OT How Do You Handle Your Anxiety

18 Replies
Cassie06 - March 6

I have always had a problem with anxiety but I have never really mentioned it to anyone. I am very nervous around people I do not know. I dont go to the store or mall or anywhere by myself, and I have not put gas in my own car for about 3 years. I have a lot to handle with finances, my DH, my schoolwork, family, and DS. Numerous times a day I get extremely flushed, see spots in front of my eyes, and feel like something is sitting on my chest pushing all the air out and not allowing me to breathe. It is very uncomfortable and starting to interfere with my life. I went to the dr today and he said I was anxious, it was just part of my personality, and to just deal with it. He said he could recommend me to someone, but he didnt think anyone would give me any meds or anything. Plus I dont have insurance right now so there is no way I can afford to go to any specialists or anything. I feel like I am going to die because I cant get any air and I hate feeling this way. Now that I finally worked up the courage to mention it to someone I feel like I was just brushed off and it makes me feel even crazier. Does anyone else suffer with this? Are there any natural ways to deal with it?

 

rl- - March 6

one word XANAX not natural but OMG HELPS TONS!!!

 

Smilefull - March 6

Social Anxiety Disorder--I have a mild case of it. It's really debilitating--but maybe realising it's not a "real" thing--I'm not saying you're not really feeling those feelings--just that is chemical, not a real threat to you---might help. What really helped me was working where there were tonnes of customers. I FREAKED OUT initially, but overtime it's like my body realised that they can't hurt me. Since I had my little ones, I've noticed it's coming back. I have been having a hard time letting people come over. I make plans and then cancel and it sucks. Ca__sie--thank you for talking about it- you talking about it gives other people the right to talk about it. Please don't hesitate to keep posting!!

 

ry - March 6

Ca__sie, I completely understand how you feel. I have a lot of responsibilities and get so overwhelmed and have anxiety attacks. I have prescription for xanax but rarely take it but rl is right, it does work! Maybe you could try a natural or herbal supplement like st. john's wort? I would research the hell out of it first though before you actually do take anything (if you decided to try) I think I heard St Johns Wort is bad if you are pregnant or b___stfeeding but it is supposed to help with depression and anxiety.

 

srigles - March 6

OK, this is something I can really relate to. I've had panic attacks for years and have been taking Zoloft to help with them. I stopped taking it when I got pregnant, and started it again after Keegan was born. However, now the meds aren't doing ANYTHING. The attacks are so severe that I can barely drive and can't go anywhere by myself. They make the attacks I had before seem like nothing. It feels like I'm really losing my mind. I tried psychotherapy when I was pregnant, and it didn't do anything. However, I just signed up for a 12-week course (free) on the internet at paniccenterDOTnet. I'm on Week 2 and it seems to be helping a little tiny bit. Worth a shot. Hopefully it'll make things easier for me and I'll be able to stop taking the Zoloft - after I learn to deal with the panic attacks. Don't let that doctor stop you from trying to find a way to deal with it. Panic/anxiety is a very real problem, and can be incredibly debilitating. You're NOT crazy - even though I know I feel like it a lot of the time! Best of luck with everything. Don't be afraid to talk it out. A lot of people just don't understand how serious it is.

 

ashtynsmom - March 6

I take Paxil for anxiety, and it really helps me. I had to get off during pregnancy, but got right back on it. The only side effect is that it kills your s_x drive. It takes a few mos, but it does come back!

 

ash2 - March 6

I have a friend that has panic attacks if she doesnt stay on her meds. She takes paxil. It works wonders for her. Alot of these medicines are for deppression , however can be used for both. Have you thought about ativan ?? It is an anxiety med. I think the reason the doc blew you off is because you have no insurance.....that was mean.....but you really need to get on med. quick if it is affecting your daily activities.

 

LollyM - March 7

I'm so glad you had the courage to post about this! I missed allot of highschool because of anxiety. The spots and shortness of breath, that is an anxiety attack. When it happens, take a DEEP LONG breath. force yourself to take deep breaths. That and praying are the only things that have stopped my anxiety attacks. I did take medication for it for a while... sorry I can't remember the name. If your doc writes a prescription, you can proabably get it at walmart for about $5. They are selling drugs for really little, trying to fight the big drug companies. Good luck, and please post again about how you are doing! I know allot about this stuff, and it seems like the other ladies who posted here do too. It really can help to talk about it.

