Anxiety disorders

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 14, 2011 6:15 AM GMT
    Any of you dealing with any of the various anxiety disorders out there?

    I've never been officially diagnosed with any particular disorder, but around this time two years ago I started experiencing my first panic attacks. I have to say the first two panic attacks I had were the most terrifying moments of my life. I had never felt so awful because I felt like I was having a heart attack and a nervous breakdown simultaneously. Even some of the real dangers I've been in as a kid did not compare to the sensations I experienced during those panic attacks.

    Fortunately my panic attacks stopped two months later. I haven't had another since then. However, I still get occasional, mild feelings of anxiety at the most random moments. All of a sudden I get nervous without having a reason to be nervous.

    I was able to link my anxiety to some stressful events in my life at the time. Since my life has calmed down and improved, I hardly have any serious symptoms anymore. However, I often wonder if another big panic attack will hit me out of the blue.
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    Sep 14, 2011 12:10 PM GMT
    pocketnico saidAny of you dealing with any of the various anxiety disorders out there?

    I've never been officially diagnosed with any particular disorder, but around this time two years ago I started experiencing my first panic attacks. I have to say the first two panic attacks I had were the most terrifying moments of my life. I had never felt so awful because I felt like I was having a heart attack and a nervous breakdown simultaneously. Even some of the real dangers I've been in as a kid did not compare to the sensations I experienced during those panic attacks.

    Fortunately my panic attacks stopped two months later. I haven't had another since then. However, I still get occasional, mild feelings of anxiety at the most random moments. All of a sudden I get nervous without having a reason to be nervous.

    I was able to link my anxiety to some stressful events in my life at the time. Since my life has calmed down and improved, I hardly have any serious symptoms anymore. However, I often wonder if another big panic attack will hit me out of the blue.


    This is a medical condition like any other and should be treated like a chronic medical condition.

    I don't have anxiety disorder (that has been diagnosed) but have suffered bouts of depression over the years. I have been prescribed medication for the first time yesterday and I am really excited. Today's drugs are not as severe as the ones in the past and they aren't expensive. This prescription is about four bucks a month.

    The key is to not let it become bigger than it is. Yes the attacks happen, but learn to manage them and dont let them manage you. Learn your triggers and strategies for dealing with them. Therapy can help you learn good techniques.

    I have a family member with a severe anxiety disorder. He has learned techniques that have helped him tremendously and takes meds which have really helped him. He lives a great life and is doing really well.
  • TheAlchemixt

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    Sep 14, 2011 1:11 PM GMT
    My roomate has panic attack and it gets really scary. He however just got back on his medication. I try and help by going on walks with him outside, he says that it helps.
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    Sep 14, 2011 1:14 PM GMT
    Seek help, get on the right meds. Especially the right SSRI, talk to people.
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    Sep 14, 2011 1:28 PM GMT
    If you haven't been getting intolerable symptoms lately, than an SSRI drug or any drug for that matter, is a bit of a reckless idea IMO.

    I think you should do some CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) counseling. If your life has calmed down, then it's an even better reason to go and work out some of these buried issues for the next year or so.

    Even if you did take meds such as an SSRI, it's not effective unless coupled with counseling.

    Just my (informed) two cents ;)
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    Sep 14, 2011 1:36 PM GMT
    I quit smoking 3 years ago..I discovered I have a couple phobias that Ive gradually worked out...one being clausterphobia...through gradually exposing myself to closed in places, I dont fear them as I used to..that and being soffocated--saline nasal spray keeps me clear at night

    in the quitting smoking, I learned there are several natural supplements that can help w/ anxiety...ashwagandha, scullcap(American), tyrosine, and Sam-e....vitacost.com, and Swansons are good good places to buy..

    I prefer natural supps...I tried Paxil 10 yrs ago, and became an impotent zombie from 2 months of taking it
  • RD11

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    Sep 14, 2011 1:52 PM GMT
    I used to suffer from anxiety and depression. I saw a psychiatrist for most of of my 20's. I refused to be on meds during most of my treatment, but had to cave when things got really bad. I was on effexor for a year and it did help me, however I credit working out and staying active for helping me treat my anxiety. I haven't suffered from an anxiety attack in years.
  • SomeSiciliano...

    Posts: 543

    Sep 14, 2011 2:30 PM GMT

    I have been diagnosed as having an Axis II General Anxiety Disorder NOS (NOS means its not really specified). When I was about your age, it came and went without really interfering with my lifestyle. It really kicked into overdrive in my mid thirties. I am also not big on the pill thing...but caved in and was on a few SSRIs and SNRIs to no avail and some nasty side effects. After shopping around for a good psych I trusted; I found one who said that given my Axis I and III..anti-depressants were the worst thing I could be on and he has me on an anticonvulsant (Lamictal) with continued cognitive behavioral therapy. It has done wonders...the only side effect is contributing to my chronic insomnia.

