T Nation

Coping with Anxiety


#1

How do you cope with anxiety, constantly worrying, nervousness, etc?


#2

Excessive drinking.


#3

I stare at your avatar.....for hours.


#4

Daily masturbation


#5

Lifting.


#6

Not really sure man. I suffer with it terribly. I've tried CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) which let me tell you didn't really help that much.

There seems to be no magical supplement to help you as for a while I was convinced it must of been a chemical deficiency that was causing it or something genetic that could be alleviated by a vitamin or whatever.

I refuse to take the pills the doctors try to force onto you just because they turn you into a brain dead zombie that doesn't care about anything. This isn't a stereotype this is actually the case my Mom has been taking the meds for years and shes worse than I am. Plus now she can't actually come off them.

Exercise helps but depending on the severity of the anxiety it all depends because despite it helping me it's no miracle cure as some people think it is. Diet helps. Lots of vegetables help, I believe this is due to the fact they help your body function better thus less stress and lower anxiety.

Some days for me are much worse than others and the physical as well as mental symptoms can be awful. I see bright stars in my vision, I get stomach aches, nausea, lethargy, weird sensations, feeling as though nothing is real.

Do you drink, smoke or take any other forms of drugs - including caffeine? All these things make it worse. I had panic disorder from ages 6-16 which I managed to get rid of somehow but then by age 18/19 GAD came along after dabbling with marijauna which I do regret now.

The worst thing about it for me is that the amount of cortisol I must produce is absolutely insane. I think I must be one of the only people to be doing 5x5 eating around 2g of protein per lb of bodyweight with adequate carbs and fat to actually lose weight on 3500-4000cals a day.

Please let me know what it's like for you, what helps etc. I think it's one of these things that you just have to try to live with the best you can.


#7

Additionally I wanted to throw in some ideas. Anxiety is as we know a state of mind which you have a fear of something that you are anticipating and will manifest itself in certain ways. When the worry or nervousness gets bad it will manifest as General Anxiety Disorder which is bad for the body as all stress is.

General Anxiety Disorder distinguishes itself from ordinary worry, nervousness and fears when it manifests itself for an on going period of time. Also it causes physical and psychological symptoms that in themselves increase the anxiety due to the new fear of the actual anxiety itself.

Now for the ideas.

We know that the body is like a machine and is heavily regulated by many hormones etc etc. Doctors mostly presume stress and anxiety are caused by external causes, while there is no doubt in my mind external causes have an affect on the human mind - what gets me is if this was the case; many more people would suffer with anxiety. So we can hazard a guess and say the genetic differences as small as they may be among individuals have the last say and the first say on how we handle stressful situations, pereceived future situations etc. Maybe the corticosteroid hormone actually causes anxiety and isn't a by product of it.

Sure certain things can trigger more cortisol to be released I'm sure all the phD guys here have proved this many times. e.g. physical exercise stimulates cortisol release in order to increase gluconeogenesis and maintain blood glucose. Sleep deprivation will also cause cortisol levels to increase. The omega 3 fatty acid can help lower cortisol release.

Why I think that cortisol may be the cause of anxiety and not the by product is for the simple reason that how we treat our body seems to have an effect on the actual release of the hormone. Which evidently means the way our other hormones etc are functioning has a large say on exactly how much cortisol is being released. So when the anxiety feels to much, when it is seemingly for no reason or when it is on and off this really could be caused by some sort of problem with regulating hormones or even something as simple as not enough sleep or a mineral deficiency.


#8

Hmm, talking a lot, popping onto the Net and checking out how other people cope with anxiety!

Deliberately and doggedly setting out to reduce the time that streesful events affect me for example from three weeks staring blankly at the wall to maybe a couple of hours grumpiness;

Reading lots of self-help books on reducing anxiety, finding the power within and all that stuff - these books have lots of great case studies that are motivating, showing that yes it can be done, and other people go through this too and many in far more horrible circumstances than mine;

de3liberately looking for happy things to do.

Snuggling into a warm bed - mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :slight_smile:
Did I mention...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Going for a walk.

eating healthier and noting the effects of certain foods/drinks on my body - i still eat the unhealthy ones sometimes, but the awareness rreally helps and I ahve reduced much unhealthy stuff.

Fortifying my nervous system with the right vitamins etc. This is a BIG one!! If your nervous system is weak, it almost does not matter what you do cognitively, you will still feel anxious!! Get some Vitamin B and magnesium and all those other vitamins and minerals into you (homeopathics as well). Find wwhat's right for your system and use it a s consistently as possible. Tasty peppermint tea is helpful too, and so very delicious! Herbal teas are yummy as well as helpfully calming.

Trying to avoid negative shit and people (very difficult, often)

Cultivating positive people and influences, even if it's only for a few minutes' duration.

Contributing to a forum on anxiety so you can see how damn excellent your methods are! :slight_smile:

gaze at smiley emoticons.

These are some methods I have used to some success :).

Long way to go, but that's life I guess.

Hope these help.


#9

all of the above... plus medication. Take like 3 advil PM, and try to jack off before falling asleep. You never lose


#10

Lexapro. It turned my fucking life around. I went from being unable to sleep and living in constant fear of nothing at all, to feeling normal and being able to live life.

After I started the Lexapro, I did some CBT. I haven't had any anxiety symptoms in 6 months.


