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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4851
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Customer Question

I was wondering if someone could talk to me about my GAD?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

What would you like to talk about in concern with your Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Customer :

can anyone ever be completely cured of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Customer :

I've been try everything

Customer :

I should add completely cure with out medication

Dr. Z :

Well that is a very difficult question to answer, some psychologists would say that a complete cure is possible without medication. Other would say that it can be managed successfully without medication so that symptoms of GAD never truly impact you to a great degree. But yes it is very possible for GAD to be "cured" without the use of medication in most people.

Dr. Z :

May I ask what have you tried to help "cure" your GAD?

Customer :

i've changed my diet to be more healthy, been exercising more, been using all the breathing and relaxation methods I've been taught, seen a psychologist (which I really could not afford so it didn't last long), been on anti depressants which made it worse

Dr. Z :

Have you used a therapy modality called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? It can also be used as a self-help therapy.

Customer :

Not sure ? I think that is what the physiologist said he was going to be doing but i didn't get the chance to really get into it with him couldn't afford to see him for very long

Dr. Z :

Would you like me to teach you some CBT techniques that can help with anxiety. CBT is the most evidence based therapy modality out there that may be able to help you. But it will take around 2-3 months to first see results from this therapy and possibly 9-18 months to see the maximum benefits from it.

Customer :

ok ya whatever you could teach me would be great, this is getting really hard to deal with the longer it goes on

Customer :

i will also let you know that all of my anxiety revolves arounf health fears

Dr. Z :

I understand, I am so sorry that you are going through this I cannot imagine how distressing this must be for you. Okay so would you classify it as a form of hypochondria?

Dr. Z :

CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.

Dr. Z :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the trigger for your health anxiety, the emotion intensity and the intensity of the negative thought associated with that health anxiety trigger. Then you put down how you responded (e.g. panic attack, obsessive compulsive behavior, etc…), what would be an alternative and more rational response to this health anxiety trigger. And then you re-rate your original negative belief.

Dr. Z :

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping lessen anxiety symptoms. It can help you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

Customer :

ya probably if anything feels slightly not right I go off the deep end to worst case scenario. Chest feels weird, I'm having a heart attack. Headache I have a brain tumor or aneurysm. I start twitching I have Lou Gehrig disease

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with severe anxiety have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help you develop a better coping strategy to manage your depression better.

Dr. Z :

These two books are also really effective in helping manage anxiety as well.

Dr. Z :

This is a link for something called Progressive Muscle Relaxation that can help you create a long term calm by using muscle tension and release techniques; it can help manage your anxiety and is very similar to a style of meditation.

Dr. Z :

So I know you do not like medications, but are you opposed to natural supplements at all?

Customer :

no natural things i'm not opposed to

Customer :

i've tried st. johns wort and kava kava root

Dr. Z :

Okay well these supplements can be added to help decrease your anxiety; Omega-3, Glutamate, and Valerian root

Dr. Z :

May I also ask, why do you not like the medications besides the bad reaction you had to the antidepressants?

Customer :

I'm just the kind of person who prefers to be all natural if at all possible

Customer :

but I'm learning that this may not be possible

Dr. Z :

That is fair, well those techniques and natural supplements are the best natural way to help manage your anxiety better.

Customer :

i actually kind of gave up 2 weeks ago and tried a new drug the doctor suggested

Dr. Z :

What was the medication called?

Customer :

Inderal LA

Customer :

not sure what to think of it yet

Customer :

what is your opinion on beta blockers for GAD

Dr. Z :

Well if the antidepressants did not work, then a beta blocker could be an option. But you did not mention if you tried a benzodiazepine (Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, Valium) or Gabapentin at all, which are used for anxiety more often than the beta blockers.

Customer :

ya I have Ativan on hand for bad attacks

Customer :

i only take it when i am at my very worst

Customer :

it's my absolute emergency drug

Dr. Z :

Okay, then that is good at least you have that medication. Then yes the beta blocker is a good option. I was wondering since you are in Canada if you tried the antidepressant Valdoxan? This is a new antidepressant approved in Canada in 2009 and it is the first melatonin based antidepressant ever which has low risk of side effects, no sleep disturbances, and is very effective for anxiety.

