Rumination and worry

April 19, 2013

    I just read about a study which concluded that acetaminophen (Tylenol) eases anxiety, especially existential anxiety— or fear of death.
    Before you nervous nellies run out to CVS and blow your budget on Tylenol, let me give you the benefit of my experience.
    First, I have taken Tylenol in the past and to me it has the same medicinal value as burning incense or  drinking a glass of water.

    Maybe by their conclusion that it eases the fear of death,  the researchers mean your pain continues so severely, you just wish you were dead.
    Existential anxiety to me like a lot of phobias, is a state of mind. I suppose when you are young and the world is your oyster, the end of  your existence is not your first choice in thoughts. Personally, I never did worry about it. I figure, all living things die, so why worry about it? I just hope it happens while I am asleep without an accompany painful debilitating disease.
    My anxieties that cause my worrying and rumination are much more banal. however, they crowded my day and keep me up at night.
    To me anxiety is…

    Worrying that I got up too late to let the dog out.

    Concern that I may have to go to the mall

    Shopping in any form.

    Having chunks of potatoes in my soup.( oh, I really hate that.)

    Discovering a strange noise (or smell) in my car.

    Having anything to do with the motor vehicle department.
    Being informed I have no reservation in a crowded restaurant on a Saturday night.

    When the power goes out (this is a particularly debilitating one!)
    Any exposure to 4-year-old children with the flu. Note: Anxiety will be heighten if exposure occurred in a bounce house or any Chuck E. Cheese.
    The list goes on and on. At the last official count I had 312 identified anxieties….just in this country alone. No amount of Tylenol or Shaman magic for that matter,  could bring relief.
    I think I will go home now and lock myself in my bubble.


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