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To think I can fight anxiety without medication?

61 replies

ucanttouchthis · 14/10/2018 09:40

Is it possible ?
Can anyone share stories?
I really need someone to tell me I can do it.
I'm waiting to see a CPN for therapy /counselling
If you have took medication which ones plus how did you feel with it?
Any advice would be so very grateful

OP posts:
fourpawswhite · 14/10/2018 09:48

I couldn't do it for myself but I did it for a dog. We got a puppy for dh (farmer) when I was at my worst. She decided she preferred me. I went from incredibly anxious to very focused on her and her wellbeing. So it started with walking which helped my immensely. I genuinely would not have gone out and walked without her. Then I enrolled on puppy classes, behaviour classes, then joined agility and ringcraft.

It was so important to me that she was happy my own fears got pushed aside. I met people, became fitter and the anxiety decreased. I still have bad days but she has helped a massive amount.

So I suppose it might be called distraction in my case? Good luck op. I hope you find something that helps.

MagicMojito · 14/10/2018 10:22

Well I suppose you can but why would you want to? Would you suffer through an infection without getting antibiotics just to say you did it on your own?

Taking sertraline was one of the best decisions I made in my life. Don't get me wrong, I was terrified of taking them to begin with and the first week or so was not exactly the nicest of times but after that they drastically improved my life. I was on them for just over a year (I think) then cut down and now I'm off.

I feel I missed out on both my kids preschool years because I was consumed by anxiety and pnd. I really wish id have had the courage to get help sooner although im just grateful i did it in the end.Smile

MagicMojito · 14/10/2018 10:24

Is there a reason you don't want to take them? X

oliviatrivia · 14/10/2018 10:26

I suffered from anxiety which about 2 years ago became unbearable. My GP wanted me to try CBT first when I was begging for medication and I am glad she did as through that and mindfulness and learning things that triggered me and how to manage them, I am in a much better place.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still times I struggle and I have to make a conscious effort to manage it sometimes but I am so so much happier than I was.

It’s different for everyone and by no means am I down on medication, I think everyone should do whatever works for them. This is just my experience.

ucanttouchthis · 14/10/2018 10:29

I'm scared of taking medication because I'm a nurse and I need to be on the Ball and I've heard so many stories about bad side effects of insomnia etc and I just can't go to work if I'm risking other people.
I can't take time off either as our ward is so short staffed and I can't let people down.

OP posts:
ucanttouchthis · 14/10/2018 10:29

I feel pathetic as my job is to help people and I'm falling apart ..the irony

OP posts:
ucanttouchthis · 14/10/2018 10:31

My anxiety symptoms are unbearable
Hot sweats
Terrified to go out
I'm having to get a taxi to work and spend the whole day worrying about getting hone

OP posts:
Haggisfish · 14/10/2018 10:31

I take duloxetine and it has transformed my life. I only take a low dose but I have finally stopped over thinking and worrying. I also do lots of non medical things to look after my mental health-visualisation, relaxation etc etc.

TwllBach · 14/10/2018 10:33

I did/am doing. My reasons for not taking medication were -

  • DP has had a bad reaction to ADs and had some sort of chemical breakdown. It’s lastwd two years so far and has been devastating and is the reason for my own slide into depression/anxiety
  • I was breastfeeding and didn’t want to take anything that might get into DS
  • I was scared that I would take the ADs and then not bother trying to fix what was wrong - I was convinced I needed talking therapy to get to the bottom of it rather than mask the symptoms with medicine.

I am getting a lot better at managing it and it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I can identify triggers and the slide into it instead of being surprised when it hits me and I can identify the things that help me manage.
ImCatbug · 14/10/2018 10:34

I don’t take medication because the ones I’ve tried haven’t helped me so I stopped trying. I self medicate with cigarettes, which I wouldn’t recommend for obvious reasons, but at the moment it’s what I need and helps me.

WheelyCote · 14/10/2018 10:38

Big hugs

And watching with interest. This is me too

ucanttouchthis · 14/10/2018 10:38

Does anyone else's family not understand?
My boyfriend doesn't understand all the physical symptoms anxiety gives me,today he has told me to "forget " about it and it will go away.
He says anxiety isn't a physical illness and my physical symptoms aren't real.
I try and explain that anxiety gives me these symptoms and I'm struggling to control it.
Yesterday I was at the doctors and he expected my anxiety to have just gone overnight.
He doesn't get it.

OP posts:
LaLoba · 14/10/2018 10:39

It’s absolutely possible. For me, counselling was key to getting to the root of it, which was my family. The anxiety I felt when I saw my mother and had to deal with her abusive behaviour had over the years spread out and was poisoning my entire existence. The insistence from other family members that we all maintained the pretence that she wasn’t so bad led to increasing levels of anxiety for weeks before I visited any of my siblings.
Counselling enabled me to see that my feelings of distress around this situation weren’t in the slightest bit irrational! Which then led to feeling strong enough to step back and give myself the space to find new ways of approaching feelings of fearfulness.

Meditation has worked wonders for me, and enabled me to calm myself if the patterns of self hating thinking threaten to return. It’s been a long process of resetting how I react to problems and understanding how that reaction feeds into the stress and makes it worse.