Customer :

hmm i'll have to ask my doctor about that

Dr. Z :

Well wait and see how the beta blocker does, which could be very effective for you. If the medication is not effective in 2-3 months, then you can ask your prescribing physician about the Valdoxan

Customer :

it's kind of weird I think I feel a little different on it

Dr. Z :

Well that could be just your body getting used to the medication, it usually takes 4-6 weeks for your body to adjust to new medications

Customer :

is an odd kind of numb cold feeling a normal side effect?

Customer :

kind of feels like my body isn't attached to my head

Dr. Z :

Is the cold feeling in your toes and fingers primarily?

Customer :

mostly yes sometimes thru my whole body but that could just be me over reacting

Customer :

and in the past week when i have an anxiety attack, it feels alot different

Dr. Z :

It is a known side effect to this medication. Here is a quick list of the side effects of this medication for your easy reference

Dr. Z :

Different how?

Customer :

it's like i'm having the anxiety attack but less of the physical symptoms

Customer :

like my heart doesn't seem to be racing as fast, I don't feel as tense, my breathing doesn't seem to be a fast and paniced

Dr. Z :

That is what a beta blocker does. It is is designed to reduce hypertension, and when you have an anxiety attack you are hypertensive, so the beta blocker reduces your physical symptoms, which is supposed to help manage your anxiety attacks better.

Customer :

just like all of the craziness is just going on inside my head instead of my whole body

Dr. Z :

Also if your physical symptoms are reduced it can reduce the intensity of the anxiety attack and can reduce the length of the anxiety attack.

Customer :

ok well than I guess it's starting to work as it should then, which is good

Dr. Z :

Yep it does seem like it working very well for you.

Customer :

ya they don't seem as tense, and they don't last as long

Customer :

i would have anxiety attacks that could last hours upon hours

Dr. Z :

That is a good thing. This will also help you be more responsive to the CBT techniques

Customer :

now it's like an hour tops

Customer :

today i actually calmed myself down within half and hour which is amazing for me

Dr. Z :

That is great to hear!

Dr. Z :

I think with the added CBT, you will be able to successfully manage your anxiety for an extended length of time

Customer :

It seems I'm actually able to go thru my anxiety mental check list for the most part now and calm myself down

Dr. Z :

These are positive steps, you should be encouraged by this

Customer :

is a mental check list a normal coping thing?

Customer :

i just kind of wrote down a list one day about all the reasons why there is nothing wrong with me and try to go thru it every time i have an anxoety attack

Dr. Z :

Yes it can be because it helps you focus and distract you from a stimuli that is causing your anxiety.

Dr. Z :

Well the CBT health anxiety record is very similar to that as well

Customer :

oh ok

Dr. Z :

CBT is designed to help you focus on objective and positive thoughts and not negative thoughts.

Customer :

#1 on my list i've been to the doctor numerous times, had many tests done, and doctors are not idiots

Customer :

:)

Dr. Z :

Thanks for that, made me smile :)

Customer :

ha ha it's one that makes me smile too which is why it's #1

Customer :

if they thought something was wrong they would have done more tests

Dr. Z :

That is good, the CBT will help you focus on objectivity, it is very effective. The more you practice it the more effective it will be for you

Customer :

ya i'm going to print off all of those work sheets that you linked me to

Customer :

i need to get this under control

Dr. Z :

Good I hope they work well for you, also the books are very good too

Customer :

it's just been going on so long that it's really starting to wear on me

Customer :

it's exhausting worrying about everything all of the time

Dr. Z :

I know it is and I am so sorry that you have been feeling this way for so long, CBT is very effective and it seems like the beta blocker is starting to work well for you

Dr. Z :

So be positive because it looks like you are turning a corner on your anxiety

Customer :

anxiety runs in my family and i seem to be the one who has it the worst

Dr. Z :

I am sorry, but you are moving in the right direction for your treatment

Customer :

thats what i keep on trying to tell myself

Customer :

and that it could be alot worse

Customer :

I took a mini anxiety coping class a few months ago and it started out with 8 other girls in my age group, by the end of it there was only 3 girls left because they just couldn't handle the group setting

Dr. Z :

Yeah group setting are tough for people with anxiety, especially social anxiety

Customer :

it may sound bad but seeing other girls having it worse than me, made me feel better about myself

Dr. Z :

Thats not bad, its a natural feeling. It also can give you hope that your anxiety can be successfully managed.

