Hey everyone,
To be honest I've been wanting to reach out about this topic for quite some time, kinda sad that I haven't had the motivation until now, but better now than never i suppose!

I have an anxiety disorder. Not the social anxiety type, but stress induced. Typically this wouldn't be too hard to manage, but I'm in school, and exams freak me out A LOT. I get so nervous I can't study, my body shuts down and I get sick, can't sleep, don't eat, and get kinda scary anxiety "attacks", I often get so scared that I lose the motivation to actually leave my house. If I do manage to make it to the exam I blank out, or can't focus on the questions... it's miserable.

Although I've finally been forced to admit this is a problem, I don't like taking the meds because they make me feel off, or numb, or not myself, which is uncomfortable and not the result I wish to achieve.

So I'm wondering, how do YOU lovely people deal with stress? What are YOUR stories?
There is strength in numbers after all.

Peace, love, and light.
-Brella (Rehanna)

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it's so nice to be around so many intelligent and enlightened people! sharing like this is another part of the healing process... and to have so many accepting people to encourage each other helps tremendously!!

enjoy your hoop sesh! i'll be there in spirit since i'm stuck inside a corporate office.. lol <3
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :)
I have an anxiety disorder, actually you described it to a T. I do the exact same things you do. When I have an anxiety attack I can't think of anything other than "I can't do this!" my body shuts down and I get these shakes and I cry and then the hyperventalation starts! It sucks mama so I know here you're comming from. The blanking on tests I get from my ADD. I was on dual anti anxiety/ADD meds, a high dossage actually, and I was sooooo sluggish all the time. It made me super sick and if i didn't throw it up right after i had taken it i would randomly fall asleep in class. id be OUT! lol.

i've stopped the meds and only take them as needed. Idk what triggers your panic attacks tho. For me its time management. Im a fine arts major so when the end of the semester comes i freak out because in a week i have 3 large paintings, 5 prints, and a larger drawing due. When i feel myself starting to lose it i calm myself by taking deep breaths and sitting down and planning. Seeing a plan in front of me helps. Like monday I have 4 hours for painting and then 2 for printing, etc etc. For you Id say sit down and write down your study schedule and stick to it. Ull be surprised at how much more time you actually have to get things done then your paniced mind thought.

as far as test blanking ive never been one for studdying because no matter how hard i try i cant retain it because of the blanking. I am an avid morning studdier. because of my art im a visual learner so if i look at my notes right before an exam, i can remember how my writing looked on the page and remember what it says. but not everyone works like that so it might not work for you. Id say give planning a go.

i hope ive helped and if u ever need to talk im here. breathe mama
Thanks darlin. I'm jealous of your major. I'm in Engineering (killmenow)
I just made a schedule yesterday :)
Planning mode engage
Bubble baths, reading, eating foods that I know are nourishing my body and mind, getting a LITTLE extra sleep!, hooping, laying crystals on and around my body, meditation, yoga, sun on my face, wind in my hair. Big big love to you, Rehanna.
I think it is really great that you feel comfortable enough to share with us!
There are lots of things you can do, I agree with a lot of the comments here. You sort of have to find what works for you best but making sure you are breathing slow and deep with emphasis on your thought processes being calm (meditation) can be super helpful to your autonomic nervous system!

Also helpful is massage,I know it may seem expensive but if you can get regular massages they really can help to alleviate chronic problems and help you to relax without medications. They say 10-12 massages (maybe one a month or even twice a month) can help your body to re learn how to relax.

And I must say, not to stress you out more, but it is very important for you to learn to manage your stress because if you don't it can lead to greater more intense stress related diseases like fibromyalgia. But you can do it! Take charge of your stress.. and of course get massage. I hope some of these things have helped you :-D
I have generalized anxiety disorder with agoraphobia, that prevents me from leaving my house if I'm having serious anxiety. It can be a SERIOUS pain in the ass sometimes!! I didn't realize for a while that I had an anxiety disorder, I thought I was sick or something, because when I had anxiety attacks I would get really sick to my stomach, dizzy and would have a hard time breathing. but then I looked into it, and DUH anxiety attacks. lol.

Well, I've been trying really hard to get rid of this problem because its seriously interrupted my life with doing the things I want to do. So I went to a therapist/counselor and she basically just suggested I go to my doctor for medication (since she can't prescribe) So, I did that, even though I didn't want to be on an SSRI medication which is what she recommended (you have to take it everyday, can't just stop taking it you have to be weened off, and I wouldn't be able to smoke weed.) Yeah basically a whole bunch of garbage that I didn't want to deal with, but my doctor prescribed me zoloft(SSRI med) and klonopin(benzodiazepine) anyway. I refuse to take the zoloft, but I occasionally will take the klonopin if I'm having a serious anxiety attack, and it calms me down somewhat.

But moral of the story, meds are NOT going to solve the problem! What does work:
things like yoga or some form of excersise you enjoy (hooping!!)
having hobbies you can use to take your mind off of anxiety: drawing, playing and instrument, sewing, things along those lines.
work on deep breathing if you feel like you're going to have an anxiety attack, controlling your breathing is the first step in controlling the panic.
eat healthier foods, don't drink too much caffeine/alcohol, don't smoke cigarettes etc.

