What can I do to manage my anxiety?

3

3lli_k

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Dec 19, 2015
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#1
Hi, I'm Elizabeth, and I have severe anxiety, and depression, too. I have panic attacks; go through periods of no motivation and depression, struggling to operate in my daily life; and have doubts about my relationship, as well as worries, that cause even more stress. My fiancé is understanding, but I constantly feel guilty for having these doubts.

I was on Trazodone for a month with not much improvement, and so I was switched to Cymbalta. Cymbalta has given me tons of physical side effects, as well as mental. I often go through bouts of apathy in my life, struggling to feel, especially in my relationship. My fiancé and I talk and work through this apathy, but it's draining for the both of us, especially him.

I've vowed for both of our sakes to get as much help as I can. I'm already going to my doctor soon to switch medications, and plan to start daily exercise, get on a healthier diet, and work on self-help strategies such as breathing exercises, writing in a journal, etc.

What I was looking for here was support in my journey as well as advice. I am not sure what medication I should try next. My fiancé is on Lexapro, but I heard that doesn't always help with anxiety as well. I could be wrong, though. For those of you that have symptoms like me, such as apathy, doubts and worries -- specifically about relationships, and feeling hopeless -- what medicine works for you? I'm willing to try anything and everything that will help me so that I can be who I used to be. Thank you. :)
 
Poopy Doll

Poopy Doll

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#3
In addition to all the good things you are implementing, you might also consider psychotherapy; talking therapy. The worries you have about your relationship are not a disease but a pattern. Patterns can be changed.
 
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3lli_k

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#4
I should have clarified that my doubts only come in periods of serious anxiety. I rarely have doubts any other times -- just when my anxiety gets extra bad.
 
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natalie

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#5
Hi Elizabeth, welcome to the forum.

Allowing for the fact, I happen to be single, although there might be somebody on the horizon for me, not at the moment though, for managing my anxieties, be it to help me keep calmer when I'm out and about shopping errands, or out to volunteering, and certainly when away on holidays, I always, always, find listening to pre recorded music helps a lot, to keep my anxieties at bay, mind you, they are only mild tendancies of anxeities, I still feel, that music is a powerful calming and soothing tool aid.


If I know me, that as soon as I start to feel anxious, and I am on a certain medication, as well, I'll put music on, and do my needleworking, or knitting, and I am then a lot calmer, and less anxious allowing for an hour or two with music.


I wish you well, and I hope you can get to work things through.


Natalie.
 
Poopy Doll

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#6
I should have clarified that my doubts only come in periods of serious anxiety. I rarely have doubts any other times -- just when my anxiety gets extra bad.
It's hard to say as an outsider. Which comes first, your anxiety or your doubts? Does the doubt trigger anxiety or does the anxiety trigger doubt? I know a woman who has anxiety every month for a week like a menstrual cycle. Nothing is triggering this anxiety. It just comes for one week each month. She is a therapist and would know how to identify any triggers. So I could be completely wrong assuming your anxiety is fueled by doubts.
 
T

THEWISEFARMER

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#7
Hi Elizabeth- I'm sorry but not surprised that medications have not helped, let alone "cured", your problems with anxiety. I couldn't agree more with the person who suggested that you try psychotherapy - I think the code now is CBT for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Anxiety is a "wired-in" response in humans to alert them to any kind of perceived threat or imminent danger - also called the "fight or flight response". This PRIMAL response is necessary and quite useful, even life saving, if the threat is REAL, actually happening in real time, in your real life. As soon as the threat is recognized (or even suspected) there is a biological, chemical response in your body (adrenaline etc.) getting your body ready to either fight/defend from the threat or run away from it (flight). I imagine that all the latest pharmaceutical concoctions are aimed at controlling or blocking this natural response-to-danger in your body. They often don't have any effect or if they do, the effect on your body is NUMBING and/or causes other unpleasant physical side effects. Antidepressants never worked for me and I came to think of them as 'pharmaceutical roulette'. I am in no way criticizing your trying them but in the end, certainly for me, the only thing that really helped was a couple of years of psychotherapy. That was 35 years ago (I am 69 now) and I was guided to recovery (understanding what was going on, taught symptom management techniques) by being BLESSED with a therapist well trained in CBT and anxiety management. Just so you understand, I wasn't suffering from simple 'nervousness' - I had to quit my job, I couldn't leave my house, and had debilitating physical distress. But I got my (good) life back and I hope and believe that you can too.

It was the most terrible thing I've ever gone through. I told myself that I was crazy. I was not crazy and neither are you. It helped me to come to understand some of the complexities of our wonderful human bodies. Our poor bodies don't make INDEPENDENT decisions, mainly they are wired to be 'reactors' and don't know if a threat is REAL or not, they just REACT. Our MIND's job (so to speak) is to perceive and interpret whatever the stimulus is, and then "tells" our body to react - whether to relax, be on guard, prepare to defend, or even RUN. Please forgive this very simplified explanation of our physiology but it's the best I can do. Our body responds/reacts to our THOUGHTS - it doesn't KNOW if the thoughts are expressing a REAL problem or not, it just reacts. A useful book on 'curing' anxiety problems was written by Lucinda Bassett and is called FROM PANIC TO POWER. I always remember, what Lucinda says, is the MOST IMPORTANT statement in the whole book; "your anxiety is directly related to what you are thinking".

Are you a bad person or a failure in life because you, in essence, are making yourself sick with your own misdirected thinking? ABSOLUTELY NOT. You are most likely intelligent, analytical, creative and highly imaginative but these very fine qualities are the ones that are (often) responsible for your excessive anxiety. The good news is that YOU CAN RECOVER from this. PLEASE search for a therapist trained to help you with this. God's love and blessings to you.
 
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The Guardian

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#8
Hey

I'm sorry to hear about your condition. You're doing great, you have the proper mindset and you're very strong. proceed with the self-help methods for it would do a great deal of help. You should also consider counseling therapy. I know how difficult it is to experience the side-effects of the drugs that's why I always opt for different approaches.

You should reinforce counseling with some natural remedies, herbal tea and extracts like kava, chamomile, lavender, and L-theanine have great calming effect which can help with anxiety. There are also nutritional supplements such as fish oil, 5-HTP, and endoca hemp prodducts. Endoca hemp has anxiolytic and antidepressant properties that helps combat depression. This product is purely organic so the risk for side-effects is very low.

These methods along with the self-help techniques are really great in beating depression. Also try to have a heathier lifestyle, eat properly, and sleep regularly.
 
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hanky06

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Dec 20, 2015
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#9
hello Elizabeth

I think u should discuss the medication issues with the psychiatrist treating you,reason being that he/she is trained in that area of expertise.yes,there are other non-medicative ,therapeutic options.relaxation techniques,seeing a psychologist at your outpatient psychiatric facility to work it through and work on that negative thoughts which is of most concern.hope tis little bit helps a lot.
 
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3lli_k

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Dec 19, 2015
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#11
I realize it's my thoughts causing them. For years, most of my life, I was in hell in my own mind. Medicine alows me to be clear and happy sometimes. No, it doesn't make me perfect, but it makes me clear-headed enough to manage my bad thoughts. Sorry that not everyone can manage their problems without medicine.
 
mixtape02

mixtape02

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#12
I have been on Lexapro for over a year and I felt fine if I was limiting stressors and exercising more. I also looked forward to getting healthy and felt hopeful that the pill would help me, so that added onto its effectiveness. And it's true what they say about exercise. It's going to channel all that stress into something healthy and you'll feel proud of yourself when you're done. :) Good luck.
 

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