anxiety & covid-19

In the midst of the present set of circumstances – the widespread concerns tending toward panic related to covid-19 – I wanted to put this out there. I have been feeling more anxiety than usual and I know that others may be experiencing this too. It is not necessarily a fear of getting the disease. I am very healthy physically and am taking all the recommended precautions about hygiene and avoiding crowds, etc.

But I have picked up on the contagious anxiety that seems to permeate the atmosphere, probably exacerbated by obsessive media coverage and rampant speculation and political blaming and wrangling. When I try to pin down a reason, the best I can come up with is the vastly magnified uncertainty about the future.

While talking with a survivor friend yesterday, he mentioned that many of us survivors have high levels of empathic sensitivity. That may play into it too. Whatever the cause, the symptoms are the same as I remember from the period while I was enduring abuse: a general feeling of butterflies in the stomach, jiitteriness, increased hypervigilance, being on pins and needles - - - I am sure many can relate.

There is something called “Free Floating Anxiety” that I think may apply. Here is a link that explains more if you are not familiar with it:

Free Floating Anxiety DISCLAIMER: There is a commercial component to this site that I am NOT endorsing - but the info is good.

Anyway, I wanted to put this out there in case there are others who are feeling the same. Our history makes this situation harder for us to deal with, as the article states. And talking about it seems to help. Anyone else feeling this?

Lee
 
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Ceremony

Moderator
Staff member
feeling of butterflies in the stomach, jiitteriness, increased hypervigilance, being on pins and needles - - - I am sure many can relate.

Definitely Lee. Though in my case it's not so much anxiety any more, as near constant anger. I'm very angry at the drop the ball situation that's exacerbated the U.S. situation. We can and must depend on our governors to step up. I am sort of seeing some good in my state, but like the overall situation, it's a day late and a dollar short. If there were far less incompetence at the top, this may not be creating a deep anger in me.

I am deeply affected by what have been perceived threats, and my response for decades has been either instant rage, or a need to flee with great expense of energy. Either way, the anxiety I feel may be a response to how I calm down later, and sit with what happened. I may stew about my anger for a long time, rationalizing how it actually is a threat.

I am one of the empathic types, and I am also this way if I see others being threatened. I can be like a momma bear protecting her cubs. I'll be ready to act, but hold back being between the threat and the cubs. I have hurt my body over these decades, because cortisol has been an all to oft part of my bodies daily recovery.

I contracted whooping cough from someone, and I'm sure it was at work. No one in my house (3 of us) has been besides me. I have dealt with one older woman has coughed longer than I caught the virus. I'm angry that I have a very selfish coworker, who doesn't need the money, coming to work and coughing all over everything. I have used virus killing wipes for 7 weeks around every shared device. Keyboards, mouse, desktops, knobs, edges, and everything gets constantly cleaned. Phone and radio especially. I'm very irritated that I got whooping cough and lost over 2 weeks of paychecks. It's an outrage that I, who barely make do paycheck to paycheck must now endure further risk because any response to Coronavirus is after it's contracted, or suspected to be. We've nothing proactive, like a large part of the rest of the world. Other nations are testing anyone for free at driveup stations. This is happening out West U.S., I think Washington for sure, and parts of Calif., and maybe I heard N.Y. too? It's all state initiated, but should have been from what we had prior to it being shut down by the guy at the top. We had a Pandemic Response Team, and it was their role to coordinate kits, labs, healthcare, and most importantly masks and ventilators that are a must have with Coronavirus. Our healthcare system is running out of masks and gloves, and nobody knows if we've anywhere near the short-term need for ventilators?

That is the kind of threat that I'm talking about. Someone who is incompetent does all the wrong things, and it creates a situation where I am very likely to suffer severe consequences. It's a very real threat in my working in public situation. I can't afford the lost paychecks, and my wife is behaving very, very badly about my work risk and consequences she berates me with should I contract this disease.

