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Thanks for this!!! And you can add another book from David Burns called "When Panic Attacks" which is more about anxiety and other disorders and it's more recent.
Link to amazon
The skills you would benefit from learning don't really lend themselves to a quick comment in a Reddit thread. Do yourself a favor and invest the time and effort (and a small amount of money) to buy and read a book by an expert on the subject.
Here's a good one, written by David Burns, M.D., a plain-spoken and compassionate therapist with several decades of experience. It's titled When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life.
You can see it here at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524105630&sr=8-1&keywords=burns+panic
Anxiety, and panic attacks, are quite common. Don't feel that there's something terribly wrong with you. But it's good to educated about what's going on with your body, and what you can do to manage these episodes. And a book like the one mentioned can take you a long way toward that goal.
Best wishes to you.
Hey! I grabbed it off of Amazon. The copy is an older edition but was untouched, fortunately.
Here's the link:
When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/076792083X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_8zy6BbXNNC11F
Therapist told me to use this in conjunction with TFGH. I figured it was a companion project by Dr. Burns; it is a separate workbook. Regardless, Dr. Burns' TFGH and this piece work well together for me.
Sorry for any confusion. Hope you dig it.
Not sure what evidence u/BenIsProbablyAngry is referring to, but Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Meta-Cognitive Therapy, and other evidence-based therapies have a high success rate with anxieties, fears, and phobias. Fear of death is just a specific example. Check out the book <em>When Panic Attacks</em> by David D. Burns.
What prompts your anxiety? Is it social situations? Thinking about divorce / custody? Financial stuff?
Fwiw, my wife's therapist recommended When Panic Attacks to learn to deal with her anxiety. It's in my audible queue.
> I haven't been able to sleep at night due to the anxiety surrounding this and starting 1st year off on the wrong foot
If you're seriously that worried, that might be very unpleasant.
As a psychology major, I would suggest that you might be able to get a lot of benefit from this self-help book. The Toronto public library owns lots of copies.
If you manage to somehow lessen your worries, you can sleep better.
You can also get free drop-in counselling from WoodGreen (in Toronto), from the What's Up walk-in clinic network (in Toronto). You could try the York counselling office, too, but I suspect that they can't see you until your studies actually begin.
Daytime exercise can also be helpful for nighttime insomnia.
If we think of any other anxiety-related suggestions, I wonder if you would want those too.
Yikes. Honestly, that is pretty weird. Please be aware that your parents may be contributing to your social anxiety. Are you able to see a therapist again? Maybe a different one if the first one wasn't helpful?
This book by a preeminent psychologist might be helpful too.
Hey, from a personal experience I can relate to some symptoms she experiences.
I tried one SSRI's and a similar drug and got bad experience with them.
What really helped (way way more than I thought) was reading that book:
When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/076792083X/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_K3HRJ84KGQR33PARH5WZ
The author gives some insight in anxiety in general and the whole book is basically a Cbt-self-help therapy.
It's also written in a really motivative style which I think is pretty productive if you suffer from any strong anxiety disorder.
From a personal experience I would also (like the author) recommend "flooding" as the most effective simple technique which works much faster than you would expect.
I nearly agree with everything he writes, for example that breathing techniques were pretty counter productive and that you just have to surrender to your anxiety when you experience strong anxiety.
I know that basically just saying: "just read that self-help-book" sounds a little bit scammy but I never had anything close helpful.
I really, really think it's worth the money and (from my experience) the most effective and fast help that you can get besides seeing a psychiatrist.
Well then, I'd say you're going to have to logic your way out of this one.
There's a book called "When Panic Attacks" by David D. Burns: https://www.amazon.com/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X
It's a book on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Some people find that they can teach CBT to themselves via this book.
After readying this book, you should be able to spot the flaws in your logic and possibly relieve your anxiety.
Though I still think you should seek professional help as soon as you possibly can.
Have you talked to your doctor about it yet?
