Sick of anxiety/panic attacks! (new h... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Sick of anxiety/panic attacks! (new here)


Hello everyone, I'm Mary. I recently got diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Every single day I have this constant shortness of breath and this feeling of someone taking the air away from me so I really love just some advice on how I can relieve this feeling. It gets so bad that I can barely eat at times. I feel so alone in this and have nobody to really talk to that can really relate to me and what I am going through :(

49 Replies


I used to be the same, I'm ok now though.

I think what got me through it was realising that it was all in my mind, that my anxiety was making me think something bad was happening, icame to the conclusion that I had to stop listening to my anxiety and get on with things.

The main factor in getting rid of it was exercising, even though I always exercised I decided to set myself goals that gave me something to concentrate on and take my mind away from the anxiety. I also are differ foods, for example bananas that helped. ( Research bananas and anxiety)

It not easy to beat but it can be done. Keep yourself busy and set goals, don't give in to how your anxiety makes you feel, always believe that it will pass and that it won't stop you from doing anything.

I got out of the habit of letting it rule me and now I am fine.

Chat to me if you ever need to.

I hope this helps even a little bit.

Bed time here now, goodnight.

Marebear913 in reply to Hidden

Thank you, Jimmy. It is nice knowing that you can fix yourself. It has been going on for so long that I have the mindset that it will never get better :( But I will try to do some more research with the bananas and exercise. I just want these physical symptoms to go away.

Hidden in reply to Marebear913

It makes you feel trapped, like there is no way out of it. But you must have to do things that keep you away from thinking about it, get out of the habit of it. It is really hard but you can do it.

Don't be afraid to give me a shout if you want. Even just chatting can help some, don't give in to it Marebear.

There are loads of people on here going through it too, I'm sure they will give you advice if needed.

Howdy Mary! Welcome to the site! :) I absolutely sympathize with you. I have suffered from severe anxiety and acute shyness since I was 5. First thing, you're not alone. You have all of us here to talk to :) Anytime you need to talk or vent or anything, message someone here and we'll listen :) One piece of advice I'd like to share is meditation. Since I also suffer from ADHD, which makes focusing on one thing extremely hard and trying, meditation has really helped when I feel a panic attack coming on. The key is to find some place that you feel safe and comfortable in, then close your eyes, find a happy thought and use that as your anchor during your panic attack. Soft, soothing music can help you to visualize a place in your mind to help to distract you so that the panic attack can subside. It won't happen overnight. It takes time to perfect the method that works best for you. Most importantly, you have to find what works best for you. Only you know yourself the best. If you want to try meditation, I would advise patience and practice. Like I said, it won't happen overnight. Just don't give up after one or two attempts. Hopefully, in time it will help to blunt the force of your panic attacks. And if you feel like it's not working and you need to talk about it, we're all here for you! We want to see you happy and enjoying life! Don't be afraid to come to any of us. Again, welcome and enjoy the conversations here! :)

A friend,

Brian :)

Thank you for taking the time to respond to me, Brian. I'm glad that I will be able to make friends on here that can help me and get me through these times and vice versa. I have downloaded some meditation apps so I will definitely try these out and I really hope that they are effective. I will keep you updated!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you Mary :)

I suffer from generalised anxiety and PTSD and have learnt over the years how to make my symptoms more bearable.

One thing that helps me a lot is breathing exercises. Concentrating on your breathing may be enough to bring you out of a panic attack. Try counting to 3 when you inhale and 7 when you exhale, you can visualise breathing in one colour and breathing out another if you like or drawing a rectangle in your mind (the inhale being the shorter sides and the exhale being the longer ones)... whatever works for you. Give it a go, it may work for you :-)

Self-care is important for everybody and it can be quite a challenge when your mental health is suffering. Make sure to include things in your day that make you feel good (whatever that may be) and try not to be too hard on yourself.

I am always available for a chat.

Hope this helps :-)

Thank you so much for the advice! It really means a lot. I will try those breathing exercises and see how they work for me and keep everyone updated. I really hope these exercises will decrease the "hard to breathe" sensation that I have every single day. I just wanna feel better so I can be happy again.


I have been working with a therapist to develop soothing self talk. I pair it with a motor activity, like using my thumb to touch the tips of my other fingers on the same hand to each word I tell myself. I use a phrase like, "You are safe. It will be alright." It actually becomes a form of chanting and the finger touching distracts your mind.😊

Marebear913 in reply to Hidden

That actually sounds like a really good idea! I will try that :) Thank you so much!


