Post # 1
Long story short, I went to the doctor today to talk to them about my anxiety. I had a wonderful doctor (it’s a university clinic so I don’t have my own GP) who was super patient and kind and I felt that she really listened to me. That was a total gift, as I was very nervous to go.
I’ve been having increasing anxiety, constant worry, inability to let things go etc ramping up in the last 2 years, and also actual episodes where I’ve become overwhelmingly panicked out of nowhere. When that happens I am so scared, feel that I can’t breathe, can’t hear properly and just feel that I can’t get a hold of myself and have to focus not to faint/get sick. The last time that happend was over Christmas when I went to a play with my family. I realised that we were in the centre of the row, with about 30 people on either side to any exit and I just … could.not.deal. it was really awful and scared my parents.
I hadn’t realised how much the anxiety was stressing me out, or how scared I am of what’s happening until I was asked to describe it today. I got so emotional discussing it and I am a very ‘chin up’/logical person, so that caught me off guard. I’d love to hear from other bees who are dealing with anxiety or who have discovered self help methods of coping etc. I’ve been prescribed a low dose anti anxiety medication with the idea that we’ll make a treatment plan in a few weeks after we see how I respond.
Anyways, it’s hard for me to talk about with friends so I’m hoping to talk to some bees instead 🙂
Post # 2
peonyinlove: I feel like I could be reading my own story when I read your post. Getting help was honestly the best thing I’ve ever done. Even my FI says our relationship is the best it’s even been, and I now realize what happiness really is. I thought it was normal is alwasy be irratated or annoying or paniced or stressed about something or other. Ever since I started the medication, things couldn’t be better! Don’t fight the medicatin just because of the stigma of it.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
peonyinlove: Congrats on taking the first step which is realizing you need some assistance to deal with your anxiety disorder. I have sufferred from anxiety and panic disorder since I was in elementary shcool (I am 30 now.) I have been on and off meds for it over the past 10 years.
I have worked the hardest on identifying my triggers (what causes anxiety/panic for me) and learning to avoid the triggers I can avoid and how to cope with the symptoms when I cannot avoid triggers or unexpectedly have an attack. Putting together an action plan for dealing with your anxiety disorder will take time; it may take a few months or it make take a few years. When I feel my anxiety attack coming on I try to distract myself either by thinking about other more pleasant things or by singing really loudly to music on the radio. If that doesn’t work, I call a friend or family member who knows about my disorder and get them to discuss something pleasant that will distract me from the thoughts that are causing the anxiety.
Everybodys experience with anxiety is different. Definitely spend some time in counseling to try to determine if yours is being cause by a particularly stressful event or current situation in your life that you can control. Or if it’s something you’ve always been fighting. My anxiety has been a lifelong experience for me but it gets worse when I am experiencing additional stress such as during my divorce and while I was in law school. During those times I typically will use meds because my action plan isn’t strong enough to cover the added stress. I spend a lot of time avoiding unnecessary stress (for example, driving the long way home to avoid traffic because traffic is a trigger for stress.)
Don’t feel bad about it, learn from the experience. Living in a first world society we have a lot of downtime to contemplate stressful information and thoughts which can lead to anxiety. It’s the fight or flight response that in ancient times would save us from being killed or eaten. When you think about it as an evolutionary advantage, it’s really not so bad.
Post # 4
CanadianBride456: thank you! it’s hard for me to imagine taking medication for it, but i know that i need to give it a shot and see the difference it can make. i hope i’ll have a fairly easy transition, i was warned that it can get worse before it gets better. i’m staying positive and hoping for the best.
Post # 5
beachbride1216: thank you for sharing your experience, i really appreciate it. I am also in law school and that is when the issues have become much worse/more obvious. I’m also attending university in a different country and after talking for a while trying to figure out ‘why’ the doctor indicated that it could be a product of too much stress in my school life and living environment (away from friends/family, familiar places etc.) that’s really contributed to the issues. her direction was to take care of some of the symptoms now (take the meds, meditate each day, get more exercise) so that we can make a treatment plan in a few weeks when i’m feeling clearer.
i’ve been referred to a counselor and have a follow up appointment to see this doctor as well, I definitely want to do the work outside of medication. thanks again for commenting, it’s nice to hear from others.
Post # 6
[Sorry for the really long reply!]
Your words could very easily have been mine. I remember my first panic attack, it came from no where. I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep and all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe and it started to feel like I was having a heart attack. Like you I struggled to prevent myself from fainted, struggled to keep myself together. Being a health anxious person this made it worse. I was actually glad I was at my Mums that night so I could climb into bed with her and talk (childish but I was terrified).
