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Switch to Forum Live View Disabling Anxiety: What Do You Do?
5 years ago  ::  Oct 06, 2009 - 6:03PM #1
Therese Borchard
Posts: 141

Hi all,


One of our members emailed me today and is experiencing severe, disabling anxiety. I told her that I'd start a thread to see what you all do when it overcomes you ... especially at work. Thanks. And thanks for all your great insight on so many threads. t

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 06, 2009 - 7:07PM #2
belleo
Posts: 2,869

This may help it has helped me :


You can use visual anchors to anchor the resourceful state. You can use external or internal anchors. For example, you could use a figure on a bracelet to anchor being calm and relaxed. The external anchor always has to be there for you to use. You may find it relaxing and calming to view a certain landscape, but unless you can carry it around with you, it is of limited value. You can however use an internal image of the landscape to anchor your resourceful feeling.


Most visual designer anchors are internal. Some examples of visual anchors are:

  • Symbols. For example, you could use a circle as a symbol for being calm and relaxed and anchor this to your state.
  • People, such as a trusted friend or mentor ... or even a person from history or current affairs.
  • Various objects and landscapes can be used as anchors for being calm and relaxed. For example, you could imagine:
    • A teddy bear
    • A flower
    • Etc
Just me
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2009 - 4:20AM #3
Rowanleaf
Posts: 170

For short term relief: breathe, bach's flower essences, go off somewhere and have a serious cry or hit some pillows (for a lot of immediate energy release: it seems counterintuitive but it works for me). Sometimes you have to consciously breathe and let the anxiety go 'through' you in small waves - we often try to hold it down like a dam about to burst, doesn't help.


Certain visualisations can also give immediate relief. You find one or a few that work for you - tools you can pull out of your bag wherever you are. One visual that makes me feel grounded and calmer almost immediately is picturing my feet in soil and roots growing out from them deep into the earth. Another is breathing and picturing the breath entering and exiting the center of my chest: creating a feeling of spaciousness there. Yet another is floating or swimming in cool, clear water, or standing with my feet in a small, running stream.


As a daily or regular 'tune-down': meditation, breathing exercises, yoga breathing, just yoga, active meditations like walking, knitting, or washing dishes.


Long-term: counselling, journalling, figuring out what it is that really makes you feel helpless in life and trying to resolve it.


I also have to say that The Work of Byron Katie can be almost like magic, if you're plagued by obsessive thoughts and fears.


Good thoughts to this member. I hope she feels better.

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2009 - 9:59AM #4
Megulator2
Posts: 162

First, my heart goes out to this person. I've had short bouts of this type of intense anxiety, and they rank among the most frightening experiences of my life.


I'll echo what Rowan said, about the short term stuff. For me, I needed medication (benzos) short term to help my body calm down. I was making myself sick. I weaned myself off the benzos over a period of a few weeks (halving the dose, then waiting longer between doses) as I became better at the non-drug techniques. Those take practice and are hard to learn while you're in the midst of this kind of anxiety.


Cognitive-Behavioral therapy was a lifesaver for me. through the techniques I learned there, I was able to come off the benzos totally in a few weeks and only used them as needed (usually about once or twice a month). Now I've found that herbal remedies, such as Bach's Rescue Remedy, Hyland's Calms Forte, or valerian tea tend to damp down the nerves when it acts up...then I employ my other techniques to help.


I would encourage this reader to explore medication as a tool to help build coping techniques. Medication alone, especially benzodiazepines, won't cure anxiety. It will only take away the symptoms. However, benzos and/or ADs can help relieve symptoms to the point that the sufferer feels able to help themselves.


Keep trying :)

Meghan
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2009 - 5:16PM #5
Therese Borchard
Posts: 141

Thanks, guys. Great advice. Maybe I can compile it for a blog. Thanks again! t

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2009 - 2:06AM #6
Weeble75
Posts: 503

Therese, most of what I have to say will repeat what some of the others have said, but perhaps will help toward condensing it.


If she's experiencing severe, disabling anxiety as an ongoing thing, I don't think anything short of medicinal intervention will help. Even after 9-10 years, I am not right unless I take my prescribed dose of clonazepam (one of the benzodiazepines). Someone might call it a crutch, but when one's limping, crutches are appropriate. Like Meghan said, they don't solve the problem, but they can help to make my responses more manageable.


