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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » I Think I've Developed Some Sort of Anxiety Disorder from JUST MANUAL SEX!! (Page 1)

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Author Topic: I Think I've Developed Some Sort of Anxiety Disorder from JUST MANUAL SEX!!
arrestomomentum
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Okay, I'm usually a very laid back person. No drama, no excessive anxiety when I'm stressed out, but I've only just started getting intimate with my boyfriend of almost a year. However, we have never had sex at all. The first time, I do think that there was a pregnancy risk, but we agreed that I'd take ECP. Yeah, in the past, we did get naked and he'd finger me, and I'd still be rather paranoid of this causing any sort of pregnancy risk, so I'd resort to ECP to ease my mind. These days, we've stopped with the manual sex as I'd get nervous a few days after the event.

I'd just like some reassurance that there was no risk, and even if there was (a tiny risk since we've never had intercourse), I had ECP to reduce that risk and to ease my mind. I just need to read things that will tell me that I'm not pregnant, and there was never any real risk.

I'm really getting ridiculous. I got so scared at some point, that I somehow convinced myself that I was pregnant so I took multiple HPTs (3-4) and of course, they were all negative, and not only that, i've had regular periods. but i really don't know why i keep convincing myeslf that there's SOMETHING INSIDE OF ME..... and that it's been there for a while now!!!!

I'm trying to get me some mental help: i've scheduled an appointment with a psychologist, and i'm planning to set up an appointment with the gyno this week.

Please help me! I'm having really bad panic attacks, and it's taking its toll on my relationship [Frown] I'm so scared all the time, and i feel like i'm going crazy.

Me and my boyfriend have agreed that I'm really not ready for all of this sexual stuff, and I chose to give it (A REALLY LONG) time before I get into this again.

Can someone please help me??? Please!!

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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arrestomomentum
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Lately, I've been feeling somewhat nauseous, but only when I stress myself out thinking about pregnancy. Also, I think I hate kids because of all of these scares, and I miss living like a normal person.

Right now I just really need an expert (you guys) to tell me that it's safe to say that I'm not pregnant, and give me some advice to cope with my life.... [Frown]

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Robin Lee
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Hi arrestomomentum,

I'm really glad to hear you're taking all these steps to help yourself. This is really fantastic to hear. [Smile]

I'm not really sure how we can help beyond telling you that negative pregnancy tests and regular periods are both solid indications that you're not pregnant, which is something it sounds like you already know yourself. What would be helpful to you right now?


When is your appointment with the psychologist? It sounds like your boyfriend has been supportive of you through all of this, which is wonderful.

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Robin

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arrestomomentum
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these days i just feel like my imagination is ruining my life. I cant seem to be alone, else i'd start breathing really heavily. Also, i don't even know why, but i really convince myself that i'm pregnant. I'd check my tummy if it's hard or if it grew in size, and i'm just getting more ridiculous by the hour.

I've been sleepier a lot lately, and today I've been peeing a lot more, and these things just make me panic because i take them all as pregnancy symptoms!! i really don't feel safe in my own skin anymore, and nothing seems to help. and sometimes i even feel delusional because I can feel some sort of movement in my stomach!!!! there is something definitely wrong with me [Frown]

I'm going to the psychologist on monday, and i need someone (or people) to permanently get rid of all of my anxiety. [Frown]

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Robin Lee
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The psychologist can help you work on the anxiety. It sounds like this has gone beyond something that just knowing the facts can help. What do you think?

I'm not sure if this will help, but you're not alone in having this type of fear. It's actually a lot more common than people would expect.

What kind of support do you have from friends and family? Do you have other people you can talk to and get support from besides your boyfriend?

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Robin

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arrestomomentum
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hi Robin! I'm sorry if i couldn't reply in days, my dorm's internet connection wouldn't allow me to enter scarleteen [Frown] well, anyway,

is it really that common? am i feeling like my body is different, or is it just that ever since i started getting intimate, i seem to have been more alert with my body?

i've only told one other person, and it's my roommate. she helps me deal with my panic attacks. also, i've seen both the gyno and the psychologist and the gyno said that i had to relax because i've had regular periods (i was on my period when she checked me) and y psychologist says to allow my fear to manifest, but limit the time that it can. i'm having a lot of trouble with this....

