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Anxiety Treatment Without Medication?


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33 replies to this topic

Poll: anxiety and medication (22 member(s) have cast votes)

do you treat your anxiety with or without medication?

  1. with medication (17 votes [77.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 77.27%

  2. without medication (5 votes [22.73%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.73%

Vote

#1 illusion

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:14 AM

I have a question to anyone who does therapy because of his/her anxiety.
Im shocked that no matter where I go, it always seems as if everyone treats his anxiety with medication. I know how bad anxiety or even panic attacks are. In general Im against medication but when I have a really bad anxiety phase, I would swallow everything to make it go away. But so far I never took any medication against it. luckily my phases always only last a few weeks, then i have a better time again.

Now do we all believe its impossible to treat anxiety without medication? this thought shocks me a bit.
Anyone here who had a successful treatment without medication?
What about behavioral therapy? Cant this be enough? Dont we try hard enough when we choose the "easier" way and agree to medication?

Edited by illusion, 06 February 2009 - 09:15 AM.


#2 NYCujo79

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:25 AM

There is no fighting through a chemical imbalance in your brain.
Not all panic/anxiety sufferers can talk their way better.

#3 larkinthemorning

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 11:46 AM

For me, it took meds plus about a full year of talk therapy to help my panic disorder. I think just taking meds may not work as well, nor just doing therapy. I had to have the medication to help "right" the chemicals in my brain, but it wasn't until I learned better coping mechanisms through CBT that I felt strong enough to go off the medication. I definitely think there are people who absolutely need medication to deal with their anxiety, and probably also people who may use it as a crutch. Above all, though, I don't think it's wise to judge how anyone else deals with their own personal issues, because we cannot possibly know what they are going through and what they need. For you, it's wonderful that you are able to get through your anxiety medication free. I don't think it would have been possible for me, though, and I feel lucky to have had the means to access it when I needed it.

#4 northstar

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 05:02 PM

hi illusion, like you i was also shocked when i saw the amount of people who depend on medication to get better, but in a way i kind of understand it because if i had felt myself that a pill would take every thing away then i would gladly have swallowed plenty of them. also there is not very much knowledge about other methods of treating anxiety, and often the first thing a doctor will do is to prescribe medication, patients trust their doctors and put their health in their hands, so it is not difficult to see why so many are on medication.

i do believe that meds can be necessary, often they help people to calm down from extreme states of mind so that they can then begin to deal with what is happening. the problem begins, i personally believe, when people depend solely on the meds to make them better, i just don't think it works that way. this is often evident in the huge amounts of frustrated people on here and other websites despairing that their meds aren't working, people who have been on every drug there is and stilll don't feel better and all their doctors are doing is switching them to new ones or upping the dosage. it's very sad to see, i often wish that i could reach into the lives of all these people and help them feel better because i know just how awful it is to feel anxious and panicked all the time :(

i was able to recover without medication (give or take about 2/3 xanex tablets i was coaxed into taking when i was so bad i was seriously in danger of hurting myself, i hated taking them though, and they didn't really make me feel good). my own journey was a difficult one, but successful and my life is a thousand times better now. i learned all about how diet and anxiety are related, discovering about low blood sugars and how it can create anxiety and panic was the key to my recovery! so i worked hard on my diet, and i also worked hard through therapy and lifestyle change to get better.

from other people i have met across the internet i strongly believe that recovery involves positive diet & lifestyle changes along with good therapy in the form of psychotherapy or CBT. it also involves hard work, willingness and determination on the behalf of the sufferer. so far i haven't met a single person who said that medication completely solved their problem, although i would be glad to see if it did. as for chemical imbalances, there are plenty of ways other than meds to solve these kinds of problems, diet once again being a main one.

if you would like to know a bit more about the kinds of things that helped me get through my own difficulties then i'd be happy to send you a PM :)

#5 Scattered13

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:55 PM

My panic disorder got to the point I could barely leave the house, let alone go back to university. I had tried it my way, with therapy for 6 weeks, before my GP stepped and told me I HAD to go onto anti-depressants. I tried propanalol but that didn't cut it. Now I take 40mg Celexa. I was started on 10mg. 20-30mg really helped with my panic. I had to increase because the depression got worse. The Celexa saved my degree: I'm still in weekly therapy. Prior to being diagnosed with panic, I'd had countless years of therapy, CBT and others, to help combat depression and other anxieties.

