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Has anyone found an alternative to ADs?

(41 Posts)
CuriousMama Wed 24-Oct-12 20:48:01

I've come off citalopram again and am sick of feeling my body tense up and my breathing slow. It really affects my stress levels. I go dizzy and just don't feel well. I was on ADs for panic and have been on and off them for years. I'm not against them but I would like to try and do without, for as long as possible.

What's helped you? I'm thinking of trying yoga as have a dvd, Yoga for dummies. I did it a few times a while ago and it's easy to follow. Any tips on coping with tension would be appreciated smile

CuriousMama Wed 24-Oct-12 20:51:37

I clench my teeth too.

CuriousMama Wed 24-Oct-12 21:40:58

Bumping before bed smile

FunBagFreddie Wed 24-Oct-12 23:18:39

Getting out in nature and going for a walk, even if it's in a park, just somehwere with trees, grass and birds tweeting.

Some arompatherapy oils are very relaxing, or uplifting too.

Reading good books about positive things. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle inspied me at one of my lowest points. Bear with it, it's a little bit woo and new age, but it's essentially about being present, mindful and in the 'now' where everything is actually just fine!

Yoga is good too. smile

CuriousMama Thu 25-Oct-12 08:51:36

I have that book somewhere? I am woo anyway so it doesn't faze me grin

I go to the clifftops and forest a fair bit, usually coat daily. And totally agree it helps a lot.

I used to use aromatherapy years ago and still have some oils but will get some new ones, thanks for reminding me smile

CuriousMama Thu 25-Oct-12 08:52:24

Oh and thanks for replying FunBagFreddie.

hugglebug Thu 25-Oct-12 08:59:40

I find writing myself messages on flash cards helpful, positive messages like "this too will pass" etc. Also, look into brain training and neuro linguistic programming. It's about finding a better way to talk to yourself, kind of being your own best friend.

CuriousMama Thu 25-Oct-12 09:04:41

Thanks for that hugglebug. Funnily enough just yesterday I looked at NLP self help techniques. I can't afford therapy but may get a book on it?

FrothyOM Thu 25-Oct-12 10:08:34

I've heard cognitive behavioural therapy is supposed to be very good. As I am still on the waiting list, I don't have any personal experience of it!

dreamingbohemian Thu 25-Oct-12 10:16:32

A lot of vitamins/minerals can help with stress and anxiety -- worth doing some research on. For example a couple months ago my doctor prescribed me some industrial strength calcium tablets for my low blood pressure -- but they also worked fantastically on reducing anxiety and in fact are often prescribed just for that purpose. I felt really chilled out and slept better too.

When I had depression I didn't take ADs but did 6 months of CBT and it totally changed my life -- can you at least get on a waiting list for treatment? It really helps a lot.

notcitrus Thu 25-Oct-12 11:03:47

CBT exercises like writing down good stuff you do each day are really helpful in 're-biasing' one's brain to the positive. Also writing down feelings when you start feeling bad from something, to help notice 'catastrophic thinking' (this happened which means this which made me do that which means this so this will happen and it'll be terrible and all my fault and I'm terrible etc etc).

Also even if it doesn't help much at the time, if you later do CBT and get asked 'how do you act when' you already have lots to go on and can really speed up the therapy.

With that and meal plans for the week and planned exercise and friends helping me timetable in food, exercise and sleep, and avoiding sugar, I can usually stay on a low dose AD each winter. Avoiding ads all together just doesn't work.

Wallison Thu 25-Oct-12 11:09:49

I have found mindfulness and meditation very helpful. I was introduced to them by my CPN who is a very forward-thinking woman - I'm still quite amazed that this kind of thing is available on the NHS. I started off with exercises like meditating on a raisin (yes, I know it's funny) and gradually moved on to more complex stuff. It is, in my view, an absolutely life-changing skill to have. It teaches you that the thoughts you have are just thoughts, that they cannot hurt you, and that you are perfectly entitled to have them but all they will do is pass through your mind. It's not for everyone I know, but it really really has worked for me and I'm still learning - what I want to do is be able to get to the stage where I can just work it like a switch when I need to - apparently this will come with time and practice.

Wallison Thu 25-Oct-12 11:12:15

Oh yes and definitely give yoga a go. I tried it and found it helpful which is what got my CPN thinking that I'd benefit from mindfulness. She had been using CBT techniques on me before but I never got on with them. I could do the exercises easily enough, and say/write all the right things, but it just never clicked to the point where I wasn't getting distressed by the thoughts that I was having, even though I knew I wasn't being logical or whatever.

