I think you have a point. thanks. If my family is my priority, then the places I lose my focus and waste time need to be more productive and life giving. Sorry, I wasn't sure this was legit or if I would get ripped off somehow. It might be helpful to talk about the stress's that come up...
Here are instructions on a therapeutic protocol called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). It's really quite easy to do almost anywhere. My patients suffering from depression or anxiety, when I teach them PMR at first are amazed how simple it is and that it is a psychological protocol. It was first used in the 1920s! Since then, of course, it has been refined and many studies have been done showing its effectiveness. You will practice PMR at first when you don't wake up with an attack so that you will be familiar with it. I want you to practice the PMR at least 5-6 times before an attack or feeling acute anxiety. Why? Because when you're in the throes of anxiety, you will only remember to do something you are very familiar with it. So practicing 5-6 times is really a minimum. And this is good also for just general anxiety without panic attacks and for feeling as though you are in a dark hole of depression as well.
I want to stress the importance of breathing as well. Part of the physiology of what is happening to you in a panic attack is that your breathing is getting shallower. This reduces the oxygen in your blood to your brain. That increases the anxiety reaction, which strengthens the attack and you are in a vicious cycle! Not good. So breathing is the primary tool. I have found in my practice that learning breathing techniques can be helpful. But some of my patients are not interested in learning more than one thing at the beginning, so I have found that just reminding you to BREATHE deeply at the same time you are doing PMR is almost as good. If you are willing to take a yoga class for seniors and learn breathing techniques, that's the best. But, breathing deeply with your PMR will help. So, we're ready for learning PMR. I want you to print my instructions below my signature and have a copy in each of the rooms of your home where you may be when you have an attack. And again, you need to practice this easy technique at least 5-6 times as soon as you can. It needs to become as natural to you as breathing. Ah, remember breathing?
Quickly focusing on each group one after the other, with practice you can relax your body like ‘liquid relaxation’ poured on your head and it flowed down and completely covered you. You can use progressive muscle relaxation to quickly de-stress any time.
What You Need:
Hi! In one sense it's nice to hear from you because I rarely get to hear again from people in this forum but it's also difficult I know for you because it is now clear that your problems are getting more pronounced and not responding to self help. And this is actually the key to my answer to your current question that you need to consider and think about and talk with your husband about.
It is time now for you to seriously consider getting help professionally. There are two approaches to this, one is psychiatric and the other psychological. I usually propose the psychological first so the person can explore the human aspects of what is going on within them and then decide about medications from that perspective of already working on their psychological self.
In your situation, where you have a timeline that is definite, we may wish to reverse that and focus first on the psychiatric aspects: getting medication to help you cope with the stress and depression of the demands on you. I don't know your stance on medications; some people are against them because antidepressants are so commonly prescribed now that your doctor probably won't be willing to even give you a referral but will prescribe them him/herself. There is the risk of not having your reactions to them monitored well and so you will need to be proactive in asking lots of questions to your doctor about what to expect, when to call if you feel any reactions you don't like, things like that. The other danger is that you can begin to get used to them and find yourself 15 years later still taking them. Some people don't mind and some people are afraid of this.
So, depending on your attitude to antidepressants I would start with the visit to the doctor and see if the medication gives you the boost you need to not be feeling like you're idling. It very well might.
Or you can decide that you want to combine the medications with therapy. If so, let me give you a couple of resources. I have found that with your situation you will do better with a more introspective, humanistic approach in therapy along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. If we actually look inside, we can find great relief and meaning. And we can feel whole in ourselves in ways that we haven't for decades. I would like you to interview psychologists who use both a CBT and a humanistic focus. For example, one therapy that might be very useful to you:
The therapy is called Focusing. It was founded by a great psychologist named Eugene Gendlin. I use these techniques in my practice often. Here is the link to the Focusing Institute:
Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (they show you a photo of the therapist!) look at the listing and see if they list humanistic therapy as well as CBT in their orientations. http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/ The idea here isn't that these two types of therapy are magic. It's that I want you to find a therapist who will form a strong therapeutic alliance with you and will help you look at the sources of your emotions as well as give you tools and work on skills.
So, I think these are the choices for you to make in consultation with your husband. I know you wanted to do this on your own but I would very much like you now that you've seen it is progressively becoming more serious to make the choices I've outlined above.
Okay, I wish you the very, very best!
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