Please help..tips on overcoming irrational anxiety


#1

Hello…

Lately my DH and I am finding the closer we get with God, the more we are under Satan’s radar for what he knows are our weak spots.

For example the girl that was abducted and taken and murdered rather violently…this would be my fear. I’m no where near that part of the country, but then all the correlations to perhaps other serial killers and their method of stalking or waiting or breaking into people’s homes to attack (not just finding victims on the street but that too) this is almost a paralyzing thought to me. That it could happen to anyone.

My DH does not travel for work, so he is there every night, but there was an opportunity that he and my son were going to travel on a mission to help out, however the plans ending up not working out due to my son’s school commitment and various financial obstactles (I told you, we’re under Satan’s radar big time!) but anyway, the thought of him being gone for 5 days…well I almost would have had my mom come out and stay with me! This is nuts!!!

However going back in time to various scriptures such as I think it’s macabees or Tobit where a mother and her sons are fried alive to prove their allegiance with God…I’d like to think that as a Christian I could walk that walk. Or as various saints had to martyr themselves and die horrible deaths. It’s almost to me that the kids in Columbine (that would not renounce God and therefore took a bullet) or women that are brutally attacked and murdered are somehow more “noble” to be able to handle that sort of death, but I know “rationally” that doesn’t make sense.

When we say the Our Father at mass and the line “keep us from our fears and anxieties” are we not supposed to believe in that? I mean I ALWAYS say “please protect me and my family” …“please keep us safe” …I always say that…walking to my car if I feel uneasy I say that…should I not trust in that? Do things just happen even if it’s one of your greatest fears? I do feel the closer I am getting to God that Satan will somehow use this weakness and test me with it…to see how far it can go and that really concerns me.

I can honestly say the tragedy that people suffered in 9-11 or going down in a plane crash and then hearing that the people aboard were some of the most devout and God driven people…I feel I could handle that…but my particular fear…no, I don’t feel I can handle that yet I feel like that is what can happen b/c of being under the radar.

We plan to discuss this with our priest as well…but I was really wanting some other folks perspective on this…is this a fear of yours…and if so how do you cope? Or how do you not think about these things?

One of the other things is currently at my job we are exposed to nonstop CNN or Fox or whatever and that doesn’t help, b/c on my time and weekends we never really watch the news, In fact there was a time ago back in '04 that we went tv free for about 5 mos to draw us closer to each other and just enjoy the “peace”…it was during that time that I was really able to hear God’s voice and hear him guide me towards leaving my unsatisfying job and pursue a job in nursing. I never really worried about such things, b/c I wasn’t exposed…and really the things that I worry about are really in essence happening in other parts of the country…whether that really matters or not, I don’t know…evil knows no bounds and that’s what I guess I worry about, but see even in now changing my career (I start school in a couple months) I fear that in nursing perhaps “there” I will encounter a stalker type…or going from the hospital to my car if it’s late…all sorts of things…I really need help with this!

Can you point me towards some scripture that would help, or even if anyone has read a Max Lucado book that deals with specifically this. I’ve read several like “Eye of the Storm” and “Next door Savior” and “Come Thirsty”…but they’re not helping…and this is really become a recent “irrational” fear…I mean always there but not so much to the surface that it is now.

Sorry so long…and thanks for any advice.


#2

God wants us to LIVE in JOY and PEACE and to proclaim this gospel to the world. He does not want us to be captives to anxiety.

If your fears are trapping you, to the point of not being able to function in life, then you may be experiencing a medical problem. Satan can, and does, attack us in very REAL ways. Seeking assistance for this attacks through trained doctors (psychologists who can offer counseling and/or medication) is a very real solution.

Irrational fears and anxieties can be crippling. Find a way to fight these attacks so that you can live the life that God wants you to live… proclaiming his gospel of love to the world. God doesn’t want to keep you trapped in fear.


#3

Thanks

However it’s not immobolizing me in my day to day life. I’m still able to go to work…plan for the future as a nurse…I just can’t shake the thoughts.

If I heard something inspirational that would hit home about this and perhaps my priest will help…I know that I will be perfectly fine.

