Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Paralyzing anxiety must be treated

Q: I think I may have an undiagnosed case of anxiety. I often have panic attacks that seem to begin when some fears I have are triggered. My spouse says I have a tendency to rationalize my fears — which he believes are unreasonable — whenever I begin to spiral down a deep black hole of fear.

I'm not sure what to do. I've noticed that I become quite distressed when confronted with situations that I cannot control, and try to overcompensate by trying to control whatever I can. I barely even leave the house now.

Can you recommend some reading to help me deal with this? I can't afford therapy right now but I'm tired of being afraid of everything.

Stressed and Afraid

A: A start-right-now answer: If you can stream video at home, then you have access to instruction in yoga and meditation. These can bring immediate and proven stress-reduction benefits, to the extent it's almost shocking — you can feel muscles start to unclench.

The longer-term answer: You're in crisis so please pursue therapy anyway, by seeking a provider who will work on a no-fee or sliding-fee basis. Your regular doctor can diagnose and start treating you in the meantime.

Navigating all this is a tall order while you're feeling anxious, possibly even overwhelming, so ask your spouse to help you. I hope he also does some reading himself; dismissing your fears as "unreasonable" is not productive, even if he is technically correct that logic doesn't support them.

If willing, your spouse can help by adopting "reflective listening" techniques. Reflective listening is a way to validate someone, where calling fears unreasonable or rationalized only negates — plus, it encourages you to talk your way to what's really bothering you, and therefore to a calmer state of your mind's own making.

If your spouse is not willing to try this small adjustment to help you, then you might need to consider that a lack of support in your marriage is at least a small part of what ails you.

Comments
Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

13 Ugly Men Halloween PartyThese "ugly" men sure know how to party with three floors offering new tricks and treats, DJ dancing and a light show making the 10th annual Halloween party a "Party with a Purpose." Benefits Beat NB. 8 p.m. Oct. 26. Yborís...
Published: 09/19/18
Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Spare the gore and take the kids to these family-friendly Halloween parties planned at theme parks and attractions in the coming weeks.Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writerCreatures of the Night at ZooTampa The weekend nighttime Halloween party at...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Busy couple seeks ways to downsize for the future

Q: Over a decade, my salary has tripled (Iím quite well-paid now), my work hours and responsibilities have increased, and ó because Iím so frequently tired or short on time ó my "outsourcing" has increased, too. Think: frequent takeout, a dog-walker,...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Parents want bully brother to be his best man

Q: Iím getting married. Thatís awesome. However, my parents want me to ask my brother to be my best man. The idea of letting my brother, whoís spent his whole life being the biggest jerk he can manage, stand up and give a speech about me makes me wan...
Published: 09/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom is frustrated by teenís dislike of academics

Q: I have a 15-year-old son who is obviously bright but hates school. My husband and I canít helicopter him to success because (a) we donít want to be helicopter parents, and (b) he has developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempt...
Published: 09/14/18

Tell Me About It: In search of ways to stop the family over-talker

Q: During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation ...
Published: 09/13/18
Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens will open Florida’s tallest launch coaster in spring 2019, company officials announced Wednesday. The triple-launch, tiger-themed roller coaster called Tigris will hurl riders 150 feet into the sky, turn them upside down and swirl...
Published: 09/12/18

Tell Me About It:

Mom-to-be decides who will join her in deliveryQ: I am six months pregnant with my first child. Iíve been fixated a bit on who to have in the delivery room with me, I think because itís one of the few elements I can control in this pregnancy. Should ...
Published: 09/12/18
Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Kitten Lady and the owners of Cole & Marmalade will be at KittyCon.
Published: 09/11/18

Published: 09/11/18