Dealing with anxiety


(David Silcox) #1

I am going to assume that everyone that is reading and responding to these topics has left somewhere and is now living or has lived in France (or somewhere else) as a resident. Further I am going to assume that you have experienced both the good and questionable (I never say bad and encourage it with all of my "clients") aspects of expat life.

My question is how did you deal with the anxiety. Maybe a friend got hung up in an Air Traffic controllers strike and could not make it for a plan weekend or maybe you just spent 4 hours at the Prefecture waiting to explain your situation only to be told that you had to pay a fine at the kiosk next door. As you are approaching the door they close and lock up for a 2 hour lunch. Or maybe you just experiencing the cognitive dissonance that we all experience when dealing with the implications of the big decision.

How did you handle it?

Did you say "F... it" put the dog and spouse in the car and drive to Rome for a dirty weekend?

Did you write a long angry post on Survive France?

Did you call and old friend in God knows where?

Or did you just cry, get hammered and wake up feeling like a piece of s..t?

These are real world situation that strong people like us deal with everyday.

Of course familiar stuff is easier but we are not ordinary people.


(Shirley Mitchell) #2

How to handle it ....?

You read my book which I originally named SURVIVE FRANCE - but had to change it when this group was created. If for nothing else than to reassure you that these NUISANCES can be survived.

You look/ask around and you surely WILL find people worse off than yourself and in more desperate muddles.

My low points (the first time around) included Husband's Heart Surgery, Daughter's School/Sorbonne problems, Mother's death, stolen car, Accountant's Embezzlement ...

And yet ... well, let me explain it by telling you that my follow up book - a work in progress - is entitled COMING BACK FOR MORE.


(Kit Wells) #3

Try becoming a Buddhist (it's not a religion), or at least take up meditation. Read Stephen Batchelor's 'Buddhism Without Belief', a short but really useful book on how to know yourself, deal with habits, anger and so on. Easy to read, life-changing. Bon courage.


(Hilary Jane Dunk) #4

Yes that sounds good Kit, I might take a look at the book on Amazon (preview the pages)...

Buddism...isn't that where the 'Mindfulness' Idea comes from .....I think that is in the key.

Try to be more active and involved in something that, hopefully, is enjoyable and forces one to live in the moment and use your brain a bit, like dancing, playing a musical instrument, walking and going for a drive helps, as does a change of scene.

To quote from another inspiring literary source that in terms of fighting one's way through life is very relevant....one may not be able to conjure a 'Petronus' like HP & friends....but these things will help to defeat the 'Dementors'.....

'Expellliarmus'& good luck...


(Vicky Robertson) #5

Squeaked a bit at first, met with much kindness, much appreciated but no one is Superman...... Fermenting nicely now, zipped up, shut up and ostriching like a pro!


(Roger Waldram) #6

During my training as a psychotherapist anxiety was compared to a wedge of cheese-anxiety being at the thin end & full blown fear at the other.

Our physical response is typically fast pulse & quick heart beat, raised blood-pressure, rapid breating & imagining the worst.

This is, of course, similar to excitement & Fritz Perls said 'Breathe & feel the excitement'. "Smart-arse!" He was talking about diaphragmatic or belly or yoga breathing-long, slow deep breath so your stomach lifts not your lungs-Google it on YouTube. Using creative imagination & practice you can train yourself to relax & think clearly whenever you need to.

Doctor treat yourself is just what I did when having a basal cell carcinoma removed after local anaesthetic & pins pulled from my # tib & fib. It's a skill you can learn & it works.


(Helen Laziou Roger) #7

normally a good cry and a walk does it for me (and I actually suffer from clinical anxiety btw) but when really bad it's a call to my cpn, a good chat and if really needs be an atarax to calm the nerves and get some sleep ;)


(Peter Bird) #8

A whole Atarax Helen ?

Just a half does it for me.

The walking helps a lot I find.


(Helen Laziou Roger) #9

I only have the 25mg atarax Peter ;)

Anxiety is just part of my diagnosis, I also have ptsd, bipolar and severe depression so half an atarax is part of my daily treatment - if an attack is at the point I need meds (ie walking etc hasn't calmed it) a whole is needed


(Véronique Langlands) #10

I suppose people process things differently, none of these situations: " Maybe a friend got hung up in an Air Traffic controllers strike and could not make it for a plan weekend or maybe you just spent 4 hours at the Prefecture waiting to explain your situation only to be told that you had to pay a fine at the kiosk next door. As you are approaching the door they close and lock up for a 2 hour lunch." would induce anxiety in me at all. A bit of irritation perhaps but certainly not anxiety. Anxiety is for when I have a child taking a carshare to/from the other end of the country, it's raining, she's overdue and not answering her mobile, for instance.


(David Silcox) #11

Absolutely Veronique that would make me crazy but when she arrives you are not anxious anymore. Chronic anxiety is just unhealthy. I go to a fitness club 5 days a week, ride my road bike hard a few times per week and try to avoid drinking alcohol for a few hours each day. Seriously we do have a way of complicating our lives. Taking ownership is difficult but necessary.