It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Anxiety Disorder... Does anyone know coping mechanisms?

page: 1

log in


posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 01:53 AM
So I have recently developed quite an anxiety problem. I have debilitating panic attacks over nothing many times a week, sometimes many times a day. It happens at work, at home, in my car, everywhere. These are literally moments where my brain believes I am dying. I am so sure I am seconds from death even though the logical part of my brain is saying, "You know you'll be ok, right?"

I have always been an easy going guy. I have always been very social too. These panic attacks are really starting to affect my social and professional life. They are hellish and kill my days. And they are typically over absolutely nothing.

My question is for anyone who has/had these attacks and have dealt or are dealing with this problem. I have just started therapy and haven't been put on any meds yet, but my psych mentioned welbutren.

I find that once I'm down, I stay down after a really big one, but sometimes the smaller ones stick around all day.

Were you put on a good medication, had a breakthrough? How did you help yourself out of this? I am very adverse to any pills or pharma, but I am willing to give in and try to rid myself of this terrible monkey on my back.

Thanks and God bless.

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 03:10 AM
Hi, Jace-

I am a pharmacist, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, and I also study homeopathy. In addition, I used to suffer terribly from anxiety and mood swings (I had full blown bipolar disorder and ended up in the hospital several times), so I can totally relate. So, there are several things I can recommend that can help you.

Let me tell you some things that may help you.

1. Pharmacist advice about Wellbutrin: Many antidepressants do work for panic attacks, but sometimes Wellbutrin can make anxiety worse. (I know it made mine much worse; I myself had a panic attack on Wellbutrin because it gave me delusions.) SSRI's like fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (paxil) are better for panic/anxiety. But everybody is different. Just be advised if your therapist does put you on Wellbutrin, it can worsen anxiety for some people.

As you know, the downside of pharmaceuticals is that although they can keep you calm, they don't help you get to the root of the problem, and you have to keep taking them for life if you don't ever get to the root of the problem.

2. Hypnotherapy: Hypnosis works. It really does. I know, because it worked for me, and that's why I decided to become a certified clinical hypnotherapist.

I went to two different hypnotherapy schools, so I can tell you that hypnotherapy can work very well to
1. improve and even eliminate panic attacks and anxiety (with hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis)
2. help people get to the root of their panic attacks (with regression hypnosis)

You can find a qualified hypnotherapist in your area by doing a google search. Just check their background to make sure they were trained somewhere with in a decent training program.

I have found that when I use regression hypnosis on my clients, it works very well.

I also had regression hypnosis for myself, and the results were amazing; before hypnotherapy I was on many different pharmaceutical meds with no good result. I was also in the mental hospital 3 times. After going through hypnotherapy; I was never hospitalized again. Also, by learning self-hypnosis, I was able to control my moods and anxiety much better. (Although it wasn't a just helped me manage my disorder.)

3. Homeopathy. I have been studying homeoapthy for a year; and I can honestly say that I believe that my mood swings are pretty much cured. Hypnotherapy helped me manage my anxiety and moods, but homeopathy pretty much eliminated them all together.

Also, I couldn't help notice that you said that you feel like when you have your panic attacks, you feel like death is imminent. There is one homeopathic remedy that comes to mind when you say that: Aconite (full name: acontium napellus)

The "keynote" symptom of aconite is that the patient feels like they are going to die right now, this very minute....that death is imminent. So, when I read your description of your panic attacks, Aconite immediately came to mind.

Although to get a really good over-all homeopathic remedy, you should probably see a homeopath or a naturopathic doctor who practices homoepathy. But you try aconite first, and see if it helps. Aconite is available at any health food store that sells homeopathic remedies.

All you have to do is dissolve 3-4 pellets on your tongue when you feel the symptoms come on. The remedy usually begins working within a few minutes when you are experiencing acute symptoms. I recommend the 12c or 30c potency. The 12c works faster, the 30c lasts longer. Just don't take the remedy unless you are experiencing the symptoms, otherwise you can get "proving symptoms."

You can buy homeopathic Aconite (acontium napellus) at any health food store....just go to the homeopathy section, and they are all in a row, listed under their latin names, in little blue tubes. Bioron brand name sells theirs for about six to eight bucks a tube, and there are about 100 pellets in each tube. Homeoapthics are very, very safe, which is why you can get them at a health food store....and trust me, they really, really work when you get the right remedy!

