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Anxiety and joining the church community

I am a wreck.I have been for about a year or so. I have generalized anxiety. Currently in the process of starting back on medication that inproves my symptoms vastly. My dh and I are in the process of joining the church and I am not used to being around people. How should I handel the situation? I don't want to tell everyone but if I don't they might mistake some of my behaviors. I tried to behave properly last evening at a meeting but I was apologizing to the pastor for not making it to church,asking to pay the sitter they had hired. I was embarrased about the things that I said. Advice please?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:40 AM on Jul. 23, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (7)
  • sit in the back

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:41 AM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • Have people to pray with and for you. You can have people do this online if you're too uncomfortable with your new church family right now. It's best that you confide in someone within your church so that they can work around your needs. I've experienced GAD and it is imprisoning. It's hard, but you have to let people in. It's hard now, but God can break down those walls. I'll be praying for you.

    Answer by Lexylex at 9:47 AM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • at least explain to the pastor. He can help ease things for you and your DH. I would just tell him how you feel. Just say that you are concerned about alienating people because of your condition, but you aren't comfortable sharing that information with everyone. So if he hears any rumbles of complaints he can intervene. No, he probably won't explain your discomfort but he might just tell them there are private reasons behind your behaviors and you are working on it. A good church family should be supportive and understanding.

    Answer by Lesli at 9:48 AM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • sit in the back-too darn funny.
    sometimes the back is so full i'm forced to sit in the front.
    i suppose many people have the same anxiety about church even if they don't have anxiety disorders. it's ok, you'll get through it and you won't be the first to say something silly to a pastor. believe me they have probably heard it all. just keep going and gradually integrate yourself into comfortable situations with the pastor and the people around you.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 9:58 AM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • shot of vodka before you leave

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:51 AM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • i understand & its such a horrible feeling! i hate talking to new ppl, that awkward small talk kills me! plus i cant help buy catastrophize everything that goes on in the 30 secs i talk to someone.

    a year ago i went to a therapist who gave me the best advice..."no one else is dwelling on what you say half as much as you are" whenever you start to over-analyze what you've said just keep telling yourself its not as bad as your making it. this wont fix things, but it might help

    i agree w/ a PP that you should tell your pastor. he wont tell other ppl about your GAD but he will be able to keep others from thinking you're rude or odd. he might even be able to point you to other members that do/have suffered from anxiety, too.

    best of luck. it wont be easy, but it will be worth it!!

    Answer by okmanders at 12:29 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • You need to tell those you will be dealing with most often, such as the pastor, your childs Sunday school worker, etc. If they react badly it's not the right church for you or any one else for that matter.

    Answer by teamquinn at 2:24 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

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