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

Why do I feel like I am fading away 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.

In Summary

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!

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