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Author Topic: 'Old-Timer's' approach - to controlling panic attacks w/o Psychiatric meds  (Read 646 times)

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Offline Never-Quit

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I would like to share an “old-timer’s” approach to controlling Panic Attacks without prescription medication my first Panic Attack was 35 years ago.   I will try to keep this brief and short, please let me know if you have any questions.

I hated the idea of using any medications, by sharing my story this may help those individual who are suffering from these anxiety disorders a possible alternative to manage without the need to use Psychiatric medications.  Today, I personally use strategic Psychiatric medications at proper dosages, that have allowed me to fully recover and live high quality of life, yet I managed it by myself on my own for 7 years w/o taking any psychiatric medications.

Background:
-   First panic attack in early 1979 – quickly accelerated into 5-6 panic attacks per day.
-   Forced to drop out of college, lost my job, lost my romantic relationships, My life as I knew it was over!  I even blamed God!
-   Phobias became the norm – Fear of driving, getting out of the house, restaurants, elevators, people –  we now call this agoraphobia.

1st Breakthrough:
-   1983, After all medical treatment failed to diagnose my problem I came across - The Anxiety Disease, David Sheehan 
-   This was book that actually made me aware that it was a not a psychological problem but a chemical brain dysfunction – the knowledge alone, empowered me to use Self-hypnosis, early forms CBT therapy, NLP phobia cures and other forms of self-therapy.
   
2nd Breakthrough:
-   1986:  I kept researching – gaining more control of my life…. The next most important find: “Phobia Free: Medical Breakthrough Linking 90% of all Phobias and Panic Attack to a Hidden Physical Problem, Harold Levinson, M.D.
-   Author's theory- disorder caused by cerebellar-vestibular system , AKA - "the inner ear." - could be treated by motion sickness meds.
-   I started using all the various OTC motion sickness pills that dramatically lowered my Panic Attacks and OCD levels within days! 

-   My panic attacks decreased from 5-6 per day to 1-2 per day.  The INTENSITY of the panic attacks quickly decreased from my high levels of 9-10 full blown attacks to manageable 4-7 levels.  Enough, to make a breakthrough to get out of the house, drive on the freeway and get a job and start my journey to recovery without any Prescription drugs or medical therapy.



Solution:  to Managing my Disorder

Combining these motion sickness medications (Bonine) with my own mental therapy of Self-hypnosis, NLP techniques, and new CBT behavior workbooks I was now on my way out of the “Dark Abyss of this Panic/Anxiety Disorder"



Perspective:
This was in 1986 – before the vast majority of general doctors did not this disorder existed; only a selected group of psychiatrists knew about this disorder. 

-   1980:  panic disorder was first officially recognized with the publication of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edition, DSM-III)
-   1988 - The first SRI medication, fluoxetine (Prozac), is introduced in the United States.  years later it would be approved for panic disorder and then OCD.
-   1991 - The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepines used for Panic Disorder are Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), Clorazepate (Tranxene), Lorazepam (Ativan),
-   1992 - Zoloft [sertraline] is introduced in the United States
-   1993 -  Paxil [paroxetine] is introduced in the United States
References:   http://anxiety-panic.com/history/h-main.htm



Closing Thoughts:   We are now in 2014, it is has now been 35 years since my first Panic Attack - with the great advances in technology of sharing this disorder with others and advances in medications and neurological research, no one should suffer needlessly – with have so many options and new studies in natural Omega-3 supplements are bringing yet future hopes and solutions.

Thank you for allowing me to share… If you would like to know any specifics about dosages, or any questions please feel free to contact me.  May God Bless You with great physical and mental health !  :grinning-smiley-003:
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Never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."   ~ John Wooden

Offline Julie A. Cook

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Such a compassionate and informative post. Thank youso much .  I will keep it and cherish it.

Again, my thanks!

Julie

P.S.  I have a wonderful psychiatrist and we are getting to the root of things. Today, for the first time in several months, I began feeling like "me."
Patience, courage, research and self-advocacy.  Also, yoga and meditation.
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Offline forever young

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never quit. I have the book the anxiety disease. I knew all about the medicine for panic attacks. I was put on imipramine in the 80s the tricyclic anti depressants were the first line of defense against this disorder.also it talked about zanax and the dose for it was like 6 to 10 mgs. it has a section in the book about the medications that work and how well they work. I unlike you never got over all my phobias. I have taken medicine for about 30 yrs. I for some reason can't face all mine. It is interstate travel. I am going to try and address it soon. I too lost a job to this and didn't work for years. I have lost a lot in my time and not I am getting older and would love to get over this. I also remember some one saying it was cause from the ear. I also bought a book saying it could be low blood sugar. I have chased a lot of theories and still wish I could find my way out of this maze. I fill now it is up to me to face and accept that I have this with the help of medication.  thank you for posting this I love to read other experiences. I feel I can relate to you on this one.
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Offline Never-Quit

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Thank you Julie for the nice compliment  :happy0151:

Hi Forever Young:  The anxiety disease of course is a little dated - since we now have so many great new medications that are available.

On the phobias, I found a technique used NLP - called the "nlp phobia cure techniques" on the Internet.

I used this mental technique along with my medication and it does work - the even have some videos on Youtube.  It does take some practice, you may want to look at this.  I still use this same NLP technique for decreasing "unpleasant or emotional hurtful emotions".

I remember using this technique a lot in 80's and even today, when I want to decrease the intensity of a Phobia or "Traumatic emotional event" in my case - it was a cheating girlfriend - with of course a panic attacks - kept me from dating for about 5 years.  Now, I am lucky to have worked these inner demons out of memory - I started dating again, and was able to have many wonderful loving relationships :yes:
 
And today  I am happily married with a awesome wife and kids, and grandkids...  (hum... I guess .. I am getting old...    B-;

Wishing you best of luck!
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Never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."   ~ John Wooden

Offline Jane Sander

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This post is simply excellent and could benefit so many people in so many ways.
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I sometimes write for www.calmandserenity.com which is a resource site by a few members of Health Anxiety Forum to help sufferers of panic and anxiety.

http://www.calmandserenity.com

Proud Headspacer :P

Offline tinam7

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Am an old timer, perhaps the oldest here. We are complex beings who probably must each explore what suits us best. This is likely to vary from person to person with some overlapping, of course.

We can always learn from each other and support one another. For example, I have expanded CBT to include ACT, Acceptance, Commitment Therapy which someone mentioned in another thread. Still rely on journaling, yoga, tai chi, meditation and a continued commitment to reading, learning, doing the best I can every day for myself and those around me. Also have developed realistic, modified expectations.
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Offline Zanarchy

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Thank you for sharing this!  I am new to this forum.  I have suffered from agoraphobia with panic attacks since 2nd grade and I am 44 now. Currently going through a housebound phase for the past 6 months.  I had a 2.5 year housebound phase back in 1992.  I am afraid.
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Offline Never-Quit

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Thank you for sharing this!  I am new to this forum.  I have suffered from agoraphobia with panic attacks since 2nd grade and I am 44 now. Currently going through a housebound phase for the past 6 months.  I had a 2.5 year housebound phase back in 1992.  I am afraid.

Welcome  :action-smiley-065:

You will find many helpful people on this forum with extensive knowledge and empathy :happy0151:
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Never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."   ~ John Wooden

Offline Breathless

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Great post!
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"Cowards die many times before their deaths;the valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come." Julius Caesar

 

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