What is the best thing to stop you panicking over things. I know they are silly and nothing to panic about but I do , it's ruining my life.
I've had generalized anxiety disorder for about 20 years now. It comes and goes, but for the most part I manage it well. Here are some of my coping mechanisms (a mix of preventative and immediate coping - one or the other doesn't cut it):
1) Reading (and re-reading) the book, "From Panic to Power." It was originally recommended to me by my anxiety therapist. Just understanding what my brain was doing helped me tremendously. I did four therapy sessions and didn't have a panic attack for years after that. 2) Getting regular exercise. Even if it's just walking. 3) Meditation. In particular, I do a writing meditation where I take three minutes and write down every thought, stream of consciousness, that enters my mind. Obviously, my hand cannot write that fast. The effect is to slow down my thoughts (in a non-judgemental way). 4) Staying hydrated. 5) Escaping. For me, I tend to panic when I feel trapped (i.e., in line at the grocery store). So I leave if I need to. It's fine. I feel better if I drive around for a bit. It's okay to pause life every once in a while. 6) If something super stressful is happening in life, I consider going back on mild antidepressants. I generally hate being on medicine, but I know where the line is. The line beyond where I can't control the panic all by myself. I've done the meds twice, and it worked well. But I started them with a (doctor-approved) plan to taper off them eventually. One time it went beautifully, the next time I stayed on a few extra months. That was fine too. I just did what was needed. And these meds were always paired with therapy.
I currently haven't been on meds for about 13 years. Times have been stressful since (I had a parent pass, gave birth to two kids, and just general upheaval), but the panic is managable. It doesn't ruin my life anymore.
Best of luck to you.
I admire you for getting off the meds. I have beeen on meds for about 10 years. I believe the have become the problem rather than the anxiety disorder. I feel like I cannot live without them. The withdrawal symptoms are painful. At this point in my life I am resolved to the fact that I will be taking medication for the rest of my life. I am in great physical condition for my age, so I am alright. Therapy helps and I see a therapist from time to time. I wish you the best.
Thank you for sharing. These suggestions are great. Already ordered the book.
I would agree with movement any way you can find it. I feel trapped especially now during this pandemic. I'm still thankful to have a work day sometimes from home or at my place of work. I think what gets rough is when I get home, I don't know what to do. A lot of usual options feel exhausted. Art, gaming, etc. I think exercise is a huge help. Walking for at least 30 minutes helps me to come back home with a clear head, fresh air in my lungs, and my brain effectively feeling cleared. I try to focus on my surroundings as I walk. Trees, rocks, the sky, etc. It's a good exercise for my brain to work through how I may be feeling panicky and overwhelmed. Will look into this book! Sometimes even just spending some time in a front yard is perfect. At a park as well. Anywhere you feel safe just existing.
Anyway... What good this is for others, I'm not sure, but hope even just reading this can help inspire you to try something you've thought might help, but haven't tried yet.
Love that book, and excercise and hydration and sleep are key for me. :)
I've had panic attacks for about 38 years now. I am 64 years old. That first day of my attack has stayed with me all these years and its the fear of experiencing that feeling again is what keeps me in the FEAR mode. That day was traumatizing for me and I didn't know what happened to me that day. I couldn't tell anyone because I didn't want to look crazy and I certainly would have sounded crazy. I finally found this book in a store and opened to the chapter on Agoraphobia. I was reading the symptons and I started crying because finally I found what was wrong with me. It was only one part. I have realized in all these years struggling with panic, hiding from panic and isolating myself from panic that I am just scared of everything. I have dug this hole for so long that now when I want to come up out of it, I am scared of what could happen. You know, like have a happy life again. Live again. I don't know how to do it anymore. I know that I have become what I never wanted. Isolated to my home, little to no friends and lonely. But, I am in control. I am able to work from home so I can take care of myself financially. Mentally, I have been a control freak since I had my first attack. I don't want that uncomfortable feeling again. I have been in survival mode since day one. I have been to therapists who literally have not been helpful to me. All they talk about is drugs. I will not take any mind altering drugs. I tried Zoloft and I became a zombie. Never again. I have spent thousands on books, videos and cd's with self help techniques and none of it has helped me. I joined support groups who only talked about the medications that they were all on. So I decided that I would just do the best I can and do what I could do and avoid the things I couldn't. Avoidance is now my lifestyle. I have created this monster that I can't get away from. I am overwhelmed, depressed and sometimes feel hopeless. But, I will never give up on myself. I am hopeful that before I leave this earth I will be able to remind myself what life was really like before that dreadful day. I hope to find and be myself again.
my heart goes out to you , when my histamine bucket is full and overflowing I get anixious, if I keep my histamine intake sources in check i'm fine, (our bodies run on it. our bodies manufacture it, we need it to survive, but too much ...allergies and ...) During high pollen season I consume mainly low/neutralizing histamine foods, you may find it helpful to reduce your intake of high histamine and histamine liberator foods. (Bananas ,chocolate, coffee were my kryponite) https://histamineintolerance.net/foodlist Be carefull check out the histamine sites , you don't want to shock your body by dropping your histamine intake too much (too quickly) and piss it off. May you too never even need an allergy tablet. (histamine blocker)I'm not an expert , just sharing what allows me to enjoy the outdoors. Side note --- how creative are you? my creativity painting and writing can be manipulated by histamine (its mind altering) https://factvsfitness.com/histamine-intolerance-brain/I saw that the forum had a couple of questions on histamine , and a reference to https://healinghistamine.com/blog/ another side note - gluten intolerance, dairy and celiac can have a impact too on mood and brain fogit is possible to enjoy lilfe , food- creative cooking on a gluten, soy free, sugar free ( just because the want fades when you enrich the ingredients of roots, leaves, flowers) and histamine diet. happy gut, happy mind, happy life.May you find joy
Great words of wisdom, thank you for sharing!
Diane, you will get there! Keep the faith and be gentle with yourself.