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Trying a new approach



New member
Oct 25, 2018
I've suffered from anxiety for over 30 years. This has been quite debilitating at times, although I have generally always been able to function as far as the world is concerned. But with a clear pattern of just about holding it together.
Until the last few years I just thought it was 'the way things are.' I started taking Citalopram and then Sertraline in 2012, both in fairly low doses. I never felt they worked that well and hated the side effects - lack of energy, flatlining mood etc. I came off them a couple of times, but events always took me back.
Over the last couple of years I've found a very good counsellor and, this year, went on a nhs mindfulness course. This knowledge through counselling of my anxiety triggers and the new NHS skills gave me the confidence rethink my approach to my anxiety. Pills felt like a warm blanket that didn't deal with the fundamentals.
I noticed that the pills weren't stopping me becoming anxious. But the mindfulness plus regular exercise were fairly effective in managing my mood and anxiety. After a very debilitating anxiety attack I visited my doctor, who offered three options - do nothing, increase dose or switch medication. The latter two did not appeal at all so I decided, with his help to come off Sertraline and see how I felt. I could then assess how I 'really' was.
For the last 2-3 weeks I'felt reduced the dose and am now off the pills. Alongside this I've increased my exercise regime and focussed on two of the most useful mindfulness techniques.
My experience, so far, has been very different to the previous times I've stopped taking the medication. My mood is better, I experience life more profoundly, rather than behind a flat fug, and the issues that make me anxious feel more in context and less scary. I put this down to insight from the counselling and exercise, which significantly improves my general mood.
I can only reflect my own experience. It has taken a very long time to reach the point where alternatives to pills have a chance to work, but I feel a more holistic, rounded approach is proving better for me than a neuro-inhibiting head slap.
I hope this is helpful. I am not advocating this as a solution for all. It is just my experience and feels worth sharing. Thanks for reading.


Mar 30, 2012
West Midlands
Thanks for sharing. I've experienced with a range of self help methods in the past and always found them a better alternative to medication. However, my most recent bout of illness has been debilitating to the point that I haven't been able to practice my chosen methods. It's been a vicious cycle.

Good luck with what you choose to do!