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anxiety attacks.

erika

TRIBE Member
anybody have any experience using benzos for public speaking engagements? I get severe anxiety before public speaking and as a result I feel that my presentation suffers. Anything that would improve my communication would interest me. But if they make you slur or sound like an etard, for instance, I'll stick to the occasional stutter.
Rather than going that route, I would suggest you practice practice practice; the more presentations you make, the less awful it becomes. Try doing it in front of friends, with seating laid out in a similar manner if you can.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
I've had a lifetime of anxiety and am finally in therapy and looking at medication to "calm" myself. Though my anxiety is mostly social, I've also had a few "traumatic" events happen to me in the last while to make it snowball including 2 deaths in the family last year, family drama, a shitty situation at work and other things...

I have a few suggestions:
- stop coffee
- control your diet and eating habits so that you're eating healthy and giving yourself a treat every day like fast food or a chocolate bar. With a balanced diet, you can eat some shit and get away with it
- have friends to bounce stuff off of but don't rely on them for a course of action
- schedule your attacks. Let yourself think, dwell, cry, obsess during certain times in the day. Schedule those times as much as possible so that when you're at work or something you have to be at, you're not fleeing the situation to go and puke or cry
- get your GP to refer you to a therapist and get some options (CAMH is $60 a session, private practices are more and a GP referred program or hospital-run mental outpatient program is covered by OHIP).

One of my initial reservations is that a doctor will push drugs on you and now that realization has come true. My doctor is constantly pushing drugs on me despite my reluctance. I'm just not ready to be put on a cocktail yet until I feel that it's the right time. This whole situation is unfortunate and I hate that my doctor is validating my assumptions about the psychiatry but whatever. One bump in the road.

But my therapist (not the meds doctor) has given me a lot of tools to cope with life. People who think therapy is some cliche, sit on a couch situation, are wrong. And don't let people tell you otherwise.

It's commitment. Hard work. And not some confessional. You say what you want but you realize that a lot of what you THINK should be disclosed is just your own psycho-babble. Just stick to the program. Get in there, purge, then learn to use the tools that they give you.. Test them out. It's all trial and error. Also, having a time to reflect on your mental and physical health is REALLY good for you. Because #1, you don't have the subjectivity of your friends to judge or to give you the "wrong" advice. #2, whatever your friends tell you to do, you can bring that to the table at your session. And your therapist will help you to decide if it's right. #3, you don't need to dwell in your life as much because you do a lot of it at the sessions. So you feel almost like "live your life day by day and let things happen. Then update your shrink the next week about what happened."
#4, you soon realize that anxiety is caused by YOU. Not the outside world. YOU have to take control. Therapy, drugs and some daily routine can help you get your life back to where you want it to be.

This is all from experience.
My 2 cents.

My thing is, if you can't control certain things in your life, you must control or maintain the others so that when you do have that attack or that spell of depression/blues, you can cope.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Btw, I got addicted to the drugs I was given for anxiety so be careful. Despite all the progress, I still wanted these pills to help with the daily attacks.

I asked my doctor, "I can't keep taking these. These aren't a solution."
And she says "of course. They're candy. They're addictive."

And I thought "then why the fuck did I spend 5 days dizzy getting used to them to find out that they're gonna fuck me up even more?"

I don't want drugs that are addictive! That's just wrong!
I had to throw them out. Back to square one with the meds thing.
 
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basketballjones

TRIBE Member
i havent got one in a long time, but i would get them at the weirdest times a few years ago

and man was it NO fun, i would get kind of itchy, then my vision would blur a little and then the paranoia would set in, i would shake, lose my breath, and pretty much feel like i was going insane
 

DataLadybug

TRIBE Member
I find I'm able to keep anxiety at bay by exercising. Not sure what it really does biologically (aside from the endorphins), but my head is clear when I'm working out and I am so relaxed afterward. I can manage just about anything after that. (Mind you, my anxiety was never really that bad.)
 

blueshrike

TRIBE Member
I have a few suggestions:
- stop coffee
- control your diet and eating habits so that you're eating healthy and giving yourself a treat every day like fast food or a chocolate bar. With a balanced diet, you can eat some shit and get away with it
- have friends to bounce stuff off of but don't rely on them for a course of action
- schedule your attacks. Let yourself think, dwell, cry, obsess during certain times in the day. Schedule those times as much as possible so that when you're at work or something you have to be at, you're not fleeing the situation to go and puke or cry
- get your GP to refer you to a therapist and get some options (CAMH is $60 a session, private practices are more and a GP referred program or hospital-run mental outpatient program is covered by OHIP).
Other than scheduling attacks, I agree with the list. I have no idea how you schedule an attack ... lol.

