Anxiety and Depression Support
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Panic Disorder/Anxiety

Hi my name is Taylor and I would really like help to overcome my panic disorder without having to use medication 🙁

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Hi Taylor88, Depending on the length of time you have had the panic disorder as well as how much it is impacting your life, medication is not a bad idea. It can help for a short time to break that cycle of fear and allow you to find other methods to work in reducing your anxiety. If you know what your triggers may be, therapy can also help along with medication in starting you on the road forward instead of staying in a stuck position.

I see you just joined today and would like to welcome you to the Anxiety Support Group. As you share more of your story and read other's journey with anxiety, we can help each other. Looking forward in seeing you post and respond on the forum. One step at a time. :)

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Hello thank you for the welcoming.

Well I have had anxiety I think since I was around 9 yrs old , I am now 27. It got worse when I had my son I suffered post partum depression. I was prescribed Citalopram and it helped for a while... I had been on it for around 3-4 years with the doses going up... I would take it every night because I don’t like having side effects Ike feeling sleeping since I work. On occasion I would forget to take it and then take it again but I started feeling worse so they moved it up... to 40mg I took it and it would make my heart race and other awful side effects (electric shock like waves threw my body, blurred vision, headaches, etc) so it would scare me so I stopped taking it after taking around 3 doses I went to the doctor and explained to her my symptoms she changed my medicine and prescribed me something else along with a Xanax for the panic low dose... I didn’t take either one!

I’ve been off for around 2 months or so but yesterday I had a really bad panic attack and had no choice but to take the Xanax I fell asleep but this morning I woke up again with shortness of breath and I’m just at the edge where I really don’t know what to do anymore 😢

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Hi Taylor, after 3-4 years any medication can stop working and that is why your doctor probably prescribed something else for you to take (in place of the Citalopram) It most likely was another SSRI (antidepressant medication) which can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to reach full efficacy. The Xanax was provided for any outbreaks of panic/anxiety until the new med level takes over.

By stopping the Citalopram and not replacing it with anything you are currently going through withdrawal which can account for the strong symptoms you are getting. It would be best to let your doctor know that you have not taken the new med other than the Xanax yesterday. xx

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I’m going to schedule a appt today 😔 I would much rather like to start therapy other then medication I don’t want to be on medication

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Therapy would be great Taylor...It will get you through these scary and annoying symptoms. While waiting for an appointment, try listening to a video on YouTube that may help you with your way of thinking right now. The video is by Dr. Claire Weekes, Hope & Help for your Nerves. She has a book on the market but you may benefit from getting a head start on her teachings of Acceptance in dealing with panic and anxiety.

The forum is here for your support and understanding. You are never alone in what you are going through. I wish you well. xx

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I’m scared in the long run the medication will have caused liver damage or like some kind of health issue

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Thank you very much for taking your time to help me it truly means a lot! God bless you ❤️

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Agora is right on the button, and there is nothing I could add. I know I need medication to function with a quality of life. Everyone is special and needs to find her own way with help. Am very glad Agora saw your post. You take good care of yourself and keep us posted , ok?

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Thank you very much ❤️ I will. I didn’t get to see the doctor today but I had a better day then yesterday so that soothes me

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That's good to hear.

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Hi Taylor, I can completely and utterly relate to this. I am a recovering addict, so for me a lot of available fast acting medications are not an option in my deck of cards.

Some of the alternatives I have grown quite fond of are herbal tea, essential oils, creams, and exercise. My biggest thing is the teas that I drink. One of my favorite roots is called valerian, and has been used for centuries. It helps to relax the body and mind, and can even promote a good nights rest. You can buy valerian root tea, and it is safe and effective for most people.

Essential oils are something else that works great from time to time. Although I am less experienced in this area, my two favorite oils are lavender, and tension tamer. Both smell great, and putting a couple dabs on your wrist/neck will leave a lingering scent throughout the day. If nothing else, they at least smell nice and work as a friendly reminder to help you to keep calm and breathe through your anxiety.

Lastly, exercise. Exercise works WONDERS for the body. It can be a great way to release smile provoking endorphins and give your body a healthy boost of dopamine levels. My favorite forms of exercise are jogging, light weight lifting, and yoga. Even just a simple twenty minute stretching session can make a difference.

HOWEVER-------given this advice it is not to say that medications are bad, or ineffective. For TONS of people medication can be a safe, healthy, life changing alternative. It is all personal preference. If your feelings to begin to become too much for you to handle, see a doctor right away. Medication or not, it is important to seek help when necessary.

Sending you my best wishes! Good luck!

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Thank you so much your words did help. I’ve been trying to find the aromatherapy oils but don’t understand some say do not apply directly to skin so how do I use it??

The tea I been wanting to use as well but I haven’t found a right tea that helps.... I heard about fish oil and magnesium vitamins help too...