Sometimes we just need a little help fixing things.
Dx: psychotic depression, panic disorder, rheumatoid arthitis, 'something else going on'
Rx: mirtazapine 45mg,respiridone 1mg, adalimumab 40mg, azathioprine 150mg, hydroxychloroquine 400mg, prednisolone 5mg, diclofenac sodium 150mg, codeine 30mg, zaleplon 10mg, calcium and vit.d

#6 Peggie

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:37 PM

cujo , i agree with you my friend , take care meg

#7 illusion

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 08:59 AM

thanks for all your replie.
of course I understand that so many take medications. I had done it too, if I had the chance.
But I was hoping to hear that there are also other ways that indeed help.
As northstar said, chemical inbalance can be treated also without medication, so its not like we HAVE to take pills if we want to get better.

Im about to start a therapy and Im seriously afraid it will make it all worse. Im also afraid the therapist will try to make me decide FOR medication, because I fear I could end up in an addiction with this. Thats why its so important for me to hear if you think there are also other ways.

#8 jodieandvee

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:03 PM

I have a question to anyone who does therapy because of his/her anxiety.
Im shocked that no matter where I go, it always seems as if everyone treats his anxiety with medication. I know how bad anxiety or even panic attacks are. In general Im against medication but when I have a really bad anxiety phase, I would swallow everything to make it go away. But so far I never took any medication against it. luckily my phases always only last a few weeks, then i have a better time again.

Now do we all believe its impossible to treat anxiety without medication? this thought shocks me a bit.
Anyone here who had a successful treatment without medication?
What about behavioral therapy? Cant this be enough? Dont we try hard enough when we choose the "easier" way and agree to medication?


What I will tell you is that I lost a baby in 2004 and it made my whole life crash down around me. I went through THEE WORSE anxiety and panic and depression. It got extremelly out of hand. It got to the point where I was bound to my house. I gradually made myself do little things here and there. A little more everyday untill eventually I was having a normall life. I mean I was traveling and all. Just these past few months I have been struggling again. Everyone is different and needs different things to heal. I am for the first time seeking medication because my doc thinks I may be having problems producing melitonan. I am very happy for you that you are strong and able to deal with this on your own. We all envy you and all you can do is help others. I want EVERYONE to know that if any of you need to talk, please PM me, I would love to help you out.

Edited by DeeBear, 10 February 2009 - 10:12 PM.


#9 lonelycavy

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 01:43 AM

i have been on medication for years for my depression and anxiety. but my aunt who suffered with anxiety and depression after her son was killed could not go onto medication due to her high blood pressure, she went through hell trying to get her health back. my other aunt who also suffered with depression and anxiety she went and had accunpunture(sp) done and she feels better than her sister. my mum their sister went onto medication for her anxiety and depression but stopped taking the pills. i have also treid therapy, hypnotherapy and these have no worked, in fact the way of thinking has changed here in oz. they feel that it is pointless talking about your past as it will only open old wounds, they give to techniques to live for the here and now. so what ever treatment you decide on must be the right one for you. wishing you luck in what ever you decide to do.

#10 illusion

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 04:24 PM

I am very happy for you that you are strong and able to deal with this on your own. We all envy you and all you can do is help others.


Thank you, but I dont think anyone should envy me. the only reason I can "deal" with my anxiety is because I dont know life without and Im too scared to start therapy. until I was 15 I thought this is normal and everyone lives like this. since then I want to do therapy, but Im just a loser ;)
at least I called a therapist now, but the waiting time is 6 month. I want to use this time to prepare myself for therapy as best as I can.
SOMEHOW it always goes on, with or without therapy.
But I also had really bad times in which I couldnt sleep for days and was in constant panic. And now Im scared I will end up taking medication, because this is not what I really want.

they feel that it is pointless talking about your past as it will only open old wounds, they give to techniques to live for the here and now.


this is good. The main reason why I never started therapy is this, so I hope I wont have to do that.

#11 darcness

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 09:38 PM

(((donkey)))

I was once like you. While I don't fault you for your beliefs, I have to say that it's really hard to generalize things like that. True, many of us probably don't need the meds we take. Many of us could probably do well with things like meditation, therapy, and support systems. The problem is that not everyone has the knowledge, resources, or support systems needed for these types of alternative treatments. When it comes to MI, it's a very individualistic illness. Everyone experiences things a bit different and therefore, generalized statements and practices are very hard to make/perform. The simple nature of MI, dealing with ones own personal thoughts and brain chemistry by default makes it a very difficult illness to consider in any kind of quantitative way. There's simply too many facets of the human brain and individuality present to come to any real consensus.