Like DataLadybug, I would also suggest a healthy, balanced and regular exercise program that includes cardio, stretching and some sort of weight bearing exercise. 3 or 4 times a week. Every week. Doesn't have to be just the gym ... team sports are killer good. Really the cardio was the biggest help for me ... but if all you do is cardio ... you will end up hurting yourself doing something else because your muscles are too tight or weak and then you will be in a worse situation than when you started. Get a good trainer if you are just doing the gym. Whether you are experienced or not ... a trainer will really help. (finding a good trainer is the problem)

Also if you are in a bad situation and its something you can control (e.g. a bad job) change the situation and a lot of the stress goes away. You may still have attacks for a time, but it will be a hell of a lot easier to work through them.

Take care.
 
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Illuminati

TRIBE Member
i have been suffering from panic attacks for over 2 years and they are fucking insane! if you've never experienced a full blown episode of panic then consider yourself lucky as they are one of the most frightening experiences one can go through. there is also differences between anxiety and panic, while the two are obviously related they don't necessarily go hand in hand. what i mean by that is one can suffer from severe anxiety and never experience a full blown panic attack and those who suffer from panic attacks aren't necessarily over anxious, which is the case for me.
 

Spiritual_Thang

TRIBE Member
This is a good thread - I'm always surprised how many people deal with anxiety.

I was diagnosed with GAD - generalized anxiety disorder - after I was having sporadic panic attacks that would come out of nowhere. I remember having one attack while I was driving home that was so bad, I came close to throwing up and blanking out. I also felt a tightness in my chest that wouldn't go away. I would wake up with it and suffer throughout the day.

After I was diagnosed, I was put on a drug called Effexor that helped considerably in ways I wasn't expecting.

- no more panic attacks / chest pains
- stopped getting cankers on my lip, which was occuring almost weekly since I was a pre-teen
- stopped getting stomach aches

Stress has a funny way of manifesting itself physically - there were things wrong with me that I never associated with stress.

Since then, I have been working out daily and I feel I may not necessarily need the drug anymore. My party days of doing E against the Asian wall at the Guv are long behind me, and the gf stress at the time is no longer an issue.

Although there are some excellent posts in this thread regarding the threats of pharmaceutical drugs, the one prescribed to me has helped considerably.
 
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ScottBentley

TRIBE Member
i havent got one in a long time, but i would get them at the weirdest times a few years ago

and man was it NO fun, i would get kind of itchy, then my vision would blur a little and then the paranoia would set in, i would shake, lose my breath, and pretty much feel like i was going insane

same. there seemed to be no rhyme nor reason for the attack...no set trigger.

almost fainted a couple times because i forgot to breathe.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Other than scheduling attacks, I agree with the list. I have no idea how you schedule an attack ... lol.
It was an idea that my therapist suggested because I was having a certain # of attacks a day and I am starting to realize that there are things that I cannot solve or destroy such as extreme anxiety but possibly maintain or re-allocate?

For example, after some thinking and charting, I noticed that I got attacks usually the day after something shitty happened to me.. And it was always on a train. So by mapping it, I could get all that out by dwelling, reanalyzing the situation and basically letting yourself feel what happened the day before.. So you get most of it out before getting on the subway.

Or she also suggested that because my work was giving me a lot of stress and was a definite cause of my attacks, I could take the time in the morning to get it all out. To think negatively, to feel the sickness (even if I was late for work as my work knew I was going through some shit anyway) and to basically take control slowly of the times I had my attacks.. Because we did find a pattern and some triggers.

It's a slow process but I do see results.

Sometimes all this shit is in your head so in a way, I guess I'm tricking my "natural" reactions to think "hey, you know what? I don't need to vomit, or RUN off this streetcar or want to sleep in my hands so that I can't see people looking at me.. I already got it all out before at home and I can just sit and be fine for the next 8 stops. There's nothing else to be anxious about as I already got it out!"

It has worked but sometimes a really traumatic event or a big trigger can't be stopped. But ya, even when you're in an attack or you feel something strange coming on, you can do things with your body like relax, distract yourself, listen to music, breathing techniques etc... So why can't you "trick" your brain a little?

