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Quarter Life Crisis + Indecision Paralysis: How to deal & move forward?

I'm a 26 year old female "Commitment Phobe" seeking advice on 1) How to feel ok making a temporary/final decision about what to do with my life and 2) When to scrap, adjust, or follow through on my decisions when the going gets tough? Messy details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 16, 2014 - 12 answers

Be my freelancing cheerleader. I'm broke and paralyzed by anxiety.

I was laid off from my video production job about a year and a half ago. I wasn't too sad to see it go because I really wanted to freelance. I wasn't getting paid enough in that job to have savings, but I had unemployment for a few months, and figured that could see me through bulking up my portfolio and getting some clients. I did find some regular work and have built up good relationships that I hope turn into more, but in the mean time, I am so broke. I volunteer with several organizations and go to events, so I keep telling myself that if I just hold on a little longer, it'll get better. But when I sit down to work on marketing or personal projects that show off what I can do, I freeze up with anxiety. [more inside]
posted by ohisee on Jan 14, 2014 - 7 answers

Help me understand how to deal with a guy I had a crush on at work

Help me understand how to deal with a guy I had a crush on at work [more inside]
posted by iamsuper on Jan 14, 2014 - 14 answers

Winter enjoyment tips for germophobes

Every year I dread cold weather, mostly for norovirus-related reasons. Especially since it seems media reports about norovirus outbreaks, flu deaths, etc. have increased over the last few years. It's all I can do to go to work and social events during the week (barely--I probably won't eat food prepared in a strange kitchen or where I notice a lack of handwashing). You could not pay me to get on an airplane or visit a nursing home this time of year. Lately all I want to do is burrow into my apartment with herbal tea and bleach wipes, but life demands that I go to parties, spend time in public, etc. [more inside]
posted by magdalemon on Jan 14, 2014 - 39 answers

How do I help my brother get over his unemployment slump?

My little brother graduated with a degree in marketing last spring, and has since been living at my parents' house doing...absolutely nothing. He is interested in applying to jobs, and understands the steps involved, but seems to have no motivation to start that process. How can I help him? [more inside]
posted by mellophone on Jan 12, 2014 - 19 answers

Focus on the present

I don't like the amount of time that I spend thinking about my significant other when we're not together. How can I curb my enthusiasm? [more inside]
posted by sockermom on Jan 12, 2014 - 11 answers

Help me get over being dumped by a close friend.

A good friend of mine has gone several months not speaking to me with no explanation, I finally reached out asking what was wrong and she replied with a passive-aggressive email ending our friendship. [more inside]
posted by shotinthedark on Jan 11, 2014 - 29 answers

How do I stop my mind from ruminating in the middle of the night?

I keep waking up in the middle of night, thinking about things I have no control over. One area I gravitate to more than most is decisions my parents in their lifetimes that have been harmful to me. Sometimes I think about work related issues. How can I resolve this? [more inside]
posted by helios410 on Jan 10, 2014 - 16 answers

how can i be less dependent on my SO for happiness?

i find myself investing too much of my time in analyzing relatively minor problems in my long-term relationship, and wish that i could redirect those energies into other interests. [more inside]
posted by humiliated_grape on Jan 8, 2014 - 11 answers

Help me rejoin society?

I have been unemployed for a long period of time and it's really worn me down. I have an interview coming up, but I feel like I'm going to let my anxiety get the better of me and let this opportunity fall through if I don't get some kind of help. Any advice? [more inside]
posted by cosmicbeast on Jan 6, 2014 - 17 answers

Ah, the joys of beanplating

I'm doing a research project that involves collecting a large number of patient samples. Objectively, I'm doing fine so far, but I'm finding the process very stressful, especially the part where I have to talk to their clinicians. Is there a way I can streamline it to make it less anxiety-inducing for me? Please advise, as I'm a little embarrassed to ask my supervisor. [more inside]
posted by cucumber patch on Jan 6, 2014 - 8 answers

How to interview someone on camera? (Not for a job.)

Part of my job as a writer should be interviewing interesting people—tech types, fashion designers, musicians, etc. Except I get absolutely panicky when I do it. I have to fly overseas to interview three high-level dudes on camera this Thursday, and I'm already stage-frightey. I hate it. Google search terms, resources, tips, anecdotes, words of encouragement, hugs? [more inside]
posted by ulfberht on Jan 3, 2014 - 9 answers

Declaring a mental disability on a job application in healthcare

Should I declare a mental illness on a job application within the NHS (UK) or not? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 31, 2013 - 12 answers

How do I write a will and help my mentally ill son become independent?

