Saturday, February 20, 2010

How to Hit Reset?

Does anyone know how to reset the internal panic button sensitivity? Mine apparently is set at "ultra-sensitive" and it's driving me over the edge (as well as a few others, I'm sure).

I'm already taking a decent dose of anti-depression meds laced with anti-anxiety components but seriously? I have *got* to get a handle on this.

The weirdest things will trigger my fight or flight instinct and then I start to spin with thoughts of "I'm not good enough. I'm not enough. I suck. What would anyone ever see in me?, etc." I doubt myself and everything I know to be true. And the thing is - even when I am spinning there is this part of me that knows...I mean *KNOWS* it's not true. What kind of mind games do I play on myself and why am I doing it?

Is this just part of the process of learning to trust again? Both trust in myself and in others? Because seriously? I'm driving myself crazy. I hate that I can spin so easily. Hate. It.



Anonymous said...


I have suffered from anxiety for years. My counselor taught me simple exercises like breathing in "I am" and breathing out "ok". She also taught me to use visualization of places I have been that brought me great peace and that works as well.

Music is something else I use. I downloaded the sounds of the ocean from itunes and listen to that as well. I also have music when I feel mad and other moods.

You have been through alot the last couple of months, as time goes by it will settle.You have done well honestly and be proud for how far you have come not how far you need to go.

A Jersey Girl said...

I hope you get lots of good feed-back on this post because I will try it all!

I hope for you this is all a temporary thing brought on by all you have been through lately. As a life long problem anxiety SUCKS! Especially when you know you are being irrational and cannot stop it!

Good Luck and I believe things will turn around for you soon.


Caroline said...

You might ask your doctor for something like Xanax for when you feel anxiety coming on. It works fast, but doesn't last so long that you are falling asleep.

Just remember that each day you make it through you are much stronger. It will get better...I promise.

Lielanie said...

Casey, I know exactly how you feel and mine was also triggered by some rather large life changing circumstances. I went to a anxiety counselor for a while, because I got to where I could no longer "convince" myself that I was okay.. I couldn't function in the grocery store and even taking a shower made me overly panicked. But I found what helped the best was switching medications. I went through several and have finally found one that helps me, although I still have 'off' days where just changing lanes while driving can send me into hyper-panic mode. Good luck finding a balance, and I'm sure a lot more people have been through it and understand it too (the docs just don't know how to treat it properly yet.)
And also know that it's all perfectly normal to have physical changes accompany psychological changes.

Shannon said...

I have anxiety issues myself. I use to go to an LCSW to "talk" and "vent" and she used EMDR therapy and it really works. You get your brain focused on left to right muscle movements and it calms you. You just sit and drum your fingers on your legs back and forth like tap,tap,tap w/right then tap,tap,tap with left for several minutes or you can cross your arms and tap,tap,tap on your arms back and forth. There is also an electric stim machine you can buy that you just hold in your hands and it vibrates your hands:)
Anyway, your brain gets focused on the tapping and off the stress. Good luck!
Also, I am in grad school for teaching and I have a trick for improving little boy handwriting if you want to try it. It worked for my g-friend's son.

Deb D'Spain said...

Hi Casey,

I am so sorry you are suffering like this! Here's my .02, FWIW: I'm a 'worrier,' which seems about a step below anxiety, but I can get myself spinning in circles very easily. One thing that seems to work is to "schedule" times of the day that I set aside for worry. No more than 2x a day, and not right before bed. That way, if I start spinning I stop myself and say, "Right now you are doing X, you are scheduled for worry at 7pm" or whatever. Your time can be 5, 10, 15 minutes long, no longer. Set a timer. You don't have to *only* worry during your session, but it helps -- frankly I start feeling silly halfway through if I am doing nothing else and often cut the session short. Writing all the concerns down in a numbered list sometimes helps during this time ...with possible courses of action (like a pro/con list). Have something to do after your session is done.

And a final word, which I also learned up close and personal (thanks to an exgf who didn't do this): Make sure you are getting your meds from a psychiatrist who checks in with you regularly. GP's and ,other doctors are not experts and don't always have the lastest info on new medications...and they might prescribe something that doesn't help you.

No lecture, just suggestions. I hope something stands out among your friends' comments that can help you out! XO, Deb

Zach said...

I don't know if your back can handle it, but what about yoga or swimming or some other form of exercise? When I am super stressed or anxious, exercise is the only thing that calms me down. I focus on the exercise and breathing right for the exercise and eventually my breathing is regular and I feel good about myself for having worked out.

Mimi said...

Not really sure what to say except.....been there done that and it will get easier! I know at this point it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but when you get through the tunnel it will be great!xxxxoooo

Jen said...

I wonder if you need your meds adjusted a little. You might need more or less of what you've been taking. When I have breakthrough panic like that, I typically have to head in to see my doctor.

Other things that help me:

getting plenty of sleep
being outside
quiet (I have used ear plugs when the appliance or animal noises are too much)
deep breathing

You are still getting your balance and have done a fantastic job, I think. The fact that a part of you knows your worth, even when you are feeling crummy, is great.

sally said...

Casey, I do not have any helpful advice for you, and it looks like others who have commented here have some wonderful methods that worked for them. I pray that you also can find your calming tools. And remember that you have to just see from the supportive comments here that YOU are ENOUGH, and you do have value and worth, not defined by others, but coming from within yourself. Peace my friend.

Gandksmom said...

Anxiety is a huge part of my life. I finally found a MD who knows how it feels and started me on medication that stays with me all day instead of just treating the problem and making it go away for a while. My MD has PTSD from Vietnam and takes the same meds. It's really helped me a lot. I do have some what I call breakthrough meds and mostly, I just try and go to sleep or pray that things will even out. My MD told me the other day that experiences in our lives are hard wired in our brains and all the therapy in the world isn't going to help and that is when meds are useful. E-mail me offline and I will tell you what I take.

yankeegirl said...

Shannon's handwriting trick really works ( my son's teachers think she is a miracle worker!)
As for the anxiety, I can sure empathize. When you have this much uncertainty in your life there is bound to be lots of anxiety too. It does get better, and you are most definitely strong and brave and WORTH IT! Hang in there :)