Anxiety Community
23k Members
Avatar universal

Does anyone know a way to help anxiety attacks without medicine?

I feel like I’m having an anxiety attack, but my parents refuse to believe me. When I was very young (around 9, 10 years old) I was diagnosed with depression and severe Anxiety problems. I’m now 16, and ever since last year I’ve been suffering from a lot of strange pains, that I think might be anxiety related.

I get sharp pains in my chest, and start feeling dizzy, and sometimes hyperventilate. Sometimes when I start getting panicked the pain is so bad I want to cry, one of my friends at school knew I had these problems, she told me that there were pills you could take to make them better, and so I asked my parents to try and get some, but they didn’t believe me.

They told me that I didn’t have anxiety problems, I got diagnosed with them so long ago that they are ‘definitely’ gone. Then they told me that the pains I was experiencing was just poor diet - less 3 - 4 soda’s a week = extremely unhealthy apparently -.

I was wondering if there were any natural ways to get rid of the panic attacks quicker? I’ve tried looking up ways to stop anxiety attacks from happening in the first place, but haven’t found anything. If anyone knew a way that I could deal with it without going to my parents, that would be great. Thank you.  
12 Responses
Avatar universal
Such a shame you have parents that won't accept you might have anxiety problems. It certainly doesn't help with you wanting to get help and them refusing. It might mean going behind their backs. Natural way would be theraphy. But how do we go to theraphy without our parents knowing about it? Near impossible. Is there a councilor in the school you go to? Assuming you are still in school. Someone you can talk to. Someone who will listen and will be able to give you the right kind of advice on what to do next. That is all you need. And your parents are not doing that at all. By facing up to anxiety it is meant to grow weaker and weaker. The more you expose yourself to it. In theory any way. But there are a few behind the counter tablets you could get at any chemist. But I am not into those sort of tablets. Not even sure they would sell them to a 16 yr old. I would find someone I could talk to. In school. And take it from there. The longer we don't deal with the problem the worse it might become and we don't want that.
479581 tn?1317761088
Try meditation.  You can find information about it on the online.  

I took a class called "mindfulness based stress reduction" that my health insurance paid for.  There's information about it online also.

Talk to a teacher or guidance counselor or other adult that you trust about this.  Sometimes talking about a problem with someone older and objective can help.