Every situation and person is different, but for me, medication would have prolonged the problem. Medicating myself so that I could continue in the situation which had caused the problem wouldn’t have been a solution for me. Again, different circumstances require different solutions, but it can and does happen.

Good luck, and keep looking till you find your solution. It is life changing to be free from it.

Cooloncraze · 14/10/2018 10:39

Don’t fear the meds!!
I tried alternative therapies, hypnosis, healthier diets, exercise and meditation for months - all good things but they didn’t scrape the surface of my anxiety.

I finally took sertraline and have never regretted it. It’s amazing. I feel like my old unanxious self again.
Yes the side effects were awful initially (insomnia, worsened anxiety, strange dreams) but this was only bad for 3 weeks and then gradually got better. Try to take time off work as you start them?
Absolutely no side effects now and I can finally do the things I was terrified of.
I do feel for you though at this stage, it’s awful and exhausting.

Haggisfish · 14/10/2018 10:41

Have you tried beta blockers to stop some of the physical symptoms like racing heart etc? They can be helpful. Regarding bf this is not unusual in people who don’t suffer anxiety. My dh doesn’t, but he is willing to listen and be sympathetic.

Womaningreen · 14/10/2018 10:42

OP I was the opposite - constantly terrified of making mistakes - to the point I'd get home and want to go back to the office to check things.

Medication is the reason I stayed employed. If you can start on a day when you have a few days clear in case of any side effects, probably good, but that's just a precaution.

Flowers for you

Cooloncraze · 14/10/2018 10:43

I wat to add that I agree with all the posters above and it really is about what’s best for you.
Talking therapies haven’t helped me personally but I can see how valuable they can be for others. I have no idea why I’m so anxious but sertraline definitely made me feel like myself without all the pointless incessant anxious thoughts.

Iwantaunicorn · 14/10/2018 10:54

For me (as in me as a person, my body, blah blah) I’m against ad, so refuse to take them. I have ocd and anxiety, have had cbt which was fantastic and my life is a lot better now. The anxiety still flairs up, I acknowledge it, the thoughts, feelings and physical symptoms, and try to see it for what it is, then talk myself through it, basically forcing myself to do x y and z but in little baby steps. I also got out for walks and walked a lot of my constant mind racing away, and listened to anxiety hypnotherapy on YouTube to help me sleep.

With the benefit of hindsight, I should’ve taken the bloody pills, I put myself through hell for very little reason a couple of times, but I was scared and didn’t want to.

Just wanted to add, I think ADs are brilliant, that they’re a massive help, and in no way shape or form do I judge anyone who takes them (or needs them and doesn’t), I just didn’t want to and can’t even really explain why not.

tiredtiredtiredtired · 14/10/2018 10:55

I did, but at the time I didn't know I had anxiety, and this was 8 years ago, I'm in a better place and it's only now I've looked back and thought "that wasn't normal behaviour".

I don't know if it's to do with moving away from my triggers, or a change of outlook in life (e.g. I used to brace myself and be way too vigilant and wary about cars in the next lane veering towards my car to the point where I wasn't concentrating on my own view of the road ahead), but what I can tell you is it took me years and years.

Hope you get some help as I didn't

Aquamarine1029 · 14/10/2018 10:57

Are you Peri-menopausal, op?

gamerchick · 14/10/2018 11:02

If you're a nurse you will know the physical effects of anxiety are down to a trigger happy adrenal gland. All that adrenaline being dumped into your system for no reason but to plague your life.

I take beta blockers and the only side effect was at first and I a bit of a tight feeling chest... But it passed and now I can function in the world because those pills make my body behave itself.

Can you maybe see it as a malfunctioning body part rather than something that has stigma attached and believing you can think it away?

Verbena87 · 14/10/2018 11:05

For me, running at least 3 times a week, spending time outdoors every day and doing daily yoga does the trick most of the time.

I also saw a counsellor while in crisis and although it wasn’t an instant fix it definitely helped - wasn’t CBT, just person-centred talking therapy.

Definitely get some cardio in your life if you don’t do that already, but also don’t write off medication - as previous posters have said it’s brilliant for some people, and why suffer when you don’t have to?


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ucanttouchthis · 14/10/2018 11:05

I should know better considering what I do for a living but it's like when it's me I'm convinced something serious is happening.
I'm only 32 so I don't think I'm near menopause..hope not anyway.

OP posts:
ucanttouchthis · 14/10/2018 11:06

I did try propranolol but didn't help really.

OP posts:
AnotherCareerThread · 14/10/2018 11:08

I have anxiety and it's managed really well with medication, to the point where I no longer need counselling.

I've whittled it down to just 50mg of setraline a day and to be honest, I'm totally comfortable with having to take that for life. I see it as making up for something my body is unable to do itself, just like any other illness.

It took a while to find the right meds, over the years I've tried a fair few and it's a nightmare because a lot of the time the side effects are to feel worse to start with.

With setraline I got the shakes and increased paranoia for the first few weeks but its subsided and it keeps me afloat.

Withdrawal is nasty as fuck, but this just encourages me to remember to take them!

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