I guess I was just wondering how people reconcile that some people have really violent deaths…and others are rather peaceful or maybe more “normal” is a better word for it.

Internet is hard b/c you don’t really know me as a person…just the snapshot of this irrational fear…but I promise you I don’t run around portraying this…it’s just more a thought in my head.

My DH had his wallet stolen recently and for awhile “that” was the thought…will they b/c they have the address from the DL come to where we are at…however nothing came of it…and I’m fine now about that…it’s like I said Satan seems to know what to use…I need spiritual armor…not armor from this world. I really have no need for Psychologists as I really don’t believe in them all that much. That probably comes from studying it myself and realizing they really don’t have all the answers. In fact my chem professor also indicated by law that can’t “give” you answers…they can only draw out of you what you already know, so in essence, you are better off sounding off with a good friend.

I’ve talked to DH about this…and much of what he says is ringing true and he’s at the tip of shaking this from me…but he also says God will not give you anything you cannot handle (which I know)…so if that were my fate so to speak…God would be there with me through it…not really comforting right now though…and I want that back.

Thanks for the suggestion…but I’d prefer to come through this in reading and a more faithful approach


#4

Realize that God is in control.

Pray the 23rd Psalm.

Read the account of Peter walking on the water - think about the storm - these were professional fisherman, and they were filled with terror in this storm. Read back in the story, Jesus sent them out onto the water - and Jesus would have known the storm was coming! Jesus knows every storm, before it comes, and it is our job to put faith in Him that He will be there, in the storm, with us.

You might move from the Protestant books to some Catholic authors, Matthew Kelly, Fr. Groeschel are a couple that come to mind.


#5

Chosing to blame the devil for irrational fears is not going to help. It sounds like you should speak with a priest and possibly a professional pyschologist. Dwelling on things that cannot be controled makes little sense. We cannot chose how we will die and as such there is simply no point in worrying about it. When we fail to do that in our lives we fail to trust God.


#6

Seems like a lot of stress in nursing as a profession, much less getting more bad news from tv or other sources.

Praying for your peace of mind and relief from your anxieties.

Here’s a couple of suggestions:

  1. Can you use an ipod or MP3 player to drown out the “distractions” of bad news? Put some christian music on it.
  2. When walking to the car, can you arrange to go with other colleagues, guard on duty, or other person for safety. Most will understand your request.
  3. God loves you and wants you to be happy so don’t worry so much about the bad news - that’s his job.
  4. Pray a lot and join some groups that do good works for others and see all the good things that can be done for people. It may warm your heart and help you see the good in all.
    God bless.

#7

Thanks!

This is exactly what I’m searching for i.e. the reminder of Jesus and the storm on the sea and also the book recommendations…I’ve never heard of those authors and I researched on my lunch hour…The ones from Fr Groeschel seem to be exactly what will reinforce what I already know!

That’s the thing…I know what’s true and to trust God…I just need the gentle reminder/reinforcements…not a personality overhaul. I’m okay I really do believe that.

I do have much on my plate right now, I’m completing changing my life from a career I have known for about 23 years to something completely new, but the closer I get to fulfilling God’s purpose for my career, the more on fire that I am…the more “at peace” I am…but for the next 5 weeks that I have left on my job…I’m going through some rough spots.

No, I can’t tune into an ipod as my job in travel is in a reservation center…and thus their logic for the nonstop “news” tv’s…I can try not to look up…but it’s everywhere!..so I’m trying better to ignore the news today.

The little prayer of keeping me safe is sort of second nature, but more so when I worked in town and had to walk a bridge during early evening to the parking lot (about a 10/15 min walk)…I never really gave it too much thought b/c for the most part I didn’t think about whether I was safe or not…it just wasn’t a thought and my constant morning prayer of keeping us all on his path and to connect with others that are on the same journey so that we may learn from each other to get “home”…and keeping us all safe and in his watch was there. I don’t really have that fear at my current job…the lot just really doesn’t pose dangers plus it’s light out when I leave. I’m concerned b/c in nursing that lot is more in an area known for muggings, drive by’s etc…however the lot is 24 hr surveilled and there is a security guard until midnight, so I’m sure I’ll be fine, but in my younger years when I worked in that area, my car was broken into 3 times…but again I wasn’t filled with constant fear…it was just the nature of the area.