I'd say that yes, many of us could make it without meds, but what about those who can't? What about those who have no other real options? What about those who have been suffering for so long that they don't see any way out? Sometimes you can get so deep into MI that you refuse help. How are you supposed to go to therapy, use meditation, or do any other kind of self help if you can't even manage to get out of bed for a week? That's where I think medication can certainly lend a helping hand. I know in my case the meds were likely not needed. But I can assure you that if I didn't have them, there's no way I could have made the recovery I did. It was because I was helped by the meds that I could go to work every day, do household chores, and think clearly enough to enjoy and learn from my therapy. With the meds the structure in my life was able to stay there, thus resulting in me feeling better about myself and strong enough to endure the hard times. It certainly wasn't only the meds that lead to my recovery, but it was a part of it.

I used to be very anti-med myself. I now realize that when it comes to MI, meds can lead to other openings we otherwise wouldn't find. I certainly don't believe in any "magic" pill or miracle cure, so don't get me wrong. I'm a strong proponent of combined tactics. I believe meds, thearpy, support, faith, etc, all have their place in building a foundation to better mental health and happiness. In my case I didn't think the meds would fix me. In fact, I knew they likely wouldn't. I just saw them as one more tool in my box. One more thing to learn to utilize in my recovery. For that purpose they certainly helped me greatly.

Edited by darcness, 19 July 2009 - 09:41 PM.

Some of the greatest advice I've ever received on DF: "Always remember that recovery is not linear"
Such a simple phrase, but so easily forgotten...


#12 PRT

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:52 AM

It's actually a bit of a myth that people in other areas of the world don't suffer the same levels of depression. Rates in Asia are now comparable to rates in the west apart from in China and North Korea - but this is probably just not reported or diagnosed due to the set-up of their governments. Obviously if people are trying very hard just to survive then depression isn't the worst thing on their plate but actually it's a commonplace illness all over the world.
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#13 Sheepwoman

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 09:13 AM

DF is pro-treatment for mental health, may it be medications, therapy, alternatives, etc. None of us are professionals and cannot tell our members what they can or cannot do. Our members make their own decisions about treatment with the help from their doctor(s.)

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#14 Joyce

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 12:26 PM

DF is pro-treatment for mental health, may it be medications, therapy, alternatives, etc. None of us are professionals and cannot tell our members what they can or cannot do. Our members make their own decisions about treatment with the help from their doctor(s.)

Sheepwoman


Thanks Sheepwoman.
It really angers me when I see certain people making negative judgements about meds.
I personnally have tried many times to get off meds and one big reason is because of the
stigma attached to it. With many people criticising those that really needs the med to get them through or should I say out of the hell hole they are in it doesnt help us to heal.
Some people dont need meds and I wished so much I was one of them but after 7 years I know
I need meds for the rest of my life. But I am losing alot of my time fihgting that fact because there is always this little voice in my head (sort of speak) that says I should be able to handle my illness in other ways when my body obviously tell me otherwise.

So, its actually dangerous to tell people that no one should use meds. Very irresponsible.

And I was anti meds before I got sick myself so I know both sides. I sure sing a different tune now.

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#15 Forum Admin

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 02:35 PM

I don't think anyone NEEDS medication to overcome anxiety. I believe with wisdom, knowledge and insight you can overcome any obstacle. It's amazing to me that depression and anxiety are Western "Illnesses" in far Eastern countries depression and anxiety are virtually unheard of, and why? because in Countries like Tibet, Nepal, India, Japan they have a different way of life. Capitalism isn't a major issue like it is in the States and Britain. In the west we're taught from a very early age that unless your the best at something, you're a failure. Also in other parts of the world they have meditation, which can help take away any negative obstacles of the mind. Our so called 'advanced' society has caused us to be neurotic, depressed and anxious, then it passes the buck back onto us. Maybe then our "Brilliant" doctors will give us a pill to make it all go away, without warning us that these pills bring on other problems. I like the line in Apocalypse now in which Willard states "They'll cut you half then give you a band aid" that's precisely what our advanced society has done to us.
You don't NEED pills!

Oh yes you do need pills! Most of the members that come here looking for answers do need medication. You need antidepressants, etc,. if your chemistry is off..if you suffer from Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Bipolar, Depression, Personality Disorders, Schizophrenia, just to name a few...and of course there are natural cognitive therapies, Electroconvulsive therapy, (ECT) , etc, that go along with them as well.
DF will never condone what you are saying Donkey and you are lucky you are not getting a formal warning.
Telling DF members they do not need meds is the same as telling them they do not need water or food or psychiatrists/psychologists. How about AA? Shall I say no one needs AA?
Yea Right... :hearts:
You are way off, Donkey. MH is about chemistry, and biology....not advanced society. Having a Mental Health Disease is the same as having Diabetes or a Heart condition...only it is in the Brain. This debate is over, finished, Done.
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#16 illusion

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 09:26 AM

@ Forum Admin:

yes, chemical inbalance, but what causes this? Your brain can relearn to react in the right way (with the right chemicals at the right time).
I understand if someone needs help that includes medication. but what really pi**es me off is when people dont even TRY to get better without medication.

