I have recently been diagnosed with autism and I am in my 40s. I have suffered from anxiety all of my life and before I knew about the autism, I have had several courses of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This has helped me with my social anxiety which is now not as bad as it used to be.
However, every since I was a child I have suffered from anxiety. It is worse in the morning when I often wake up feeling sick with anxiety. As I go through the day it does get better. Sometimes I feel very low levels of anxiety and at other times I can be extremely anxious for weeks at a time. I am often worrying about something that is going to happen later that day or even in a few weeks' time - for example a meeting I have to do, people I have to talk to, somewhere unfamiliar that I am going or just general uncertainty about what is going to happen next in my life.
I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who feels the same as I feel that I am quite alone. I have a job and a partner but the anxiety makes me very tired a lot of time time and it is difficult to live with. Does anyone have any good tips on how to manage chronic anxiety?
People around me don't understand why I get so anxious. They are supportive but I think they probably can't imagine how I actually feel and what a burden it is to feel anxious a lot of the time. It takes the enjoyment out of life. The times that I feel less anxious are when I am with people I know doing something planned or familiar. For example, I love going to the cinema and I always feel great when I watch films.
Any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you.
Thank you so much for everyone who responded. It is probably the first time in my life that I have heard anyone say that they totally understand how I feel about my anxiety. It is a bit of a relief and I wonder if part of what I need to do is to accept that anxiety is part of me? I will also keep working on trying to manage it effectively. I do take antidepressants and have done so for a long time. They don't do much for my anxiety but they do prevent my mood from spiralling down into a very deep place.
The other thing I am realising more and more is that I am working very hard when I am with other people - which causes me to have extreme tiredness. I have to try and get the balance right as I do enjoy being with others and need to for my work but I also like a lot of time on my own.
Thanks again everyone!