To learn more about using homeopathy for anxiety, mood disorders, there are two books I'd highly recommend:
1. Emotional healing with Homeopathy by Peter Chappel (GREAT book)
2. Prozac Free by Robert Ullman, and his wife Judith Reichenberg Ullman (they are both naturopathic physicians)

As far as the costs, homeopathy is the cheapest if you do it yourself, but if you go to a homeopathic physician or practitioner, it can get pricey.

Hypnotherapy can be expensive, but it is amazing for gaining insight into the subconscious reasons for your anxiety/panic attacks. Personally, I found hypnotherapy to be much more helpful than straight therapy. Therapy helps you understand things on a conscious level, but hypnotherapy helps you resolve it on a subconscious level. Results are much quicker for most people. (Not that I'm trying to talk you out of going to your therapist, I'm just letting you know what I've found in my experience!)

If you can afford to go to a good hypnotherapist, I highly recommend it. If not, there are also multiple books and tapes you can buy in any book store on how to do self-hypnosis, too. Many of them are very good.

And if you find and can afford to go to a good homeopath or a good naturopathic physician in your area to find a really good remedy for your panic attacks. I highly recommend that, too. They can give you stronger potencies if you need them.

Also, let me read you some of recommended homeopathic remedies for panic attacks from Peter Chappel's book Emotional Healing with Homeopathy. You might relate to this description. If you do, it's definitely worth a try:

(from page 125 of his book) Remedies for panic attacks

(all remedies are given in their latin names)

Aconitum napellus (aconite): Easy to spot, feel that they will die now, this minute. They predict the time of death.

Argentum nitricum: Not so common for birth trauma, but a major panic remedy, major stage fright, too. Claustrophobia. Fears even looking up at a tall buiding, fears bridges over water, fear of falling. Fears hospitals. Sits on end of rows so they can get out easily in a cinema. Fear of being late.

Argentum nitricum: Fearful, asthmatic, controlling, fearful, and terrified of death and dying. (Don't even mention the word to them!) Burning pains relieved by heat or hot things; 1am crisis.

(continued on next post)

[edit on 8-2-2009 by nikiano]

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 03:31 AM
continued from previous post:

Camphor (yes, this comes as a homeopathic remedy, too): Great fear at night, extremely cold, clinging, can't breathe, sees imaginary people in the room.

Gelsemium: Panic expressed as cowardice or an inability to face any challenge. Cowardice as if on the battlefield, trembling, weakness, diarrhea, urgent urination, stage fright that paralyzes, and dullness of thought.

Stamonium: number 1 for birth trauma, terrifed by tunnels, going down a black hole in dreams, no light at the end of the tunnel dreams, very claustrophobic, fear to be alone at night, clinging to loved ones, waking up in panic at night as children and adults.

Snake remedies (there are many snake remedies in the homeopathic materia medica): Panic with a feeling of suffocation, restriction, and difficulties in breathing.

Also, I'd like to give you bit more of a description about aconite, so you can judge for yourself if you fit the picture (This description is also from peter chappel's book. In the back of the book, he gives great descriptions of many of the remedies used for emotional disorders.)

Key word: Sudden shock; september 11
Source: Monkshood (It's a flower)
Latin name: Aconite napellus

Shock is the key word. Fear and fright from shock are very strong here, the strongest fears of all the homeopathic types. Great panic and fear of death; that they will die this minute!

Great shock from seeing an accident or hearing about the sudden death of someone known to them. Not terror or sustained fear, which is more "stramonium". Flashbacks are possible...

Tremendous problems associated with fear and fright, bad news. Also, anger with anxiety, fright, and silent grieving. They can be upset by over-excitement and excessive joy. Humiliation and hurrying also upset them. A chill or a very cold dry wind forms a sudden shock, can make them instantly ill.

For shock with injury, see "Arnica."

Vital, vigorous, extrovert, robust people who are yet exquisitely sensitive to mental shock, such as an earthquake, being trapped in an elevator, lights going out in a tunnel, accidents, or a weaker person suffering from a big shock. Clairvoyant. They act as if death is imminent; fear of death is very strong, but this may not be obvious. Intense claustrophobia, even driving in a car on a freeway or motorway, as well as in elevators. (Stramonium also has this). Great fear of earthquakes; another shock. Sympathetic and friendly.

Trauma as disease:
Clastrophobia; strong phobias from any shock or fright completely out of proportion to the event. Sudden intense illnesses. Strong panic attacks, especially if triggered by a similar event to the original shock. Palpiatations.


Anyway, if you feel the above description describes you, you can try the aconite. There are directions on the package, but I can't take the remedies as often as they recommend, because I tend to be very sensitive to remedies, even those as gentle as homeopathic remedies. So, if you are also sensitive to remedies, don't start out taking it as much as it says on the package, just take it when you have symptoms, and you can repeat it if necessary.