#17 PRT

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:07 AM

Hey Illusion,

Why does it annoy you? I can understand you not wanting to take meds but why does it annoy you when other people want to?

Just interested...
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#18 Lindsay

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:35 PM

@ Forum Admin:

yes, chemical inbalance, but what causes this? Your brain can relearn to react in the right way (with the right chemicals at the right time).
I understand if someone needs help that includes medication. but what really pi**es me off is when people dont even TRY to get better without medication.

illusion,
What causes this, you say? What causes Diabetes or Epilepsy...Heart disease, or any Disease of the body? Mental Illness, (and depression is a mental illness in which most types can be cured), is an Illness..A disease that needs to be treated. You are afraid of therapy and meds, yet your quality of life is not there.
Your Mental Illness needs to be treated just as any other physical disease. No One can go on forever without treating an illness. Whether you begin taking medication or one of many therapies available, or both.
I do think this discussion is over, as this is an informational website, not debates.
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#19 surfergirl

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 04:09 PM

what confuses me though is that depression can be episodic. Diabetes, high bloodpressure, epilepsy are generally life long problems. Yes, MI can be, but not always. People can recover and never need meds again.

That is what confuses me and has me questioning the need to take meds forever, even though i do relapse when off them. i do think for some they can retrain their brain not to need meds - to do what the meds do

#20 illusion

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:02 PM

I dont want to offend anyone.
I mentioned it before but im gonna say it again:
medication is fine. But its sad if someone doesnt even try to get better without medication. meds do have horrible sideeffects. You wouldnt just take meds for other diseases if there are other ways, would you?

I was just curious if anyone here beat anxiety without meds. I suffer on panic attacks since 15 years, I know how bad they can be. But I dont want to get drugged and hoped to hear some stories of people who made it through with other ways.

#21 Guest_iowa_*

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:58 PM

Depression can be due to the loss of a loved one, devastating financial problems or something. People can and do recover over time. They may need medication for awhile and then later not need it. Often depression is chronic, long lasting and caused by a disfunction of chemicals in the person's brain biology. With milder cases, a person may learn enough skills through therapy and other techniques to be able to stop taking medications. The majority of people with chronic (major) depresssion need to be on medication for life. It can be compared to someone having a sore on their tongue with a person having tongue cancer. They may have the same symptoms but are different in terms of severity and treatment options.
Depression and anxiety can be short-term if they are caused by the environment. If they are caused by disfunction of chemical exchange in the brain, they are life long. If you have situational or minor depression, people can try not taking medication. They can then take medication when it gets worse and/or doesn't get better. On the other hand, if a person has severe depression, it would be unconscionable to even suggest they try to do without medication. Indeed, many people with chronic depression feel better on medications and decide they don't need them, only to sink into the depths of dispair and often subtract time off their lives and maybe die or almost die.
As far as what medications can do, anti-acids don't train or teach the chemicals in your stomach to tolerate spicy foods and anti-depressants don't train or teach your brain to react chemically differently. The function of the medications in both cases is to stop the negative result and/or produce a favorable result. An anti-acid stops the acid forming in your stomach and causes you to feel better. An anti-depressant stops the disfunction of chemicals in the brain and causes your mood to improve.
Illusion, if your doctors found cancer and suggested you needed chemo and radiation, would you say, "No, I think I'll try a different diet, meditation and more exercise? We each have to make a risk assessment. If you haven't had a terrible thing happen in your life and feel rather hopeless, you seek medication. If you lost your job, you might find other ways of dealing with it.
Illusion, you might ask your question of "does anyone get over panic attacks without medications" here separtely (so as to not hijack this thread). I have yet to make much progress with anxiety attacks despite medication, biofeedback, relaxation therapy, CBT therapy, mediation and dietary changes. The discussion of what causes the brain chemical changes will have to wait for another thread because this post has gotten too long!
Iowa

Edited by iowa, 22 July 2009 - 11:14 PM.


#22 Joyce

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 03:17 AM

I have been taking cymbalta for 5 days now. Well only 3 times since its every 2 days. But my physical symptoms from anxiety have been kept at bay pretty much which is a huge relief. I do read alot of negative from cymbalta and even if scared I'm willing to give it a try as it takes care of my core anxiety symptoms and I dont have much side effects except tiredness which is why I take it every other day for now.

