Hi there! I am a licensed psychotherapist and I hope to be of some assistance to you today! I have read your description of what is happening, and it certainly sounds like an anxiety disorder. The good news is that you can get past this!
Anxiety is simply a fear-based reaction to life, and for some reason you are focusing on all of your fears of the unknown rather than looking forward with a mindset of being grateful for what is... right now... good in your life. Thoughts are choices, and although it takes practice to learn to change them, it can be done! Does this sound like something you have tried in counseling yet?
This is a link to one of the most helpful sites I have found on the web regarding self-help for anxiety: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_self_help.htm
Also, learning to control your physical symptoms of worry and stress can be helpful, and something called progressive muscle relaxation may be of help to slow down your mind and body when you feel anxiety taking over: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=progressive+muscle+relaxation+youtube&mid=586048E5937FAF6961E3586048E5937FAF6961E3&view=detail&FORM=VIRE3
Learning to be able to "change the channel" in your mind to something positive when you are focusing more on the "what if's" can be the key to gaining back control over the anxiety. Something called cognitive behavioral therapy works very well with this issue. You said you'd prefer not to use medication, so this is why I have suggested the links above, but the right anti-anxiety medication can also help to slow down the feelings of anxiousness is the self-help strategies don't solve it for you.
Was any of this information helpful to you or do you still need a bit more? I will wait for you to look it all over; I am happy to continue to provide as much information as you need... just let me know!
Let me first say that you will be ok! Next, CBT is a form of therapy in which you become aware of your thought processes and then learn how to take control over them: here is a link to an explanation of what it is: http://soultherapynow.com/videos/cbt-explained.html
There are very simple exercises and tools that can be used to get anxiety under control, and I hope that you can speak with your therapist about this. If he/she isn't well-versed in this type of therapy, maybe they can refer you to someone who is! I am happy to give you some ideas that you can begin to use, as well, if you'd like. I will just have to reply in a while, as I will be going offline temporarily soon! Let me know!! :-)
Hi Justin--- I just thought that I would attach one more piece of information on self-help strategies for what you seem to be experiencing:
First, identify the source of anxiety. Many sufferers are afraid to do so but it must be done simply because solving the problem starts with identifying the problem itself.
Second, solve the mini-crisis. Anxiety disorder self-help often means that an individual learns to differentiate between things he can control and things he cannot control and take action accordingly. If you can control the situation, then do so. If you cannot control it, then learn how to adapt to it. In your case, you seem to be highly concerned with having control over circumstances in your life, some of which are outside of your full control. This is a very common trap, a thinking error that many people have fallen into. Accepting that we cannot control many situations and must learn resilience and how to adapt to the unexpected by facing your fears is crucial to being able to teach our children resilience and courage. Asking yourself: what is the worse possible thing that could happen, and what would be a plan to deal with and manage that? Reassure yourself that you can survive most everything with the proper plan, and that you are strong.
Third, keep to the three R's - remember it will pass, reassure your inner self and relax. Keep in mind that very few things in life are permanent, if indeed there are any especially as change is the only permanent thing in life. Your source of anxiety, especially if no real danger exists at present, will pass away. You must reassure yourself that everything will be alright simply because your source of anxiety will pass and then try to relax with methods like diaphragmatic breathing.
With regular practice, these steps in mind control in anxiety disorder self-help will often fight the anxiety attacks almost as soon as it starts. Hence, there will be less and less need for medications and professional counseling.
To complement mind control, sufferers who want to help themselves conquer the illness must also make dietary and lifestyle changes. You will feel better, function better and cope with your anxiety better when you adopt these changes.
Anxiety disorder self-help is a possible option for individuals who wish to take their lives back for their own. This circumstance just might open up a whole new world of learning for you, and give you the tools to teach your children healthy patterns of coping and thought! I hope this was helpful to you--- please let me know how else I can be of service!