“I can’t seem to distract myself from worries and obsession”

This is actually a question that was submitted to the website and when I approached people who could answer it I had such an over whelming response. I decided to make this a blog post on its own as I got so many people wanting to contribute to the answer and I think it’s really important that both the person who submitted the question and those who answered it know that there are other people out there experiencing the same feelings. If anyone would like to write a piece on anxiety that would be great!


The question:

I can’t seem to distract myself from worries and obsessions. I’m worried it’s getting in the way of my relationship as I often act shy and uncomfortable around my partner, despite how great our relationship begun. I no longer seem to have the confidence to speak up and enjoy myself. I used to be class clown but now I’m just exhausted and depressed all the time. I feel like a burden around my friends. Will this ‘low’ I’m experiencing shrug off, despite having felt like this for about 2 months, or should I seek help?


The answers:

It sounds like things were going well for you until the last few weeks – has anything changed in that time? Maybe there’s something that has triggered your worries. Personally I find that meditation can be really helpful in stopping worries going round and round and round – The UCLA mindful awareness research centre can helphttp://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22. Sometimes I find myself worrying about certain things and I find I just have to make a conscious effort to stop worrying about them – not by pushing the thoughts away or feeling bad about them but just by focussing on my breathing, trying to become more aware of the sensations in my body and doing something that makes me feel good. I find that cooking or going for a walk can help with that, both of which get me moving around but everyone’s different.

I can relate to feeling like a burden, too. Sometimes I find it helps to try and talk to the people around me about how I feel and ask for reassurance. It can be tricky, though, because you don’t know how they’ll respond! Generally I’ve found people to be quite supportive, and the process of talking about what I’m going through can be really helpful in itself. When it’s out in the open I find I worry about it less and I can get on with things better.

Life does have ups and downs so you might find yourself worrying less and being happier without having to do anything particular about it. But, if it doesn’t, a good counsellor might be able to help you make sense of what you’re feeling. If you go down this route, it’s really important to find someone you like – if they don’t strike you as someone who you click with, for whatever reason, they probably won’t be much good! A lot of the benefit of counselling comes from having a supportive and trusting relationship so it’s important to find someone who you could actually talk to.




This all sounds extremely close to home. Having gone through almost everything you’ve described. I hope my advice helps. To take my mind of worries and obsessions I joint a gym and eventually got a personal trainer, whilst this might be a bit extreme for some, I highly recommend exercise or sports of some kind, it’s a great release and the health, fitness and extra confidence is a massive bonus. It may seem like a limited answer but this helped me out so much, I completely changed and felt so much more confident. My physical and mental state improved massively. Also speaking to someone about your problems always helps, be it friends, family or professional helpand its absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. I hope this helps




First off – some people have the tendency to overanalyse situations that are beyond their control. That is natural when we are living, thinking, intelligent beings.
When I graduated from university in July I gave myself such a hard time for not doing as well as I’d hoped. I worked in a call centre for 7 weeks, and it worsened my symptoms of anxiety and depression as a graduate to the point where I was let go from work. Relationships suffer sometimes when one or both partners become emotionally distant, but remember this isn’t your fault. Moreover, “burdening” is just a phenomenon created by a blame culture that focuses on the negative aspects of mental health. If you feel that you have to talk to someone, do. It took me 4 months to get the help I needed, and although I’m still recovering from the symptoms of both anxiety and depression, I find that time away from thinking does me good as someone who deals with constant overanalysis.
As an afterword – anxiety is not something that goes away overnight. It is a debilitating condition that renders the sufferer powerless and speechless in some cases. But with the right space and support from those who matter as I have found, you will be able to liberate yourself. Using words such as “control” or “combat” in connection to overcoming anxiety are denigrating to the progress of recovery, which is why I refuse to use them as a sufferer.



I think from the words you have used that you already know what’s going on – specifically this word – “depressed”. 2 months is a long time to feel low for – there’s definitely help out there although what works for who is incredibly individual. There are two main starting points for finding help with this sort of problem: your GP, and the university’s pastoral care system. Talking to your tutor or mentor is the obvious first step with that – it definitely does fall within their remit and they are given some specific training to help them support students in this way – or if you wanted to keep some separation between your studies and everything else, you may be able to go and talk to a counsellor directly instead. The two – GP and university based support – can work together particularly well, especially in terms of double-checking that there is not a physical cause for how you’re feeling – vitamin deficiencies can do this!

If you find yourself feeling really desperate, start by telling *anyone* – Nightline might be a particularly good option during termtime.

I wanted to finish by saying that I’ve been exactly where you are now, feelings wise, and even though it doesn’t feel like it, it honestly won’t last forever. One way or another, it’s going to get better.



Personally I would seek help. I felt like that for many years – from 2006 to 2010 to be precise and when I got help I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and my life has got so much better. Having a good support team of friends, family, those close to you is vital so let those close to you know what is going on and express your feelings. It does get better. There are some times that we have to accept that we cant shrug things off and need help and when we realise this it is the first step to becoming even better as we are realising that we are taking that first step to being back to our best. If you also have a good doctor, explain to them how you are feeling also. Meds are not always the answer either, but some counselling may be able to help.Good luck.

Share this article
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Comments are closed.