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I have bad anxiety a lot. It's one of the reasons I mess up over and over again and go back to alcohol or drugs. I don't ever want to turn to alcohol or drugs again. I've tried meds for anxiety and I can't use them because I abuse them. If I try to take them the way the doctor says to take them it actually makes me more miserable then taking no meds at all. I need to find other ways to deal with the anxiety. It doesn't matter what it is. I will consider anything. Please help.

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Hi,

Sorry you are in this bind. I found Cognitive Behavior Therapy very helpful for learning techniques for reducing anxiety. One could try out some of the self-books by authors like Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D. and Matthew McKay, Ph.D. I was helped a lot by one called "The Worry Cure" by Dr. Leahy. This self-help book actually helped. A lot of books didn't help me much. None of these CBT techniques involve medication. Although benzos are addictive in a sense, it is my understand that antidepressants are not and help enormously with anxiety. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

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I keep a little card in my pocket. On it is written these words: You are suffering anxiety. These thoughts and feelings are not you. You have them but they are not you. You don't have to take them seriously. Let them come and let them go. You are not your thoughts. Now smile, because you have transcended your anxiety!

I read this card very often so that I can step out of the thought stream of constant worrying thoughts and feelings. It reminds me that I am more than all this garbage and that I can step out of the thought stream. Part of me cannot be drowned in this thought stream and I know it. When I read the card I remember it and feel relief and I do smile.

Don't know if this would help you. Helps me. best to you!!!

Edited by Epictetus

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Hi sober, I'm a recovering alcoholic who drank for years hoping to relieve anxiety and other problems, but all the booze did was make things worse, and the worse it got the more I drank. I finally came to my senses and realized this cycle had to be broken. After quitting the anxiety is still there but is manageable. I never got along well with anxiety meds either, it seemed to make it worse in my case as well. ADs helped me so much more. CBT helped me a lot as well, and I think Epitetus has some really good ideas as well. Have you ever found the root cause of your anxiety? As a better understanding of this helped me a lot in controlling it. Best wishes to you.

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My anxiety gets worse when I'm around people. The more people there are the worse the anxiety gets. I don't have panic attacks very often but I can feel like I'm very close to a panic attack almost every time I'm around a lot of people. I get to the point where I have to get out of the situation even if I have to run away. When I get outside the building the fresh air seems to help. It's the worst when I go to get groceries or if I'm in a hospital. I understand the hospital one because I have spent way too much time in psych wards so when I go in any hospital it's like a total nightmare. Even though I can easily walk out of that hospital I still get that feeling like I'm trapped and I can't get out.

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Have you ever had Trazodone? It makes you tired/takes away anxiety.

My ex could not take benzos bcs of his alcohol addiction.

He refused therapy, etc., but Trazodone actually helped, and its just an AD/non-addictive.

Maybe it can help

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Guided muscle relaxation may be good for you. There are little mini techniques for when you can't lie flat on the floor and work through each group. I try this when I get to the point where I can barely breath. It helps to slow my inhale and exhale and to pay attention to them instead of allowing my anxiety to spiral out of control.

If you can get to a place you can be alone for a minute or two place your hands lightly over your eyes to block out light. Feel as though your eyes are empty. Relax your eyeballs (sounds weird I know but once you do it, it's a relief). Notice your inhalations and your exhalations. Breath evenly and slowly. This is best done in a low light environment but if you are in a bathroom stall you can just calmly take your hands away and while still breathing slowly open your eyes. I have a smooth round stone I picked up on the beach. The coolness of the stone concentrates my meditation and when the stone warms up I feel I am able to open my eyes and my mind and come back to the real world.

Give it a try. I hope this helps for you. All in all it takes less than five minutes.

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