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Health - Most effective treatments of anxiety?

Discussion in 'The euphoric body' started by Gradient, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Gradient

    Gradient Chem|EB|DMT

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm interested in reading about what you've found to be the most effective coping mechanisms for anxiety - everything from drugs to breathing exercises to vacations to watching TV. In particular I'd like to see your answers to the following questions, but I'd like to read whatever your thoughts are on this issue.

    1. How long have you had anxiety, and how would you describe it?

    2. Have you sought clinical treatment?

    3. If there's a specific drug you've found to be most effective, which one is it - and have you tried more than one?

    4. If there's a particular exercise or activity, what is it?

    I'll greatly appreciate your responses! Short responses are totally fine, but elaboration will be more appreciated.
     
  2. GeographyGeography

    GeographyGeography Titanium Member

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    Recently diagnosed with social, but have felt anxiety since about highschool. Mostly just a general awkwardness which reinforces itself in social situations. I used to abuse alprazolam (xanax), but my legit doc put me on lorazepam, which was nice but I have found clonazepam (klonopin) to be much more effective for duration of effects and totally cutting out all the nervousness or weirdness around people. Really its a god send. Now I just have to not get dependent.

    Also- exercising has been shown to reduce anxiety, as well as improving the way one's body looks can build pride in your self appearance which can offset at least social anxiety, wouldn't think this would work with other types like GAD.

    I get sweaty, hot, nausea, rapid heartbeat, feeling of illogical impending doom (usually centered around planet-wide tsunamis...dont ask)
     
  3. Pyron

    Pyron Titanium Member

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    I find that watching TV or a movie can help a lot. It has to do with the fact that it allows you to take your mind off of whatever it giving you anxiety by giving you something to focus on. I find that media that has more dialogue is more likely to allow you to focus because it is hard to think critically when also having to hear and interpret someone's words. Movies with little dialogue are okay but tend to not be as effective for me because it is easier to focus on your own thoughts when only having to take in visual information as opposed to auditory info. My example for a movie like this would be The Wall, which is very imagery ridden and if anything, thought provoking. Something like a sit-com works best for me because it's light hearted and dialogue intense so it allows for the most mental detachment.

    Music is kind of a hit or miss in terms of anxiety relief. Sometimes it can be relaxing, but it doesn't take my mind off whatever is giving me anxiety like a video would, since often when I'm listening to music is when my mind tends to wander the most. The exception is for when I use cannabis, as that will allow me focus in on the music better.

    I don't suffer from anxiety very often, so I can't give a very critical analysis on what best helps with it, but these are some things I find help when I'm feeling a little stressed out. Nothing like a cold beer while you're at it either
     
  4. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    I've had anxiety all my life. It used to be related to social activities and being around lots of people but that's not so much the reason anymore, I kind of learned how not to let it bother me. Now I'm just generally anxious for no reason, I feel like I have lots of excess of energy and I'm always hyper even though I manage to seem somewhat calm most of the time. Sometimes it gets really bad and i get sweaty palms, fast heart rate, worrying about everything, complaining about everything, very self-aware that even the easiest tasks become tiresome. My self-esteem lowers a bit for a while and I just feel generally bad.

    I have self medicated by smoking weed which doesn't really work that well. I've used benzos a lot, mostly Alprazolam and Clonazepam. The only time I didn't self medicate was when I got prescribed Sertraline and it kind of showed me how to feel good and not have any "social anxiety" anymore. It raised my self-esteem quite a lot but I still am "on the go" and very aware all the time.

    The most effective probably is Clonazepam cause it lasts longer than Alprazolam. Sertraline helped me a lot, but I still like drugs so I still use benzos.

    Swimming is the best activity I've ever done. It helps a lot with my anxiety and I get really tired doing it so it's good. Working out gets the second place, it's what I've been doing the last couple years and it beats doing benzos because it's much healthier.
     
