General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

How do you deal with anxiety?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25786 points ) July 13th, 2010

I have anxiety disorder and have generalized anxiety the majority of the time. It’s not directed or caused by any one thing. It’s just there.

I have used some breathing techniques and meditation to alleviate it, but there are times when only the medication helps.

Do you ever have severe anxiety, and what do you do about it? Do you have techniques to deal with it?

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33 Answers

Marva's avatar

I don’t have anxiety. But I have helped people who had it, with diffrent natural methods and self awarness. To the best of my experience, there is always a trigger, can be a constant trigger, a feeling inside that is always there causing the anxiety. I suggest therapy, sice you are already taking medication I assume you have been to a psycholigist/psychiatrist. Ther are natural methods that work: Reflexology combined with self awareness, Acupuncture and quite a few others. The combination with self awarness to find and deal with the feeling causing the anxiety is reccomended. Good luck!

Seek's avatar

Breathing exercises mostly.

Self-medicating with alcohol on the odd occasion doesn’t hurt, either.

Mine’s more a social anxiety, though. And I am an incredibly nervous driver – particularly on the interstate when there are large trucks around me, or it’s raining. Then, of course, it’s all breathing exercises and muttering profanity.

jca's avatar

I don’t have severe anxiety, but on the rare occasion when something really bothers me, i try to reason myself out of it. For example i will think of reasons why i should not feel so anxious. I’ll ask myself “what’s the worst that can happen?” or I’ll think of reasons why it’s not so bad as i’m making it out to be.

About a year ago i had a boss that i could not stand and it was making me very unhappy. So when I got anxious about it and him, i thought to myself the things that i was doing to find another job. That’s one example.

stratman37's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – I thought alcohol made it worse.

Seek's avatar

@stratman37

Well, my particular brand of social anxiety is probably more of a remnant of my (horrible, abusive) upbringing than a chemical imbalance in the brain.

I haven’t been diagnosed formally with anything, so I don’t know what the experts say on the topic. I just know that a few Guinnesses make it a little easier to be in a room full of people.

janbb's avatar

For mild anxiety, three slow really deep breaths help somewhat. For deeper anxiety, cowering under the covers and shaking (not really meant as a joke.) Usually, if I can get involved in a distracting activity, it helps.

poofandmook's avatar

I’m not even going to lie.. Xanax is about the only thing that helps most of the time.

Jude's avatar

Warmth. A hot bath or lying by the fireplace (I’ve been there, where I was on the floor right beside the fireplace and was covered with a duvet). Warmth seems to help with the anxiety.

BoBo1946's avatar

Today, it has been a tough day! Had to stop and get one beer to relax me. Have not had drink in a longtime, but today, was the day!

Aster's avatar

My answer is not well . Deep breaths?? Useless for me.
I think the majority of people think anxiety is the same as being nervous. It isn’t.

pitchtheview's avatar

I have an anxiety disorder, but not a lot of things can help me calm down. Usually, whenever I get too anxious; I’m around people, so it helps to get out of the room or something.

For me, staying in a familiar and close environment does wonders.

josie's avatar

Don’t have much of a problem with anxiety. But in my opinion, a good antidote for a negative emotional state of any variety is exercise. Has worked for me forever.

Aster's avatar

I’m a mental case. I often get anxiety going out in the car—alone or not alone. Oh, well. it’s only been going on 20+ years. Tame in comparison with being on a boat.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Aster my brother deal with that! He taught school for 25 or so years and developed it after he retired.

Aster's avatar

@BoBo1946 I wonder why he got it after retirement? Did he have it for 20 years too? Counseling help him to know what caused it? I appreciate your telling me this, booboo.

YARNLADY's avatar

I just wait it out, and try to remain calm by doing a repetitive activity, like Fluthering or needlepoint.

@Aster Being nervous can be one of the symptoms of anxiety. In that way, treating a symptom can help the root cause as well.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

There is a well known and effective technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation that we psychologists teach our clients with anxiety disorders. It is easy to learn by yourself. If you can’t find a clear description of it, please contact me and I’ll find one for you.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not that well. I’ve been an anxious wart since childhood so while I’ve gotten used to myself, I do wear hard on others. At one point in my life I did go on anti-anxiety meds for a couple of years which was a joy for friends and family even if I noticed only small differences. Breathing, exercising, hobbies and all haven’t been sucessful with me.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Very good idea. This wikipedia article explains it, with links to techniques.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@YARNLADY I am pleased to know that.
@hawaii_jake It really works!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@YARNLADY
That looks worth further study for me, thanks for the link!

MissA's avatar

Find the source and remove it.

If you find the source and/or can’t remove it…
and, it’s not from a bona fide imbalance…
the wrong person will end up being medicated.

Jabe73's avatar

Paxil has helped me through some bad times, but for me it was a very difficult drug to quit. I heard Prozac isn’t as hard to wane yourself off of (without the extreme withdraw symptoms that you can get from Paxil).

BoBo1946's avatar

@Aster have no idea…nor does he! He taught school for 25 years and never was a problem. He only experiences this when he drives his vehicle!

augustlan's avatar

I’ve tried all kinds of CBT, and none has worked long term for me. Medication is the only thing that has done the trick. I will be on Effexor XR (or some variation) for the rest of my life, to deal with my GAD. I also take Xanax (rarely, these days) for panic attacks.

poofandmook's avatar

@augustlan: Right… people keep saying that maybe I could be weaned off the daily medication (Lexapro, Wellbutrin) now that I’m doing better. People do NOT understand the difference between PD/GAD and situational anxiety/panic.

Seek's avatar

Doesn’t weaning off Lexapro have yucky side effects – like suicidal tendencies?

Feel free to ignore anyone who is stupid enough to talk without knowing the consequences of their suggestions.

poofandmook's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: Weaning off any of those types has yucky side effects, and I believe most all of them do list suicidal tendencies. They have to, because if one person commits suicide while coming off the drug, they’ll be held liable. But I do ignore them. Frankly, I’ve never felt this good in my whole life, and I put 90% of that on the medication. I’m in no rush to stop them, and if I feel this good, I’ll be more than willing to continue taking them forever.

mangeons's avatar

I used to take Prozac for my anxiety, which I’m now off of. I don’t get panic attacks very much anymore, but usually what helps me is to distract myself by doing something else, usually watching TV, using the computer, or reading. I also just try to breathe deeply and think positive thoughts, mainly. If I’m in school, where I can’t really distract myself much, I just try to focus on little things, like tapping my foot quietly or clicking my pen, anything to occupy my mind enough to calm myself. If all else fails, I usually just head to the bathroom or somewhere else where I can isolate myself for enough time to calm down.

Jude's avatar

Sex?

Shippy's avatar

I know this question is old, but it was odd finding today. I had a panic attack today, it was really hard. I also have anxiety disorder which I do find I can sooth it a bit in a number of ways. But panic attack no, if I even try to sooth it it makes it worse. I have to go on medication for it, I don’t think I want to experience that again. Ever. In the meantime I am not sure until I can get to see a psychiatrist.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Shippy : Yes, a panic attack can only be alleviated often times with medication.

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