Customer :

and just so you know lol you've been talking me thru and anxiety attack as we speak

Customer :

just need someone to talk to sometimes that knows what i'm talking about

Customer :

and i'm alone way tooo much

Dr. Z :

I know, severe anxiety is a very tough disorder to deal with and I am sorry that you are dealing with this, but you are not alone in this at all. If you ever need anyone to talk to, you can chat with me.

Customer :

well thank you

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am here to support you through this. You do not have to be alone

Customer :

I do not know many people where i live now and i feel quite alone most of the time

Customer :

i think thats half of the problem

Dr. Z :

Well when you effectively get your anxiety under control, which you will, you can slowly start to go out and meet people in your area.

Customer :

thats what i'm hoping for

Dr. Z :

It will happen

Customer :

i'm not sure if you know what working in the oilfield entails, but my husband is gone for 3 weeks at a time

Customer :

and i'm just sitting here by myself all the time

Dr. Z :

I do actually, I used to live near Bakersfield and had friends work in the oil fields for weeks at a time and it did put a strain on their relationships.

Customer :

thats in California isn't it?

Customer :

my husband got a job offer down there but i told him no way

Dr. Z :

Yes it is, it is in Central California.

Dr. Z :

I agree California is not doing that great, so you and your husband were wise not to move here right now

Customer :

7 hours away from family and friends is bad enough let alone almost a whole country

Dr. Z :

That is very true, good point

Customer :

hmmm while i'm talking to you now

Customer :

one more question

Dr. Z :

Sure go for it :)

Customer :

any advice for for a person who is scared shitless of flying lol

Customer :

we are suppose to be going to the Dominican in November and it has me really really really nervous

Customer :

would Ativan be enough to get me thru the flight

Dr. Z :

Well the CBT techniques, especially the decastrophising and What If worksheets can help with that. Also the Progressive Muscle Relaxation can help too.

Dr. Z :

How long is the flight?

Dr. Z :

And what dosage of Ativan do you take?

Customer :

4 hour flight to Toronto then 4 hours from Toronto to Punta Cana

Customer :

ha ha it's kinda funny as I don't like taking drugs

Customer :

but I have .5 Ativan, 1mg Ativan, and 2mg Ativan

Customer :

i'm a walking Ativan pharmacy

Dr. Z :

Okay well 1mg of Ativan has a half-life of around 9-16 hours, so that should last you, but if you feel your anxiety returning mid flight, then you can take another 1mg tablet. So you should be fine

Customer :

ok good good

Customer :

well think you've basically got me thru this anxiety attack now

Customer :

thanks for the talk tonight

Dr. Z :

I am glad that I was able to relieve you of your flight

Customer :

and it's so odd where my only physical anxiety symptom is sweating

Customer :

it's like everything else is blocked

Dr. Z :

Well the sweating is not something controlled by the beta blocker possibly

Customer :

hot flash, cold sweat... they suck

Customer :

so you up for talking me thru my next anxiety attack and am i able to find you on here again if I need ya?

Dr. Z :

I am sorry, well give the medication more time to achieve maximum effectiveness and also time for the CBT techniques to be effective.

Customer :

holy crap i've been talking to you for an hour and a hald

Customer :

half

Dr. Z :

Yes you can definitely find me on here just put "For DoctorZ only" before your question to get me, but I also noticed that you are a subscriber and the website only allows subscribers one mental health question a month apparently

Dr. Z :

Yes you have, that is very true. Hope that is okay with you

Customer :

i know it sucks

Customer :

it's ok with me hope it's ok with you

Dr. Z :

It is fine with me, I happy to help :)

Dr. Z :

*I AM happy to help

Customer :

so am i going to have to pay another fee to talk to you again?

Customer :

i don't quite understand how they say it's unlimited questions but only one for mental health?