  5. MarkE

    MarkE Silver Member

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    I would HIGHLY recommend against benzodiazepines for the long term treatment of anxiety. They will help anxiety for a little while and are good while having a panic attack, but tolerance builds up way too damn fast, not to mention withdrawals from benzos is terrible and makes any anxiety and insomnia exponentially worse.

    There is a good list on longecity of good drugs to safely and effectively treat anxiety. None of these drugs are GABAergic, so they are seen as safe for the long term.

    What I've tried:

    - Piracetam in high doses (10-15 grams daily): Currently using this and it moderately treats my Panic disorder and G.A.D, but I feel it greatly improves my Social Anxiety.

    - Lexapro (Escitalopram): After getting past the annoying side effects during the first couple of weeks, it was as if I gave a fuck about nothing. Very effective, but I chose to stop due to the brain fog it gave me and I just didn't feel like me.

    - Seroquel (Quetiapine): Worked well for a while, but it made me gain weight, and later I had some very rare adverse side effects to it, so my doctor took me off of it.

    That's all I've tried with success, I've heard mostly good things about Mitrazipine and Tianeptine though too.

    Hope this helps! The fight with anxiety is long and tough, hell I'm still fighting it, but stay strong! ;)
     
  6. Topaz Bliss

    Topaz Bliss Silver Member

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    PS on 1/29/13 I went to the doctor for some other issue, and ended up getting a script for my isomnia/depression/anxiety of trazodone. I have tried for two nights....I will keep you posted how it affects other aspects of my life and the areas most effected by my anxiety.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  7. WillowOne

    WillowOne Titanium Member

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    1. How long have you had anxiety, and how would you describe it? Anxious most of my life, but got completely out of control about 2.5 years ago. The panic phase feels like I'm losing my mind, losing my grip on reality. Heart pounding, sweating, can't sit still, full body tremors, vision is messed up, hyperventilating. During simple periods of high anxiety, the condition is marked by tightness of chest, hyperactivity, racing thoughts, fear of physical ailments, and some shaking. 90% of the time, now, I'm asymptomatic and have it mostly under control.

    This acute episode a couple of years ago seems to be triggered by MDMA use/abuse. I can only speculate, but I have an idea that I deleted the serotonin in my brain and was unable to naturally replace it in a "normal" amount of time. Low serotonin seems to be linked with anxiety and panic.

    2. Have you sought clinical treatment? Yes. 2.5 years ago especially it was so severe and we couldn't get it under control to the point I was hospitalized for 5 days. Since then, I've sought counseling and continued help to manage it.

    3. If there's a specific drug you've found to be most effective, which one is it - and have you tried more than one? SSRI's for the mid-term have been effective - currently on Effexor but have used other SSRI's. Xanax didn't even touch the severe panic and anxiety. IV ativan was effective in the emergency room. Now i use Klonopin when it's really, really bad, but that's very rare for me now.

    4. If there's a particular exercise or activity, what is it? Physically, running and cycling help tremendously as does yoga. The best activity to combat anxiety is an activity that demands all of your attention and focus and something that truly engages you mentally (helps if there's a physical component, too). For me, it's photography and graphic design (I'm back in school) that takes all of my higher, creative self and allows me to refocus on anything but the anxiety. When I'm in the "zone", voila, the anxiety disappears.

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. DmTryp

    DmTryp Titanium Member

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    I had quite severe anxiety after returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The last tour in Iraq, which ended in 2006 with a massive explosion, really kicked it in to 5th gear. I was diagnosed with PTSD and forced in to treatment in the military.

    I stopped sleeping, rarely ate, and only left my room when I had to for doctors' appointments. I was terrified to leave my room at Walter Reed.

    Various drug therapies were tried - trazadone, venlafexine, quetiapine, nortryptaline, adivan, paxil, lithium carbonate - with no success. A combination of trazadone and venlafexine drove the extreme anxiety up to psychotic paranoia.

