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Old 09-14-2016, 08:33 AM   #1
pink kitty
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Default Severe anxiety

I have had severe anxiety for most of my life. The past four years have been very bad. Have people found help from anything other than medication?
Any help or support is welcome
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:16 PM   #2
kiwi33
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My Mood: Severe anxiety
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I live with mild/moderate anxiety and am not on medication for it though I am for Major Depressive Disorder.

Three approaches have helped me with my anxiety.

(1) Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) methods. In essence CBT entails learning to notice "unhelpful" thoughts and then "challenging" them - asking "Is there any evidence for that thought?". Very often the answer is "No."- that challenge can be empowering. For example, a common kind of unhelpful thought is "catastrophising" - focusing (with no evidence) on a most unlikely worst-case possibility.

(2) Using mindfulness/meditation methods.

(3) Using deep breathing exercises - sometimes an anxiety/panic attack can be triggered by shallow breathing - breathing deeply can often help.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:37 PM   #3
Skeezyks
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Hello pink kitty: Yes, I struggle with generalized anxiety. I'm on no medications of any kind. I presume you're aware of such things as avoiding caffeine & that sort of thing. Getting plenty of physical exercise can also be helpful. I don't know if you've ever tried meditation. I personally find it difficult to just sit. Plus, too much sitting isn't healthy anyway. So what I have taken up as an alternative is walking meditation.

I also avoid violent TV programs, movies, etc. There was a science series on public television a while back titled: "The Brain with David Eagleman". One of the points Eagleman made in one of the segments was that although consciously we may understand a TV program or movie is fictional, non-conscious areas of our brain respond as if it were real. Plus, one thing I have read that is coming out of current brain research using fMRI technology is that much more of who we are, & what we do, is controlled by non-conscious areas of the brain than we would typically imagine. So, from my perspective, exposing the non-conscious areas of one's brain to repeated assaults of fictional violence is just really asking for trouble, especially if one is prone to anxiety anyway.

Oh, & then in a similar vein, I don't listen to loud music. My personal preference is chant or what is sometimes referred to as "new age". It soothes me. There's a lot one can do to just manage one's environment that will help with anxiety. And, again from my perspective, it's important to do so if anxiety is a problem & one wants to stay off medication. Therapies, including individual therapy, CBT, DBT, etc. can also help I presume. I personally have not found therapy to be useful.
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