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  1. #21

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    I've recently been having some serious problems with anxiety. I'll just be sitting around, doing something innocuous and all of a sudden HERE COMES THE PANIC ATTACK. The doctors said it may be because I've had to alter my meds I take for a chronic illness I have and my body is just adjusting its chemistry. And maybe I just have general, inexplicable anxiety.

    They gave me a prescription for some meds for it, but I never got it filled (I take so many medications for this other thing I a. can't afford to add more to it and b. just don't want to feed more chemically stuff in my body if I can possibly help it).

    Anyway, I've developed some pretty good coping skills for when I feel a panic attack coming on. I just sit back and focus on breathing in-2-3-4 and out-2-3-4 and I tell myself over and over again "it's just anxiety, it will pass, it's your body's chemistry doing weird things, nothing is wrong, you are ok, etc. etc." and I ride out the attack and go back to my life.

    I find just forcing myself to slow down and get more sleep helps a lot. I tend to be constantly on EXTREME mode and it's like my natural resting state (I joke about sleep being me going from one level of stress to a slightly lower level of stress). And it's not really stress, it's just stimulation. Anyway, if I just catch myself and say "hey, you can do this with less energy and still get things done well" or simply, "CHILL OUT will you already?"

    So I don't know. I'm against anxiety medication and I think it can be handled without it, but it's really a personal preference and how confident you feel you are that you can look a panic attack in the eyes and death stare it into remission. :P

  2. #22
    Tier 1 Member LunaLuminosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    I have been considering taking medication for anxiety, but I am concerned about side effects and the potential of never being able to get off of them.

    If you have taken anxiety medications, would you say that it was helpful?

    Did it cause more problems than it helped?

    If you were to go back in time, would you go on the medication again, or seek alternative methods?

    Also, has anyone successfully reduced anxiety through non-drug treatment?
    I take low doses of Zoloft for anxiety/depression/panic, and it has pretty much wiped out all three. I wouldn't be functioning without it.

    I had some nasty side effects the first month I took it, but they went away after that. The "side effects" that I still have are more related to changes in mental functioning. Some of the better effect is that I am less perfectionistic and have less of the OCD-like mental routines. Some of the worse effect is that I now underfocus a lot more than I can overfocus and I am a bit more impulsive.

    But even with how terrible the first month was, and the impact the loss of overfocusing has had on my academics, the positives overwhelmingly outweigh the negatives. I felt too sick and miserable to function, so that I lacked any motivation (especially something like exercising), and therapy is both expensive and unlikely to work on a case that had no obvious precedents.

    I think in the case of a true anxiety disorder that seems to come from nowhere, finding the right medication and therapy is critical. However, in a case where one can link the anxiety disorder to a potential cause (a life stress of sorts) or if there is strong anxiety of the layman's sense but not in the clinical sense, non-drug therapy might be best. If you can summon the will to exercise, a lot of walking/jogging in the sunshine could work wonders. Also, talking to people is very important... a network of people you are comfortable with is excellent because one of the worst things to do is feel the need to share a thought but keep it bottled up inside you instead. On bad days I utilize these methods in addition to the meds, and they are typically successful.

    In an anxiety disorder where you feel neurochemically sick, it is about finding a medication where the side effects felt are not as bad as the anxiety itself, in addition to the above therapies and more. Also do your research and factor in whether the medication is addictive or not. The only thing that happens when I stop taking Zoloft is some headaches, odd waves through my head ("brain zaps") and that the original symptoms come back, but some meds have far worse addictive symptoms. It is a lot of research, weighing pros and cons, and experimentation that will eventually lead to the right answer for your case.

  3. #23
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    I used to have horrible anxiety. In high school I had panic attacks every day. It got to the point where my mind kind of went numb because I was overloading it with emotion.

    My parents were oblivious/did not want me on medication.

    But I can say that I have recovered from almost all of my anxiety and am working on restructuring my thoughts. I am starting to believe more and more in the power of our minds and our capability to balance our thoughts.

    I started to read "From Panic to Power" by Lucinda Bassett. It brought to light a lot of things I was unaware of. Mostly our ability to control our thoughts, almost completely. Just like we exercise our bodies to improve little by little, we can do with our minds as well.

    I also started reading "How to stop worrying" by Dale Carnegie which has helped a lot.

    And the only reason I have gotten better is because I finally believe it is possible, instead of feeling like I had something weird wrong with me.

    It also helps to give yourself time to relax, stay away from excessive amounts of coffee/soda/alcohol and drink herbal teas. I take baths to wind down.

    It's been a long journey getting over it, but I have learned a lot about myself

  4. #24
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Xanax. Don't go for Buspar, or any of the non-benzo anti-anxiety meds the physician might try to push. Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are the most effective.

    I used to take all these for recreation, and perhaps it was also self-medication, so I know a lot about all these substances, and the pros/cons. So I can answer any more specific questions if u have them.

  5. #25
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    Also, has anyone successfully reduced anxiety through non-drug treatment?
    Oh and on this, you can consider a couple herbs and natural things that do help w/ anxiety. One is phenibut, the other is kava kava, oh and also valerian. Might be worth checkin out, if you are hesitant about the more serious med route. But really, xanax will wipe out your anxiety. These are more mild, but quite a bit of people find them super effective.

  6. #26
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I tried kava it made my anxiety slight worst. But at best my anxiety granted it's not like "oh we planned to do this but now we're doing that" is generally low grade. I get really anxious around change though I don't like to deviate too much from a plan or how things are too much. which I know is weird for a P, but I really get uncomfortable around the slightest change in my routine. even if it's moving to a new place just up the road.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  7. #27
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    I'm going for a hard run after work for my anxiety. It works. So does yoga.

  8. #28
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    rivotril / klonopin (in the US).
    .5mg for no hangover sleep.
    2mg for drooly sleep.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  9. #29
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    I would tell anyone to avoid benzos at all costs. Thats Lorazepam, Klonopin, Ativan, etc. These things are absurdly addictive, and I believe that they are prescribed WAY too haphazardly. Reliance upon medication goes nowhere good. I think that a lot of psychiatrists lean on medication too hard.

    I'd say try to find a doctor who is willing to work on techniques to reduce anxiety first. There are a lot of exercises and habits you can try to get into to reduce overall anxiety in your life and to calm yourself during panic attacks. See how those work for you FIRST.

    Medication is and should always be a last resort in my opinion. There are people who legitimately need it. But there are a lot of alternatives you can try.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  10. #30
    Tier 1 Member LunaLuminosity's Avatar
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    It's weird how on a thread with people who've actually gone through an anxiety disorder, that the advice is usually like "the meds are EVIL... run from them as long as you can!"

    After about my 10th panic attack, I was begging for pretty much anything that would stop me from going through that ever again. Getting medication early is probably one of the best decisions I've made in my life. Though it wasn't really a decision, there's no way I could've gone another week without something to adjust my chemistry.

    The attitude here is suprisingly chill for people who've been through this same neurochemical sickness.
    Hopefully we are on the same page on treating the illness of anxiety, not the state of anxiety (which has situational causation and goes away when that situation is remedied, and the talking-type therapy is highly useful), and that for the illness, at least some sort of medical attention is needed ASAP.

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