CuriousMama Thu 25-Oct-12 11:20:09

Thank you so much everyone.

I had CBT a while ago, it was online and had support from a CPN on the phone. It helped somewhat but I may ask my GP for some more? This was for fear of driving. I still don't drive but did try blush I passed my test years ago but PAs stopped me driving, the buggers wink

My thoughts aren't negative as such it's just I have the symptoms and then of course I start to over think them iykwim? I'm actually a very confident person and not even nervous that's why it's so hard to understand? When I tell people I have panic disorder they're shocked. There's so much misunderstanding about them.

I do think nutrition plays an important part. That's so interesting about calcium I'd never heard that? I have started a multi-vit and starflower. I think I'm peri-menopausal so am trying starflower for that.

I've just had a good morning. I've had a bit of a bug lately which has made me breathless. I went upstairs to get a library book as it was due back and got out of breath. Normally this would have stopped me going out (off ADs) because I'd end up hyper-ventilating and get a PA. But I did a bit of relaxation based on NLP and it helped. I ended up going to the library, chemist and pet shop smile Luckily they're all within walking distance.

CuriousMama Thu 25-Oct-12 11:21:08

Wallison that's like me, I did the CBT ok but it just didn't really click?

I'll look up books on Mindfullness. I already do some meditating but should do more.

CuriousMama Thu 25-Oct-12 11:22:22

My goodness just googled calcium and stress and there's loads on it. I knew about Magnesium and the B vits but not this?

Wallison Thu 25-Oct-12 11:29:36

I have never heard about calcium either - might mention it to my CPN - thanks. And good news about using your NLP to tackle your symptoms and get on and do things you need to do - that is brilliant.

CuriousMama Thu 25-Oct-12 11:49:57

Thanks Wallison.

I'm going to up my calcium anyway it can't hurt? I won't over do it though.

Wallison Thu 25-Oct-12 12:07:30

I might try it myself - like you say, it can't hurt.

I got very frustrated with CBT. I knew that it all made sense, and I could think up my own challenging thoughts and reason with myself - quite articulately, if I may say so smile - but that final piece just didn't fall into place.

dreamingbohemian Thu 25-Oct-12 12:43:02

Yes, I had no idea about calcium and stress either! It's really interesting.

Let me tell you what my doctor prescribed, just in case -- although we are in France so I don't know if you can get it in the UK or if GPs would prescribe it (here in France everyone has anxiety so it's pretty easy wink)

It's called Calcibronat, they're effervescent tablets you take once or twice a day (once was fine for me). It's just calcium but 2g of it, that's why you need a prescription (I think the normal daily dose is 1.5 g).

Literally, the first time I took it, I just felt everything inside slowing down and relaxing. It was pretty great! I would take it just before bed and sleep well.

You can only take it for three weeks unfortunately, but I have been taking normal calcium supplements since and I do think it helps.

I would also recommend the Paul McKenna book on fighting stress -- my DH has some anxiety issues (after all, he is French!) and found it really helpful. It's all about mindfulness really. I think he's quite good on helping you not stress about being stressed, if that makes sense.

qo Thu 25-Oct-12 12:51:01

I'm trying vitamin D3 at the moment (aka the sunshine vitamin) I'm going to try calcium as well after reading this!

CuriousMama Thu 25-Oct-12 14:44:11

Thanks all.

dreamingb I didn't know that about the French, thought they were so laid back?

qo did someone recommend D3 to you?

qo Thu 25-Oct-12 15:36:17

I read somewhere that it could help with weightloss - particularly abdominal, which is where I hold most of my weight. I researched it and found it was proven to be beneficial to mood in winter months so I'm taking it for that at the moment, weightloss has gone out the window!

dreamingbohemian Thu 25-Oct-12 15:52:10

I didn't know either! but yes, as my Dh says, 'We French are an anxious tribe' smile

It's very different to Anglo anxiety I think -- it's fascinating actually, to see the cultural differences.

Magnesium is another good supplement for stress and anxiety. You can take it with B6, which helps it get absorbed, but I take a straight magnesium vitamin at night as it helps me sleep.

It's also easy to get a compound vitamin of calcium-magnesium-zinc, which is great in the winter as zinc is good for the immune system.

Sorry, I must sound like crazy vitamin lady! smile Obviously none of these things are cures but they are things that I think have helped me feel a lot better.

CuriousMama Thu 25-Oct-12 17:25:54

qo I hold my weight on my tum too. I had a look and you can get D3 calcium and magnesium together so I'll get some of that.

That's interesting about the sleep dreaming. I'm totally into nutrition and it makes sense to up vitamins/minerals as stress depletes them.

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