I am a woman in my early sixties and have a son with pervasive developmental disorder (Aspergers and bipolar) in his early thirties who lives with me. Although I am currently in good health, I am aware that there is an urgency to write a will which I have been putting off due to anxiety about the situation. I am unsure of how to go about doing this. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 29, 2013 - 17 answers

Procrastineation

How to stop stress/procrastination/self-punishing/comfort binge eating? [more inside]
posted by dinosaurprincess on Dec 28, 2013 - 5 answers

Help me find hope that things will get better

Things just keep getting worse and I don't know what to do. Please see extended explanation. [more inside]
posted by kbbbo on Dec 28, 2013 - 14 answers

Blindness translation to and from dreams?

I am a quite vivid dreamer, but one of my reoccurring themed dreams is me going along, usually in a vehicle which I may or may not control, and going blind temporarily while travelling in that vehicle. I'm used to them, but does going blind during vivid or lucid dreaming at all related to blindness caused by TIAs? [more inside]
posted by tilde on Dec 26, 2013 - 16 answers

I need help with my son's iep

At the parent-teacher conference Dec 5th the teacher told me my autistic/ADHD/OCD/GAD child is so aggressive the staff fears their safety and want to use restrainsts, and they want to bring it up in the next iep. This is the first I've heard of any aggression. [more inside]
posted by FunkyHelix on Dec 26, 2013 - 14 answers

How To Talk About Sex

Occasionally, I bring up the subject of sex with my partner, and I always get nowhere. Sex has never been something that we've really talked about. We had those first few conversations when we met several years ago: disclosures of risks, general preferences, expectations for monogamy, etc. and from there we just let it develop naturally. We need to talk about it because our sex life isn't meeting my needs, and I've asked to talk about it, but I still don't know how to talk about it, and I'm afraid this is just going to become another in a string of failed attempts to talk about sex. [more inside]
posted by this *is* my happy face on Dec 19, 2013 - 28 answers

Healing your inner child after childhood neglect. What helped you?

I have long-running case of depression and generalized anxiety disorder, with plenty of childhood triggers. I do see a therapist but due to the holiday schedule, I won't be seeing my therapist for a few weeks. I want to do some work by myself, because crying to sleep nearly every night is getting exhausting. I want my subconsciousness to chill out and be less triggered. I want tips, stories, and resources. Difficulty: I live with my parents, and I get triggered by them. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 17, 2013 - 15 answers

Managing fear of sex noises/PDA

How can I manage my fear of PDA and sex noises? [more inside]
posted by bluekazoo on Dec 16, 2013 - 14 answers

The Peace Corps and Anxiety Disorders - mutually exclusive?

Does having a diagnosed anxiety disorder that requires, but is well managed by, medication, generally disqualify you from consideration for a Peace Corps post? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 16, 2013 - 9 answers

Suggestions on how to forget forgetting?

I have a tendency to automatically dissociate from/"forget" things that are stressful or anxiety-provoking. How can I better focus on these scary things so that I can better address and resolve them? [more inside]
posted by rhooke on Dec 13, 2013 - 11 answers

My son is struggling with depression/unemployment. How to help?

My son, a late-20s college graduate, got fired from a job out-of-country and was forced to come home; he has been staying at my place (I am a single parent). I was happy to have him home and figured he would stay for a month or so then be out on his own again, but it has been 3 months with few signs of him actively job hunting. He has confided in me that he is unsure of what to do with his life, and is feeling overwhelmed and depressed. I would appreciate suggestions on how to keep him motivated on finding a job, and also ideas on how he can go about deciding on a career path. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 12, 2013 - 42 answers

Finally meeting in real life; the disappointment will be palpable

There are several people I've been chatting to online for various periods of time, who I'm likely to meet on my next journey around the USA. In the case of a few, they are asking to meet up. Nothing romantic and more than friendship with any, though the level of friendship differs; in some cases it's quite strong or complex. Problem is, the prospect of finally meeting IRL repeatedly terrifies me to the point of making me feel ill. Is this kind of feeling normal or common, or not? How can I subdue it and not make myself hide, literally? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 11, 2013 - 23 answers

When do I move on to the next stage to eliminate the panic?