    I was transferred to a DoD program that was more accustomed than the Army at treating PTSD with comorbid TBI. Instead of medications, they trained those in the program to manage anxiety using meditation, breathing techniques and yoga. Various talk therapies were used, such as group exposure therapy and one-on-one. Physical therapy, in the form of walking or playing games in a pool as a group (most of us were pretty injured), was done daily since exercise can help with anxiety and depression.

    After leaving the hospital I was prescribed propranolol. It helped by blocking the physical response to stressful situations. I used it to be able to leave the house to go to school. Eventually I was able to taper down and come off of it.

    I no longer take prescription medications and I exercise, in the form of yoga and a lot of walking. There is still some residual anxiety but I am at the point where I can push through it now. Sometimes I don't want to, but I do anyway. It slowly gets easier.

    I've taken kratom for pain (the knee and back are still a wreck) and that also seemed to reduce my anxiety. I can't afford to take it daily though or tolerance will build.
     
  9. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    I agree with you when you say you're against long term use of benzodiazepines. I myself have never used them for longer than 6 months. I've taken benzos lots of times, sometimes even three times a year daily, but I always taper off after about 4 months and sometimes I have no choice but to go cold turkey. But I always get back on benzos soon enough, I just hate having to take large amounts because of the tolerance, and the higher you go the longer it takes me to finish a taper, and if I go cold turkey from high doses (to me, a high dose is around 6mg to 8mg, that's the highest I've ever done daily) I just feel like complete crap, depressed, extremely anxious, pessimistic thoughts, complete lack of appetite (my last cold turkey I went the first two days without eating, then I spend about 7 days eating once a day and then I ate twice with no breakfast and then back to normal). This is hard enough, I can't imagine having to taper off or go cold turkey after 8-12 months of daily use of benzos, I might go crazy.

    I have a couple questions about Piracetam and Lexapro. First Piracetam: I hardly understand it's mechanism of action but I'd like to know about it's side-effects. Same with Lexapro, I have taken SSRI's before and they destroy my ability to cum when I'm having sex, I go two hours straight and I get too tired and just have to stop. I'm kind of looking for one without this side effect. Any thoughts? Also, can either of these drugs trigger a positive in benzo/opioid/amphetamine and other drug test, cause I have never seen a drug test specifically for SSRI's.
     
  10. Gradient

    Gradient Chem|EB|DMT

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    Thanks for the responses so far, much appreciated.

    I'm also curious to read if particular drugs and/or supplements exacerbated your anxiety in the long run - particularly if the drugs might have been prescribed, or were nootropics.
     
  11. haloperidol

    haloperidol Silver Member

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    I'm officially diagnosed with OCD and depression, but I experience general anxiety and panic attacks as well.

    1. How long have you had anxiety, and how would you describe it?

    I would say the anxiety became an issue when I was 11 or 12. When I was a kid the anxiety was mostly based on OCD rituals, and a feeling of panic and doom if I didn't complete the rituals correctly.

    Later on the OCD improved, and my anxiety was more "free-floating." I have vivid memories of witnessing and experiencing domestic violence when I was a child, and often I am afraid of people, that they will attack me, or that they are following me in the car.

    2. Have you sought clinical treatment?

    I was taken to a psychiatrist at age 12. Treatment has been talk therapy (DBT, CBT, interpersonal) and medication. I have been in partial hospitalization programs twice, although that was for depression and anxiety, not just anxiety.

    3. If there's a specific drug you've found to be most effective, which one is it - and have you tried more than one?

    Antipsychotics were very effective, particularly risperidone. I gained a bit of weight on risperidone, so I asked to be switched to another medication. Haloperidol and perphenazine were also effective.

    Benzodiazepines (alprazolam, lorazepam, clonazepam) were effective initially, but ultimately I became dependent on them, which lead to a whole lot more anxiety. Withdrawal from alprazolam was extremely anxiety-provoking.

    Currently I take pregabalin for anxiety. It is effective, but it takes a long time to start working. I miss benzos.

    4. If there's a particular exercise or activity, what is it?

    Like other posters have said, exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, helps. I exercise daily, and without my workout I am very uncomfortable. I have also found massage to be helpful, but it took me a while to get over the anxiety of having another person touch me.

