is my anxiety making me ill?

Ever since I was 8 I've had anxiety. I know its worse now then it was back then. But here's the problem: I feel lonely and sad to the point where I need to do something that makes me happy. I know people tell me to get more hobbies but I can't do my hobbies because of school. When I do get to I like it, but it's just not the kind of fun I want to have. I don't get to hangout with my friends much and I have no way of contacting them outside of school. I have imaginary friends in order to cope with it. I sometimes can't do my homework because of the feelings of sadness and loneliness. I just don't know what to do to make this better. I know the school work doesn't need to be minimized (I can do it). I think my anxiety makes me feel sick at times.

Hi. I'm sorry about the anxiety. Yes anxiety can be crippling. It can also have a spiraling effect, where the anxiety prevents one from doing what would normally help allieviate their anxiety, making them more anxious.

Identifying the underlying cause of anxiety may help. That's not always easy though.

There are anti-anxiety medications. My experience taking them is they're nice when I need them, they help some, but they're not a cure.

Feeling lonely is a clue. And I'm surprised you have no way of contacting friends outside of school? What happened to all the high technology stuff we have nowadays like cell phones and internet?

I discovered I'm not very good at socializing, like there are socializing skills that most people just somehow magically pick up and learn, so they're not taught in school, and I somehow missed out on magically learning that stuff, so I've had to learn it by studying how to make "small talk". (I'm reading a book right now, The Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond by Dr. Jed Baker. I seem to be a visual learner so I like the pictures. This book is rather basic, but it's nice to review anyway. I've read a lot of other similar books, and I've actually had some people train me too, which has helped.)

I also discovered I don't see "information" in other people's eyes, the way other people do. Other people apparently can look at other people's eyes (and eyebrows, I'm starting to think it's more in the eyebrows, but people always say it's the eyes) and they just instantly intuitively feel what the other person is feeling, like mind reading. I get major facial expressions, it's the smaller microexpressions I don't follow. I tend to look at people's mouths because that's where the words come from, whereas others look at the eyes because that's where,... something else comes from, that's apparently a lot of information I've been missing out on.

So missing out on all that information, that could make anyone a bit anxious, and socially awkward, as other people don't realize how blind I am (and neither did I until recently).

Balancing my life was important too. I once decided I had one too many classes, and I just had to sacrifice one to save the rest and my sanity. So I chose a class and said I wasn't going to do any work in it. I would just get an F in that class and focus all my time on the remaining classes, and keeping my life balanced. To my surprise the teacher and administration discovered I was deadly serious about not doing any work in this one class, and they decided to just take me out of that class and have me go to the school library instead for that period.

More recently I've learned how to do Mindfulness Meditation, and I've found that helps me a lot. I've also read people who do it long term it actually changes their brain in positive ways, like it makes the hippocampus larger, which helps alleviate depression and anxiety, so the anxiety actually can be cured. There are cell phone apps that can help. "Headspace" is one a couple friends have mentioned they like. It gives some guided meditations. There are also meditation groups in town I go to, which helps me so I feel not alone so much. Buddhist places often offer meditation classes too. Originally I learned from an Adult Ed class taught at the city college. They're nice because I get to be with people, but I don't have to worry about socializing with them like I do at a party (which I was never comfortable at partys because of that).

So I've got meds, balance, meditation, regular groups of any type, such as exercise groups, meditation groups, church, church groups, church activities, (doesn't have to be a Christian Church if you're not into that. There are other non-christian churches. Unitarian, Unity, Science of Mind (I think they changed their name though), Buddhist meditation groups. There are some nice Christian churches too. Just have to shop around a little.)

Maybe a study group, so you can do your homework but not be alone. Maybe a coffee shop. I've tried that a few times. Do my homework at a coffee shop.

Oh and one nice thing about Meditation is it can be a direct route to happiness. It can decrease anxiety, anger, lots of positive physical benefits I've discovered.

Best wishes! I like the pony drawing!

I agree with del677 about meditation, although I've not personally found it helpful. A lot of doctors recommend the "Calm" app and a co-worker told me about "Head Space" (there are 10 free guided meditiations but the subscription is pricey).Head Space even says it is just as helpful as an antidepressant, so it's definitely worth a try!

As for your original question, anxiety can definitely make you feel sick or depressed. There are loads of stomach issues and immune issues that constant anxiety can cause and I learned about this feeling people have when they're depressed that makes them lose interest in things they used to enjoy. I forgot the word for it but it sounds like you're experiencing some of that. It can be hard to get out of, but maybe you can start by doing things you know you enjoy, even if you don't feel like doing it or it doesn't make you as happy as it used to. Eventually I think this should help. I would recommend a psychiatrist if you're able to get one, or a therapist just to find out more about how you're feeling and how to get help. The mind is a powerful thing, so don't worry - anything you feel can be sorted out. :)


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