Dr. Z :

Yeah I am not sure about how it works either, apparently there are other categories where it is once a month too, but I do not know which ones those are.

Dr. Z :

I think they wont even allow us experts to answer if you have posted more than one mental health question, some experts do answer and get chastised though.

Customer :

well I guess i'll see what happens next time i need to talk to someone, cause talking to a neurologist or cardiologist about anxiety just doesn't seem to make much sense

Dr. Z :

Yeah I agree, I am sorry for the inconvenience I know a lot of subscribers that do not like that rule either

Customer :

and it's pretty dumb because you'd think mental health would be the one thing people would have multiple questions about

Dr. Z :

Exactly!!! But maybe the website knows that and wants to make more money that way

Customer :

greedy people

Dr. Z :

They are a business like any other one and they try to make a profit, that is what keep them here and sustainable.

Customer :

well i guess they said if i didn't have a subscription this convo would of cost me 16 bucks

Dr. Z :

And allows great experts like me and others to help people like you

Customer :

i guess thats alot better than 140 bucks an hour for this psychologist i was seeing

Dr. Z :

Very true

Customer :

see why i couldn't afford to keep seeing him lol

Customer :

but i guess i should probably let ya go here, it's probably pretty late whereever you are too

Dr. Z :

Well I am very happy that I was able to help you tonight and I wish you the best with your anxiety treatment. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer :

thank you again, you really did help alot tonight and thank you for all of the links you sent me, I will most definitely utilize them

Dr. Z :

I am glad, I am sure they will be very effective for you :)

Customer :

Good night :D

Dr. Z :

Good night to you as well :)

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4851
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

You there Dr. Z


 

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Hello yes I am here, how are you doing?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I'm having another bad night with anxiety :(


 


 

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
I am so sorry. Did anything happen today/tonight to cause this? Are you using any of the techniques at all that I showed you last night? Or have you considered taking an Ativan to help you through this bad night?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

This has been going on all day, and I did the work sheets you gave me last night, and I am still trying to hold off on the Ativan. I just feel like something is wrong again, my whole body feels fuzzy and not quite right. I've been dwelling on it and making myself worse. Changing the way you think about things is really hard to do


 

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
I am so sorry that has been very difficult. You are right that changing the way you think is very hard to do which is why therapy is gradual process that usually takes 2-3 months to start seeing benefits and 9-18 months to see the maximum benefits from it. Try the Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercises to help focus on something else and help you calm your anxiety down more. Also I was actually looking at worksheets today and I wanted to give this one to you as well that I think can help, especially for health anxiety issues.

http://media.psychologytools.org/Worksheets/English/TheoryA_TheoryB.pdf

Since the anxiety has been constant throughout the day, the Ativan may be beneficial for you. Also there is another benzodiazepine called Klonopin that can be longer lasting (half-life of 18-50 hours) and may have longer anti-anxiety effect for you if you want to consider using that medication. Eventually though the CBT techniques will start to be more effective for you and then you can lessen the medication usage, but this will take time.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Dr. Z it's me again.... anxiety attack once again this has been a very bad weekend. I'm keeping under wraps pretty good today but gotta question. Is feeling like my body is like none existent from my neck down but still can feel and move everything despite the sensation an anxiety symptom or is it something to worry about

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Hello again,

I am so sorry that you are continuing to have anxiety issues this weekend :( This non-existent feeling you described sounds like a temporary side effect of the beta blocker you are on or possibly anxiety. I would not worry too much about it, as this feeling will go away as you anxiety lessens or as your body gets used to the beta blocker. Remember to use the techniques I gave you to think about this objectively and think of other plausible explanations for these physical symptoms. I hope this anxiety goes away soon, so that you can have a pleasant weekend. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you tonight.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Ya that's what I've been doing today is thinking more objectively and trying to come up with more plausible explanations. The beta blockers or just plain anxiety is what I came up with too, and the simple fact it could be lack of sleep too. Haven't slept really at all all weekend. But ya thank you again for your reply, just needed someone who knows what he's talking about to verify that this sensation is most likely nothing to worry about. Big step today for me not going to complete panic feeling like this... I printed off like 50 of each of those work sheets you gave me and they really do help I'm finding. Writing everything down makes me think a little more and panic a little less. :)

