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539024 tn?1270582597

Summer anxiety?

Hi all, I'm new to this forum, but reading your posts you seem like such a warm supportive group.  I'm so glad to have found you!  I just wondered if anyone else has worsening of their symptoms during the summer or other unstructured times such as vacations.  I'm a teacher and during the school year, I function very well, but come summer (which is also when I had my first major "diagnosed" breakdown -- I know I've had anxiety all my life) it gets so much worse.  So the summer is a trigger in more ways than one.

I would like to be like the rest of the world and be able to enjoy times of beautiful weather and relaxation.  It is so frustrating and really upsets me.  I am on edge all the time.  When I'm busy I'm ok, but the minute I stop those feelings of anxiety and panic rush back in.  Someone else mentioned that they have the feelings of anxiety without the thoughts and that's exactly what happens to me!  I cannot put my finger on exactly why I feel this way, I just do.  I hate it.  In addition, my son just graduated from high school (single mom, although his dad is here in town and we are both very involved) and I'm facing a bunch of life changes in that arena.  I am so excited for my son to go out and get started at college and the world, but I'm doing the mournful empty-nest thing too.

Just writing this makes me teary, sad, frustrated and anxious.  I would give anything not to be this way...thanks for listening.  I hope someone will have some helpful words for me.  Oh, my specific phobia is flying and I'm flying to Toronto (I should be over the moon about this trip) in July and am just dreading it... I'm also getting more anxious driving lately.   I HATE THIS! (Sorry about the caps, but that's how I feel...)

21 Responses
535294 tn?1219933712
I think everyone has different triggers...or no triggers at all, anxiety just appears out of the blue. For me, summertime is my favorite time of year, and the one time that I am most at peace with myself and my life. Not 24/7, but more so than any other time of year. In the fall, I get just the opposite. I hate the cold dreary upcoming winter, the holidays are very stressful for me, my husband travels quite a bit, so it's impossible to plan anything together or with our family except for the one trip that my husband and I insist on every year.

The only other time I am totally at peace is during my winter vacation. My husband and I go someplace tropical every January for two weeks. I don't bring my cellphone, laptop, or any of the baggage that I carry around with me..it's like I've escaped from my own private asylum (for lack of a better description).

One of the things that helps me sometimes is to just go sit...whether it's out on my patio or on the deck...all alone. Not really moping or obsessing on anything in particular, just reflecting on all the good things in my life, enjoying the trees, flowers, mountains, birds, some music, just my own company.

I also used to be terrified of flying, I have gotten to accept it over the years because there are many things in this world I want to see and the only way to get there is to fly. I am trying not to let my fears control my life, I am trying to control my fears. Easier said than done, but I try.....as long as my Xanex is in my purse.

I never went through the empty-nest syndrome...I think it's partly because I have 3 wonderful children that I thought I did a good job raising and they are doing well on their own and I guess I felt that while I'll always be their mother and there for them, after 20+ years of child-raising, it was time for me. That was when I was really able to travel, go back to school for my MBA, and enjoy the wonderful man I am married to.

I'm not sure what I can say that might be helpful, except that we all have our own anxiety triggers and do the best we can to handle them one day at a time.

I'm also pretty new to this forum too, but I have found that it does help. Even though other people's situations are different, I think we can all relate at some level.

Good luck...and hang in there!


539024 tn?1270582597
Thanks, Suzy.  It's funny how this disease affects us all in such different ways.  Fall is my very best season -- I have no idea why, but it is.  

I live in the Sierras (I notice you're from Colorado) at Lake Tahoe and I do just exactly what you mentioned.  I walk to a secluded spot by the creek and meditate on the beauty around me.  Yesterday, as I sat in my daughter's yard (after pulling loads of weeds), though, I felt the anxiety just ganging up on me.  

I too have two terrific kids.  My son won't be going too far away, but it's still a big change for me.  

I'm so teary today...thanks for writing back.

