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Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Am Suffering from Anxiety because I Can't Find a Life Partner.

Dear A. B.:

Thank you so much for your book, Depression is a Choice. Your book helps me enormously. I have written to you before a couple of times. I think for the most part I have only experienced major depression once.This was when I was 22. I wrote to you a few years ago because I was feeling down about living in New York and having difficulty making friends and meeting a man for a long-term relationship.

I'm writing to you now because I am in the throes of another problem. I finished my masters in nursing in January and thought that I wanted to move from New York. I blamed living in New York for my problems with meeting friends and a partner. People constantly talk about how hard it is to meet people here. Since my sister had moved recently, I decided I would try where she lived. I went on job interviews. 

About 2 weeks ago, I went  for interviews. I felt very anxious prior to going and went I got there, the anxiety intensified. I have never felt so anxious. I was offered the job but turned it down. I felt so consumed with anxiety about moving and just really had no desire to move. This put me into some kind of a tailspin. My sister prescribed Effexor. I have never taken anti-depressants but I just could not deal with the panic. Even though I am home, I am still panicking and waking up in the middle of the night, vomitting, etc.

When I am working (I am working as a nurse), I am ok. And last night I slept through the night with no panic. However, I still feel shaky in the mornings. I also wonder if my feelings about  New York are validand I do need to leave. Or if that is just depression talking. I am shaken from all of this.

I guess there are certain things I want in life and am not getting...friends that I have are having children and moving on and so I feel the friendships I do have are dwindling. Also, I am 32 and still haven't met a life partner.

Do you have any advice for me? I don't want to self-focus. I really do want to just be a good person and make a difference but I also need community and relationships. I have a big supportive family but they are mostly in NJ and have children and their own lives. One of my sisters moved to Brazil and at 39 met someone and is getting married. She spent many years in New York single. I guess this was a big incentive for me to move too.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Thank you,


Dear T,

If I were you I would not take any drugs for anxiety. If you are lacking in body  nutrients that causes anxiety then go to a nutritionist or a doctor of  Chinese medicine to see what nutritional supplements or hormones you need.

 It seems to me from your description that you are probably very angry that  life is not going the way you want. This is perfectly normal. We all hate it  when things aren't going the way we want. But this emotion does set us up  for depression and anxiety. The chemical imbalance is caused by our own anxious thinking and can be cured by curbing our anxious thinking and choosing more productive thinking.

Generally speaking, to rush all around until we find the "right spot" where  our life is waiting for us is like chasing our own tail. We get wound up and  make no progress. Life is always right where we are. That does not mean that  if some opportunity arises at a distance--a job, a group we want to join,  etc., that we can't pick up and go there. Or even, if we have some desire to  move to some other place "on a whim" we can't go for it. Or to go where  friends and family are there already may make sense as well. It makes sense  to assess your opportunities and chose the best option.

In every city there are small groups of like -minded people. You seek them  out through their interests: church, book groups, dance groups,  philosophical lecture groups, local choirs, hiking or biking clubs, or singing choruses you can join. People met in Starbucks all the time or Barnes and  Noble. You can volunteer for various groups and meet other volunteers. Many  people meet over the internet these days. I met two wonderful friends when I  took a course in public speaking through Toastmaster's International which is in every town. One of my friends met her life partner by signing up for  dance lessons. Through your work as a nurse you should be meeting people  where you work. Set your mind that every day is an opportunity. If not  today, then tomorrow. Do magical thinking rathing than anxious thinking.  You can get an idea of magical thinking exercises from my book Brainswitch out of Depression.

There may be some opportunities in chat rooms, I'm not too familiar with  internet opportunities. There are men who are also looking for someone. But  taking drugs because you don't like how your life is going does not make any sense at all. If you're in a Sushi Bar, or waiting in line, start talking to strangers. You never know.  And be sure and let everyone in your family know you are looking for someone.
A. B. Curtiss

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