So, there are very real, very valid situational consequences that I wonder whether they're considered by anybody. I wonder if only those tuned to empathy and reason about the situation which includes the logic of investigating all that's possible to read up on. I've scoured the CDC, FDA and other infectious disease sites in my state to be informed. I know what the risks are, and what's possible. I know what response to this would have mitigated a more level graphing of confirmed cases, rather than the giant upward spike we're currently experiencing. I despise that spike, I am angry, not panicked, not afraid, and not anxious. I know the anger isn't good for me in any case, and it's going to cause the same tensions as anxiety.

I'm always digging into being very well informed, and some few customers at my job will come up to me and talk very close. I immediately create distance, and if they persist, I will be walking quite a distance from our starting point. They've no right to impinge on my efforts to mitigate the circumstance that my job thrust me into regarding this disease. I've had some who jut out their hand to shake mine. I shook one, and from now on I don't.

I know this is tldr material, and it's a way for me to get it out. I need to soothe my anger, near rage.
 
Cermony -
I am truly sorry about all that you are going through - both with the whooping cough and the virus situation. I get it. I am glad you are doing what you can to keep yourself safe. I wish you all the best and hope you can find ways of calming yourself so that the extremes of emotions don't cause additional damage.
Lee
 

jacats

Registrant
I am self isolating with my son for 3 weeks. No being around anyone else, no school, no nothing. We walk the dog and stay inside or in the yard. No stores, no friends, no activities for him, no school, no work.
Its been 2 days and its getting rough for my sanity!
 
I’m isolating myself only when I don’t have to go anywhere or do something. Honestly I think some people are overreacting a tad too much mainly the ones stockpiling toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Washing your hands is just as effective and is much better for your skin. Hand sanitizers have alcohol which will dry out the skin and too much use isn’t good for the skin in the long run. Plus I won’t get bored with the internet, my iPad and video games.
 

Ceremony

Moderator
Staff member
Cermony -
I am truly sorry about all that you are going through - both with the whooping cough and the virus situation. I get it. I am glad you are doing what you can to keep yourself safe. I wish you all the best and hope you can find ways of calming yourself so that the extremes of emotions don't cause additional damage.
Lee
Thanks for your kind response. Like others sharing, there are more things to deal with as this develops. I'm concerned for many.
 

brother2none

Staff member
I'm catching a lot of $hit from my family for being the one to remind about washing hands, limiting contact with strangers and such.
 

Visitor

Registrant
I've been feeling a bit under the weather for a week and have been self-isolating... only going out for food supplies. I'm expecting I'll continue for at least another week, watching as this unfolds. Things change quickly and it seems we'll experience more challenges with time. What we're learning about the disease is that it is likely transmitted well before symptoms become evident which means it is much harder to stop than folks understand. We're all in the petri dish at the moment and it will take some time for us to learn the outcome of this experiment offered by nature. As an older person, I'm well aware that if resources are stretched I would likely be among those not given treatment... a sort of triage by the medical establishment that is now happening in Italy. I won't argue that the sky is falling, but it is pretty clear this virus will have its way with us and the outcome is unclear. Wash hands, maintain distance where/when possible, eat well, get some exercise and love the people with whom you share your life. I wish us all well.
 

brother2none

Staff member
For those wishing to read some statistical basis for why precautions are warranted to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, check out this story:
LINK to STORY
I add this in the interest of some balance and perspective, I think it makes a lot of sense. Interested in others' thoughts on it, as I am trying to get my family to read it also.
 

Ceremony

Moderator
Staff member
For those wishing to read some statistical basis for why precautions are warranted to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, check out this story:
LINK to STORY
I add this in the interest of some balance and perspective, I think it makes a lot of sense. Interested in others' thoughts on it, as I am trying to get my family to read it also.
Looks accurate to my research. Exponential cases us the likely scenario owing to the failure about kits.

Social distancing is the minimum people can do for others. If any sign of I'll was presents, self quarantine for 2 weeks is helpful if possible.
 