Ok, why am I writing this here. Well, I just had this dream and it has to do with something that has caused me great distress in the past and unconsciously I couldnt let go. I was part of forums to talk about it because I needed to talk about that part of my life that basically made me damaged good. I have to say that I have already decided not to go to those forums anymore just a few days ago cause I felt it wasnt helping me but just kept me stuck in that part of my life I dont want any part of anymore. But I did need it at some point before but in the long run it didnt help me to truly heal. I even came to see that it made my anxiety worst as I was constantly reliving that past. No, its not here!!!

I needed to let go even if I still felt I was stuck there emotionally.

Ok, I know I have not been on cymbalta for long and maybe its just a fluke but I had this dream (thats why I am writing this at 3h30am) and when I woke up I felt like I had let go of that part of my life. Not entirely yet, but enough to make me feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulder. In my dream, I was able to not accept what happened, got angry, cried and get support from someone that was important than in my life which in real life this person did not give me that support and I had to carry that burden and felt guilty. I feel I can let go! I know I did the right thing and that anger and resentment I felt I kind of evacuated it in my dream.

Because the med keeps my anxiety symptom at bay I dont have my attention constantly on my body. Since I dont have my attention stuck on my pain I guess I am able to focus more on what is causing it even if unconsciously.
How can you heal when you suffer and have nothing to ease that pain. All your energy is stuck on your pain, struggling to find ways to get through the day, wondering when your anxiety symptoms will get worst. In my head I cant even focus, it takes alot of energy for me to be able to even do the simplest things. I work but at the end of the day I was so exhausted of just having been able to get through the day and I was so afraid I just couldnt do much. Like I was petrified of...who knows what. Afraid I could die, afraid cause I didnt know when I was going to reach the breaking point of not being able to cope with the anxiety anymore. Is anxiety a nightmare? Yes it is. I truly understand what everyone here that suffer from it goes through.

My point is this. To say that meds arent good or not necessary is so wrong. Ok, it might not be 100% perfect and yes there is side effects. But it helps you to take your attention away from your pain and than you can focus on what cause it.
Or at least it open doors to make you see. Your attention is not only stuck on your pain.
Trying to heal when you have to constantly cope with the pain is not only hard is almost impossible.
The meds give you breathing space. And boy, do we need that breathing space.

I personnally might have to be on meds for the rest of my life. So what? If it gives me a quality of life, I'll take them for the rest of my life. I have been struggling for 7 years. I always got off the meds cause I was teached that meds were bad so I was taking them but with the purpose to get off them as soon as i felt better. Well, I crashed again every single time. This last time was so bad emotionnally that I felt I might harm myself cause I had attain my treshold of suffering. And its not because I didnt try without the meds. I always say I have a short circuit in my nervous system.
That is how I can explain it to those that dont suffer from anxiety and the med helps in that way.
Its also in part genetic cause my dad was suffering from anxiety too. Except he became an alcoholic to cover his pain instead of dealing with it in a more healthy way.

Joyce
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#23 faith_tx

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 04:17 PM

How can you heal when you suffer and have nothing to ease that pain. All your energy is stuck on your pain, struggling to find ways to get through the day, wondering when your anxiety symptoms will get worst.
Joyce


This is where I've been, Joyce!! I have been suffering from anxiety for like 20 years. I was on something many years ago and it helped but after a couple years I went off them. Then, for years I suffered on and off with it. . . but had been caught up in a process that told me I should be able to "do it" without medication. I was visiting a particular web site a lot that teaches about anxiety and depression and ways to overcome it. . . I was also going to counseling. . .and my counselor kept suggestion that I try meds. I'd try them for a few days and give up.

Finally I got so bad I was afraid that I'd have to quit my job. I "gave in" and tried Celexa and Klonopin. (after trying of all things birth control pills for 3 months thinking it was just PMS).

Well, I'm feeling a lot better. Yes, there are side effects, and I've had to go back down after the 20mg of the Celexa left me too tired and nauseated. . .but I'm so much better than I was just a couple months ago. I'm also continuing my counseling.

I may have to be on medication forever and if so that's OK. I don't ever want to go back to where I was in May ever again. That was not my happy place at all!

#24 Joyce

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 04:59 AM

How can you heal when you suffer and have nothing to ease that pain. All your energy is stuck on your pain, struggling to find ways to get through the day, wondering when your anxiety symptoms will get worst.
Joyce


This is where I've been, Joyce!! I have been suffering from anxiety for like 20 years. I was on something many years ago and it helped but after a couple years I went off them. Then, for years I suffered on and off with it. . . but had been caught up in a process that told me I should be able to "do it" without medication. I was visiting a particular web site a lot that teaches about anxiety and depression and ways to overcome it. . . I was also going to counseling. . .and my counselor kept suggestion that I try meds. I'd try them for a few days and give up.

