Discussion in 'Mental Wellbeing' started by leeaman7777, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. leeaman7777

    leeaman7777 Active Member

    I have been struggling with Anxiety lately and just wondering what people that are on here that suffer with Anxiety do to help themselves when they are going through an attack....
    kazi aftabur rahman likes this.

  2. TDG

    TDG New Member

    I use timeouts and distraction. If doing something to distract myself doesnt work I go someplace quite and close my eyes and focus on breathing and nothing else. Ive had to deal with OCD and panic attacks since I was little. Ive only been medicaited for one year otherwise Ive been very successful at living pretty normally without meds.

  3. leeaman7777

    leeaman7777 Active Member

    Thanks TDG, interesting I will have to give it a try... Usually I take Gravol and go get some fresh air.... I do have a relaxation CD, maybe I will try that out..... These attacks are absolutely insane.. Had one last night when going to bed and took me 3 hours to calm down enough to fall asleep...
    kazi aftabur rahman likes this.

  4. Raunchy-Row

    Raunchy-Row Super Moderator Staff Member

    distraction, distraction, distraction! So much distraction! I find comedy really helps--like the laughing baby video on YouTube--I can't help but chuckle when I watch it and it works every time!

    Touch works too, either from my hubby or just petting the cat. Getting outside for a walk, calling a friend or family member.....

    The other thing that works for me is remembering funny things that inspire me, and using them over and over again when I start having the compulsion to think about the worst kinds of things over and over again--replacing the bad thoughts with funny ones. That took a little bit more training, I had to consciously remind myself to do it the first little while, and now I find it's more automatic.
    kazi aftabur rahman likes this.

  5. celane

    celane New Member

    I suffer from serious anxiety/pain attacks myself. I have had them for the longest time and had no idea what they were until I was told by my doctor. He put me on some medication that does work but on top of the medication I just need to go to a quiet place either alone or with my boyfriend depending on how bad it is. But I would talk to your doctor because if they are getting as bad as lasting for 3 hours you might need some medication. And I am not normally one to say that but my medication does wonders for me.
    kazi aftabur rahman likes this.

  6. leeaman7777

    leeaman7777 Active Member

    Doctor put me on Lorasapam (sp) and it is doing wonders for me....

  7. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    Glad you are doing better hun!

  8. snappy1

    snappy1 New Member

    Relax your mind and try to overcome your anxiety by practicing yoga and meditation. Medicines may help you, but it is essential to identify the root cause of your anxiety and provide solution. Consult a counselor and discuss your problem. If needed take hypnotherapy sessions. Be positive that you’ll overcome this problem and lead a normal life.

  9. Kimberjean08

    Kimberjean08 Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I started experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks on October 10, 2010. It started right after I stopped taking birth control pills (Yaz). I am now on Effexor XR and Klonapin for the anxiety. I do feel better, but I still feel so far away from being myself. I have always been a little bit of an anxious type A personality, but never had panic attacks. I am seeing a psychologist and am trying to work on breathing and relaxation techniques, but this is really taking a lot out of me. To all of you, especially the ones with children, how the heck do you deal with this? I feel like I'm losing my mind!!

  10. Kimberjean08

    Kimberjean08 Member

    Hey! Just thought I'd give you an update. I have to stop the effexor xr due to multiple side effects: sleep disturbances, bad dreams, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, lack of appetite, and a really rare condition-galactorrhea (lactating without being pregnant or breast feeding)! I'm now weaning off of it slowly. The klonapin never seemed to do much for me at all, so I'm weaning off of it as well. I just started a new med Elavil (amitryptaline) and I hope it works. I'm still seeing the psychologist and it is helping. I think most of my anxiety right now is being controlled by the meds, but I do get really anxious about school (I'm a grad student) and about if/when I am going to get a migraine (I've suffered with migraines for about 9 years).

    Thanks for listening. Anxiety is a horrible thing. I'm glad there's a place where we can share.

  11. JillF

    JillF Member

    Like others have mentioned... Distraction. It can be more difficult when I'm at work-- because I can psych myself out and worry about it happening-- so then I cause it to happen.

    I also take note of how I am holding my body and how tense I am. I make sure to relax all my muscles and may even do a few tension releasing stretches. I also check my breathing. I make sure I'm not taking shallow chest breaths- but more deeper and slower belly breaths. These two things alone-- when corrected-- have a very calming effect for me.

    I also try not to be so hyper-aware of every twinge that happens to me. When I do that, I start worrying and become anxious about what could happen. Then it gets worse.

    I've been dealing with anxiety and panic for many years now. At one time, I was so bad, that I was almost agoraphobic... unable to leave my home. I don't want to sound like a commercial or anything.. but what really helped me was an at home program called "Attacking anxiety and depression". I didn't even know what I was going through was anxiety, until I saw their infomercial and it mirrored exactly how I felt.