I wish I had aconite during Sept. 11, because 1 week later, I ended up in the mental hospital from the shock. I didn't believe in homeopathy at that time (because they told us in pharmacy school it didn't work.). So, like an idiot, I let the doctors diagnose me with bipolar and put me on tons of meds that just turned me into a zombie, that didn't work and only made me fat.

But now after all I've been through, and after all that homoepathy has helped me, I'm a firm believer in both homeopathy and hypnosis.

Also, one more bit of medical advice; thyroid problems can also often be misdiagnosed as anxiety!!

It's very common for thyroid problems to get misdiagnosed as mental illness; I also had thyroid issues, and LOTS of people in this country get misdiagnosed, because no doctor ever does a complete thyroid workup like they are supposed to when a person starts to develop anxiety or other mental symptoms. So, I'd also recommend getting a complete thyroid work-up, if your primary doctor hasn't already ordered one for you.

(If not, insist on it. I finally insisted on a thyroid workup years after my hospitalizatios, and that's when I found out I much worse of a thyroid problem than I realized. Long story....but my thyroid condition was also contributing to my mood and anxiety.)


Oh, and if you don't have a health food store in the area where you live, there are a few homeoapthic remedies that are sold on the shelves of major drug stores, like CVS. They sell one product called Calms Forte, that has multiple homeopathic remedies in them, but I don't know if it has aconite in it or not. I don't think it does. You can try it, although I can't promise it will work, because the potencies might be too weak to work on a full-blown panic attack. It helps some people with anxiety, though.

Also, there is a flower essence remedy called "rescue remedy" that some people swear by, but I never had much luck with it when I tried it. I definitely needed something stronger than that. But, a lot of people love their "rescue remedy" for anxiety.

Hope all that helps!

I hope you feel better soon, too. I know anxiety really, really sucks. Trust me, homeopathy and hypnosis both work, because both of them worked much, much better for me than pharmaceutical meds (Which is kind of ironic, because I'm a pharmacist! LOL!)

I tried 13 different medications before I went into hypnosis. All of them gave me terrible side effects of one kind or another (movement disorders, increased weight gain, panic attacks, zombie'd out feeling, etc...) and none of them controlled my symptoms.

Medication is great for people who can tolerate the side effects, or when it works for them. And counseling therapy is great for people...when it works. But pharmaceutical medication and counseling therapy doesn't work for everyone.

Never underestimate the power of nature!

And as far as safety: Adverse effects from pharmaceutical medications KILL over 250,000 people a year. Yes, a year. I have heard about a total of 2 deaths from homeopathy...and it has been practiced in the world for over 200 years.
Hypnosis has never killed anyone, and it's been around a LONG time.

[edit on 8-2-2009 by nikiano]

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 03:56 AM
reply to post by nikiano

I'm truly grateful for your thoughtful posts. I really really appreciate the amazing information you've given me. I'll definitely try hypnosis.

I was wondering about the aconite. I thought it was poison and I didn't see anywhere online where it was said to be used for stress.

My panic attacks are definitely exacerbated by breathing problems and arrhythmia. They perpetuate the problem and make me feel even more like I'm going to have a heartattack.

The aconite description you gave is definitely me though. I can't drive on an interstate anymore because it automatically elicits an attack.

I will definitely heed your words and let you know how it goes. And if you have any more info I would be eternally grateful.

Thanks so much, wish me luck!

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 04:37 AM
reply to post by SantaClaus

I think you'll really like hypnosis and hypnotherapy. It really worked great for me.

If you need immediate help and can't get into a hypnotherapist soon, there is a website called "hypnosis downloads" that was put together by a hypnotherapist in the UK. He has one specifically for panic attacks, and you get read about it here, and download it directly to your computer, if you want. (It costs like $12.00 per download, but I've used some of his MP3 files before, and they are quite good. I can't promise that you can stop your panic attacks from listening to them, but you can try it and see if it works. He does offer a money back guarantee, too. (His voice is nice, too.)

Here's the link:

But if you want to get really good results with hypnosis, it's best to go to a hypnotherapist who can tailor your session to your individual case. And regression hypnosis, in my opinion, however, is the best. I've helped clients get rid of anxiety, depression, phobias, chronic pain, etc... all using regression! But, unfortunately, you can't do regression with an MP3 download.

Here is an article by one hypnotherapist in Australia who treats panic attacks with hypnosis and NLP:


As far as your concern about taking a remedy that could be poisonous, I can understand why you think it might be dangerous, but you don't have to worry about taking a homeopathic remedy that would otherwise be poisonous in a "material dose."