I've been on 20mg of citalopram (Celexa) for about 10 days and I actually feel worse. At what point should I start CBT OR at what point should I complain to my GP? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 10, 2013 - 13 answers

How to get past overwhelming feelings of guilt and anxiety?

As long as I can remember, I have experienced extreme guilt, embarrassment, and anxiety about simply relaxing and living life for myself. I have an anxiety disorder, so these feelings are to be expected somewhat, but they’re incredibly uncomfortable and affect my daily life. Snowstorm inside. [more inside]
posted by sarahgrace on Dec 8, 2013 - 21 answers

Feeling impatient with my impatience.

I am impatient. Not with standing in line or waiting for my name to be called (I actually don't mind that), but with life. I cannot sustain a practice of "living in the moment". If you know how to be patient and wait through the unknown for your life to unfold, please mentor me through this! I'm desperately tired of being this way. [more inside]
posted by MultiFaceted on Dec 7, 2013 - 12 answers

ADD + unemployed: help me develop coping habits without medication.

I am pushing 30, and find myself unemployed for the first time in my life. I am staying at my parents' house for the time being until I sort things out, which has been a godsend. I have ADD/anxiety, and believe that deeply ingrained bad habits sprouting from these two conditions have been hijacking my life, with my unemployment being just a recent example. Has anyone been in a similar boat? How have you been able to replace your bad habits with better ones? I cannot let my life collapse to this point again. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 5, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me navigate my anxiety over life changes good and bad

Hello, folks. My overthinking tendencies are working overtime as I try to navigate the next few months of my life (job/apartment change, travel?) amidst the fallout of the last few months of my life (end of long term relationship). I can't tell if I'm biting off more than I can chew or if I'm just standing in my own way. [more inside]
posted by fingers_of_fire on Dec 5, 2013 - 7 answers

New relationship anxiety - age gap

I'm feeling a little queasy about the sexual preferences of my new boyfriend. I'm in my early 20's, he is almost 40, and I look a little younger than I am. I'm just worried he likes really young girls, just doesn't want to admit it to me. I love him, but I wouldn't be comfortable getting older with someone whose sexuality seems focused on youth. Although, he says he is most attracted to women in their late 20's and early 30's, cares more about monogamy and love than physical beauty, etc. - so that's good. I still have concerns... Besides seeming to have a particular interest in 'teen' porn where the girls look underage, I saw a VLC media file with the title indicating underage teen porn. It was under the 'recent' files in windows, but when clicked on the file no longer exists. He says he wouldn't seek that out, isn't sure where it came from, that he just downloads zip files of porn in bulk. I understand men are going to be attracted to younger women and even teen girls, but I'd rather be with someone who didn't seek it out to that extent. Makes me wonder how much attraction they'd lose for me when I become 'old.' Thoughts?
posted by bluelights on Dec 4, 2013 - 92 answers

NYC for the socially anxious

I have moderate-to-severe social anxiety which I'm trying to overcome on my own by exposure therapy. My big goal for this year was to take the train into Manhattan alone. I need your suggestions on what to do once I get there (and any tips about the places I already know I want to visit). [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 2, 2013 - 16 answers

Sh!t or get off the pot - Pooping in the presence of others

I, female age 35, cannot poop when others are in the house or when other people are in a public bathroom. (And I loathe even going in a public bathroom.) This means that when there are houseguests, I end up constipated. I have recently been in travel situations with one other person and I end up spending the whole trip constipated. It is even worse with a newer dating partner. What can I do to relax and poop? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 1, 2013 - 30 answers

How to be more assertive in turning down social events?

Asking for my son, who has confided in me. I am unsure of the best way to proceed, so I am turning to the hivemind. My son needs help in assertively turning down social events that he would not like to attend. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 1, 2013 - 23 answers

Help me learn to daydream again

As a kid I loved to make up stories and fantasies. Now, 22 years old and almost out of college, I realized that I can't do this anymore, can't let my mind go where it will. How can I learn to? [more inside]
posted by gold-in-green on Nov 29, 2013 - 11 answers

OTC anti-anxiety remedies?

Are there any studies or medical evidence to support the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies for anxiety, such as Hyland's Calms, Hyland's Nerve Tonic, or Rescue Remedy? [more inside]
posted by bluecore on Nov 27, 2013 - 18 answers

Motivation to exercise when there are no goals, or they are vague?