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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arrestomomentum
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i just feel like i have no control over my mind anymore. i've been having nightmares (always the same one) about being pregnant, and i frequently ask my boyfriend and my roommate if they think that i am pregnant (of course theyd say no since i've never had a risk, and even if i did, i'd still back it up with ECP.)

i just need someone to say whether or not fingering/dryhumping, but with ECP every time after will still pose a pregnancy risk.

also, i got my gyno to give me a referral for an ultrasound! defnitely going for it. [Smile]

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Robin Lee
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HI arrestomomentum,

I'm glad to hear you got to see the gynecologist and the psychologist. When do you see the psychologist next? One suggestion I have is to have them get in touch with each other. It might be helpful in your therapy to have the psychologist remind you of what your gyno said to you.

I know you say you just need to hear someone say that you didn't have a risk, but you've already heard people, your doctor, several of us, plus our written articles, say that and it hasn't helped you. Please understand I'm not saying that to be mean; that's just where you are with this.

In terms of your psychologist's recommendation to let the fear out but limit how much you do that, are you saying that that isn't working for you, or that you're having trouble even figuring out how to make it work. One thing I can think of, right off the bat, based on your post here is to remind yourself that your nightmares are just that--nightmares. They're not fun, they interrupt your sleep, but in the end you wake up in the morning and can know they're not true.

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Robin

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arrestomomentum
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the psychologist says that i can keep emailing her right before christmas, so i guess that's good...

okay, i know i sound like a crazy person [Frown] but i really don't know any other way to make the fear/paranoia go away [Frown]

she says that i shouldn't fight back the fear because it's going to resist and fight back even harder. so when i try to limit the fear, it does try to fight back ;__; i'm sorry ;__;

one question about ECP, if you take it more than once or twice in a cycle, does it take several months for your cycle to go back to normal? like are your periods going to be different looking for some time?

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Robin Lee
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Please don't apologize. It's clear that this is a struggle for you and getting help doesn't usually make a struggle go away immediately. Have you shared these difficulties and fears with her in email?

You know, everybody's body is going to react to ECP differently, but we do know that it can alter menstrual cycles for many people, and those effects don't go away immediately. So yes, if you took ECP frequently and you're finding your periods aren't like they used to be, that's very likely the reason.

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Robin

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arrestomomentum
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in person, actually. she says it's not being pregnant that scares, me, but how people are going to react about it. In some way, she's right, but i really am scared of getting pregnant, or any life changing event too. I mean, who wouldn't be afraid?

so i guess it'll probably take a very very long time before my body (and hopefully my mind) will go back to normal?

oh yeah, and i'm for sure getting an ultrasound once i get back to living in the dorm and when my mom flies back to the province. I guess should that be the ultimate proof that there's nothing growing inside of me?

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Robin Lee
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Have you shared with your psychologist this conviction that you have something growing inside of you? I also strongly encourage you to share with her, if you haven't already, all of the lengths you've gone to to reassure yourself, as it's pretty clear that up until this point that information hasn't helped you very much.

In terms of your menstrual cycle, remember that your stress level is going to impact that pretty significantly, and it's clear that you're under a lot of stress right now.

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Robin

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arrestomomentum
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yes, i have. in person too.

Robin i'm so scared, i ended my period on the 21st, and then nothing came out for the next two days. Just the white discharge girls normally get after their periods. today, I wiped and there's some brown discharge, and i hear this could be a sign of something like, i don't know, pregnancy, or some other nasty things... [Frown]

i'm even more worried now!! [Frown] (((

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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arrestomomentum
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i guess this whole thread is a more than a good demonstration of my paranoia at its best ;____;

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Robin Lee
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Can you be clearer on what you think this brown discharge could be a sign of, and where you learned this? Do you feel you heard this in a reliable place?

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Robin

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arrestomomentum
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i couldn't stop myself from googling this, ad the results that came out were cervicitis, endometriosis, cancer, and some other things. but i also hear that spotting could be a sign/symptom of pregnancy.

i got this information from livestrong.com, and i'm not sure what other people say, but i think they're a pretty legit health/wellness site.

