Why Do I Feel Like I Am Fading Away?It’s that time of year – the days are shorter, and temperatures have dipped. This is the time of festive get-togethers, family feasts, gift exchanges and office parties. Your schedule is likely more packed than ever, with social events and long work days competing for your time to get tasks done before the end of the calendar year.If you worry that you haven’t achieved your goals and are feeling overwhelmed and blue, take heart: you are not alone. In fact, feeling like you’re fading away – and your ambition and energy right along with you – is an alarmingly common feeling right now, affecting folks in all different walks of life.You won’t be surprised to learn that it’s not just Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that is draining people’s energy, causing them to feel worn out and exhausted. SAD is a condition that affects individuals whose bodies react to less exposure to sunlight, making them feel, quite literally, sad.If you feel that way, like you’re fading away, several factors might be at work.In this article, we take an in-depth look at that “fading away” feeling and explain what causes it, who’s vulnerable to experiencing it, and why it’s happening to so many people. Just as importantly, we look at what you can do to fight that feeling and get back to being your best self.
Is “Fading Away” Simply Fatigue?
No, or at least it’s not solely fatigue. You may have heard the term “brain fog,” and that’s a more apt description, though it’s not only that. Anxiety is part of it, too, as is prolonged stress. When you experience brain fog, being overwhelmed by fatigue can happen, but other symptoms come into play as well.
First, Let’s Define “Fading Away.” What Exactly Does The Term Mean?
- Depression, Anxiety & Panic Attacks Are All Part Of This Syndrome
To say you feel like you’re fading away is a kind of snapshot explanation of all the emotional and physical symptoms you’re experiencing.You might develop an upset stomach and find that insomnia plagues you frequently. If this feeling is severe, you may even experience panic attacks that distort your perception of your body and mind. Your ability to concentrate is also affected, and you may find yourself struggling to focus on tasks, whether at home or the office.
- How To Separate The Symptoms From The Cause?
Tracing this “fading away” feeling to its onset is the first step.
What were you going through at the time?
Can you pinpoint exactly when you began feeling this way?
Are you overtired because you’re depressed, or are you depressed because you’re overtired?
Did you have a panic attack seemingly out of nowhere?
If you can answer these questions, you’ll begin to understand how the feeling was triggered.
- Does Anxiety Cause This Sensation?
Yes, it can. If you are unusually anxious about, for example, a large project you’ve undertaken at the office, anxiety and its side effects may set in and contribute to this syndrome. It becomes a cycle that can be very hard to break.First, you become anxious about doing well on the project. Then you lose sleep about your performance. Losing sleep makes you irritable and cranky, which in turn may cause your co-workers to pull away from you.That makes you concerned that your job might be at risk, which makes you lose even more sleep. If solutions aren’t found, and the cycle continues, the feeling of fading away grows and causes you to withdraw – fade – even more. Without action, either by solving matters yourself or seeking help from a mental health professional, the cycle can be almost impossible to break.
How To Trace The Root Cause? Some Tips
1- Retrace The Steps You Took That Led To Feeling This Way
We cited the project at work as a potential cause for anxiety, but of course, many things could be at the root of it – family problems, marital discord, financial issues, and other things.Before you begin this self-examination, either on your own or with a therapist, get a good night’s sleep. Nothing is more restorative than eight hours of solid rest, and examining your problems should be tackled with at least one good night’s sleep under your belt.Do everything you can to make that happen. Cut down on caffeine; get lots of exercise; don’t snack in the evening.In fact, you should try to get three or four nights of good sleep before tackling major issues so that you approach them with a clear head. However, if you’ve had a severe panic attack and have trouble breathing and other symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible.
2- Reduce The Number Of Activities You Juggle
The modern world is a hectic place, and it’s often true that people have too much going on all at once. (This is particularly true of working moms, mental health professionals say!) Are you doing too much? Do you put in 10 hours at the office, go home to make dinner and handle bed and bath duties with the kids?On top of that, do you do most of the housework too? If you’re handling all that with no breaks and little help, chances are you’re overloaded. A relentlessly jam-packed schedule can make anyone feel overburdened and anxious. And are you a perfectionist? If so, chances are that need to do everything just right makes you resist others’ help even when they offer it. All of this can lead to you feeling – quite suddenly – as though you’re going to fade away.
3- Choose a Calming Activity To Engage In
We just suggested you cut back on activities, and now we suggest adding one to your schedule. Yes!The difference is, in this case, we want you to try something that reduces your anxiety and helps you feel balanced.Yoga and meditation are two perfect examples. Exercise in all its forms is excellent for your health and controlling your weight, and lowering blood pressure. But certain activities, like yoga and tai chi, do more than that – they help you focus and calm your mind. And when you feel like you’re losing control and fading away, taking back control is essential in order to feel better and restore mental and spiritual balance. Yoga and other practices like it are very helpful in this regard.
4- Know When To Seek Professional Help & Follow Up
If you’re experiencing ongoing anxiety and panic attacks, your healthy sense of self is, in a way, under attack.Mental stress can manifest itself physically in many ways – everything from hair loss to difficulty breathing and blurred vision. These are not minor symptoms; they need to be dealt with promptly. If you don’t seek help, they can do lasting damage to your body and mental health. Even having one panic attack is a reason to head to your physician, who can help you find a therapist or psychologist. Cognitive behaviour therapy is one of the most effective treatments for stress, anxiety and panic attacks, so don’t delay! Make an appointment as quickly as you can.
The feeling that you’re fading away can be scary, we know. However, you are not alone – according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a federal agency located in Maryland, in 2020, more than 66 percent of adults in America experienced at least one episode of depression, anxiety and/or panic attacks. Unfortunately, that figure continues to rise every year, as everything from social isolation to inflation continues to negatively impact people’s mental well-being.These feelings can intensify during the winter months. As we mentioned earlier, Seasonal Affective Disorder can magnify depression, and certainly, the holidays can make matters worse. Some people experience intense loneliness at this time of year, while others feel overwhelmed by expectations to make others happy. And, of course, there are economic pressures exacerbating it all, whether it’s buying a ticket to fly home for a holiday get-together or buying presents for each and every family member. It can all seem like too much for anyone to handle.The upside is that you don’t have to handle it alone. Reaching out for help and talking to friends and family about your feelings is an all-important first step. The symptoms you’re having will not magically disappear, but just voicing your feelings and concerns goes a long way toward lessening their impact on your mental well-being.There is no instant cure for feeling like you’re fading away. But talking to a professional in a frank and honest way is hugely helpful. With their guidance, you can discover the next steps for getting better in a lasting way. Just like your body needs care and attention, so too do your head and heart! Being open about your struggle is how you put yourself on the path to recovery and joy!