For acute anxiety (panic attacks), you can talk to your doctor about benzodiazepams (aka. benzos). They work great in the short-term; but are habit forming, long-term. So there's some risk there.
You can also try L-Theanine (200mg) if you'd prefer to try an over-the-counter supplement. It's an amino acid extracted from green tea. It's widely considered quite safe.
For more generalized anxiety, I've found that finding the right SSRI helps gradually reverse the anxiety. Of course, the challenge is finding the right SSRI. What works great for one person may be dreadful for the next. (Personally, I had to try 4 anti-depressants before settling on a 5th that works really well.)
There are all kinds of therapy for anxiety. CBT and DBT are the big ones. Talk therapy seems to help, too.
The book When Panic Attacks is also a good book to try, if you can't afford therapy.
Highly recommend CBT for anxiety. It teaches you to identify the underlying beliefs behind your anxiety thoughts and feelings, and retrain those beliefs with ones that more precisely reflect reality.
You can learn it from a therapist or a book.
When Panic Attacks by David Burns is a great book to start with (not just for capital-A Anxiety and panic attacks; it's also helpful for garden-variety low grade anxiety).
It's all good.
Have you heard of Dr. David Burns? He's written great stuff on anxiety.
Check out his website "Feeling Good."
Because we don't live with the same threats our ancestors did but we still have the same energy.
Here's a great book by doctor David Burns. He is great with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
I used to work for a government health agency where they did research on Xanax. I would not recommend it because it is so addictive, especially if you have daily panic attacks. I actually found that CBD oil helped my panic attacks a lot, and it's not addictive. I also worked with a therapist to identify my triggers and by limiting my triggers I was able to reduce the numbers of panic attacks I got. For example, fluorescent lights trigger panic attacks for me because I noticed my panic attacks start when my vision blurs from eye strain, so I started turning off the lights in my office and I brought in my own lamps to work. This helped a lot! Lastly, I recommend reading "When Panic Attacks". I found that book to be really helpful. I urge you to consider other options before you take Xanax daily just because it's a pretty terrible, addictive drug.
Therapy can really help with this! It may seem like a major hurdle, but maybe it'll be your biggest key to success! There are lots of online therapy options right now. If that's not an option financially for you - I highly recommend reading When Panic Attacks by David Burns. It's a FANTASTIC resource to help you work to manage and overcome anxiety. It has helped me immensely.
And if the voices in your head are telling you that you won't succeed - just remember: thoughts are stories, not truths. You can reject your thoughts like you reject a telemarketer.
In the United States mental health professionals treat anxiety & depression with both medication and talk therapy, not medication alone. The belief is that medication helps reverse messed up brain physiology and that a person's thinking habits re-mess up that physiology if left to go on for too long. In other words, you have to change how you think about things and how you react.
When Panic Attacks by Dr. David Burns is a self help cognitive therapy book that will teach how to change your thinking.
Be warned, for it to work you have to do the exercises often, like jogging. Several times a week at least, if not every day in the beginning.
You may also need more help than self-help.
Given that you have been suffering for a while you might be best off getting hooked up with a good therapist while you use this book on your own ( to teach yourself self care ) and communicate with your therapist about your experiences.
There are a lot of great breathing/focusing tips here but I thought I'd chime in with a more long-term fix for preventing the panic in the first place. I saw a therapist for a couple years for panic attacks and she turned me onto this book and this doctor's CBT techniques that have been proven effective. It helps you understand where the anxiety is coming from and change your thinking. Hope you find relief!
You may find this book helpful. If not all you have to lose is about $8 and some time reading it :)
You should read this book: https://www.amazon.com/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X
Exposure Therapy (kind of what you did when you laid out there) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) really can work quite well for this sort of thing.
Well, that's why I suggested that book, first.
If you've never taken an SSRI before, I can understand your concern. I've tried 5 and they were all a bit different and still kind of the same.