Finally I got so bad I was afraid that I'd have to quit my job. I "gave in" and tried Celexa and Klonopin. (after trying of all things birth control pills for 3 months thinking it was just PMS).

Well, I'm feeling a lot better. Yes, there are side effects, and I've had to go back down after the 20mg of the Celexa left me too tired and nauseated. . .but I'm so much better than I was just a couple months ago. I'm also continuing my counseling.

I may have to be on medication forever and if so that's OK. I don't ever want to go back to where I was in May ever again. That was not my happy place at all!


I'm so glad you are feeling better! :flowers:

No, its not a place we ever want to be again. I know the feeling. You dont live. You just survive.
And even than.

I might have to switch med. that sucks. cymbalta gives me heart palpitations like effexor did. I guess no more SNRI for me. Zoloft is pretty much my last resource. Going to see my doc this morning so hopefully he wont mind let me try zoloft.

Counseling is extremely important and i'm glad you are doing that. I might get counseling too depending of my second evaluation I will have friday. If I pass, I will have acess to the anxiety clinic and it wont cost me nothing. Otherwise, I cant afford to see a counselor.

Very happy again you are doing better :hearts:
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#25 faith_tx

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:33 AM

Thanks. . .my biggest fear is that this improvement will be temporary. I have had times of feeling better and then it doesn't last.

Some of it comes down to expectations. I have to stop thinking I'll find something that will 'CURE' me so that I don't have to deal with anxiety at all. Unfortunately it is part of how I'm made. There are much worse conditions to deal with . .. I have to remind myself when I get into pity party mode.

#26 darcness

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:55 AM

(((faith)))

I know exactly what you mean about not being able to accept that your feeling better. I had the exact same problem. I think our minds get stuck with that anxiety for so long that once it goes away, it some how feels like it's always waiting, just around the next corner, to surprise us with the knock out blow again. Not to mention that when starting AD's that roller coaster of emotions gives us the feeling of uncertainty and makes it hard to accept that we really could be better, and stay that way.

I've found the best thing is just accepting the here and now, regardless of what happened in the past. When I'm on a good streak, I just enjoy it for what it is. Take it day by day and enjoy the good times, and work through the bad (if they come). Since I've started to really just accept what's happening and let myself know that I'm ok, the better things get for me. Even if some anxiety comes up, I don't fight it. I let it hang out and don't give it too much thought. Soon the anxiety lifts because I don't give it it's power. Anxiety works off fear and if we can lose the fear of it, it loses it's power over us. I know it's hard to accept that your well and you very well could stay that way, but you can and hopefully you will.

Some of the greatest advice I've ever received on DF: "Always remember that recovery is not linear"
Such a simple phrase, but so easily forgotten...


#27 northstar

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 12:14 PM

I dont want to offend anyone.
I mentioned it before but im gonna say it again:
medication is fine. But its sad if someone doesnt even try to get better without medication. meds do have horrible sideeffects. You wouldnt just take meds for other diseases if there are other ways, would you?

I was just curious if anyone here beat anxiety without meds. I suffer on panic attacks since 15 years, I know how bad they can be. But I dont want to get drugged and hoped to hear some stories of people who made it through with other ways.


hi illusion, i recovered without medication. and i was pretty darn bad with anxiety and panic disorder i can tell you, it was the most terrible time in my life. i think i took about 2/3 xanax tablets at different times when i was coaxed to by my parents and doctor because i was so bad i was in danger of hurting myself (i couldn't stop the suicidal thoughts, it was almost as if they were beyond my control, it was very scary).

anyway, my doctor wanted to put me on lexapro and send me to hospital but i believed that there was another way and she agreed to let me try to solve it first before going ahead with medication. and i am so eternally GLAD that she allowed me to do this!!

it turned out i didn't need medication at all, in fact if i had gone on the meds i don't believe i would ever have discovered what was actually wrong.

all that was wrong was my diet, too much sugar, caffeine, junk food, skipping meals, weeks of barely eating due to illness, going for hours without food, a lifestyle where i got pretty much no exercise - all this had left me with incredibly bad blood sugar levels and i had highs and lows constantly and the lows led to symptoms that then made me panic like heart palpitations, breathlessness, racing thoughts and severe depressions.

