Staying Well Requires Some Effort

What occurred to me recently about my mental health is that I must be proactive in order to stay healthy. As someone who did do battle for decades with daily anxiety and panic, it is not realistic to expect to never have to help myself in this area- just because I am well now. It is not reasonable to think I’ll never have panic attacks or phobias again.

you deserve to have peace in this life

I’m now 51 years old. I have to eat right and exercise to keep my body healthy. That is common knowledge. If I give in to my carb cravings and just lay on the couch, I will go soft and flabby. That is a no-brainer.

So why should it make me feel like I have some sort of shameful character flaw that I have to also do things to maintain my optimum level of mental health? There was mental illness on my mother’s side of the family and being secretive and not talking about it was passed down to me. For me it morphed into shame. I am trying to break out of that stigma when it comes to considering myself and what I need and deserve in this life… Continue reading

Posted in Panic Attacks, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Healthy Lifestyle | Tagged , | 2 Comments

How to Be Powerful in The Face of Anxiety

how to be powerful in the face of anxietyLiving at the mercy of anxiety is painful. It restricts you, feels awful, and makes daily living very hard. Nobody wants anxiety or panic attacks, but many people continue to be riddled with anxiety, even after they seek help.

I think this has something to do with learning how to be powerful from a personal perspective. I spent years and thousands of dollars on psychiatrists, therapy, self help programs, biofeedback, hypnosis, you name it. And I was numbed out on medications for years to boot. But I was still anxious. I could still have panic attacks. My life still sucked. Continue reading

Posted in Panic Attacks, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia | Tagged | 2 Comments

I Switched From Synthroid to Armour Thyroid and Feel Better :)

synthroid side effects

As many of you know I have hypothyroidism. My particular diagnosis is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I’ve often felt there was a correlation between hypothyroidism and anxiety, since I’ve seen literally hundreds of patients over the years who suffer from both. (of course when I asked my primary care doctor about this he looked at me like I had two heads, but I digress…)

I have been taking Synthroid ( levothyroxine) since I age 15 years as a replacement for my underactive thyroid. You should also know that over the past decade or so, I suffered from a lot of night time and day time heart palpitations. They could strike out of the blue and happen even when i was not feeling emotional or anxious at all. In fact, they became a regular nighttime occurrence when I laid down to go to sleep at night. And I would make myself cough to get them to stop (something I learned from working in a cardiac catheterization lab- coughing can reset your heart when you are having erratic beats). Having those palpitations all the time really sucked! Continue reading

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle | Tagged | 7 Comments

The Passionflower wasn’t great, but here’s something better

I received my Passionflower order from Amazon and wanted to give you an update on it. The directions say you can take 2-4 capsules daily, with or without food. The capsules are big, but not too big to swallow. Not any bigger than my daily multivitamin.

I have been taking 2 capsules in the morning before going to work. So did it work? Honestly, it’s hard to say. I can’t say I was flooded with feelings of well being and calmness after taking it. But on the other hand, I haven’t had a particularly hard week either. My recent anxiety crisis seems to have finally abated, thank God in heaven.

I really can’t say if the Passionflower did much for me. So I cannot give it a high recommendation and I probably wouldn’t buy it again.

That said, I do have a dietary supplement that is STRONG and definitely works for anxiety. I bought it maybe a year ago, I guess I forgot I had it. For me it is as strong as taking a Xanax, maybe stronger. It is called ZenRx and here is my bottle:


I looked it up on Amazon for you and for some reason I don’t see any reviews. WTH? There were a lot of ringing endorsements from happy customers when I purchased it, which was why I bought it in the first place. Maybe the manufacturer took it off Amazon and only recently put it up again? I have no idea…

All I can say is, this supplement most definitely works to stop anxiety and panic. I found it to be very strong and effective. So much so that I half a capsule is enough for me.

Here are the ZenRx ingredients, taken right off the label. I notice it has passionflower in it! 😉 It also has Valerian and L-tryptophan, which I also know works well to promote calmness.

ZenRx ingredients

So this I can recommend for anxiety, with the warning that I found it to be strong and so if you choose to try it, proceed with caution. Perhaps try it at home first to see if it makes you too drowsy. If so, open the capsule and empty out half of it, like I do.

ZenRx is expensive at around $35, but it is well worth it as far as I’m concerned because it truly works. Here is the link to check it out. 


