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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anybody else here have serious anxiety issues? For a while I thought I was just a 'worrier' but recently I've begun to wonder if it's more than that.

A few nights ago I had a horrible dream that my two cousins Landon and Christopher (6 and 5 y/o) died. I woke up at 5:00 AM in tears. I knew it had just been a dream but that didn't stop me from hyperventilating and seriously, conciously considering getting up and calling my aunt's house to make sure the boys and everybody else was okay.

After opting against it (they would have thought I was nuts) I started worrying about my father, sisters, mother (who is currently out of town on her annual 300 mile bike trip), and Oliver. I was thinking, "What if dad had a heart attack in his sleep? What if my sisters have been kidnapped? Oliver is either sleeping really deep or he has died in his sleep..." I shook him. He woke up. I started bawling again for fear that something was wrong.

This isn't the first time that something like this has happened. If my parents are late coming home I panic. If my sisters (who are 16 and 14, by the way) aren't home and I don't know EXACTLY where they are- I panic. If my boyfriend forgets to call me- I panic (I even went so far as to call his father whom I don't even KNOW to make sure that something hadn't happened to John after I hadn' t heard from him for 2 days. I later remembered that John had simply gone camping with a few of his friends. He had even told me he was going camping 2 days prior to this event.)

I think these irrational fears stem from the fact that I've never really lost anybody close to me and I know death is inevitable. I know it's a terribly grim thing to say but I feel like all of my loved ones and myself are sitting ducks- and I'm horrified to think that one of them might die.

Has anybody else ever had this problem?
 

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I have been dealing with anxiety for about 3 years now. I do have to take xanax occasionally. The one thing that helped me HUGELY was that when I was pregnant, I wasn't allowed to take it, so I really had to work on meditation techniques and focusing my mind elsewhere. As of today I haven't had a xanax in about 4 months. When I first started I was taking them almost everyday. Hope this helps.
 

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The cover article of this month's (may be last month's now) is about anxiety and herbal treatments. They give to down low on about a dozen herb options. Their stupid website suck-didily-ucks. Maybe it's still in the store.
 

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This is going to be a long answer.

Professional help may be of great use to you. Medication will provide a immediate way out for you, but you need to learn how to take charge of the panic by yourself so you can feel control over the situation. Medication will not grant you this control.

yoga breathing exercises will help with anxiety more than anything.

Here is a great way to lessen your panic issues.

Practice breathing and relaxing.

It can be used to "cure" a panic attack when it happens. As time passes and you are able to get your panic attacks under your control more quickly, they will cease to happen.

To start your training -

Find a place where you can be alone and not interupted for 20 minutes or so.

Make yourself comfortable. Try not to use music or any outside stimulus. Sit straight or lie down on your back.

Get a mental picture of somewhere that is the ultimate relaxing area for you. Maybe a white sand beach with nobody but you on it, or a grassy hill with the cool evening breeze... whatever it is, you will use this later in your "meditative state".

Start breathing deep from lower lungs, not upper. You can place your hand on your stomach to make sure your breaths are coming from there not your breast area.

Relax your body from toes up....concentrate on each part of body as you go up....toes, foot, calf, hamstring, hip, abdomen, etc....

Really feel the muscles relaxing.

Once you have relaxed your body put yourself in the place you thought of earlier. Make sure your don't think about anything but this relaxation place. When another thought comes in your mind, force yourself to push it away and go back to your place. Stay there as long as you can. 15 or 20 minutes of this exercise should be enough.

What this does is give you the tools to control your thought processes. Once you have gotten good at keeping thoughts out of your mediatative state you will be able to use the technique in your daily life.

This does take work. It is very hard to keep random thoughts from entering your thought processes. You just need to be able to turn them off quickly.

Being able to turn those thoughts off will allow you to disregard the things that are causing the panic in your life.

Trust me this really works.

A couple other things you can do.

When panic starts:

1. Concentrate and count. 1...2...3..

really concentrate, the panic will go away and as time goes on you will find yourself counting to a lower number, which will provide you with a positive sign of getting it under control.

2. Breathe deeply. Remember, from your abdomen, not your upper chest.

slow and deep.

3. Engage someone in a conversation, and really listen to what they are saying. I know this is hard but it works as well.

4. Concentrate on an object near you. make sure you are only thinking about that object (this is something that the mediatitive training will help with)

Remember panic is just a thought process. If you learn to control the thought process through these techniques, you will learn to control your panic.

