Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Sorry to hear of the situation. The range of symptoms you describe sound most like anxiety-type problems and I'll ask a few questions so we can see if we can get a clearer idea on what it might most likely be.
Firstly, have you ever been in a serious car accident or experienced any other major trauma (e.g. an assault)?
You describe problems with worrying, would you say you worry only abut specific things or do you tend to worry about a very broad range of things most of the time?
Do you ever feel a strong urge to perform small rituals or actions as a means of reducing your anxiety?
Is there a family history of mental illness and if so what is that history?
Ok, thanks for the extra information.
You are describing emerging difficulty in a few areas; possibly Obsessive Compulsive Disorder type rituals, possibly anxiety based avoidance (driving), mild panic (while driving) and pathological worrying typical to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It is actually quite common for people to develop a range of different anxiety symptoms and the key issue is that your anxiety levels are getting way to high. We usually look to treat the primary diagnosis (the underlying problem) with the view that this will also reduce other problems.
It is impossible too diagnose someone via Just Answer but I can tell you that in my experience Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - pathological worrying - is often the underlying problem that needs to be addressed as the primary diagnosis. GAD usually begins to develop quite early in life and then chronic worrying tends to drive people's anxiety levels higher and higher over the years until they begin to have secondary problems like panic attacks or OCD rituals.
You can find good descriptions of GAD and its treatment here and here. You can also find the specific criteria required for a diagnosis here.
The main problem people have when trying to control their own worrying is that whenever they try to make it stop they find they often can't. Trying to stop thoughts is called 'thought suppression' and as you are no doubt finding out it not only doesn't work often it can also make it worse. The reason for this is that when you try and stop thinking about something you have to actively think about that thing!
Sound a little strange? Let me give you a light hearted example. For the next twominutes I want you to try really hard NOT to think about a white Polar Bear.Give it a try. For two minutes do everything you can NOT to think about a WhitePolar Bear. Go. What happens? You think about the bear right? Apply this toworrying and you can see why it becomes a problem. When you are in the middleof worrying about something and you try to make it stop.....you are actuallythinking about it even more.
The good news is that there are really well established and effective treatments forintense and excessive worrying. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widelyregarded as the gold standard therapy for problematic worrying and in theUnited Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellencerecommends CBT as the treatment of choice for GAD, see here. I would strongly recommend that you consider CBT as a treatment approach. You could start by taking a look at this excellent CBT based self-help program http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=46 . I use this with patients who have difficulty with worrying and I find it to be very helpful. If after working through this you think you need further assistance then I would recommend you consult with a CBT trained therapist.
CBT is usually offered by Psychologists (although not exclusively) and i the therapist yo have stated seeing is not a CBT therapist then you can contact the American Psychology Association for assistance in finding a suitably trained clinician. Take a look at the American Psychology Association's locator service here. You can use this to find other Psychologists in your area and there is a phone number you can contact if you want a referral arranged for you. Also, take a look at an article published by the APA here. It's an interview with a senior Psychologist and covers some of the things you should consider when you looking for a Psychologist.
Alternatively you could access some CBT based self-help material and I canrecommend a book titled Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry to help you begin to tackle your worrying. You can find it at www.amazon.com.
I hope this has been of some help. Please let me know if you have further questions or would like me to clarify any part of my answer.
.OKMH53016130 My son is very anxious. He gets like