Also, the breathing techniques from yoga have REALLY helped. I had no idea I could breathe this way and that there were so many types of breathing. I'm a pretty high strung kinda person whose head is all over the place so I never even thought about using any kind of breathing to calm myself down. But that helps too when you actually get the hang of it.
 

lucky1

TRIBE Member
wow this thread is over 6 years old.

I survived the break up, and I have not really had anxiety problems since. Stuff does get easier when time passes. ;)

I really did not think I'd still be single six years later.. but that is a whole other thread!
 

Twinkle Toes

TRIBE Member
So, after suffering some anxiety at exactly this time last year, it has reared its ugly head again.

I did CBT last year and i found it to be very helpful. I went for maybe 8 sessions, as the anxiety wasn't debilitating. Fast forward one year, and its happening again... I wonder if sub consiously, I was obssessing over it being a year since my first attack?

I have been deep breating and it is really helping. I also run, spin and do yoga. However, I have never realy been a deep breather, so its hard to keep up as my body just wants to chest breathe.

My little attack was Sunday night, and i didnt sleep well at all the last 2 nights. I am very groggy and have a dull headache. However, the anxious feelings have subsided.

Has anyone experienced this? If so, i would like to hear what you did to help yourself.
 

Snuffy

TRIBE Member
Has anyone experienced this? If so, i would like to hear what you did to help yourself.
Did anything trigger it?

I decided to try sports recently. Turns out that playing hockey turns me into Mary Katherine Gallagher. CBT helped tone it down. I can now have conversations without counting my eye blinks. The worst was getting anxious about the anxiety. This song helped with that:

[YOUTUBE]xZbKHDPPrrc[/YOUTUBE]
 
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Twinkle Toes

TRIBE Member
Did anything trigger it?

I decided to try sports recently. Turns out that playing hockey turns me into Mary Katherine Gallagher. CBT helped tone it down. I can now have conversations without counting my eye blinks. The worst was getting anxious about the anxiety. This song helped with that:

[YOUTUBE]xZbKHDPPrrc[/YOUTUBE]
Just the fact that it has been exactly a year since my last attack, and I do think I was obsessing over it a little bit.

I also play softball and tennis, and they help.
 

basketballjones

TRIBE Member
i have found that simply breathing deep and not panicking when one sets in does the trick
that is it, just breath deeply
the breathing stops me from thinking
 

Snuffy

TRIBE Member
Just the fact that it has been exactly a year since my last attack, and I do think I was obsessing over it a little bit.

I also play softball and tennis, and they help.
So anxious about the anxiety? I think over a period of time I just accepted that it was there and gave in trying to stop it from happening. And then the anxiety stopped.
 

I_bRAD

TRIBE Member
So, after suffering some anxiety at exactly this time last year, it has reared its ugly head again.

I did CBT last year and i found it to be very helpful. I went for maybe 8 sessions, as the anxiety wasn't debilitating. Fast forward one year, and its happening again... I wonder if sub consiously, I was obssessing over it being a year since my first attack?

I have been deep breating and it is really helping. I also run, spin and do yoga. However, I have never realy been a deep breather, so its hard to keep up as my body just wants to chest breathe.

My little attack was Sunday night, and i didnt sleep well at all the last 2 nights. I am very groggy and have a dull headache. However, the anxious feelings have subsided.

Has anyone experienced this? If so, i would like to hear what you did to help yourself.
Apparently CBT doesn't mean what I thought it did.
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
So, after suffering some anxiety at exactly this time last year, it has reared its ugly head again.

I did CBT last year and i found it to be very helpful. I went for maybe 8 sessions, as the anxiety wasn't debilitating. Fast forward one year, and its happening again... I wonder if sub consiously, I was obssessing over it being a year since my first attack?

I have been deep breating and it is really helping. I also run, spin and do yoga. However, I have never realy been a deep breather, so its hard to keep up as my body just wants to chest breathe.

My little attack was Sunday night, and i didnt sleep well at all the last 2 nights. I am very groggy and have a dull headache. However, the anxious feelings have subsided.

Has anyone experienced this? If so, i would like to hear what you did to help yourself.
I get them too, It's like a chest contraction. Feels like a heart attack. But it's mostly stressed induced. Sucks real bad. Sort of have to sit there and just raise your arms up until it subsides. Happens once and again. Maybe 2-3 times a year, but it's really dependent on your social/professional standings.

