health, mental health, mental illness, psychology

Severe Anxiety Disorder, PTSD and Trouble with Making Decisions

People with severe anxiety disorders often have more trouble making decisions than other people.

Most people are able to weigh the pros and cons of a situation and see whether or not it is likely to be a good decision or a bad one. Severe anxiety order interferes with this process.

We will often fear the worst, when there is a situation involving unknowns.

When I am at work and get called over the system to come to the office, I automatically start thinking about what I could have done wrong. I assume they are calling me in to write me up or fire me.

It is the element of the unknown that triggers the anxiety. Other people will just go to the office and find out when they get there. They do not assume it is something bad.

Making major decisions is a risk of unknowns. People with anxiety disorders think of the worst possible scenarios. We have trouble thinking that the unknowns could be good.

It seems to me that most people think the grass is greener on the other side. They assume they will like a new job better if it seems like something they will enjoy. They also assume it will be secure.

People that have had unstable situations in the past, do not assume the grass is greener. We assume that there is a possibility of the new situation being very unstable. Making a change could possibly have a domino effect that will be detrimental to our lives.

Anxiety rolls into an anxiety attack as our brains go through a series of doors. Here is an example.

1. Maybe I should buy a house in Connecticut. I like it there. It is beautiful and I can run my business from there.

2. But what if the town is unfriendly to outside businesses and finds  a way to shut me down?

3. What if I have terrible neighbors and they cause me so much stress that I have a nervous breakdown?

Then there are the fears of “fear itself” and the consequences of the fear.

1. What if the heater in my house breaks in the winter?

2. What if my house becomes messy because I am too depressed to clean it?

3. The house will be too messy to have anyone come into it , and I won’t be able to have the heater repaired. I will freeze all winter and become ill.

4. I will be sick and I will have to see a doctor in CT. that I do not know.

5. I will have so much anxiety in the doctor’s office that I will not be able to communicate my symptoms. They will not give me the right medication and I will get sicker and sicker until I end up in the hospital or die.

It only takes a matter of minutes to get from point A to point Z , the worst case scenario.  We are afraid our own fears will lead us to disaster. We will lose our job, lose our home or become very sick.

We are afraid we will lose touch with our abilities. We are afraid we will become so full of anxiety and depression that our brains will become completely disorganized temporarily or forever.

We are afraid of not being able to take care of ourselves. We doubt the reliability of our own intelligence and our skills.

We are afraid to be rejected by others. They will not like us because we are different and cannot handle situations the way other people do. We are all dependent on other people in some way.

Anxiety disorders make it hard for us to act the way everyone else expects us to. We cannot live up to their expectations of what we ” should” be able to do.

We fear our own fears. We also fear the judgement of others.

We have trouble fitting into the social norms.

We fear situations that are new to us.

We will stay in our current situation even if there is a better option available. We fear a new situation and  will often continue living in a terrible situation for years. The current situation is familiar and we know what to expect.

Unknowns are potential threats.

If you fear making decisions, you are not alone. The truth is that there are always unknowns in life. They are not always bad.

Try to recognize when you are in a fear loop. Write about it in your blog or just write it for yourself. Sometimes recognizing the fear loop can help a little bit for you to put the risks in perspective. The fear loops will keep you from sleeping at night, if you are like me.

My thoughts are with you all.



5 thoughts on “Severe Anxiety Disorder, PTSD and Trouble with Making Decisions”

  1. I love the term “fear loop”. I feel that it makes the concept less intimidating than using the word “cycle”, which is what I usually call it. So thank you for that.


    1. You are welcome. I think the term ” fear loop” describes a circular thought pattern, where the thoughts circle around and then start over again to repeat. The repeating pattern of going around the sams circle of thoughts again and again is what keeps me awake at night.
      The term ” fear cycle” refers to a long term , ongoing pattern of how the brain can work in general.
      During an individual anxiety attack, the thoughts will go around in a loop that is seemingly endless and does not want to stop repeating.
      I am glad this rang true with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “2. What if my house becomes messy because I am too depressed to clean it?”
    Yep!!! Been THERE!

    I fear taking jobs because I worry I’ll be unable to get out of bed. Then I’ll get written up. Then I’ll be fired. Boom, why apply for a job?

    I once tried to sign up for disability. They gave me a HUGE STACK of papers to fill out. I made it through the top page and then gave up because it was so overwhelming.

    I’m employed right now, though. They don’t seem to really care when I’m an hour late to work, so it’s working out so far! Whew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Getting to work on time is extremely difficult. I have an anxiety attack waking up which gets worse and worse as i try to get all my things together.
      You are good at the job that is not strict on lateness. I am glad you found that.
      Disability paperwork is a nightmare. I filed for a friend years ago . Then he was denied anyway.
      Something like 80 + percent of people who file without a lawyer are denied.
      You can get a disability lawyer , if you ever decide to file. I think they will charge you after you get a disability check.
      The system is not in our favor. It is difficult.
      My thoughts are with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow. I seem able to be employed now. I mean, I wouldn’t stay employed more than a week if I got hired somewhere where attendance was on-the-dot required. But I only got written up a couple of times at my previous job, so I wasn’t fired. My ex was helping me prepare for work in the mornings at that point, though. Now I have hired someone who calls me every morning and helps encourage me out of bed. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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