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  1. #1
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    Techniques I Used to Overcome My Panic/Anxiety Disorder

    UPDATE- May 22, 2013:
    It seems that some people misinterpreted this entire thread and what I was trying to accomplish here. This is what I did to go from severe panic, anxiety and agoraphobia to panic and anxiety free. I live a life were no anxiety holds me back at all anymore. I tell you what worked and what didn't work. My goal here is not to brag to you, but to inspire you to create your own journey from where you are now to where you want to be. Your journey will look very similar to mine, but you will need to individualize it. Of course you can't do everything I did because your situation is different and you are not me. But the healing path is generally very similar. Many people do not even know there is a way past anxiety and just learn to cope with it, rather than overcoming it. Stop organizing your life around anxiety and start pushing through it to restructure your life to be anxiety free. Use this as an inspiration and even as a template for you to do the same. Your own healing path will have it's own aspects and will not be exactly like mine, but you can use it as a general guide. I also expect you to do your own research on the different products and approaches I mention. But what you will need to understand is:
    1) You can overcome an anxiety disorder no matter what anybody tells you.
    2) You must get on the healing path not the coping path and keep moving forward on it.
    3) It is not exactly linear and there will be bumps in the road.
    4) You must use your WILL to overcome FEAR
    5) No human is perfect, so it is normal to have some fear, anxiety or worry once in a while. The problem is when it is at a disorder level were it debilitates your life or you have to plan your life around it.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    If you are suffering with anxiety and panic, this may be the most important post you ever read. Although it is long, I guarantee you will find at least something valuable here. It isn't the be all end all, but I just want to help as best as I know how:

    This time last year I was a mess. I was having severe panic attacks multiple times a day, was scared out of mind, and I could barely leave my home. I remember how hard it was to just walk outside of my apartment building to buy water. I couldn't get into an elevator I was so scared. I had to have someone in my living room waiting for me, just so I could take a shower. I remember thinking walking from my bedroom to the toilet, was a huge deal and I was scared to do it. I was in more hospitals and ambulances I can count. Now, I lead a totally normal happy life, with no panic attacks. I am completely med free. I work out at the gym regularly and go out often. I even drink alcohol again. I hope that if I share some of what I did, I can help others in need. Also, I hope that I can relay hope to those that feel they have none.

    If you haven't been checked by a doctor, go do it. Just find out how your health is so you can rule anything out. Get the full on work up. I don't mean "OH MY GOD GO TO A DOCTOR!", I mean go get a full on check up just so you know where your health is at.

    I am assuming what you have is anxiety...

    Dear Sufferers:

    There is not just one thing I did that fixed this problem, and it didn't just happen one day. I don't know exactly why or how I got better. I did so many things. But there are a few things I did that I think were indispensable.

    Your nervous system is set on high. It's all set at such a high level that very little things can trigger your symptoms. I suggest you do what you can to little by little, slowly calm and nourish your nervous system, and cultivate peace of mind. What you want to do, is get your nervous system calmed down, so your body doesn't go right to adrenaline rush super fear mode so easily.

    Drink chamomile tea. The only side effect I know of, is if it is taken in too large of doses, it can cause skin irritation and itching. I have yet to reach that dose.

    1) I ALWAYS knew I would get better. I NEVER get panic attacks now and I KNOW I never will again. My body just does not go there anymore. Imagine if you could say that? Well, you can. But you first and foremost have to never ever ever accept that this is something you MUST learn to manage or deal with. We all feel fear at times. This is natural. All beings feel fear at times. But there is a difference between rational fear and anxiety disorder. I am better and many others are too. There is no reason you can't be also. ALWAYS know there is a way, and it is a healing process. It took me a year of healing to get better. It might take you a lot shorter, maybe longer. Regardless, if you treat this as something you can overcome completely and keep on trying, you will find that light. If ANYONE tells you that you can only mange anxiety and not cure it, ignore them and don't follow their advice. They have given up to the ununderstanding medical community that is far from understanding what we go through.

