Anxiety and Panic Attacks

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    Jun 24, 2007 6:28 PM GMT
    In 1991 when I was 20 I started having problems with Panic Attacks and SEVERE ANXIETY. I don't feal I have a problem with PANIC ATTACKS anymore, however there have been a few times over the past several years when the SEVERE ANXIETY rears its ugly head. I hope my aggressive exercising will help me not have anymore SEVERE ANXIETY.

    Let's talk about it.
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    Jun 25, 2007 1:08 AM GMT
    I suffered (suffer) from anxiety attacks (not panic attacks). Although these can be treated with medication, I try to avoid that whenever possible. However, I found that workouts (at least 4 a week) had a profound effect of reducing thier frequency by over 90%.

    Now I realize that that info is anecdotal, but it works for me. I suggest you try it. I now that I'm going through a difficult time right now and although there are plenty of triggers, I've not had an attack and it's likely that it's partly to do with the fact that I've been working out.
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    Jun 25, 2007 1:18 AM GMT
    Experienced attacks for a bit. I felt like everyone around me, especially strangers, were judging me, especially about being gay. Used to take me two hours to get through what's normally a 15 minute subway ride to work. I'd sweat so bad, I'd have to get off the train, dry off and wait for the next or next or next train to pull into the station. Can't pinpoint it exactly, time or reason, but it just went away. Like that. No medication, no therapy. No special event in my life. It just stopped.
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    Jun 25, 2007 11:10 AM GMT
    Scally's logic is faulty and outdated. Physiologigal brain chemistry is not an issue of will power or 'masculine strength.' This approach would have him telling diabetics to stop taking insulin and just 'think positively' or some similar nonsense.

    I'm not saying that all anxiety needs treatment. The is a normal amount of anxiety that occurs when situations in life happen unexpectedly. The medical issue is when the condition is abnormal and/or debilitating. Ignoring this aspect is both ignorant and dangerous.

    A strong character (masculine, butch, whatever you want to call it) doesn't trump actual science.
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    Jun 25, 2007 2:09 PM GMT
    scally - your comments are.. well... for lack of a better term, retarded.

    I agree with bgcat...

    Recue Remedy is a nice homeopathic treatment that you can pick up at most healthfood stores. It is mad eof natural ingredients and really just works to reduce the internal banter within your head (they also just came out with a sleep aid). There is a under-the-tongue dropper that is pretty mild, and then lozenges that are a bit more like a serious sedative.

    Working out (especially outdoors) will help in that it clears the head. I prefer to attend yoga as a means to overcome my anxiety. My doctor and I have realized some other natural remedies.

    The first thing that one must do to help ease the anxiety and address where it is coming from. What is causing it. Personally, mine stem from projecting my thoughts onto other people regarding my inability to meet their expectations, among other things.

    Plus, I STRONGLY believe EVERYONE should experience therapy. It is a great stepping stone to get you to that next level.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2589

    Jun 25, 2007 4:01 PM GMT
    In 2006 I experienced a few panic attacks as part of a larger problem of general depression.I also had some disturbing dreams where I was in perilous situations,eg. a conscripted soldier in Iraq.These dreams combined with a sense of being drowned/suffocated.I couldn`t stay indoors,day or night,I had to get out!I did go for some counselling,but what`s really helped me is the running.Getting out,meeting other people,seeing the countryside,all this is a great tonic.I`ve not had any problems since August,2006 as a result.Don`t fall into the trap of,as you say"aggressive exercising".I `ve tried that.You`ll either injure yourself,or fail to keep it up.Going out and meeting people,even if you find it hard,in everyday situations helped me a great deal.Try to keep in contact with the world and people.Exercising with someone,or in a group,would probably be a big help to you.I`m also a great believer in the body`s/mind`s ability to heal itself,even unconsciously.Trust yourself!You`re stronger than you think!All the best!
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    Jun 26, 2007 7:03 AM GMT
    I've dealt with anxiety on and off for years. I'm sure much of it comes from childhood, being in the closet for so long, being angry about my sexuality, not accepting myself, etc. As I've gotten older, I've discovered that my anxiety only manifests itself when I'm not being true to myself. I tend to be in my head a lot...and that's not always a good thing. I'm trying to go on instinct more these days, to listen to that little voice that tells me what's right - before my brain has a chance to analyze and quantify. When I'm dishonest with myself, when I'm not following the path I know to be instinctively right for me...that's when anxiety rears its head.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Jun 26, 2007 2:04 PM GMT
    scally really needs to get with the program. National Mental Heatlh Assocation calls anxiety a diease as well as depression. do you think for one second those who suffer from either want to be this why? They do NOT!!!! The positive thing about the men who posted are doing something about it. GOOD JOB GUYS!!!! Whether with meds, natural supplements and therapy. a good book called "The mood cure" is excellent for both. Eating better and exercise cures a lot of illness.
    A side note. I hope to raise awareness for mental health by fundraising for MNH and HRC, by racing triathlons. something i can do give back and be pro active because I've been on the care taker side of a family member and most of men I've dated in the past. Many blessings to getting WELL!!!!
    joey
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    Jun 26, 2007 2:30 PM GMT
    I suffer from depression and generalized anxiety disorder. It's really a pain. I don't get on airplanes, for instance, and have been trying to find a way to visit Europe which involves crossing the Bering Strait--apparently, you can only do that by dogsled. Still, if it means not having to get on a plane and suffer the anxiety attack which would cause me to run up and down the aisles screaming, a dogsled might be worth it.

