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How is anxiety typically treated?

I have really major anxiety problems. Pretty regular panic attacks, irrational fear, OCD-like tendancies. I am scared of medication and I am scared of psychiatrists.

How can anxiety be treated? Do you have to see a doctor or are there reliable self treatable methods? I am getting so desperate I don't know what to do anymore.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
If your anxiety is that bad it really is best to see a Psychiatrist or therapist. Either one can help you learn coping skills. A therapist can not prescribe meds but a Psychiatrist can. I really do understand your fear of meds. Many of us here at this forum do. Sometimes we need them while going through therapy and sometimes we don't.
If you're really against seeing a Dr and or taking meds I would recommend eating very healthy, lots of fresh air and exercise, meditation, yoga, self help books. I would also recommend seeing your family Dr to maybe have some blood work done to make sure your thyroid is functioning properly and have your vitamin levels checked, especially the B and D vitamins.
Do you have any idea why you might be feeling anxious? Do you have a stressful job, a stressful home environment?
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your prompt response! That is all definately something to consider.

I wouldn't be surprised is my thyroid had a role in this... my mom has really severe graves disease and has had a lot of behavioral issues that stemmed from it when it was not being controlled. Deficiencies make sense too actually. I was recently diagnosed with interstitial cystitis and my diet has really drastically changed within the past couple months. I am still learning how to eat properly for the condition.

As far as the lineage of my anxiety: It started when I got really, really serious with my ballet career (around age 17 or 18). I am a very hard worker and very determined (which is good, but started to border on obsessiveness to be perfect). I started having health problems and injured my back, which totally screwed up my life plans when I was 19, had surgery and was basically stuck in a state of nothingness. Started at community college the following fall  (about a year and a half ago). The experience has been fantastic, but it has been juggled with a work, running a club, physical therapy, doctor's appointments, transfer applications, and the works. I am applying to the top school for my area of study and I feel immensely pressured to get in and recieve scholarship. I am pretty much the epitome of a freaky perfectionist. I've tried relaxing and trying to not get so worked up about things, but this has so far lead me to further panic attacks because I feel like a failure for not having done the maximum amount of work possible (sigh).
Avatar universal
Sounds like you're a candidate for some talk therapy and some relaxation techniques such as meditation.  Since you're functioning at such a high level still I don't think medication is a necessity yet, and until your life is so degraded you can't function anymore should it be thought to be a necessity.  If it does get to that point, the medication and the psychiatrists will still be there.  It sounds more like you don't handle stress well, as opposed to having chronic anxiety for no apparent reason, and if that's so therapy is where you want to be if you can find a good therapist.  There are millions of self-help programs out there as well, if you're very self-motivated, but nobody can objectively judge the quality of them.  You just have to try and see.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
That is such a relief to hear about the medication! It is really something I would not want to do unless it was absolutely necessary. And the stress management issue is definately true. That is always where the problems start. Then it just turns into obsessiveness and irrational fear and panic about the future, etc. I will look into some sort of low-key therapy to learn how to manage it better.
Avatar universal
Not everyone that has anxiety needs medication. Many people need to learn how to handle stress. That's where therapy can really help you.
Paxiled gave you great advice. Is there anyway you can get into therapy soon?
Avatar universal
I really do want to learn how to handle my stress! I think it would make the world of a difference. Hopefully I can look into some therapy soon. Do you have any tips for dealing with the anxiety, say when you are in that moment? I feel like that is something I really struggle with!
Avatar universal
I recommend deep breathing when you start to feel stressed. Tell yourself the anxiety you're feeling is because of stress. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Since thyroid problems do run in your family you really should get in to see your Dr to have your levels checked. Make sure you're getting enough vitamin D and especially the B vitamins. I mentioned this in my first post. And when you can, find a really good therapist. You should be able to google therapists in your area to see what other patients have to say about them.
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