It may never go away completely, it may show up once in a blue moon, but the knowledge you can manipulate it will alleviate the horrific feeling of not having control over the situation.

Hope that helps.
 

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I used to have anxiety attacks (crying and difficulty breathing) and still do but less often. I found that it wasn't the event immediately before the attack that triggered it so much as the general level of stress in my life at the time. I mean, if I'm in a lot of stress at work, I can't panic there, so the next time I was somewhere safe (for example, if I was at home having an argument with my bf), I would panic. Are you under a lot of stress, for example with school or work?

For awhile, I saw a therapist and that did help; you should certainly talk to your doctor and see what he thinks. (You may need drugs to control the anxiety; if it's giving you trouble breathing, you may also need an inhaler.)

You might also consider looking at what you're eating. I find that if I let my blood sugar fluctuate too much (I'm not diabetic but I get low blood sugar), I panic more.
 

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steller- I had the same feelings right before my anxiety turned into full on panic attacks (daily and sometimes 2-3 times a day)... I'd always worried more than "normal" but so does everyone in my family so I thought it was normal. And I'd always occassionally had those major fears in the night (and worse off, I've had that happen the night before THREE different relatives died
) ...anyway, after about 6 months of daily panic attacks and constant anxiety (trying yoga, meditation, everything imaginable) I gave in and went to the dr. She put me on Buspar and it has helped me tremendously. I still have the anxiety and all sometimes, but on the meds I can easily *breathe* my way through it. I don't want to be on medication longterm, but I can definetly say that it is neccessary for me right now.

Good luck, I know what you are going through is not fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by cookingVeg

Are you under a lot of stress, for example with school or work?

Yes. Not so much from work- but school. I'm moving 350 miles away to Minneapolis- all by myself- in a month to start college at the U of M. I've never really been on my own before and the thought of it scares me to death. At the same time I know that I want to get out of this small town setting and into a place where I can grow as a person. I know this will be the place.

I'm also worried about getting a job, making an adequate amount of money at that job so that I can STAY in school once I get there, making new friends (I'm completely content with the friends that I already have), and being away from my family (and once I start thinking about my family I get worried about what might happen while I'm not around).

It's a scary thought for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to all of you; your comments definetly make me feel better.

pghmountainbkr- You can bet that I'll give those things a try. I'll do anything to make this stop.
 

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Just remember all it takes to cure panic is to get your mind off of it.

I know this is sounds like an over-simplification, and it isn't easy to do, but it is true.

good luck.
 

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I have anxiety, but after counseling and being put on medication, it's under control. Yoga and exercise can help too, as well as keeping occupied. But if it's really serious (And it sounds as if it could be) I'd see your doctor.
 

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I have quite bad anxiety. It used to be just health anxiety, but now it seems to be more generalised.

I find that relaxation tapes help. Some of them look rather cheesy, but they're usually pretty good!
 

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And never forget, in the immortal words of Robert Smith of The Cure

Fight ~

Sometimes there's nothing to feel

Sometimes there's nothing to hold

Sometimes there's no time to run away

Sometimes you just feel so old

The times it hurts when you cry

The times it hurts just to breathe

And then it all seems like there's no-one left

And all you want is to sleep

Fight fight fight

Just push it away

Fight fight fight

Just push until it breaks

Fight fight fight

Don't cry at the pain

Fight fight fight

Or watch yourself burn again

Fight fight fight

Don't howl like a dog

Fight Fight Fight

Just fill up the sky

Fight fight fight

Fight til you drop

Fight fight fight

And never never

Never stop

Fight fight fight

Fight fight fight

So when the hurting starts

And when the nightmares begin

Remember you can fill up the sky

You don't have to give in

You don't have to give in

Never give in

Never give in

Never give in
 

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I think we should all thank this guy, (PghMtnBker) seems likely he knows his stuff when it comes to anxiety..... Seriously...Your advice rocks/seems sound enough!!

(but for me largely omitting the part for medication myself which I don't need personally, at all really, but thats just me!).


..........So to my first point >> Is it really your advice or are you quoting some of it in part from a book or something???.....Then again, maybe its all your own experience.. Do tell a bit about that.

Thanks anyway and big up yourself!!....Welcome again to the site (for the 3rd time I've said that your way today!)
 