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
That is great that you are finding them effective :) Eventually it will get ingrained in your brain so much that this objective thinking will become habitual for you, and your anxiety/panic symptoms will be lessened and more manageable for a sustained length of time. I am always here to help verify things for you, you can ask me anything at anytime. I hope you get a chance to get a good night's sleep tonight :)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hello again Dr. Z, So my anxiety has slightly calmed down the past 2 days. On Sunday, I decided to stop taking the Inderal LA. Good choice, bad choice? I'm not sure? Since I stopped taking them tho that odd non-existant body feeling has subsided quite a bit and my mood has improved. I think I'm just going to stick with these work sheets and ativan for bad attacks. Do you think it was jumping the gun a little quitting the Inderal so quickly and not even being on it for 2 full weeks?

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Well I thought the Inderal LA was working well for you somewhat with managing the physical symptoms of the anxiety attacks, but I think you can definitely manage your anxiety well with the worksheets. I do not believe that you will have any withdrawal effects either from stopping the medications so fast because you were only on it for two weeks, but I want you to keep track of your anxiety level and physical symptoms. If you feel like the worksheets and Ativan cannot manage them as well as the Inderal LA, then you may want to consider going back on it. So I do not think that you jumped the gun necessarily, but I want you to be objective and open that you may go back on this medication if your anxiety symptoms become worse.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Yes I am going to keep track of my anxiety closely now and I have actuall started keeping a journal on how I feel each day on top of the work sheets. I just felt like I had to get off the Inderal as I was pretty sure that it was what was causing the non- exsistant body feeling. That feeling is what had going crazy with anxiety most of the weekend. I actually didn't mean to stop taking it on purpose either. I was up all Saturday night until 7am. Then slept all Sunday from 7am until around 5pm. I woke up feeling pretty good and had completely forgot about taking the Inderal. On Sunday I stayed up until 2am and at that time I realized I hadn't taken the pill and that also my body felt pretty normal and good again. So yesterday I thought I'd test the waters a little and see how I felt all day without taking it again, and yesterday was the best day I've had since I started taking the Inderal. No odd body feeling or anxiety or anything. Just happy ol' Lisa again! Then today I didn't take it again had slight anxiety upon waking but had my shower and got ready for work and was fine the rest of the day. Even managed to go shopping and take my dog for a 3km run. I will keep an open mind about having to go back on the Inderal, or another medication for that matter, but for now I'm just bask in the fact I've had 2 good days that were all because of me and not some drug :)

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Well I think you made a good conscious decision on stopping the Inderal as you did not make an impulsive decision with it. It is possible that a side effect of Inderal was this non-existent feeling and if it made you feel better to go off of the Inderal, then it seems like the Inderal may not have been the right medication for you. I think the CBT worksheets and the Ativan should be fine for you right now. The CBT techniques are a progressive treatment, so it will just get more effective with time. which is very good for you. I hope your anxiety continues to be managed well using these techniques, if you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at anytime.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Good Morning Dr.Z,


 


So I've had a bit of a set back this morning, I had a massive full out panic attack last night. Good news is I got thru it like a pro had myself calmed down with in 20 minutes record breaking time for me. Bad news, I called my mom this morning and told her about my horrific panic attack and how proud of myself that I got thru it so quickly, and then this is what she said back to me....


Lisa, I don't want to hear it! You are getting sickening with all this anxiety bullsh*t. You wonder why are alone so much, well it's because you sickening to be around, anxiety this, anxiety that, everything is anxiety with you. You are being so selfish, why don't you stop worrying about yourself for a second and look at what you are putting everyone else thru. You have pushed everyone away and you only have yourself to blame. You keep this up, you won't have anyone, I don't know how Trevor (my husband) or Shauna( my best friend) even can stand you anymore. Don't call me anymore until you can get ahold of yourself and maybe you really should look into putting yourself into a mental institute.


