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    Introspection and Illness Anxiety Disorder

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    Paeter
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    Introspection and Illness Anxiety Disorder

    Post  Paeter on September 21st 2016, 9:11 am

    I tend to be pretty introspective, detouring at length as I think about my various thoughts and why I have them. Now and then as I do that I'll wonder "is this normal or do I have something"? It's not to the point of hypochondria, I don't think, as that seems to involve fear or anxiety. But for example, I can tend to worry about things that are very unlikely to happen, and entertain thoughts vividly that I need to force myself to shut off so that I don't become truly anxious about them. There seems to be a pattern of some low level anxiety in my family, so I can't help but wonder, is this a "thing"? Of course as medical science advances we seem to just keep coming up with new conditions to label things that were once just considered not uncommon parts of the human condition.

    Anyone else introspective to the point of potential self-diagnosis?


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    mikel.withers

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    Re: Introspection and Illness Anxiety Disorder

    Post  mikel.withers on September 22nd 2016, 8:46 am

    Emotionally, spiritually, or physically...or all of the above?
    I have anxiety disorder with bouts of panic attacks, so I guess I'd have to answer in the affirmative.
    I am highly introspective* to the point of paralysis at times. Not physical paralysis, but decision paralysis. Maybe opinion paralysis would be a better wording. I second guess all of my reactions to things and then third guess my second guesses, and examine those third guesses for potential biases.
    Take Colin Kaepernick sitting/kneeling during the national anthem... I feel almost like i have multiple personality disorder trying to figure out if I applaud him, boo him, or am really neutral.
    "On the one hand, yes but, however, and then there's..."
    I've been told I'm a PC Liberal and a white privileged racist on the same topic at the same time on different forum threads. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Anyway, this goes on with physically, where I have a tightness in my shoulders. Well, I sleep poorly and it makes my shoulders kind of seize up, but pain in the shoulders...or is that actually my chest and I'm just mistaken about it being my shoulders? and if it is chest, then should I worry about my heart? I don't eat terribly healthy, or exercise so my heart could be an issue, but every time I go to the doctor's she says it is good, but I sat in front of my computer for eight hours Saturday, maybe it is a blood clot that worked its way through to something important... do blood clots affect the heart, or is it lungs, or the brain... I don't remember, anyway it is probably just sleeping poorly...but do I want to be the guy who ignores the signs of a heart attack because he convinced himself it was nothing? ... ad infinitum (or so it seems)
    I take medication for anxiety or else the above scenario could very well evolve into me curled up in a fetal position whimpering and not daring to move lest my heart explode. (no joke, it has happened for days at a time)
    Spiritually it doesn't get much better and here is where the asterisk* from above comes in. Is being highly introspective a form of self-centeredness....perhaps pride? I wont put you through another scenario, but replace the physical stuff in the above one with spiritual stuff, and you'll have a pretty good idea of how that plays out.

    I think the worst part about it all is that it quite literally puts me in two minds. On the one hand I have the primal, emotional, fearful, me-overexcited and prone to acting out, set against the thoughtful, philosophical, calm me. When I was curled up in a fetal ball fearing for my life, I also had a quite reasonable talk with God. I wasn't really afraid of dying...indeed that seemed like a relaxing out... but my body was reacting in ways my conscious mind had no control over. So, I was afraid, but I wasn't afraid. Hmmm, that isn't logical, perhaps: I was terrified, but I wasn't afraid.

    Anyway, I forget where I was going with all of this...
    I guess what I'd say, as someone who has done a bit of a study on the phenomena, is that it is pretty normal for people with high intelligence to also be saddled with anxiety. The two seem to go hand in hand.
    If it gets to the point where your life is getting hampered by it, then seek help. For me, that help was only gotten through chemical/medical means, but others get good results from counseling and psychology.
    Don't be hesitant to get what help you need, as these things also tend to snowball.

