The Vine: March 9, 2011
I got home from a vacation with friends a couple of weeks ago, and I've been wondering on and off about my mental state since then.
I'd really been looking forward to this trip ever since it was planned, but at the same time, I felt this weird low-grade anxiety about it. I like the people I was going to be spending time with, I knew the directions to her place, we were going to have a fun time.
I carpooled up with some friends, had a great drive up, and as soon as I got settled into friend's living room, I looked at my watch and I remember thinking to myself, "Okay, just two and a half days until you can go home! Just a little over 48 hours, and you'll be home again." I kept doing that all weekend long, wishing I was home and counting down the hours — and eventually the minutes! — until I could leave.
I've felt anxiety about traveling before, but usually it was anxiety about flying, which seems, if not exactly normal, a little more understandable. Except that over the last couple of years, I have felt more anxious about when I can be home again. It's not so bad at work, and I don't notice it when I'm out running errands, but if I'm away from home for more a few hours, I start paying close attention to being home.
I am currently being treated for anxiety/depression issues, and other than this problem, I genuinely feel that the medication I'm on is making a difference in my symptoms.
So, I'm interested in your thoughts on this, Sars (and fellow Tomato Nation fans, if you put my question online) — is this normal? If not, should I look into seeing a psychologist for help, or maybe talk to the doctor who prescribes my medication? I'd really like to just sit back and enjoy myself when I'm away from home.
Yes, I would mention it to your doctor, and ask for a referral to a psychologist. The pattern of thinking you've described sounds obsessive to me, and it also sounds like it's linked to the anxiety — and it's great that you've found a medication that's helping, but if you don't pair that with talk therapy, you may not get at the root of the anxiety and depression, so it'll just come back up through a different crack in the sidewalk. (Sorry for that tortured simile.)
As for whether it's "normal"…I don't think it's uncommon, certainly, and I don't think you'd have any trouble addressing it, as far as a trained counselor recognizing what's going on and knowing how to help you. Don't worry too much about "normal"; worry about "awesome" instead. Feeling worried about traveling, checking your watch to see how much longer you'll have to endure a "fun" trip or activity — that's not awesome. Don't beat yourself up about it, but do try to find a therapist who can give you a hand with it, and see what happens.
Tags: health and beauty