thinking anything negative. What to do then? That’s when I usually just push through but this isn’t the best method because it ignores your body and what it’s telling you and depending on the time frame things can get worse before they get better. It’s better to open a conversation with yourself, something on the order of…Ive assessed the risks and while I understand your concern we aren’t actually going to die.
I am convinced that anxiety comes from a part of your brain that’s not as evolved, it can understand but not convey language so it speaks in fear. If you don’t respect this part of your brain it will keep pushing the panic button. Anyway, this is a new theory of mine, I’ll let you know if it works out while I open a dialogue with this mystery part of the brain.