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How to Get Over Anxiety Attacks without Medicine

Updated on May 21, 2013
Anxiety and Panic Attacks Can Be Brought On By Stress
Anxiety and Panic Attacks Can Be Brought On By Stress | Source

Getting Over Anxiety Attacks

On this page I will provide information on how to get rid of anxiety attacks without medication. I suffered from anxiety attacks (also known as Panic Attacks) and found a way to reduce these and hopefully get rid of them for good.

I have not had one for several months now.

I will not go into detail as to how/ why I suffered from anxiety attacks (my story includes divorce, death, debt and job sacking) as I am not quite ready to discuss these in detail yet. But over time I will share my story.

What I will share now is the knowledge I gained whilst trying to get rid of my anxiety attacks, the little pieces of information I picked up along the way which helped me immensely. No matter how silly or obvious these treatments seem, they do work in some form or another.

I managed to come off my medication and seem to be more stable now than I have been for the last 5 years. I have tried many forms of treatments, therapy, medicines... etc.

I hope sharing this knowledge will help you or someone you know who suffers from anxiety attacks.

What Causes Your Anxiety?
What Causes Your Anxiety? | Source

Symptoms of Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety attacks symptoms are characterized by a sudden onset of intense fear and apprehension. These can come on without any apparent reason and will last for a small duration of time.

Usually anxiety attacks can reach a peak within 10 minutes and then usually die down. Experiencing anxiety attacks is one of the most horrible experiences you can imagine. When I had my first attack I thought I was having a heart attack and thought I was going to die. But this isn't the case. You will not die from an anxiety attack. Keep this in mind.

When you had your first anxiety attack you remember it. You will never forget. This is one of the problems with anxiety. Your anxious about having another one. Basically your:

Anxious About Being Anxious

This is a vicious cycle indeed and one which we must train our brains to cope with.

Here is a list of symptoms you can experience when your about to have an anxiety attack:

Fear of dying
Sense of going crazy
Flashing vision
Feeling faint and nausea

Here is a list of symptoms you will experience when having an anxiety attack.

  • Numbness all over the body
  • Heavy breathing
  • Losing control of themselves
  • Tunnel vision

All of the feelings listed above will trigger fight-or-flight responses by your body. These responses makes the body produce high levels of epinephrine which are your body's defends mechanism against harm.

As an anxiety attack is a response by your nervous system you will experience these symptoms.

  • Heart palpitations
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Hot flashes
  • Cold flashes
  • Severe sweating
  • nausea
  • Dizziness or slight vertigo

The shortness of breath and chest pain like I used to feel are massive symptoms of anxiety attacks and mimic those symptoms of a heart attack.

Do You or Have You Ever Suffer from Anxiety Attacks?

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Causes of Anxiety
Causes of Anxiety | Source

Causes of Anxiety Attacks

The cause of an anxiety attack is purely based on the individual and cannot be pinned down to one cause which fits all. There is no one defined answer as to why people suffer from anxiety attacks.

There is some evidence to show the 2 biggest factors causing people to have anxiety attacks are lifestyle choices and heredity. Many people can deal with anxiety and to be honest many people have anxiety attacks without them knowing, this is due to the fact that the attack is mild and doesn't warrant barriers or "fight or flight" symptoms to develop by the brain.

For example, actors before they go on stage or a football player before he heads onto the field will be nervous, showing signs of increased heart rate (adrenalin), shortness of breath...etc

They are anxious but they can cope.

But If you keep having anxiety attacks and they are interfering heavily on your person life and lifestyle then this is an indication that an underlying medical condition is at hand and needs to be addressed.

To address this situation you need to answer a fundamental question which will allow you to get over anxiety attacks. You need to know what triggers them.

Keep An Anxiety Diary

Take a small notebook with you wherever you go. If you feel anxious in anyway, write down what you fear. Is it the location? the amount of people around? is it a certain smell? These are questions you need to answer to help build you back up to your better self. You need to know what triggers your anxiety.

Once you have found out your own triggers you will then be able to build yourself a program of methods which will suit your individual needs. You need to stay calm. I understand there are some practitioners who suggest staying calm can actually made the condition worse but there is more evidence to suggest staying calm and stress free works better.