    I hope my answers have been helpful or interesting to someone.

    Addition:

    To answer Gradient's question -- duloxetine is the only medication that has exacerbated my anxiety. Well maybe bupropion a little bit, but that's manageable. And of course the benzodiazepines caused intense anxiety when I stopped taking them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  12. r.s.227

    r.s.227 Newbie

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    I used to abuse the hell out of any relaxing pills I could find; Zolpidem, Benzos and also alcohol if i had no other option. Because of this my doctor treats me as a drug seeking patient and wont prescribe benzos unless things get very bad.

    About a year ago he put me on Pregabalin which is used to treat epilepsy. It's really changed things for me, i can relax without being spaced out. It feels like a lowish dose of Diazepam but it isn't a benzo and has a v. low risk of abuse so it isn't creating another problem like benzos did.
     
  13. Shanthi

    Shanthi Titanium Member

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    1. How long have you had anxiety, and how would you describe it?
    I have always been a very responsible and conscious child, teenger, adult.. I felt the need to please parents, earn a good reputation in the society and family circle, do the right thing, etc. So I was always under extreme pressure, doing and saying and living things I deep down didnt like to do. I wasnt very successful either so I count my childhood and my college years as those with high levels of anxiety and pressure to perform.

    2. Have you sought clinical treatment?
    I didnt even know I had such a problem till I found that it wasnt just my parents but in fact everyone that got in touch with me, that said I had certain qualities - perfection, doing too much or nothing, all forms of extremities. So then i knew something was wrong. But from where I come, seeking psychiatric help is not possible unless one has totally lost it! I dont even know of anyone around here who uses a psychologist or a psychiatrist. When I tried to kill myself a few times i was forced some help but I flat rejected it (I regret it sometimes). By then I had started self medicating with weed.

    3. If there's a specific drug you've found to be most effective, which one is it - and have you tried more than one?
    Ive tried most party drugs like acid, ecstacy, coke, meth (well maybe not just a party drug that one) and then some like Ketamine, heroine, pain killers, sleeping pills, etc. But nothing to me is as effective as acid(for the long run) and weed for passing the moments and the days.

    I have transformed my beliefs and my mental structure using acid. I am far happier, stronger, independent in mind and body now than I was before certain acid journeys I made. Similarly, weed helped me through the moment. Spending moments is actually a far bigger hurdle than life itself - We turn back as say, 'Wow how the years have passed!' But in the moment we wonder, 'what do i do now?'
    Weed helped me sail through those moments - maybe wasted them but hey atleast i wasnt running around in circles asking myself again and again - now what?

    4. If there's a particular exercise or activity, what is it?
    There are few activities that are my absolute favourite - might seem silly or very common and therefore unworthy of writing about. In that case, please pardon my lack of experience.

    - I love taking off on a little holiday (with about 3-4 months of planning so those months are also fruitfully engaged and I have enough money). Either the mountains or the beach, either hard labour in the form of walking treacherous path and getting burnt by the high altitude sunrays or jumping around continuously for days in a mad rave with dust and the scorching heat.
    This helps me release all negative energy - I keep telling myself things like, 'You are doing well girl, look how far youve come, how proud you make everyone who loves you.. you can do whatever you want, go back to the realworld and show them all what a force you are' etc.

    But I still come back to the world and feel the need to please, to keep my job, to stay fit, to have savings, etc.. This pushes me into taking shit from some people, that reduces my morale and I am hit by anxiety and the question 'What next?'

    - Exercise. Working out the gym is by far the most enjoyable activity that beats anxiety. Confidence leveks shoot up and ability to deal with a not so pleasing situation gets better. Ive gotta start again been a coupla months of laziness now...