Why? Because the amazing thing about homeopathy is that we can make remedies of "poisonous" substances are not poisonous at all once they are diluted down to homeopathic potencies. In fact, the remedies are so dilute, that after a 12c potency, there are actually no molecules of the drug in the remedy itself! The higher the potency, the more dilute. Intuitively, it sounds like it shouldn't work at all, but it does. It's one of those wonderful mysteries of life, I suppose!

For example: arsenic is a poison. We all know that. But homeopathic arsenic (called arsenicum) is a wonderful remedy that is used for many different ailments including: heartburn, reflux disease, food poisoning, obsessive compulsive disorders, depression, and much, much more. In fact, if you walk into any health food store, you'll see arsenicum sitting right there on the shelf, right along with all the other remedies. In fact, it's one of the best sellers!

So, how does something work if you give it in super-dilute amounts? Well, Dr. Hahnemann, the german physician who started Homeopathy over 200 years ago, believed that the the remedies stimulate the natural healing force in humans and all living creatures called the "vital force."

Homeoapthy also works using the law of similars; like cures like. Hippocrates himself said thousands of years ago: Sometimes it is better to heal with similars, and sometimes it is better to heal with opposites! Dr. Hahnemann studied Hippocrates old writings quite closely, then started performing his own experiments on himself, and found out that Hippocrates was right. From then on, he developed homeoapthy as a complete medical system.

Let me give you an example of what we mean by "Like cures like". If you give regular arsenic to a healthy patient, they get terrible burning pains, upset stomach, diarrhea, and depressed.

Now, if you dilute and succuss arsenic enough times, and give that homeopathic arsenic (arsenicum) to a patient who has diarrhea, upset stomach, burning pains, and removes their symptoms. That is what we mean when we say "like cures like."

In modern days, we now use terms like "energetic frequencies". (or, at least I do.) As you know, all matter is energy, and all energies have their own frequency. In homeopathy, we try to match the symptoms of the remedy to the symptoms of the remedy as closely as possible

In my opinion, I think each symptom picture has it's own energy "frequency" which is why it works with our body's natural energy forces. It's all too complicated to explain in this post, but I'll give you some links that can explain it better than I can:

Here is an article by the National Center for Homeopathy, called "What is Homeopathy"

Here's another one:

Also, if you google "homeopathy" you'll find some nice articles all over the web.

I don't recommend reading the description about homeopathy on Wikipedia, however, because it was obviously written by a skeptic who has never even tried it for himself!!

[edit on 8-2-2009 by nikiano]

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 06:32 AM
oh good lord can we talk LOL!!!!

For years I suffered! Undiagnosed and in denial right up until 2000 when I had a complete breakdown at work. Locked my damn self in the bathroom for 3 hours absolutely sobbing, embarrassed and horribly ashamed.

Finally has someone slip me the phone through the crack in the door and called a very good friend for rescue. For THREE years I was paralyzed by fear and could not leave my house without a "hand holder" and fell into a massive depression (on top of the the long running depression I already had).

Great news though!!!

It's survivable and EASY to treat and you've already conquered the worst part - admitting you cannot cope.

I was RX with Panic and anxiety with agoraphobia (symptomatic) along with several other phobias and mental illnesses that are very common and very treatable...OCD being one of the most prevalent with PAD.

Prior to my breakdown all of my jobs were working face to face with people, and I couldn't figure out why I wasn't managing...I'd leave the jobs after a few months feeling burned out, angry, frustrated and very weepy...I figured I was just lazy or inept and I was really, really hard on myself. I always felt so stupid for the way I was feeling and how I coped.

Likely began in my teens and progressed. I found ways to cope in youth...drugs drinking acting out...continued drinking into my late teens until I got preggers. Stopped drinking and got to the business of being "Super Mom". From there the illness really shaped me. I hid behind my daughter in many ways...never had to address my own needs because her needs were all important and certainly more important than mine (so I thought). I found I also collected people who were always in need as well...a great cover for my own issues. Didn't have to deal with them when i was busy sorting out the lives of others.

Life started to really get hard when that one Super Mom "role" changed. She hit high school and I wasn't needed in the same capacity and was left not knowing who I really was...that was the catalyst.

It was the worst time in my life but it was the best thing that's ever happened to me next to the birth of my girly.

Find a friend who can willingly be a hand holder while you get started. Get to a family doc and TALK about it! if they offer an anti anxiety med go for it (it does NOT mean you will have to remain on them but it can help while you sort things out and get a referral to a psychologist.)

