Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Hi, I just joined the group and am pretty desperate at this point. I have been suffering from anxiety and depression for quite some time now, about 8-9 years. The first trigger was a panic attack where it literally was the most traumatic experience of my life because I had no idea what was going on. To this day, it still haunts me and I am always afraid it is going to happen again. Luckily that particular situation has not come up again, but instead, I am having panic attacks for other reasons. From then on, I have been on an SSRI and am prescribed to a benzodiazepine for when I have an actual attack. I have done a lot of reading on the various anxiety and depressive disorders and have tried to get things under control but nothing has been long lasting. I have seen a few therapists in my day, but the process of finding a therapist that I like and one who is affordable is one of the worst experiences ever. It just seems like at any moment, I can break out into a panic attack. I am very big on trying to limit myself with the medications, i.e. I am taking a very low does of the SSRI and I have a long debate in my head before I actually take a benzodiazepine, and even then I only take half of one. My goal is to be able to kick the SSRI and benzodiazepines to the curb, and live my life again, free of panic attacks. There is just so much more that I want to write and so much more that I want to discuss, but this is my first post so I will leave it at that.

16 Replies

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  • Thanks for sharing. There are many natural tools you can use to fight back. Here are some that work for me. Merely suggestions

    - Exercise is a natural anti dep/anx

    - avoid caffife and sugar which are fuel for anxiety and panic

    - stay connected, don't isolate. Forums, meet ups, clubs, church etc....

    - stop negative self talk by helping others, volunteering or supporting or listening.

    - practice gratitude daily

    - meditations and self hypnosis for anxieties are free on YouTube or on podcasts apps. Use search.

    - Affirmations and chanting mantras -they provide positive reinforcement to the subconscious.

    - journaling. Write it down. Make lists of your fears and your resentments. Write a letter to god, to your inner child, to your parents etc. Take an inventory. Dig deep and be honest. Get it out of your head and on to paper. It's cheap therapy.

    Merely suggestions but all are free.

    Good luck ✌️

  • Thank you very much for responding so quickly! All of these are a great way for me to start taking action. I am a big advocate of exercise, so I am already doing something right! Also, since my most recent attack, I have stopped drinking coffee all together. I have done meditation in the past, the Deepak and Oprah guided meditations, which are awesome, I just haven't been keeping up on them. I honestly think about these things a lot and I really think it all stems from my self-esteem. I have a lot of negative self-talk and I really do think very poorly of myself. My confidence is almost non-existent, at least when it comes to social interactions.

    Anyway, thank you for responding and I will work on your suggestions a bit more!

  • I hope you don't mind, but I am going to copy and paste this amazing list!!!

  • Yea, this list is really awesome!

  • Go for it. Add your own tips too. I keep a copy in the note pad on my phone so I can edit or add things when I think of something new. If it helps 1 person it's worth the effort. Helping others is on the list. Being part of the solution improves my low self esteem. Thanks for spreading hope.

    👍👌✌️

  • Hi I can understand how your feeling as my condition is very similar. Have you tried asking for cognitive behavioural therapy cbt from your doctor the stepped up programme is very effective. I think the anti depressants do come with a lot of side affects which can make you feel more anxious and panicky. A great book that I highly recommend is cbt for dummies you can download it. Stay strong and I wish you a speedy recovery.

  • Hey! Thank you for responding. I have actually heard of CBT and the last therapist that I was seeing was big on practicing this. The problem was that she was entirely too expensive and did not accept my insurance, so I only had about 4 sessions with her before I had to stop. By that point, I feel like I was getting back into my normal groove, but I know now that it was only temporary. I really just want to find a therapist that I feel is right for me and that is affordable because I want to get to the root of my condition instead of temporarily subsiding it every so often. I will also check out the book that you recommended!

    Thank you again for responding!

  • One more tip that I forgot to mention. Avoid the news, politics and limit social meadia. Fear and devisiveness seems to be the persuasion tactic of choice lately. Good luck ✌️

  • That is actually an interesting thought. I am actually very removed from social media, news, and politics. I genuinely feel like I was born in the wrong decade haha because of how much I do not participate in things like facebook, snapchat, instagram, and all that jazz. However, I almost feel like this is part of the problem because I feel so isolated and out of the loop. Nowadays, the only way people communicate is virtually and a lot of the times, through these social media facets. At times I almost feel like I don't belong and feel like I'm an alien from another planet.

    Anyway, fruit for thought because I see your aspect as well and that is also interesting.

  • The problem Ive come to see w social media is the high potential to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others. We see an image of someone happy and suddenly we compare our insides w their outsides and feel were less than. .

    For real social connection consider meetup.com. This is not a dating site. This is a modern way of finding groups of people with similar interest for local meet ups and activities. The topics of interest are endlesss from.. Create a profile and use the search bar to find groups It's a great resource

  • That describes me to a tee. I am constantly comparing myself to others and always find myself to be lesser. That is probably why I avoid it now that I think about it. I don't understand why I have so much anxiety, I consider myself a young successful individual, graduating from graduate school soon, with a great job lined up. Yet, I'm terrified of my future. Of me not being able to control my anxiety and it inhibiting my ability to do my job. It inhibiting me from meeting new people. Inhibiting me from eventually raising a family. Again I woke up this morning with racing thoughts and had to medicate myself to keep the attack at bay, where the day before I was 100% fine, did a lot of work and went on a long run. I just don't get it.

  • I hear you. Sometimes it makes no sence. We are bombarded with negative messages. Advertisements on tv radio billboards print all use fear to manipulate us to consume their product. Theyve convinced us we aren't happy unless we live a certain way and have a particular product or lifestyle. It no wonder we are anxious. We are being forced to compare ourselves with others. I try to be aware of this. I've become a minimalist and find happiness in the important things. I suggest a movie called "MinimalismA documentary about the important things". It's currently on Netflix and online. Watch the trailer here. Good luck

  • Nothing replaces LOVE and COMPASSION for yourself. This is the goal of life and can be hard as we have so much internally that is self critical. Even loving the self criticism oddly can me helpful. But the slightest movement toward self acceptance is a very LOVING act.

  • happy to help if I can!...you tube have videos on cbt once you learn the techniques you can become your own therapist. If you Google cbt self help there is a wealth of information and easy to learn techniques the same as what a therapist will teach you therapists actually get a lot of there help sheets from this site so it's a good place to start also see if there are any free helplines as sometimes it does you good to say how you feel and put things into perspective. Also writing down how your feeling too. Hope this helps! Stick at it it does take persistence and practice but you will get there.

  • I read your response to cost prohibitive therapy. cBT. Here is a Do it Youself CBT video. She has many good free videos.

    Good luck

  • Not all anti depressants come with side effects. They can be helpful if you find the right one. Just not to rule them and keep all options open.

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