At this point I am at very low point and don't know how to take this, how to deal with this, really how to process this in my head at all. Any advice on how to deal with such hurtful words from my own mother because I sure am at a loss. Cry

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Hello,

I am so sorry to hear about this reaction from your mother, it seems like she really does not understand the impact anxiety can have on a person's life. So I would not go to her for support anymore regarding your anxiety because she is not very supportive regarding this and that is a true shame. You have to focus on the objectivity and the positive of the situation, which is that under your own power you calmed yourself within 20 minutes after this panic attack and that is impressive. Also the other positives is that you do have a good support system to help manage your anxiety (Trevor and Shauna). Remember the CBT worksheets and how focusing on the objective and positive is important, you cannot focus on the negative that your mother just put on you. She is not qualified to understand how anxiety effects an individual, you know how you feel and you know what impact this has on you and it is very real.

On a side note, Congratulations!! Calming down that quickly is excellent news :)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you :) I was pretty impressed with 20 minutes myself :) Thank you for get back to me so quickly too. I don't think I will be talking to mother for a bit, that was quite the low blow which hurt even more because she has also suffered from anxiety in her life and knows what it's like. She seems to think what worked for her in the past should work for me no questions asked. She also thinks that my anxiety can be no worse than hers was, but how is she to know she's not in my shoes nor was I in hers during her time of anxiety. But honestly in these past few days I've been talking to you, I feel so much better and more empowered to get thru all of this anxiety. It has still been a rollercoaster ride and I'm sure it will be for awhile, but I feel like I have the power to get thru all of this and have more hope of completely overcoming this anxiety in the future. I don't know why but in the few short days that we have been talking you have helped me more than anyone else has been able to. Maybe it's the comfort of being able to talk in the comfort of my own home, and that whenever I've needed you you've always been just a message away, and not having to wait until my next appointment and what not. I just don't know how to thank you enough :)

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Anytime, I am always happy to help you :) Do not forget that I am just a guide here in helping you, while I am happy that you are feeling better, but 95 percent of that is all you...well actually 94.7 is all you, but I like to round up. You are doing a great job with managing your panic and anxiety, and I am sorry that your mother cannot see that or understand what you are going through, but you can only be concerned with things that are in your control and that is you. With the CBT techniques that I gave you, it will get progressively better for you, but you are right it does take time. I am here for you throughout most of the day/night when you need me, so if you need anything else please do not hesitate to contact me :)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hello Dr. Z


 


I am having another bad day. I have this odd sensation thru my body, it feels like my blood is itching thru my veins, I feel like i'm on the verge of going crazy. I feel so scared and this is much different then any other anxiety attack, I don't feel the panic as I usually do, I just feel tense and scared. Scared like I should be hiding in a closet keeping as quiet as possible. Although this is a different feeling this is just anxiety right? And I can't just up and lose my mind right?


 

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Hello,

I am so sorry that you are experiencing this level of anxiety, and yes this is anxiety/panic attack. I would recommend taking one of your benzodiazepine medication to help you with these symptoms. But remember to know that you are safe and that nothing is going to happen to you. This may be a different feeling for a variety of reason, but it does sound like a panic attack. Try the CBT exercises, especially the What If, Decastrophizing, and Theory A and Theory B worksheets to help you through this panic you are having. I hope this ends soon for you and again I am so sorry that you are feeling this way.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

The work sheets just aren't working today Dr. Z. What could be causing my anxiety to be different? I hate feeling so pathetic. I hate feeling scared of nothing when i know there is nothing to be afraid of but can't stop the feelings. It feels like all of my hairs on end, and my head is all tingly. I have taken an ativan now, and I can feel it start to kick in but still I feel today has been a step backwards in a new direction.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
I am so sorry, this is definitely a severe panic attack/anxiety attack that you are having. The attacks can be caused by a variety of factors, so many times the cause of the attacks are not known as you may have multiple triggers for these types of attacks, so narrowing it down is difficult. This may feel like a step backwards , but how you recover from this can be a defining moment for you. Let the Ativan do its job and try to do activities that will distract you from this (e.g. take walks, listen to soothing music, exercise, etc…). You have had bad panic attacks before and you have always recovered, that is what will happen again for you here, but it may take a little time. I hope this goes away swiftly for you.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hello again Dr.Z ......more of a question for question for ya tonight, my anxiety hasn't been too terribly bad the past few days thankfully. So question is, have you heard of the XXXXX XXXXXnden Method for anxiety? If so what are your thoughts on it? Also another question, if your taken ativan for a few days straight and then not take it for a few days can it have kind of an anxiety rebound effect if that makes sense?

