Stress is a response to a trigger we can pinpoint. Left unchecked, stress can lead to burnout. But with the right support, we can troubleshoot the situation and take steps to get through to the other side.
Why do I feel overwhelmed when others don’t?
But what if you are feeling overwhelmed with life and you can’t pinpoint a logic reason why? Leaving you embarrassed and ashamed?
Unlike stress, anxiety does not tend to have a logical cause. Or we troubleshoot one thing that is causing us to feel anxious, only to feel anxious about something else entirely. It is a fear-based way of thinking that triggers the fight, flight, or freeze mode, meaning we are both mentally and physically overwhelmed.
Are you overwhelmed by unexplainable sadness? And feelings that you have no future, or that things are irreparably wrong with you? Do you even feel so overwhelmed you don’t want to see friends or leave the house?
Depression means we feel hopeless and without a future, while mired in shame about our past. It too can be quite physical, with our limbs feeling made of lead and our head full of sand. Simple things like getting ready to go to the shops can feel overwhelming if depression becomes severe.
Do you live your life on edge, scanning for danger? Do environments and experiences trigger your fight, flight or freeze response? A knock on the door, a certain smell, a certain type of person? And did you live through a trauma?
Complex PTSD is a long-term and ongoing trauma response that sees you easily overwhelmed. You can be more emotional that others, and also jumpy, tense, with physical symptoms like constant colds and flu and stomach upset.
Does overwhelm happen for you because you often just feel like there is so much to be done that you can’t keep up? Or because others can’t keep with you or keep misunderstanding you? And you either feel enraged or like crying?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a range of symptoms that see you more reactive to sensory experiences and less emotional than others. You can also struggle with changes to routine.
7. Anxious attachment.
Do you only feel overwhelmed when you are in a relationship? Right when you should feel happy and in love, do you secretly feel panicky, uncertain, and even struggle to relax and sleep?
Anxious attachment happens when we did not have a parent or caregiver we could rely on for unconditional love and attention as a young child. Either our parent was unreliable, leaving us uncertain we were safe, or we were only given love if we appeased them. The end result is that we connect love with anxiety.
Do you have emotional ‘storms’? Feel calm one minute, then an emotional wreck the next? Fly into a rage, or end up in a puddle of tears? Do others call you oversensitive, and do you punish people if you think they might abandon you? Do you tend to have fiery but short-lived relationships?
Do you have strange thoughts you are ashamed of that totally overwhelm you? That might be sexual or violent in nature? And do you then have patterns of thinking or behaviour to deal with these thoughts, like mental checklists, praying or repeating things in your head, or excessively researching to ‘prove’ you are okay?
Primarily obsessional OCD, or what sufferers call ‘Pure OCD“, is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder that means your head is a constant storm of extreme thoughts that are like mental torture. And instead of a more typical compulsive response, like hand washing or organising, you might use mental compulsions to calm yourself.
Ready to stop living life from a constant state of overwhelm? And feel back in charge again? We put you in touch with London’s top talk therapists who can help. Or use our booking platform to find UK-wide registered therapists as well as online counsellors you can work with from anywhere.
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