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Topic: Anxiety during isolation

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. lemonyb
    lemonyb avatar
    18 posts
    6 April 2020

    I've lived with general and social anxiety for a looong time, and can normally manage it just fine myself. But lately, being stuck inside 24/7, mostly alone in my room, has resulted in my anxiety becoming a lot worse not only at home, but going out at all is enough to almost- or to give me a panic/anxiety attack.

    Being in quarantine has made me realise how lonely I really am. Being in the midst of a confusing situation.. where I can't talk to the person I used to always speak to at all definitely isn't helping that.

    People who I considered close friends haven't tried to contact me at all, and those who I do try to contact often don't respond. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong? Or saying the wrong things? Maybe those people don't wish to speak with me at all? I don't want to annoy them, yet somehow I think I manage to do so anyway.

    It's also made me realise how much I adore human interaction (with those close to me anyway). I hate not being able to spend time with people, not being able to hug my friends or act goofy with them at school or home. I miss hearing voices and stories. I know this all probably sounds really silly but... it's genuinely bothering me.

    Plus the mere idea of having to do online schooling freaks me out. I cannot stay at home all day- on my computer- on a video call with my teachers and students. I'd much, much, much rather endure in-school time than go through it all at home. School gives me a break from my home and family, it gives me structure and routine to work around, not having any of that really throws me off sometimes.

    Everything is just feeling a little overwhelming at the moment. And I need to sort this situation I'm going through out, but I can't due to quarantine/isolation :/

    I'm sure some, if not most of you feel a similar way about isolation and this whole COVID business, but I need to get a little bit off my chest so... here I am. Not quite sure how to end this post... I hope whoever's reading this is feeling better than I am right now.

  2. Daniel0712
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Daniel0712 avatar
    12 posts
    7 April 2020 in reply to lemonyb

    Hi lemonyb, I don't think your posts sounds silly at all, in fact it probably just expresses what a huge number of people are feeling and thinking at the moment. Given the speed that this has happened and the sudden forced change to most people's way of life I think it would be surprising if someone *didn't* feel at least some loss of control, anxiety or (especially those like you in quarantine) loneliness. Whilst I am fortunate not to suffer from social anxiety etc in general, I too have had moments of fear and high stress levels in the last few weeks, such as when I was in my work office late at night, not knowing if I'd be allowed back the next morning pending the PM announcing the latest restrictions.

    In terms of:"People who I considered close friends haven't tried to contact me at all, and those who I do try to contact often don't respond. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong? Or saying the wrong things? Maybe those people don't wish to speak with me at all? I don't want to annoy them, yet somehow I think I manage to do so anyway." I would take a strong guess that the more likely explanation is nothing personal against you at all but simply that your friends have also been preoccupied with CV-19 and haven't had the time or head space to reach out or respond. Especially if they have children or old relatives to support - I personally have been so rushed off my feet lately and I just have myself to look after. In the past I've also found it frustrating to wait for friends to reply when I've made an effort but I would just be patient and allow at least a few weeks to pass until hopefully things generally have settled down a bit and people are more used to their new routines.

    In terms of the other things you mentioned, have you thought about increasing human interaction through things like e.g. suggest a skype/zoom etc video conference with family/friends, or perhaps a social media interest group? Is there also any particular reason why the online schooling worries you so much? I am also studying uni online at the mo and can give you some tips for how to make that work well if that would help.

    Regards

  3. lemonyb
    lemonyb avatar
    18 posts
    7 April 2020 in reply to Daniel0712

    Hey Daniel

    Thanks for the little bit about my friends most likely being busy, I have thought about that being the reason, I've just been finding it a little rough not speaking to anyone lately.

    About zoom/skype, I don't have any family to call, and as I mentioned my friends haven't really been speaking to me lately, so as much as I would love to do more calls with them, I can't. I was able to facetime an internet friend today though- which was nice.

    And the reason online schooling stresses me out so much is the idea of the video chats, in an actual class I can choose to sit in a corner or next to a friend when I don't particularly feel the best about being in class, or don't want to be seen by anyone. But with the video chats we've been told each class member will be able to see eachother I believe? I think online schooling would also make certain projects, work and tests more difficult. For a few of my classes I rely on the schools equipment as I don't have or can't afford the things myself (such as a drumkit, certain painting supplies, etc)

  4. Emmen
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Emmen avatar
    301 posts
    7 April 2020 in reply to lemonyb

    Hello lemonyb,

    I'm beginning to see that feeling isolated during the quarantine is quite a common experience. As much as we may value our solitude, I guess people are social creatures. Isolation can increase our feelings of loneliness, and this is made worse by the fact that people you reach out to don't seem to have time for you. Is there any other way you can connect with people and feel involved? Social media could be one way to do this - personally I enjoy connecting with people with similar interests through Instagram.

    About school, it's something that can't be helped. I can understand how uncomfortable it is to be seen by everyone when you'd much rather sit unnoticed in a corner. I guess what's important is for you to remember that your other classmates may be feeling the same way as well. There's definitely pressure in knowing you're visible to all, so your anxieties are perfectly normal. For the supplies that you don't have/can't afford, could you speak to your teacher about it?

    This isolation period will be rough, but with some exploration, I'm sure you'll find what works for you to keep yourself socially connected. In the meantime, if you need a space to share your thoughts, this forum is a great place to do that.

    All the best,
    Emmen

  5. Daniel0712
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Daniel0712 avatar
    12 posts
    7 April 2020 in reply to lemonyb

    Hi lemonyb,

    Ah ok I understand then why for you video chats might stress you out if you normally prefer the security of hiding away. But if it helps: I've attended lo of group Zoom chats in the last few weeks, both for my work and uni, and I'm pretty sure most people are just preoccupied in what the main presenter or speaker is saying rather than paying much attention to other individuals who may be remaining quiet. I've learnt that we usually all think we're the focus of attention (whether or not we want to be) but by definition that can't always be true. Basically I believe people are quite ego-driven. I don't mean that in a negative or critical way, but its just a human instinct to see the world through our own perspectives and place overemphasis on what others think of us but in reality we're all quite insecure underneath and focus way more on ourselves before we even care about or judge (for example) the quiet person in corner of the room or on a video screen. To help ease your anxiety, could you talk to the organisers before classes start to explain that you're nervous and how they/you might deal with that beforehand? Same about the equipment - if you don't have the equipment can you call them and explain and hopefully they can find a way to make sure you get it or otherwise have a substitute?

  6. lemonyb
    lemonyb avatar
    18 posts
    7 April 2020 in reply to Emmen

    Hey Emmen!

    Recently I've been joining headspace groupchats to talk with people and help support them where I can- which has actually been a nice way of interacting. And as much as I'd like to connect with new people, I'm the worst at keeping a conversation going so I find it hard to talk with people over social medias such as Instagram, snapchat, etc.

    Also I'm going to email a few of my teachers tomorrow and ask them about it, hopefully I can borrow a few things or find substitutes- fingers crossed!

    Hope you're doing well.

    Lemon

  7. lemonyb
    lemonyb avatar
    18 posts
    7 April 2020 in reply to Daniel0712

    I'd hope that people in the call would be more focused on what's going on in the class, but quite a few of my classes have some people who don't particularly pay attention in an actual classroom, I'm a little worried about being judged or something? Which kind of proves your point haha. I'd have to agree that humans are pretty much ego-driven.

    And as I mentioned in my reply to Emmen- I'm going to email my teachers tomorrow and hope I'm able to borrow a few things if possible or find suitable substitutes.

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