I Manage My Schizophrenia Easier Using This Tip for Anxiety
I told my therapist that my primary goal was to learn to handle my anxiety so I could turn my focus to managing my symptoms of schizophrenia. In our second session, my therapist put forth a brilliant strategy worth the cost of this add-on to my psychiatric treatment. She said that when I first start to feel anxious, I should start using all the techniques I have learned to deal with anxiety attacks. By managing my anxiety, I can better manage my schizophrenia.
Managing My Schizophrenia and Anxiety During the Most Stressful Weeks I Can Remember
This strategy aims to address my anxiety when it is low, say a one to five (on a scale), instead of when it has already reached a 10.
Over the past three weeks, I have had some of the most stressful days I can remember in my adult life. My husband (my biggest support) was visiting his parents overseas when my parents and my husband's aunt suffered life-threatening health emergencies. Although my husband had arranged for a friend to stay with me and provide support in his absence, I was terrified that I would lose a loved one while he was so far from home and couldn't arrange to be back without it taking several days.
Each morning of the 16 days my husband was gone, I woke up with tension in my right arm and chest (they lock up from stress) and an uncomfortable feeling in my body (unable to sit still or relax). After breakfast, I would start using techniques I usually saved for anxiety attacks. I would close my eyes and try to mediate, even if only for a moment. I would listen to bird songs on my Echo. I would do deep breathing and play some of the songs I get the most comfort from. I would call my husband, brother, or the woman staying with me, and we would take turns saying what we were thankful for (I read you can't be grateful and anxious or fearful simultaneously). I would also write in my journal. This helped manage my anxiety and schizophrenia.
No Full-Blown Anxiety Attacks Helped Me Manage My Schizophrenia
I would do these things for the first couple of hours after I woke up, and most days, the anxiety would remain low and eventually subside before becoming a full-blown attack. This strategy worked every day except for two. One day, my anxiety got to about an eight, and the other was when my husband flew home. Like many others, I can't distinguish between excitement and anxiety -- my body reads them similarly. So, the technique worked almost always, even during some of the highest-stress days I can recall having.
I know this way of handling anxiety may seem obvious to many people, but it is new to me, and I'm hoping it may help someone avoid a full-blown anxiety attack. It's helping me so much. If I can keep anxiety to a minimum, I can turn my focus to managing my symptoms of schizophrenia. The chance it could help even one person made sharing it here worthwhile.
I talk about catching anxiety early in the video below.
Chamaa, R. (2023, August 23). I Manage My Schizophrenia Easier Using This Tip for Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2023/8/i-manage-my-schizophrenia-easier-using-this-tip-for-anxiety