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Thread: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

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    Member Phoenix LeFae's Avatar
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    Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    Greetings All,

    Over the past couple of years I've started to have small and minor anxiety attacks. This doesn't happen very often, but they are starting to come more often and more regularly. I do not like it. I've done a few exercises, breathing practices, and so on, to try and diffuse these feelings, but I am wondering if others have anxiety and what they might do to help. Also, what are your thoughts on why this happens? I was told by a friend that it could be my psychic abilities expanding, but my logical mind doesn't believe that. I don't know what it is coming from, but I would love to find some simple ways to deal with it that doesn't include taking drugs.

    Any ideas, help, and information would be amazing.

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    Time Lord Apostle Malflick's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    total non-magical answer coming here:

    I have some PTSD, and I when I get triggered I can have something fairly similar to anxiety attacks. I hate it when they happen, but its something you can learn to deal with.

    First off, counseling helps a lot, and there is a lot that can be done to help without any drugs. If you haven't seen a Councillor/therepist, I'd recommend it. I have yet to take any meds, and I'm doing great.

    Anxiety attacks are a super complex thing, and I'm not going to try to diagnose you over the web. Sometimes these things crop up over old issues that you wouldn't have guessed at. For me, its an obvious thing I'm well aware of the causes of, but it isn't always. If you had any sort of trauma or abuse in your past, that would be a kicker, but it doesn't have to be that.

    You seem to be on the right track with those sort of exercises. Finding a way to feel in control of your body during the attack is seems to be a key.

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    Cannibal Rights Activist Ophidia's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    Again, nothing magical - other than mindfulness. Try to keep yourself in the present moment and focused on whatever you're doing 'now'. Meditation can help with mindfulness. Sitting, finding your center, and pulling yourself back to that center every time your mind wanders is all you need to do for that.

    My husband has GAD and gets panic attacks often. A few things have helped him minimize the impact it has on his life.

    Firstly, he cut out the caffeine. Stimulants can have a bigger effect on mood and emotion than people realize. A lot of cold, flu, asthma and allergy medications can have a stimulant effect, and sometimes those can't be avoided - but if someone's topping off their asthma inhaler w/a cup of coffee, they can stop drinking the coffee. Even small amounts of caffeine can sneak up on a person.

    It's important to identify and recognize your triggers. Keep a journal or diary tracking your anxiety. See if there's anything that sticks out. Try and pinpoint what it is that's happening when you begin to feel anxious and avoid those situations if possible. For my husband, a lot of it is medical issues. He's afraid of death and dying, so any consideration of cancer or major diseases, doctors' visits, doctors' offices, drug commercials on t.v., etc. all trigger him to an extent. He used to watch House, which is a veritable cornucopia of exotic diseases and disorders, so he stopped watching it. I used to watch a lot of forensic/true crime tv, and 'medical mystery'-type shows, so I don't watch those around him. He's worked things out with his doctor so he can get a little extra medication so he doesn't have to go in for as many office visits over the course of the year, and if I have a doctor's appointment, we try to plan things for him to do so he isn't stuck in the waiting room (I don't drive, so he's stuck taking me to the doctor).

    Another thing that's helped him is physical exercise. One of his anxiety symptoms is that he gets antsy and restless. Sometimes he gets on the stationary bike we have and just peddles for virtual miles. We got a Wii so he could do something distracting at the same time. Just burning off pent-up energy helps him a lot. Plus he gets the endorphin boost, and it helps him breathe deeper and more normally than shallow panting.

    Don't feel like you absolutely, positively have to 'face your fears' whenever they crop up - it's ok to 'run away', so to speak. Do something that takes you away from the anxiety for awhile, something that will consume a lot of your attention, like an intricate puzzle, or pick up a hobby like woodworking or needlecraft - my husband started making jewelry. It helps him to leave things unfinished so he can pick something up in the middle when he needs a distraction instead of having to think of something brand new to start on.

    Lastly, don't let the symptoms scare you. For the most part, the feelings you have that are associated with the anxious moments will go away.
    The forum member formerly known as perzephone. Or Perze. I've shed a skin.

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    Copper Member Aeran's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    I started having issues with anxiety a few years back, there are a few things that have helped enormously:

    - meditation. Even just generic meditation not intended to directly fix the anxiety has made a huge difference, probably dropping it by a good 50%. I can count on one hand the number of panic attacks I've had since I started meditating, whereas they used to be a regular occurance.

    - Gradual exposure. If you have a specific trigger, try to gradually acclimatize yourself to it. But I wouldn't try this without a mental health professional to guide the process.

