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Severe anxiety help plz!


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i've been recently diagnosed with anxiety about less the a year ago, however my symptoms all started about 6 yrz ago in my early teens. I also have irritable bowel syndrome. Long story short, i had to drop out of school and my life changed soooo much because of this. my anxiety and panic attacks have gotten much worse. I dread leaving my house because the panic attacks set off an IBS attack...n i feel extremely nauseous like im about to throw up and generalized weakness as well as panic attack symptoms. i also get severe diarrhea.

whenever i know that i have to be somewhere my anxiety goes on high weeks before that event n i cry n feel horrible because i cant divert my thoughts.

tomorrw i have an important appointment and itz a social gathering n im dreading going...ive had the worst anxiety today n i cant seem to relax n stop worrying. i get scared because ive actually thrown up a few timez n i also get sooo weak to the point where i cant stand or speak. and wen im scared n anxious i automatically get IBS attacks n i dont want to eat anything because of the sickness im feeling.

can anyone help me or give me tips to relax, because i MUST attend my appointment tomorrw morning i have no other choice... i also lose alot of sleep wen im anxious, n that just makes me feel worse in the morning.

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Please listen to this podcast by Psychologist Michelle Craske who is an anxiety researcher at UCLA. It addresses exactly the sorts of anxiety you are dealing with, including the agoraphobia (e.g., the fear of leaving the house due to panic and IBS).

There is good treatment out there for the sort of anxiety you are dealing with, but you need to know what to ask for and who is likely to offer it. Dr. Craske is the co-author of one of the better treatment protocols for this problem, called Mastery of your Anxiety and Panic, and the sort of therapist who can offer this is going to be a cognitive behavioral therapist. The links to the therapy manual and workbook are on the podcast webpage.

Nothing you can do tonight specifically that will address your overall problem except keep in mind that your panic and IBS, though terrifying and potentially embarrassing, are in no way lethal or dangerous, that you have survived so far just fine, and that you can and will survive this appointment you have tomorrow regardless of what emotions you experience.

Any advice that other panickers have for Sweetz?


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HI Sweetz,

First I hope your appt. go's well for you...

Ok so I'll I can offer is mabe some things that I do in these types of situations that help a bit, I'm still stressy but it helps to slow the anxiety down a bit and sometimes helps to stop the full panic thing.

I sort of over-plan what I am going to talk about so I feel at least a bit more in control

I tell the person if posible right upfront that I am anxious and haveing a hard time with it that way they know and are sometimes more calm talking to me and at least they know why I may act or be a sertain way. That takes the pressure off me a bit to try and pretend I have it together when I really don't..

When I feel a panic thing coming I try to distract myself with basically anything I organize my purse, get a piece of gum, file my nails, basically what ever I can to try and stop thinking the way I am and think of something else.

I try and think to breathe- I tend to hold my breath when I'm nervous and realized that is why I always end up feeling dizzy and nausious. So I think to breathe.

hmmm I think that these things mabe, hopefully help a bit but you still need to just get through it even though it feels really crappy and totally tiring. I find a event like this would take days to prepare and a day or two to get over but I do it and it feels really crappy in the moment but I know it is my anxiety and I know I have to work extra hard because of it- but I get through it! I still go! and each time I do go I am learning tricks to use that help me more the next time and then the next time.

Hope all go's well, take care:)

Edited by nightfalls
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Guest ASchwartz

I fully agree with Dr. Dombeck and that is an excellent way to begin learning about anxiety, panic and irritable bowel.

I also agree with Forgeting about how to handle anxiety when it is coming on.

In fact, one of the primary things that adds to anxiety and that we are not aware of is Breathing. We forget to breath deeply when anxious and many of us are fully unaware that we are even holding our breath for short periods or seconds. That is why taking deep breaths are so helpful in relaxing the entire body.

Listen to the podcast and go into the kind of therapy that will help you learn to reduce your anxiety and panic. I can assure you that I treated many people with this, and very, very successfully.


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Cbt is wonderful and can give you your life back. I have not listened to the podcast by Michelle Craske mentioned above yet, but I was in a cbt group a little over a year ago that was lead by one of her former students who raved about her brilliance and Craske wrote the foreword to the book Been there, Done that? DO THIS! by Sam Obitz that we used in my group and it was awesome! The exercise called the TEA form has been a lifesaver for me and they enable you to change the way you process your thoughts and get back into living your life. Even though my group ended last summer I still use the TEA form to manage my anxiety and they work wonderfully. You can get better! Cbt is great:D

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I've had an anxiety disorder myself and the thing you need to keep in mind is that in time it will get better. I've went through extreme diarrhea, extreme bloating, and panic attacks. I know it's one of the worst things on earth to handle. luckily when it's over you'll feel better about this.

Now what you can do...

One thing you can do is talk to yourself, tell yourself why your anxiety is illogical and say "Why am I anxious". Another thing you can do which I did a lot of was meditation. It's a technique meant for this type of thing. What you do is just get into a quite area and sit down. Take deep breathes in through the nose and out the mouth. Imagine the air going through your nose as good chi so visualize it as white then blow out bad chi which will be black... in your mind. Put all of your focus on the air coming in the nose and out the mouth and you can do this anywhere, even in school just don't go cross legged...

Also classical music is good for you though it takes some getting used to. I'd recommend Vivaldi.

It's also good to channel your anxiety by doing something like martial arts. Its an incredible way to relieve anxiety, try to find a school kinda close. I'd recommend Kung Fu, Karate, or Tai quon do. I wouldn't recommend Tai Chi since your so uptight when your anxious going that slowly might not get you out of a panic, something more aggressive is better for helping anxiety.

If your in a religious community it's really comforting to have people who love you praying for you and God did miracles for me when I was going through this. One of the things that helped me through was that my father was told by God that I didn't have to do a thing to feel better God would take care of it and I held on the that. If your waiting for God to do something like that he may or may not he'll help you in a thousand ways that you most likely won't even know he did.

Hope this helps, us anxious panicking weirdo's need to stick together:D

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... us anxious panicking weirdo's ...

Not weirdos. Anxiety disorders are very common - they are 6the most common forms of mental illness/disorder. And panic disorder is very common too. So you aren't weirdos, but instead just normal folks who have some substantial issues to cope with.

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