Archive for January, 2008

What medication do I take for anxiety?

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

This is a question I get asked a lot. Anyone who knows me and my views will know I am not a fan of them. Not just because I believe recovery comes from within, but also the wrong medication is given to sufferers. I know of around 30 different medications handed out for anxiety. This is because people can get wrongly diagnosed and also because the patient comes back and tells them it is not helping, so they shift them on to something else. No other condition has so many different medications to treat it, maybe the answer lies away from tablets then!

I was given seroxat to treat my anxiety, which is mainly an anti depressant. Did it make me feel better? No, I wanted answers to what was wrong with me, that would have helped far better. I got a lot of side effects and decided to come off them. I was also handed out beta blockers, these were suppose to slow my heart rate down. Again I never mentioned my heart raced, it rarely did, I suffered with chronic anxiety and this did nothing to help. Again I decided to come off them and find my own answers, I just felt until I had some answers to the way I felt, medication was never going to be the answer.

I had someone last week say they went to the doctors and explained their symptoms, the reply was to just stare at them and hand out some tablets. This is exactly what I went through. The doctor just looked confused, if he did not know then it must be serious. Going back to the lady who went to see the doctor, back she went and stated the tablets were not helping at all. His answer was to double the dosage, again they did not help and she felt more bewildered than ever, falsely believing that she was the only one in the world to feel like this. She got in touch with me after reading my book and said it helped far more then any medication. An explanation to how we are feeling always does, it takes so much fear and worry out of the equation, the very thing that keeps anxiety and panic alive.

The only time I would see a place for medication for anxiety would be that the sufferer finds something that takes the edge of the way they feel and are given the correct advice along side it. Medication without an explanation is just a crutch. I never wanted a crutch or something that could bring other problems, I wanted to come through naturally.

I am not a doctor and don’t claim to be. Some people do find a little relief with medication, but far more I come across don’t. That is always a personal choice. My advice though is always to educate yourself, knowledge is always power with anxiety. It is the very thing that got me home and not some tablet.

The main reason for this post is that it pains me to read emails asking what medication they should try, some have been on medication for many years and have not found any peace, swapping and changing every year. I tell them the answer does not lie on an outside cure, but a cure from within. I have yet to meet anyone who had recovered solely through medication and I don’t believe I ever will.

For more help and advice visit my main site

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

Why do doctors not seem to understand anxiety?

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

This is something I asked myself in my early days. My own doctor was going to tell me what was wrong and make me better. Well I reeled of my symptoms and he just stared at me. Well how did that make me feel? I really thought I must be the only person in the world to feel like this as the very person who should know, has no idea. Well he gave me some anti depressants and some other tablets, both useless. In fact all I wanted was an explanation as to what was wrong with me. The word anxiety was not even mentioned. It took many more visits before he referred me somewhere else. By this time I was in a real state, I worried daily, I fought my symptoms, I got so frustrated, I was getting worse not better.

Eventually I was sent to someone who told me what the problem was. But if only someone could have told me far sooner I could have maybe researched the problem, certainly saved me of months of thinking I was going crazy.

Looking back I believe the medical world failed me, failed me on something that is far more common than any other complaint people see their doctor for. This was confirmed by my own doctor. He stated it was by far the biggest complaint people come to him with. But I also now understand that anxiety is a subject in itself and doctors are just not trained or equipped enough to deal with it. But I do believe that there should be someone that he could send you to that does, or at least a leaflet explaining certain things. One reason that I feel it is largely ignored is that we all have to feel that we must keep it to ourselves, we suffer mainly in silence. People can be sympathetic to you having flu, but anxiety, that does not exist, its a work dodgers illness. Hopefully in the future we can bring far more awareness to the problem, so people do not have to suffer in silence and can get the help they need far quicker.

Just to finish I received an email last month asking for my help, he was under so much pressure at work, he told me his symptoms and asked if I thought this was anxiety. Who was he?…..Yes a practicing Doctor!

For more help and advice please visit my main site

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

How did I recover from anxiety?

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

I thought I would just post more of my own story about how I recovered. A lot of people who have read my book will know my story, others will not. This short post has a message and is not about self promotion on my own recovery, as I am sure you will acknowledge as you read on.

How did I recover? My own recovery came through knowledge. I have spoken to many people who have recovered over the years, some who have become close friends and they all pretty much recovered in the same way. This is why I have stuck with my own beliefs throughout. The reason I don’t put adverts on my site and the reason I turn down all offers from others to place, in my opinion useless products from people trying to make money out of other people’s suffering.