They have different side effects, but the main effect is primarily similar: Thoughts don't race around and repeat over and over. And also, the "floor" on your emotional range tends to be lifted so that if you're down, you're less down.
The major downside to many of these SSRIs is that the "ceiling" to your emotional range can be lowered.
Naturally, when you go off the SSRI, the range returns (or if you lower the dose, the range widens.)
Think of SSRIs as a cast for your mind (instead of for your leg or arm). High dose SSRI is like a hard cast on your body part in question, medium dose SSRI is like a more flexible cast, low dose is like an Ace bandage. You're trading off emotional stability for emotional flexibility and vice-versa.
Btw, are you still getting enough exercise? I find that regular hard exercise does wonders for one's mood.
Thanks, Dr Steve! My neighbor is a MSW with connections in the field and she herself treats severely disturbed teens who self-harm. Different behavioral bucket but all stem from mental health issues so I've asked her for some resources until I can find a board certified, PhD.
I will check out the link for the breathing as well.
I also found a "cognitive therapy for dummies" workbook that had some good activities in it but haven't purchased. This book was also highly rated on Amazon so I might give that a try as well.
When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/076792083X/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_R1Ozvb0AWG4G1
At my core I am very competitive - so I'm going to try to use that to my advantage to beat this. But as the child of an alcoholic mom, who was mentally ill and emotionally abusive, I know that can lead to the need to be a perfectionist, which is probably contributing to my fears as well.
I know I'm farther ahead simply by working with my primary to ask for help and take steps to add the CBT....now I just have to follow the plan and be patient and confident that results will happen. :)
I will keep you posted and thanks again! :)
>(for example, I'll be thinking something normal like 'Oh look, that person is playing with their kid!' and then immediately 'What if I'm only thinking about them because I want to lure them into the woods and murder them? What if I'm secretly a murderer?'), and just will NOT STOP
:-( My ex-bf goes through something like this. Have you tried CBT? You need to work on it every single day for several months.
Is therapy your only treatment for your anxiety? I hate saying this because I've been in a similar position (albeit not as severe), but sometimes you have to push yourself through the anxiety. My therapist recommended the book When Panic Attacks by David Burns and it has really helped me.
Above all else get therapy.
Also do these self care things ( what works for anxiety will also work for depression and vice-versa )
When Panic Attacks" by Dr. David Burns - Self-help guide to reducing anxiety or depression through cognitive therapy
"The Healing Power Of The Breath" - clinically developed and researched breathing exercise proven to reduce depression and anxiety
strenuous regular exercise
good nutrition ( whole grain products, legumes, fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, minimize junk, get enough protein, b-vitamins )
Square Breathing - A breathing technique to reduce panic
Lavender oil capsules ( approved for the treatment of anxiety in Germany)
One thing that helped me with my anxiety issues was doing the exercises in the David Burns book "When Panic Attacks." It's basically cognitive therapy that you self-administer through doing simple written exercises. Because you do it yourself, it's free and available to you at any time.
This is the book: (not an affiliate link):
My depression was caused by a medication I was on, but I suffered a lot even after I got off of it. Here are some tools that I wished I had (I was 15 at the time and had very little support):
>Does this sound like classic TMI stage 4 purifications? My equanimity is quite good on retreat and I don’t really have panic symptoms in daily life, rather some mild social anxiety.
Quite possibly. Or "existential anxiety" aka fear of (ego) death, which we are normally very good at avoiding in daily life through keeping busy and overstimulated.
>When I investigate chest sensations non-judgmentally they tend to swell and move, they always seem ready to burst upwards but there's little sense it's opening the heart area. Is this just the process of heart chakra opening?
Maybe, I don't know. Chakras are a weird concept IMO. I've definitely had bundles of sensations in many, but not all, of the standard chakra locations, on Goenka retreats mostly. And I don't know what to make of them in terms of meaning-making. Noticing sensations non-judgmentally is always a good idea though. :)
>Should I cultivate piti more to gladden my mind? I tend to get early stage piti moreso on the out breath.