 

Aussie Beck - March 7

OMG! Smilefull you sound very similar to me! I absolutely agree that it sounds like Social Anxiety Disorder and that you are suffering panic attacks. There is lots of info about this on the internet. I can't believe your doc brushed it off like that. There are different ways to help you. Such as medication, cognitive behaviour therapy, meditation and relaxation techniques. I am currently taking medication for my pnd but it does not help my anxiety. I have recently realised that I have suffered with it for most of my life. I have a deep fear of judgement and ridicule from others, and am afraid to meet new people. I am scared to try new things and don't really like people visiting my home. Having a baby has made it worse. I am terrified of her crying or fussing in a public place for fear of judgement from others and embarra__sment. I also find it hard to eat some days and have lost quite a bit of weight. I know this may sound ridiculous to other people, but it is very debilitating and I would give anything to feel 'normal'. Thanks so much for posting this thread Ca__sie, I'm glad I'm not alone. Please seek out some help, go see another doctor. Good luck to you!

 

Aussie Beck - March 7

Oh I forgot. ry mentioned st johns wort - very good but affects the pill, so beware if you're on it. Pa__sionflower is also good!

 

LollyM - March 7

Something I started doing when I was really afraid of judgement in high school was to try to remember that most people are so self centered that they don't have time to judge me, and if they do, they will forget about it in a few days! Aussie Beck, I was very anxious about bringing my newborn out also, because I was sooo scared she would cry and whatnot. I have learned to just make myself do things I know I want to do even if it freaks me out at first. I have found that the more I go out and do things that I feel anxious about, the better anxiety problem gets, because I usually end up enjoying myself and the positive reinforcement from having good experience helps =)

 

srigles - March 7

Aussie Beck and Lolly M.... I'm so glad you two mentioned being scared to take your newborn in public because they might cry - I'm exactly the same. I don't want to be judged as a bad mother, even though I KNOW babies cry and it's perfectly normal.

 

Rabbits07 - March 7

I hate that you are going through that. I have been there...I still have some anxieties, but nothing like it used to be. I disagree with the dr. that no one will give you meds. If you don't mind trying meds most states (if you are in the US) have programs that provide mental health services to those without insurance. Here in VA it is an orginization called Frontier Health (I used to work for them.) They usually base the fee on a sliding scale according to income and if you need meds and have no way to pay they have programs to help with that as well. You could probably call your local social services dept. or health dept. and find out if there is one in your area. You could probably find out from a local mental health care provider as well. Good luck.

 

SuzieQ - March 7

Ca__sie - I get anxiety attacks as well, but for different reasons than you. I am not using any medication. I do have a perscription for ativan, but I have yet to take it. I've done quite a bit of research about anxiety, which I highly recommend you read about. First, you are not crazy - even when you are having one and in the middle of the hardest part. Second, they are totally normal. A "flight or fight" response that our bodies are designed to do, we just don't have to fight wild animals anymore, so our bodies find other things to respond to. As for treatment, I use a combination of relaxation techniques, cognitive behavior therapy (positive thinking :), a diet high in vitamin b's and other good things, exercise, a low sugar diet (sugar triggers panic for me) and NO caffeine. It's been a huge lifestyle change for me, but I feel so much better than I did 5 years ago. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, which I'm sure all of us can relate to! I'm glad you told us because it's hard to not have anyone understand. My doctor brushed it off too, and I had to really find other resources to understand it.

 

Ca__sie06 - March 7

Thank you all so much for your responses! They have made me feel a lot better. I have done some research online and have joined that program you mentioned srigles. Also, I thought I was the only person in the world afraid to take DS out because he would cry! I take him everywhere with me and people tell me I spoil him because at the first sign of fussiness I give him his paci, sippy cup, toys, or whatever else he wants so he doesnt cry! Also, Rabbits, do you have the contact info on Frontier? I am also in VA so that may be helpful!

 

Aussie Beck - March 7

Ca__sie, I'm so glad that we could make you feel a bit better. This thread has me feeling a bit better and more positve too. I know exactly what you mean when you say that you thought you were the only person in the world afraid to take your lo out. I feel exactly the same way! But, I have to take her out, I force myself and now that she is older (14 months) it's sooo much easier because she is more entertained watching people and loves to be pushed in her stroller or a trolley. It was a nightmare when she was a newborn - terrified me! I also forced myself to go to swim cla__s with her, I don't think I would have gone except my next door neighbour also goes with her ds - it helped knowing someone already. I am considering taking dd to Kindergym, but I am afraid because I don't know anyone. But I know my dd needs to socialise, so I'll just have to work up the courage. I still won't go food shopping alone with her though. I get very anxious and want to rush which means I forget things, so dh, dd and I all go together on saturday afternoon. I am going to join the panic center website too - thanks srigles! Good luck to you all ladies!

 

srigles - March 7

You know what? It makes me feel so much better to know that I'm not crazy and that other people are going through the same thing. It's hard to talk about sometimes because so many people are just like, "So what? Deal with it. What's the problem?" I don't think a lot of people understand the severity of a panic attack. It's just the worst feeling I can think of. Logically, I know I'm not going to faint, or die, or throw up or go crazy, but those thoughts don't matter in the middle of an attack. It just totally takes over.

 

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