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    Re: Introspection and Illness Anxiety Disorder

    Post  Paeter on September 22nd 2016, 9:12 am

    mikel.withers wrote:
    Spiritually it doesn't get much better and here is where the asterisk* from above comes in. Is being highly introspective a form of self-centeredness....perhaps pride?



    If it gets to the point where your life is getting hampered by it, then seek help. For me, that help was only gotten through chemical/medical means, but others get good results from counseling and psychology.
    Don't be hesitant to get what help you need, as these things also tend to snowball.

    My anxiety has actually decreased over the years. I'm not sure if I'd call them panic attacks, but I used to get regularly, seriously freaked out as I entertained certain thoughts when I was younger. Even so, there seems to be something mild running through my family, so your advice is well taken. Good to keep an eye on.

    Regarding that first point of yours I quoted, I think it's one more thing we can chalk up to being corrupted by sin. I think introspection is a great tool, when done guided by the Holy Spirit through the truths revealed in scripture. I often keep God out of those times and that's when I can wander into realms that get me stewing negatively or just wasting time. But when I bring him with me I see parts of myself I couldn't before, which usually leads to remorse, repentance and restored life.

    Just reading through the Psalms there seems to be a ton of indicators that meditation and inviting God to examine us are valuable, important parts of the believer's experience. And even just being introspective while keeping Philippians 4:4-9 in mind is a great practice.

    (ESV) "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."


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    Re: Introspection and Illness Anxiety Disorder

    Post  mikel.withers on September 22nd 2016, 10:42 am

    I go by a spectrum, or rating system for my anxiety/panic.
    Every day stuff is probably a 2 or 3, a joyful moment a 1, and a 0 would be something akin to ecstasy - divine or just being completely in the moment. 4, 5, and 6 would be progressions of stress, 7 is elevated, an 8 is low-level panic attack, 9 is severe, and a 10 is no rational thought. 10 and 0 are flip sides of the coin, where rational thought are absent in both cases, but with radically different results.
    But that is me- my panic attack might be different than anyone else'. My tolerance or resistance or familiarity with panic attacks might mean I don't see them until 8, whereas someone less familiar is getting them at 5 or 6.
    I bounce between "wimps don't know what a real panic attack is" and "isn't what I consider to be a mild panic attack bad enough?"

    Being corrupted by sin definitely plays into it all. The heart-condition (soul) of a person can make the difference between something being good and that same thing being evil. ...or just tainted.

    Take your Scripture from the bottom, for instance. I've heard "Christians shouldn't have anxiety, the Bible tells you not to feel that." and also "When your chemicals get imbalanced and your fight or flight response goes hay-wire, remember that God will give you peace."

    One more thing, you mention leaving God out of your self-reflection or bringing Him in. One of the things I've found to be helpful for my personal growth, is to bring Him in. Reflecting on my self *in relation to God* is, hmmm, let's call it an area of growth. It is much easier to wallow in my own ills and needs and wants, but dwelling on Him, what He's done for me, and what He's doing for me... well, it doesn't necessarily help with the tumult my body is going through, but my soul can be easier during the storm.
    Also... it makes me much more compassionate toward other people going through their own storms. (really, I am by nature a very unfeeling and uncaring person)

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    Re: Introspection and Illness Anxiety Disorder

    Post  Paeter on September 23rd 2016, 9:53 am

    mikel.withers wrote: One of the things I've found to be helpful for my personal growth, is to bring Him in. Reflecting on my self *in relation to God* is, hmmm, let's call it an area of growth. It is much easier to wallow in my own ills and needs and wants, but dwelling on Him, what He's done for me, and what He's doing for me... well, it doesn't necessarily help with the tumult my body is going through, but my soul can be easier during the storm.
    Also... it makes me much more compassionate toward other people going through their own storms. (really, I am by nature a very unfeeling and uncaring person)

    Dude, I've got to stop leaving my diary in non-secure locations. lol! Top to bottom this is me.


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