Your heart is racing, you begin to hyperventilate, every nerve in your body is exploding — it seems you’re about to die, and you have an overwhelming sense of doom. Opinion: Why do we keep executing people? My initial reaction to a panic attack was to find something to drink — beer, wine, anything to calm down after work. But eventually I had to make a deal with myself: No drinking to help “take the edge off.” If I was going to drink, it would be when I felt good — pounding a few back to ease anxiety would lead me down a road I didn’t want to take. In the late ’80s and early ’90s panic attacks came on to one degree or another almost daily, and of course the deal with myself was violated all too often. I sought help, and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was embarrassed and humiliated, but kept it to myself. For years it was very difficult. Instead of getting better, it seemed to be getting worse. I withdrew, and couldn’t be by myself without thinking the panic attacks would send me — in my term — “cycling out of control.” I remember taking a writing test at CNN in 1989 and having three punishing panic attacks that were so bad I almost got up and walked out of the building.
Source: Opinion: Ex-CNN reporter: My struggle with panic attacks – CNN.com
Living with anxiety is hard, but there are coping mechanisms | Comment is free | theguardian.com
Exposure therapy is often a primary component of psychotherapy treatment of social anxiety disorder. Exposure therapy involves a person learning to understand the irrational basis for their fears (cognitive restructuring), teaching simple relaxation skills to practice while in the moment, and gradually being exposed to the situation which causes the anxiety. The exposure is done first in the safety of the psychotherapy office, imagining the scenario and walking through it with the therapist. As the patients confidence grows, he or she will begin to apply the skills theyve learned in the therapy session to outside world events and environments. Psychotherapy treatments have been shown to be highly effective in treating social anxiety disorder (Acarturk et al., 2009; Powers et al., 2008). Most people who try psychotherapy with a therapist who has experience in treating social anxiety disorder will find relief from their symptoms. Medications for Social Anxiety The primary class of drugs used to treat social anxiety are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This class of drugs was first developed to treat depression and so are often referred to as antidepressants. Since then, however, they have been found to be effective in the treatment of a wider range of disorders. Common SSRIs include Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), and Luvox (fluvoxamine). Another type of antidepressant called Effexor (venlafaxine) may also be prescribed to help with the symptoms of social phobia.
Full story: Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment | Psych Central
But, pregnant with Deacon, after so many losses, Carey was haunted by what-ifs? The thoughts would get stuck in her head, she says, Was everything going to be okay? Was he going to be okay? Was I going to be okay? And I think people without anxiety can just bring that thought in their head, and let it go. But when you have anxiety, it just sits there, and it keeps going and going and going.” Carey’s obstetrician wanted her to stay on her anti-anxiety medication, referring her to Dr. Goldsmith, who is the Director of the Women’s Mental Health Center at Emory. Goldsmith says, We at the Women’s Mental Health Center, we specialize in knowing which medications are safer in pregnancy. And the word is “safer.” “Safer” because all medication comes with the risk of side effects. And pregnancy is tricky. You’re not just treating the woman, but her developing baby. And Carey, a pediatric nurse, knows the risks better than most.
More: Helping pregnant women cope with anxiety – FOX 13 News
Helping pregnant women cope with anxiety – FOX 13 News
If you are lucky, you’ll have understanding people around you. However, the disorder can alienate friends and family. I cannot enjoy the things others enjoy, and over time the invitations stopped coming. Some of my family members think I am a freak. It’s painful, but I don’t blame them. There are things that you can do to help you cope. First, it’s important to remember that you are not going to die. It’s just an anxiety attack. Your body’s gone into fight-or-flight mode and it will pass. Second, keep busy. I’ve decided to go for my degree in politics, philosophy and economics, and the focus required keeps anxiety at bay. The Open University is sensitive to students’ individual needs, and the fact that I have taken to philosophy like a duck to water has boosted my confidence.
Source: Living with anxiety is hard, but there are coping mechanisms | Comment is free | theguardian.com