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Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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I am 28 years old and have battled with anxiety the past 10

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I am 28 years old and have battled with anxiety the past 10 years. I always visualize myself vomiting infront of my classroom and making a huge scene. I can only control this if I am sitting close to an open door/exit. Otherwise I cannot pay attention to the teacher b/c I am too focused on my inner thoughts. How can I challenge myself and pay attention to my teacher at the same time?

Thank you for your question and for writing in to Just Answer.

I'm sorry to hear about your anxiety. From what you describe it sounds like your visualizations are only leading to your anxiety. Often a technique used for addressing anxiety is positive visualizations - where you would imagine a positive scenario where you are not anxious and have no urge to throw up. It sounds like in your case, you are using this helpful technique to your disadvantage by visualizing the opposite.

Anxiety can certainly be managed and minimized so that you can go about your daily life in a productive way. The best approach to addressing anxiety is a combination of medication and therapy. Particularly, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is found to be most effective.

If you're in a college/university, I would encourage you to contact the counseling services center to see if you start CBT for your anxiety. There are a number of techniques including positive affirmations, positive visualizations, exposure and response prevention techniques that would be best explored with a professional therapist. I encourage you to contact one today, so that you can start to make positive changes to deal with your anxiety.

I hope this has been helpful.

Please do let me know if you have questions/comments/thoughts to what I wrote above.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you. Most of the tools you suggested I am already familiar with. I have come to the realization that my anxiety will always be something I will have to manage and "put up with" to a certain extent.

I guess my question is: Do I sit in a place that makes me comfortable and able to focus on what my professor is saying or do I sit in spot where I am not comfortable, but begin to challenge the anxiety?


Thank you for the additional information.

I would challenge your view that your anxiety is something you always have to put up with. There is currently a lot of research available into anxiety and many specialized clinics and psychologists, psychotherapists have more tools at their disposal than ever before, to work with clients dealing with anxiety issues. By working with a professional and by implementing the right tools you can certainly experience lessening of your anxiety.

To answer your question, I would encourage you to sit in a place where you are most comfortable and not challenge yourself because the exposure therapy principle you are referring to is best done in a safe and controlled environment with the help of a trained professional.

I hope this answers your question. Please do let me know if you have additional questions.

Warm regards,

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