Up and Down Rollercoaster

Hello,

My name is Taylor and I have been dealing with anxiety since I was in the fourth grade. I wasn't diagnosed until 8th grade, when they told me I have panic disorder and agoraphobia. I have been on several medications and have found only two to be truly effective for my body (zoloft and wellbutrin). My senior year of high school I had to be home schooled for the first semester because my anxiety became so bad that I could not leave the house. I went through intensive therapy, working with my therapist 2-3 times a week and by the time I graduated and high school I was feeling better than I had ever felt. I went to college and for the most part have been living a great life. In July of 2016 I felt my anxiety re-emerge and have been struggling with it ever since. I am testing out a new medicine and went back in for a few booster sessions with a therapist. It is hard to wrap your head around how you can be feeling so good then go back to feeling so bad. Not to mention I think my body built up a tolerance to my medicine so I am working on finding a new one. Anyone have any suggestions on medicines, relaxation tips, etc? I would love to hear.

5 Replies

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  • Hi Taylor,

    I'm sorry you have this awful anxiety to deal with. Do you take an antidepressant or a benzodiazepine? I have been on benzos for 29 years. Very effective but you can get gaps in your short and long term memories. I have gaps in both but my dad has none. I've noticed Drs. seem to try to keep their patients on antidepressants that also help with anxiety and stay away from benzos if possible.

    I can't complain about the benzos. They've done a fantastic job for me. First I was on Tranxene/clorazepate and then Klonopin/clonazepam. That covers 29 years. Only 1 change in all of that time! In the last year my stress has almost disappeared and so has my need for medication. I've reduced my clonazepam from 28 years of 4 mgs per day to 1 mg per day. That's a huge difference. So there's an example of how stress can severely affect your anxiety levels. I've totally dropped other drugs, too. I'm wishing you a low stress life and that you find just the right drugs for you.

  • I almost forgot; I'll leave you with my list of things you can do to lower your stress level and better understand your anxiety and depression and how to live with it.

    Some natural remedies and non-drug sources of information are books, videos, and workbooks suggested by other people on this site:

    1---"I've found David D. Burns' "Feeling Good" and "When Panic Attacks" to be very helpful."

    2---"I am working through the anxiety workbook by Dr David Carbonell and it has helped immensely!!! "

    3---Mindfulness has helped many people and is now recommended by doctors in the UK. Here’s just 1 link that explains it’s usefulness: heartwoodrefuge.org/benefit... Another option of many is called MINDSHIFT. You can download it to your phone from Google Playstore.

    4---TRE (Trauma releasing exercises) is something you can learn in a class but you don't have to talk about your problems and once you have learned the technique you can use it at home.

    5---"A good book that I came across recently is "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 6th Edition" by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD. You might find this book to be of some help to you, although communicating your thoughts and feelings in a group setting is enormously helpful as well. "

    6---“The book DARE, which is about anxiety. It’s a very good book about accepting anxiety and letting go of the fear. The author is Barry Mcdonagh and he also has a YouTube channel and a Facebook support group.”

    7---For anxiety: Claire Weekes audio books on iTunes. “Self Held for Your Nerves” is one title that is good. You can see her on YouTube. “The Dr. Claire Weekes book is easy to understand and will help you on your way to recovery through acceptance.”

    8---Another really good CD and book is the Linden method.

    9---How to be good with yourself: self-compassion.org/the-thr...10---Try the meditation app called Headspace. It's done in 10 mins slots once a day.

    10---Videos on YouTube by THAT ANXIETY GUY helps with anxiety re: depersonalization/ de-realization states.

    11—For UK residents: Have you ever been in touch with the organisation called MIND? They offer one to one sessions with a Project Worker free. They also run courses that you can attend free of charge. One of the courses is about Anxiety. Their website is mind.org.uk

    12---"Go on the psychology today site and look for a therapist that specializes in anxiety."

    13---Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect? self-compassion.org/the-thr...

    14---“Have you ever listened to Louise Hay on YouTube? Some of the talks help motivate you and hopefully you will feel a positive energy.”

    15---“I called one of these online therapist sites. The therapist was really good. It was prestoexperts dot com. Her name was Lori Burke. Definitely a professional and she got me through this awful depression/anxiety morning.” (There is a charge for this service)

    16---For meditation look at:

    Tara Brach and Chopra Center

    17---theworrygames.com/anxiety-f...

    18---“AnxietyNoMore” by Paul Bywater. A phone app.

    19---“At Last a Life” book by Paul David.

    20---The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook

    Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance

    By: Matthew McKay PhD, Jeffrey Wood PsyD, Jeffrey Brantley MD

    A Clear and Effective Approach to Learning DBT Skills

    First developed for treating borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective as treatment for a range of other mental health problems, especially for those characterized by overwhelming emotions. Research shows that DBT can improve your ability to handle distress without losing control and acting destructively. In order to make use of these techniques, you need to build skills in four key areas-distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

    Source: NewHarbingerPublications

    Caution for non-Buddhists: Zen Buddhism inspired aspects of DBT, along with behavioral science and dialectical philosophy. Source: GoodTherapy.com.

  • Wow - thank you for taking the time send me your thoughts and that generous list. I will have to look into some of those things soon! I will keep on fighting the good fight - if you can do it for 29 years - I can do it too!

  • Great! Just keep in mind that most of the time I took my meds and didn't have any problems with anxiety. Didn't even think about it.

  • Taylor, thank you for sharing your story.

    For relaxation, I really enjoy listening to ASMR videos on youtube. Here's a link to my personal favorite. The premise is to great relaxation and a good "tingly" feeling in the base of your skull that can sometimes be powerful enough to spread throughout other areas of your body. I enjoy this video because I can almost "feel" what's she's doing - it's like getting a virtual ear and scalp massage :) I hope you enjoy as much as I do. There are also other ASMR videos out there that focus on different sounds like tapping, crinkling, etc. to meet your specific interests or "triggers" (in ASMR speak).

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