Therapy will definitely help as a followup to deal with what external factors are causing anxiety. Meghan mentioned cognitive-behavioral therapy; Dr. David Burns, known for his popular explanation of CBT for depression called "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" has now released a book called "When Panic Attacks", dealing with anxiety and panic issues. I have not read it myself, but if it's by him, it's gotta be good.


Deep breathing and other relaxation exercises have helped me a lot with short-term anxiety spells. They don't always settle me out, but at least it's more manageable.


Humor can help--not the "snicker snicker chuckle chuckle" variety, but the full force belly laugh. One time I'd misplaced my clonazepam for a day and a half--I was in a STATE. Added to it, a person I desperately needed to call my pharmacy to get a refill underway (I'd given up on finding the stuff--why I needed her to call is another whole story) point-blank refused. Finally, I got someone to call, I actually found a few tablets, took one, chatted online with someone who understood for half an hour so I could be semi-sane while driving (no I didn't have anyone who could drive me), got to the pharmacy and got the refill. I then visited with a friend for awhile. I was in full-blown anxious rage, venting at full bellow. Then while asking my friend and his son something, I was given an answer that was SO incongruous that it hit my funnybone dead-on. I was in a howling belly laugh for several minutes, and when I settled down, my tension level was maybe 1/4 of what it had been and soon I could go on home and relax while my meds were catching up with my brain. Keep laughing, folks.


One other thing that has helped me was something a previous therapist said to me (in fact, I think it was the ONLY helpful thing he ever said to me). Since I deal with both depression and anxiety, he gave me a tool for what to do on each end. If I'm in depression, I've generally let one thing grow in my mind to GODZILLA proportions, and that's what I'm thinking about. At that point, I need to broaden my perspective to more things than just what I'm obsessing about. On the anxiety side, my perspective has gotten so wide (say, yesterday when I was working on that massive mess in my house) that instead of one big Godzilla, I have umpteen little Godzillas growling for my attention. I'm overwhelmed. So in that case, I need to narrow my perspective so that I don't have all those little Godzillas roaring at me. It helps!


I'll have to say that there are a lot of other good ideas that people have shared. I'll need to read the responses more in-depth.

Weebles Wobble But They Don't Fall Down
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 10, 2009 - 7:57PM #7
Faith1976
Posts: 2

Hello, being very strong in my Faith I understand about anxiety. I pray for people. When I do I can feel there anxiety. One person I have been interceeding for caused me to become anxious to the point I could feel there physical pain. It was very difficult, but I learned to sit very still and listen to gospel music, ask God for his will to be done and the feeling would pass. There were times I could not function, my hands would shake, and I would become physically ill. I wouldn't wish this gift on anyone, but when you can feel Gods love for another person its worth more then anything in the world. I think it happens to a lot more people then they know. Please give what I said a chance. After the feeling passes I am overcome with a deep sense of love and I feel healthier now then ever before. God bless you on your journey.

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2009 - 12:33PM #8
Jennie3
Posts: 6

I am bi-polar and also suffer major anxiety disorder and PTSD.  I am on a considerable amount of medication but try to stay away from benzo's although I have resorted to them occasionally.  I find that many times when I experience extreme anxiety is because I am obcessing about something and awfulizing what might happen in the future.  Often, it is something I have little or no control over at that moment.  I have to make a very conscious effort at times to remind myself to stay in today.  Tomorrow might not come and when I live in the future I ruin the moment I am in.  I also find that exercise is a great release especially if I am having a manic episode.  It doesn't have to be strenuous exercise, just a nice walk helps.  I also have found relaxation techniques helpful and like listening to guided imagery tapes.  Taking my medication diligently and seeing my therapist regularly is crucial for me.


Take good care

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2009 - 2:37PM #9
belleo
Posts: 2,869

Hi Faith , I was praying for my sister who had been sick for months . I sat at the foot of a crucifix and prayed the rosary . I became tearful and I knew my prayers had been heard . She called me to say she was feeling better .Blessings to you .

Just me
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 13, 2009 - 6:49PM #10
Icangels
Posts: 6

As far as anxiety I pray to and visualize angels.

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