I have a hard time controlling my anxiety and its hard for me to love. What do I do?

So I live a hard life. I had to grow up on my own since my mom didn't give me any attention. of course, my dad wasn't in my life a whole lot. on top of that I pushed myself to be very independent. I have a hard time dating someone and contently being in love or into them. on top of that I have massive anxiety attacks. my whole family makes me feel down and lost like I am trapped inside a hole. my mom shows no emotional support to me. There are so many things I feel about it all it's hard to think even for myself. every day I just push problems and messes into the back of my head and act like it never happened. on top of that I am gay it's hard to find love out here. I just feel stressed and hurt with my mom and dad and everything. I feel powerless I don't think I look good.
Asked by Teddy

Hello Teddy,

My name is James. I am licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida. Please feel free to review my profile for additional details about me.

Let me begin by saying that you are very brave to start this process of seeking therapeutic feedback.

I have looked over your question and while many specific details are mentioned just as many are not.

In the field of therapy the whole person needs to be considered. There are so many things that we gather from visual cues and mannerisms that this online question and answer format places me at a disadvantage. That having been said please take from the following comments anything that you find helpful and disregard that which doesn't come close to being relevant to your life.

Anxiety can be minor or major. Severe anxiety in my thinking is similar to a panic attack. Leaving one unable to function. Mild anxiety can be motivational, such as the thing that makes a person rehearse or practice what they want to say at a planned event. Assuming you are not in a constant state of panic I am going to suggest journaling as a way to better identify the sources of your anxiety attacks. What works best to help you cope with your anxiety? Who do you have in your life that you trust to open up about your concerns? These are some of the things that journaling can help with.

Teddy, I have a tendency to break things down as simply as I can do here is my emotions breakdown.

We only have 4... 😡 Mad, 😢 Sad, 😃 Happy and 😱 Scared. What do you think your anxiety most closely resembles? I am guessing scared/fear. Seek to understand what it is that is generating your fear response and find a way to deal with it. If there's no actual threat of physical harm tell yourself that. If there is a threat of physical harm this takes priority!

Parental relationships.  There are many psychological theories about childhood experiences, stages of development, parenting style, order of birth, etc etc. Again with the information given my response is going to be generalized. Your parents did the best that they knew how at that time. You adapted to the environment that you found yourself in as a matter of survival. You survived!! Good job!!

Much of our current disposition is tied to what we think and believe. If you can convince yourself that today is another opportunity for you to move towards outcomes that you desire then you can free yourself from the burden of mom and dad's limitations. Dad wasn't around; mom wasn't attentive; ok I get it. You can decide to be "better" and practice being the way that you would like to be as a parent. Forgive them for their imperfections and take responsibility for you. All families have some level of dysfunction Teddy, and each individual in any given situation will interpret that event differently based on a multitude of factors. If you can focus on facts, eliminating blame, you can grow. Therapy can help with this.

You have gathered at this point that your daily routine is something that you can choose to address in such a way as to attract the sort of social interest that you desire. Physical strengthening exercises help on multiple levels. Journaling helps to identify progress. Lessening frequency and severity of anxiety builds self confidence. If your biological family are unable to support you in developing yourself you can select to associate yourself with people who are supportive and constructive. Becoming independent doesn't mean that you have to go through things alone.

So far as love goes, love yourself first! When you are in that zone others will notice and be attracted then you might find that special person. If you simply want to date, hang out, have fun or whatever be honest about that with yourself and others. Doing things daily that lift you up in spirit will show externally. 

OK Teddy, there are no instant remedies to lifelong situations. The transition that I feel you are seeking will take time, will be difficult at times but is worth the effort.

Love yourself and tell yourself that you love yourself. Build supportive friendships by being a supportive friend. Forgive, this frees you! Your true friends will give you honest feedback about "I don't think I look good" which is why friends are important.

If needed engage in therapy, which may include medications. Engage means give formidable effort. Medications can be a part of therapy but are not always required, get a qualified  psychological evaluation. I have made several blind suggestions and if any of the help then continue using them.

I wish you the best and would be happy to be a part of your journey to becoming the best version of Teddy.


James Pelzer