    Its very comprehensive and covers everything from controlling panic, to diet, to meds, to how you think...etc...

    I was anxiety free for almost 3 years!

    But one thing I've learned-- I have to keep up with lifestyle changes, or the anxiety comes back in my case.

    For me-- its absolutely imperitive that I exercise. I think of it as my prescription for mental health. If I get lazy about it-- the anxiety always returns. Working out keeps me on a more even keel.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  12. Kimberjean08

    Kimberjean08 Member

    Great advice, Jill. Thank you!!

  13. Kimberjean08

    Kimberjean08 Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I hope you're all doing well. I'm in the process of weaning off effexor xr and klonapin. At the same time, I'm on Elavil and am slowly taking larger doses of it. Yesterday I took no effexor and went down to 1/4 of a klonapin (from 1/2). I also increased the elavil to 40mg. I had nightmares last night and slept very poorly. I woke up exhaused this morning, but with a racing heart (over 120 BPM). I'm so anxious and I feel out of breath. I'm going to go back to my previous doses and start again. Has anyone else experienced similar symptoms while going off anxiety meds? I hear they can be really hard to get off of and I'm a bit scared.

  14. JillF

    JillF Member

    I've never been on anxiety meds... I did it all med-free. But theres nothing wrong with using meds as part of your recovery.

    Are you decreasing your meds with the supervision of your dr? Have you implemented any kind of life changes in order to deal with anxiety and panic? Have you learned any methods to help you?

  15. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member


    Make sure you are weaning your meds with the advice of a dr or nurse. Some of those have to be done a specific way or there can be problems.


  16. Kimberjean08

    Kimberjean08 Member

    Jill: Wow, how did you do it without meds? My anxiety got to the point where I coulnd't leave the house! I had to do something. I wish I didn't have to take them, but for now, i know it's the right thing for me.

    Jill and Grey: Thank you. Yes, I am decresing the meds per the instruction of my doctor. He suggested I try takng the effexor xr every other day at 75mg, rather than every day at 37.5mg. It didn't work very well. I wet back up to 75mg/day and am going to try to taper to 37.5mg/day after tomorrow. I'm almost off of the Klonapin (down to 1/4 of a pill per day). So far, that doesn't seem to be causing problems.

    I'm also taking Amitryptilin to help with the anxiety, so as I go down on the other two meds, I'm increasing the dose on the amitryptilin. So far, it just seems to be making me really drowsy.

    I'm also seeing a psychologist to work on exercises to calm me down and to help me deal with the anxiety. It is helping a great deal.

  17. JillF

    JillF Member

    I'm glad to hear that you are working with a dr and a psychologist. Sometimes, people think they only need to take a pill and make it all better, when theres so much more to getting better.

    It wasn't easy to do it without meds. I was almost at the point where I couldn't leave the house either. The only place I was still going was to work-- and that was really close. I needed to pay the bills somehow. lol.

    I also made A LOT of lifestyle changes. I gave up smoking, caffeine and started my at home program pretty much all at the same time. I can be very stubborn when I put my mind to it! lol

    It wasn't easy, but it was worthwhile for me. For a very long time- I kept some meds in my cupboard and once in awhile- -I would take them out, look at them and think about taking them. I always put them back. But it would have been ok if I thought I really needed them. Just having them there, was a kind of safety net for me. One day-- I realized I wouldn't need them and got rid of them.

    I also made other changes-- changing the way I thought was a huge one. I didn't realize how negative my thinking was until I faced it. I wasn't very kind to myself at all.

    I started working out. It helps to get those endorphins going!

    I was also kind to myself. I learned that there were times when I just had to hide away for a day. Days when I felt frustrated and angry and hopeless. It takes time and effort to change ones programming!

    I still have to be careful. I have times where it can be triggered. I'm much more suseptible to anxiety if I'm stressed out and also right before and at the beginning of my cycle. I've found that some scents can trigger anxiety-- some chemical in perfumes and colognes and other scented items that just doesn't agree with me.

    Its a learning process and sometimes its effortless and things go good. Other times its difficult.

    My biggest struggle is not dwelling. When i start to feel a bit anxious and off-- the best thing I can do is to head it off. But I still struggle with that sometimes. Its easy to be hyper-aware of every single body symptom and how I am feeling. When I do that-- I actually make it worse.

    I hope things start getting better for you!

  18. Kimberjean08

    Kimberjean08 Member

    Hi Jill. Thank you so much. Your story really helps. I know what you mean about the safety net. I am working to make lifestyle changes. I don't drink caffeine or alcohol, I'm working out more an dmore, trying to keep my body on a regular schedule, surrounding myself with people during the day, and working with my psychologist to stop the negative thinking and the dwelling on things. I am like you were-not at all kind to myself. I don't give myself credit for things and am always thinking about the "what if's". I know I need to stop that. It is a work in progress, but I'm moving forward as best I can. Some days, I feel really nervous and I worry about getting a panic attack, or I have trouble focusing. It is to a point though, that it doesn't last the whole day.

