Are you a worrier? Mental prisoner?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tzhu07, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. tzhu07 macrumors regular


    Nov 12, 2008
    I feel like I'm slowly becoming a worrier and a mental prisoner. I don't know if it's because there's so much depressing material in the news that reminds me of all of the **** that could happen, or if it's something else. I'm 30 years old if that matters.

    Do you generally think about low-probability negative events before you even cross that bridge?

    Do you think about how you would handle very severe situations, like:
    - Getting cancer or some other major illness
    - Getting into a major car accident
    - Someone severely defrauds you, and you're unable to get your money back
    - Getting framed for a crime, or getting falsely accused of a crime
    - How you would deal with the loss of someone close to you
    - Getting sued by someone who's out to get you

    Do you think about:
    - What the state of your professional life will look like in X years?
    - What the state of your personal life will look like in X years?

    I consider myself a rational and level-headed person, so I don't know exactly what's happening. The logical side of me tells me that it's entirely unproductive to worry about many things before crossing that bridge. But yet something within is overriding the reasonable side of me.

    This really sucks...
  2. fitshaced macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2011
    Get some counselling. What might happen isn't important. What does happen can be dealt with.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Some stuff, I do worry about, but in reality, I also know that I have little to no control of over what crosses my mind.

    I agree, with the prior poster, if you're enslaved by those thoughts, it may be best to seek professional help
  4. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    I don't think I'm as bad as you say you are, but I'm a constant worrier.

    Someone here suggested a book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, it's a good read. Many real life examples on how worrying doesn't help anything at all. It won't stop all your worries, but it does help.

    I remember watching a movie on a plane last month, based on a true story, don't remember the name of it. Basically a spy was caught and he will likely be executed. His lawyer said to him, "You don't seem worried at all." The spy's reply, "Will it help?".

    Also, stop reading/watching the news.
  5. citizenzen, Jan 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016

    citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    I'm not a worrier, but my wife, who's suffered from depression most of her life is, and her worry list sounds a lot like yours.

    I'll share with you my personal perspective on worrying, that I've observed in my own mind, and (mostly) eradicated ...

    When people worry, they think there are reasons behind it. They believe these worries are caused by external factors that require their focus in order to solve or fend off bad consequences. But what I believe is happening is that it's the mind that is in itself a "worried state" regardless of the external factors. And what we do in these worried states is to assign external reasons for feeling that way, when it is simply an internal condition.

    That doesn't make it any easier to solve, but I think it puts the solution in the right place. You could remove all the existing external assigned causes, but that won't stop the worry, because the mind in a worried state will simply reach out and find new externalities to worry about. The solution is to change the mind. But I do understand that is a tremendously difficult thing to do.

    There are practices that focus on changing the mind, such as Zen Buddhism, of which I have over 30 years experience. I recommend it, though I'm sure other methods can help as well.
  6. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    Live by the AA prayer and don't worry. Even if any of the things you fear happens, things will improve. The only thing you can't bounce back from is death...and since death is inevitable, it's not worth worrying about that!
  7. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I see a difference between being proactive and worrying. Worrying about things you have no control over is a waste of effort. But, thinking about things you can change, and being proactive, professional choices for example are important if you don't obsess. Be productive with the expense of this kind of energy. :)

    Btw, your first group of what ifs is really a waste of time and especially if there is no inkling. What if I get in a car wreck? Really?? Not to be mean, but grow up. :) When I was 17, I was in a serious car wreck, could have easily been killed, but surprisingly emerged with minimal injuries, a broken set of front teeth. Was I worried about it before? No, a complete surprise. Was I worried about it after? For awhile, I told people I was riding with to SLOW DOWN! ;) But see I had a reason, and I got over it.

    The end result is that if you spend too much time worrying, you are coloring your life in a negative manner, blocking out the joy of the experience of living. Understand your life will end, most likely at a time not of your choosing, be reconciled that it's part of the experience of being born, experienced by every living creature, and make the best of the unknown amount of time you have left. Non-productive worry will just ruin the experience.
  8. BernyMac macrumors regular


    May 18, 2015
  9. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2011
    What you've just explained if how my General anxiety disorder was explained to me.

    My brain malfunctions and assigns reason why i am having the feeling of being nervous, having panic attacks etc.

    Its the same as my depression, there isn't actually a reason for it, my brain just doesn't regulate it's chemical balance properly.

    I spent about 6 years trying to work out why i was depressed, the answer after all of that? There is no reason.

    I explain it to people as like having cancer, it sometimes doesn't happen for any reason at all. Sometimes it's caused by something.
  10. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2011
    As a sufferer myself, my recommendation would be to speak to your doctor. Are you UK based? your doctor can recommend an NHS funded therapy or counciling group which can help.

    It's important to understand if there is a reason for your worrying or whether you have GADS (Generalised anxiety disorder) which doesn't always have a reason why it's happening.

    It's also important to realise that your body worrying or being depressed is usually a pretty good sign that you need to slow down. Do you work a lot? do you have a high stress job?

    I know it's easier to say than done but if you don't "unwind" then your brain never really process's everything it's dealing with and it all builds up, making you feel like you do now.

    Speak to the doctor first if you can, try writing down how your feeling (like your post), make a note of how often you have the thoughts, and how does is manifest, do you feel like your going to be sick, pass out etc.

    The more you can give them the better they can help.

    Finally if they do believe it's GADS, they will recommend looking at either something in the depression medication family, or BETA blockers (what i take as i have seratonin syndrome)

    For me personally the BETA blockers do really help, they take the "edge" of worrying if that makes sense? you still sometimes think the things but it's gone from your mind a lot quicker.

    Prior to taking them i was having panic attacks regularly for no reason, or just generally being a nervous wreck.

    Sorry for rambling but hopefully helped a little bit!
  11. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2011
    While everyone is entitled to their opinion, please be conscious that some people can't control what they worry about, or how they feel. It's like telling someone who is depressed to cheer up, you wouldn't tell someone with cancer to "feel better" it doesn't work that way unfortunately.

    That's not to say that positive thinking isn't important, but lots of mental disorders simply are not a choice and cannot be fixed by positive thinking. I can speak with confident around that :)
  12. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Of course, you are right, if the issue dwells within the realm of mental illness, and this applies to the OP, my sincere apologies to the OP for being blunt. In that case therapy, counciling, would be appropriate, otherwise, there are people, if they worry and can alter their perspective can change their outlook on their own.
  13. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    I use to be a worry wart, but I've mellowed with age. If I can't do anything about it, worrying ain't gonna help. If I can resolve it, I do. Maybe it's because I'm MAD.:eek:


    Or maybe I'm too busy to have time to worry.;)
  14. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    There's over 7 billion people on the Earth and they span the spectrum of every kind of state humans can experience. Some of it has a reason, some of it has a cure, and a lot of it is just something we have to endure.

    The one thing that I've noticed about my wife (married 18 years) is that although her depression always has its influence, it's really just a small part of her, as a person. Her intelligence, humor and insight make up far more of her personality. Hopefully you can let those aspects of yourself shine the brightest, despite the depression.
  15. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    I'm going to die some day. That is fact.

    Thus I choose to live life in order to give me the means to an end to enjoy myself.
  16. tzhu07 thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 12, 2008
    That's very Steve Jobs of you... :apple:


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