Sign in to follow this  
Orion

Revelation in relation to anxiety?

Recommended Posts

Hello all!

So, I'm just going to jump right in here. I'm facing a dilemma in regards to the girl I'm dating. To give a bit of background, I'm a 24 year old rm, and she's 21. Since my mission, I've dated quite a few girls without ever quite getting to a relationship. A couple of times I would just get a bad feeling and would call it quits before things got worse. Looking back, I was never sure if this was a form of revelation, or simply my anxiety kicking in. To make matters worse, my anxiety can trigger depression, which can trigger panic attacks.

Now, the big question: as stated before, I've broken up with a girl over these feelings. They often come during prayer or scripture study. I try to find a way around it if I like the girl. One time it did come to a panic attack, at which point I promptly cancelled a date to make the feeling go away. (I did end up dating her a couple more times after that, but things definitely went downhill after the incident.)

So now I'm seeing a girl that I'm really getting to like a lot. We aren't quite in a relationship, but we're getting there. I've had the occasional doubt here and there, but never anything serious. We did break things off briefly because she's a bit torn between me and her missionary (he'll be coming home in a few months). But it only took a couple of days for things to start back up again.

Now, the dilemma: while watching conference today, I went in hoping to find a bit of insight into whether or not a relationship was a good idea with this girl, as I'm really starting to like her. Unfortunately, I started getting a sinking feeling watching the talks, and by the end I was devastated, almost sure that I should break up with her. I came home to pray about it and had to stop halfway as I almost had a panic attack. I took time to go talk to people as that usually helps prevent things from getting worse, but I couldn't shake the feeling. By next conference, it had come to the point where I was basically thinking I had to break up with the girl or deny my testimony of revelation. I hated the idea, but gave into it. This brought a bit of relief, and I was able to think clearly again.

It's now later in the day, and I've already seen her twice. I thoroughly enjoy her company, so naturally I didn't break things off. Now I'm left with the question of whether or not this was an answer to a prayer, or just another bout of anxiety.

Any takers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

You know what you experienced best, but fear and anxiety don't sound like the spirit or a stupor of thought to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Read Elder Hollands talk: "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence"

I suppose this is where we are all different. I never prayed about any women I dated until I felt like the relationship was moving from less serious to serious, in other words, talking about marriage with the woman.

Dating was simply an opportunity to become aware of who I was dating, her likes, her dislikes, our similarities and where we were very different. I knew what I was looking for and if our likes or similarities were not the same in important areas, I no longer pursued the relationship. I never really prayed before I was in a relationship with any women.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Dravin...you know best, but that doesn't sound like how the Spirit works to me either.

I used to have panic attacks pretty frequently, though I didn't know that's what they were at the time. I also had blood clots a couple times (I have a blood clotting disorder) so when I would feel the shortness of breath with the panic attack I was afraid it was another clot (a blood clot in the lungs can kill you) so I would go to the ER. I was in the ER about once a month! Not cool.

I had a wonderful doctor that worked with me to rule out any physical causes, and then suggested that perhaps I was having anxiety attacks, and suggested therapy. I was mortified. I thought therapy was a sign of weakness. But in time, I decided to try therapy, because I couldn't keep going to the ER every month.

Since I have been in therapy, I rarely get panic attacks any more, and when I do, I recognize that is what it is and have learned how to "ground" myself to stop them from worsening.

My anxiety and depression are better (though to be honest for a while they got worse)..they are much better now...thanks to therapy.

So you can guess where I am going with this, right? I think you should try therapy. It does not mean you are weak. I am not weak, quite the contrary. Seriously, I think it is worth a try. I think you have some anxiety when you get close to someone....I don't think it is revelation...but take my opinion for whatever it is worth to you. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Read Elder Hollands talk: "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence"

I suppose this is where we are all different. I never prayed about any women I dated until I felt like the relationship was moving from less serious to serious, in other words, talking about marriage with the woman.

Dating was simply an opportunity to become aware of who I was dating, her likes, her dislikes, our similarities and where we were very different. I knew what I was looking for and if our likes or similarities were not the same in important areas, I no longer pursued the relationship. I never really prayed before I was in a relationship with any women.

