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To feel like there’s no way out? What cured your anxiety?

(35 Posts)
StopFastForward Wed 01-Nov-17 20:00:00

Battling anxiety and have been for a year and a half. I’ve tried all the therapies, medications but I just can’t find myself. I feel so lost.

StopFastForward Wed 01-Nov-17 20:01:28

Sorry, I posted too soon.

I really want to know, what has been the cure for other people? Was it a specific treatment or did it just go away eventually? Hoping for positive stories from people who have come out the other side. I’m literally losing the will to live.

crazycatlady5 Wed 01-Nov-17 20:05:22

Hi Op, I’ve had bad anxiety now for about 7/8 years. I did a course of CBT but medication did it for me. I’ve been on and off citalopram since 2010 and it has changed my life, every time I come off it within months I am ill again so I believe it to be a chemical imbalance/genetics. What meds and therapy have you tried? Feel free to PM me x

Rachie1986 Wed 01-Nov-17 20:08:00

I think it's not a case of it going and being fixed.. but more a case of managing it.

I've found long term counselling really has helped. So did CBT but I only had NHS sessions of 8 or so each time.

I'm not better. Will I ever be? I'm not sure. But making it manageable so I can live my life is the aim.

Sorry if that doesn't help..

toldmywrath Wed 01-Nov-17 20:08:01

Hello OP. I'm not sure this is practical for you, but getting a dog worked wonders for me. It might just be a coincidence, but my anxiety about e.g. social events, medical appointments decreased gradually in the years since getting my dog.

Of course, I'm dreading the inevitable day that dear dog is no longer with us. But, that's the price of love I think.

I'm on long term anti depressants and unlikely to ever stop taking them. I can't tell you how amazed I am by my much diminished anxiety.

It's been almost 20 years of not feeling right, but I think I've turned the corner. So, there's hope for everyone.

flowers

Fauxtatoes Wed 01-Nov-17 20:11:35

Believe it or not giving up sugar and going on a keto diet. I had crippling anxiety and was agoraphobic for at least 2 years. I'm off all my meds 14 months now and not a single panic attack since. I do still get anxious sometimes but in normal anxiety inducing situations. Not standing in line at the checkout hmm

Reflexella Wed 01-Nov-17 20:15:03

A long trudging battle but I got there!
10-15 years ago walking into town (15mins) was panic inducing. I wouldn’t drive more than 10 miles.
I’d love to tell you a magic secret but it was truly growth of self esteem that did it.
Although I did have a few rules - get out everyday regardless of how crap I felt, exercise 3x week (equal to antidepressant) & be very kind to self.
I ate good food, signed up to evening class (even though petrified).
I did relaxation CDs religiously and had massages (again even though petrified!)
Eventually major turning points were telling people I felt anxious in certain situations - took the wind out of the sails of my anxiety. I found out a lot of people were anxious/depressed too. Also leaving a crap relationship.

Ultimately most important be your own best friend in your head. Not punishing myself for set backs. I mean really think about your own thoughts - if we spoke to others how we speak to ourselves, we wouldn’t have any friends left!

jammydodgersss Wed 01-Nov-17 20:18:40

Exercise, specifically jogging regularly even though I found it very difficult to start with. Eating well, reduce sugar intake, plenty of fresh fruit & veg, water, limit processed foods as far as possible. Take my time, try to be organised so I don't need to rush and stress. Get educated, learn about anxiety. Accept that I have had a problem and that it's part of me. This really seems to help when I stopped trying so hard to not be anxious iyswim.

Dauphinoise Wed 01-Nov-17 20:24:12

Suffered with anxiety practically all my life. Also tried countless types therapies, counselling and meds.

Personally I don't think there's a cure. I've found paroxetine and Sertraline to be the best meds, eating well (balanced diet), getting proper sleep and regular exercise help to manage it.

