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Making things worse in your head than what they really are

by Mac-10toSchool

I get so anxious thinking about things sometimes that I convince myself it’s better to avoid it, even if it’s not actually that bad. Do any of you do this too?

To give an example, I’m in school for Power Engineering, and we’ve been calculating Current, Voltage, resistance, and Power throughout series circuits, parallel circuits, and combination circuits. When I first started, all of the math involved and all of the rules you had to follow in relation to electromotive force overwhelmed me! I thought for sure I was gonna fail the class. and so, when I was at home, I spent my time on Netflix, or on SP, or doing other things that were nonproductive. The thought of trying to learn something that seemed so complex discouraged me, so I avoided it all I could.

But, I cant avoid school if I want my future to look better. and at school, we practiced these calculations, and I actually put in effort and asked questions. And now, I can do these things like it’s a cake walk. I made it worse in my head than it actually was, and because of that, I didnt give myself enough time or put in enough effort to learn that things werent so bad.

I’m thinking that maybe, a lot of the things in our lives that cause depression have been a result of avoidance. Not all things, but A lot.

What do you think?

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12 comments

heartlessviking 1/16/2019 - 3:52 pm

There’s an absolute correlation and causation between taking things head on and those things getting resolved. Sometimes it’s because we fail big when we take things head on. Putting all the energy you have into fixing something is an anxious reaction, but one that most of us find helpful and productive.

I always go back to the kicking ass model. It’s a more fun way to talk about the same thing:
“The world is full of problems
gettin bigger every day
we got a greenhouse over texas and recession on the way
we got hunger in the third world we got anger in the first
half the world is flooding and the other’s dyin’ of thirst
although people tell you that this planet’s dying fast
Well I ain’t seen a problem yet can’t be solved by kicking ass
Kicking ass!
Kicking ass is what we do,
Kicking ass!
Iron foot in a velvet shoe
We don’t care who’s ass we kick if we’re ever all alone,
we stand in front of the mirror and try to kick our own!”
-Fry and Laurie, “Kicking Ass”

I’m a computer science and psychology major. I’ve yet to meet the unsolvable problem.
There’s bad motivation, flawed reasoning and lack of skills. Direct confrontation solves them all.

Mac-10toSchool 1/17/2019 - 5:15 am

Excellent input, thank you! I like your kick ass reference too, it literally is kick ass

Hope Dream Love 1/16/2019 - 4:03 pm

Not sure if this helps you but I tend to face my anxiety depending on what it is. I believe (and maybe this is the way it is I never looked into it) that anxiety is nothing more then fears. And I tend to just go toward with it. If I didn’t I’d never get out of bed. To put it basically without explanation I have a fear of walking, the dark, being alone, the shower, and all o these and more stem from a fear of getting hurt but it’s so bad that most times it actually causes anxiety symptoms. Trouble breathing, shaking, all that fun stuff. But if it’s extremely bad like it causes panic attacks instead of just anxiety attacks then I avoid at all costs.

Mac-10toSchool 1/17/2019 - 3:46 am

Definitely relatable. I hope your own anxiety dissipates over time

Once 1/16/2019 - 10:44 pm

Watts that you say? Ohms Law was meant to be broken, so don’t resist your current feelings. It’s shocking, but resistance is futile.

Bad puns.

I could write the book on catastrophizing, yet time after time, with perseverence, effort and patience, I’ve found that the fear was irrational. It hasn’t stopped the fear from returning from time to time. Each time you overcome it is a small victory in a crazy war of repetitive insane thinking.

Mac-10toSchool 1/17/2019 - 3:44 am

hahaha, love the puns 🙂

a1957 1/16/2019 - 11:07 pm

Yes indeed, I get both the awfulizing aspect of many of us and I get the my-brain-hurts aspect of electrical engineering. Good on you as you have triumphed over Ohm Law. By the way, if you have not yet encountered reactive power please know that after your initial reaction to it, omg I am not kidding, you will see what the hell it is and be happy you captured the notion.

So yes I have avoided all manner of challenges because I made them out to be bigger than they actually were. Then I find out after I finally punch through that it was doable after all, or even a cake walk as long as no angles or timing are involved. But still highly doable when the angles/time enter into it.

Overestimating the magnitude of challenges seems almost to be part of our very nature for some of us. Avoidance has been big in my life. Yeah.

Mac-10toSchool 1/17/2019 - 3:45 am

Thank you for responding–are you in the field yourself?

a1957 1/17/2019 - 10:04 pm

One the edges of it. I only completed the first year of EE in college. Nowadays I repair and calibrate test equipment used to diagnose and characterize large motors. The operators care about power factor (reactive power) as it effects their utility costs. They also care about impending motor failures as that effects their maintenance plans and budgets.

Ohms Law, reactance, time constant, and resonance formulas – all part of electrical engineering curriculums – also play a huge role in my repair of test equipment (used at the above large motor installations) when neither schematics nor original spare parts are available to support repairing the stuff and I have to in the words of one old boss – reverse engineer enough to repair.

I am certain your income and lifestyle will be greatly aided by getting that degree. I also study power distribution of out pure curiosity. It is a fascinating field. Go for it man.

Soda 1/17/2019 - 11:51 pm

Great observation Mac, you’re absolutely right. I also have fear/anxiety when dealing with certain problems and I want to avoid them altogether but the problem won’t go away and it might get worse.

So through a lot of hardship, I learned the best thing to do is just confront the issue and it’ll be easier to deal with. “Never give up” should be everyone’s mantra.

My desire one day is to own a nice house, be financially independent and have a great partner. I’m very far from that goal right now but it is what I am striving for. So long as I keep the long term goal in mind then I’m able to work through whatever I’m experiencing at the time.

One thing I’ve learned now that I’m in my mid-40s is that the world keeps changing. Generally, the prices for goods/houses/etc keep going up. So we can’t let life pass us by, we have to dive in and deal with of all that bs to actually get somewhere. Then one day we can look back and say I’m glad I didn’t stop trying years ago.

While there’s much I have to do I’m going to try to make this year my turnaround year. I haven’t been as diligent as I should’ve been in the past, so hopefully, I’ll change things for the better.

Cause of Death: Suicide 1/18/2019 - 12:32 am

I couldn’t learn a god damn thing today after my trauma so you have got me there, hopefully it’s meaningful to you, but have some fun doing your studies, ok?

muspelhem 1/18/2019 - 10:15 am

Thanks. That was an inspiring post.

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