My second one was at my OH’s Mums house (when I used to live between homes) and it was exactly the same. The following morning FMIL told me I should go to the hospital because I was having chest pains. I went and I was fine. Perfectly healthy, well slightly raised heart rate and a mis beat every now and again but most people have that. All of it was in my head and it seemed to come from no where.
I rarely have those panic attacks now but I have sickness anxiety where I am terrified of being sick. I actually sleep with a bowl by my bed just in case I don’t make the bathroom in time. Not once have a been sick since having this anxiety. The worst time it strikes it when I go out for a meal. No so bad if it is just OH and I as he understands but family meals are hard as I am fighting to keep myself together. – OH knows when I attack as my face kind of goes stone-y.
Unfortunatly help in the UK (at least where I am) is useless. I went to the doctor for advice and all they said was “Take nice deep breathes and it will go away.” Deep breathes don’t seem to work for me. People seem to laugh at it here and think you are stupid for going into such a state over ‘nothing.’
I bought a CBT book which has helped a lot (search for it if you don’t know already), it made me realise what I do to fuel my anxieties. I have my own methods to calm down now, usually involving sucking on a mint. This can backfire though as I have panicked over that fact I’ve left the mints at home! Not the best fix but I am working on it.
I find it so reasuring to talk to other sufferers because you realise that you’re not alone! I hope that you are sucessful in battling anxiety. 😀 Sending you calming thoughts 😀
Post # 7
I went the natural route for my anxiety… I started having a lot of panic attacks. I found an all natural supplement that has worked wonders for me!
Post # 8
I have yet to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, but your story sounds so darn similar. I went through a very traumatic time in my life when my father was in jail and I was unable to see him for a year. Every time I thought of him and his downward spiral I would have these fits of terror and panic where I would literally fall to the floor unable to breathe and just cry until I was sick. I was only 11 at the time so it totally flipped my mom and sister out. I unfortunately treated my emotional issues with other things through high school and when I finally sought help for that and quit my attacks did come back. I could barely make it through college classes due to my irritable state and my on edge emotions. The older I get the more I rationalize with myself better and can work through it and maintain my life. But still I feel like I am on a rollercoaster and feel emotions so much stronger than I should which is definitely what triggers those panic attacks.
I would suggest looking into 5HTP which is a natural mood stabilizer, as anxiety is triggered by stress and irritable response to situations IMO. If I miss my dose that day I can FEEL it like a pit in my stomach and frog in my throat. I also use essential oil drops under my tongue when I feel an attack coming and those help ease my emotions a bit more. I think doing yoga or something like that would help most as well if it is within budget. I know it grounds me.
Post # 9
I have severe anxiety disorder as well as panic disorder– they wreck the quality of your life if untreated. In my case, the anxiety is severe enough to cause severe major clinical depression, I have to take a lot of meds, including a high does of anti anxiety meds. I’m not terribly sensitive to them, so I’m on the max dose.
My issues come from my abusive childhood–I was a very tense little girl.
CBT is the therapy of choice for anxiety & yoga is absoluely wonderful. Exercise in general is absolutely essential, but yoga is especially well suited for treating anxiety.
I hope you are feeling better.
Post # 10
i have the same thing the worst thing ever was getting help! the while industry is built on profits all they do is keep comforting you and telling you your ok and its normal that just keeps you in your ways go see a natropath do exersise and get lots of morning sun dont rely on anyone to help you nothing will change unless you make the change yourself
Post # 11
Eck. Anxiety is horrible!!! About 12 years ago I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (I was 14) and put on medication. I have been on and off anxiety meds ever since. It wasn’t until two years ago though that the root of my anxiety began to surface. My anxiety got so bad I refused to drive for three years, I was waking up every thirty minutes shaking hysterically, crying and couldn’t eat for nearly a week. By that time I decided to get help, not just meds but take it into my own hands. Often they give anti depressants for anxiety and by that pount my anxiety wouldn’t even lrt me take meds. I was soon diagnosed with agoraphobia. My therapist tried to convince me to commit myself the anxiety was so bad. I was afraid of everything. I was terrified of sleep, being awake, being alone, being in public, standing… I sat in bed all day rvery day crying and fighting off panic attacks. I was also diagnosed with epilepsy around the same time so needless to say I didn’t take that well. By the time I got into therapy I was desperate enough to try anything but meds. I was high strung from having countless panic attacks that woke me so we started there. My therapist taught me these “positive affirmations” to help me get some sleep. I had to all day and night tell myself over and over “I will get good sleep tonight. I will wake up feeling refreshed and unafraid. I will not die in my sleep.” Etc. My therapist explained that our subconscious believes whatever we tell it repeatedly and after about three days my night attacks stopped. My therapist than told me to write a list of my fears, everything that really