535294 tn?1219933712
When my daughter went off to college, that was very difficult for me. She is my oldest and only daughter, and she went to school in Washington D.C.. It might as well have been the other side of the world....and then, when she graduated she decided she loved it there and that is now home for her.
What made it a little bit easier was thinking about the things that she was achieving, rather than what I thought I was losing.
Still makes me sad because she'll be getting married soon, her and her boyfriend just bought a condo there (makes the permanence set in for real), and someday she's going to have children that will be too far away for me to ever really be as close as I'd like to be to my grandchildren.
I really hope your day gets better.....
165308 tn?1323190145
OMG!!!!  Please read the thread I started a few weeks ago...I just bumped it up to the first page.  It is called "Why in the summer" by suzi-q.  I am right with ya, gal! Maybe some of the comments on my post may help you as well. Hang in there.  You are not alone!
539024 tn?1270582597
OMG back at you!  Thanks so much for bumping that thread up.  It's exactly what I experience.  It is so nice to know I'm not alone.  I feel soooo stupid wrestling with this stuff, especially (and I imagine you feel the same) I'm so in charge and functional during the school year.

Staying busy cleaning out stuff today.  I had tremendous snow/water damage to my place this past winter and stuff got piled when the rooms affected were torn out.  I am finally putting stuff in order which helps a bit...

Why am I so darn weepy today???

540575 tn?1213905975
I noticed mine gets worse in the summer because last year at this time it was AWFUL! I am weepy today too but you know some days it helps to cry its like a relief! Its hard to function in everyday life without worrying about it 24/7 for me I always ask my husband when will I be normal again?  Staying busy helps but down time is what gets me, I notice when I am hungry and or tired its worse.
165308 tn?1323190145
I was listening to the radio this morning...they were all cheering about how summer begins tomorrow...THE LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER...all the fun!  all the barbeques!  all the RELAXING!!!

I SAY ALL THE STRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It is so good not to feel so alone!!!


HANG IN THERE!  (and yes, I feel VERY WEEPY, too!)

Have fun cleaning out all the stuff...I know that going through everything can take HOURS!..or days...or months.....
Avatar universal
Oh my gosh.  I am a school teacher also and I am currently going through a very severe anxiety spell.  This is my 3rd summer to go through this.  I am a very stable person and can't understand why this happens.  I have been to the doctor and have had several test done.  Nothings shows up except an elevated cortisol level.  Sometimes I think the heat is our problem.  I wake up every morning with my heart pounding and severe anxiety.  It usually take me about 4-5 weeks for this to pass.  Are you going through menopause?  I think I am.  Hang in there.  
165308 tn?1323190145
Welcome to the SUMMER ANXIETY CLUB!  I go through the same thing, however, mine is definitely anxiety...this has been happening 13 years and back then I was just 28...so I know mine is not menopause...

539024 tn?1270582597
Thank you, thank you for your responses...it really helps and yes, let's help each other get through this together!  I'm already through menopause.  Although I've had anxiety all my life I definitely think it got worse when I went through peri-menopause (pre-menopause).  I can remember panic episodes all my life -- even when I was a little girl -- but it's only gotten worse, not better as I've gotten older.  

Boogie - I wake up feeling the same way.  LIke someone plugged in the cord and I'm electrified with anxiety.  Doesn't happen during the school year for the most part.  Sometimes it even happens during Christmas break.  It did this year (we had tremendous snows which I think triggered it) after many years of absence.  I had a miserable holiday and it's my favorite time of year.  I try so hard to hide it and pretend it's not happening, but I think my family knows anyway that SOMETHING is wrong.

Lots of things happening this spring/summer and I'm fighting it as hard as I can, but I feel defeated every morning.  I feel best at night and when I go to bed I think, "Oh, I feel pretty good.  I know I'll be ok in the morning."  But no dice.  *Sigh*  I'm going to talk to my pastor this morning who really understands me.  I usually wind up having a good cry (which someone mentioned earlier is so helpful and I agree) and feeling better for a while.  