    I take anti-depressants which help a little. I also sit in the dark and brood. Sometimes I write nasty emails to gay message boards. Surprisingly, that helps a lot. In fact, the nastier and wittier I am, the less depression and anxiety I have all day!

    I take comfort in the fact that many of the greatest geniuses were depressed and anxious. I'd rather be Kafka and depressed than Ryan Seacrest, and, well, have to be Ryan Seacrest.

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    Jun 26, 2007 2:35 PM GMT
    How depressing.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jun 26, 2007 2:37 PM GMT
    Scally your digging an even larger hole an showcaseing your ignorance. Panick disorder and anxiety, OCD are genetic- meaning someone in your family tree had one of these. They tend to show up in some siblings and not others. It is like having diabetes, heart disease or cancer- It has to do with receptors in the brain and the body's chemical trigger to the fight or flight reaction we all have, which dates back millions of years ago when we were predators and prey. New Harbenger Publications has relaxation tapes and it can be controlled with exercise proper eating and learning techniques for natural breathing--practice practice practice. Good luck we r in 2007 no need to suffer in this day and age. Eventually therapy can help. You will need to shop around, like all things in life it takes time there is a good match out there for you. They can help you conquer and identify triggers of your panic. Good Luck be well. My ex wife had them and she is much better now!!! No attacks in 4 yrs! She keeps Ativan in her purse, but has not needed it in years!! It is definitly not because you are weak minded, some of the smartest most athletic men and woman suffer just like you. The choice is to do something about it. Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but gets you no where! peace!
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    Jun 26, 2007 3:03 PM GMT
    "...
    wrontg is not a medical condition its a sate of the mind .medication will only cover it up, and creat fasle feelings...."

    Scally, is that English? That's incoherent. If you are going to post, sure a few typos are OK, but at least read what you type before you press "submit." Beyond that, your opinion shows that you are ignorant and totally misinformed about anxiety disorder.

    My dad's side of my family had all sorts of anxiety related illnesses...anxiety attacks, anxiety relate intestinal issues, depression, etc. Some of that did get passed down to my sister and me.

    I had panic attacks and anxiety surrounding coming out as the trigger. While the panic attacks are gone, I still have periodic issues with anxiety, though not severe.

    Running, then running competitively, and now weight training have really helped the symptoms disappear for me, as has a more educated structured approach in my diet.

    So exercise really does help, both with the symptoms and causing the anxiety related to self-esteem issues abate.
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    Jun 26, 2007 9:47 PM GMT
    Coming to terms with depression is a lot like the coming out process. First, you must you have to accept you have depression. You didn't choose depression, and you're not going to change it. You are going to have to live with depression all your life.

    Nothing will "cure" depression. People will tell you that you could cheer up if you tried, or that they were depressed once but now they're fine. That's like the ex-gay crowd saying they are suddenly straight. It's not true--they're just masking the symptoms because they're ashamed they can't conquer depression.

    Once you accept depression, you can learn to manage it. Anti-depressants help. You have to find the kind and dosage that works for you, but they are essential. I remember exactly where I was when the anti-depressants kicked in for the first time--it was an amazing, amazing feeling which most people call normal.

    But it's not a cure. With depression comes limitations, and you have to accept them. For me that means, unless it is an exteme emergency, I will never get on a plane. I see no reason to change that or think that people who like flying are superior to me, though they think they are. I've found that I love travelling by train, and I want to take a cruise. I also like driving. I don't have to like planes any more than I have to be sexually attracted to women.

    I also don't have to see depression as a disease any more than I have to see being gay as abnormal. Many great geniuses suffered from depression--Emily Dickinson, Carl Jung, John Lennon, Brian Wilson, Thoreau, Dostoevsky, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kafka, Camus, Rothko, etc. etc. I don't have to be bright and sunny in order to be a successful human being any more than I have to be straight.

    Accept depression. Do what you need to do to be functional, and then embrace the journey. God made you gay, God made you depressed, God made who you are--so live into it and learn from it.
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    Jun 26, 2007 9:48 PM GMT
    "God made you gay, God made you depressed"

    Sounds like a real cheery guy (or girl), no?
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    Jun 26, 2007 10:39 PM GMT
    If you think being gay is a disease, then I suppose it is kind of sad. I don't think that depression or homosexuality are diseases--they're just another way of being human.
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    Jun 27, 2007 12:17 AM GMT
    Don't put words in my mouth Skippy. You don't measure up to the task, perfesser.
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    Jun 27, 2007 2:12 AM GMT
    Just out of curiosity, what do you do for a living McGay? I want to be sure to mock it in every post. Thanks in advance!

