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I feel guilty for getting better

Hello everyone,

 

So I have/had a pretty severe anxiety disorder that reached its peak just over a year ago, essentially I constantly felt like I was dying and there was nothing I could do about it and I was going to drop dead any second, on top of this I had all the classic health anxiety and generalised anxiety symptoms, plus a few OCD like behaviours. 

 

I went to GP and tried medications until I found one that worked and went to therapy, about a month ago I stopped my meds due to gaining a lot of weight on the pills which made me suicidal and brought out some other mental health issues that were overshadowed by the anxiety but related to it. On the meds I was much better, my anxiety was still higher than 'normal' but I can cope with it 90% of the time I'm fine. Since I have stopped the meds I feel the same as I did on then pretty ok. I feel guilty that I feel ok, I expected it to go back to me calling the ambulance every day convinced I was having a stroke but it hasn't yet. I'm anxious about the fact I'm not anxious, I feel like I should be anxious, I feel like I should be 'sicker'. I feel like I'm meant to be anxious, I have been anxious my whole life. I don't know why I'm not as bad anymore, now that I stopped meds I should go back to how I was because I didn't find therapy helpful so I don't see how that changed anything, my therapist thinks maybe its because I have changed my circumstances in my life that could have been causing me stress but I don't feel like much has changed. I'm also in uni I study 6-8 hours a day on top of uni I would do anything to get a perfect grade so I think im definitely under more pressure than I was so I don't understand why I'm not losing my mind.

 

 I know I should be happy i'm less anxious and I am but I feel like its wrong almost like I'm meant to be anxious. I am definitely not mentally healthy I have other issues but my anxiety was the biggest issue and now I'm not anxious I almost feel like I failed at being sick or I somehow wasn't actually ever sick it makes no sense. 

 

Re: I feel guilty for getting better

Heya @Charlie-29-1999 Smiley Happy

I feel like this is something a lot of users can relate to, but may not admit it. It's so easy for mental health issues to become a part of our identity, particularly when they're chronic in nature. Then when the symptoms get better we're forced to wonder who we really are...

One thing that helps me is to think of my issues the same way I'd think of a physical health issue. Just because someone's asthma is being managed and they're not having any symptoms, doesn't mean they were never truly having trouble breathing, for example. The other aspect to it is that we are so much MORE than our diagnoses - you probably wouldn't define yourself by having asthma, so it's not helpful to define ourselves by our anxiety. Symptoms come and go, and that's okay. It doesn't mean we've failed at being sick or at being healthy.

I also just wanted to say that it's so great to hear that you're doing well now Smiley Happy I know things were pretty tough for a while and it's awesome that medication has helped, despite the side effects (I just edited out the specific mention of weight - no biggie)
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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish