I've searched for an existing thread on this topic, but couldn't find one, so if there is one already lurking out there somewhere, please forgive! I've seen a few posts on anxiety along with depression on the depression thread, but since I'm not currently experiencing depression, I didn't want to post there and derail anything.
Anyway, I don't have an anxiety disorder per se, or at least I don't think I do, but I also don't think my levels of anxiety are exactly normal. For a long time I didn't think it was abnormal since I'm always reading things about how people in the west are stressed out and so I just figured everyone was feeling the same as me, but as I've been reading about the topic on the internet, it sounds like most people really only experience situational anxiety, like if they have a speech to make or an exam the next day.
That's not me. I don't have trouble sleeping, but when I wake up, I am immediately flooded with at least one or more anxious thoughts and that just sets the tone for the rest of the day, and it will go on for hours about all sorts of things. Not only am I anxious about the bazillion things I need to do around the house, classes in school, calling on the phone to get things sorted out, but I'll also have any number of "what if" scenarios turning around and around in my head concerning future worries. Such as, "What if I can't find a job after I graduate, particularly as a 40+ person?" and "What if I lose my home because I got sick and couldn't pay medical bills and/or the tax/insurance and end up homeless and on the street?" Then I'll spend about an hour or two looking up something like "surviving homelessness" online and reading forums and such about it just in case it ever happens to me. Or I'll think of family members dying.
It doesn't seem to matter how illogical some of these things are. I'll find myself worrying about them anyway. Currently, I'm anxious about having to call the insurance company to get my school insurance worked out for next semester and calling to withdraw money from my IRA for school tuition...I'm stressed that they'll argue with me about it. I know that whenever I finally brace myself and actually do it, it will be nothing, but I have to spend hours/days working myself up to actually doing it.
I've gotten the idea of maybe writing down every little thing that causes me negative stress and anxiety and then clearing them one by one like "things to do" checklist. I suspect that maybe I get so anxious about some of the smaller things because I'm just overwhelmed by everything in general, so maybe if I somehow actually get a lot of these things off my plate, I will be better at handling the other stuff, and be more capable of sticking with healthy eating and exercise plans...which also happen to cause me a lot of guilt as well as anxiety.
I'm definitely a lot happier than I was last year when I was also dealing with situational depression from a job that I hated. Went to a psychologist for a few months during all of that and the depression is gone now that that job is out of my life, but the anxiety issues really haven't diminished (other than the job-specific ones.)
When I try to determine if I have an actual anxiety disorder, I don't seem to have enough symptoms, or strong enough symptoms. Due to my very strong sense of responsibility, I generally do get things done eventually even if they are things that initially cause me a lot of fear. I don't have panic attacks. I'm able to sleep very well at night even if I wake up anxious.
Is anyone else dealing with stuff like this? Has anyone been able to successfully get past it? Or is this just normal levels that everyone is going through but rarely ever talks about?