    - Getting an ego massage - DO something that makes you proud. Go teach in a school for the under priviledged or take care of aged parents or keep the company of a dependent (monetarily, emotionally) and support them or have sex with someone that adores you, etc

    I keep looking for jobs though Ive a steady job and Ive been here for 5 years. I keep making plans A, B, C, D, E and so on for everything. So maybe nothing has helped at all. But I think sometimes, maybe I should find a doctor I can trust, but all this can be so expensive here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  14. polydoc

    polydoc Mercury Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm interested in reading about what you've found to be the most effective coping mechanisms for anxiety - everything from drugs to breathing exercises to vacations to watching TV. In particular I'd like to see your answers to the following questions, but I'd like to read whatever your thoughts are on this issue

    1. How long have you had anxiety, and how would you describe it?

    I have had anxiety for as long as i remember being alive, roughly 25 years. I have General anxiety disorder that feels like an overwhelming impending doom or that my life is too fucked up to fix, and most of the time i don't know where it comes from. I have ptsd from growing up and now living back in the same abusive household. I also have performance/social anxiety that comes and goes. In my college years I was the slickest cat around but not public appearances often unnerve me. I remember throwing up before little league baseball games before i ever knew what anxiety was. anxiety based insomnia that ruined my life fora long time. Anxiety is my worst enemy.


    2. Have you sought clinical treatment? I've sought every treatment possible. I've been on every SSRI, benzo, atpical anti depressants, antipsychotics, psychiatric care, and most recently i'm using Cranial Electro STimulation which is a highly effective mild form of shock therapy for the brain. It uses electricity to cause the brain to produce more neurotransmitters and release gaba and endorphins. It has no known side effects and has been studied for over 30 years.

    3. If there's a specific drug you've found to be most effective, which one is it - and have you tried more than one? Besides the CES treatment i mentioned above, seroquel helps some, as does depakote and clonidine. I also am rx'd 8 mg of ativan a day but am currently abusing the hell out of them because i've had the anxiety induced "fuck its" recently. Oh the SSRI Viibryd works pretty well with fewer side effects than any other i've tried. I wouldn't recommend benzo's for long term use either.

    4. If there's a particular exercise or activity, what is it?
    Watching a completely involving TV series marathon style (go back and look up some of the best TV series and watch from start to finish) it really helps get my mind off things. Also music but I find watching concerts or specials helps more than listening. Further, Laying or simply being out in the sun produces vitamin d in the body and helps depression. Working out should be on there too.
    I'll greatly appreciate your responses! Short responses are totally fine, but elaboration will be more appreciated.
     
  15. Rastamon4200

    Rastamon4200 Newbie

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    I myself suffer from terrible anxiety, To be completely honest i find smoking a nice joint calms me down the best, i have used xanax a few times with some success but its a nasty drug to get addicted to, ive even found opiates to be quite reliving as i forget my problems, be safe and i hope this helped you :)
     
  16. Cannabisonly

    Cannabisonly Newbie

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    Usually I try to focus on something like a film, or to do a creative activity like writing music (on of my favorite hobby), watch some movie (no horror movie of course) or playing a video game

    But sometimes it's not enough so if I could get benzos that would be awesome; but I think that doctors don't prescribe it so easily here...

    The anxiety for me is:

    Socially: I think that everyone judge me, and that I will be ridiculed or bullied by some people or by myself(like I would stumble and then everyone would be mocking me).
    I always think about that when I'm in society...
    Sometimes I can get a hard time to end my sentences and I'm afraid that people notice that...
    I just try to remain positive in those situations, but sometimes it's really hard
    I also feel easily offended and persecuted
    Unfortunately have social anxiety since my 10 years old...


    When I'm alone (especially at home): I turn back to see if no one is trying to kill me from behind (I know it sounds ridiculous), then since I don't look before me, the person or the "thing" is maybe already before me, so I'm usually looking everywhere every second, and can't concentrate on anything other than my fear.
    It often results in sleepless nights, and the next day I need coffee or energy drinks to resist until the night where I finally can sleep peacefully...

    I hope it's not hard to understand...
     
  17. shivakiva2112

    shivakiva2112 Titanium Member

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    1. How long have you had anxiety, and how would you describe it?