I’m sorry but I do feel it’s Satan trying to pull me from God’s plan…he’s very real in this world and I’m not trying to “blame” him…I know he’s trying to plant the seeds, but it’s up to me and the faith that I put in God to not be able to give it creedence…I guess I’m just looking for a stronger shield i.e.thought process so I’m mentally armed and not afraid.

I understand I can’t know what will or won’t happen…but I also know that God helps those that help themselves, so I think hmmm should I be even more knowledgble in self defense…are the news casters right I need to know this or that move as stupid as that sounds…b/c I know the ultimate is to put my faith/trust in God not some self defense move…if he brought me to it, he’ll bring me through it. I also hold onto Jer. “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you” I am going into nursing to answer the question that has been placed heavily on my heart “what have you done for my people?” I need to have an answer for that, as he placed it on my heart, I understand not everyone has that calling…we all have different purposes, but I do believe the closer that I get in meeting that…the harder Satan is going to “try” to use what he thinks will scare me, operative word being “try” I know he can’t succeed without my giving in.

Thanks again…this is helpful


#8

I used to be a real worrier too, then it just slowly started to dawn on me that it makes no sense to even worry. The things that you worry about are newsworthy because they almost never happen. If they do, sure it would be difficult to have to live through, but in the end what really matters is staying close to God and knowing that no matter what happens he can get you through it. There will always be things beyond your control, so don’t spend your time and energy worrying about things you can do nothing about. Your time is much better spent in prayer and in just enjoying your life with a sense of peace.


#9

Oh and one other thing

I do believe that there is more good in people than bad. I really do believe you are more likely to be helped by a stranger or hurt by one, but the media tends to exploit the ‘bad’ all the time…they make it seem that it is more common etc…I know they breed on the sensationalism, that’s why I feel that once I get out of my current job with the constant onslaught of bad news…it will get better…plus I’ve have my nose stuffed into textbooks too busy to worry about the uncontrolable variables in life.

TIA


#10

Hi Mi,
I really do know what you are going through. I have a form of Agoraphobia and I have had this for over 20 years now. I have had therapy, medication and you name it, i did it. I also lost my 17 year old son from cancer (it will be 2yrs june 20). Anxiety and Phobias are NOTHING compared to the loss of ones child. I Prayed and prayed forGod to help me, So I through myself back into my catholic faith totally committed to God. I say my Rosary every night and Pray every day. Guess what?!! I am doing better now then I ever have done!! Our fears May be different but fear is fear!!! and boy is it crippling. I guess what helps me the most is that Jesus said if we fear then we dont trust completely in him. So I prayed one night that if I cant go out of my home without having a Panic Attack, then Please Jesus, let me do work for you and what the Will of God wants me to do. Little by little I can do more now then ever before.

For me, Knowing that by praying and being as true as a catholic as I can be, The Holy Spirit will guide us. If I ever start to panic, I breathe, I pray, and I take the focus OFF MYSELF!!! Knowing what Jesus went through for us, Doesnt compare to my anxieties. Please know that you are in my prayers. Think positive!! and TRUST in the Lord!!!:wink:


#11

I’ve also been having a lot of anxiety in the last few years. I avoid parking lots at night almost totally. I didn’t take a prenatal water aerobics class because it ended after dark and I knew the anxiety of walking to my car alone at night would make it not worth it. The recent abduction of that girl at Target during the daytime is extremely frightening. I also get worried during the day at home that someone is going to break in. I run escape and defense plans through my head at times. I’m listening to any advice the others on here will give you, as I need it also.

One thing that might help, and that I will try, is to go about in a state of constant prayer. Any time a fearful thought comes in, automatically begin praying-not for safety necessarily, but just prayer. Prayers of thankfulness for the day, Hail Mary, ect.

I think that you are right that the media is a big reason for having so much anxiety. We should be smart about being safe, but knowing about all the awful things that happen isn’t necessary. We can pray for the world as a whole; we don’t need to know every detail that the media wants to sensationalize for us.

