Anxiety & Control Issues

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been dealing with anxiety for probably 15 years. I have little or no depression associated with this. I have an extreme need to control things and fix things. I can’t stand things being wrong or not done. It helps me at work and school in some ways. I am always seen as the best employee. It got me promoted. I also study extremely hard and had an almost all A average until recently. However, it also inhibits me at work. I have only been at this company for less than a year. At the previous company I was with I was so worried I would be fired because I was not selling enough I would cry in the middle of work almost daily. I am almost always nauseous. I over analyze ever situation to the point that I am so stressed out over nothing that I have a panic attack. My husband is laid back so my obsessive worrying annoys him and causes fights. I can’t even go on a vacation without every step planned. I can’t just relax. The only thing that helps me is alcohol. I saw someone 10 years ago who gave me alprazolam and that actually worked. However they also gave me fluoxitine which made me suicidal as I’m not depressed. Then they told me I can’t have alprazolam as it is addictive. It took me 6 months to use the one bottle of medicine. What can help me. I can’t lose this job. I feel that I am losing my mind. I am overeating as well. I also feel that I am becoming an alcoholic and I have a mom who has alcohol and drug issues. I do not want this path.

A. I cannot say with certainty but some of your symptoms are consistent with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is an anxiety disorder. It is characterized by the need or desire to compulsively engage in a behavior or a set of behaviors for the purpose of decreasing anxiety.

Your current solution to your anxiety problem is to drink alcohol. In a way, drinking can be likened to the compulsions you engage in to temporarily decrease your anxiety. Both drinking alcohol and engaging in compulsive behavior will temporarily decrease anxiety but neither are long-term or healthy solutions to your ongoing problem. In fact, both drinking alcohol and continuing to engage in your compulsions will ultimately exacerbate the problem.

The main problem with OCD is that generally, without treatment, it tends to become worse over time. The compulsive behaviors temporarily decrease anxiety but that doesn’t last. Anxiety avoided in the short run, only intensifies it in the long run.

You asked what can help you in this situation. I would recommend consulting a primary care physician. Report your symptoms and ask if he or she can refer you to a mental health professional who specializes in obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety disorders. Seeking treatment from a mental health professional is the most efficient solution to this problem.

Your were prescribed medication ten years ago. Much has changed since then in the types of medications available and the protocols for their use. Medication may be very effective in your situation.

There are many other effective treatments that exist for anxiety disorders. I hope my suggestions help you to find the right solution to your problem. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Dec 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Anxiety & Control Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/12/06/anxiety-control-issues/