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Anxiety Message Board

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For a long time I've attempted to place a label on some of the symptoms of anxiety I've experienced, only to find it somewhat difficult. Many of my symptoms seem to shadow or have commonalities with some of the disorders to a limited extent, but nothing appears definite.

I think there is a generically *obsessive* or recurrent quality to these disorders, be it panic, OCD, social, or GAD. I also believe that from a philosophical point of view, these conditions are the greatest manifestations of our fear of a lack of control over our environments to some extent.

I guess I'm wondering how I might diagnose myself. I definitely experience anxiety from time to time, and it's usually in a predictable pattern. I usually find it occurs when I'm under greater stress, and it seems almost a conditioned fearful response to the physical symptoms of anxiety itself. I realize that this is occurring because of some recurring thought pattern or fear of "being out of control" and the dizziness, disorientation, and panicky feelings that can come from anxiety -- but typically, there isn't one particular thought associated with it. I don't experience compulsions or long term obsessions, social anxieties, or concerns about my physical health, but I think I at times overly obsess on my mental health or the impact anxiety can have on all facets of my life.

The recurrent thoughts that seem to accompany these occasional bouts of anxiety seem to be, "what if I can't get myself to relax?" or "these sensations (dizziness, etc.) feel out of my control." I have had panic attacks a few times in my life, but never a recurring fear of them per se (although I do think some of these fearful thoughts are the result of that sense of panic and being out of control experienced in the past).

Basically, I go from a pretty calm individual to gradually slipping into a highly analytical mode where I feel desperate to end feelings of anxiety -- all the while realizing that my fear of this anxiety may just be a bad habit and is possibly perpetuating the problem. I also feel angry at myself for not having control over these things, having negative thoughts and a sense of urgency or doom. These experiences have been coming and going more frequently in the last year or so.

Any input on any of these topics? Possible diagnosis?
I've been seeking some counseling for it, which is helping a bit -- any other input would be much appreciated.


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