    2) You must understand that doctors most likely can't cure you. I suppose there are exceptions to this rule, that's why I said most likely. But generally speaking, if you take medication for life, you are not cured. You are maintaining. Benzos are incredibly addicting. I know. I became hooked on Klonopins. You may need medication for the time being. If you are on them, it's ok. But what you MUST understand, is that the true healing will most likely not come from Zanax, Klonopns, Zoloft, Prozac, Welbutrin, etc. If you are on these drugs or not, the truth remans the same. That truth is anxiety needs to be healed at its source, not just managed. Use drugs as a temporary way to give you the strength to do the real healing. But they come with a price. Addicting and side effects. ALWAYS taper off meds even if the doctor tells you they are non addicting. Taper off very slowly.

    In my personal experience, keep going from one doctor to the next caused some OCD and anxiety symptoms in me. There needs to be a fine balance of doing what you need to do to get better, and not getting too caught up in the constant searching for the next miracle cure. There are things you need to do as you can't just forget anxiety, but there needs to be this balance of getting healthy and still staying in the present moment.

    3) Understand completely in its entirety what the mechanism of panic attacks are. They are a natural fight, flight or freeze system inherent in your body to help you in dangerous situations. The problem is, the disorder is when this mechanism is alerted when it shouldn't be. Then you add the 2nd fear. Ok, your scared. You start freaking out. Then what do you do? You add the 2nd fear. That 2nd fear keeps the whole thing repeating and going on. Work on having the courage to not add the 2nd fear. Understand this is all just one big glorified adrenaline rush. You have become a slave to your biochemistry.

    4) Understand that your nervous system has crashed. Your nervous system has become ultra-sensitized and this is why you feel like a walking adrenaline-time bomb! This is not a permanent state of being! This is something that can be fixed! You need to nourish your nervous system and calm down. This is the healing I am talking about. Actually rebuilding and regenerating your nervous system. Once you are not so sensitized, you won't be so quick to panic. The body is always trying to heal itself. As you calm down, you will allow this to happen naturally.

    5) You are NOT going crazy! I pushed my brain and my thoughts as far as they can possibly go. I twisted my mind in knots and watched the walls cave in, the world melt, and felt like I had 7 brains doing summersaults on top of each other. I was convinced at any moment my head will actually explode. It ALWAYS faded! These feelings always faded. Don't add 2nd fear to it. Just watch it and it will pass. Noone stays permanently like this. It WILL fade. Ride it out. Let it go. Let it pass. ALL THINGS MUST PASS!

    6) Retrain your breathing! This I attribute to the most important technique of my healing. Learning the Buteyko breathing method. I do not endorse this, or get paid or affiliated in any way. This is all from the goodness of my heart because I can't stand to watch people blindly battle their anxiety without the proper tools. Do you feel you cant get enough air in? Do you yawn and sniffle a lot? Do you want more and more air? Assuming you do not have a heart or lung problem, this is your CO2/O2 mechanism offset. This is too complicated to tell you all about this here, but there is free info on the internet about Buteyko breathing for anxiety. It is mainly used for asthma but it works for anxiety. Patrick McKeown's book Anxiety Free, Stop Worrying and Quieten the Mind, was my main source for this. I promise you, I do not make money off this or am trying to sell you anything. He was certified by Buteyko himself so its a good read and it came with a meditation mp3 I used to practice 2 or more times a day. Basically, you breathe less and create a tolerable air hunger. It is contrary to what we've been taught of course. That is why it works! Breathing too much makes this whole fight or flight mechanism much worse! In some way or another, look into Buteyko breathing for anxiety. I basically used to use the MP3 that came with the book or I would just do as a meditation relaxing my mind little by little, trying to get my breathing less and less. Until I felt a slight but tolerable air hunger. I would keep that for as long as I could. Usually about 30 minutes. After some time, the CO2 would get rebalanced in my blood, and Oxygen would get delivered to all my cells I would get warm and feel incredible. I would feel my body nourished by oxygen like never before. It is always important to breathe through your nose! I Would do walks with my mouth closed and breathing through your nose. That helps to rebalance the carbon dioxide as well. There's a bit more to it, so I hope you tale some time to research it yourself.
    Last edited by PanicCured; 05-22-2013 at 08:43 PM.