Knowledge brought me so much. Without knowledge I spent all my time worrying about how I felt. Why did I worry all day? Because I had no idea what was wrong with me, I was a serial worrier for many years. All this worry sensitised my nerves further and kept me in the cycle of anxiety and panic . I also spent all my days tuning into how I felt, thinking deeply, trying to figure a way out of my hell. Why? Because with no help from the medical profession apart from pills, I felt I had to try and think my own way better, what choice did I have? All this did was tire my mind further, making me feel more lost and detached than ever. My whole day was filled with fear, Why? Because again I had no idea what was wrong with me and certainly thought I would never find out, I believed this was me forever. I always believed I had to fight and think my way better, the daily strain on my already anxious body was immense, is it any wonder I got worse and not better.

I have been involved in the subject for many years since my recovery, going on to help sufferers in my spare time. The one thing that stood out more than anything was that people still had a total lack of good information on the subject. To this day people seem to be passed medication and sent on their way. People would sometimes burst into tears in front of me because for once they had been given an explanation to why they felt like they did. This was the very reason I set my own site up and went on to write my book. I did not want people to spend 10 years like I did getting worse through lack of information. I don’t get bitter, but I could have been help far sooner than I was. In fact it was left to me to get all the answers I craved for all those years.

So don’t be fooled by claims to cure you within a week. Recovery comes through knowledge and progress, nothing can be achieved overnight. I could have anxiety and all its symptoms tomorrow and know that it would pass in time as I would not give it the fuel to continue. My own recovery did not come when I no longer had any symptoms, it came when they were no longer important. They sub sided a hell of a lot yes, but they no longer felt important. And this came through a lack of fear of how I was feeling.

I know in the deep part of suffering there can seem no way out, but there is. I was as bad as anyone, worse than most people I help and don’t get me wrong, my recovery was a very up and down affair. I had a lot of bad days, but it was my reaction to those bad days that was the key. I knew my symptoms would not leave me overnight, but I needed for once to step out of my own way and let my mind and body recover in its own time. I never set targets, demanded anything and this is one of the reasons I did recover. I never put any pressure on myself.

Regards Paul

Anxiety, Food and Excercise does it matter?

Friday, January 4th, 2008

This is a question I get asked a lot, does looking after yourself help. The simple answer is yes. Is it the only answer? No, but it sure does help to take care of yourself. A lot of people ask ‘How can I feel anxious when I am sat still, sometimes I feel worse’ the answer is that your body is full of excess adrenalin and your nerves are over active. If the adrenalin has no where to go it cause the feelings you feel, tense, agitated, hard to concentrate etc…The best way to burn of this excess adrenalin is to exercise. I used to go for a swim and a run 3/4 times a week and it made a lot of difference to how I felt overall. It also taught me a lot about how I felt, yes my body produced too much adrenalin and the feelings did return.But I could think far more clearer and felt so much calmer after a run that I knew, that all I did suffer from was excess adrenalin, anxiety and nothing more. Sometimes when I struggled to think clearly or had silly thoughts running around, I questioned certain things, ‘Was this more?’ , ‘Am I going a little crazy’ No I was not, after I had burnt off the excess adenalin I could see that if I could get my body back in balance I would feel like this all the time. If I was going crazy a run would not have cleared my head, if there was something else wrong, a run would not make these symptoms go away. It had to be just anxiety (excess adrenalin) that made me feel this way.

Food and anxiety.

Again this is not the full answer to anxiety, but a change in diet can help. I found cutting down on alcohol helped a lot, also just eating better. I was not perfect, as I don’t believe there is any need to become obsessed about eating right, don’t make it another issue, just make a few changes and you may see a difference. Just make a few changes for yourself, don’t expect or demand it will solve all your problems, but it may make you feel a lot better in yourself.

For more information visit my main site

Leaving comments on the blog to help others and myself

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Hi, I wanted to set this blog up to help others and to show my face and not be some faceless person behind a website. Firstly you are fine to leave a comment, all comments are subject to moderation and may not appear for a day or two. The reason for the comments will be to just say a few words and let others know how you feel, also to be there for others and build a little support. Last but not least you can ask me a question. As my main site grew I truly became swamped daily with people wanting help and it became impossible for me to answer people, as one email can lead to many others. I really don’t want the blog to go the same way where I cannot cope with questions. So all I ask is that you let others post and don’t spam the blog with questions. Also if a question has been asked before then I will have to leave it from the site. Also if you feel you have come through something that someone else is asking, please feel free to answer them, again if I think the reply is helpful I will moderate it as such.

I usually pop in a couple of times a week to moderate comments. Please don’t be offended if you have a question and it does not appear on the site. If I have loads waiting then I will have to chose which ones I feel will help not just the original poster, but also others.

So please do help me to keep this facility alive by not spamming the site so as others get a chance to ask something. Also please read through other answers to make sure the question has not been asked before. Try and use the blog as a place to support each other and let off some steam, even share your stories or spread some good news on your own recovery.