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[quote name='the171' timestamp='1335488047' post='2423760'].. I hate it. I will accept this suffering and offer it up for souls, but I cannot say that I love it.
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This sounds very much like something St Bernadette once said. Ask for her to pray for you, I feel that you could relate to her. Don't worry sister, the Lord is with you, He is making you into the creation you were meant to be. While it smells of elderberries right now, and feels so helpless, He is with you always and He will use this. Who knows, this experience may better prepare you for life in the convent.

Many prayers for you!

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You have a very serious anxiety disorder. I also have an anxiety disorder. Medication can only do so much and after a while it doesn't work very well. If you are taking it often enough, sometimes it s

Why can't you still go on retreat and be on the core team? I suffered from a chronic anxiety disorder for years, and although I no longer meet diagnostic criteria I still have quite an anxious temp

"Pray hope, and don't worry." Everything is in God's hands. The other day, I saw a man walking his little puppy down the road. When he went to cross the street, he picked up the puppy into

[quote name='the171' timestamp='1335488047' post='2423760']
I meant to say the weekend after this weekend. But i also wanted to say next weekend so they got mixed. I just can't be on medical leave. I MUST give these kids everything I have because someone did that for me once. This isnt just a possibility. It's a reality now... I hate it. I will accept this suffering and offer it up for souls, but I cannot say that I love it. I know. "you have to take time for yourself." but I just can't.
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Something that has taken me a looooong time to understand is: God will get His way, and He will do what He wishes.

What I mean is: yes, care for the kids, pray for them. Don't underestimate the power of prayer ... prayer is more important than doing :).

And yes -- you CAN take time for yourself. In fact -- taking time for yourself is a wise thing. Once you take care of you, THEN you can give even more (or think better quality, because you took care of you) of yourself.

None of us are soooo important that we are indispenable. It doesn't mean that God doesn't need us ... He does! It just means that, maybe the Lord has allowed this right now so that ultimate Good comes out of it.

Praying for you .... and as I said take care of you NOW. :) It will make a big difference in the long run.

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I agree with everything everybody has said about trusting God. He won't leave you - he promised he's be with us always. That's not to say we always feel as though he's there, but he is and he holds you safely. You're in my prayers. On a practical level, apart from medication, try to see the symptoms for what they are - distressing, unpleasant, but not dangerous and only a reaction to stress. If your condition is an anxiety disorder, getting even more upset and anxious in case you have another attack can tie you into a vicious circle and feed your anxiety - and make attacks more likely. Try to relax when the symptoms start, tell yourself they don't matter anything like as much as it seems they do and remember that God still holds you, even in the middle of the worst and most frightening attack. I agree absolutely with LaPetiteSoeur - this isn't God trying to teach you to be meek and humble, it's just illness, but if you can find a way to accept it more calmly you have every chance of learning to manage it. I know it's hard to imagine, but these things don't always last for ever and you will get through it and be stronger as a result. Lots of prayers. I know how hard this is I promise. :buddies2:

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I agree with SO many of the posters above.

If you 'can't' learn to self compassionate and take time for yourself, to love yourself as He loves you, how can you be a good example to those around you? Showing others that you are willing to suffer - the suffering that is sent from HIM is one thing. Working yourself to a standstill and not taking the time you need to back off and learn what it is about backing off that He wants you to learn, this is quite another thing. This is not meant as a judgement on you, I think that maybe you forgot that you can learn as much from backing off, taking care of your mental health and learning to do so well, NOW before you are even near entering, will stand you in very good stead for your future as a sister, if that is what He wants.

Sometimes we have our eyes fixed so hard on what we think He wants for us we totally miss what He is telling us He wants us to learn.
Basic techniques for dealing with anxiety, even severe anxiety, will be so useful in the future, and who knows, maybe there is one person out there who it is going to be very important that you know how to help - and you can learn how right now through your own direct experience.

Anxiety IS horrible, but as another poster said, it does not kill.
Go to that therapist, learn some techniques, put them into practice, and BREATHE................

He is with you, we are praying.
All is well, and all is well, and all manner of things shall be well...........

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Many, many prayers dear. It is no fun what you are going through. Can I just re-iterate what others have said, that you are not useless, or letting God and others down if you give yourself a little TLC? You wouldn't treat a worn down, panic-stricken friend like you are treating yourself. Wouldn't you heap loads of consolation on a friend? Wouldn't God want you to do the same for yourself?

Also - you mentioned "how can I control my interior life if I cannot control my exterior life"...... well there's your "problem" - God never asked us to control anything! He does that. Take a loving look at a picture of Divine Mercy - He wants to wrap you in his arms and hold you and tell you with His solemn promise as [u]God[/u] that everything will be alright, that He loves you and through it all, even the worst times when you feel most abandoned, He's got you tightly wrapped in His embrace. He wants to "cure" you in His own time, through your trust and the help of those around you - including therapists.

It's not your fault. We love you, God loves you. I'm praying.

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[quote name='the171' timestamp='1335488504' post='2423766']
We're trying to contact a counseling service.
[/quote]

Please be sure that you get some consistant counseling support. Drugs can only go so far. Please also take the time you need for yourself. I understand that you have responsibilities that you are worried about, but other people can step in until you get your feet under you again. What if you had had an accident? You would have to take the time to recover and no one would question your need to do so. Well, you have had an "accident" of a sort (possibly a build up of stress) which has led to these symptoms and you need to take the time to recover.

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Speaking from experience, the biggest problem with anxiety disorders is that we identify with the thoughts that caused the anxiety in the first place. What I mean is that "anxiety" in and of itself does not exist outside of your own mind and thoughts. So the next time an attack comes on, stop and say to yourself, "This isn't real. These are just my thoughts. I can change my thoughts." The Desert Fathers use to remind people and monks in particular to "monitor your thoughts." Our thoughts are often times our "worst enemy" particularly when we think they are "real."