Thanks, I've heard that talk and it makes your point well. All of these points have been on the forefront of my mind for quite a while as this girl is only the most recent source of anxiety (I've been officially dealing with this for nearly 2 years now, though it started before). I've learned that time usually is the best indicator of whether or not something needs to be done.

Normally I wouldn't try to seek out revelation this early in the game, but I hung out with this girl frequently 6 months prior to ever dating her. Things have thus escalated pretty quickly. However, I do admit to being a bit confused by the idea of saving serious prayer till late in the game. I try to pray about most things so as to remain open to the spirit's direction. I guess it's easy for things to go awry with this when you're as serious about everyday things as I am, haha. Something to work on, I suppose.

As for therapy, I've already been to see a therapist before. It was alright...I kind of worked things out on my own, though (I'm a senior in psychology, so at the very least I know where to find information). Honestly, I found the experience really awkward. I would much prefer to discuss things with family or a significant other. Too bad seeking out my significant other is one of the greatest sources of anxiety :P

Anyways, thanks for your encouragement! I've kind of chilled out for the moment. I don't know the answer to my initial question, necessarily, but we'll see what happens! It's just always thrown me for a loop since revelation can be so tied to emotion. This runs deeper than just this situation, specifically.

Edited by Orion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I've heard that talk and it makes your point well. All of these points have been on the forefront of my mind for quite a while as this girl is only the most recent source of anxiety (I've been officially dealing with this for nearly 2 years now, though it started before). I've learned that time usually is the best indicator of whether or not something needs to be done.

The one thing I tell my wife, and when people ask, "If there is one thing you could have done better in college and dating what would it be?"

My response - I wish I would have relaxed more and trusted more in Heavenly Father's ability to help me. So much turmoil, in college, was caused by me over-thinking relationships, over-thinking what I wanted to become, etc...

I wish I would have relaxed and trusted.

However, I do admit to being a bit confused by the idea of saving serious prayer till late in the game. I try to pray about most things so as to remain open to the spirit's direction. I guess it's easy for things to go awry with this when you're as serious about everyday things as I am, haha. Something to work on, I suppose.

I am sorry, I apparently wasn't very clear. I believe a person should be praying all the time. While I dated I was always praying. However, my personal anxieties grew when I began to over-think a relationship, instead of just enjoying the relationship and allowing the relationship to show the fruits of marriage itself, or the fruits of ending the relationship, in other words though she may be a great gal -- I wouldn't make her happy.

I didn't pray to know if I should continue dating a girl, but to know if she had the characteristics spoken about within my PB regarding the woman I should marry.

Thus, continue to pray to be enlightened as to the character of the woman you are dating, not whether you should be dating her, but her character. Pray that you may have eyes to see, ears to hear through proper questioning while dating that you are similar in the gospel and similar in other important aspects. I began to pray with more intent when I felt like this young lady would be somebody I could be married to.

If I could provide any encouragement, relax and trust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my PERSONAL opinion is that 'panic attacks' are not a tool God would use.

time to see a counselor or see your Bishop for a referral to LDS Social Services is there is one nearby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your post is pretty old, but if you are having the same problem as me, it's been going on for a long time and if not resolved, will continue. Have you found an answer? I've never heard someone describe my problem with such exactness. This happens every time I start dating someone. I went for a period of six years without getting into a relationship because of this exact problem. I still cannot distinguish whether it is revelation or anxiety. The only clue that I have is the Cast Therefore Not Away Thy Confidence and Sister Holland's counsel in Who We Are and What God Expects of Us & Fear Not. After I almost ran on to a field and stopped an ultimate frisbee game to "make the feeling go away" I listened to this and I realized that feeling was not 'revelation'. "God is not a vengeful, punitive God who is somehow looking for new ways to torment, embarrass and punish you." Have you gained any other insights? I remain single and befuddled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How nice to know I'm not the only person who struggles with knowing if my feelings of anxiety are from the Spirit or just my anxiety. Like the previous post, I know this is old, but if anyone else is reading this who can relate, I'll just share my small pieces of information that I've learned while dealing with this. There's a list of two different kinds of feelings: ones from God, and ones from Satan. God stills, reassures, leads, enlightens, forgives, calms, encourages, and comforts you. On the other hand, Satan rushes, frightens, pushes, confuses, condemns, stresses, discourages, and worries you. Almost 100% of the time, my feelings of anxiety are related to the feelings that are listed under Satan. That has helped me remember if these feelings are from the Spirit, or from Satan. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion. Yes we should include the Lord in all things. That said, I wouldn't ask God if I should continue to date every girl that I date. You have your own mind. If you are enjoying the relationship, enjoy it. If things come up that are red flags to you and you don't think it would work out, break it off. I just don't think that our Father in Heaven is going to tell us to turn left or right every step of the way. 

