How can one overcome severe anxiety/panic without medication?
The feeling of hopelessness in minimal progress towards a normal way of living is always present, and I worry that I will live this way for the rest of my life.
The most frustrating part is lack of control, it feels like panic sets in for no reason at all. Why can't I get a hold of this and move on???
Hey mate i know how your feeling & there is an answer, & the answer is free but does require training practice & time..The first thing to realize is that you can't control other people's actions or words etc, but you can control your own feelings & emotions if you can control your thought process..For example the feeling of hopelessness you feel, is manifested by yourself simply by thinking your situation is hopeless..If you can switch your thinking to being neutral as it should be rather than negative your'l see, that your feelings of hopelessness are false feelings with no real basis..You probably feel hopeless because of your past experiences, but your past experiences should have no effect on your future experiences, unless of course you let them by thinking negative about your future "because" of your past....I know it's a very hard concept to grasp, & that's what puts a lot of people off trying what i suggest..But i tried it & went from being negative & depressed, to being neutral & "unable" to get depressed ever again..I did this only at the age of 40 in the space of around 6 months, & once i started to grasp it i haven't looked back since....So the training/practice is mindfulness & mindful meditating, also emotions/feelings control practice..All free to view on utube by a guy called Eckhart Tolle, & all your answers are there....To give you the gist of what I'm trying to say as it is a very hard concept to explain, "you" "we" "i" create our own negative feelings/emotions by how we "react" to a particular situation or thought it's "not" the things that happen to us..So the more times you practice mindfulness distraction (when you do get unwanted thoughts/feelings/emotions), & emotions/feelings control practice when ever someone "tries" to upset you etc, the better your'l get at controlling all your emotions etc until your'l be in total control 99% of the time..It doesn't come over night but if you do get the gist, your mind will start to shift & take a different view of your life & the world..For example what does your mind say to my comments?, are they neutral thoughts or negative thoughts?..Is your mind saying it's a waste of time as "nothing" will work, or is your mind considering trying what i suggested?.
I cannot answer the question why. However, from a personal perspective, I experience panic attacks and/or feelings in certain circumstances. I understand more today than I did say last year and the consequences of those feelings of panic both short term and long range. Anxiety is a common element for any who feel panic attack type incidents.
What has helped me is two approaches. The first is learning and practicing 'Mindfulness' and next is 'Acceptance Commitment Therapy' (ACT). There are other solutions I have incorporate in the past like Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) that did work for me for many years. I still incorporate those, yet I have discovered the first two mentioned much more helpful with anxiety and panic attack type / anxiety feelings.
A great book sharing those is called 'The Happiness Trap' by Dr. Russ Harris. They have three print version and all three are not very expensive. One an illustrated quick explanation book, an in-depth concept / application book, and a handy pocket book. I have all three.
The first easily opened my eyes to my mind and heart touching the soul. The second explained it to me reinforcing the concepts with understanding and techniques for everyday life and when those special occasions arise.
There are many professional therapist practicing ACT and Mindfulness as well as coaching and groups too.
[Insert normal medical disclaimer here]
I'm sorry to hear that Kelsey, I really hope you start feeling better soon. I am no medical expert but if you have had these feelings for a while it might not be a bad idea to consult a doctor. They might provide you with antidepressants which may work especially if you have a good routine of exercise. However antidepressants are not a guarantee. So what else can you do that might help?
One of the major ways to fight depression and anxiety is having a support helper with whom to share the tribulations of life. Seek out an empathetic person who will not be judgmental and yet not overly optimistic. Someone who will truly listen to you and allow you to pour out your heart and then be able to give you good advice. Someone that will be able to help you face one issue at a time and help set up short term goals that will be beneficial to you. This could be a marriage mate, a relative, doctor, minister, or close friend than you really trust. Proverbs 12:25 states: "Anxiety in man's heart weighs it down, But a good word cheers it up."
Do not allow your self to be overwhelmed by negative thoughts. Negative thinking leads to low self esteem, often that inner voice that is critical of us is wrong. Do not reject positive experiences, minimize your strengths, magnify your flaws, or blame your self for events you are not responsible for. Fight against jumping to conclusions, being a perfectionist, and looking at one bad event as a pattern for the rest of your life. Do not overlook the good things God has done for you.
Endure hour by hour - Sometimes depression can persist despite our best efforts so we must endure. Even if it means taking it one hour at a time. What can help us to do that? In addition to having human relationships, a relationship with Jehovah God will do wonders. Notice some of his advice. 1 Peter 5:7 - "While you throw all your anxiety on him,because he cares for you." Again God reassures us he cares in Philippians 4:6 - "Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God." Praying to him and seeking his council by means of reading the bible can be very soothing and remove anxiety. Reading the bible will give you great incentive to keep on fighting. God promises in Isaiah 65:17- " I am creating new heavens and a new earth;
And the former things will not be called to mind,Nor will they come up into the heart." How? Visit www.jw.org to learn more
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