I don't know about cultivating piti, but gladdening the mind never hurts. Definitely increasing your equanimity seems like it could be beneficial. Despite saying your equanimity is "quite good on retreat" you also say that the experience was "traumatizing," but my experience is that things are only "traumatizing" to my nervous system when I have insufficient equanimity. I went through a 2.5 hour dental procedure, awake, with lots of drilling and yanking of my teeth and copious amounts of blood and pain and it was not traumatizing at all because I had really good equanimity during that event, yet I've had minor disagreements with people that I could not shake for weeks or months because my equanimity was so low.
>Should I respect my trauma, or whatever ‘this’ is, and avoid longer retreats for now?
That's up to you. If you feel that is best, trust your own wisdom. Goenka retreats are particularly hard core, and there are also less intense options.
>Does this sound normal for someone with a history of anxiety and trauma?
Sounds like classic symptoms of panic attacks. See When Panic Attacks by Dr. David Burns, really good CBT approach to panic. I'd recommend working with that alongside meditation. Perhaps also practice some gratitude that you don't experience this in daily life too. :)
>Should I find a teacher, or should I find a therapist experienced in the intersection of trauma and vipassana?
Probably a good idea. I'm not a meditation teacher, but I do hypnosis and I have some ideas of things that might be useful. But find someone you resonate with.
>Is this classic dark night territory? Is increased metta meditation enough of an antidote to this? I struggle somewhat with generating metta but have a firm intention to persevere.
Metta is never a bad idea. :) I personally would recommend something like Core Transformation, which is in my opinion a kind of metta that also leads to change of specific issues.
>Is it normal to have such strong energetic phenomena and intense sensations of panic even though my thoughts are quite calm and I’m not spiralling into story/narrative worry?
Very normal...or is it? Dun dun dun, tune in next time to find out! Just kidding, yea the body can do really weird stuff, and there isn't always any content to it.
>It’s tough for me to have much metta or see too many fruits from the practice when I encounter such distracting/strong experiences from my chest area and I’m so aware of my heart.
Again, this is a classic symptom of panic attacks. I'd put it this way: meditating brings up panic attacks for you. You are able to sit through them with a fair degree of equanimity, but they keep happening. There are ways to work with this. You are not broken or weird, ok maybe a little weird but so is everybody interested in hard core meditation haha. I'm certainly pretty weird. And yes, be gentle and kind to yourself and don't push through like a madman necessarily, but also don't avoid meditation entirely out of fear of panic attacks (that's also a symptom of panic attacks, avoiding things that cause them, which makes them worse). Find a middle path.
Thank you for sharing. You are not alone, I promise. <3
You're living in credit card float, which is technically debt, but the most worrying thing is that your therapist is in denial about healthy financial habits. Maxing out your credit card is not financially or emotionally healthy. Shopping to fill avoid is not healthy either. Let's talk about the emotional side first because it is the most important.
I made a post last month that asked the question: Who were you before you shopped?
It's not an easy question to answer. Some of us may not even remember who we used to be because shopping could have been a part of our lives for years, even in childhood. But, I'm sure that there was a version with you that did not always turn to shopping for a sense of worth, comfort, happiness, and fulfillment. Also, I'm certain that you existed at some point in time without feeling empty.
Let's answer the question - who were you before you shopped?
Did you like reading as a teen? Did you paint as a child? Did you love animals? Volunteering? Did you care about the environment? Politics? Did you enjoy learning new things or going on adventures? What made you feel alive, invincible, strong, and utterly yourself?
Look back on the youthful version of yourself because that's usually where our true loves hide. Look for things that you ADORED, that DEFINED you and your morals. I'm certain there was something, anything. Do that thing today. Do that thing every single time you think about shopping, feel negative, feel empty or alone or bored. You need to bring back your love for yourself and for the things that made you who you are.