Here is a list of some causes which creates anxiety in individuals:

Alcohol and drug abuse (withdrawals)
Stuck in traffic Jams (claustrophobia)
Intense feeling of doom or fear
Excessive use of Caffeine Based drinks (Coffee, Stimulation drinks)

Medicine Won't Cure Anxiety - Only Mask the Symptoms
Medicine Won't Cure Anxiety - Only Mask the Symptoms | Source

Treating Anxiety with Medication

First of all I must state that when I was prescribed medicine by my doctor it did make a difference. A huge difference. I am sure this is the case for most anxiety sufferers.

But I got very tired of taking the medication. I was prescribed anti-depressants, beta-blockers and sleeping pills. Every morning when I woke up the first thing I would do is take my tablets. Even though I was told they are not addictive, i was addicted to making sure I took them and felt uncomfortable and out of control if I didn't. So to me they were addictive.

I went back to the doctor and asked "exactly why I was taking these tablets?", he told me it was because I had anxiety and depression and that this was the treatment prescribed.

I said "that's all well and good, but why do I have anxiety and depression?, why do I feel like this?"

The doctor said "I don't know, people have it for different reasons".

So I asked the doctor to refer me to a specialist. The drugs were good to begin with, making me feel in control of me life again but I felt the tablets had control of me. If I stopped taking them would my world fall apart again? I was dependent on medicine.

I was referred to a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapist) specialist. This was an eye opener. Over a course of 12 weeks I was taught what triggered my anxiety and learned how to read the signs before I had an attack through muscle relaxation techniques.

The technique was simple; tense and relax every part of my body one by one; first my fists, then my arms, shoulders, stomach ... you get the idea. I did this for 15 mins a day.

This trained me to recognize when my body was tense and what part. Thus reading the signs of a possible oncoming attack. For me my shoulders get tense and slightly hunched. When this happens to me I can now feel it.

So anxiety attacks for me did not come out of the blue, my body had already told me; hunched shoulders. The CBT therapist also taught me to understand the difference between an anxiety attack and nervousness. There is a difference.

This meant I was better equip to deal with my anxiety attacks. More to the point I taught myself how to relax and not be as tense.

I came off my medication 14 weeks after starting to see the CBT specialist.

I am in shape or form suggesting that everyone do what I did as we are all individuals but I hope that my short story will give you some positive notes in getting over your anxiety attacks without taking medicine.

Get to the root cause, don't just let medicine mask the symptoms.


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    • profile image

      Louise manderson 

      4 years ago

      I suffer from anxiety attacks to and reading your msg has help me what to do so thankyou.x

    • Paul Fischer profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Fischer 

      5 years ago

      Hello Chase, thank you for your comment and I'm sorry to hear about your relapse. I have been there and it's not nice. I used to hate people saying this to me when I was at my darkest moments but you will pull through. You have to believe that! As I am not a physician I cannot advise on whether you need medication or not. It did help me initially but when I relapsed I did not take them. This may not be the case for you, I can only state based on my own personal experience. I would strongly advice you speak to your physician about medication, but also the natural alternatives. See what your physician advises what is more suitable for you and your circumstances. Good luck, you will get through it.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Question about your medication comment. Do you feel medication is a good start for someone that is in one of there most severe instances of anxiety. I'm currently having a huge relaps and I am in between just trying to pull through or going on mess for the first time ever. Thanks

    • Paul Fischer profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Fischer 

      5 years ago

      Hello Calmclinic, thank you for your comment.

      From my point of view medicine does no good, masking the symptoms of anxiety won't help anyone.

    • calmclinic profile image


      5 years ago

      I am also a fan of treating anxiety the natural way. Medications just do more harm than good.

    • Paul Fischer profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Fischer 

      5 years ago

      Hello Karen, Thank you for your kind comments. Especially from my own experience, I feel that you need more than just coping mechanisms to get over anxiety. I hope my hub helps others beat their anxieties.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      Very good hub. You covered the causes as well as the remedies for anxiety attacks. I was impressed with all the information here and the fact that you didn't just medicate yourself but actually did something about the reason for the attacks to be more prepared to deal with them. Voted up and interesting.


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