This is Erik Johnson. I want to talk about how to Stop Autism Anxiety. My life was pretty good until I had my first panic attack and then after that, I questioned myself, I was scared of every situation because I didn’t want to have that panic attack again, because once you have a panic attack, it is such a fearful experience that just affects your whole entire body that you never want to experience that again you want to avoid that.
This creates a whole new set of problems. It is called panic disorder because then you’re scared of the fear itself, then it starts permeating in all areas of your life, you can go to the store and be scared; you can get to the point where you’re even scared in your own home without being around anyone.
Stop Autism Anxiety Tips
So I want to talk about how to work on that, how to reduce it and get it to a manageable state – and eventually, you can kick social anxiety, all together.
I had a panic attack around my parents in my first two years of sobriety – so this was about 10 years ago, and I was on a pink cloud. I was happy, I was sober. I was getting my life back in order so I could actually work again. I wasn’t killing myself with alcohol anymore; I wasn’t getting passed out drunk every night; I wasn’t starving myself because I didn’t want to eat to ruin the buzz, just pure insanity.
So the first two years I was on a pink cloud, which is what they call it in AA, where you feel really good about being sober, and I was doing great. I was going over to my parents house every Sunday for dinner. I would take a bath and eat dinner and watch TV with my parents, they’re still together after 60 years.
I was having dinner with my dad one night on Sunday, and my mom was in the kitchen. She was preparing the rest of the dinner, and it was just my dad and I talking back and forth across the dinner table. And I was talking to him and all of a sudden I had this realization that everyone was listening to me. I mean, it was just the weirdest kind of like stage fright. You know where you are just for a second, you get really self aware that everyone is listening to you, everyone is watching you, and I almost forgot that they were my parents. It didn’t even matter.
Now, I talked to a therapist a year after that, and I was like, you know, why did that happen? They said that maybe I felt comfortable enough that subconscious trauma could come up to be released and dealt with. I had a lot of problems with my dad growing up, we were both very bullheaded. I believe he has Asperger’s as well.
We were control freaks and so living with my dad under his roof growing up, I was getting in trouble with the police and my dad would just fly off the handle and it was very scary, and so I was very gun shy. I was scared of my dad and I was scared of conflict. I was scared of fights – and I think that was all coming up.
We made amends, eventually, but I think all this stuff was coming up to be dealt with, and it was at the wrong time. I just went into fight or flight. I started sweating profusely. I turned white, my heart started to hurt, and I just had this overwhelming sense that I was being attacked, you know, almost like a tiger came and walked into the room. It’s that kind of fear, it’s just pure adrenaline, adrenalized fear.
So, I was like, I don’t feel good. I had to go lay down and eventually I calmed down. My dad gave me a little Valium and everything was fine but when I went home back to my place, the next Sunday I was supposed to go over and eat dinner again, and I was really scared to go back, because once you have a panic attack you do not want to go back to the area where it was triggered.
So it was really hard for me to go back. In fact, I was very scared again. I didn’t want to sit at the dinner table because that’s where it happened so I was like can we eat dinner in the TV room, and they’re like yeah and then shortly after that I moved away with my fiance, so I didn’t even see my parents again for two years.
But every time I see them now, I am scared because I’m scared that I’m going to have another panic attack, so there’s a fear. There’s a fear of having another panic attack and that’s called panic disorder.
So the bottom line is guys if you want to reduce this because it becomes a vicious cycle, because you’ll have more panic attacks, you’ll have more anxiety. Then you’ll start having anxiety everywhere because it’s like a virus and it will just grow and grow and grow and nothing that you do to prepare for this anxiety will make it better, because you’re really trying not to have anxiety, you’re really trying not to have panic.
Guess what that does? That creates resistance and when you create resistance, the anxiety gets stronger because you’re fighting it okay you’re fighting it, you’re like I don’t want these feelings, I don’t want to think this way. Whenever you resist something it’s going to create more anxiety. There is never going to be a perfect environment for you.
The only thing you can do is change your thinking around what is causing your anxiety. For me, I instantly thought okay, you know, it’s too quiet in this room, my dad and my mom are both watching me, and I got stage fright. I created that okay it doesn’t matter what’s going on. It does not matter what situation you’re in, what environment you’re in.
It’s all in here (mind). I know that sounds easy but it’s very true, because you can look at a situation two ways: you can have a positive outcome or a negative outcome.
Right now, we were snowed in in Texas in the most historical weather event in our lifetime, and there’s days that I’m like this is cool because you know I can get work done around the house and we still have heat. Then other days I’m like this is really messed up, you know, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. I can’t take a shower. I can’t do this, I can’t do that – and I start feeling anxious.
But when I think about the positives, because there’s a positive and everything, then it changes my feelings and then it changes my body.
So, definitely look into your thoughts I mean just literally stop and be like, which route do you want to go, because, a negative thought is going to create more negativity, a positive thought is going to create more positivity and it might take a lot of rewiring and consciously thinking of your thoughts to start getting into that positive direction.
It’s going to feel like exercise to think a certain way, a different way than you’re used to, but over time, you guys can change your thoughts and everything has a silver lining. The glass is half full. It’s your choice. So I hope this helps. If you want something else to calm you down, click the link under this article, check out what I’m offering: it’s CBD oil, it’s worked for my social anxiety tremendously, and it’s the best brand out there so check that out. And we’ll talk to you soon.
Here’s more Resources for Asperger’s and Addiction.