    If I could do it all over again, I would have investigated this further when I was in my 20s. You sound like you are aware some some type of disorder lurking in the shadows....I strongly suggest you get a handle on it now rather than let this possibly kick your ass later on.
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    Sep 14, 2011 3:18 PM GMT
    It's hard to say whether or not it's worth getting checked out now. I started experiencing symptoms as soon as I made the drastic move to relocate when I knew all along that it would be a mistake. That was when I started experiencing panic attacks. I had about 6 panic attacks in a matter of 2 months. Then suddenly I no longer had them.

    When I moved back to where I live now earlier this year, I haven't had any anxiety symptoms at all. So it's been about 10 months since I felt anything like I used to feel last year because I already resolved my conflict. That was a rather uneasy time in my life. Correcting that mistake basically wiped out whatever anxiety I previously had. I've been back to normal since then.

    Even if I did have some type of anxiety disorder, I'd like to think I can manage it without resorting to drugs.
  • EricCub

    Posts: 23

    Sep 14, 2011 3:29 PM GMT
    It sounds like your panic attacks/anxiety are "situational". They started around the time of a specific event (or events) and abated some time afterwards.

    If you haven't had symptoms in a while, I wouldn't worry about it, just be aware of it. It's hell when they hit (I have them), and the best coping mechanism I know of is to remember it will end. The other is hard training at the gym. That almost always makes me feel better.

    If the symptoms recur, and you want to avoid meds, see a counselor of some type. A word of warning though: If you see a psychiatrist (who can prescribe) vs. a psychologist or therapist, make sure s/he isn't pushing meds if you don't want them. I had a situation where I saw a psychiatrist for therapy and/or meds (things were really bad at the time) and it took a while to realize I wasn't really getting any therapy and his solution was more meds.

    Anyway, good luck. Just remember if you have symptoms again, there are definitely things you can do and you don't have to go it alone
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    Sep 14, 2011 3:43 PM GMT
    EricCub saidIt sounds like your panic attacks/anxiety are "situational". They started around the time of a specific event (or events) and abated some time afterwards.

    If you haven't had symptoms in a while, I wouldn't worry about it, just be aware of it. It's hell when they hit (I have them), and the best coping mechanism I know of is to remember it will end. The other is hard training at the gym. That almost always makes me feel better.

    If the symptoms recur, and you want to avoid meds, see a counselor of some type. A word of warning though: If you see a psychiatrist (who can prescribe) vs. a psychologist or therapist, make sure s/he isn't pushing meds if you don't want them. I had a situation where I saw a psychiatrist for therapy and/or meds (things were really bad at the time) and it took a while to realize I wasn't really getting any therapy and his solution was more meds.

    Anyway, good luck. Just remember if you have symptoms again, there are definitely things you can do and you don't have to go it alone



    Thanks! This was what I wanted to hear because my anxiety revolved around one, stressful event that came and went. I forgot to add that tidbit last night because I posted this late quite late and didn't really think about it.

    That whole experience anxiety was certainly a surprise to me. The funny thing is before that, I always thought of myself as someone who generally stayed cool and collected in most situations. That was the one time where all sense of calmness completely failed. I guess I learned that certain things really can get to me.

    Anywho, I didn't originally mean for this thread to be only about me. I was interested in discussing anxiety disorders with anyone who's experiencing them or knows others who do.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 14, 2011 3:43 PM GMT
    2 years ago I had 4 panic attacks in a 6 day period. One of them caused me to be hospitalized. I had pills and took them on an as needed basis. Recently they have been happening more so I am currently taking them daily.
  • SomeSiciliano...

    Posts: 543

    Sep 14, 2011 4:05 PM GMT

    I agree with EricCub, based on your back story it does seem situational and triggered by circumstance. Im not saying you do or dont...obviously I do not know...im just saying that you may want to maintain an awareness of it going forward. Mine started that way and I ignored it and it snowballed...but that is my experience. I am also not advocating meds as a first resort...just like any clinical condition, get a second or third opinion before choosing a course of action.

    You sound like you have a high degree of self-awareness and are far from delusional. Dont get overly worked up over it but be aware...emotions happen to all of us; it is how we react to them that matters.
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    Sep 14, 2011 6:57 PM GMT
    @ OP:

    Sounds like you're someone who is in tune with his instincts / "gut feeling" about things. Good on you icon_smile.gif. And it's good to hear that you righted your situation by moving back home. Sounds like your gut was telling you that's what you needed to do.
  • BCSwimmer

    Posts: 209

    Sep 14, 2011 7:34 PM GMT
    _freestyle said...

    I think you should do some CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) counseling. If your life has calmed down, then it's an even better reason to go and work out some of these buried issues for the next year or so.

    Even if you did take meds such as an SSRI, it's not effective unless coupled with counseling...


    QFT and +1

    OP you went on to further state that "Even if I did have some type of anxiety disorder, I'd like to think I can manage it without resorting to drugs."

    The website overcominganxiety.org states: "Anxiety treatments have two forms, those that make use of medication and those that are non-medical in nature such as therapy." Naturally you will want to seek expert advice, along with your own instincts, about what course of treatment is right for you. I too agree that if a person is capable of treating anxiety with a non-medicinal approach than that is preferable to resorting to medication.