Hoping you are having a good week.

I wish you peace,

Jill G.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

Passionflower for Anxiety Relief

Passionflower extractToday I came across this article on herbal remedies for anxiety on my Facebook news feed and I decided to read it.  (There was an article the other day on anxiety that sort of pissed me off and who knows, maybe that’s why I clicked in to read.)

Anyhow, the author who was diagnosed as bipolar at age 13 was put on lithium, and eventually was prescribed a whole slew of medications for anxiety, ADD, and more.

In the article she talks about how she got off the medications and now only uses natural supplements for anxiety and stress.

It is an interesting read and while I am not advocating anyone go off meds if they need them, I was curious about using Passionflower as an herbal remedy for anxiety, since I’ve never heard about it before. Continue reading

Posted in Panic Attacks, Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Tagged | 2 Comments

Social Anxiety stole my personality, or did it?

Katy asked on Facebook, “Does anyone with social anxiety feel like they have no personality? I feel like social anxiety and depression from an early age has taken my personality or it didn’t grow like other people’s.”

fb question
This comment got 56 likes and 35 comments, so obviously Katy is not alone.

And I could personally relate to that question myself…In fact I used to worry about how anxiety affected my personality a lot when I was younger.

Today I am going to show you how I can be all pity potty about something like this and also how I can help myself and not get sucked into negativity. Today we will use the Pity Pot Monster and the good and benevolent Voice of Reason. This should be interesting and I hope helpful to you as well 😉

Let me start by saying I am feeling better after being sick for a month, and man did my anxiety ever kick up while I was not feeling well. It really sucked! 🙁

I remember being at work in the throws of feeling anxious as if I was on the very brink of sanity. I remember feeling so scared of being there and wondering could I handle staying at work for the duration of my shift. Being so all consumed with the tortuous thoughts. Those old repetitive thoughts that play over and over in my head like a broken record that, when I’m vulnerable can render me almost incapacitated, feeling like I look like a blithering idiot.  And in the background I could hear people talking and laughing and joking and carrying on. I recall wishing so badly that I could join in and feel light and free, but I could not.

And even when the acute feelings of irrational fear would pass, how I still could not shake off the social jitters. I was aware of feeling socially awkward and not feeling capable of holding a rational conversation. It really was a sad thing, it felt so isolating to be trapped and alone in fear and misery.

Like Katy above, I too have had times in my life when I thought I didn’t have a personality. I too felt it had been stolen because of this awful thing anxiety.

Pity pot: Poor me. I have it so bad. My anxiety is a tremendous crutch and a burden. I have suffered for decades and it looks like there’s no end in sight. When everyone was socializing at work and I was mute, this was proof I have no personality.

Voice of Reason: That’s a bunch of crap Jill. Anxiety has certainly been your cross to bear. And when it acts up acutely, this is the time to buckle down and be vigilant with your mind. You have wonderful books to reference and all sorts of self help tools to use.

That you continued to feel bad week after week was certainly part of being sick and under the weather. But think about it, did you really do everything in your power to help yourself?

Jill: Uh, no. Not really. I just laid around and felt like crap and let the crap feelings compound on themselves. To the point where I felt so anxious I was truly miserable.

Voice of Reason:  Bingo.

be kind to yourself

During this month of hell I also did a few rounds with acute loneliness. I felt very distant from my sister. When we did talk over the last month, it was really just surface level conversation, how is the wife, how are her kids, are you good, ok, yes we’re good, ok then have a good week…

I also felt isolated from my husband. He is all consumed with his health woes and job stress and honestly after 20 plus years together, he is set in his ways. He is a good person, but not what you would call a soft spot to fall. If I ever have something going on, it could just never compare to how bad he has it. Even when I was sick with 101 fever and out of work, all conversations turn to him and what he goes through. While I feel bad for him, I truly get sick of hearing about how bad his life is. Especially since he really doesn’t do anything to help himself, except complain and get depressed.

During the peak of feeling sick I truly felt I wanted to divorce his ass. Not that I had the energy to do it, but I just was so done with him and his misery. I had enough of my own for god’s sake…

Pity pot:  Oh you poor thing. No one understands you. No one. Not your sister, not your husband. You are truly all alone in this cold cruel world.