    I bet you won't have the guts to say. You mock from the sidelines without saying anything about yourself. Nice torso, though.
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    Jun 27, 2007 3:57 AM GMT
    I just had my first anxiety attack 2 nights ago. I've been crazy busy recently. I work full time, I'm finishing up my masters degree, and studying for the MCATs in August so I can go off to Medical School next fall. I'm pulling like 12-14 hr. days.

    It just hit me the other night that if i don't do well on the MCAT, then I can piss my dream of becoming a doctor in the toilet. I've spent so long working toward that goal, and the idea of it being so close, and not being able to grab it freaked me out to no end. Especially when I've worked so hard for it...

    So yeah, I tossed and turned all night, my stomach was in knots so bad it hurt... Never had that happen like it did that night...I hope it never happens again..

  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Jun 27, 2007 4:12 AM GMT
    skjpm...depression is curable. check with a doctor and NMH. it seems you aren't on a therapy program/under doctors care. no kidding your depressed, being a "victim", very typical of the disease. it's a choice to get help with any disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, lopus, etc. seems you aren't willing to get better, so don't put down others that do. much compassion to you...hope you make better choices soon.
    btw, millions get on planes everyday. you can tell your jealous of them, making excuess why you don't. welcome to reality, it's not so bad.
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    Jun 27, 2007 5:11 AM GMT
    Depression born of a "chemical imbalance" is not curable. It is treatable. Without the drugs, the depression returns. Of course, you're right that it is a choice to seek treatment - and a good choice.
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    Jun 27, 2007 6:11 AM GMT
    There are some people who have an episode or depression are trested and don't have any more problems. Then there are those who have chronic problems and it is a constantly debilitating problem. For some you could call it 'cured' though they have a higher risk for recurrence, or having depression again, and then there are those for whom it is constant. But you cannot extrapolate from one case to cover all cases of either depression or anxiety. What is generally true is that exercise does help, but that doens't mean you should take matters into your own hands and do things without consultation of whoever is treating you.
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    Jun 27, 2007 9:48 AM GMT
    Skippy, you don't know much about guts, figuratively or literally. I'm the IT department where I work. Mostly, I write software.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 27, 2007 12:41 PM GMT
    "I'm the IT department where I work. Mostly, I write software."

    So, you're one of those guys with poor personal hygiene and a face full of piercings who lives on a diet of Red Bull and Jolt Cola and wears a t-shirt that says "Got Root?" lol.gif
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    Jun 27, 2007 1:24 PM GMT
    That's right, para. I don't follow fashion. I set it. :D
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    Jun 27, 2007 2:22 PM GMT
    Depression is neither curable nor very manageable in a lot of people. One problem is that meds tend to lose their effectiveness after a few years. You can experiment -- cut doses back, change to a different med, etc. -- and that is often helpful. But if you're going to rely entirely on meds, you're likely going to have an uphill battle.

    Therapy can help (as can a spiritual practice), but if it's going to have longterm value, you pretty much have to continue it forever. As I noted on another thread, the most effective long-term treatment for both depression and anxiety seems to be daily exercise. If it's combined with some therapy, it works even better. But relapse rates are definitely lowest among people who exercise regularly. Most studies have been done with aerobic exercise, but other varieties work too, it appears.

    Anxiety/panic attacks often spontaneously stop. Nobody knows why. I've seen it in many clients over the years. It's easy to find a reason they begin -- which should be a lesson in the way we narrativize experience -- but never easy to explain why they mysteriously stop. I had one client who refused to take meds but began treating himself with one beer a day. When the attacks stopped, he of course gave the beer credit. Unlikely.

    Depression runs in my family and I had Skip's identical experience. When I went on Prozac, I recall the exact moment it kicked in and, like him, I was shocked and said to myself, "So this is the way other people feel." In that moment, I realized I'd been depressed most of my life. It was a mind-boggling experience.

    I also had the full range of what Peter Kramer ("Listening to Prozac") calls "cosmetic effects." Only a minority have this experience. My productivity doubled, my social anxiety left, I stopped ruminating, etc. I went from writing one column a week to writing 3 weekly and two monthly and enrolled full-time in grad school.

    The cost was, um, interest in sex. And the effects of Prozac stopped after a few years and I relapsed into mild depression. I've taken every drug on the market since then and they are, as Skip has experienced, somewhat helpful, but nothing like Prozac was in the beginning.

    I've seen many clients go through this.

    I also agree with Skip's comments about depression as being a name for a particular style in many people. This used to be called "melancholia," and was not pathologized in the way we turn everything into a disease now. Kramer makes the point that while it would be inhumane not to offer antidepressants to every "depressed" person who wants them, their widespread use could seriously impact artistic expression in particular. (At the time he wrote his book we did not yet know how temporary the effects could be.)

    Many of the drugs are energizing, so they help the melancholic adapt to a society that values productivity above all else.