I am on a very, very low dose of Paxil for depression. My anxiety is completely in check...though i will have to be aware of it for the rest of my life therapy offered so much and so many skills!

It is sooooo very common... and depending on your history (medical) it may not be PAD it may be situational or PTS (post traumatic stress).

It is something that can be addressed with a very HIGH success rate, through cognitive therapy. Depending on your symptoms, medical history, age, etc etc drugs may not be a permanent part of your treatment.

I was very social person before...but now I'm even more so and I actually enjoy it more! no burn out after being in a crowd, no fear of unknown situations with unknown people, no pacing and nausea before going out (I used to get ready to go to work three hours before I need to leave and would then spend another hour just pacing - fully dressed and ready to go...afraid of what??? I dunno but every time I reached for the door knob I'd feel physically ill, get sweaty and start hyperventilating)

Sorry, I'm quite passionate about the topic because my life really started at 35. I mourned the unhealthy years and have dealt with the regret that my daughter didn't get the full benefit of a healthy and happy Mother...but better late than never!

I'd be more than happy to talk to you more about it any time you like
It can be a weird ride and the suggestions for dealing with it can be overwhelming. Self help, medication, no medication, psychobabble and what not.


edit to add: I gave up my license as I was too afraid to drive and couldn't cross bridges anyway for fear of them "crashing down".

Public washrooms - NO WAY germs germs germs, Buses are the same's all so much easier now and it really is quite amazing how simply re-learning the responses and thought process can eliminate much of the anxiety.

[edit on 2/8/2009 by justgeneric]

posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 08:34 PM
I feel for you on this one. Not many people know what a panic attack is like. And its hell. Literally.

Ive had them once every year usually, they use to not be a problem. Then one day when I was about 16 or 17, They hit me hard. I had them all day, everyday, for about 3 or 4 months long. Its really hard so im really sorry you had to deal with that too. I finally got rid of them by just knowing that I wasnt going to die, and breathing deeply, and thinking about something totally different. Also taking a long run helps too.

Havent had one in about a year. I hope you get better! =]

posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 09:25 PM
Its funny. I am at the end of a vacation right now with my girlfriend (she lives across the country right now so I only get to see her every 2 months or so), and I have not had an attack in 6 days. Its amazing to me.

So why must this be? Maybe I just really need her around, or it may be that my life at home and at work is just not cutting it for me. Probably both.

This has been a wonderful week and I think its a sign for me to change things for myself. I swear, I can't go back to those attacks without putting up a fight.

My girl is on contract so she can't move back quite yet.
The economy is terrible and I'm poor so I can't quit my job.
I'm locked in a lease with an apartment I can't pay for.
Etc etc etc.

I'll quit complaining, but I think time away has shown me that maybe things need to change in a big way soon.

Generic... Thanks so much for your account. Its great to know and made me feel a lot better about my situation.

Jess... I actually just found a treadmill online for the next time an attack hits. I used to run about 4 miles a day and never had anxiety before. Worth a shot!

posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 11:49 PM
Mine came out of nowhere...and I too am a really easy going, chill person. My doc. eventually told me that he thought it stemmed from either two things: 1. most likely hormone imbalance and 2. I had ADD I choose to not treat with nasty meds but at the time I was in college and I think homework was piling up with my laundry...People just don't understand how terrible panic attacks can be...they are so real and its insane how the mind has the power over the body in such a negative way. You know this is true, so then to its inverse you must be able to fix it the same way. There are many websites and books that can help you do it yourself but for me I took Zoloft for a month, went off it secretly even though they told me not to...and never, ever had one again.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:43 AM
See your doc, try what he/she prescribes.
If it doesn't work, tell them pronto, so they can try something else.

Medicine is more art than science, no matter how much they try to convince you otherwise (same thing doesn't work for all people)...

So may take time to find what works for you...but when you do, you'll be glad...I know my wife was. Now, she rarely needs to take anything for her anxiety.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 01:02 PM
gosh good luck with the panic attacks. I don't have as much detailed information as some of the other very helpful posters but i find that doing a 'mini' meditation helps. I am not a meditative sort of person but i find that when i feel an attack of some sort coming i close my eyes and focus on my breathing - keeping it nice and deep. then start focusing inwards on your body and heart beat. Focus on yourself and automatically one begins to block out all external distractions and get a sense of calm.

I call it a mini meditation because normally it takes no more than 20 seconds - offcourse you can stretch it out longer if you have the time. Definitely something which has helped me. Hopefully it may assist you too.

new topics

top topics


log in