Anxiety is often a result of our thoughts.
I have a thought about a circumstance.
My thought creates a feeling.
That feeling causes me to act or not to act.
And that action or lack of action creates a result.
A result that may be unwarranted.
My loved one with dementia recently moved to a new assisted living facility. She texted me last night and said “Housekeeping used up all my paper towels and napkins”.
My immediate thought was “Here we go again! At the last facility she believed housekeeping took her bathroom towels and gave them to another resident.”
I am feeling a sense of anxiety.
I am magnifying and fortune telling that she will eventually be asked to leave this facility. Then I will have to find another place for her to live.
My anxiety went through the roof!
Then I took the time to rethink.
Those with dementia can have episodes of paranoia. They look for rational explanations to what is happening to them. My loved one imagines that housekeeping is taking and using her napkins and paper towels (or bath towels). The most likely explanation is that she ran out of them and we have to buy more.
In the past there were episodes of her cell phone charger cords disappearing and she accused housekeeping of taking them. Paranoia led her to hoarding and hiding charger cords. When I moved her I found many cords hidden in various locations.
Perhaps I will find the paper towels and napkins somewhere in the apartment and if not, we purchase more when we go shopping.
I was too quick to think the worse and as a result I jumped on my roller coaster of anxiety.
What thoughts do you assume to be true and may not be?