  2. #2
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    7) Supplements- Dos and Don'ts:

    This is very important because you are rebuilding your nervous system. As I stated above, the body is always trying to heal itself. This is called Homeostasis. So by calming down and cultivating new behaviors, you are allowing the healing to take place. But I strongly believe supplements can add tremendously. Also, you must eat nourishing foods. Cut out the junk food and fast food.

    The problem is, I took so many things, it's hard to know what worked and what didn't. What I do recommend everyone take is a magnesium supplement. A highly absorbable one. Magnesium chelates. Not the Magnesium oxide put into multi-vitamins. My favorite is Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Taurate and there is now a Magnesium/ Glycinate/Lysate too which I think is the best one. I highly recommend at least 400 mg a day. This is a very safe mineral and really calms the nervous system. Read about it!

    Also, STOP taking calcium! This is too stimulating to your nervous system. Stop taking it until your anxiety is under control. There is debate whether or not anyone should take calcium at all. I am not sure. But for now, STOP calcium supplements. Calcium in food is good.

    I took fish oil. Lots of it, but I found it was giving me heart palpitations. I thought it caused it but still not sure. This is probably rare but it did seem like it at the time. I would suggest not to take fish oil. I would go for a high quality flax oil. Omega 3s are very important and you can get this from Wild Alaskan Salmon, as I am not big on farmed fish, butter, milk and meat from grass fed animals have Omega 3s too. Avocados are excellent fat sources.

    Don't take Valerian root unless it works for you. For me, I felt like utter crap, as melatonin. Melatonin made me fall asleep then I'd wake up 2 hours later feeling like crap! Both these made me feel worse! If it makes you feel good, then keep it up.

    Are you drinking 3 strong cups of Chamomile tea a day? No? Then you're missing out! Add mint if you like. Make a Chamomile, mint, lavender blend. See if you can get lemon balm too. You can add some organic raw honey.


    I took Acetyl L Carnitine and Choline. I don't know if it helped or not, but it made sense because Acetyl choline is involved in the stress response, so I tried to rebuild my storage of them. To be honest, I don't fully remember why I took them. Something to do with replenishing GABA and Acytl Choline. Also, to help me with klonopin withdrawal and depletion. Please do the research yourself. I am not sure about them.

    I took Biotin. I think it helped. Not sure. I think it was for the depletion caused by klonopins. I don't fully remember why.

    Passion Flower Extract. This was calming without the side effects I felt with Valerian. It's the extract you want, not just the flowers ground up into powders than shoved into a capsule.

    GABA. I took Pharma-Gaba which was a naturally derived form. I think it helped rebuilding my brain chemistry. Look into this. I think it was good.

    I took Suntheanine. The best form of L Theanine. This was to calm me and nourish my nervous system. Look into it.

    DO NOT TAKE B VITAMINS UNTIL YOUR ANXIETY IS UNDER CONTROL! This can be extremely stimulating in this sensitized state. Hold off for some time. I don't mean don't get it in food, but don't take B supplements until you have mellowed out a bit. B Vitamins in food are good. Someone write that they B12 deficient and need it. If that is the case, take what you need.

    I believe milk thistle extract is helpful in helping your liver detox. I think green drinks such as Barley grass juice powder is extremely healthy and cleansing. Spirulina can be way too stimulating right now. Green Magma Barley Grass rocks!

    KAVA KAVA- I liked this a lot. Kava extract tincture. I have read that Kava can be bad for your liver. I have also read that isn't true. I still am not sure. I took a lot of it for 1 month and I 'm fine. Loved it!

    Linus Pauling won 2 Nobel Prizes. He also advocated large doses of Vitamin C. I did the Pauling protocol for a little, but this was towards the end of my anxiety era. Read about this guy. It's pretty interesting. Vitamin C powder (Pure Ascorbic Acid), Proline, Lysine.

