I took a lot of things away from the interview of Dr. Harry Barry talking about how to stop panic attacks last week. One thing he said that really stood out is that:
*There is no magic bullet when it comes to overcoming panic attacks and anxiety.*
This is so important for people to realize. Because anxiety is so horrible to live with, we desperately wish there were something, anything that would make it all go away. Our pain and desperation make us easy targets for “snake oil salesman” types- you know, people who claim that this or that treatment or pill or remedy or whatever will cure your panic attacks and make all the pain go away. I certainly learned this the hard way..
I have spent thousands over the years on therapy and treatments that didn’t amount to a hill of beans:
- I’ve been hooked up to biofeedback machines while a male therapist asked me what I thought about oral sex (can you say inappropriate??).
- I have had my anxiety medication taken away from me and hidden in a therapists office where she said it was “safe” and then she would send me out to do exposure therapy.(hmm, being treated like a bad child, wonder why that didn’t work?)
- I spent a ton of money going to a Park Avenue hypnotherapist who eventually was exposed for bilking over 3 million out of his patients(He made the front page of the NY Post a few years ago for his crimes and no, I’m not kidding).
- I went to a crazy psychiatrist that made me sign a waiver that he would not treat me if I had third stage Syphilis (um,no I am not a hooker and wtf??)…. And so on….
I’m sure you all have your own crazy stories too, but what occurred to me a few years ago was that anxiety self help was going to be the cornerstone of my recovery.
What does that mean?
Basically, I have to take the bull by the horns so to speak and work on my anxiety and panic attacks on my own.
Little by little… Each and every day if need be.
Yes I still use doctors and if I need talk therapy, I get it. But now it’s on my terms. I advocate for myself with doctors and therapists. No doctor knows more about me and my particular brand of anxiety than me.
Anxiety Self Help Process
When you make a commitment to yourself and really start working on overcoming panic attacks, social anxiety, or whatever variety of anxiety happens to plague you, you come to realize that getting better is a process that is highly individualized, and something you have to work at.
I have an anxiety “toolbox” that I use to help me stay balanced and keep me going in the right direction.
For me, anxiety recovery consists of gentle exposure therapy, prayer and faith, keeping a good resource book on hand for reference, and keeping a journal to record my progress. (I love the late Dr. Claire Weekes’ Hope and Help For Your Nerves). I try to get regular exercise and regular sleep. Occupation is good for me so I need to work and be employed- outside of the house.
If I am overwhelmed I reach out to others who understand: friends, my sister, or on anxiety forums.
I have a variety of simple tools I use for panic attack inducing situations:
- I do self hypnosis for panic attacks. I listen to either a recorder mp3 for panic attacks or I listen to my own audios.
- I take a holy basil capsule or drink a cup of holy basil tea before work. Holy basil benefits and is safe and calming- Dr.Oz says so This might actually be more psychological for me but I don’t really care. It helps me and that’s all that matters.
- I use the 21-7 Technique from the Panic Away program to diffuse panic attacks.
You will go through times when you have to work your program really hard and use every tool in your toolbox. And you will go through other times where the anxiety lifts and you hardly think about it at all.
I try a lot of things for anxiety self help. If something really resonates with me and seems to help, I’ll add it to my toolbox. And that’s how it goes basically. I try to keep it real simple and keep moving in a positive direction.
What’s In Your Toolbox?
You must find what works for you. The products I have bought and reviewed are not quick fixes, but they are effective. They are not made by snake oil salesmen, and they do work… If you work them.
So find anxiety self help methods that work for you– and work them. Because you’re worth it Remember, you are in control of your anxiety recovery.
Once you decide to make a commitment to get better, you certainly will- one day at a time.
This is something you must do for yourself. Nobody can make you better but you.
Once you realize this, real healing can begin and I sincerely wish this for you.