Here is what I will try:

  1. Automatically pray when fear enters the mind.
  2. Avoid secular news channels and all evening t.v. (Too many kidnapping/murder mysteries)
  3. Listen to Catholic Radio, esp. when they air the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary.

#12

Somebody mentioned health problems. Don’t dismiss this one too quickly. People think they have to go on anti-anxiety or anti-depressents. While I didn’t have a completely crippling fear, I did have a huge fear of heights and when my husband was away, I couldn’t sleep until the sun came out because I was quite fearful that someone would break into my home.

I had thryoid disease and had to have it killed off (which was a big mistake but that’s another story). Anyways, I went on T4 which is one type of thryoid and after a year I added T3 (cytomel) which is another type of thyroid. After two weeks of being on T3 my fear when my husband was gone disappeared. I also must have had a bit of restless mind even when he was here and that disappeared too. I was sleeping better than I had since I was a child.

Now, you can write this off but my daughter was becoming incredibly shy and dependent at age 13. After a few weeks on T3 she was a completely different child. Even her music teacher noticed it after she lost her T3 and didn’t tell me. Suddenly she could barely talk to anyone but family.I realized that she was going downhill and asked her if she had been taking her medication. She told me she lost that particular one after our vacation a month earlier. She got back on it and went back to her old, social self in about 2 weeks. It’s amazing how being a little off in a hormone can cause serious anxieties.

Neither one of us seems to be afraid of heights anymore (and we were seriously afraid of them!) No anti-depressent/anxiety meds - just a little of the two types of thyroid medication.


#13

Okay much better mindset today.

First what I may say may contradict the faith aspect…but I’m no fool…I still know who’s ultimately in charge.

I managed to not look up much at the tv today and stayed off the one site that was discussing how the girl’s case was developing (see I felt if I understood certain things it could be prevented…well yes, and no)

Anyway because I’m a research freak, I found through a site a book called “Freedom from fear, taking control of your life” by Peyton Quinn. Now at first glance this is in complete opposition of God in control of my life which I know that he is…but I’ll also maintain God helps those that help themselves. However I still want the books by Fr Groeschel and will still pray the rosary I just believe help can come in different shapes and forms…you take what you can with a grain of salt…I’m not so sure about this guy’s other books…but if he’s helping people…

See here’s an interesting thing, there was a carjacking in my area (go figure can you believe it?? I guess I’m not surprised though) (not immediate area but in the business district close by off the highway)…we have not ever had such a thing, but bus service can bring in a bad element etc…anyway I’m not freaked about this…b/c I have been in constant prayer…I feel I am anyway…but it made me angry…like I’m tired of criminals just pushing and pushing…I swear it was the media attention that is prompting this…just as I do believe tv and film can put ideas that otherwise weren’t there…it helps criminals see what wasn’t there before. Anyway that’s what prompted the search that led to the book.

Basically it states there’s a mindset of the criminal that can read the victims vulnerbility even if it looks out of the blue…there were always signs leading up to it…and that’s what I wondered. See when I worked in the area that I will be goin gback to, my car was broken into 3 times…one of the times I caught the guy at my door with it open…I instinctively saw him but looked up as if I forgot something in the building and went and got help. Turns out that was the right thing to do! Bottom line with all my rambling is I believe God will send me a clear cut signal that something is amiss and take it from there. IF the need ever arises and really again, I stress I believe there’s more good people than bad…but ironic with the carjacking…It’s up to me to not look like a victim (which I didn’t know I already do the recommended tips of being aware etc…!) but trust God will take care of the situation.

I no longer feel that fear and that’s a good thing…I still plan to talk to my priest though and I’ll report back if anyone wants to know what he suggests. I still have the burning question of how priests themselves reconcile what saints and martyrs did for God, compared to how relatively easy we have it. I do trust that God sees the big picture and no matter what it’s for his greater glory and good.

I’ll keep praying for all of you as well…I think that’s what it’s about too, in reaching out and helping others and making those connections and differences that we may not even know about.

God bless all


#14

Alright God smacked me in the head HARD!!

After the one day of feeling completely fine…I had a very upsetting day yesterday to test me even further.