    Are you getting enough sun? I recommend Vitamin D3 supplements. 3000-5000 IU per day. Vitamin D3 you get from sun or supplements. This is crucial for your body working properly and I have even read research showing a link between low Vitamin D3 and autism.

    Basically, you can see I was consuming lots of pills. This isn't even all of them. Sometimes I would take a few, then move on to others and stop with the previous ones, and sometimes at the same time I would consume a lot. I am sure some helped and some didn't do much. I strongly advise you to research natural remedies for nervousness, to calm you, for anxiety, panic and to help nourish your brain and nervous system. But take the Chelated Magnesium and chamomile tea. The others, research them yourself and see what you think.

    8) I did acupuncture and took Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine has formulas that calm the spirit. Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan or Suan Zao Ren Tang can be a helpful formula. There is a website Eastern Essentials that sells a Calm and Relaxed Formula, based on those 2 Chinese remedies, that is one of the best supplements for healing anxiety around. It was very nourishing to my nervous system, and very calming. It is an incredible healing supplement and I highly recommend the Heal Anxiety Package offered on their website.

    I took homeopathic. I still do not believe homeopathic works nor do I recommend it. Actually seeing a homeopath was quite expensive, and I did not feel like it did anything. Just my experience, others may have a different one. I do believe acupuncture works though.

    9) I had Rescue Remedy in my pocket all day. The spray kind. To be honest, this may have been a placebo. It really did seem to work though. I was spraying it on my tongue all day, and I felt it helped. It helped me learn to reach for something natural instead of klonopins. It may or may not be a placebo. All I know is it helped me.

    10) I saw a psycho-therapist twice a week. You must learn some cognitive skills to deal with this, such as CBT. You need to learn to modify your behavior and be able to openly express this with someone. It helps because we tend to feel embarrassed to show others our weaknesses. But after sometime, I did feel like there wasn't much more the therapist had for me. You will probably get to the same place where you have just learned all there is to learn about panic and anxiety. It gets boring after a while. At some point, you just gotta be like, this is stupid. I'm over it!

    11) Anxiety Programs- I did The Charles Linden Method, Panic Puzzle and Freedom from Fear, Panic Away and who knows what else. Anything I could get my hands on. What I recommend the most, was anything Claire Weekes did, especially her CDs and Freedom From Fear. Claire passed away some time ago but she was one of the leaders in this field. She called this, "Nervous Illness". See if you can get your hands on anything Claire Weekes did. This guy David Johnson in New Zealand produced a program Freedom From Fear. This was my favorite and I loved it. He admits though, that he just expanded on Claire Weekes ideas. I do not make money on this or affiliated with him in any way. I am just telling you something I recommend. In my darkest hour, he even sat there on a video skype call 3 times with me helping me totally for free. He really cares. Of course, I did buy the program first. I recommend going to the David Johnson Panic Free Freedom From Fear Website and watch his free video. I promise I am not trying to sell you this. But his free video is nice. If you decide to buy it, you wont be disappointed. Charles Linden Method, had great stuff too, and at one point it was totally what I needed. Then I moved on to David Johnson's program. All of this helped me understand what was going on, but they were all just stepping stones. What's funny is I got a free copy of Charles Linden's method, and I emailed him asking a question. He said he wouldn't help me unless I bought the program. He said my friend who gave me the program free broke the law. I wrote him back saying is that all you care about? What about helping someone in need? Then his wife emails me saying how dare I call her husband uncaring when he is helping children all the time and doing all he can for others. Whatever! Still a good program.

    Amelina Linsdale, The Psychology of Panic and Fear. This is a great ebook and I believe you may be able to find it for free on the net somewhere. I think she has also passed away and someone named Ryan something now owns the rights. Maybe you won't find it for free. Not sure. Good book though!

    Panic Away did not work for me. Basically you tell the anxiety to get worse and worse and then it's supposed to back down. Yeah, it has some value. All the programs out there have some value, but this was unable to stop my panic attacks. I suppose it may work for others. Reducing my breathing and becoming a floppy rag doll, and completely letting go and not adding 2nd fear, helped me more than anything. But what's important is you keep trying whatever it takes to get better and never give up.