You're welcome!

Hi girl! You definitely are not alone with this!!! Anxiety cannot kill you and I used to get shortness of breath ALL THE TIME! It eventually passes but try keeping yourself busy and relaxed by taking a nice warm bath and use some essential oils too! Try chamomile tea too! works wonders with anxiety! try to focus on your breathing more but don’t scare yourself I used to hold my breath a lot when I had this and I never really noticed until I focused on my breathing, remember this feeling DOES GO AWAY!

Hey! I try keeping myself distracted and go for walks, read, watch TV and depending on the severity sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. Today was super bad and I had to call one of my girlfriends to come over because I thought I was going to die because I felt like I couldn't breathe and this lasts all day long. I will try the tea for sure! I'm going to start doing the breathing exercises to see if that helps me breathe. I am just so exhausted from panic attacks every day that I just can't take it anymore! I just want relief already! lol


Have you ruled out any medical conditions that might be causing you shortness of breath?

Marebear913 in reply to Hidden

They have done x-rays, blood work, checked my lungs and everything and said I look perfectly healthy. I got diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder and the doctor said with the right medicine it will take the physical symptoms away and I will start to feel better. I have been to the ER several times this year and every time they cant find anything that's wrong with me and say its anxiety attacks.

Hidden in reply to Marebear913

I had panic attacks for a long time. I was agoraphobic for 14 years due to them. Try out the book I linked below. Best of luck in your recovery.

Marebear913 in reply to Hidden

Thank you so much!

Research CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy)...exercise...maybe over the counter 5htp...anxiety is about over-thinking things that cause stress...trying not to think about anxiety is the same as thinking about anxiety so don't try that. The opposite of thinking about anxiety, or thoughts that make you actually thinking about something else; distraction helped me. But it has to be something that is important to you, enough that it can hold your attention. For me that was Photography...practicing, learning (watching youtube breathing, trying to pursue something that you might really better than worrying about anxiety.) Over time, with practice..leading a life that you can enjoy, that you find has the best therapy for anxiety.

Marebear913 in reply to dukenu

Thank you! I will try these things. I find that trying NOT to think about it still gives me attacks because it is in the back of my mind so I know that doesn't work. I'll do some research on CBT and see what I get. Thank you again :)

dukenu in reply to Marebear913

When we experience anxiety, we become hyper-vigilant about sensations we feel in our bodies (for me its always about feeling I can't balance myself but its my mind playing a trick on me. Its anxiety...its always anxiety, just that it finds our weak points and thats what we become concerned about). Yes anxiety will cause you to breath with your chest rather than with your might be having shallow breathing and the lack of--or excess of--oxygen will cause people to feel weird. I have a tendency to breath with my chest and I don't notice it until Im feeling then Im having the other odd sensations. Still...try progressive muscle relaxation to deal with some of the physical symptoms of anxiety and try not to get scared by them...adrenaline, heart pounding...dizziness...all these things make a panic attack feel horrible.

Marebear913 in reply to dukenu

Yeah, my breathing is messed up lately because of all the panic attacks that I've been having and it freaks me out, especially when I am alone. I'm going to try all of these techniques in hopes that one of them is effective for me because I am sick of dealing with all of this.

Hello Marebear. You have come to the right place. Anxiety can be very debilitating. You said that you were recently diagnosed. Were you prescribed anything?

Marebear913 in reply to Smd22

Yeah, I was prescribed Zoloft and I take 50mg of that every day. I have been taking it for about 5 weeks but I don't notice any difference in my anxiety attacks or anything so I don't think it's the medicine for me.