I think the best thing to do is to stay calm and not panic and do something nice and relaxing for yourself while isolating yourself from public. Watch movies that you enjoy, listen to music, and take a long hot bath. Make the most of your alone time.
 

Sherlock

Registrant
I really like your username, it made me chuckle lol.
I do agree with you, I think as survivors we do experience a high level of empathy. Sometimes it really is inconvenient because when I hear about someone else or something negative I feel so strongly about it it wears me down.
I've been trying to stay off social media and away from the news to avoid scaring myself more than I need to be lol. I had never heard the term "free floating anxiety" before so thanks for sharing.
I'm not really worried about the coronavirus yet but I am still staying cautious.
 
Anxiety is finally starting to hit. Trump stating "maybe August" when it will all be over... Thankfully work is not an issue (so far). We actually are being asked to work extra (paid) hours. but no church, no 12 step group. those things would keep my anxiety in check. Also was planning on a trip in June. I assume it will be postponed.

it is kinda all hitting at once. :(
 

Healing light

Registrant
It is long proven that good hygiene and social distancing prevents spread of anything contagious
( My youngest brother went threw open heart surgeries )

We have a family member very much on the front line , who can't isolate today it was decided we probably won't see them for a number of months

But we're planning for the end of this they are very hopeful there will be an end

Asthmatics that have a peat flow should monitor and log that
you could see a change in breathing quicker than waiting for symptoms of a change in breathing
Theres alot they can do for everyone even with underlying issues and they will for saving lives is what they do everyday
The hospitals are planning the staff are dedicated

and we can support them with high hygiene and social distancing

Social distancing poses different issues for different ppl
I'm happy to share the journey threw it with people that need that

Stay safe guys
Light is life
Peace
HL
 

Gistin

Registrant
I hear you all, and pray we all remain safe.
This is the one time in my life where being OCD about being clean comes into my favor.

I work in tourism though, and all my work is dried up though, many tours cancelled, no new work coming in sight, so I’m feeling that stress big time!!

I had to have my last T session over the phone, that did not go so well and this week has been full of emotions and flashbacks. I won’t do over the phone again, it did not work for me in a good way at all.
 
Every day I feel more sure that I will die from this. It is paralyzing me at a time when I MUST be strong for my wife & kids. I really don't know what to do. I am triggered 24/7 and find it difficult to accomplish anything.
 

StillAlive

Registrant
I’m full of anxiety and can no longer see my therapist because I’m locked in at home. My insurance won’t cover telehealth. This is awful.
 

Gistin

Registrant
Ok... Anchorage Alaska is going on full lockdown, I don’t know what this means for my T next week. It’s been three weeks since we’ve done any work and I have mounting shit coming through with flashbacks, memories, and terrible intrusive feelings. I have not really allowed the virus thing stress me out though...

This is just a pointless venting...

Why can’t I be as strong with myself, as I am helping people in crisis?
 
@Gistin go easy, don’t fall into a type of self-blaming, victim-blaming.
I’d venture to say that many, if not most, of us find ourselves in the same boat. Meaning: easy to have a handle on things when it’s someone else. Yet, when it’s us in the same spot, there’s no consolation possible, no excuse, etc.

venting isn’t pointless! ;)

It seems that the problem(s) we have about helping ourselves through a tough spot stem from thoughts, probably subconscious, of being a victim. It’s what makes male CSA particularly difficult. It’s the false idea of masculinity. Meaning: I’m a man. So that means that I’m tough, I don’t have problems, I fix problems, I’m not weak, emotion isn’t good, etc. It’s a paradox feeling because at the same we know we need help through something, but it’s daunting to obtain.

It’s just a thought. There’s several other aspects and possibilities too.

But CSA sucks. Recovery sucks too, but it’s worth the struggle. It’s hard, beyond hard. And that’s why we need help. It’s just too much to do alone.
 
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