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It does sound as if your situation is fairly serious. I suggest that you at least see your regular doctor and explain what you've been going through.

perhaps the fact that you're making such a big life change by going away to school, is more of an impact on you than you think. sometimes things like that can trigger anxiety. For instance, I was assaulted by a homeless guy - hit in the head - just 2 months before I started to fall apart...and I thought I was ok...but it obviously affected me a lot more than I thought it really did.

In my situation, I have major depression and anxiety...it was when I started having anxiety attacks in the car while stuck in traffic, that I knew I needed to do something! I have Ativan that I take as needed...and it has really helped me get through it so that I am more capable of taking care of myself naturally. Before I saw a doc, my mom was giving me xanax...and that helped too.

hang in there! I know it's hard. Just take care of yourself. : )
 

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omg.. I can remember back when I was in elementary school, I had such horrible anxiety. I'm 26 now and I've been on Xanax for about 6 months now and combined with therapy, I feel so much better. I always thought that constant worrying was normal. Now I don't obsess over every little thing, I can finally go on about my day and not have my worries control my life.

I recommend finding a therapist and talking with your doctor. Anxiety is more common than most people think. Good luck.
 

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"Is it really your advice or are you quoting some of it in part from a book or something???"

I have had anxiety problems since I was 21 I am now 33. For the first 5 years they were serious and went undiagnosed. I didn't want to let anyone know I was having them, I thought something was seriously wrong...chest pains, dizziness etc. Men are good about denying things and hoping the issue will go away.

Once I finally accepted something was wrong I went through all the tests to make sure there was nothing physically wrong with me. I had heart stress tests (chest pains), MRIs (dizziness and headaches), etc...

This is something I suggest anyone with serious anxiety issues do. It will rule out any problems and will provide you with the knowledge that there is nothing physically wrong with you...knowing nothing is wrong is VERY important to getting control.

This got me on the medication part of my anxiety journey.

I took paxil, busbar, and klonopin at different times over the next 3 years.

These medications did mask my panic/anxiety problems. They did not cure them.

When I decided to get off of meds, I had anxiety issues again. Since then I have seen two specialists who have done behavior therapy, as well as relaxation and concentration exercises.

I feel the concentration and relaxation activities I mentioned in my above post have been the most beneficial to my problems.

I still have anxiety problems, but they are much less frequent and much less dehabiliating. I have also had less depression, which you will find is a very common bed-fellow to anxiety/panic.

I continue to work on my problems, but they do not affect my daily life as they used to.

PS I completely cut out caffeine as well. I used to be one of those people who drank coffee every morning and chugged soda. I now drink less soda and it is always sodas like root beer, which have no caffeine and no longer drink coffee. It really wasn't that hard believe it or not. Caffeine is terrible for panic and anxiety sufferers.

A note for Faery Girl.

I bet if you went to a behavior therapist you could beat you car anxiety. Try my concentration methods. And when you are in a car and feel panic try to concentrate on the car in front of you, really concentrate on the license plate, or bumper sticker...get your mind off the panic thoughts...that is the key.

Also I have heard books on tape can help a lot. Because you are concentrating on the story you cannot concentrate on the panic....

anything to break the panic's hold on your mind will do the trick. Just give yourself the tools to break that hold. either on your own or see a panic/anxiety specialist.

You can find one in your neck of the woods http://www.adaa.org/Public/Find.cfm

Let me know if I can help any further, I have been there and I know the hell it can be.
 

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i was just scanning through this chart at the bulk food store today, it listed what different herbs and essential oils are good for what. lots of them are good for anxiety, some are just used in cooking and others you put in a bath or inhale.

i think it's worth experimenting with different herbs before taking a medication that may do physical harm in the long run, or to use in combination with meds.

i think cinnamon and nutmeg were two of them because i made a mental note to add a dash of each to my morning cocoa or oatmeal.

lavender under your pillow might help the nightmares
 

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Stellar, I have those problems too. I am glad to know that I am not the only one out there who feels this weay...

I also have not lost anyone close to me and sit at home and wonder who is going to die first in my family. I am always terrified whenever my parents tell me they are going out of town that they will get into a car accident. I also worry too much about my fiance. He likes to go dirt bike riding with his brothers and the enitre time he is gone I have visions of him breaking his neck, etc. You get the picture. I'm a worry wort. When I was younger I used to cry myself to sleep because I was afriad of death.

Anyways, just know that you are not alone and if you find a solution that works, let me know please!
 
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