Tina Robertson
September 6, 2017

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.

Colleen Luther
September 11, 2017

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.

Robert Price
December 27, 2017

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.

Post A Reply
Please sign in to leave a comment.