I hope this makes since. It all sounds so overly simplistic but a person has to understand that anxiety does not exist outside of ones own thoughts. It takes time to get use to "catching your thoughts" and therefore controlling them, but you can do it, and little by little your anxiety will "disappear" just as quickly as thoughts do.

A simple exercise is to count your breathing when an attack comes on. Focus only on breathing in then breathing out and counting, 1, 2, 3....breathing in, breathing out 1....breathing in, breathing out 2, etc.

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[quote name='the171' timestamp='1335485742' post='2423746']
I went to the ER today. I had an attack in Chemistry. It lasted for over an hour. I had had another one Tuesday night. Symptoms started presenting themselves in mass then it really began when I was at bible study. At the ER today, the doc diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder. It's only getting worse. I don't know what to do. I am praying more. I am offering up my sufferings for priests and for souls. I am not asking for consolation, but only detachment. But I am becoming only more attached to Lafayette. I have to detatch myself so I can figure things out, but I can't. I am so scared. The Xanax isn't working. None of the medicine the doc has prescribed has helped. Now I can't even help out with middle school ministry because they are worried that I will have an attack at the events. I feel so useless. I have been brushed off to the side. I know that God is using this to remind me that I must become meek and humble. But I am complaining and failing so much. I am constantly living in this fear that I will have another attack. My school is in the middle of finals. This isnt helping! I already have so much on my plate, and now all of this?!?? I am not strong enough to persevere in religious life. This proves it. If I can't control this, how can I control my interior life? I can't do anything. I am useless. I am so scared. I just don't know what to do anymore.
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Having gone through this before when I turned 16 years old (about the same age as you are now), it felt like my whole world was turned upside down. Nothing felt right. I felt as though I couldn't do anything because I was always worried about when another attack would occur, which usually made one happen. For me, the trigger was often driving or riding in the car with someone because my anxiety and depression, though it is lifelong, was brought up when I realized a friend passed away in a car accident at 16 about 19 days before my birthday. I had to be home-schooled during 11th grade because I was unable to stay in class. The first day of school was awful. I had Spanish first and I tried so hard to sit in the classroom even though I wasn't feeling well and I had thrown up on my way to school (in the car). I could feel the blood drain out of my face and I knew I was going to be sick any minute so I asked the teacher for permission to leave and go to the clinic. I called my mom and pleaded with her to pick me up. That's when we knew something was VERY wrong and she took me to see the psychiatrist who officially diagnosed me. I was put on medication that made it seem as though I had bipolar disorder because I was so moody. I would get VERY angry for no reason at all. Once I got off that medication and on to a different one, it took about a month for me to feel better, but I had to go to regular therapy sessions.

After all the ups and downs I experienced, I know now that it is not me that brought this on. There is nothing I could have done to prevent this because it is a chemical imbalance in my brain. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY OVER THIS! You have no control. Take your medication, report to the doctor regularly, get therapy -- but most importantly -- PRAY! That was the ultimate factor in my recovery -- staying close to God in the Sacraments. It took me 8 years to figure that out and I was so lost.

You must trust that you will get better. Don't dwell on your illness, otherwise, it will make it seem much worse than it really is. You can be your worse enemy or your best friend -- it's your choice. You are in my prayers. If you ever need to PM me, please do so. I know how awful anxiety attacks can be. :blowkiss:

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As a stress therapist, I've worked with countless people suffering panic/anxiety disorders. Something that is helpful to know is that the panic attack happens at two levels: first, the actual panic attack which, physiologically, can only last so long; and the second level which is anxiety about the anxiety/panic attack. The second level you can learn to control, and the first level (the actual attack) you can learn to "ride" like surfing a wave.

The suggestion of seeking out a practitioner specializing in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an excellent one as CBT is the clinically proven best approach for anxiety disorders.

In the meantime, if you have an attack, breathe slowly with the exhale slightly longer than the inhale (this tells your nervous system to stop sending out 'fight or flight' signals), focus on relaxing your body (especially shoulders and jaw) and remind yourself that it's not life-threatening and it will naturally run its course in a few minutes.

PLEASE work with your doctor to regulate your medication and find a CBT practitioner. You don't need to be suffering as much as you are from this condition when some relatively simple tools can help.

My prayers are with you.

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FutureCarmeliteClaire

On a medical note, you should get yourself tested for strep throat. Sometimes un-detected strep throat can cause abnormal anxious behaviors. Yes, you have an anxiety disorder, but maybe you have something else that is making it worse right now.

Also, I am going to repeat what the others have said. Take some time to focus on yourself. Have some chocolate, rest, and see that therapist. Just the same way that you can't know God until you know yourself, you can't help others until you help yourself.

Edited by FutureCarmeliteClaire
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I respect your post Beatitude but I disagree. We often time give too much power to our thoughts. My point is where does the anxiety exist? If I asked you or anyone suffering from anxiety to go and get me a bucket full of it where you would find it? Outside? on your skin? in your eye? in your ear? No. In your mind. I cannot say it enough, our thoughts are very VERY powerful. They can cause all kinds of physiological disorders, rapid heart rate, seizures, syncope, etc. etc. This is very well documented. That is why cognitive therapy works over medication, because cognitive therapy works to "change your thought patterns." It is the THOUGHTS first, not the other way around. To play victim to these thoughts and therefore "anxiety" is equally dangerous, in my opinion. Again, it sounds overly simplistic but it is like Dorothy and red the shoes, "You have had the power all along."

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