Anxiety SUCKS! but hopefully you will figure out what works best for you and you can get over this problem! :) good luck. <3
AHH!! You guys are the best.

My boyfriend suggested that I identify something, some sort of object or token that is around me when i study and when i relax, and take it with me to exams for calming familiar purposes. I think what he was meaning was like a rock or a necklace but the most significant thing for me is my blanket. It is a very old very special blanket. 20 healthy years to be exact.
So in hasty decisions I kinda cut a square off the top layer to take with me and now I'm having a heart attack because I just massacred my baby, and if this doesn't work I will be tremendously upset.

Anyone else had experience with tokens for calming effects?

Here's something I learned in track:

 

I ran the 300 meter hurdle race (among other things) and I would hyperventilate before the race. And then I won. I think that a little bit of stress is a good thing, because it lets you know that you'll have to kick ass very soon, and gives you the needed adrenaline. 

 

Of course you don't want too much stress, so here's something else I learned at track:

After the race was over and I was done kicking ass, I was, you know, completely winded, felt like I wanted to lay down and die. So what could I do? nothing. Sooner or later I'd regain my breath, and in the meantime I just decided to accept the fact that I felt horrible and acknowledge that I'll eventually feel better. 

So, if you tell yourself that you'll be done soon, that test will be over tomorrow and you'll feel fine, you may be able to chill out a little. :D

Hope that helps!

i hoop it all away now..i have had anxiety for years and hooping just takes it all away.

I also, have been having these problems. In fact, they are so similar to yours it sounds, it blows my mind. Minus the school part though. I mostly get anxious or stressed from day to day interactions with people, and even though I used to be a social butterfly, I am now a complete loner, although I do try to reach out of my comfort zone to hang out with people but usually feel awkward and I obviously have a ranting problem. I do, however feel things changing for me every day almost like I am a little more whole every day. But some days are worse than others.

 

I have a manic depressive disorder with anxiety, and do not take meds. I really want to be able to live life without them, that is my ultimate goal. My anxiety causes me to push away people around me all the time.

 

People say, 'just be happy' but I think sometimes when you actually have a chemical inbalance in your brain it might be a little less black and white than that.

 

Namaste

Jill

my extreme fear of confrontation and voicing my concerns to people of authority is what gets me, and definitely a fear of being out of a control. when i start to cry in front of people like that, i worry about how i will be perceived and thats what escalates it from being overly emotional (i cry in any situation of confrontation) to panic attack.

 

i was talking to the human resources person at work today about how my hours are being cut from full time to 30 hours a week, and i felt like my supervisor didnt necessarily have my best interest in mind. this woman was totally on my side, and really has more of an outside perspective than most others at my job, but because i was crying as i was explaining myself, i was worried about what she would think. i was worried that she wouldnt understand why a 25 year old woman is crying about having her hours cut. and that worry was also compounded by thoughts of bills to pay and all the personal sacrifices i have made to advance myself in this job that are now seeming not worth it because i was being penalized. by the time i was done explaining my situation, i was hyperventilating, and flushed, and i felt like i had a stack of bricks on my chest. and this was before i was supposed to begin a 10 hour shift!

 

keeping busy with even the most menial tasks and taking my mind off of it really helps. i find THE WORST is when people see that i am visibly upset, and ask me if im ok or what's wrong... that just brings it all back to the surface, and any progress i made in calming myself down is shot. when someone asks are you ok, i feel like i have to answer them honestly since i know that i don't look like i am, so saying i'm fine would just be lying. sometimes i just wish people could leave me alone when im trying to recover from a panic attack.

 

i've cut hooping out of my life a lot recently because i work so much and i am trying to spend time with my boyfriend, with whom i have totally opposing schedules. and i've been trying to cook for myself for the week a lot more, so that takes up a lot of my free time, so hooping as a means of dealing with stress hasn't been there in my life, but you can be sure that I will be doing it a lot more since my hours are being cut at work.

 

my health insurance kicks in soon, and you can guarentee i will be going to see my doctor. i've been on zoloft and prozac for anxiety before, and i definitely won't be doing that again. however, i would really love some xanax or klonopin to have in those moments when i simply can't control the psychosomatic reaction taking over my body. however, i have also been looking into alternative remedies. i was reading about inositol or vitamin Bh, which has shown to have calming effects for those with panic disorder. it is also supposed to help with OCD and depression. the side effects for it cant be any worse than the side effects of an SSRI, so im going to give it a shot. hopefully they carry it at whole foods so i can use my discount.

 

i wish my boyfriend understood this disorder more, because thats the most heartbreaking thing for me. he thinks i do it for attention, and that i have some sort of control over it. i wish i had even just a shred of control when i am having a panic attack. the littlest things can trigger me, and i think thats why he thinks its a tantrum. i dont know how to convey to him that this is a physical disorder and not a cry for attention.

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