(As a side note, if you never had feelings like this toward a passion or an activity - that is okay, you are not alone! :) You get to start the MOST exciting journey now. You get the chance to figure out what you actually love!!! Make a list of things that make you happy, make a list of things that don't make you happy. Figure out how to make the things that make you happy on your list a more central focus in your life.
For example, if you wrote down: family, eating fun food, travel in the makes you happy column. Plan a date with a family member and make it a monthly rotation so you can look forward to it. For food, what was the best thing you ate that you loved? Figure out the recipe and perfect it until it's your own. Enjoy traveling? Look into a road trip idea, make it happen, don't wish to do things, do them.)
((If you're still feeling stuck, ask the people close to you what you're good at, do you make people laugh a lot? Maybe take a comedy class or start a blog with humor! Are you kind and always there for people? Volunteer in your area and give back some of that love!))
A second question worth asking - what caused you to feel empty?
Was the emptiness sudden or after a specific event? Did a breakup, new job, or new place of living trigger this? Was it gradual because life happened and you neglected taking care of yourself in emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally stimulating ways and shopping was just easier? Maybe, you feel bored? Alone? There are cures for this, new friends or passions can really help in this area. You have to give yourself the opportunity to try!
Finally, your therapist, as I mentioned above, is likely unaware of their own credit card float and is not able to support you in getting out of it. This is okay because they're not a financial manager and they can't be responsible for the way people manage finances. However, look into a different therapist because you're telling them you feel an issue is going on but they're ignoring it. They should be trying to support you in your journey to not feel empty inside. Any therapist that fails to identify compulsive behavior to fill a void (such as shopping when feeling empty) is not doing a good thing for their patients. Look for a CBT therapist that could help work on identifying better coping habits for you when you get the urge to buy things. Check out this book by Dr. David Burns who is a renowned TEAM therapist and has contributed excellent methods to CBT therapy. (I have been to his clinic and worked with doctors under his teachings, it really does help to learn real techniques that talk therapy simply does not provide). **I DO NOT GET PAID OR ANYTHING TO PROMOTE THIS AT ALL, just worthy information.
Now, financially - to get out of credit card float, you need to first address all of the emotions and hidden root causes as mentioned above. Then, after you feel like you can try to give up shopping as a way to cope with your emptiness, check out some of these personal finance resources. Credit card float is common and never actually acknowledged as an issue. Paying bills but living in a cycle of owing your credit lender is not good.
Start with this video from Dave Ramsey because it closely mimics your situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np5i5oWfqAo
Check out YNAB, every dollar, r/personalfinance. Get off of your credit cards, start paying for things in cash (if you can't afford to, there's your issue), and use extra money to put into savings. Try a no-buy, join a support group, continue coming back here.
"He who buys what he does not need, will someday need what he cannot buy".
This book help me with similar issues in the past. When Panic Attacks
Cognitive behavioral therapy, which you can do at home with a workbook like Dr. David Burns' When Panic Attacks.
NAH you are doing what you can to feel in control of your life but it sounds like you never had a chance to learn healthy coping mechanisms for stress and are being extra hard on yourself to compensate. It also sounds like you have a preconceived misconception about what therapy entails. The purpose of it isn't always to get all touchy feely and kumbaya with your feelings, it's to find more efficient strategies to cope with them. Immersion therapy, which you are doing for yourself, is one such method. A therapist, who deals with stuff like this all day everyday and has more knowledge and insight on the general topic than you do, will have other strategies that you would otherwise not think of on your own, and which you may find useful. Or you may not. If you think you already know what your problems are and how to deal with them, great: you just saved yourself and the therapist a lot of time and energy and can skip to the next steps of strategy and implementation.
