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Can you get over anxiety on your own with out drugs?

By August 6, 2009 - 8:47am
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I really hope that what I believe is true. I suffer from anxiety, I had develped it during a bad relationship from the past where my ex had been putting me thrue extreamly streesful and trying situations one right after the other.
The first one that I had ever gotten i had been riding in a car with him one morning and it was so bad I thought that I was having a stroke at 22! they have never again been as bad as that. Once I went to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack. In the E.R. the doctore toke all my vitals as I was rushed in and he started laughing. I became really upset untill he told me there was nothing to worry about that I was only having a panac attack. That he was so happy that that was all it was. He recomended trainquilizers. i had refused, because i did not want to be dependant on a drug for the rest of my life. I have changed a lot of things in my life, and that awefull man is no longer in it.( toke a restraining order and a judge to do it!)

But I still have them from time to time. Sometimes they are scary and refuse to go away. But i was hoping that some one had some advice for it that might suffer for the same thing. can you believe I have been turned down jobs because of it?

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EmpowHER Guest

I have been dealing with anxiety for about 4 years now. It was at that time that my mother inlaw passed away and then my whole family (2 kids, husband and myself) all came down with a terrible stomache bug. Now anytime there is even a hit that one of my kids is getting sick I start to have anxitey attacks. I get dizzy, nauseous, panicked, and can't sleep. It gets so bad that I can't eat for days. Any suggestions on how to handle my anxiety attacks?

December 15, 2011 - 11:02am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thank you for your post and welcome!

It sounds like you may have a case of post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. This is a condition where panic and anxiety attacks occur due to previous experiences. You hear about it a lot in terms of war, but all sorts of things are to blame - rape, an accident, death or traumatic event.

You can read about it here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/posttraumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd 

On this page you can also read about treatment options. Please have a read and let me know what you think. Of course, you may not have PTSD at all but you certainly seem to have anxiety based on past events that may require therapy.

We hope to hear back from you!


December 15, 2011 - 12:38pm

Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for your comment and for finding EmpowHER. A really low dose of antidepressant may be just the extra support you need at this time. I had postpartum depression (PPD) around the same time (when my son was 6mo old), and went through therapy, support group, and took a very small dose of prozac. Most women find the quickest recovery in doing all three forms of treatment (individual therapy, group therapy, and medication).
Everyone is different, but it's important to take the anxiety seriously, for your health and for the sake of your little guy, especially if you're having scary "what if" thoughts. My doctor told me I needed to commit to staying on the prozac for four to six months, then we would look at it again and see about stopping the prescription. Through treatment you can learn about what is happening to you, and help learn ways to deal with the anxiety so it won't be so troublesome in the future. I don't take medication now, and haven't since my baby was small. If you truly are resistant to taking the medication, then call your doctor's office for options. Maybe individual or group talk therapy would work for you. Here is an article on PPD to help explain what could be happening. Near the bottom of the page, it explains some alternative ways to deal with anxiety associated with PPD:
You may want to read the whole article for your own research into the condition. It also says there, if you ever have thoughts of harming yourself or the baby, get medical attention immediately--it is not something you want to mess around with. Here is a link to part III of my PPD story if you're interested in reading it:
Good luck and let us know how you're doing.

September 2, 2010 - 9:40am
EmpowHER Guest

i am currently sufferin from anxiety, its started just recently. I've been put on a really low dose of anti depresants to help me i've just took 6 days of them so far and i dont want to take them anymore. I dont want to be dependant on them. I think what has started my anxiety is the birth of my son who is now 7 months. What do u wrecking i should do???
All help welcome

September 2, 2010 - 6:24am
EmpowHER Guest

I went through something similar. Anxiety is terrible. I do exercise and stay away from caffeine, alcohol, etc.

October 4, 2009 - 2:52pm
HERWriter Guide

Dear Nicole

Thanks so much for your question!

I have good news for you. The good news is that something concrete started your anxiety and panic attacks. And this 'something' was a bad relationship. This is actually a lot better than a situation where all is well and for no discernible reason you suddenly developed panic attacks and anxiety.

It's normal for this to happen, as a response to an unhealthy situation. It's your body and mind's reaction to something bad.

I suppose I can see where that doctor was happy you were "only" having a panic attack (compared to a heart attack) but I'm sure for you, it was a horrible experience.

You can absolutely recover from this without the use of drugs. Some people do actually need medication to get and stay better but it can also be done very naturally. Telling someone in your situation to take tranquillizers was very wrong, in my opinion.

You made the best decision by ending your relationship and taking legal steps to protect yourself! Good for you!

But you may have what is known as post-traumatic stress. This is a condition that people suffer from, due to being placed in frightening and traumatic situations. it could be war, combat, rape, robbery, an abusive childhood or relationship or one of the many difficult situations we humans find ourselves in. And even when out of the damaging situation, we can get flashbacks. These flashbacks trigger a response to the prior trauma. There are many responses that can happen: it could be a violent response or like your case, it could be a panic attack.

We have a wonderful page regarding post-traumatic stress. It is full of information regarding the causes, symptoms and treatments available. I think it will really help you.

You can find this page here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/posttraumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

Also of help are relaxation techniques like mediation, yoga, or even a warm bath and a lot of sleep. Talk therapy may also help you. A therapist may be able to help you find the tools to deal with your panic as soon as (or before) it starts. Group therapy is also an idea you may like to pursue, especially since you will be with people who are going through the same thing.

Physical exercise is very important to our mental health, although we usually just deem it vital to our physical health - not true. Have you considered taking a martial arts/personal defense class? Not because you may be attacked, but because the physical exercise is excellent and so is the mental empowerment you get. You will not only strengthen your body, but also your mind and your resolve.

One thing to also bear in mind. Stress is a normal and important aspect of our lives. Too much stress is bad, of course. But some stress is needed, to remind us that we need to watch out for ourselves and take care. Since you cannot mentally block your awful relationship from your mind, you are simply reacting in a normal way to the memories of a bad situation. But what you need to do is utilize those stressful moments to your own benefit. The physical and mental exercises I spoke about (as well as a good diet and strong support system from friends/family) will enable this.

Is this past relationship a long time gone? When did you end things? Time will also help you ease into a situation where you feel less fear and panic.

I hope I have helped you. Will you let me know what you think of our post-traumatic stress page? And let me know if you think the techniques I've talked about can help you. Drugs will not "fix" you. You went through a terrible time and your reactions are normal. You don't need to fix or cure "normal"! You need to build yourself back up to the strong person you can be, once again. It will take time, and work, but it can be done and you CAN do it!

August 7, 2009 - 12:13pm
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