I just really want to know what's going on with my body before i actually go crazy [Frown]

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Onionpie
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Well, livestrong is a website/organization that is mostly about cancer. So the things they're going to list symptoms for is going to be cancer. There are other possibilities that are NOT cancer for your discharge. And those other possibilities are far more common, as well.

It seems pretty clear that looking up these things online isn't helping out your fears much here. We really recommend that users don't just google health issues, because if you look in enough places, EVERYTHING is a symptom of EVERYTHING [Smile] So, do you think from here on out you can avoid googling health concerns you have, and instead talk to your doctor about it? Do you think that will help you be able to feel a bit better about this?

[ 12-23-2012, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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arrestomomentum
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i can't talk to a doctor until the holidays end ;__; and i just wanna get this whole break over with so i can take the ultimate test- an ultrasound. (i mean, that is THE most reliable test, right? since you can see everything going on inside?)

i guess talking to a doctor is going to be a really good idea and all, but it's going to have to wait until after the holidays [Frown]

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Robin Lee
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For now, it sounds like you could really benefit from some stress-reduction. What have you found helpful in the past when you've been stressed out.

Also, about the spotting: We were talking a few posts back about emergency contraception and how it can alter cycles for several months after taking it. One of those changes can include increased spotting.

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Robin

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arrestomomentum
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the only thing that i have done when stressed out was sit down and waste time......

clearly not a good idea now since we're talking about my mental health and pregnancy......

i hate this [Frown] i'm nowhere near the holiday spirit, and i keep thinking there's like, a four month old child growing inside of me. i can't stand to look at my bely anymore because i keep thinkig that there's something inside.

i really thought this through, and i guess the reason why i can't seem to rely on any proof that i'm not pregnant is that i take sex as something to always, always, ALWAYS have a consequence (especially having been raised in a very conservative home). and somehow, i can't really shake the feeling that i'm not worthy to be spared or something, even if i've never had any genital-to-genital sex/contact.

okay, do you, personally think i've had a risk?

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Heather
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I think it's going to be most helpful for *you* to go through the logic yourself, honestly.

How about you do that by walking through this: Pregnancy Scared?

And then this: Chicken Soup for the Pregnancy Symptom Freakout's Soul

It might also help to remember that pregnancy is one of the biggest events a body can go through. People several months into a pregnancy generally aren't feeling like their usual selves, with no disruption save some spotting and sleep issues.

People who are several months pregnant also don't have negative pregnancy tests.

You seem very clear that you KNOW this is a psychological issue you're having, and even have a good sense of what it's attached to: the way you were raised and the ideas you were given about sex.

It seems clear to me that you really do need to talk to a qualified counselor at this point, but in the meantime, how about operating from the things you *know* are real (your fears and guilt around sex) and working through those some more in your head and heart yourself rather than focusing on something you know isn't real?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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arrestomomentum
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i went through those two articles, several times, actually. i guess i just won't believe anything until i see (or not in this case) it.

i know that i didn't have a risk in the first place, and even if i did, i backed it up with ECP, and i've had regular periods (albeit they have been altered). But honestly, i don't know why i've convinced myself that i'm pregnant. every school break since i've been getting into all this intimate stuff, i've been going through hell. I've been alone through it, as i've never told anyone and i don't know why i've stuck more to the "what if...s" than to what more commonly happens to people who go through this. and if it (teenage pregnancy) does happen to me, i wouldn't have too many options because abortion is illegal where i live, and i'd most likely be disowned, and i really can't (emotionally, mentally, financially, etc, etc, etc) support a child, especially since kids aren't exactly my favorite things in the world.

i guess at this point, i just really wanna get that ultrasound to see what's going on because all this doubt is going to kill me. Right now, i just feel like i have to wait till week 40 to know that i'm not pregnant. and all of this stress is taking its toll on me physically too [Frown] i've been dizzy, more easily nauseated in cars, fatigued, my back's been hurting, etc. those things just make my mental state even worse than it already is [Frown]

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Heather
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Have you found a doctor willing to give you an ultrasound? I ask because most practices do need an actual physical reason to do one (a pervasive fear of pregnancy despite negative tests wouldn't be one of those). So, I just think if that's the thing you're holding out for here, you might want to have a Plan B.