Cheers.

Then you got your sciatica, back issues, sleep apnea. Fuck we're getting old! :) The Gym also, and regular sports play. Like something more involved like soccer makes you run alot, and keep you lean. Maybe join a rec league. Something a bit more phsyical than Yoga, which can burn more calories. Also acts as an emotional outlet, which is super important.
 
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WestsideWax

TRIBE Promoter
Anxiety sufferers also might want to have their magnesium levels checked out. Many people are deficient, and it plays a major role in the body's ability to relax.

I use this to help with muscle soreness from regular yoga practice, but I know others who swear by it as part of an anxiety reduction regimen. 2 tsp before bed for a decent night's rest, 2 in the a.m. to help keep the body relaxed throughout the day.

It does have a mild laxative effect, so if you're already prone to loose stools, you can try magnesium glycinate instead, which is evidently less disruptive to the digestive system.

Oh, and raspberry-lemon, if you do give it a go - the rest of them taste like ass.

Maybe 2-3 times a year, but it's really dependent on your social/professional standings.
No, it isn't.

The Gym also, and regular sports play. Like something more involved like soccer makes you run alot, and keep you lean. Maybe join a rec league. Something a bit more phsyical than Yoga, which can burn more calories. Also acts as an emotional outlet, which is super important.
They mentioned that they already run and take spin classes. And if you think that yoga isn't physically taxing, you've obviously never tried it. In the vinyasa class I was in on Sunday, half of the room was gasping for air from the pacing.

And what does burning calories have to do with reducing anxiety?

Also of note: Why Alcohol Causes Anxiety
 

LikeASweet

TRIBE Member
In short, Anxiety is cause by an over-active Basal Ganglia - this area of the brain sets the internal speed inside your body, it integrates your thoughts, feelings and movements together. For example, you jump when you are excited or you freeze when you experience a life threatening situation - the stimulation from the environment overwhelms this part of the brain and renders a person immobile in thought and action - the exact thing happens to those with anxiety/panic.

The goal of someone with anxiety is to calm this area of the brain. Some things that have scientifically proven to calm this area of the brain are like some have stated Diaphragmatic Breathing or Belly Breathing - little changes in our oxygen levels in our brain can have an impact on our behavior as our brain cells are very sensitive to oxygen. FOr example, when you are angry, your breathing begins to escalate, it becomes rapid and shallow, inefficient which in turn leaves you irritable, frustrated, confused and more prone to out of character behaviour - same thing happens with anxiety. Chest breathing is inefficient and does not physiologically calm this area of your brain. Belly breathing does...I get my clients to lie on their back, put a book on their stomach and the goal for the next 10 minutes is to get that book moving up and down through breathing. You want to program his sort of breathing into your muscle memory.

Other things that have be proven to slow his area of your brain are:


Meditation - 20-30 minutes a day has scientifically proven to improve mood and anxiety.

Diet - High Protien, Low Carb - Hypoglyciemia makes anxiety worse. NO alcohol and NO caffeine, alcohol is a temporary relief for anxiey, alot of alcoholics self medicate their anxiety meanwhile it makes it that much worse and before they know it, become dependant on alcohol.

CBT or Restructuring Automatic Negative Thoughts - alot of the time those who have anxiety are thinking irrationally, they set themselves up for failure through their own negative thinking and most of the time they dont even realize they are doing it. Mind Reading, Catastrophisizing, Fortune Telling, Guilt Beatings etc...are just a few ways some add to their anxiety issues. Restructuring makes the automatic more conscious which in turn will improve behaviour going forward.

Exercise - similar to belly breathing in that it improves your oxygen intake and it calms the BG - sets the revved up internal speed back to a more idle,balanced internal state.

Medication - As some have mentioned Benzo's, these are for acute instances and for those who have difficult functioning daily due to anxiety. They are addictive, do have side effects, are bad for your body and can produce a dangerous withdrawl reaction.
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
you Tard, you add to my social anxiety by joining the wolf pack on continually telling an Irish man to not consume alchohol. Or he's a looser, stupid shit. Whoever you guys want to call me today.

Get Bent, and show us more of your lovely tattoos. I'm sure each one of them is completely self serving.

I'm sure I know how my body, mental, and spiritual self works.
 
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