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brown_eyed_blonde's avatar

I'm wondering if I have an anxiety disorder but I'm too anxious to see a doctor. What should I do?

Asked by brown_eyed_blonde (90points) April 24th, 2016 from iPhone

Hi all,

I’m a 26 year old female and been experiencing anxiety symptoms for quite some time. I thought I’d come on here and ask what you all think about my lifestyle. It’s a lot easier than talking to a doctor… I’ve been contemplating talking to one about my concerns but I keep putting it off because I don’t like going to appointments. I always avoid them unless I have no choice. It doesn’t help that I actually rarely go out. My job involves working at my own desk in my room, so the only time I do go out is when I walk to my boyfriend’s house. I do everything I can to avoid going out and avoid taking on responsibilities that involve leaving my house. That doesn’t make me feel good because I feel selfish. I wish I was a more active and helpful person but I find it impossible.

Going out isn’t pleasant, I don’t enjoy it. I experience skin crawling and itchiness and feel my body tighten when passers by are near me and the sound of traffic makes me feel on edge. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I went out with friends. I don’t really have any friends anymore because I purposely avoid them and socialising with people in general. I never even go on social media anymore… I’ve not always been totally against socialising though. Although I’m a shy person, I’ve enjoyed days out with friends very much in the past, but I feel most comfortable and truly myself when I’m alone in a room with four corners, doing my own thing. I never get bored and find things to occupy myself with very easily.

Now on to my other problem… I spend every morning in the bath for over 2 hours. I place each of my toiletry products in a certain position in the bathroom, and they have to be placed this way every single day. The majority of this time is spent removing every bit of hair from my body by shaving or plucking. I have very dark thick hair which grows back really quickly and I’d feel disgusting if I left it. I know this habit is disrupting the start of my day massively. I’d much rather be getting on with my work than wasting time in the bath. It’s not even like need one. I never go out so I know how pointless it is having one. Trouble is, I can’t stop myself. I’ve had a bath every day for about 9 years now, and I know that missing one day would put me into a state of panic. It used to only take me 30 minutes when I was younger, but my time spent cleaning and shaving has gradually increased over the years. A couple of years ago it took me about 1 hour, but now it takes 2 hours. I feel this time has increased as I’ve become even more fussy. My skin is even suffering from it. It’s often red, sore and scarred. Once again, I feel I need to express that I don’t enjoy doing this at all. I’ve turned it into a step-by-step routine of 11 steps which I always follow in the same order every day. It helps to stop me getting bored and when I finally reach step 9, 10 and then 11 I feel relieved as it means my 2 hours in the bathroom is nearly over. It’s a chore I wish I didn’t have to do, but if I didn’t, I’d get moody, irritable, and be unable to get on with my day. After my bath, I often spend time making sure my room is perfect before starting work too, e.g. cleaning my floor and desk and making sure there is no bit of dirt in sight. This wastes time too and makes me feel frustrated when I see it’s nearly lunchtime and I haven’t even started my work yet.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

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5 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

I think you know that you really need to consult a professional about this. Depending on how close your relationship is with your boyfriend, you could get him to help get you to and through an appointment?

Alternatively, since the kind of (apparent) social anxiety you’re describing can’t be all that uncommon, maybe there are doctors who can make house calls to help start a relationship?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Hello, @brown_eyed_blonde, welcome to Fluther.

It sounds like you have a precise idea of the problem (goes with the territory, right? Yes, that is an OCD joke, sorry) and I think a doctor or therapist would be a good help.

It does not sound extreme or weird, either. We all have some of the same feelings, but if it is a hindrance then a helping hand might be a big help for you.

Yes, there is inertia. The first step is hard. But think of the relief.

Pandora's avatar

I’m going to tell you what I tell everyone with problems just as yours.
Try to look at this as a practical point.

Does it make sense that you have made yourself a prisoner?
Does it make sense that you have become so OCD about your grooming that it is having an undesired effect on your skin?
Does it make sense to ask strangers a question about something that is serious to your life and hoping that we can somehow actually help you?
I’m not saying this to be mean or dismissive. I actually want you to think about it. What would you recommend to someone who has your problem?
You would probably tell them to please go seek professional help.

Life is never promised to be long for anyone of us. The best you can do is live each moment to its fullest. Don’t just fill in the time like you are on the clock. Actually live. But for that you will need to get professional help to guide you in what you need to do. For all you know, there may even be a physical reason behind the way you feel. Hormones can play a big part in how you feel, or it could be you are frighten. But if I was you. I would be more frighten of letting this get away from you and you become completely paralyzed by fear.

While you can. Take the first step to making your life easier. Get the help you need. There is nothing you can tell a doctor that would shock them.

Being a shut in will drive others from you. And if you live to be 90, I don’t think you will look back and say. Boy I was glad I never got help. I loved living in fear for most of my life.
You don’t want your only good years to be the ones that have already passed.

marinelife's avatar

It sounds from your description of your symptoms that you are somewhere on the OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) spectrum.

This is not something that you can just get over on your own. You need professional help from a qualified psychiatrist, one who specializes in OCD would be best. You very well may need medication as well as therapy. If you are anxious about the appointment, perhaps you can take someone with you for support.

I think that you know that your condition is limiting your life. That is a sign that you need some help to deal with it.

Good luck. Write us and let us know what happens.

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