    12) Anxiety and Panic is a bluff! Its the biggest bluff we have ever come across! A screaming toddler with no substance. Just a lot of hollering and screaming and teasing that leads you nowhere! It's a twisted game. But the nightmare you are living right now, can soon become a thing of the past and you can be totally normal. Actually, better than normal. Where anxiety means as much to you as an ex boyfriend or girlfriend you broke up with 10 years ago. You just don't think about them. It doesn't matter. IT'S A BLUFF!!

    13) Learn to laugh at yourself. This is all a very bad joke, but nonetheless, it is a joke.
    Last edited by PanicCured; 05-25-2014 at 01:22 AM.

  3. #3
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    14) Realize that there is no safe place or safe person. Having said that, there is no unsafe place and unsafe person either. It's just places and people. Crowds are no more dangerous than quiet areas. Actually, if you think about it, its probably safer being in public then inside your home. I was always afraid if I went out I would drop and noone would help me, but in reality, you would probably be helped by lots of people if something happened outside. I had the most wonderful people come to my aid when I panicked in public. This brings me to:

    14) You're not a freak! You're not weak! You do not need to be ashamed! I had a complete massive panic attack in a shopping mall all alone, where the guy from the juice bar came by and held my hand while I cried on the floor in pure agony. People gathered around and some thought I was having a heart attack. An ambulance came and there were people surrounding watching with cars going by watching. 2 strangers came in the ambulance with me for support. After hours at the hospital, they told me I am fine and can go home.

    You know what? Who cares! That event sucked, but you know what? It's ok. Noone remembers and noone cares. I sure don't care. Now I just think like, "What the hell was I thinking?" Don't worry. Are you laughing at this story? You should be. It's funny. What a moron I was, right? haha, it's ok. My life is completely different now.

    15) You must cultivate courage. I know how hard it is to be alone or go out sometimes. It's like you are frozen in fear. I know. I really know. But you must look fear in the eye and know it's just fear! Baby steps. But do the steps. Use your will to overcome fear. It happens slowly, but if you keep going for it, you will get there. I found getting the right amount of sun everyday helped my mood a lot. Don't get too much sun, but the right amount of sun on as much of your body as you can expose.

    17) I highly recommend no alcohol whatsoever until you have recovered. I found the next day, my adrenaline is out of control and it brings on palpitations and anxiety big time. Just tell your friends you're taking a break. Getting healthy.

    18) Reduce sugar tremendously. Don't drink caffeine. No black or green tea either. Your new drink is chamomile and/or mint tea.

    19) F*CK IT! Sometimes you just have to smile, wink and say F*CK IT! There is much more to life than this. F*CK IT!

    20) Fake it til you make it! You feel nervous out with friends or at the store? Do your best to keep your cool. Don't wait until you are all better before you go out. Going out and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone is the path to getting better. If you totally break down in public and freak out and lose it, hey, I did! I'm ok. I didn't lose any friends over it. If you see someone having a full on panic attack in public, don't you want to just help him? Will you judge him and laugh at him? No, of course not. You would wanna help the person.

    Everyone has her or her own healing path. Stay on it. Create new pathways in your brain. Override these crapy ones with new ones. Instead of automatically wanting to stay in bed, force yourself to jump out of bed. Instead of being scared of enclosed spaces, force yourself to go there. Create new neural pathways.

    Find a hobby to focus your attention on. Play an instrument, do photography, paint, draw, whatever! Take your focus off yourself and into something else.

    Do charity work! Give to those in need. Take your mind off your troubles and help those with much worse troubles than you.

    If you have kids to play with such as a niece, nephew or son or daughter, go outside and play fun activities with a kid or kids. I found playing frisbee with my 5 year old niece took all my worries about myself away. Watch how they just want to play play and play.