And personally, I think counseling is your better bet, regardless. I understand you do already have a therapist, and you say you *have* told them about all of this? What was their response? If she has advised a given approach, are you following it?

I keep hearing you express very clear and likely causes for the why of this: you say you have been raised to think everyone needs to be punished or have a consequence for sex, you're very afraid of judgment around sex, your worst-case scenarios here involve what sounds like very severe punishment, and you're also not talking to anyone else about all of this. That last bit is something guaranteed to help you hold onto an unreasonable fear and to shame.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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arrestomomentum
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yeah! i went to a gynecologist, told her all about it, and she handed me a referral for an ultrasound because she think i may have cysts or something.

well, i've only just started seeing her, so i'm pertty sure she doesn't fully understand yet. i'm gonna keep going to her regularly when i get the chance to. what she told me to do was let the fear/panic manifest, but limit it. this is a pretty difficult approach because for one thing, it's kind of like fighting back the fear/panic, and the more i try to fight it back, the more it gets worse. ive tried to do that ever since that last appointment, but it's a little tricky when things start to physically manifest.

i've only told one other person about this, and she's my roommate. she has helped enormously because i feel like all of this anxiety is destroying my relationship.

i'm so glad you guys are still online christmas eve ;_____; definitely the biggest help into getting back into the spirit ;___;

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Heather
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Can you check in with your new therapist about your use of this forum? I ask primarily because the last thing we'd want to do is engage in any conversations that might be enabling you or holding you back, rather than being in alignment with the work she's starting with you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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arrestomomentum
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i can't check in with her just yet. she's out of town, and i won't be able to reach her till the 7th [Frown] i should have told her about this forum sooner! it's just that i can't use this website in school, and i live in school, so yeah,,, sorta slipped my mind--

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Heather
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Okay. Well, in the meantime then, my best judgment on this is that talking about you being pregnant as an actual reality isn't the sound thing for us to do, and isn't something I'm comfortable doing.

So, if we're going to keep talking, what I'd feel comfortable with us talking to you about is how you're managing your anxiety, and perhaps talking about the way you're working on unpacking the fears and shame around sex you were reared with, and helping you with that.

And if you're not already doing so, I think we can also talk about how you and your boyfriend can work together on this, primarily by stepping AWAY from any kind of sex until you've made some real headway with your therapist.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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arrestomomentum
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i've been trying to keep myself busy 24/7. i've been painting, going to the mall, and working on homework for when i get back from break, but while i work, there's always that little voice in the back of my head that says "THERE'S SOMETHING INSIDE OF YOU" or like, when i finally convince myself that i'm not pregnant and i'm not going to end up a teen mom, all of a sudden i see something involving pregnancy and i'm like "omg i'm next." i really am getting ridiculous, and i'm clingier to people. that is not like me at all.

i try to calm myself by hanging out with my friends, but the second i'm alone again (say, at night or when i'm in the bathroom), BAM it hits me all over again. i try to allow the panic to manifest, but at this point it's too strong for me to control. I honestly have no idea how my anxiety got this bad. i've been having a hard time staying happy, i've started to think any good change in my body (say, my hair is shinier, my cheeks are rosier, people compliment me, saying i'm pretty today), as a bad sign.

yes definitely. i've started to step away from any kind of sexual contact.

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Heather
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Maybe we could start by helping you find some grounding techniques that work for you when you do start to panic?

For instance, when you start to think like that, some people find grounding with something totally unrelated and rote to help, like saying the whole alphabet until you calm down, or saying the CDs or records of your favorite band in order from the first to the last. Alternately, a mantra that addresses this specific panic might help, like when you think that, saying something to the effect of "There is nothing inside of me. I am not pregnant."

You say you have started to step away from sexual contact: how about finishing? In other words, how about setting hard, clear limits with your partner so that's just a done deal, like, "Until I get some coping tools from my therapist to make me feel okay about any kind of sex, and she feels I'm ready to handle that, any kind of sex is just off the table."