i disovered this MYSELF, without the help of a doctor and this has left me horribly aware of where i could have ended up if i had followed my doctors advice. once i started sorting my diet out, sorting my life out by doing things to make myself happier, i went to see a psychotherapist for a good while, took vitamin B complex with magnesium, got lots of exercise - all of this slowly helped me to regain myself again, the panic and anxiety left, i returned to normal and i have never had any trouble with anxiety again. the only time it ever comes back is if i allow my diet to get bad again and have one too many cans of coke or cups of tea and that's pretty quickly solved by avoiding them again.

changing my diet literally saved my life, i cannot express that enough.

so i know personally that it is very very possible to get better without medication, it's hard work of course, and no one likes hearing that they have to change their diet but it's worth it to have normal life again, no to have a life thats 200% better than the one i was leading before. i have come so far, and i am so very proud of my achievement.

i think that more needs to be done to make people aware of the fact that there is so much that can be done to help with anxiety along with or instead of medication, these are peoples LIVES we are talking about afterall and healthy debate on the topic should be encouraged not quashed. people should not be told that they need medication when this may not even be the case.

i personally have never met anyone who has had their problems solved with medication alone, i have only ever met people who are miserable because the drugs aren't working the way they want them to. in fact the only people i've met who have recovered from anxiety are people who changed their lives and diets like myself.

i have lots of information on the kinds of things you can do to recover from anxiety, practical things that can be put into use in everyday life. but it needs to be worked at, there's no pill that will make it go away magically. if anyone wants information they can PM me, i won't post it all up here because it's too much!

this does not mean that i'm anti-medication at all, in fact if it helps then it's a great thing and i believe that sometimes if we're in a very bad place if it can help bring us down to a normal level again then it's a great thing. but i just don't believe that it's a permanent solution at all and that changes need to be made in your our lives if we want to feel different.

Edited by PRT, 09 August 2009 - 02:13 PM.


#28 illusion

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 04:21 AM

thank you so much for your story northstar!
Its really great to hear you came so far and were able to get rid of the anxiety, and this even without medication!
You can really be proud of yourself.

You sound a lot like me. uncontrollable suicidal thoughts, racing thoughts, depression, breathlessness... I have that too.
and my anxiety got worse again since a few days, including horrible nightmares :(
Unfortunately theres not much I could change on my eating behaviour. I think I eat quite healthy and also do some sports. But of course theres always something that could be changed. I know that sugar is connected to anxiety, so maybe I should be even more careful with this (god, I love chocolate ;) ).

I hope that my therapy (CBT) that I just started will help me with my anxiety. It is still the worst thing of it all. I definately want to try it without meds first, even though there are moments in which I wished I had something to calm me down.

#29 northstar

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 04:31 AM

thank you so much for your story northstar!
Its really great to hear you came so far and were able to get rid of the anxiety, and this even without medication!
You can really be proud of yourself.

You sound a lot like me. uncontrollable suicidal thoughts, racing thoughts, depression, breathlessness... I have that too.
and my anxiety got worse again since a few days, including horrible nightmares :(
Unfortunately theres not much I could change on my eating behaviour. I think I eat quite healthy and also do some sports. But of course theres always something that could be changed. I know that sugar is connected to anxiety, so maybe I should be even more careful with this (god, I love chocolate ;) ).

I hope that my therapy (CBT) that I just started will help me with my anxiety. It is still the worst thing of it all. I definately want to try it without meds first, even though there are moments in which I wished I had something to calm me down.


illusion i have no doubt that the CBT will help you to regain some of your personal strength, i have only heard positive results from people who've tried it. it's important to look after your mind as well as your body.

i will send you a PM with a link to a big post i wrote with lots of information on all the things i did to help me get better, i hope you'll find it helpful :)

#30 Joyce

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:53 AM

While I do agree that medication is not for everyone and I am sure happy for those that do not need them. I have now been on zoloft for over 2 weeks and am getting better and better. I am on a very low dosage (25 mg) and klonopin but the klonopin is until zoloft really kicks in which can take up to 2 months.

Anyway, when I read posts saying meds should not be taken at all it really bothers me. Some people do need meds and also meds can help a person going through the rough patches that can frankly be unbareable otherwise. Many can get off them after treatment and be fine but there is a minority that needs them for lifetime. I am in this minority. I know my body. I know that what I have is in part genetic (from my father) and I truly know that there is some sort of short circuit in my nervous system. I have tried to get off a few times but to no avail.

Also, the kind of message saying meds are bad (even in a subtle way) makes those that needs them like me feel guilty and like we dont want to really heal which is total bulls*** (sorry for the word but thats really the only word I can think of). I didnt sit in my living room feeling sorry for myself. I kept working and still am working. My children were still with me when I got sick and I had to provide for them. So, I made that choice of taking meds so I could go on. Its not a sign of weakness to take meds. There might be a minority but who wants to deal with side effects and uncertainties if meds will work unless its absolutely necessary?