Hi Marebear,

When I saw your name I knew I had to respond. My college nickname was Marebear! I too, have been a long time sufferer of anxiety/panic disorder/major depression. I had a horrible bout of postpartum depression/anxiety & was given Zoloft. I believe I started @ 50 or 100mg. It made me feel worse than better in the beginning...a feeling I likened to an overload of too much black coffee....shakiness, agitation, insomnia. I eventually saw a women psychiatrist who prescibed a low dose of an off label anti-psychotic called Zeprexa. I was scared she thought I was psychotic, but she said I wasn't, that it works well with the SSRI in a low dose for anxiety & was non-habit forming. At that time I was too nervous to sleep so I was able to get a good nights sleep. I was to use it until the Zoloft kicked in, which in my case was practically the full 3 months! In my opinion, I think it's a good idea to be prescribed an anti-anxiety when starting a SSRI because of the jitteriness one feels as the brain chemistry is adjusting to the new medication. Anyway, Zoloft was my wonder drug for many years...14 years to be exact. I felt in the long run, it saved my life & allowed me to live a stress-free existence with little to no anxiety. Whether it acted as a placebo over the years did not concern me. I was just happy to feel like a normal person for as long as it worked. After all those glorious years it lost it's punch & I'm trying something different. I will always rave about what a great drug it was for me. I hope I was able to relieve any fears you had about the medication! Best of luck to you. Let us know how you're doing.

Thanks for responding! I emailed my doctor and told her that the 50mg wasn't helping me in any way so she upped the dose to 75 and said to update her in 2 weeks. So, I really hope that it kicks in and makes the physical side effects fade away from being having the feeling every single day that I cannot breathe is exhausting and scary :(

Doctors usually prescribe anti-depressants at a lower dose to see how you respond to it which makes it difficult when you're suffering so much. We want it to work right away but SSRIs have to build up in the system. As I said earlier, you will feel worse before better & I believe that's what I read while researching. In my case, a therapeutic dose of 100mg was a perfect fit when the drug kicked in. At times, I went down to 75mg but when major stresses occurred I went back up to 100mg & would feel like my old happy, relaxed self within a weeks' time.

The most helpful thing I could tell you is to exercise, as it helps boost the endorphins in your brain. For me personally, I'm having a difficult time dealing with a family members' death & starting a different AD. I'm scared no other AD will work like Zoloft did for all those years. But getting back to exercise, I walk 3 miles a day to burn off my nervous energy & I find it keeps me distracted from my thoughts along with getting some fresh air.

Do you know what's causing your anxiety or is it more free floating thoughts? I know in my case, I let things build up rather than addressing the conflict, person etc. I'm not one who has the courage to speak up when necessary, but rather sweep it under the rug & bury my emotions until it erupts into depression & it's evil twin, anxiety.

Please know we're here for you & each other to weather this storm together.

I had a stroke back in December and being that I was a 25-years old, that traumatized me, then a month later I had surgery to have a hole closed in my heart bc that's what caused the stroke in the first place and ever since all of that I have had anxiety and panic attacks every single day since. Now, I don't think about the stroke too often anymore and my attacks happen out of nowhere now and the tightness in my throat and shortness of breath is consistent, every single day, all day long. So I am really hoping that the Zoloft kicks in too. She also prescribed me Hydroxyzine for panic attacks and take them as needed but I am way too scared to try them because I read reviews about them on the internet and there were more bad reviews than good and people say instead it calming you down it makes peoples anxiety worse so I'm afraid to take it.

I can understand why you're filled with anxiety. I'm so sorry about your health issues at such a young age. I hope you have friends & family for support. I'm not familiar with Hydroxyzine so I can't comment on that. You sound a lot like me, as far as reading up on the subject & being scared by the negative reviews. It was pointed out to me that you're more likely to read more negative reviews than positive because when things are fine in our lives we don't usually seek help on the internet. There's also another anti-anxiety drug called Buspar that's not a benzo. It works for some people. Do a little research & discuss with your doctor. Keep positive & be around people who make you feel good. Keep in touch!

Hi, I'm going through the exact same feelings as you. Just know it will get better. You got this. It's a constant worry/fear that just won't stop and it consumes you if you let it. You are more powerful than the anxiety. That's all it is. It won't kill you, just remind yourself it's just anxiety. I'm here if you wanna chat 😉

Marebear913 in reply to olmosm84

Thank you! Means a lot.

Trust mare that you are not alone, pretty much everyone on this site has or is going through that. I don't have anyone to talk to either.. I get judged and enen my own kids isolate me and critize me cause they don't know how to deal with me. I have trouble eating too, it's dangerous for me because I'm diabetic. Not eating causes my blood sugar to drop and I get shaky because of that. Try to not over think things, if you need somewhere to express your you can always come here. Take care

Thank you so much. I hope you feel better and you can talk to me anytime.