    Medication - If your attacks are heavy on physical symptoms, try a low dose beta blocker like propranolol. They reduce the physical manifestations of anxiety, which helps you stay calm and prevents the panic attack spiraling further. I'd recommend avoiding benzodiazepines (valium, xanax, etc) unless you literally can't leave the house, and even if that's the case, stick to occasional, short term use. Benzo dependence will only make things worse.

    As far as magic goes, I highly doubt there's any method whereby you could put the props together, say the magic words and make your anxiety disappear like they do on TV. But there are self trans-formative processes whereby you can rid yourself of negative personality traits. Probably the best guide to this is the early stages of Initiation Into Hermetics by Franz Bardon. It's not instant and it's not easy, but it works if you put in the work.

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    Time Lord Apostle Malflick's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    Quote Originally Posted by perzephone View Post

    It's important to identify and recognize your triggers. Keep a journal or diary tracking your anxiety. See if there's anything that sticks out. Try and pinpoint what it is that's happening when you begin to feel anxious and avoid those situations if possible. For my husband, a lot of it is medical issues. He's afraid of death and dying, so any consideration of cancer or major diseases, doctors' visits, doctors' offices, drug commercials on t.v., etc. all trigger him to an extent. He used to watch House, which is a veritable cornucopia of exotic diseases and disorders, so he stopped watching it. I used to watch a lot of forensic/true crime tv, and 'medical mystery'-type shows, so I don't watch those around him. He's worked things out with his doctor so he can get a little extra medication so he doesn't have to go in for as many office visits over the course of the year, and if I have a doctor's appointment, we try to plan things for him to do so he isn't stuck in the waiting room (I don't drive, so he's stuck taking me to the doctor).
    Everything she said was great, but this is really key. Recognizing and learning that to avoid triggers helps SO MUCH.

    Once I learned that I didn't have to "face them" and in fact it was way better to not, because it never helped... I was much happier.

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    Sr. Member WinterTraditions's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malflick View Post
    Everything she said was great, but this is really key. Recognizing and learning that to avoid triggers helps SO MUCH.

    Once I learned that I didn't have to "face them" and in fact it was way better to not, because it never helped... I was much happier.
    Sadly it's a bit difficult to avoid triggers when they are things that are abundant in society; like driving, people driving around you, plastic bags, and those dreaded windchimes! xD Personally, I have never bothered with any magickal method to helping out my anxiety disorder. I find that the pills I have been prescribed work enough that I can last a few hours after popping them.

    As for the question on this thread, I really have no answer besides going to a psychologist/psychiatrist about these anxiety attacks.



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    Cannibal Rights Activist Ophidia's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    Quote Originally Posted by WinterTraditions View Post
    Sadly it's a bit difficult to avoid triggers when they are things that are abundant in society; like driving, people driving around you, plastic bags, and those dreaded windchimes! xD Personally, I have never bothered with any magickal method to helping out my anxiety disorder. I find that the pills I have been prescribed work enough that I can last a few hours after popping them.

    As for the question on this thread, I really have no answer besides going to a psychologist/psychiatrist about these anxiety attacks.
    Yeah, the freaking drug commercials with their lists of side effects are a pain. My husband's also got problems w/animal abuse, and some days it seems like every other ad on tv is a drug ad or that ASPCA/Sarah McLachlan commercial. All my husband really does is watch tv. /facepalm
    The forum member formerly known as perzephone. Or Perze. I've shed a skin.

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    Member Phoenix LeFae's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    Thanks for all the input. I have a horrible suspicion that caffeine no longer works with my body. This is really making me sad, as it is the last vice that I have held on to. (And I don't relish the thought of "coming off" caffeine.) Overall, slow and steady is what is going to win this race.

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    Cannibal Rights Activist Ophidia's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix LeFae View Post
    Thanks for all the input. I have a horrible suspicion that caffeine no longer works with my body. This is really making me sad, as it is the last vice that I have held on to. (And I don't relish the thought of "coming off" caffeine.) Overall, slow and steady is what is going to win this race.
    Caffeine withdrawal isn't all that bad. The worst part is the headaches that happen on the first day. Just keep some Tylenol handy. You can also 'step down' your caffeine intake - instead of 2 cups of coffee, drink one for a couple of days. Then switch to a tea or hot chocolate for a couple. Then no caffeine.
    The forum member formerly known as perzephone. Or Perze. I've shed a skin.

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    Copper Member Aeran's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety, is there a magical answer?

    Cutting off caffeine is a really good idea, people tend to underestimate it's stimulant effect, but it compounds anxiety in a really nasty way. If you use any street drugs, workout supplements, or are on any stimulant medication for ADD/narcolepsy, you'll want to stop those too.

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