Got a message here asking me what I use as a prevention method to "keep me balanced" so to speak. I don't really use medication, don't like it all, was actually dupped by a doc into taking Buspar the last two months. She said it was easy to take blah blah blah..yadda yadda. Nothing like th at damned Paxil drug I took five years ago for six weeks.
After I gained 45 pounds while on that Paxil Medication, I took myself off of that stuff slowly..it took me four weeks but I did it. Now I must admit that getting off this small tiny teeny tiny teensy does of Buspar is kicking my ass, so I decide to stop taking it alltogether and just suffer withdrawal for the next couple of days. I didn't lke the constant dizzyness and the way lights would hurt my eyes or get dim all of a sudden while on this med.
To qoute Bugs Bunny.."Patooey"
So since I have been aware of having this anxiety stuff, I have come up with numerous "weapons" in my arsenal to deal with with it without medication when I have to go out…or if I am home alone and cant cope so readily. It helps me deal and makes me feel better and the panic comes less. I thought I would share them with you.
First I carry a backpack with me that I store all these items when I go out or to leave while I am at home…my family calls it my purse and laffs at me..oh well I just put up with it, I know where all my coping tools are at all times. Some of these will cause you to gain weight tho
1) a bottle of cold water..helps me when my throat feels like it is closing up or dry
2) cough drops….these really help me when I get a bit nervous and my breathing goes a bit wonky and my throat gets that closing up feeling. I just suck on it and it opens up my sinuses.
3) peppermint candy…see explanation above
4) a plastic bag..to breathe in if I hyperventalate. I just learned how to do this trick properly, and it helps.
5) antacid or pepto bismol…I prefer the mylanta with the "gas" additive that takes gas away. helps with any sudden acid reflux and heart burn and at the same time settles my stomach. Gets rid of the excess air in my stomach that..once again, causes my breathing to go weird
6) have a tiny dose of xanax I keep with me, but never take it..this is a last resort
7) The book "The anxiety and Phobia workbook" by Edmund J Bourne. Was recommend to get it from my counselor a few years back. It is written in a way that you could see a counselor or psychologist use it to help you.. rather than a book that you find in the self help section that doesn't give you in-depth of whats going wrong with you.
8)cell phone…useful and if you ahve it I feel less anxious that if something were to happen while I was drivng alone that I cannot summon help if I need to.. An example would be if your car were to be stomped on by Godzilla while you were on your way to the grocery store..you could call for help if no one sees a thirty foot tall lizard walking in the suburbs.. very useful
9) When I am at home I turn off or mute commercials on tv…I read somewhere that they did a study and found that when commercials come on, your body's blood pressure raises a bit..and you dont know it. Maybe it's due to the fact that every commercial is louder than the show you are watching.
10) this coping mechanism helped when I suffered through one year of agoraphobia and I was up all night and couldnt sleep and everyone I could call to talk to was asleep.. I turned on the radio, but not to music, to sports talk radio call in shows.(not political call in shows) For some reason the voices calmed me down and it felt a little more realistic to me than watching television that I was not alone.
11) get a cat or two…I lived in a small apartment, and not to piss off you dog-lovers out there. We know both animals are different and act different, but I would much rather have a cat who will play with you and be affectionate towards you.. but at the same time goes to their little private space to take a nap and such and leave's you alone when you do not want to be bothered. I have never met a dog that doesn't act so codependant and leave a person alone for more than 10 minutes. Plus the purring is soothing.
12) no MSG.. gets my heart racing
13) no drinking or smoking and cut the caffiene back.. these actually get your anxiety up and hurts you rather than helps you.
14) You can still eat chocolate of course…in no way am I advocating that cutting back on caffiene means to stop eating chocolate…thats crazy talk.
15) chat rooms late at night such as this one help
16) celebrate when I get home from trips to the store or around the block if I didn't have a panic attack..helped my confidence and put in the forefront of my mind that I was capable up succeeding going outside.
I am sure there are more that I have come up with to use, but I cant think of anymore. If someone else has any tips that are different, and even though we are not proffesionals we should post em, maybe it will help others get through the day.