    ALWAYS know that this takes time. It took me about a year. That year went by fast. If I knew then what I know now it could have been quicker. It doesn't matter. All that matters is you keep moving forward and don't look at the time. People get cured of cancer, hepatitis, stokes, heart attacks. You think you cant overcome anxiety? Or what Claire Weekes calls, "Nervous Illness".

    Remember, the fight or flight response is a built in mechanism part of your biology. Your brain tells that you're dying so you are motivated to run from the saber toothed tiger. Look around you. Do you see a wild animal about to pounce on you? Your brain has mis-calculated the danger. Retrain it.


    And most important, please smile. Don't take it all so seriously! And please, learn to say, "F*CK IT!"

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Thank You for this :-)
    My Daily Diaries of coping with GAD and PD: helpmetogetridofanxiety.wordpress.com

  5. #5
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    Nice post, thank you! I agree with a lot of it, and can tell you from my experience a lot of the supplementation is pretty spot on. B-Vit's were just killing me anxiety wise.

    My healing (as with many others) comes when they can finally see the 'bluff' as you put it. Sometimes it takes CBT, meditation, external release, or education.
    Last edited by jessed03; 02-03-2014 at 08:28 PM.

  6. #6
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    the B Vitamins bit is a bit hard for me as i was hospitalised for extreme B12 deficiency which went undetected for 12 months prior. I now have to have monthly B12 injections into muscle as i cannot absorb it, but i do remember at the hospital the doctor told me that being low in B12 can bring on anxiety (i had no problems before this) and also that being deficient attacks your nervous system, thus making you extremely anxious/panicky etc. I guess this one will only be a problem for me, as normal people who absorb B12 from usual food sources (red meat) would not need extra B vitamins. I might ask my doc about this too because the doctor at the hospital was extremely uneducated and didnt seem to know much about most things LOL thanks again, i can check this one out too now and keep moving forward :-)
    My Daily Diaries of coping with GAD and PD: helpmetogetridofanxiety.wordpress.com

  7. #7
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    jessed03:

    The Buteyo breathing technique takes some time to understand and be able to implement. I suggest you read a little about it first. It's too much for me to post. You can find the info. Its out there. You are using your mind to slow your breathing. Not forcing anything. It's little by little, a little slower, a little less, then a slight air hunger. But tolerable. It is not forceful. It's a practice. Actually, we are supposed to breath very light in a resting state and ALWAYS through the nose. I can't emphasize reading more about Buteyko and the techniques.
    It is not an oxygen deficit. I really hope people aren't misunderstanding me. The point is breathing out less CO2 so there is more CO2 in the blood which will in turn release more oxygen to your cells. Like when you sleep your breathing slows down a lot. This isn't an oxygen deprivation.

    Schatmeisje:
    If you have a diagnosed B12 deficiency, don't mess around. Supplement it as the doctor tells you to. But get tested again to see if you still need it. Not all people get anxiety from B vitamins. It is really just something that can add to anxiety for some people. It can stimulate the nervous system. It can, but it doesn't mean it will. I don't know if all B vitamins add to anxiety or just some of them. B12 may or may not be one of them. What is wrong with your body that you can't absorb B12 from a steak? Try and cure that, if possible.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by PanicCured; 10-21-2011 at 05:07 PM.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for this...Looking for all the info I can find on natural supplements to get me through my day.

  9. #9
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    Hey Panic Cured, I am missing an enzyme or something that prevents the body from absorbing the vitamin through food or tablet form, that why i have to have the injections. Apparently it is very common in older people, but not people my age, that why they never bothered to test me for it, and why it got to the point here i was unable to walk and was in a wheelchair for a period (it can mimic the symptoms of MS) Im still going to check out with the doc about this one, and some of the other tips you have given as well :-) Its very helpful to be able to get advice from someone who has overcome this, plus it gives us all hope :-)
    My Daily Diaries of coping with GAD and PD: helpmetogetridofanxiety.wordpress.com

  10. #10
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    I could be wrong but I don't think B12 would overstimulate the nervous system like the other B vitamins.

 

 

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