scared me. I brought in the list that cobtained about 80 big fears and we went over each one together and soon I realized that my fears were all pretty absurd. I began using positive affirmations on these as well. Telling myself every time that I became afraid that everything was ok. This is especially important during an attack. Tell yourself it is just a panic attack, the feeling will pass soob and yoy will be ok. Remind yourself that there is no real threat. My panic attacks lasted 30+ minutes but after learning this trick they quickly changed ans only lasted 1-2 minutes making them easy to overcome. Doon after my diagnosis changed to OCD. Its not the typical kind you hear about in tv with repetative door knob touching etc but it in itself is an anxiety disorder. It took so long to become aware of the OCD because my conpulsiobs always changed but it was there none the less. The oCD was why it was so hard to overcome the anxiety and deal with the epilepsy diagnosis. It took a year in therapy and one large change in my faith to get better. Faith always scared me as well but overcoming that fear and building my faith gave the most drastic positive results. After twelve years af therapy, I am finally done. My therapust continued to remark on the huge change I made from the person I was when I started there to the person I became. I became his success story he told at conferences and meetings. My anxiety started much like yours and it wasn’t until may 2012 that it hwcame fully debilitating. I ubderstand what you are going through and I know what its like when it effects your life so much that it fully changes who you are. I know what its like to spend every second of life in a constant panic. My husband was waking up five plus times a night to me shaking thw entire bed. From anxiety. The wonderful man woke up each time to give me a back rub to help me feel better. That’s another really useful tip. Valium is often given for severe anxiety like xanax. They are muscle relaxers and when you get anxious youř muscles tighten which is why the muscle relaxers help so much. Id you find yourself in an attack that yoy can’t seem to shake off, ask someone to give you a back rub, it helps tremendiusly. All this said and done I just wanted to hopefully offer some hope to others. There was a time that I thought I woyld be stuck like that forever. Having ine of the most debillitating forms of anxiety but even without meds I conqueted it. I haven’t had a true panic attack in about 18 months and my anxiety has been pretty non existand for about eight months. I feel better than I ever have snd the fear no longer has any control. I’m proud to say I’m even driving again after three years! It can be done, you can get rid of it. It takes work and sometimes it gets hard but from someone who has finally nade it through, it was so worth it. Before I didn’t listen much to what doctors said woyld help, thinking no its nor tgat simple for me. The moment I took their advice and started really working hard to get rid of it, was the moment my life started moving back up hill. Sorry for the long post, hope it helped someone out there. And sorry for the typos, it’s not easy to write long posts from a small phone
Post # 12
Go to anxietycoach.com and buy his book. Dr. Carbonell is the best. His book has helped me so much. His website also has a ton of great info/techniques.
Post # 13
beachbride1216: Anxiety is absolutely awful. I’ve had anxiety for about 5 years…increasingly so in the past year. I go through periods where I will get multiple panic attacks a week and it’s incredibly scary, exhausting, and depressing. That being said, there are ways to cope with it and congrats on making the first step and seeing a therapist. For me, I have found that keeping active is the best thing I can do. Sometimes, when I feel a panic attack coming on, I go for a run or to the gym and it really helps. I was also prescribed lorazapam which helps calm me down. However, I don’t take anything day to day… just when I have a panic attack.
The other thing that helps calm me down is just telling myself over and over again that I’ve had panic attacks before and I will be fine when it’s over. You’ll find things that work for you too and hopefully, things will get better.
Post # 14
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!
I’ve been diagnosed with GAD for about 3 years now. Exercise helps a bit, but in the end I had to turn to perscription drugs. First we tried Celexa off label, as it’s an antidepressent but showed signs of helping with anxiety as well. Unfortunately I am allergic to something in it. Next we tried xanax at a small dose, but if felt like the effects would wear off quickly so by night time I would be struggling and panicing before bed – and had insomnia as a result of never being able to turn off my thoughts and worries.
Finally we tried an extended release xanax and that has been working really well for me. It doesn’t make me feel drowzy or like the “narcotic” effect of the quick release stuff. I take it in the morning and it really helps me stay calm throughout the day. I still have a script for the regular kind too that I use if I feel an attack coming on or it already has. My doc said I can also take the quick ones before bed to help shut off my brain for sleep. I do still occasionally have panic attacks, but no where near like I used to – and it no longer affects my ability to go to work at least.
Post # 15
FutureDrAtkins: citysparkle: countingstars: Mrslovebug: cmbee: sassy411: abm0611: Madeline789: Jeo4500:
thank you all for sharing your experiences, it’s really helped me to read them through. I’m feeling good, and like a have a plan and a support system which is really important to me. I will definitely make the positive changes other than medication to help my mental health – thank you. I’ve taken lots of tips from your responses and I will explore them as well.