 

I heard it best on my mission. Tell the Lord what you want. What you would like to happen. Ask for guidance and for understanding. But you don't need to ask the Lord yes or no to everything. His council is what you seek.  

 

I am with others that have responded that I do not think that answers to prayers would come with anxiety. My daughter has some pretty severe anxiety and her feelings get inflated 100 times what they should be. If this is any way the same with you, a small doubt to some would seem like a devastating blow to you. If you know those feelings can be out of proportion, I would be leery of them to begin with. The spirit to me is calm, it is clarity.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion. Yes we should include the Lord in all things. That said, I wouldn't ask God if I should continue to date every girl that I date. You have your own mind. If you are enjoying the relationship, enjoy it. If things come up that are red flags to you and you don't think it would work out, break it off. I just don't think that our Father in Heaven is going to tell us to turn left or right every step of the way. 

 

I heard it best on my mission. Tell the Lord what you want. What you would like to happen. Ask for guidance and for understanding. But you don't need to ask the Lord yes or no to everything. His council is what you seek.  

 

 

I love this so much! I needed to hear it. I also want to pass it along to a few other friends who struggle making their own decisions and want the Lord to do that for them. Thanks for this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been the kind to ever post on any type of online board ....but this thread hit very close to home for me.  I have struggled with discerning between anxiety and revelation for about three years now.  It started when I began a relationship about that time, at the time I truly believed that I was receiving guidance to break up with her. After dating for about 6 month and dealing with these unrelenting fears, anxiety feelings, and panic I broke up with her.  This eased the anxiety but never brought the re-assuring peace which usually follows from obeying promptings from the spirit.  

 

After three years of being apart, and dating a variety of people I got in contact once again with the same girl. During our time apart the two of us had learned, and matured a lot.  She served a mission during this time and I began my career while at the same time tried to continue to date.  A part of me has always wondered about our relationship. A part of me has always wanted it to work.  I've spent countless hours, days, even months thinking about it.  Why didn't it work? Why would Heavenly Father not want us to be together? 

 

For the past month and a half we have been getting to know each other again.  Because of our past relationship the stakes are a bit higher. None of us want to deal with another painful breakup, and I especially don't want to hurt her again. I have found very similar feelings of panic, anxiety, and fear as we've started to get more serious.  However I strongly believe that these feeling don't come from a loving Heavenly Father, fear does not come from him. The spirit speaks to your mind & heart D&C 8:2.  Strong compelling emotions not backed up by facts, experiences, and sound examples are probably not from the spirit. I've dated somewhat questionable people in the past, but I can truly say this girl has no red flags.  Shes ....well ...amazing to put it simply. She has everything I would want as far as a prospective mother, wife, and beautiful companion. Yet there has been this unrelenting nagging of compelling fear, and anxiety which has been very difficult for me to deal with.

 

The easy solution would be to end the relationship.  I know that would calm the anxiety, but I don't believe its the best solution.  I guess my main problem is that although I truly believe these feeling come from the adversary... its one thing to know that... but a completely different thing to silence them and move forward in faith.  Facing these fears and feelings for me makes this decision to date, and even potentially make the choice to marry someone absolutely terrifying.  I guess I don't know what tools to use to best calm these voices and move forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this