Statistics from the Anxiety And Depression Association of America show that over 40 million adults ages 18 and older suffer from anxiety disorders in the United States. That’s a staggering figure isn’t it? 40 million “reported” adults have some form of panic disorder and I am one of them. While the website discusses ways of treating panic and anxiety disorders in various ways. I have found that taking prescription medication wasn’t the way to go for me. In fact prescription meds, such as benzodiazepines and SSRI drugs that are prescribed freely by our doctors are really nothing more than slapping a band- aid on the problem. Studies upon studies show that these drugs do nothing for you and in the end make you worse. Don’t get me wrong, if you need them for a very short period of time then take them, but neither of these drugs were designed to be used for long -term use. In fact, if many of these drugs such as the ever popular Xanax and Paxil were taken before the FDA today, they would not pass through to the public. Unfortunately years ago they were touted as being drugs that your body would not get hooked on. However, today people are finding out the hard way that Benzo’s in particular can kill you if you come off them “cold turkey” and SSRI’s are just as dangerous. These drugs should be removed completely off the market, but the FDA can’t do that now as it could cause death in so many people. It’s a Pandora box that can’t be closed and it’s sad because people who have been prescribed these drugs have nothing left but to suffer the horrid withdrawals or be considered drug addicts. This is a sore subject for me-but I won’t dwell on it in this article. I will save it for another day.
I want to bring focus on ways to reduce anxiety and panic in a natural way so that you can see there are better ways to deal with panic disorders. This subject is designed for anyone that suffers from panic attacks frequently. I chose the guy in the picture above because panic disorders is not a “women” thing-it’s an everybody thing. Every one of us has suffered at some time in our life with a stress induced panic attack and most people don’t know what it is or how to handle it. Here are just a few ways that I have found that have helped me get through a panic attack without having to take a benzo.
- Passion Flower and Valerian Root both have the same properties in them as a benzo, just in a natural form. They can be found at any local pharmacy but the best kind without all the fillers are found at your GNC or Vitamin Shop. Either one of these have stopped a panic attack in its tracks for me and there is no nasty withdrawals from them.
- Focus on your breathing-When I feel a panic attack coming on, no matter where I am, I bring my mind front and center to my breathing. I count each breath up to 10 and stay conscious of breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. Much like a runner would do, breath in through your nose and out your mouth.
- Fixate your eyes on one spot-Don’t move your eyes from that spot until your mind is completely blank of everything. It’s amazing what our minds can do for our bodies if we let it. If we focus our eyes and mind on that one spot and breath deeply for however long it takes to pass( usually 5-10 minutes for me) you will find your body has relaxed and your panic is gone.
- Find time to meditate-People think meditation is just a bunch of bull, but without it I couldn’t function. Every person that has any stress in their lives should find a way to meditate. It’s good for everything, but in particular it is great for anxiety disorders. In fact studies have shown that meditation has significantly reduced anxiety and stress in all those that practice it regularly.
- Daily Exercise-Any form of daily exercise will do. Exercise is a natural boost of stress relief. It’s a fabulous way to raise serotonin levels and dopamine in the brain. When you exercise- even if it’s just a 15 minute walk a day, helps reduce anxiety and depression. Get up from your desk and walk away. Walk around the building on your lunch just to get some relief from the stress going on around you. Just be sure that if you are doing more than a daily walk you give your muscles a rest. I am talking only about therapeutic exercise, not getting in shape exercise.
- Have sex more-Practice it safely. People who have regular sex see an immediate release of stress. Less stress, less panic.
- If all else fails-breath into a bag. If you are in the throes of a full panic attack, breathing into a bag will stop it-It takes time, but it really works.
I understand anxiety and stress. As a professional I was taught to hide my internal feelings- I am a master at it actually. I internalized things so much for so many years that my body finally decided it wasn’t having it anymore. The panic hit me like a ton of bricks and would not let up for years on end, but I could and still can hide it very well. The difference is that even though I can hide it at work, I know what I have to do in order to keep it at bay without drugs. Anxiety disorders is looked upon as a sign of weakness among professionals and it’s sad that it isn’t discussed enough. If I owned my own company I would implement a stress relief hour for my employees. Maybe if more companies would figure out ways for their employees to reduce stress during their work hours it would reduce illnesses and sick time- which in turn means less stress on the company. Just a thought…
Check this out and if it works, let me know…would be interested in hearing if this works for folks.
Excerpt- I am not a doctor and under no circumstances should this article supersede your doctor’s advice. Please use this article wisely, and discuss any changes in medication with your doctor.