I won’t bore you with the details since I’m not sure anyone is following the thread anymore…but bottom line is I am not going to get the forementioned book by the secular author…I found a section and I shall quote in the next post since it may help someone…but after literally being sick to my stomach I now feel some relief…and imagine a protesant is advocating crossing themselves! Ah…they’re coming around to see the light.

Also Eph 6:10 very powerful. I’m also getting the Fr Groeschel book…good news that I know God wants me to hear…I’m finally feeling his peace…I just can’t believe how many times I’m being knocked over.

God bless


#15

Jesus taught-
First, --That a man’s business is to do the will of God.
Second, --That God takes upon himself the care of the man;
Third, --Therefore, that a man must never be afraid of anything; and so,
Fourth, --be free to love God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself.”

Words like this are worth posting over one’s desk and pondering and praying over periodically

Regarding fear, it’s not denial of the possibilities or cocky braggadocio or chronic quavering that’s going to turn the trick. There’s got to be some basis for assuming an attitude of protection. That’s what MacDonald’s first two propositions provide:
“a man’s business is to do the will of God
God takes upon himself the care of the man.”
This is a solid basis for becoming fearless. If, indeed, I make it my occupation to learn and satisfy the will of God, then I can rely on Him to take care of me. If He is indeed taking care of me, then it’s also my business to refuse to cave in to potentially or actually fearsome things.

So on a daily basis, here’s what I recommend you do.
“I sign myself with the sign of the cross (do it)
I cover myself with the Blood of the Lamb (some motion to convey covering)
I surround myself with the Light of the Cross (describe circle around you)
and in the Name of Jesus Christ, nothing shall come through to hurt me.”
Then put the Blood of the Lamb and the Light of the Cross on your loved ones (one-by-one), home, vehicles, place of work. Then on any special cases or needs-the sick, those traveling. Then on any you think the Lord has given your responsibility for-governmental officials, missionaries, schools, airplanes, athletes, soldiers, policemen, erratic drivers and potential terrorists (to contain their evil), etc.

Another form (from my book, Holy Vulnerability) based on Eph. 6:
"Lord Jesus Christ, I greet you this morning as my commander and chief, reporting for duty. But first, I need to clothe myself with your armament, for my own is of no use against the enemy. Therefore, I take to myself the belt of truth. I will desire, speak and act in accordance with the truth. Second, I take on the breastplate of righteousness. Thank you that this is your righteousness, and that it protects my vital organs, especially my heart. I will speak, think, and act righteously.
Third, I put on the shoes of the gospel of peace, and I will prepare that good news by reading your word and by being ready to give an account for the hope that is in me. Fourth, I take on the helmet of salvation. Save me, Lord, from the world, the flesh, and the devil. And I will trust you to give me the mind of Christ and to think your thoughts in
my mind.
Next, I take the shield of faith by which to quench all the flaming arrows of the enemy–arrows of temptation, accusation, deception, and harassment.
Finally, having seen to my defense, I take the sword, that particular word which the Spirit gives, to utter against Satan in whichever way you lead. And I decide that I am perfectly protected aggressively and defensively in body, soul and spirit, in mind, will and emotion, in circumstance, finance and relationships, and against all assaults of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Over it all, Lord, I take the mantle of love, asking you to give me your love for all
whom I encounter today.”

Then ask for protection for others, as indicated above. Daily!
Then walk in the peace that Jesus promises to His followers. The time spent investing you and yours with protection is small price to pay for the peace you can walk in.


#16

Go to morning mass every day,receive the Eucharist and pray continually for wisdom.
I know from my own experience that this will quell
anger,irritability,and anxiety.


#17

I read this, this morning and thought it might help a bit.

Proverbs 3:5-12 (The Message Bible)
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health; your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honour God with everything you own; give Him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under His loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a Father’s delight is behind all this.
Dear Father God,

Sometimes life just seems so tough and things don’t make much sense!
Thank You Lord, that I don’t always have to figure things out for myself,
That trusting You is the best thing I can during times of uncertainty.
So Father, I take refuge in You.
I open my heart, so that I may hear Your voice.
My hope is in You Lord.
You take delight in my dependence.
I will wait for Your instructions & rejoice in my victory!


#18

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