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Old 08-08-2006, 09:29 AM   #1
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Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

My husband is suffering from GAD and Panic attacks. He has trouble breathing while at work and in enclosed areas. He hates his job( he has been employed there for 27 years} He has been taking only natural supplements such as st johns wort, sam-e, 5htp, L theanine, passion flower, valerium etc. He met with a phsyiatrist yesterday and he was offered lexapro. My husband is hesitant because of the sexual side effects. He is trying emdr therapy and cognative behavior therapies. Has anyone had any experience or success with therapy alone and no drugs? Please help, he is robbing my peace and happiness and he needs to make a good decision.

 
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:10 AM   #2
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Re: Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

i was dx with GAD and PTSD a few years ago. i do take a klonopin on occassion if it's really a bad attack. i found thereapy to be my biggest help. I needed to learn ways to deal with the hurtful idiots of the world. it still amazes me how horrible people treat people.

 
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:16 PM   #3
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Re: Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

Cbt has helped me by far more than anything else I have tried and I went through a lot of different meds and therapies in the past. I am med free and feeling good these days but you need to work at the cbt exercises to get them to become ingrained. I still do the tea form exercise almost daily to keep in practise. Best of luck to your husband.

 
Old 08-08-2006, 04:43 PM   #4
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Re: Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

What is the "tea form" exercise? I start CBT with a new therapist tomorrow.....figures I'm even anxious abut THAT!

 
Old 08-12-2006, 08:04 AM   #5
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Re: Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

I think therapy is always worth a shot. That said, I've been through years of all sorts of therapy---everything from CBT (which I believe helps somewhat, it gives you some techniques you can take away and use in real life) to EMDR to group talk therapy and many things inbetween. Everything worked great for a session or two (that's common, one can have a placebo effect not just from medication, but from therapies as well) then didn't seem to have much of an effect. Overall, perhaps I AM better for having had all this therapy and I just don't know it! The most helpful thing for me has been regular and consistent exercise. If you're too anxious to exercise, that can be a problem, but if you're not, get out there and move. There are studies that compare the effectiveness of Zoloft and exercise and the two were about the same.

 
Old 08-12-2006, 09:11 AM   #6
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Re: Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

I agree about the exercise!


Shorebird, I'm primarlily seeking CBT for an anxiety disorder thats causing me insomnia. The more I fear not sleeping, the more anxious I become, which leads to less sleep; it's a viscious cycle. Can you see CBT being beneficial to this application? I want so much to stop or at least lessen need for sleep aids.

I only had one seesion so far and honestly I was so uptight I think I only absorbed every third word or so....and what I did retain seemed very abstract. I guess it'll make more sense as I continue the process....right? (hoping)

Last edited by KArast; 08-12-2006 at 09:12 AM.

 
Old 08-15-2006, 10:58 AM   #7
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Re: Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KArast
I agree about the exercise!


Shorebird, I'm primarlily seeking CBT for an anxiety disorder thats causing me insomnia. The more I fear not sleeping, the more anxious I become, which leads to less sleep; it's a viscious cycle. Can you see CBT being beneficial to this application? I want so much to stop or at least lessen need for sleep aids.

I only had one seesion so far and honestly I was so uptight I think I only absorbed every third word or so....and what I did retain seemed very abstract. I guess it'll make more sense as I continue the process....right? (hoping)
I think cbt would be ideal for your sleep problem. That is exactly what cbt is for, interrupting bothersome thoughts and replacing them with more objective and less upsetting thoughts. It takes time for the new ways of thinking to sink in but you will "get it" if you just keep trying. Just try not to be too hard on yourself and go at your own pace and you will it will begin to work for you.

 
Old 08-24-2006, 09:31 PM   #8
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Re: Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