I am all for other alternatives. 100% but dont dismiss meds as a bad thing. It is not and again it doesnt help those that truly need them to give them the confidence they need.

Ok, getting off my soap box again
:hearts:

Joyce
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#31 illusion

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:13 AM

Also, the kind of message saying meds are bad (even in a subtle way) makes those that needs them like me feel guilty and like we dont want to really heal which is total bulls*** (sorry for the word but thats really the only word I can think of). I didnt sit in my living room feeling sorry for myself.


I hope no one here feels guilty! I didnt start that thread to make someone feel guilty. I was just curious if there is anyone at all who made it through without meds, because I have hope I can do it without too. Im happy I heard some stories of people who were able to get rid of the anxiety without meds, but of course that doesnt mean that those who DO need meds are weak or dont want to get help! Im sorry if it seemed like that!
Im glad youre still able to work and that the meds help you.
My intention with this thread was to see if there are ways to treat it without meds and give those who take meds a bit hope that they might wont need it for the rest of their lives.

I wish everyone the best...with or without meds.

#32 Joyce

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:38 AM

Also, the kind of message saying meds are bad (even in a subtle way) makes those that needs them like me feel guilty and like we dont want to really heal which is total bulls*** (sorry for the word but thats really the only word I can think of). I didnt sit in my living room feeling sorry for myself.


I hope no one here feels guilty! I didnt start that thread to make someone feel guilty. I was just curious if there is anyone at all who made it through without meds, because I have hope I can do it without too. Im happy I heard some stories of people who were able to get rid of the anxiety without meds, but of course that doesnt mean that those who DO need meds are weak or dont want to get help! Im sorry if it seemed like that!
Im glad youre still able to work and that the meds help you.
My intention with this thread was to see if there are ways to treat it without meds and give those who take meds a bit hope that they might wont need it for the rest of their lives.

I wish everyone the best...with or without meds.


It wasnt directed at you personnally. Just some people seems to take advantage of discussions like this to say that no meds should be used.
I know there is some anti meds here and they know who they are. That it is who it is directed at.

Sorry I made you felt bad. I should of said it wasnt directed at you in the first place,

Love
Joyce
:hearts:
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#33 Myself

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 01:25 PM

I take meds for my anxiety. I use Ativan it really helps me get through the day. CBT, deep breathing, meditation, etc... can help if you are not taking meds.
"If you are going through hell, keep going." - Winston Churchill

#34 Lindsay

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 03:35 PM

Also, the kind of message saying meds are bad (even in a subtle way) makes those that needs them like me feel guilty and like we dont want to really heal which is total bulls*** (sorry for the word but thats really the only word I can think of). I didnt sit in my living room feeling sorry for myself.


I hope no one here feels guilty! I didnt start that thread to make someone feel guilty. I was just curious if there is anyone at all who made it through without meds, because I have hope I can do it without too. Im happy I heard some stories of people who were able to get rid of the anxiety without meds, but of course that doesnt mean that those who DO need meds are weak or dont want to get help! Im sorry if it seemed like that!
Im glad youre still able to work and that the meds help you.
My intention with this thread was to see if there are ways to treat it without meds and give those who take meds a bit hope that they might wont need it for the rest of their lives.

I wish everyone the best...with or without meds.

Great, Thank you Illusion. Obviously I wish everyone the best as well.

Everyone is different. No One is alike. There are different reasons for taking or not taking medications. Some are worse off than others and must stay on their meds for the rest of their lives and some do not have to. Each diagnosis is different in some way and treated as such.

The first time I had to take a Benzo, 30 some odd years ago, (Valium), for horrific panic attacks due to my 6 yr old son being injured terribly, saved me. Am I hooked on Valium? Hell no.
I took it when needed and it and went on with my life raising him and my two baby daughters. But I definitely needed it to survive. I cannot begin to tell you the trauma I went through with my son and I could barely swallow a tiny half of a pill! Am I hooked on Valium? G_d. NO. I have not taken it for 30 some odd years! But it got me through my anxiety and panic attacks.

So yes, some people do need medication and some do not and can recover with CBT, therapy and diet alone. I needed both meds and therapy. I am now closing this topic as we really do not debate medications and therapy here at Depression Forums as we all know that they both are wonderful for everyone who needs them. :hearts:
Warmly-
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Be Well....

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"Lasting effect" is a self -contradictory term.  Meaning does not exist in the future, nor do I.  
Nothing will have meaning, "ultimately."
Nothing will even mean tomorrow what it did today.  Meaning changes with the context.  
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