"Something is Wrong with Me!"
"THERE IS NOTHING DEEP SEATED TO BE SEARCHING FOR!"
If you have any physical pain and/or injury or you are feeling feverish, or you feel overwhelmingly depressed then it is important for you to talk to a medical professional. This website only assumes that you have already determined that you are otherwise healthy.
If you are recently sensitized from having an experience of anxiety and panic feelings, you most likely will have a foundation belief that, "something is wrong with me!" This seems to be an automatic reaction to feelings of fear that are not immediately resolvable. This can become your basis for approaching nearly every stressful moment of introspection that occurs in your life. It is this belief that conditions every reaction you now have. It keeps your anxiety alert while you search in frustration for the answer - comparing, checking, testing, analyzing. It makes you miserable and you feel trapped.
For example: If I were NOT recently sensitized to anxiety or panic, and I noticed some new twitching in my leg, I would wonder what it was for a moment. If the twitching continued or returned, I might get more concerned. But generally my focus on it would not be considered important or life threatening and I would probably let go of the worrying about it.
Now, if I WERE recently sensitized, my quick assessment about this twitching* would go something like this: "I wonder if that will make me anxious because there is something (unknown and unfound) wrong with me (that makes me anxious)?" This self talk is nearly subconscious but you can catch it happening as your first thought that begins the introspective reaction, even as your first, fresh thought when you wake up in the morning!
(*You can substitute any feeling or situation that causes you stress.)
By this self-talk you are attempting to seek control and test for it. This happens so fast and automatic that most of the time we are never aware of it, only the anxious reaction arrives seemingly "out of the blue!" Of course you want to experience NO reaction to your "test", but guess what? Because of the foundation belief of "something is wrong with me" which you have deemed LIFE THREATENING or at least threatening your sanity, your autonomic nervous system which is controlled by the instinctive part of your brain - reacts! It sends a warning - a shot of adrenaline to gear up your body to run. It wants to protect you - your eyes blur, your heart pumps faster, your muscles clench, your stomach and GI tract are disrupted, your blood pressure rises, you feel giddy, nauseous. Perhaps to all different degrees, or only some of these symptoms, but you feel it!
Now you might make a further assumption that this reaction "proves" that something is wrong with your mental state. You made a "test" and the test failed because you still reacted, anxiously...and you certainly didn't like it. Yet it is still there, in the back of your mind, that issue - that unresolved question: "What is wrong with me?"
But this is based on a false and irrational assumption!
Imagine your brain as a web search engine. You are inputting two words into the search: UNKNOWN FEAR. And the search returns endless web sites covering every aspect of unknown fear you ever felt or could ever feel! That is how your nervous system, which is given the task of saving you from what you fear, reacts to your belief and worry that "something unknown is wrong with me!" Now if you were to specify more words to search like FEAR FEELING FROM SENSITIZED NERVOUS SYSTEM then the sites returned would be very few and you may find the ONE site that would resolve your fear. Do you see how the fear of "something unknown wrong" makes for overwhelming anxiety?
If you can catch yourself in the act of querying your "state of mental health" you can contest it with a proper and rational counter thought or substitution. You can answer with: "Hey wait! That twitching is just a common twitch. I am sensitize to stress these days. That is ALL that is WRONG with me!" Then move on. Let it go. Quit the introspection as to why you react to these minor stresses. You will have resolved it. There is nothing WRONG with you. Nothing SIGNIFICANTLY wrong other than that you are sensitive to some recent stressors.
Can you accept that? THERE IS NOTHING DEEP SEATED TO BE SEARCHING FOR when simple worrying becomes anxiety or even panic! You only THINK that there must be. You can search for decades. You are only fooled into believing that your current sensitivity must be significant and warrant deep introspection to find the answer as to why! It just "must be" something BIG, something so important that you just can't find unless you look deeper and deeper! And you are doing exactly the wrong thing. You are creating the exact tension from your excessive worrying that you so much despise!
If you can practice letting these overreactions to stress come AND GO, with an occassional challenge of rational thinking, the resolution will decrease these reactions over time and you should feel much less anxious. You will have diffused the "mentally ill" bomb that you assumed was near to blowing up. It never blows because there is really NO BOMB!
The "something is wrong with me" belief is a very powerful but false assumption. But if you believe it to be true you will feel trapped inside because it is steeped in conflict that has no direction or way out. It's frustrating...but we all do it. Perhaps you can find some physical trigger that sets off your anxiety then you might resolve the "why do I feel anxious" question. But most of the time it is our currently sensitized state of mind and that's all. So now you can handle a stressful event knowing that you are NOT losing your sanity. Does that make you feel better?