Sometimes 'exposure' therapy can work on certain anxiety triggers (although not all, I still can't overcome being in noisy crowded places or speaking to lots of/intimidating people)

AndhowcouldIeverrefuse Wed 01-Nov-17 20:24:45

CBT
Daily moderate exercise - light exercise is not enough for me, I need to get out of breath and sweaty, preferably outdoors.
Looking after myself physically and emotionally. Eat properly, get enough sleep, shower daily etc. Anxiety is exhausting. Be kind to yourself.
Focus on being happy and doing things that make you happy. Think about happiness and anxiety as muscles - your happiness one is wasting away from lack of use while your anxiety one is hyperdeveloped and ready to spring at the slightest provocation. Work on consciously reversing that.
Antidepressants made my anxiety so much worse. They don't work for everyone.

It can be done. If 20 years ago you'd told me I could have a normal life and be happy 99.9% of the time I wouldn't have believed you. But I got my life back. It can be done.

Best of luck OP flowers

TacoFlavouredKisses Wed 01-Nov-17 20:26:23

Eventually major turning points were telling people I felt anxious in certain situations - took the wind out of the sails of my anxiety. I found out a lot of people were anxious/depressed too.

Six years or so of anxiety for me and I find this has helped me a lot too - so many more people than you realise feel the exact same way as you.

I've been off all hormonal contraception since the start of the year and off escitalopram since the summer, now just taking occasional propanolol - I've felt a bit better recently but am still a bit of a master in avoidance... so I'm watching this thread with interest smile

AMagdalena Wed 01-Nov-17 20:27:44

Consciously facing my fears head-on.

I still have my moments, but I am so much better.
It was really hard at the beginning, but worth it.

Good luck OP, whichever option you choose. Anxiety is awful to live with and you feel looked down upon because of it.

AMagdalena Wed 01-Nov-17 20:28:29

Oh and talking to friends who suffer from anxiety, too. Massive help. I realised it was completely normal.

jerrysbellyhangslikejelly Wed 01-Nov-17 20:42:06

For me it was CBT techniques that I and my family were taught while I was in hospital and ultimately the unconditional support, reassurance and guidance of my late Dad. I trusted him implicitly and he had a knack for talking me out of whatever thing I had catastrophised in my head and taught me to think logically and practically about whatever I was worrying about. He taught me that if it's worrying you, go fix it and if you can't there's no point in worrying about it cos it's out of your control. Took me a long while to reprogram myself to think like that but it's worked. It's a good 6 or 7 years now since I had that awful, crippling, non functioning anxiety and I've thankfully grown to become a pretty laid back and chilled person thanks to Dad's perseverance.

Aquamarine1029 Wed 01-Nov-17 20:42:35

Last year, and completely out of the blue, I had a massive panic attack which was then followed by near crippling anxiety. At 44 years of age, I became a completely different person overnight. I had never had any issues with anxiety, and I didn't even recognise myself. I went to a psychiatrist immediately because I was so worried, and they wanted to put me on meds, but that just didn't sit right with me. I knew that something was wrong, but I knew pills weren't the answer, and they very often are not for people with anxiety. Fast forward a month, and I had a full blood workup done. As it turns out I was severely deficient in Vitamin D, which is believed to be a common cause of anxiety. Well, it clearly was for me because after a week of treatment, I was back to my old self. There were even other minor issues with my body that benefited as well. I hope you find your solution as soon as possible.

tellmehowtoget Wed 01-Nov-17 20:45:09

Mine comes and goes. Sometimes it's crippling, I suppose it coincides with if other stuff in my life isn't going great, then sometimes it's fine for months.
At my worst I couldn't leave the house, and at my best I was working 3 jobs.
I find diazepam helps when I'm feeling awful as it just switches off my feelings.
Other than that, facing the anxiety seems to help.
So forcing myself to do the thing making me anxious.

GreatStar Wed 01-Nov-17 21:05:55

Citlapram.
Transformed my life.
And i was always anti meds before

SpringSnowdrop Wed 01-Nov-17 21:08:04

Inositol (vitamin 8) has made a noticeable difference here and worth finding out about if you haven’t tried that. I feel for you OP and hope this thread helps . You are not alone

Mimilondon39 Wed 01-Nov-17 21:12:46

Have you read Dr Burns Feeling Good? I found it really helpful. Also Manage Your Mind by two doctors - lots of useful tips. Many people suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. You are not alone! Big hugs xxx

crazycatlady5 Wed 01-Nov-17 22:02:10

@Aquamarine1029 it’s brillaint you found what worked for you smile but to say meds’ aren’t often for people with anxiety is misleading. My anxiety is a full blown illness and no amount of therapy helped, only medication.

