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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi,I suffer from moderate to severe anxiety OKMH0708217

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Hi, I suffer from moderate to severe anxiety and have some sort of disorder where I pick the skin from my thumb. I do it when I am sleeping or in a near sleep state and also when I get very nervous. I have tried all SSRI's and I think a few SNRI's but I have severe sexual side effects to all of them. I also took Valdoxen, which had no side effects but didn't work. Welbutren I won't take because my friend was on it and had a seizure right in front of me. The only thing that seems to help is Xanax and that is not a long term solution. I am desperate for some relief. Can you suggest anything, please?

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Are you seeking help in finding a new medication, or are you looking for advice regarding how to deal with anxiety with or without medications?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, either or both. It's really effecting my quality of life. Thank you.

Ok, thank you.

It sounds like when you pick your thumb it might be a way for you to deal with your anxiety. People who suffer from anxiety often develop habits that give them an outlet for the overwhelming emotions they experience. Once you can get the anxiety under control, the skin picking should stop.

In order to deal with anxiety, it helps to understand why it occurs. Anxiety occurs when your thoughts cause your mind to think your in danger. People with anxiety often focus on fearful sensations or experiences. Your body reacts to these thoughts by releasing adrenaline into your system. Adrenaline cause you to feel the body symptoms that are common with anxiety. It is much like after you have had a bad scare except with anxiety, there is no focus. The only thing you have to focus on is how you feel. And because your thoughts are probably always on alert, so is your body. This may be why you always feel anxious and scared.

The good news is that anxiety is easy to treat with therapy. In therapy, you learn to pay attention to what you are thinking to make yourself anxious. The therapist then can help you change your thoughts and therefore how your body reacts to your thoughts. You also can learn about how to let yourself float through your anxiety thereby gaining more control over how you feel. When anxiety comes on, you allow it to flow over you without tensing or panicking in response. This makes the anxiety reduce or go away faster. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at

Medications are helpful to ease the symptoms but they vary in their effectiveness, as you have found out already. Each person has their own body chemistry and what works for one may not work for another. Also, once you take medication for a while, your body becomes accustomed to it and you either need an increase in dosage or you need to try a new medication. But medications can help to reduce your symptoms quickly so you can work on overcoming your fears. Here is a guide on anxiety medications to help you:

You can also help yourself at home. Self help is very effective with anxiety. There are numerous resources to help you learn more about anxiety. Here are some to get you started:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne is excellent for any fears. It is self help and contains everything from supplements to relaxation techniques.

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by Bill Knaus Ed.D. and Jon Carlson Psy.D. Ed.D.

From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett

You can find these books online or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this has helped you,
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