Anxiety Addictions

Newsweek reports that some people are addicted to anxiety and actually seek it out.

Researchers who study emotion regulation—how we cope, or fail to cope, with the daily swirl of feelings—are discovering that many anxious people are bound and determined (though not always consciously) to cultivate anxiety. The reason, studies suggest, is that for some people anxiety boosts cognitive performance, while for others it actually feels comforting.

....In some cases, the need to experience anxiety can lead to a state that looks very much like addiction to anxiety.

At the other end of the spectrum, are those who have turned "F**k it" into a mantra. Check out this video, F**k It, The Ultimate Spiritual Way. (It's only 1 minute but I won't embed it because the title doesn't have asterisks.) You can also take the "F**k It" course at a gorgeous retreat called The Hill That Breathes in Urbino, Italy. [More...]

The hill itself is 100 acres of wooded loveliness in a bit of Italy known as Marche, next to the town of Urbino and close to the mountains that border both Tuscany and Umbria (two inferior and much overrated provinces)

Who would choose anxiety over "F**k It?" There's also a book for those who can't travel to Italy.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Tuscany is overrated!?! (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 07:54:14 AM EST
    Who in the heck does that author think he is! I'd better get ready to correct him, because SOMEONE ON THE INTERNET IS WRONG!!!!

    Or maybe I'll just take a xanax. Yeah... a xanax. then I won't even need to say "F**k it." ;-)

    Better living through chemistry, the old saying is!

    This thread stressed me out, (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 10:33:38 AM EST
    so I decided to go off diet, buy three hamburgers and a medium fry, and gobble them down.

    I don't feel so anxious now. ;-)

    It's the tyranny of perfection, I think, (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:05:05 AM EST
    that creates a lot of anxiety - we're supposed to be good at everything we do, especially the roles of spouse, parent and employee - the guilt of feeling like one isn't giving the 100% that feels like it is expected creates a lot of it, too.

    I mean, there are things you can say "F--k it" about, but you don't say it to your kids, when they need you at some "inconvenient" time; you don't say it to your spouse, just because things are tough; you don't say it to your boss, when you know the market is rich with people who would do stupid pet tricks for the chance to take your job.  You don't say it to people who have the power to make your life miserable - the clerk at the MVA, the claims person at the insurance company - anyone who has information you can't get if you tick them off.

    I have to say, when the power goes out at my house, it's like a chance to let go of all the craziness, because there are things you just can't do without power - and in our case, that includes using water, because we're on a well.  So, you can read by candlelight, snuggle with your sweetie, just sit and talk, just sit and listen to the quiet, and realize how much noise we have in our lives that we just don't need.

    Maybe that's nature's way of saying, "F--k it!"

    Hometown of Raphael. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 07, 2011 at 11:38:47 PM EST
    What about balance? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 06:11:25 AM EST
    The President's economic team obviously subscribes to a certain brand of F#*k It when it comes to accountability and now they are completely comfortable and/or maybe just numb to starving the poor of the world.  Can't say that I feel compelled to emulate them, but there really isn't much that can be done but spread the truth (which some like to call b*tch*ing) and searching for someone to vote for who really does give a F#*k.

    Very interesting "take" (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 07:46:20 AM EST
    On J's post in the comments here so far!

    I kind of thought (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:41:13 AM EST
    J was diagnosing a possible disorder that is prevalent on most days with those of us that comment at TL.

    Your WTF comment. (none / 0) (#9)
    by samsguy18 on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 07:58:31 AM EST
    LOL.......Yesterday was a terrible day and today was not looking better.....until I read your comment. It struck me in a funny way. Thank you for making my day a little lighter.

    My moms... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 08:05:09 AM EST
    always called me a Nervous Norman when I was a kid...a ball of anxiety I was...the only kid on the block sweating if his parents were making the rent that month.  And all for no reason...moms and pops always made the rent. I And once I got so anxious in 2nd Grade about forgetting to bring an assignment to school I ditched and walked home to get it, causing a four alarm search when school called moms at work...they thought I was abducted.

    But I've grown into the "f*ck it" philosophy quite well...with the help of certain holistic home anti-anxiety rememdies:)  Sometimes there really is nothing to say or do besides "f*ck it".  I'm a fan of the philosophy.

    I wonder if the anxiety addiction theory is related to drama addiction...cuz I know people addicted to creating drama.

    Kind of like crazy people don't know they are crazy.

    I worry about it all the time (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 08:49:44 AM EST
    Ha! (none / 0) (#25)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:35:41 AM EST
    Probably not.... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 08:30:44 AM EST
    the self is often the last aware of addictions/habits/behavior.  Self awareness is far too rare a trait...I'm often amazed how un-self aware people are.

    At some level, for sure I think (none / 0) (#19)
    by sj on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:07:23 AM EST
    After all, everyone tells them often enough.  Without tools to deal with it, though, it's just one's natural reality.  I think it can go hand in hand with Depression.  You might be able to self-diagnose to an extent, but it's not likely to go away by itself.

    Of course it might be different for worry-wart children than it is for worry-wart adults.  Then again, maybe the right parents or other adults ARE the right tools at that age.


    I was a worry wart too (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 08:49:11 AM EST
    Just a ball of anxiety...my mom always said 'don't get so worked up!', but that wasn't really very helpful advice.

    I think the f*ck it philosophy is kind of the natural progression. After a certain point my anxiety regulation system just gives up.


    Maybe "F*ck It"... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 08:53:51 AM EST
    is learned behavior over time...worry warts like us getting all worked over nonsense....only to find we're still alive and sh&t ain't so bad when the anxiety subsides...till eventually you just skip right to "f*ck it, things ain't so bad".