    My biggest fears right now revolve aroudn 1 issue-Is this going to last forever?! I worry about not being able to be a good wife and mother someday, I worry about whether or not I'll be able to have a job, or to finish grad school (I only have a year to go). I worry that maybe it is only the meds making me better right now and that deep down, I'm not healing. These worries sometimes consume my thoughts for hours. Other days, not so bad.

    I'm so glad you were able to overcome things the way that you did. I really admire your strength and determination. Thank you so much!!

  19. JillF

    JillF Member

    Sounds like you are making many postive changes in your life! Thats great!

    I understand your biggest fears. Even now, I have my bad days now and again. But I always remind myself about how far I've come and that I now had the tools to work through it.

    Embrace the victories-- even if they seem small. Maybe you were feeling anxious-- but kept up with something a few minutes longer then you would have before. Thats moving forward!

    Your biggest fears are still old habits that you are working on. Catastrophizing is very common with anxiety and panic. I used to worry about things that were really far into the future-- like losing everyone, and being old, alone and living on the street. I used to dwell on it for hours and feel real fear that it would happen.

    Its all about taking those steps to improve things-- even if they are small baby steps. Be gentle and kind to yourself. It takes time to re-program years of habits.

    I also want to mention something else. Its something that I didn't believe in at first- but now I know that its exactly true. Find out what you get out of anxiety and panic. Yes, I mean that. Many of us, even though we feel horrible and hate it and angry and frustrated-- are sometimes holding on to it because it benefits us in some way. Not only that-- but change can be scary. Even when the change is good.

    For me, I was using my anxiety and panic as an excuse to not do things. I couldn't make progress or go places or do things I really didn't want to do-- if I have anxiety and panic right? It gave me a built in excuse to not do just about everything. If I didn't do it.. I couldn't fail right?

    Problem is-- that the excuse then takes your life over and your body just automatically reacts in more and more situations.

    So while I was on the one hand- hating how I was feeling, angry that I couldn't be 'normal' and frustrated with the situation--- I was also getting something out of it.

    I still have to be careful about that. I try to be honest with myself. If I really don't want to do something- I make sure I acknowledge that- and find out why I don't want to do it. THen I make sure I'm not using my anxiety as an excuse to not do it. Sometimes-- we have to do things we don't want to do-- so I work now to make sure my anxiety doesn't automatically kick in just because I don't want to do something.

    I've also learned how to say no. Sometimes- you don't have to do something- but people feel guilty saying no. But theres nothing wrong with saying no when you are unable or don't want to do something.

    Am I making any sense?

    Anyways- that was my biggest reason for anxiety and panic. And when I do have anxiety when I'm home, I just try to float through it and remind myself that it will pass and it will be ok.

    It always gets better. I treat myself gently and sometimes I give myself permission to feel bad for a little while. I just make sure I don't wallow in it for days.

    When I first started working on these problems-- I was very skeptical that it would ever work. I would have thoughts like "Whats the point? WHat if I learn all this, get better and then I die?" Yes, I really thought that.

    A lot of 'what if' thoughts and "should of" thoughts. I can be very good at catastrophizing as well.

    But I've learned that most of what we worry about never happens. And even if it does-- worrying doesn't make it any better. What seems like a big problem now-- in 6 months just won't matter any more.

    I really did go for 3 years completely anxiety free (except struggling with a residual driving phobia which resulted from the panic). I've had some growing pains now (a bit of a struggle with it again) but I understand why.

    I haven't been as faithful maintaining my workouts for one. And another-- I have some things in my life I wish were different. SO the old habit of anxiety kicking in to give me an excuse is something I have to deal with.

    But i'm much smarter now and know that I won't be back to where I was- and that I can get through this minor set back again. And i'm not even close to as bad as I was! lol

    Kimberjean-- I applaud you for all that you are doing to make improvements in your life. You are a very strong woman to do so. Not many people have to look theirselves in the eye and face their self down. Its not an easy thing to do.

    But I know you can do it! You are stronger then you realize. If you weren't, you wouldn't be fighting to take back your life. And you will take it back.

    Don't get too discouraged. Always celebrate the victories- even the little ones. Realize that over time-- as you keep working on these changes-- the positive changes will start to become more automatic. You won't have to always be working so hard at it. Know that you can-- and will beat this!!

  20. AlyssTG9

    AlyssTG9 New Member

    Hi Jill,

    I have a residual driving phobia that came about as a result of my anxiety (caused my hormonal birth control almost a year ago). It's gotten better as my anxiety overall has been better. How is your experience with the driving phobia? When I was at my worst, it felt like I couldn't swallow only over bridges, in tunnels, or in places with no shoulder. Now it's a lot better, but I get a little anticipatory anxiety now and then. Any advice?

    Thank you,


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