    A: I'd say I've been socially anxious since I was around 10 or so (basically time of puberty onset), and have experienced generalized anxiety to a mild degree every now and then. The anxious feelings were intense when I was in my early pubescent years, but I didn't recognize them as such so they were less pathological. I've become more conscious of my anxieties as I mature into adulthood and I feel they're more problematic now because I've learned to fear and avoid certain social settings

    2. Have you sought clinical treatment?

    A: No, though I very much need to. It isn't easy for me to find a decent, affordable provider in my area.

    3. If there's a specific drug you've found to be most effective, which one is it - and have you tried more than one?

    A: I've hit upon kratom as the single most effective drug for me in the management of social anxiety and depression. It's legal, relatively inexpensive, mild in its effects, and definitely curbs social anxiety and depression most of the time. Unfortunately, I've acquired quite a nasty habit and I believe that kratom use is now the single most important maintaining factor in my anxiety and depression over the long term because of its negative effects on intimate social interactions and it's slow erosion of my sense of personal agency. My most successful quitting attempts proved to me that kratom is what prevents me from having the real emotional intimacy that I desperately need and desire, but also that my world becomes an even darker place without any other psychiatric drugs or psychotherapies to take its place.

    4. If there's a particular exercise or activity, what is it?

    A: I've always found weight-lifting and cardiovascular exercise to be somewhat effective in keeping my spirits and confidence bolstered. Backcountry hiking and camping have a stronger and more lasting effect, but it's not easy to find the time to pursue these activities.
     
  18. DmTryp

    DmTryp Titanium Member

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    I have to agree in part. Kratom has also been one of the single most effective pharmacological treatments for anxiety that I have encountered in my personal experience. However, I do not feel that kratom inhibits my social relationships. The difference between our experiences might be that I have to take something for pain on a regular basis. My only other option for pain management are traditional opiates which have had the effect of causing me to become very irritable and even more depressed. When it's a choice between oxy and kratom, I have to choose kratom.
     
  19. Gradient

    Gradient Chem|EB|DMT

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    Is anyone able to speak about drugs that were prescribed for anxiety-related disorders that made the anxiety worse?
     
  20. I_MISS_160s

    I_MISS_160s Titanium Member

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    First off, I to deal with anxiety, and it can be horrible....

    Now, things have been mentioned such as Opiates, Benzos, and other narcotics. These are a legitimate answer to your question BUT, they are so addictive themselves that if you need to come off of them as they are usually only "prescribed" as short term soultions, then the withdrawal sypmtom that is usualy a guarantee is ANXIETY, thus making them kind of counter-productive as far as a treatment.

    My suggestions I give to you are from my own PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and lots and lots of research and ar as fallows....

    B vitamis (B-2 B-6 B-12) in moderate doses. These come in combination packs at your local health store, or even at your local dollar store.

    Vitamin C , just a little over the reccomended daily dose is what I used.

    Clonidine- This is a prescription blood pressure medication that is COMMONLY prescribed for ANXIETY and INSOMNIA. I was taking .01mg 3X daily as prescribed by my Dr. They are also dirt cheap if you have no prescription insurance.

    Velarian Root- This can be found at your local health food store.

    Passion Flower Extract - Also found at your local HFS.

    Kava Kava- Also found at your local health food store..

    PLEASE, IF YOU ARE ON ANY MEDICATIONS, CHECK WITH YOUR DR OR PHARMICIST TO MAKE SURE NONE OF THE THINGS I LISTED WOULD INTERACT WITH THEM AS SOME CAN. BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY.

    Sometimes therapy can help, just to talk to someone and/or get to the root of the anxiety that troubles you.
    GOOD LUCK- I kow how debilitating ANXIETY can be.

    JJ

    I_MISS_160s added 3 Minutes and 28 Seconds later...

    I forgot to mention an extremely effextive way to reduce ANXIETY and that is EXERCISE! If you are able to, go for a long walk, or even a short jog. This is a clinically proven method of dealing with anxiety... JJ
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013