I was once diagnosed with the same 2 disorders and you should know that what he is going through is worse than a horrid death each time it happens. It took me a couple of years to fully get rid of most of it and I still deal with the anxiety which comes off and on. But panic attacks are not something to take lightly. Imagine, you're sitting, feeling fine, relaxed, not a care in the world and suddenly you feel as though you had 2 sweat outfits on, wrapped all over in plastic wrap with a pillow tightly over your mouth and nose then had to run in 120 degree heat till you nearly died. Imagine just suddenly feeling that way out of the blue, for no reason at all. You REALLY feel like you will/are going to die so, please, be as good about this with him as possible. Trying to rob anyone of their happiness is not the intent of people with this disorder. It's just that we REALLY REALLY need someone ANYONE to be there more than ever in our life. It's the scariest feeling anyone will ever feel because there seems to be no real cause/reason for it... It's just "in your head" as they say yet it's so powerful, like meeting death & doom over and over day after day. If you've never had one........ No matter how hard you try.. You can never imagine how bad it really is unless you've been cursed with this horrid thing. So what ever the worst feeling you can think up... It's 999999999 times WORSE.
It's good that he has tried to natural rout first to see if it did anything for him because each person is different and will react to each medication, herbs, etc., different. So what works for me may or may not work for you. If you are having a hard time dealing with this then for sure see a shrink to help you through it too. I had my mother - THANK GOD she stood by me and never gave up on me! I'm SURE I wouldn't be here right now if she didn't. Some day, God forbid, you might fall in some way and will need someone to give up a lot in their life to help you.... Right now, he really needs you.... To be kind, understanding, patient, forgiving..... I am amazed he can even work with this combo of disorders - I got to where I couldn't walk out of my house for fear of death!
I took zoloft. They started me out on too high of a dose for my small body weight and it made me talk a mile a second and wayyyyy too excited so I started over on it at 12.5mg for a month or so then up to 25mg for a few months then to 50mg. My panic attacks did stop after 2 to 3 weeks. I had a lot of side effects from the zoloft for the 1st 2 months such as moody as HELL, I thought of killing random people once or twice (i forced that out of my head though), sick stomach, blurred vision (like looking at the world through the cardboard from toilet paper rolls), I could hardly deal with my thought, emotions, feelings.. much less have to worry about someone elses feelings through this - no way could I have pulled it off.
After 2 months of hell adjusting to zoloft I woke one day and felt GREAT!
That lasted for a few weaks and then I slowly started feeling nothing. My dad died right in front of me and I cried for about 1 minute and that was all I felt about that. I got to where it felt so pointless to even talk to people, waste of time and air. I could care less about anything at that point. I was not feeling "bad" OR "good". I was like a zombie. Floating through each day without feeling or emotion or care for me or anyone around me. SO, this was if i remember correctly around the 4 to 6 month on zoloft mark. I decided to get off because every time i told the dr anything they just wanted to UP THE DOSE, more mg's and the more i got in me the more dead I felt. I was a human shell. empty and unable to feel. The dr will tell you ther is no withdrawal or very little withdrawal.... WRONG! All ssri's will almost drive you nuts trying to get off it. I really believe I would have had an easier time getting off heroin than an anit-depressant. Just ask anyone here who has come off of one. After a year or so i got off the ssri thank God I made it through that! It was hell. So, you're both in for a long and crazy ride to made it through to the end of this. It can be done (for some people). While I was on zoloft (the whole time) I studied and practiced CBT a LOT, it helped a LOT. The breathing exercise alone (once I got it right & it's a pain to get just right) that alone would make my panic attack go away within 10 seconds or less. It took a lot pf practice when I was not having an attack to prep myself for it. My mom helped me. I'd say mom, here it comes... she'd get me an ice pack I had ready in the freezer to cool me down and some tissue to clear my nose (helped me feel as though i could breathe), mean while, I'd sit down, close my eyes, relax my body (even though my heart was jumping out of my chest) and do the breathing exercise with all of these things to help rid me of a few of the many other bad feelings of it. I got it right after a few tries and it worked 100%. EVERY person is different though so like I said, what works for me, or him or her or them..... may or may not work for you. You just can't give up. Zoloft did help me through all of this. I don't think it's a med most people can or should stay on forever though... More of a stepping stone (if it works for you), it's like getting a rest long enough to get it together!
One more thing that WILL help him or anyone - I fully believe this! Is, a book, called "Neural Path Therapy". This book is sort of like a practice book to follow as you read and in full detail explaines how our thought patterns strengthen our response to things/triggers/etc. It helped me learn how to take my pattern of fearful thinking and litterally make that thought weaker and weaker till it didn't trigger panic attacks anymore. It's weird, but it works! Believe me, I have been to hell and back with these 2 disorders and read every book on earth about this. This book - IS - the one. You have to follow and practice though (which to me is a pain in the arse - i hate study along books) it's the only way though. For me anyway. God bless you both. You CAN get through this.
Send him here so he can vent and get insight from those of us who have the same problem. This board is where I started when my disorders started and it (along with my mom) saved my sanity and my life.

Last edited by ms_mod; 08-24-2006 at 10:47 PM.

 
Old 08-25-2006, 12:52 AM   #9
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Re: Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

while i think you offer a lot of support and good thoughts, i had to comment on one thing you said...

Quote:
The dr will tell you ther is no withdrawal or very little withdrawal.... WRONG! All ssri's will almost drive you nuts trying to get off it. I really believe I would have had an easier time getting off heroin than an anit-depressant. Just ask anyone here who has come off of one. After a year or so i got off the ssri thank God I made it through that! It was hell. So, you're both in for a long and crazy ride to made it through to the end of this. It can be done (for some people).
i think it's a little unfair to generalize like this and quite potentially scare someone into not wanting to take ssri's, especially if he/she might really benefit from their use...
i myself have had to ween off ssri's on several different occasions and don't remember ever having suffered any withdrawl as a result...
i always followed my various doctor's advise very closely and minimized the problems of coming off them each and every time...

everyone's different...
one person's experience is not every person's experience...

just my $0.02... :-)

 
Old 08-30-2006, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: Therapy helped anyone with GAD & Panic attacks?

I would just add that once I learned cbt and I was getting off my meds I weaned off even slower than my doctor recommended and I think that helped me adjust without much problem.

 
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