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Intense Anxiety

I'm 53 and have been voluntarily out for the workforce for five years and have really been enjoying the life that I've created for myself during that time.  I also had my house completely renovated, and I couldn't be happier with the results.  Back in June, it didn't appear that I would have to return to work, but now, after all the horrific plunges in the stock market, I know that I'll have to, at least part-time.  As I've watched my net worth plummet, I've become intensely anxious about my future, and there are times when the anxiety is so severe, it is almost impossible for me to think clearly.  In addition, the job search process seems absolutely overwhelming, and with the current economic climate, I don't expect to find a job, either full-time or part-time, for at least 12-18 months.  The anxiety and sense of loss I feel over the 33% decline in my net worth have made it impossible for me to enjoy the present and the positive things in my life.  I also feel extreme sadness at the thought of leaving behind the life that I've created for myself and enjoyed.  I'm on an anti-depressant and medication for anxiety, which help sometimes but not all the time.  I've also just begun to see a counselor, and have had one session with her so far.  I've never been married, and I have no family left, but I'm very active in my church.  Is there anything I can do when the anxiety becomes so intense that I can't think?  It lessens temporarily when I'm distracted by people and activities, but when I'm alone, it attacks with a vengeance.  
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Avatar universal
THANK GOD that you are active in your church and faith!  That is a huge first step to combatting anxiety...(I believe) You possibly need to stop looking at your own self worth as something that is materialistic...you are worth everything to God.  He doesn't care about how much money you've made or what you've created for yourself.  What IS important is what you have done for yourself and for him that gives him glory.  Because you have mentioned the stock market and your net worth over and over...maybe it's time that you stop evaluating yourself according to how much you think your worth in dollar amounts...and start thinking about what you do have and be thankful for it.  There are people without jobs, homes, families, etc...you have to find peace with who you are and what you currently have.  Not with what you used to have.
615350 tn?1272602569
Try doing some breathing exercises. Set in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and take deep slow breaths. I do this to a thunder and rain CD. Try to visualize your anxiety as a ball of color in your body and put that ball wherever you feel it in your body the most. After you are able to do this try moving the ball to different parts of your body and then out through your fingers and toes. You can also do this meditation in a warm bath. The power of being able to control your anxiety and tension through meditation is achieved like anything else, practice. Do this every night when all you can think about is money and and the troubles that come with it. I know it sounds stupid because I thought it was pretty dumb too, but I got very good at it and now I can drown out the whole world while I meditate. I have a refreshed feeling afterwards. I suggest getting some CD with a  soothing sound on it.      
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Arlington, VA
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Arlington, WA
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