I have read in numerous places that exercise can sometimes help with mood and concentration. My only exercise goal is to help alleviate these possible issues, but I couldn't keep any motivation and stopped after only a few weeks. Specific considerations: [more inside]
posted by polywomp on Nov 26, 2013 - 38 answers

Work and depression

I had a nervous breakdown at work two weeks ago. At the insistence of my doctor, I took medical leave and am now in a partial hospitalization program being treated for depression and anxiety. [more inside]
posted by prunes on Nov 21, 2013 - 7 answers

LDR Distress: did I lose the love of my life?

I have been in a (very) long distance relationship that I think might be over. I need closure but I am not sure if I can get it. I am always worried something very bad happened to keep this person from contacting me. I have no idea what to do. Loooong story. [more inside]
posted by his median eminence on Nov 20, 2013 - 24 answers

I need to share this space somehow...

I like my housemates but hate sharing the kitchen with them. This is not good for housemate relationships. I can't move out. What can I do to mitigate things in the mean time? [more inside]
posted by ActionPopulated on Nov 16, 2013 - 14 answers

How to not get a panic attack during road test

I failed my road test 3 times. My driving instructors said I'm ready and I have years of experience but the day of the test I choke and freak out. [more inside]
posted by lifeonholidae on Nov 15, 2013 - 14 answers

Scatterbrained sadness. How to feel better about myself?

I've been having a hard time for the past few months. With what? Just being me! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 15, 2013 - 8 answers

Please Help Me Overcome My Programming Anxiety

I am paralyzed trying to work on code. Not sure how to proceed. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 14, 2013 - 17 answers

Please help me snap myself out of this

I am depressed/anxious and self-sabotaging by doing little to no work at my job. My boss has not yet said anything to me about my un-/non-productivity, but I have to think she'll cotton on sooner or later. Help me figure out a) how to start working again and b) whether I should say anything to my boss. Predictably, there is more inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 13, 2013 - 9 answers

How to stop the weight gain?

Stressed out and at my heaviest, how can I gradually start to lose weight? [more inside]
posted by elisse on Nov 12, 2013 - 28 answers

How to deal with terror surrounding dentists.

I'm terrified of going to the dentist. I need significant amounts of dental work. I am having difficulty with my dental providers insurance and have the option to switch insurance providers, but have no idea how to navigate this emotionally, or financially. [more inside]
posted by furnace.heart on Nov 11, 2013 - 14 answers

CBT or RET/REBT Worksheets or Own Methods that Work for You

I have struggled with intense anxiety and depression for many years. My counselor who still uses RET (REBT) is helpful. I have read Feeling Good (CBT) along with other books of RET author Albert Ellis...but I have difficulty finding a way that makes sense in disputing my thoughts that I stick with. I am willing to put the time in but I am curious is anyone here is willing to share their own style of doing CBT or RET homework that works for them. I'm not asking for shortcuts but unique ways you may have tweaked either layout or jotting down things. I am open to whatever you might suggest. (For what it is worth, I find Albert Ellis' writing rather strange but understand the philosophy of REBT and CBT.)
posted by snap_dragon on Nov 8, 2013 - 12 answers

I'm underweight. How do I stimulate my appetite?

I'm depressed and anxious and dropping weight like crazy (my highest weight ever is 108, I'm probably 90-95 now). How can I eat more when I don't feel like eating? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 8, 2013 - 31 answers

Help me hold it together for the next 3 weeks

I have a history of anxiety, but two years ago began feeling well enough that I stopped all medication and treatment, and did fine until the past couple of weeks, when I experienced a trigger (dental pain). The teeth and the pain are getting taken care of--but the anxiety just continues to balloon out of control. I can't eat, I can't sleep, I am just a thrumming, chain-smoking ball of nerves. I missed work for the first time over this today, and know I need help. So I am seeking it: I have scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist--my previous one moved away--but his first available is in 3 weeks. (His office advised me to go to the ER if I needed help before the appointment.) So now I just have to hold it together between now and then so I don't completely lose my mind or miss enough work to threaten my job. Oh, HiveMind, please help me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 4, 2013 - 7 answers

How to manage an LDR when there's no end to the distance in sight?

I have just moved to a new city for my dream job and I can’t stop crying. Long distance relationship woes inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 4, 2013 - 7 answers

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