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Hi taylor! That’s great you want to seek therapy. It’s very helpful. What helped me overcome some of the anxiety/panic was exercise or any physical activity. Getting enough sleep is important too! 8 hours at least. Drink alot of water for some reason people nag me and refuse to do this lol the body is somewhere around 70 percent water so why are you avoiding something your body needs to function well. Eat healthy and try to avoid junk food or anything processed it makes a difference I swear. Practice your breathing or meditate when you are in hard situations. Always get a yearly checkup from your doctor to rule out anything since anxiety and stress can develop physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, chest pain , etc. Atleast you know you are healthy and that these symptoms are anxiety and not anything harmful. I want you to know that taking medication isn’t the weak way out and sometimes it’s not worth suffering. If it ever gets hard please consider that option. I get it though I too preferred the natural way than running to medication immediately. I take medication now and I’m greatful it’s out there to help me and others. I wish for the best! :)

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Thank you I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know all of that! I will definitely be doing it all!! I hardly ever drink water as well I don’t do anything physical or exercise. I’m addicted to McDonald’s so maybe if I stop and start doing healthier things for me things will get easier. Medication i don’t consider it weak I just don’t want to get side effects and I seem to so I rather avoid that :( thank you very much for your time I hope u are doing better! ❤️

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Hi Hidden there is something called AWARE technique which you can google to read more about it, but here is a copy and paste of the basics

A -Accept the anxiety. Don’t try to fight it, because it will not take away the anxiety.

W -Watch the anxiety. Tell yourself which changes in your body and perception you notice and try to look at yourself as if you are an observer of yourself.

A-Act normal. Breath normal and remain calm. Don’t try to escape because that will make you experience your symptoms even more intense. Instead, stay in the situation and experience the anxiety fading away.

R-Repeat the steps 1, 2 and 3. If the anxiety is not reduced to an acceptable level yet, then repeat the steps. You’ll see that you’ll calm down soon.

E - Expect the best. Practice makes perfect, so practice a lot. Don’t focus on what may happen to you, because that chance is really small.

Also magnesium helps, thats a natural mineral you can get anywhere. Have you learned breathing methods (inhale count of 3, hold for 4, exhale for 8) - they're usually like that- as long as exhale is longer than inhale, bc extending/lengthening exhalation triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. (when we are anxious we are triggering sympathetic nervous system). I do combination of all of this, and reserve my medication for emergencies when nothing else works. But a lot of times if i breathe this way, and say comforting bible verses that I memorized, out loud- like Psalm 23, and practice mindfulness techniques like the AWARE method,also I observe what's around me, count objects etc, then that can calm me down from a light panic attack . I agree about meds and the bad effects, so i turn to them as last resort. I pray you feel better

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Thank you very much I will keep the aware plan in mind the next time I get one I hope I don’t cuz they are very scary :( but I will keep it in my mind ❤️ thank u very much

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Hi Taylor I can really relate to your post and how you are feeling. I am medicine sensitive and struggle with the side effects of medication especially anti depressants. I am currently under the community mental health team as it has come to a point where I can no longer function without meds and am scared also of the side effects. They have been talking of a short voluntary inpatient stay so I can be monitored if i start any medication which may not be a bad thing. If things get too bad without medication is this a route you could maybe ask for so you are monitored and helped with the side effects?

A good course of cbt is great for helping with anxiety and gives you tools to cope. I am currently on a waiting list so cant say if it is going to work or not for me but others have tried it and swear by it so maybe worth a try.

There is a book called mind over mood which is a cbt book that is broken down into simplistic terms so its easy to digest and understand which is another recommendation.

Have you tried meditiation? there are loads of free audio's on youtube which you have to go through to find one that you can listen and relax too but are very good and best listened to with headphones away from any distractions.

When I am having a panic attack I lie on my bed away from everyone and concentrate on my breathing, I put one hand on my stomach and one hand on my chest and the idea is to make your belly move and not your chest and in time your breathing should slow down.

Have you also had your vitamin d levels checked and also vitamin b12 as this can cause symptoms of anxiety and depression if they are low? This is done by a simple blood test at the doctors and if it is low then its just a matter of taking a supplement.

Hope you manage to find relief soon all the best.

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I have no checked my vitamin levels I do know that I have to fix my healthy eating I eat very poorly like McDonald’s I’m addicted I’ve stopped tho

I haven’t started therapy but am looking too...

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Hi l do some times use a natural remedy called rescue remedy ,or take kalms , lts difficult as one never. know when get panic attacks but try to see triggers like crowds ,new places and experience if you have a friend take them with you ,l always stay in a quiet place before entering a poss panic , we all have them ,having a med tontake is not being weak but getting one to do what you may enjoy and enjoy rather than advoid keep posting we are here

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Hi Taylor, I’ve strated using CBD Oil, it has helped me tremendously. There are days when I don’t have any anxiety at all. It’s legal in all states, no THC. Good Luck!

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How is that used?

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I use it under the tongue. You can also use it topically. Here is a website, creatingbetterdays.com

I purchased the blue bottle , 150mg and I use three or four drops under my tongue every morning. I sometimes use two or three more at lunch and also in the evening.

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