Voice of Reason: Well it certainly feels that way, especially when you are in a downward spiral. But listen to me, and I know this sounds harsh, but you get what you give. When you treat your sister or your husband with silence and don’t say what you really feel, you lose. You close yourself off from any real connections. And you may not love how Bob acts but he has been through a hell of a lot in the past few years. You still have to be kind to him.

If Bob thinks he’s sicker than you, that’s ok! So he wins the sick contest. Do you really want to win that one anyways?

Jill: uh, no. Of course not.

Voice of Reason: Tell me, what did you do when you were feeling so out of touch with others and so lonely? Did you ask your sister to talk to you when you were down and out? Did you make any phone calls to her?

Jill: No I laid on the couch and felt miserable and watched a lot of TV and felt sorry for myself. I waited for her to call me on the weekends and then felt angry because I never said anything to her about how I was feeling.

Voice of Reason: Bingo.

Back to the Facebook question. Here is a statement that I can really relate to:

fb reply

The thing with me and my anxiety is I feel I am always hiding. Hiding who I really am, what I really feel. Hiding from the outside world. When It is bad, I put on a false mask faking that everything is ok. But I can’t interact and feel I either come off as boring, disinterested, or worse, stuck up.

On the other hand, when I am not anxious, I think i have a pretty ok personality. I find a lot of things funny, I love to relate and interact with my friends and acquaintances. Like Claire, I too feel I would have been a social butterfly if not for stupid anxiety..

Pity pot:  Your life is ruined because you hide from the world. What a horrible thing to bear. No one has it as bad as you….No one understands you or can relate to you. Your life really sucks!!.

Voice of Reason: You are not boring, disinterested in other people, or stuck up. Again, those are just negative feelings. Do not go there. Do not beat yourself up when you are down. Do not listen in to the Pitty Pot monster. You do not hide from the world, you just go quiet sometimes. Its not a mortal sin. And your life doesn’t suck either.

It’s just that, when you are in crisis, your objective is to stay laser focused on the present. If you fail in one moment, you can try again in the next moment. Stay focused on the here and now. Some days are harder than others, and some times are harder than others. That is the nature of life. This is nothing you can’t handle or can’t bounce back from.

You will have plently of opportunities to laugh and interact when your body returns back to its state of relaxation and you are not so anxious.

You know that these times always pass and you always feel better again.

Jill: Thanks I feel better. I know I have so much to be grateful for, not the least of which is that this sickness passed. I have my health back and today is sunny and beautiful. I don’t feel anxious at all.

Thank you for helping me get my perspective back. Things are better again, and Spring is coming too – hurray! 😀

And you, can you relate to feeling like anxiety has affected your personality? Can you see that you do yourself no favors by giving into pity and despair? Can you see that once an acute anxiety episode has passed and your body can relax again, you feel more like yourself? Can you see how if you are kind to yourself and others while going through an anxious time, how this can only help make things easier?

I wish you peace,


Panic Attacks Program
(CD or tape)

Stop panic attacks with this unique program.

Posted in Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety Disorder | Tagged | Leave a comment

My first time out Grocery Shopping in a month…

reality is always kinder than the stories we tell about it -byron katie The respiratory thing I had since February is finally starting to lift and I am beginning to get my energy back- hurray! There is nothing like being sick for awhile to make you really, truly appreciate your health.

Something about being down and laid up really triggered my anxiety also. I know that being physically ill is a trigger for my abnormal anxiety to act up. It certainly hasn’t been fun doing battle with my mind while feeling under the weather, that’s for sure.

But today is sunny and clear out. I finished up my chores and then had to go to the grocery store. Well, that bright sunlight hit my retinas and all at once I was afraid of going to the damn store.

My anxiety told me that it would be too much to go to the store today. My anxiety wanted me to ask my husband to come with me. (!!)

No way, this is not going to happen today, I tell myself. I am going grocery shopping and that is that. I am going to do it, and Do It Afraid until the fear melts away… Continue reading

Posted in Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety Disorder | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Anxiety Monster tried to ruin my spin class

do it afraid

A few weeks ago I had a nasty ear infection that turned into a sore throat and cough. It wasn’t anything serious but I missed 2 days of work and had to take antibiotics. The cough’s been lingering and I still don’t feel back to my usual health.

Last week was hard because my energy was low and I felt exhausted. It’s been all I can do recently to get through the work day.

I know from experience when I don’t feel well physically I am not at my best mentally… Continue reading

Posted in Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety Disorder | Tagged | 4 Comments