Good luck

Avatar universal
You have to go back to dr. and explain to him the symptoms and how ofter you are having them.  Im sorry your parents don't believe you but you need to get help to get over this and deal properly with it.  Try to convince them to make an appt.   Also, exercise  like walking, aerobics and just getting some air may help with the symptoms.
Avatar universal
The person is not in a position to go back to doctors or use health insurance as that would mean help from the parents. Which we see is not there. What can a 16-yr-old do alone, without adult consent, I think is the main question that was been asked. Doctors and medication seem to be out of reach. School councilor seems to be the only person within reach. But even a school councilor might want to involve the parents. It is all about how to get the parents to see sense and recognise a problem exists. They seem like parents who want to believe their kid is doing fine. Some parents are like that. You can be on your knees crawling and they still won't accept the truth. Be it that they don't want the shame of a child with mental health problems. It would sound / look bad on them. And it does look like it is only themselves they are thinking about.
Avatar universal
Go to any pharmacy or health food store and ask the pharmacist or health food clerk for a herbal supplement that helps with nervousness and anxiety. There WILL be something there that can help you and you can usually get it for under $10. It does not matter what your age is. Good luck :)
370181 tn?1428180348
I won't tell you what I think about your parents, but I WILL say, very loudly, "SHAME ON THEM!" You have already been diagnosed with anxiety AND depression.......did these parents of yours do anything 6 years ago to help you, or did they just blow that off as well?
Only being 16 puts you between a rock and a hard spot as far as getting help for yourself. MrGreen and I think alike in that you need to talk with an adult you trust and I think, as does MrGreen, that the best place for that would be at school. You can talk with one of the counslers you like/trust, the school nurse, a trusted teacher, a coach. Any or all of them will know what steps to take to get your (fill in the blank) parents to start taking your issues seriously, which they MUST do! All school districts have on staff a psychologist who could be called in to talk with you and eventually, your (fill in the blank) parents.
Personally I would like your parents to come to this forum so we could all have a bit of a chat. But since they don't believe you have a problem, I'm sure they couldn't be bothered. I am really sorry they have chosen denial over help for you.
There ARE herbal remedies and suppliments you can try, and they may work for you. You don't have to have a script nor be 18+ to buy it. Just go to a good reputable health food store with knowledgable sales help. There ARE "natural" herbs than can harm you, so you really need someone to advise you if you go that route.
Personally, I would look to the school for help. Write us back if they say they can't help you, which is WRONG! But if they do, let us know as there ARE other avenues we can talk about.
Stay in touch with us, OK? We are all here for you and we'll do everything we can to help you find help.
Be strong.
Avatar universal
I agree with all the people above me.  I'm so sorry your parents are not taking your anxiety seriously.  I'm a nutritionist.  If you go to the health food store they will probably try to sell you St. John's Wort or Sam-E.  These are often used as antidepressants.  But trust me when I tell you that they do NOT help with anxiety.  The only natural things you can try for that are Valerian root, and Kava root (a.k.a. Kava Kava).  Valerian root should be purchased in capsules.  Don't take the Valerian root on the same day you try the Kava.  They should be takenon seperate days.  Buy the Kava Kava in the form of tea.  Try drinking it at night to see how it effects you (or if it effects you).  Only buy organic Kava tea.  Nothing should be added to the ingredients on the lable.  It should not have anything added.  Same with the Valerian root.  Buy that in capsules.  Take it on the weekend.  Not during school.  See how it effects you.  I recently put a woman on Kava tea who had really bad insomnia.  She drinks it every night before bed and sleeps great now.  Lavendar is also calming.  You can buy some lavendar oil (pure) from the health food store and put it in your bath water and soak in this at night before bed.  It may help you to relax at night.  I can't promise these things will work.  They effect everyone differently, or not at all.  But they are worth a try.  Also, cut the sugar out of your diet.  Just for 2 weeks. Some people only get anxiety when they eat sugar.  No sugar at all.  Not even fruit or fruit juice.  And no artifical sweeteners either.  Just drink water.  While your at the health food store buy a sweetener called, Stevia.  I like "NOW' brand.  Stevia is the only natural sweetener there is.  Stevia is an herb.  You can sweeten your Kava tea with it.  Sweeten plain yogurt.  Whatever you want.  Just lay off of all forms of sugar for 2 weeks and see if it makes any difference.  Last, is there a nurse at your school?  Do you have a friend who has a doctor or nurse as a parent?  Talk to them if you do.  And ask them to convince your parents that you need help.  And not with your diet.  You could have a chemical imbalance in your brain.  In fact, it sounds like you do.  Just like me.  I have anxiety disorder. It started at about 15.  I didn't get on medication until years later.  I wish I would have been on it sooner.  I'm still on medication now and I feel just fine.  A doctor will put you on an anti-depressant.  They take about 6 weeks to work.  Sometimes (but not all the time) you have to try 1 or 2 different anti-depressants until you find the right one for you.  You can take a drug called xanax on those days when your having anxiety while your waiting for the drug to kick in.  I hope and pray that you will get a counselor or someone to convince your parents that your suffering and that you need to see a doctor and be put on medication.  Good Luck!
Avatar universal
I'm sorry about your parents not listening to you. That must be really hard on you.  Anxiety and panic attacks are very unpleasant and terrifying.  Maybe you should tell your parents you are not feeling well and tell them some of your symptoms.  Don't say anything about anxiety/panic.  Just tell them you want to go to the doctor.  If they let you do that, maybe you could just tell the doctor all your symptoms and let him/her decide what to do for you.
Here's what i think though: You have taken the first step to beating this.  You already recognize what it is.  That is a huge HUGE step!  I think the one thing that helps me is to recognize it for what it is each time it happens. Anxiety won't kill you.  It's just an awful feeling. My panic attacks usually happen at times of high stress.  When I'm stressed i eat more sugar, don't sleep well, have muscle tension, don't eat right and usually end up thinking the feeling from my stress are something else.  Take a step back and look at the stress in your life and how you are managing it.  Don't smoke, don't drink alcohol or caffeine.  Limit sugar.  Exercise, exercise, exercise.  Good luck to you!
Avatar universal
I agree so much with everything that everyone has posted here.  But I just wanted to add 1 thing to what I said above.  You may want to buy the Kava kava in capsules form.  Make sure that there are no other ingredients added to the Kava and that it's organic.  Tea might help, but tea is less potent than capsules.  Kava root and Valerian root are used as mild sedatives by the way.  So they may calm your nerves.  But they will not take away the anxiety.  You need medication for that.  Good Luck!
Avatar universal
Thank you all very much for your support. I started talking to a support group at my school, with a bunch of other teenagers who have anxiety issues, and that has really helped. My guidance counselor advised me to drink more teas and start a routine before I go to sleep at night to help me calm down, and so far that's been helping out as well.

I haven't tried Kava, though my sister offered to take me to the store sometime to get it.

I appreciate all the advice you have given and I'm taking it into account :)
Avatar universal
There are natural remedies for this, but they have to be taken in combination -- herbs and amino acids work in concert, because no one of them is that strong.  But because you are so young, it's not something you should do yourself anymore than taking meds by yourself.  I'm not sure why you can't see a psychologist without your parents' permission -- I think I saw my first one at seventeen without my parents knowing, though he wasn't much help.  But of course there's the money issue; back then it didn't cost much.  

What I recommend is that you look on this site and others and find plenty of descriptions of the symptoms of anxiety attacks.  Yours certainly sound like the beginnings of them to me and I've suffered with them for many many years.  You sound smart to recognize this.  So make hard copies of people describing their symptoms, of the medical definitions of these conditions, they are available on the net as well, and make your parents read them.  As the old song goes, teach your parents well.  Wake them up, because they need to be a part of your support.  And I might ask, do they have issues of their own?  We all do, you know, even us old fogies.  Sure sounds like they need some therapy, too.  Be careful with kava, by the way -- the standardized kava has been linked with liver problems, though I don't believe the evidence is true -- the five people involved were all multiple drug takers and naturally they blamed it on the kava.  Still, be careful.  If I were going to try something because it looked like it was going to be a long time before I was going to be able to get professional help due to your circumstances, I'd look into passionflower and hops and valerian, though watch for drowsiness.  Remember, herbs generally have to be taken three times a day to be effective.  For amino acids, you might try taurine, but again, at your young age I'd really say see a naturopath who has studied this.  And be careful with professionals, too, especially psychiatrists.  Most are as dumb as dirt, and about as curious.
Avatar universal
Therapy, meditation, and yoga are definitely good options. This podcast on "Fearology" can also give you more insights:  https://art19.com/shows/ologies-fb?q=fearology
Have an Answer?
Top Anxiety Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1428180348
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what can trigger a panic attack – and what to do if you have one.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Take control of tension today.
These simple pick-me-ups squash stress.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?