If you're having anxiety attacks over making a sandwich, I think that's great that you can talk yourself through that and figure out a way to solve that issue for yourself. And I think there's more going on than the sandwich, you know what I mean? There's a significant chance that things like this are going to keep blindsiding you if you can't get to the bottom of it, and it may not even be that complicated to resolve. If you feel strongly that you want to continue this process on your own, at the very least get yourself some guidance from books such as When Panic Attacks by David D Burns, which can give you a framework of how to view what you're going through, and plethora of strategies to cherry pick for your personal needs, without requiring deepdiving into your past if you don't want to.
It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders so I think you can appreciate that you wouldn't assume you know more than a doctor of mathematics just because you figured out how to add and subtract on you own. Similarly, consider that a doctor of psychology might have some useful insight, and it costs you nothing but what, an hour a week to find out? What are you worried will happen if you go?
Dealing with Painful Emotions, Anxiety, Depression, or Panic Attacks(Though some resources are Buddhist the content is secular and down to Earth)
Book:"When Panic Attacks" by Dr. David Burns - NOT Buddhism. Self-help guide to reducing anxiety or depression through cognitive therapy - reframing your thoughts
Square Breathing - NOT Buddhism. A breathing technique to reduce panic
Book: "The Healing Power Of The Breath" - clinically developed and researched breathing exercise proven to reduce depression and anxiety
I was a varsity swimmer and tennis player when diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at 15 and was told to stop all sports. In high school it felt like the end of the world but then again so does pretty much everything.
Was not diagnosed with heart failure until 20 and my anxiety began shortly after that. It was so physical a sensation (dizziness, shortness of breath, derealization) that I assumed it was heart-related and it took a while to figure out what was happening. Arrhythmias and panic attacks feel very, very similar, which does not help the panic disorder at all.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helped me a lot (this workbook in particular), though eventually I was diagnosed with PTSD (right around your age) and went on medication for a time.
I spent a long time being kind of lazy and in some kind of denial/ignorance of the restrictions necessary for managing CHF and I believe it did quite a bit of damage. After a traumatic appointment in May of 2019, during which my cardiologist told me I should be talking to a heart failure doctor and be thinking about a heart transplant eventually, I changed much of my lifestyle. I am able to manage my condition mostly holistically with diet (no sodium at all — get yourself a food processor and start making all your own condiments), exercise (I walk a lot and do pole dance, which I wish I had found years and years ago, I would've been so much more motivated to stay in shape), acupuncture, and some other hippie stuff. And Lasix as needed. (I've been on Atenolol and Mexiletine for the HCM since the diagnosis 20 years ago.) Still not great at prioritizing stress reduction, which I am working on. And I'm still somewhat limited by the HCM but my EF is 58%.
One thing that definitely helps me feel more in control is to keep a spreadsheet of weight, exercise I've done that day, everything I've eaten, any medication changes, any significant symptoms, blood pressure reading if I take it, etc. Not only does it keep you more aware of everything you're consuming but it ultimately gives you a lot of data to revisit if need be.
The anxiety was the toughest thing for me (as I think it must be for most people with heart stuff, the symptoms of which can be so similar), as well as the shift in identity that has to happen when you go from being a carefree young thing to realizing some of your dreams may have to change a bit. CBT from a book is something you can start very cheaply right away from home and I can't recommend that particular book highly enough. It's good to be connecting with people on Reddit also. I didn't really have anyone to talk to about this all those years ago. (Everybody on the forums I found was like 70+.) Happy to chat with you anytime about anything you think will help, our situations sound somewhat similar.
Have you tried CBT therapy books, like this one...
When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life
Over 50% of people die from cardiovascular diseases now, usually not until they are in their 70s. Liver failure is very unlikely to be the reason you die unless you are a heavy drinker.
Cheese may even be cardioprotective (good for your heart) because of vitamin K, I just read a study about it a few weeks ago. The saturated fat may not be the best though. A heart attack may ultimately be something to watch for (but not be anxious about) given how common these things are, but not typically until you're old. Just for reference, the average age for a first heart attack in men is 64.
