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Living with Anxiety
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Looking for support....new friends who can relate. I'm feeling desperate and terrified! Please reach out to me!

I habe been struggling with horrific anxiety for years and formed a dependence on the opiod medicine tramadol. I am now weaning off that med and I am terrified. I am on seroquel XR and that helps the depression/thoughts of suicide but dealing with such severe anxiety while waiting for a new med is almost impossible. It feels like there are butterflies made of metal cutting up my heart. I just started busiprone (spelling?) and am praying that it will work. I have valium to help me wean off the tramadol but even that only helps for a moment. I just started trying to exercise every day and I play video games to keep myself occupied. The chest pain and mental anguish is so much though and I think I need others to talk to who are going through something similar. I know there is hope but it doesn't feel like it. My life is a mess, too, which doesn't help. It feels like I'm having a panic attack 24/7 and I'm barely hanging in there. If anyone wants to be friends and talk about this kind of disorder, please, PLEASE reach out to me. I'm desperate and terrified! I'm wondering if there are skills or coping mechanisms that I have not tried yet. Anything... Thank you all...i look forward to hearing from someone

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Hey there,

I'm really sorry to hear of your issues. Withdrawal isn't any fun, but at least you were given some pretty good medicines to help you. Things are going to be very uncomfortable I hate to say while you withdrawal, but you do have the meds and some other ways to cope. Each and everyday should get a little easier and hopefully you'll feel a little bit better.

Valium is in the benzo class and should help you feel more tranquil if not a little sleepy. It's actually one of the weaker ones but it has a much longer half life meaning it should help you longer versus something like Xanax which feels stronger but immensely less....and has a higher chance for addiction/tolerance. I assume this is why your doctor chose it since we don't want to trade one issue for another. The Buspar (or buspirone) is not a drug I'm a huge fan of. I found it gave me anxiety more than it actually helped. I experienced "brain zaps" the few times I took it and was quickly taken off of it. It is supposed to be an anti-anxiety medication, but if it isn't working (and it might take a couple of weeks to feel it), let your doctor know. The Seroquel is an anti-psychotic, probably used to help with depression and the suicidal thoughts you might be dealing with it. Overall, I think you have a pretty good medication plan based on what I know.

What will really help, in terms of those with anxiety/panic attacks, is relaxing by using the following: deep breathing techniques, meditation, and mindfulness. All of these will help your mind focus only on the breath and push all other thoughts to the side. Much like karate, it's sort of like a mental discipline because who in their anxious panicked mind can do that? I know it's hard. You can find guided sessions for all on YouTube or on your phone via an app (my personal favorite, though it costs money, is 10% Happier). I was a skeptic of these all working, but one night during a panic attack, I tried it and saw my heart rate go from 120 BPM down to 78. It was amazing. Try to keep on with the exercise, it's one of the best things there is for anxiety. Many doctors will say it's the best medicine the world has. With the deep breathing, breathe deep into your belly (also known as belly breathing) slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Focus only on a specific part of your breathing....maybe you feel it in your nose or your throat...wherever. Focus on that as your lone and only thought. Your brain will get the best of you, sometimes many times, but always dismiss what it's saying or presenting, and return to the thought of your (let's use nose) nasal feeling during the breath. This type of breathing removes anxiety by releasing "resting" type hormones and lets the body know it's not in danger. Even using the technique above for five to ten minutes can bring some peace.

All of the feelings you mention are classic or typical symptoms of anxiety. It's normal and you're going to be okay, even if your body says otherwise. Topping this all off, your body is getting used to/resetting itself to life without Tramadol. The anxiety will be apart of your experience getting off of this medication, but it's so important to practice the exercises above to aid you. Also, as much as you think your life is a mess, I want you to dismiss this....you don't need another worry. Your primary focus is getting better and nothing else matters other than that. This is anxiety trying to force you to take on so many worries that leads you into a spiral that is a panic/anxiety attack. Give yourself a break from thoughts like that; avoid the negative thinking if you can. You're doing an amazing thing for yourself and I want you to be proud of that.

I suffer from panic and anxiety on a daily basis, so if you ever need an anxiety buddy, feel free to contact me. I know it can feel like one of the worst, most terrible things a body can feel. But...and this is important...remember this is your body's own way of protecting itself. Anxiety is merely the body's reaction to stress....where stress used to mean running away from a vicious animal...we don't have that anymore. A medication you can ask about is a beta blocker.....which helps with reducing blood pressure/and pulse. If your heart feels like it's beating out of your chest (a very normal thing for anxiety), a beta blocker such as propranolol or atenolol (depending if you have asthma) can help. Given the medications your on, your doctor might want to see if the anxiety goes away with their plan, but if the feelings in your chest/heart are feeling that bad, these drugs can help. I don't normally advocate/push medicines as I'm not a doctor, but it might help if your doctor agrees/doesn't mess with currently prescribed meds.

Anyway, sorry for a long-winded message...you aren't alone and hang in there while you recover. Be kind to yourself and don't worry about the "mess" you think you have out there. You can handle that when you're ready to. For now, you need to work on relaxing as much as you can while you transition. Feel free to msg me or hit me up if you need an ear. You sound like you're doing a great job and I'll be hoping,wishing, and thinking the best for you. You got this.

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Forgot to add: the mindfulness stuff works hand in hand with the breathing exercises somewhat. You'll focus on a thought and anxiety does not get the time of day. It gets a stupid name, you picture a dumb looking character for it, and it sits in the waiting room. Some of the mindfulness also has stretching of muscles (releasing the anxiety) or "shaking" to "shake" out all the nervous energy anxiety generates. Try looking into those, they are some of the greatest coping mechanisms around.

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Thank you so so much babe! I'm changing my diet and exercising every day and staying busy. I just started to try to meditate and listen to self help like things on youtube...the breathing exercises do help and I appreciate ur advice and support <3 can we talk on facebook messenger as anxiety buddies? My phone doesn't like this site for some reason it's hard for it to navigate...my name is Katie Niedbalski please add me if u can ^_^ I would absolutely love that

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Absolutely and I'm glad you're doing some awesome things for yourself while everything settles, I'll look you up and friend request :) (Patrick just so you don't wonder who the weirdo is).

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Hi,

So sorry to hear that you are going through a hard time right now. Withdrawals are very difficult to go through but I think you are staying positive in exercising and playing to keep distracted in other things.

Have you heard of Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)? It's an especially helpful form of psychotherapy in treating anxiety disorders. CBT helps patients learn new ways to think about their experiences and circumstances, and how to recognize and change dysfunctional thought or behavior patterns.

There's a number you can call to find out more about it or to talk to someone about anything you might need. 1-855-771-HELP

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Interesting I've never heard of it. What is it exactly?

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hi you're doing the right things, exercise min 30 mins every day, distraction in healthy way is good, meditation, breathing all A +approach es well done! seroquel should hell with sleep, and try to find anxiety support group/buddy to help ech other. alcohol huge no no sugar and processed foods also make difference - ve way. try anxietycentre.com. website superb resource for you. best of luck!

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