People can feel anxious or panicky due to elevated levels of neurotransmittersThe chemical messangers which are involved in the transmission of signals from one brain cell (neuron) to the next, and are involved in memory, movement, feelings of pleasure, sleep, pain control etc., but these feelings generally resolve when the meth wears off. Regular meth users often report troubling symptoms of anxietyAn extended period of worry or nervousness that's hard to control - can involve poor sleep and difficulty concentrating, as well as feeling restless, tired, and irritable. though, so if the anxious feelings persist when you're not using meth, or you're concerned about these feelings, the following steps can be helpful.
On a scale of 1-10, write down how you feel each day with 1 being the least anxious and 10 the most anxious. Also write down what you were thinking and doing at the time, how you were feeling (e.g. worried, panicky) and any events that triggered those feelings. This will help you identify any unhelpful patterns or automatic thoughts that might need your attention.
Anxiety Rating /10
It’s common for anxious people to get into unhelpful patterns of thinking which causes even more worry and makes the symptoms worse. For example “I feel sweaty and shaky. Everybody is looking at me and they think I’m weird”, “If that person talks to me I'll die". When you catch yourself thinking an unhelpful thought, ask yourself:
Sometimes just checking the facts will help you to calm down and get some perspective on the situation. It's common to automatically jump to negative conclusions or have catastrophic thoughts when you're anxious.
Recognising your own thinking patterns will help to give you space to think about things in a more positive way. It's common for anxious people to talk themselves into a frenzy, but if you can say to yourself, "this is just me jumping to a negative conclusion again, so it might not be completely true" can help you to calm down and think more realistically.
There's many ways to interpret a situation and with attention, you can replace automatic, negative interpretations with more positive ones. For example:
Unhelpful thinking: If that person talks to me I’ll die.
Helpful thinking: I’m nervous but it's ok. I’ll take some slow breaths and calm down.
Learning new ways of thinking takes time and work but like everything in life it gets much easier with practice.
It's important to practice so you can use them as soon as you start to feel anxious. If you manage your symptoms early you've got a much better chance of staying calm and in control.
• Feel anxious or worried for an extended period of time.
• Avoid specific things, places, people or social situations due to excessive worry or feeling anxious.
• Worry about or feel responsible for things beyond your control.
• Can’t work, socialise, study, or otherwise do what’s expected of you due to feeling anxious or excessive worry.
• Can’t cope on your own.
• Have thoughts of hurting yourself in any way.
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