Hola welcome and there are a lot of people here who understand and care about the things we go through. I can relate to a lot of the things that you and others are going through. I have had panic attacks and agrophobia for many years heck I don't remember when I didn't have it. But it does get better. I suggest that you become an expert in your situation, not only get help with a therapist, I mean read and research everythingyou can and discard what you know is crap and use what you think will help you. Take time for you every day and do the breathing exercises, meditation or whatever else helps you. Above all don't let your mind stay in the negative thoughts, go for a walk or do something to get your mind off of the negative. I wish you the best. And we are always here.

Thank you.. I have been doing so much research on my condition and trying to find ways to calm these feelings down. Some days it works and others it is way too severe to control. I just want to find relief

I was also wondering if you were prescribed anything. You've gotten great advice here - I can't really add anything new, except that the right meds can make a world of difference with anxiety.

Marebear913 in reply to Windy101

They prescribed me with 50mg of Zoloft and I have been taking that for about 5 weeks and I don't notice any difference with my anxiety attacks. It is just as bad. So I am assuming that it isn't the right medicine for me? I don't know.

I would definitely call your doctor's office and let them know how you're feeling. It might not be the right med for you, or it's possible it's not the right dose. Sometimes a doctor needs to add something to get it right. But please do make that call. Is you doctor a psychiatrist or a family doctor? It's just my own experience, but it's worked best for me to start off with a psychiatrist who understands therapeutic doses, how synapses respond to certain meds, etc.

Marebear913 in reply to Windy101

I told them multiple times how I am feeling and she says things like "try downloading meditation apps and do deep breathing exercises" she won't give me anything else. She said that I have to give the medicine more time for it to work. It has been a little over a month so it should be making at least a little bit of a difference after that much time. I just don't understand :(

Windy101 in reply to Marebear913

I hate when they say that, but apparently it's true that it can take up to 8 weeks for a medication to reach its full potency. If it's not helping by then, definitely call them back or find another doc. Sometimes a beta blocker can help with that gulping air feeling. It worked for me. Until then, a book I recommend is by Viktor Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning." He writes about being able to find peace and purpose even while in a concentration camp. Our symptoms can feel like prison and torture, so I could relate.

Something else that helped me was this, which I've posted before, so sorry if I'm boring anyone ...

Even in the darkest night

Believe in your soul, believe in your light

Believe in the end it will turn out right.

I've had hideous anxiety and depression, but I've found I could get better and still live a good life - go to school, follow my dreams, have friends, be close to my family - even if at times I go into struggle mode. I was a wreck before. If I can do this, you can too!

Thank you, same here

Free-floating anxiety is a bear. Like you, there have been times when I was pretty much paralyzed with my feelings of helplessness. As other people have said in their answers to you, you can get through it. I only have a few thoughts: if you're taking meds, make sure they're the right dosage. If there's a support group available to you, attend it. If you have a dog, take a walk in the sunshine with him/her. If you don't have one, take a walk anyway. Five minutes of a change of scenery, fresh air, and blue sky can put a small crack in the cycle of anxiety. And if you feel that there's really no one you can talk to, come back to this list. There's always someone available to listen. Take care.

thank you for the advice :) I'm willing to try anything if it means it will decrease all of these physical symptoms!

Keep hanging in there, Mare! I also have been diagnosed with GAD. I'm currently going to biofeedback sessions. It, too, focuses on your breathing, but breath out should be twice as long as in because you are expelling toxins. Practice means progress! I'll be sending good vibes to you!

thanks for the advice and tips! I'll try that. What is biofeedback?

Hi Marebear! I tried responding with a long email. It wouldn't mean a lot to me to send one and messaging so I'm just sending the link here for biofeedback.

Imakook in reply to Imakook

Ok. It autocorrected. It wouldn't let me send my email in messaging. 😁

Hello there. I just wondered if everything is better?

Marebear913 in reply to Mgny

Not entirely.

Hi all. I am new here today. I have diagnosed Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. I have started a new job believe it or not as a mental health specialist (Certified Peer Support Specialist). My anxiety is crippling. I have gone from job to job always having panic attacks and relentless severe anxiety that is crippling and I quit. I really want this job to work, but despite all of my meds and therapy techniques (including eating well, exercising, meditating, etc) I can get no relief from this horrible feeling. I don't know what to do next. I don't want to quit this job but don't know how many days more I can hang on. So I guess I know how you are likely feeling. I want to offer my support--that things always get better, but that is not my current experience.

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