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Old 06-17-2012, 02:50 AM   #1
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Tips for Coping with Anxiety & Panic

I started getting severe panic attacks in my early 20's. The condition has lessened some over the years into anxiety attacks, and they don't hit me as often as they used to. My doctor said he rarely sees "little old ladies" with panic/anxiety, indicating that it can burn-out as the years roll by.

Here are a few of the things I found to be helpful when I felt an attack coming on: I would say (or think) the same mantra or prayer over & over in my head, which would literally block out my irrational thoughts, such as, "I'm going to die". I'd crank my favorite music and try to focus only on that, even though it was difficult. I'd sing along to distract myself; distraction in almost any form can lessen the awful feelings and thoughts. Basic hatha yoga was really helpful -- if you don't know it, controlled, deep breaths, and long, gentle stretches are the essence of it. It really helps to relax the body as well as the mind, and yoga can help one to control their mental focus greatly. Sometimes, when I'd hear my mind spinning-out with anxiety, I'd kind of argue back to myself, "don't be faked-out by this attack, you've been through this before". Hot baths were also helpful to some extent; again, relaxing the muscles and the mind.

I know benzodiazepines are considered controversial by many, but they saved my life! When I just couldn't cope with my panic attacks, my psychiatrist Rx'd them to me. I was glad my doctor prescribed them "PRN" (take as needed -- up to a certain limit, of course). That way, since I didn't have this disorder every single day, I didn't dose daily, and my body didn't get as addicted to the drug as it could have, had I taken it daily. (Obviously, this is an individual matter to be discussed with a physician.)

Anxiety/Panic is one nuisance of a disorder -- it can get so scary. But the bad feelings and thoughts pass, and I hope you've found a helpful tip here.

 
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