Hellywelly10 Wed 01-Nov-17 22:47:25

I dont think there is a cure. Threapy and medication helped. However I have to constantly looking after myself and ensure I nurture myself and myou relationships. I have all sorts of fads. Yoga, mindfulness, craft, nature. Basically any hobby.

LostInTheTunnelOfGoats Wed 01-Nov-17 23:17:00

First step, taking a low dose of tablets. I didn't want to at first, but they numbed me for a little while, which actually helped because I was emotionally and physically exhausted from the constant adrenalin/fight or flight anxiety overload. They gave me a breather, just enough to gain energy for step two

Step two - force myself to do absolutely everything I was anxious about, constantly, all the time, until I battered my own brain into submission. It was brutal, but it worked. I started small, planned everything down to the finest detail, carried an "anxiety pack" with me full of a variety of tablets - immodium, paracetamol, water, mints, clean knickers, a cereal bar, the works. As time went on I could plan less and do more.

Third step, but also running concurrently with step two- keeping myself on an even keel. This means vitamins, fresh air, and most importantly, time on my own whenever I can get it, even if it means cancelling other plans. I can still feel myself slipping at times, and I know that I need to clear the decks apart from necessary things like work, spend a few days doing as little as possible.

Honestly thought, desensitising myself has been the hardest but also the most effective thing. I feel it's not talked about often enough, probably because it seems like the nail in the coffin of a person who is already fragile, exhausted and struggling with daily tasks. However it made sense to me. I simply couldn't spend my life avoiding the situations that were causing me anxiety, at least not without an incredibly detrimental effect on my hopes and dreams for the future, not to mention family life.

I'm not going to lie, it was absolutely brutal and not a relaxing time in my life, but I can now say that with some care, I'm 95% cured- and I was really bad. Today I did something without even thinking twice about it- the same situation would have had a me a sobbing, panicking mess on the floor. I didn't even think about it until DH mentioned it, and reminded me of three years ago and how a similar event had me in a tailspin for weeks.

It's always there, lurking, but I feel very free now. I feel that although I'll definitely get anxious again in future, it won't ever be quite so bad. It's as if I've trained my brain in some way- like when you see tennis players with the huge big muscles on their racket arm

Titsywoo Wed 01-Nov-17 23:25:04

Well mine comes and goes but it's been gone for a long time now so I'm hoping it's gone for good! The things I did that made a difference:-

Gave up smoking
Cut right back on drinking (just socially)
Cut out caffeine
Cut down on stress as much as possible - I say no to stuff now, don't overload myself with tasks, do things that keep me calm (like cleaning!)
Lost some weight
See a counsellor once a month to get things off my chest
Get proper sleep
Do things for me (like going to the cinema by myself, seeing friends more etc)

I honestly think the first 3 helped the most! I link my anxiety to stressful periods combined with reflux which sets off something (maybe connected to my vagus nerve?)

inchyrablue Wed 01-Nov-17 23:27:30

Mindfulness based CBT and moderate exercise outside. I still get it from time to time but can now control it.

LostInTheTunnelOfGoats Wed 01-Nov-17 23:30:13

Also, and this is a bit weird, but feeling apathetic also helped. Well, not exactly apathy. I don't know what it was. I was just so sick of myself, sick of being unable to do basic things because of an utterly pointless emotion, and I was sick of feeling the way I did. It's a personality trait of mine though - I tend to go through the whole spectrum of emotions before just going "fuck it all, I don't fucking care" and only then do I end up getting things done. But that isn't the way it works for everyone of course. Still, it's worthwhile to recognise your own psychological triggers, both positive and negative.

Also my mantra- in one hundred years, nobody will remember you or anything you did. In six months maximum, if not six weeks, you will have forgotten this day. In X amount of hours, the situation you are dreading will be over.

Might sound a bit morbid, but it really helped me, and still does help me. Get through today and it's easier to get through tomorrow

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