#11

I'll also say that I'm the same way. The fewer pills, the better, and there needs to be a damn good reason to take them. I'm set to get off my SSRI in like January, and I'm eagerly anticipating it. Also, there are several new SSRIs that don't have any dependence or withdrawal effects. There's harder stuff like Xanax that does, but that's generally only necessary for really bad cases, like severe agoraphobics that haven't left their houses in years.

It took me a long ass time to even start using whey protein. Then I noticed, oh, suddenly my recovery times are way lower, and I'm getting way stronger. So then I slowly added Rez-V, then Flameout, and some HOT-ROX, and what do you know? This shit works. Now, part of that is that I feel that Biotest really knows their shit, and isn't trying to sell themselves cheap just to make an extra buck, and this being a Biotest sponsored site, we're probably all more prone to say good things since we all use their products. But still. Haven't you noticed better results with their stuff? I sure as hell know that a few doses of Curcumin 500 ended my months-long knee pain.

The SSRIs are the same way. I hate feeling like I'm a slave to a company, but it's been worth every cent to not live in constant terror of nothing at all. Try asking around for a good doctor, there are some great ones out there, and I can't recommend Lexapro enough.


#12

[quote]BruceLeeFan wrote:
Not really sure man. I suffer with it terribly. I've tried CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) which let me tell you didn't really help that much.
quote]

Mate, the clinical evidence of the effectivness of CBT in treating anxiety is overwhelming good.

In a field plagued by ambiguity, to have some soild 'this works' conclusion is profoundly good news for sufferers. Typically and characteristically, the NHS has been slow to integrate the treatment into it's existing protocol. It's finally started to come round, but one case study after another into how long it takes to get treatment, highlights the under-funding and under-resoureced problems which frustrate and plague current mental health treatments.

Yes, there are profound neuro-chemical facets that facilitate anxiety. However, even these are ultimaltey linked to cognitive perceptions and subsequent responses e.g. in childhood frequent percieved exposure to anxiety inducing events leads to over-arousal of the nor-epinephrine receptors and/or the over-bearing and risk-averse mother frequently reminds her child the world is scary and dangerous place -so you'd be best served to be on constant lookout for threats etc.

At the core of it, CBT teaches you to identify the triggers that cause the feelings and symptoms and then critically examine them in a way removed from your own confirmation biases.

"What would be a more rational or normal 'response' to this situation?."

This is VERY hard work for an individual, but such is the case of mental ailments, a doc can't just patch you up and send you on your way, the onus is almost totally on you to change the way you think.

It sounds like another course of CBT would be of great help. The best therapists are, of course (at this stage), private. Altought it might be expensive, in the long-run a £1000 spent on allowing you to develop the skills to treat your anxiety for life, rather than to rely on medication, will likely be the cheapest option in the long run. What's more if negative thinking can deplete serotonin levels, then the opposite is also true.


#13

Agreed.


#14

x2 on masturbation and lifting lol


#15

STop thinking so much. No thoughts = no anxiety. Use meditation. At first you'll be bad at it, everyone is. Over time, you'll get better at it. Meditation also helps increase concentration and creativity.


#16

Keep busy as best you can. If you have good friends/family you should use them as a resource. Change any nasty routines you might have developed (If you usually lift in the morning- lift in the afternoon). Despite any thoughts of laying low and not getting involved- GET involved. Hang in there.

jnd


#17

I know how difficult this can be for you. Here are some ideas:

  1. Do cardio almost every day, i has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. That means a minimum of 20 minutes of continuous movement getting your heart rate up to at least the 75% of max mark.

  2. Stay away from all products that contain a high amount of refined sugar. Some studies have shown that sugar alone can bring on panic attacks.

  3. Eat 5 or so balanced meals each day with lots of green vegetables.

  4. Avoid any supplement that promises to raise your T levels, of course that includes roids as well as any herb products.

  5. Daily meditation and prayer. There are plenty of people on this site who love to trash God but I can tell you from personal experience that prayer works and God does help those who have faith. When you pray do so with all of your heart, let it all out. Try it.

  6. There is a good drug which deals directly with anxiety called Klonopin. My cousin was getting anxiety attacks and Klonopin immediately stopped them. He only had to take one half mg. per day for a few months then cut it back to every other day. In his words it was a miracle drug for him. He now only takes it very rarely in pressure situations.

Best of luck and may God bless you.

Zeb


#18

As archaic and intangible as this seems, Zeb is right. When I became a Christian and prayer became a regular activity, things that usually gave me anxiety just disappeared.


#19

KLONAPIN!!!!!!!!!


#20

I took Paxil for years. Totally worthless, and every time I tried to come off I had horrible flu like withdrawal symptoms.
Exercise helps a lot, especially hard weight training. Stay away from sugar as much as possible. High protein.
The best thing that happened to me in retrospect was when I lost a 14yr job last November, one that I had crawled to to top of and was finally getting the rewards I had worked for. I was so down, my doc convinced me to try Cymbalta. At the same time I accelerated my study of the Bible and began to pray daily. Today, I am virtually fear and anxiety free. I am basically a new man. I prefer to give credit to both lifestyle changes, the Cymbalta and prayer. Others will make come to their own conclusions. I understand not wanting to be under the control of a pill. I also understand the help the right pill can bring. Get the right pill and you won't be adversely affected. I think more clearly and easily. Good luck.