You didn't mention your age, but no matter how old you are now, you still have time to start exercising a little every day and build up an exercise habit. You have time to start eating healthier, maybe just starting with getting a healthy breakfast first, then once that is a habit a healthy lunch too, and once that is solid then also a healthy dinner. Even if you did have a heart attack, after the doctors would say "start exercising and eat right." This will be much easier now than after decades of neglecting your body.
Can you physically walk? Then start with a 10 minute walk once a day. That's it. See if you can do it for 30 days straight. By that point you'll have the habit of exercising. If you're having fun, you can walk longer, maybe 30 minutes a day, which by the way is what is recommended for heart health--30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week. But just do it 7 days a week to make it a habit. If you feel like doing more, you can, but always get your 10+ minute walk in every day. You'll feel much better about yourself and your health anxiety will go down. Eventually you will positively crave your daily walk, you will want to push yourself to walk faster, or maybe even start running, or doing some pushups and situps and so on. But don't start off too ambitious--start slow, build the habit for life.
Second, get this book. It will help you with your anxiety if you read it slowly and do the exercises. You don't even need to read the whole thing, just find some parts that make sense to you and do those exercises. This will really help you to calm down.
Best of luck!
when panic attacks
This book changed my life
It looks from here like trazodone is more popular than competing antidepressants. Possible side effects of trazodone are listed here. You won't experience every side effect. And, even if you do experience a side effect, it may diminish with time.
Trazodone can also reduce anxiety and depression.
Alcohol withdrawal can cause temporary insomnia. It's up to you whether or not it's worth seeking trazodone (at least for a few days). But trazodone definitely might help to reduce the insomnia.
If you wish, you can get a prescription, fill it for $4, then decide later on whether or not to actually try the drug.
> Earlier this year, I tried to go to therapy for my Complex-PTSD and the therapist literally told me I had too many problems and she couldn’t treat me.
Oh. :( I hope she recommended someone else.
> I haven’t been able to work in several months because the anxiety and trauma make it hard to walk into the grocery store or get out of bed, let alone apply to a job somewhere.
Here's a list of anxiety-friendly jobs. When you eventually go back to work, the list might be useful.
I clicked on your user profile. If you're still in an abusive living situation, please keep in mind that there are quite a few domestic-violence shelter beds around — and that you can live there for free.
A) Anxiety and addiction can isolate a person. Currently, do you have any friends? If not, do you have a partner and/or some family members who you hang out with sometimes?
B) [Edit: Methadone treatment may reduce heroin cravings.] It also might (or might not) help to reduce anxiety, depression, and insomnia. But it may cause various side effects, and the frequency of clinic visits can be a hassle. Also, it can be too painful to quit it unless you gradually taper your dose down to zero. Have you ever tried methadone?
C) Even a few months of DBT can be helpful. What did you think of it? What made you quit it?
Maybe you might want to read some therapy self-help manual, such as <u>When Panic Attacks</u> (which teaches CBT). You might find it easier to do the exercises together with someone else, such as a friend or family member who also has anxiety. If you have trouble getting out of bed, you could keep the book (and a lamp) next to your bed, so that at least you can read in bed.
Try this: https://www.amazon.com/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X
From the wiki at
Dealing with Painful Emotions, Anxiety, Depression, or Panic Attacks
The book, "When Panic Attacks" did wonders for me. https://smile.amazon.com/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X?sa-no-redirect=1
After you have learned basic meditation you might find this post on Meditating on difficult emotions helpful.
Dr. David Burns, one of the top psychological proponents for cognitive therapy wrote a self help book for people suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, called When Panic Attacks.
I think the trap with cognitive therapy is that it doesn't work when you use the analysis exercises to dodge feeling your feelings.