My grandson's 3rd birthday is tomorrow and I'll be involved with the party and such so that will help.  I'm finding that if I plan things and keep somewhat of a structured schedule, it does help.

Happy day to all...
Avatar universal
I know exactly how you all are feeling!  Summer, bah humbug!!!!  Without a doubt, the worst season of the year for me!  I wrote a personal message to suzi-q about this exact feeling before I left for Florida and gave her a few pointers on how to manipulate her summer to make it a little more palatable.  Scheduling is a good one especially for you teachers out there.  You know how you schedule your curriculum, well apply that practice to your summer.  Example:  Monday: do laundry, make a menu for the week, make list of groceries needed, buy groceries.  Tuesday:  Go for a brief walk if the weather permits or go for a swim in your pool or community pool or beach.  Wednesday:  Go to the library and pick out a selection of books you have been meaning to read but haven't had the chance because you were to busy marking papers all school year.  Thursday  garden and find a shady spot in the yard or balcony or park to read one of the books.  Friday:  go to the craft shop and see what new hobby you that might interest you.   You get the idea...schedule whatever you want to do and make sure you do it!  I bought myself a bike this summer and I am bike riding and swimming everyday now and it has made such a difference.

As far as the travel is concerned.   Well, I just got back from Florida...I live in Toronto.  We went by car and it took us 3 days to get there and on the way back our last day was a 12 hour drive.  That wasn't the best but I managed and even enjoyed most of the drive down and some of the drive back. lol  I am agoraphobic and claustrophobic, have social anxiety, GAD and panic and yet I managed really well.  Sometimes we need a push to do the things we really  want or need to do.  I went to Florida because my sister has lung cancer.  I would normally never go to Florida at this time of the year (or ever) if it weren't for my sister.  It is hurricane season and mating season for aligators...a huge fear of mine was meeting up with a gator which is not uncommon when one lives on a golf course.  My sister has even had one on her front lawn.  When she told me that about 10 years ago, I swore I'd never go to visit her and I never did until these past two weeks.  My point is, you do what you have to do and figure out a way to make it happen.  I take klonopin twice daily and I have ativan as a back up which I never used on this trip.  If it weren't for the klonopin and my determination and huge desire to see my sister, I would never have gone there.  I have suffered with this disorder all my life but didn't put a name to it until a few years ago.  What I used to say to myself when I was a kid, "I can do anything for one hour."  That meant that if I still felt like bolting or couldn't stand a situation, then after one hour, I would give myself approval to leave.  After one hour, I would expand it to two hours and so on.  That is how I got through everything when I was a kid.  I set goals for myself and I still set goals for myself.  You have to start small and make sure that they are doable goals otherwise you set yourself up for failure and that will set you back in your ability to work through GAD etc.

The other comment I want to make is the connection with menopause...I do believe there is a connection even if you are younger than 45.  Peri-menopause was worse for me than actual menopause.  That hormone connection can be very powerful and don't let any male doctor tell you any differently.  Some women breeze through it (I've decided I don't like those women) and others have mild emotional issues and then there are women like me who not only had night sweats, but also, during the day,one half of my normally very white face looked like I had applied far too much rouge while the other stayed as white as paste.  I actually had to put makeup on the white side just to try and balance out the red side.  My emotions were all over the map and my anxiety and panic attacks far more frequent. Oh, I was a delight to live with.  Thank God that is over.  Now I just have the usual GAD, panic, agoraphobia, claustrophobia, and social phobia to deal with...nothing I can't handle. lol  
Avatar universal
I guess I was writing my long response while you were posting your last one and it looks like if I had waited and read yours, I would have realized that they are very similar.  You weren't quite a verbose as I.  It is a tendency I would very much like to correct! lol  The point is, you are very much NOT alone and we can/will support one another.  As far as your trip to Toronto is concerned, because I live in that fair city, I would be more than happy to give you pointers.  Feel free to personally message me.
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