    Yup (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:16:58 AM EST
    Also, it is kind of the same thing as my philosophy about feeling guilty, which is probably the same root as the anxiety. If my regulator is so effed up that I feel guilty all the time, it is the same as never feeling guilty. If anxiety is my baseline, am I ever really anxious? I'm pretty cool in a crisis!

    Guilt... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:25:43 AM EST
    thats another we share...guilt pangs are worse than anxiety pangs.  I make a concious effort to try and avoid guilt by my actions...but it is unavoidable.  Something as simple as buying gasoline will set it off the guilt meter...it's why I can't shop at Walmart.

    George Carlin's philosophy helps here..."There is no such thing as an innocent victim, we're guilty the day we are born."  Makes the guilt pangs subside a little when you look at it that way.


    Kdog, if you followed the (none / 0) (#22)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:20:39 AM EST
    anxiety link, did you catch this story beneath it? goes toward your international police conspiracy.

    That would cause me some anxiety... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:38:18 AM EST
    a cop stalker!

    Are you (none / 0) (#35)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:30:52 AM EST
    the brother that I never knew I had, kdog?  Because that was me as a kid, too.  I worried about everyone and everything.  My folks called me the Worry Wart.

    And I thought I was strange... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 12:54:36 PM EST
    worry wort kids must be more common than I thought...3 confirmed on this thread!

    So glad I grew out of it...it is no way to live.  I still worry of course, everybody worries...but it is not all consuming, and a simple "f8ck it" often does the trick to snap out of it, specifically for the things you are powerless to change.  


    You're not strange at all, (none / 0) (#38)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 01:38:40 PM EST
    my brother.  I, too, have learned to dial the worry back considerably.  I think the original anxiety (and the worries that we still have, but that we have learned to make not "all consuming," as you said) stem for at least many of us from the fact that we care about people (and animals, and the community, and the country, and the planet, etc).  I do what I can reasonably do to make life better, both locally and globally, and I have learned to "let go" and realize that I can only do so much.  Peace out, bro'.

    My dad was a chronic worrier (none / 0) (#16)
    by sj on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:00:04 AM EST
    Based on the description I see here I can see that he could fall into the "addicted to anxiety" profile.  His worries were real but they dominated his decision making I think.  

    From my perspective now I understand him so much more.  I wish I had understood when it could have made a difference.  Although we all talked fairly freely about this, Dad couldn't shake it off.  Until, near the end of his life, he read a used copy of "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" that I'd picked up for him.  I hadn't even given it to him yet (I hadn't figured out how to do it) -- he just picked it up.

    It made a profound difference in him.  I tend to think it was a confluence of events, his health, the book, his stage in life.  Whatever it was, I'm happy that his last months weren't spent in that constant anxiety.

    Easy Answer (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:02:28 AM EST
    "Who would choose anxiety over "F**k It?"

    No one, but anxiety pays the bills, while F-it has all the fun(sans Google employees).

    I'm reminded... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:06:00 AM EST
    of Charlie Murphy's Stinky the Grump Song...a theme song for the FI philosophy.

    I don't believe your pappy,
    He may be rich but he ain't happy,
    Tells you about work and you want to be him,
    But when's the last time that you got to see him?
    He works hard - Why?
    So you can go out and buy,
    A bunch of sh*t that you dont need,
    Driven by your punk-*ss hopes and greed,
    That's why I say f*ck it!
    For the first time in my life,
    I'm finally free,
    No mansion for me,
    I say f*ck it!
    No brand new Humvee,
    I say f*ck it!
    [girl] But, you'll get no p*ssy.
    F*ck it!
    What you don't understand,
    Is I make love to my hand,
    So I don't need you honey,
    I beat my d*ck like it owes me money.
    That's right. I said f*ck it!

    A Chapelle Show classic.

    That was a funny skit (none / 0) (#28)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 10:15:15 AM EST
    I can't believe you quoted it lol.

    F*ck it... (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 10:34:07 AM EST
    its on topic:)...I urge everyone to youtube the video.

    I wonder what the relationship is to (none / 0) (#21)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:17:31 AM EST
    adrenaline junkies... does one follow the other, or are these unrelated?

    Well, based my experience (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by sj on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:24:20 AM EST
    I would say that the adrenaline junkies caused the anxiety to spike in the worry warts.  :)

    Yep (none / 0) (#36)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:32:12 AM EST
    I totally agree.

    Worrying is like a rocking chair (none / 0) (#32)
    by CST on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 10:39:50 AM EST
    You go back and forth but you don't really get anywhere.

    Can't figure out why (!), but a very (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 04:53:55 PM EST
    good friend recently gave me this saying on a refrigerator magnet.  

    I'm willing to bet... (none / 0) (#34)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:23:06 AM EST
    ...that a good number, if not a majority, of "anxiety addicts" were raised in fairly anxious environments, and probably were sensitive to start with. Thus anxiety becomes what you are actually comfortable with, just as some people seek our awful relationships time and time again -- because that is all they know how to operate in.

    I know what "F**k it" looks like (none / 0) (#39)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 02:09:56 PM EST
    No thank you!

    Is that a subsidiary of (none / 0) (#41)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 05:37:17 PM EST
    Are You F--king Kidding Me?

    Or is AYFKE a separate entity?

    So I was thinking about (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 12:34:24 AM EST
    whether I would go to a F**k It week. I checked out the accommodations and immediately felt anxious about having to share a room, that the rooms seemed too spartan and I couldn't tell if the mattress would be comfortable. Guess I'm not ready for the concept, too bad.