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a.k.a. Diaphramatic breathing and/or Meditation
Visualization... changing my thoughts...
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I decided to go on Lexapro about two months ago after my anxiety grew to be too much to bear. I was having panic attacks 3+ times a day for almost two months. So far the medication has really been helping. I also starting practicing Bikram yoga again a little over a month ago and have gone every day for the last 22 days. I truly believe that this is responsible for at least half of the improvement in my condition. The exercise is amazingly helpful, as is the breathing. But I think there is something more that you get from doing yoga that is a little hard to explain. I'm coming upon 2 weeks since my last panic attack and I feel amazing. My anxiety level has decreased in general and I am now able to work through the panic attacks when they do happen. This type of yoga has taught me to acknowledge what is happening in my body and my mind during a panic attack but not react to it. I am able to focus on my breath and within minutes, sometimes seconds it is gone and it doesn't afftect the rest of my day/night. I don't live in fear of the next occurrance because I know I will be okay. I have practiced other styles of yoga and have never been able to do this until now. I am truly grateful for this as I feel like I am able to be free, and to be happy in my daily life like in a way that was not possible before. I have decided to stay on the Lexapro for the full 9 months that my doctor recommended but I am hoping that after this time I will be able to go free of medication.
Most of the time my medication works but I also use breathing, try to do exercise every second day and actively work on my stress triggers as follows: doing too many things that are not essential, sitting in the computer for long stretches, thinking about the future.
I plan my day to have only 2 or 3 activities apart from the routine unavoidable ones, write them down in a little book to cross out the excess ones. I set an alarm in my computer to only sit for fixed periods of time like 1/2 hour or an hour and I challenge my negative thoughts.
I also go out to change the mood and face the fear and not stay at home idle with my thoughts or I make a phone call.It needs constant vigilance because I slip into it very easily.
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Cardio 5 times a week; Pilates once a week.
Mindfulness meditation 6 times a week at least.
talk myself through it, and help myself realize even if it feels awful and scarey to have an attack its not going to hurt me. I read experiences from others and try to take their advice as well on working through it. And I also have to take medication to help take the ease off.
Edited by: TAWNIE29 at: 1/25/2009 (07:25)
It's never too late. I appreciate the tips and advice. Thanks!
Please forgive my late respnse....better late than never I hope. I am 31 and have been dealing with anxiety since I was a teenager. I have been through many medications, since I also have bipolar disorder. Medications are helpful and are needed. However, no amount of medication can take away the anxiety. I know you realize that already as you are asking for ways to cope.
For myself I have found seeing a therapist very helpful, along with doing deep breathing exercises that I have learned from group therapy. One breathing exercise I especially like is the breathing loop. You take a deep breath and slowing breath out and then count that as 1.....repeat...count 2. Do this to 10 and then count backwards. Does that make sense? I am not always good at explaining things clearly.
A book that was recommended to me is a book by Thomans Marra....I believe it is called "Depressed and Anxious." It is a workbook and I have heard great things about it. I would like to get one myeself as I think it would be helpful.
I hope you have a great weekend! It's great to have you here on the team.
Cynthia~~~ A follower of Jesus Christ!!
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I just wanted to say thank you to everybody for their suggestions.
I have GAD. I take Citaloprahm. It seems to help. I also do breathing exercises making sure to breathe from my diaphragm not my chest.
One of the things that I suffer with my anxiety is driving on highways (not sure why or how that started because I used to drive 6-8 hours by myself on the interstate to Cleveland and back and lived in Cleveland for 6 years and drove interstate all the time) but now it gives me severe panic attacks. I got a book called the Driving Fear program and would recommend it to anyone that has anxiety. Go to Drivingfear.com (I think that is it, if not, it should get you there still)
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I've been struggling with anxiety for several years, but earlier this year I finally got some help for it. I saw a psychiatrist who put me on Celexa, and started seeing a therapist every week. My psych also prescribed xanax for times when I'm feeling really anxious and panicky. I've also learned in therapy to do some breathing exercises that help me try to calm myself down.
Our lives can change with every breath we take.
I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and major depression. I take Lexapro. My therapist has taught me a couple of things to help me reduce anxiety. One is meditation and one is breathing techniques. They help. I also go to talk to the therapist every couple of weeks.
Linda - Florida
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At different times in my life I had to deal with anxiety and the last period, I went to the doctor and was put on Eflexor. I stayed on it for a year, saw a mental health nurse/counsellor and then went off the med. I continued to do the strategies that I learned in counselling and sometimes I fell flat - such as waking up in a cold sweat, sick to my stomach and unable to leave my home. I am fortunate in that I have sick leave in my job, so I'd call in sick, spoil myself and by the next day I'd be fine.
My friend recommends this book and I bought it. It's cheap and easy to read. Very simplistic and yet, really packs a positive punch - "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway."
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I was just diagnosed with anxiety/depression a couple of weeks ago by my doctor. I am currently taking Celexa in the morning and until the Celexa kicks in (usually about 4 to 6 weeks) my doctor has me taking Ativan 0.5mg at night. The meds are helping me, but at first, it got worse and now I'm doing much better. I've been taking the meds for less than 3 weeks. I am reading 2 books right now and they are really great. "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" by Claire Weekes and "The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)" by Martha Davis, et al. I really recommend the first book. I've also signed up for 2 classes through my HMO "Stress" and "Anxiety" which I'll be taking next month. Then there is another 8 session course I want to take. My ultimate goal is to use the tools I've learned to control my anxiety without meds. I haven't really gotten far with dealing with my anxiety besides meds and breathing - I hope to learn more at the classes. My doctor has been really patient and great with me. I was also referred to a behavior medicine specialist through my HMO he is a social worker. I saw him a week after I was diagnosed. He has me exercising 3 days a week either M W F or T TH S making sure to get at least 45 min of cardio those days, and on the 4 days in between he said to do something fun like go to the park, take a dance class, etc. He said the effects from the cardio days will carry over to the next day. He said that the ultimate goal is to get me off the meds and for me to use the tools I've learned to get through.
I didn't think I needed help either - I could do it on my own. But I was a basket case - not a great way to live. I was against getting meds, but now I'm glad I did. This was I can concentrate more on how to conquer my anxiety in other ways. I wish you the best and hope you get the help you need.
Hello everybody I am new to the team. I'm 27 and I have an anxiety disorder. I have known that I had it for many years but I thought I didn't need help. But now I am actually going to go to the doctor to do something about it. I am going to get help.
So I was just curious to know what some of you did to reduce your anxiety(exercises, breathing, tips or any medication that has helped)?