    Have you had a look at CBT? The wiki page overs some helpful hints:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy

    I have situational anxiety (fear of flying) for which I resort to medication just prior to a flight however don't require that medication at other times (although there were occassional instances during my late spouses brain tumour treatments where the anxiety became overwhelming to the point that I wasn't able to sleep and so resorted to a prescribed sleeping agent for a short period).

    Recognizing that I am no expert on the subject, it sounds like you suffer from situational anxiety although your comment about wondering if another big attack will hit you out of the blue is itself a mild type of anxiety. CBT can help most people with worrying like that.

    Good luck to you.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:33 AM GMT
    It's the only time in my life I've ever experienced anxiety to such a high degree. The thought of another panic attack is on the back of my mind if I go through another crisis like I did two years ago. Like I said, I've been normal since I moved back and got back on my feet. I feel like it's not worth dwelling too much into counseling or medication since I have no other experiences with anxiety. This was a one-time, isolated experience.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:38 AM GMT
    I've had them on and off my whole life. I've always refused to be medicated or treated for them. I don't know why, I've always just been really adamant about it and stubborn that I can self-heal myself. I've dramatically improved in some ways.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:42 AM GMT
    The first few panic attacks I experienced were horrible. However, the most uncomfortable side effect I got from anxiety was IBS! Gah. My guts and colon just couldn't settle down for a while! Fortunately that 'shit' resolved itself after a couple of months. But I had no idea a worried mind can trigger your colon to be a bitch.

    Sorry to gross you guys out! But I'm from a family that's pretty forward in talking about wonders of the digestive system.

  • Sep 15, 2011 6:45 AM GMT
    I started getting panic attacks very similar to the ones you described on an almost nightly basis about 2 years ago. Something about trying to get to sleep would trigger this sense of not getting enough air, having a heart attack, and going completely out of my mind. A few of those times I went to the emergency room because I was so sure that something was wrong with me. I got EKGs, lung tests, all sorts of things - and finally a doctor had me start taking a low dosage of Paxil while also seeing a counselor.

    For me, Paxil has worked wonderfully, though I realize that everyone's body-chemistry works differently, so consulting a physician about what might work best for you if you plan on taking medication is always the right route.

    Counseling has also been good, especially learning breathing techniques and other ways of coping with stress and anxiety. Therapy is good, medication is good, but both together are usually the way that works the fastest and most effectively.

    Also, cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, or any other substances that you may use can have a dramatic effect for the better. So too does having a regular work-out schedule.

    Also, being sociable and making time to be with friends can help immeasurably. We're meant to be social creatures, and isolating yourself while panicking can only make things worse. Even in agoraphobic situations, having one or two people to rely on can help with dealing with an attack.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:51 AM GMT
    Yikes, on a nightly basis? I bet that caused a long period of insomnia for you. I'm sorry icon_sad.gif

    Exercise helped me in a lot of ways. Well, I had always exercised before, but I would go for a walk or a jog whenever I had a panic attack. I had to do something to take my mind off the physical sensations, so jogging become my remedy for calming down. It also helped with my IBS issues!

    I would say the biggest help was when I called my mom and told her I was having panic attacks. Then I spilled all my worries to her while she listened and consoled me. I never had another panic attack after that phone call.

    Agoraphobia sounds particularly dreadful and quite sad.
  • petermalaka

    Posts: 158

    Sep 15, 2011 7:01 AM GMT
    I have social anxiety disorder
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    Sep 15, 2011 7:15 AM GMT
    I have really bad performance anxiety. It actually prevents me from participating in discussions during class and I usually have to ask my teacher questions after class is over for that reason. I could tell that some of my teachers was getting pissed off at me for asking questions after class instead of during, but I can't control my anxiety issues. I take beta blockers before oral presentations and those usually help.
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    Sep 15, 2011 8:04 AM GMT
    Phobia tend to be easier to work out with CBT. If you come from a family that is prone to anxiety disorders then you will probably need some sort of medicine. In your case it might be just from your current circumstances and you might be able to work it out. Or if the panic attacks are a real problem a benzo can be taken safely for up to 8 weeks but can be addictive and have dangerous withdrawals. Otherwise the next step will be an SSRI, which takes about 4 to 8 weeks to work and have some side effects but are usually completely mild. SNRI's can help but they inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine which can certainly increase anxiety. You can try a newer antidepressant called Remeron, which is a tetracyclic antidepressant. Its quite sedating so you would take it at bedtime its not approved for anxiety but its sedative qualities help many. The side effects are generally mild, like an increase in appetite and weight gain. The last one you can look into is buspar, which takes some time to kick in and is very safe. The only common side effect is nausea.








    Im not a doctor, Im on my way to be! But this is just advice so you should consult a medical professional.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 18, 2011 6:12 AM GMT
    I could really use a pill for my phobia of bees, wasps, hornets, and just about any flying insect.
  • ryno

    Posts: 105

    Sep 18, 2011 7:09 AM GMT
    Nothing to a large degree, but often my breathing becomes difficult/increased pulse when I'm in an area with many people. I've found ways to control it, mostly through breathing techniques/mental pep-talks. It gets easier with practice, but can't speak for those who get severe anxiety.