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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arrestomomentum
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i've been trying to keep myself busy 24/7. i've been painting, going to the mall, and working on homework for when i get back from break, but while i work, there's always that little voice in the back of my head that says "THERE'S SOMETHING INSIDE OF YOU" or like, when i finally convince myself that i'm not pregnant and i'm not going to end up a teen mom, all of a sudden i see something involving pregnancy and i'm like "omg i'm next." i really am getting ridiculous, and i'm clingier to people. that is not like me at all.

i try to calm myself by hanging out with my friends, but the second i'm alone again (say, at night or when i'm in the bathroom), BAM it hits me all over again. i try to allow the panic to manifest, but at this point it's too strong for me to control. I honestly have no idea how my anxiety got this bad. i've been having a hard time staying happy, i've started to think any good change in my body (say, my hair is shinier, my cheeks are rosier, people compliment me, saying i'm pretty today), as a bad sign.

yes definitely. i've started to step away from any kind of sexual contact.

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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arrestomomentum
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oh whoops, sorry for double posting that :l

yes, i told him that i was just not ready for all of this panic each month, and even if it's feel so nice at the time, we both have to remember that there's a morning after to all of it, and the weeks after are just plain horrible to both of us, since the only one i can express panic to are him and my therapist :l

i guess i can work on some sort of mantra. i've started painting again, so i guess that works. but then again, i've said that these things physically manifest. lately i've been feeling a bit fatigued, depressed, and achy. from time to time, i even feel soe sort of grumbling. not im my stomach, but i feel where my uterus should be 0___0 that alarms me!

heather, i'm really sorry about my extreme anxiety, i've taken this to a whole other level and i just feel terrible about it. i just want to get this over with.

i guess an ultrasound should be the ultimate pregnancy test? i really feel like i should go get it because i need to see for myself that there's nothing growing inside of me. what do you think? should that be a good idea?

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Heather
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You don't owe me or anyone else an apology: the person suffering here is you. [Frown]

What you said to you boyfriend sounds like just the thing.

Glad the painting has been helping, but for sure, let's see if we can't come up with something you can do immediately, anytime, anywhere.

With the ultrasound, it sounds like your GYN wants to do one to look at possible cysts, so if it's medically recommended, and as an additional park, you can also be told, again, there's no pregnancy, then bonus. If you're expecting to "see" something that clearly shows no pregnancy, you might be disappointed, because ultrasounds are murky, but if hearing one more person say you're not pregnant who has seen another way of knowing helps you, then that'll obviously be a good thing.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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arrestomomentum
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you really can't see anything on the ultrasound? i hear egg cells are visible on that thing, like there are girls who go through the same panic attacks that i do and they really do go get an ultrasound and the doctor shows them like a picture of their egg cell still in their ovary :l

on an ultrasound, what can you see? like if it isn't cysts/fibroids/whatever what do you really see?

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Wiz the Wizard! with a possible mental problem

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Heather
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An ultrasound technician is trained to understand what they're seeing, but unless people are looking at something like a pregnancy that's several months along, or have a technician explain what's what on an ultrasound otherwise, just looking at it yourself isn't going to be some sort of whiz-bang where it's obvious what you're looking at.

And with an abdominal ultrasound, we're certainly not going to be able to see egg cells.

What can you see on an ultrasound?

To give you an idea, check out these Google images for pregnancies at six weeks: https://www.google.com/search?q=ultrasound+6+weeks+pregnant&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=c1G&tbo=u&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=STfbUIiWIsm_qAH y0YG4Cw&ved=0CDUQsAQ&biw=1058&bih=715

Now check these images out, which are many of "empty" uteruses without a pregnancy: https://www.google.com/search?q=ultrasound+empty+uterus&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=WNw&tbo=d&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=mTfbUKuIDc3aqQHNooH 4Cw&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAA&biw=1058&bih=715

This might also be helpful: http://www.thewomens.org.au/Ultrasound

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Just FYI, though, in most areas, ultrasound technology really is restricted to there being a physical, medical need. So, the idea that anyone and their uncle (or aunt) can just get one when they're panicking about being pregnant when they aren't? I don't know where that idea is coming from, but I'd be very surprised if that was a common practice anywhere.

Ultrasounds also aren't cheap, for the record, so someone wanting one electively who could get an okay for one would likely have to pay a pretty penny. I'm kind of doubting young women panicking about pregnancy are dropping a hundred bucks (USD) or more for ultrasounds.

[ 12-26-2012, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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