FWIW, the German government approved lavender oil as a treatment for anxiety. It was found to be as strong as the weaker benzo based anti-anxiety drugs, but with no dependency and no side effects. You can do your own Googling on it, but you can get pharmaceutical grade lavender oil capsules on amazon
"When Panic attacks" and "Feeling Good" were absolutely essential for me in addressing my anxiety issues and depression'esque symptoms that would pop up from time to time. I noticed that once these moods would set in, I would lose all interest in whoever I was dating and they had done nothing in particular that could have possibly made me feel this way. It was obvious that the issue was with me and it was potentially emotional in nature since I would have sleepless nights due to my heartrate sky-rocketing.
Reading these two books helped me address A LOT of issues related to my emotions and it has helped me have a more healthy relationship with myself; which has allowed me to have a more healthy relationship with other people.
I think most folks don't realize that you are unable to properly open up and care about another person until you take care of the issues you are struggling with. It won't be obvious but emotional troubles potentially do stop you from getting truly close with anyone.
Links to the books:
Hey, you should read this book in the meantime, it's about CBT for things like social anxiety and panic attacks, and it's proven to actually help if you practice the techniques.
There was a study that took people with social anxiety and had them do a 9 week self directed online CBT course, and they found that afterwards they all had actual physical brain changes in the parts of their brains associated with fear, and had less anxiety. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160202185552.htm
CBT has been shown to work better than medications, and especially in the long run, because you are learning workable skills and changing your brain in the process.
I wish you the best of luck!
One part of dealing with it is to learn about panic attacks and reasons behind them. Here are couple books about it:
When Panic Attacks
Panic Attacks Workbook
Also dropping caffeine and learning to meditate is really good.
One major thing I would recommend is this book about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety and panic: http://www.amazon.com/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X
CBT really does work. There was a recent study where a group of people woth social anxiety did just 9 weeks of a self taught online CBT course, and they found that it had actually induced structural changes in the regions of their brain associated with anxiety and fear, and the people said it helped them out as well: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160202185552.htm
Hopefully it can work for this too.
> Do you mind me asking if you struggle with this?
I used to.
It's a footnote now. I think the only thing I double-check any more is if I locked the door on the way out of my house. And I count how many times I check. If I'm about to exceed 2 checks, I say "fuck it" and move on. And then I focus my attention on whatever I'm doing or is coming up next. It takes practice.
That's hard to change, I realize. I remember having more serious OCD. So I know what it's like. It's this strange hindrance. But you can change it. The more you change it, the easier it gets, and the less you're likely to relapse into it.
You may also want to look into CBT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy
Since you posted this to /r/anxiety, I'm going to say you should check out this book: http://www.amazon.com/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X
It's a CBT book centered around Anxiety. The author has another CBT book which focuses more on Depression, but they're quite similar to each other.
Meditation is a useful tool. Progress tends to be very slow. So don't expect a lot in the beginning. What I can tell you that is amazing is once you've established a practice and actually know what it is like to have a calm and serene mind, it's easier to get back there.
Often times when your mind is in the weeds, you can re-center (and quiet) your mind because you know what it's like to be there and it's easier to find. Still, it does take a lot of practice, like any real skill.
Try reading this book.http://www.amazon.com/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X. It's not just for those who suffer panic attacks. It can help people who suffer social anxieties and anxieties and phobias in general. Good luck.
link for the executive function challened. How is it? The description sounds kind of cheezy
You should look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you can self teach out of a book and it can be pretty effective for social anxiety, at least from what I've read.
For example, check this study out, a group of people with social anxiety where put through a 9 week CBT training program that they took online, and afterwards, they found that physical changes had occurred in the parts of their brain associated with processing fear, linked to a reported reduction in anxiety: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160202185552.htm
You can self teach CBT for anxiety with this book: https://www.amazon.com/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X
CBT has different components. The cognitive part is about challenging your thinking patterns. The behavioral part is about challenging your behavioral patterns, and can include things like gradated exposure therapy.
Of course, its never easy when we're talking about changing deeply held things like anxiety. No therapy can work out perfectly what you should do, and everyone's brain is different. But the message I would try to give you to take home is that it is possible to change and overcome these things. So you shouldn't give up, keep trying.