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Hello,

I am glad that your anxiety has not been too bad lately. I have never heard of the XXXXX XXXXXnden Method, but I would be wary to try it because I have been doing a little research and there are no peer reviewed research articles on this and I am concerned that this is not pseudoscience or a possible scam to get money from people who are desperate to cure their anxiety. And for your second question, yes after taking the ativan for a sustained period of time everyday and then abruptly stopping it can cause withdrawal symptoms, that resemble rebound anxiety, like you mentioned. Ativan is best used infrequently and as needed to avoid those withdrawal symptoms. I hope this helps you, let me know if you need anything else.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Hello,

I saw that you wrote in the chat and I am online and I do see it, but because you are a subscriber I have to go through my moderator for an approval, so sometimes that takes awhile, which is why I want to write you now here and help until I get that approval (I know this is inconvenient, but I want to help you here too). So you have to focus on those worksheets over and over again and focus on the objective thought process, you got every exam and everyone says you are healthy. What you are feeling is just anxiety and this is in your head. Now that you know that you can process that and know that nothing is wrong with you physically. Keep trying to focus on that. The worksheets of Theory A, Decastrophising, and What if will help you through this. Keep doing them over and over till your anxiety lessens. Try this and I will respond in the chat when I get the approval from my moderator/administrator.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you Dr. Z, and thank you for being my go to guy when I am having a bad attack. I keep on telling myself that the anxiety is coming in waves, and it goes away when I'm distracted, so it can't be anything serious. Everything is all in my head and I just have to work at turning the anxiety off, which will take time and by far an overnight task. I am also realizing I am doing something that makes things worse..... I have a few good days and then when the anxiety hits again, I feel disappointed in myself and ashamed that I'm having anxiety again. It's like i'm kicking myself while i'm down :(


 

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
You cannot blame yourself for this, that will just increase your stress and increase your susceptibility for anxiety, which is what you do not want. The goal of CBT is to accept that the anxiety it there, but to handle it head on and not blame yourself for why it occurred. It will take time for the anxiety to be resolved for a sustained period of time, but the CBT will do that effectively for you gradually, remember it takes 2-3 months to start seeing the effects and then 6-12 months the maximum effects. But keep practicing the exercises as this will distract you and help you focus on alternative thoughts for your symptoms and feelings.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I am trying to focus on the work sheets as much as possible, and I've got it thru my head that sensations are just that sensations and nothing to fear. It's just so hard and frustrating when I know all this but can't seem to control the anxiety when the "sensations" arise. I guess at lease I'm no longer in a spot where I feel like i'm literally going to die if I don't get to hospital during an anxiety attack like I was months ago. I think I need to really start focusing on the progress i've made in the past year and not get so down on myself for the anxiety attacks that I've having now. Which on a scale of 1 to 10, my anxiety attacks from last november to march this year were a 9, April to August they were a 6, now they are sitting at a 3 or 4 and they don't last as long. So there has been progress which is good. I feel bad that I have been taking advantage of the ativan lately too, feels like a new kind of anxiety lately so I've been trying to kill the feelings as much as possible, I have a big issue with feeling new things. It's gone from worry and panic, to just a sense of fear which tenses me up, all anxiety but still a new feeling anxiety. My friend also pointed out a weird concept of thought.... she thinks I'm fearing not being anxietyish anymore or that "feeling more normal" now is causing the sense of fear. Make any sense?

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Yeah it does make sense because you have gotten used to the anxiety for so long and now that it is going away, it is a "new feeling" to you because you are not used to it and then that causes you anxiety. That does happen sometimes unfortunately. You have made incredible progress in the last year and that is a testament to your strength and treatment. I think when the anxiety attacks get this bad you can use the Ativan, but use it as a last resort. For the What If and Theory A worksheets, put in there what if you are normal and try to process that feeling for yourself. Feeling normal will feel odd at first because you are not used to it, but remember to try to get a new baseline as your Anxiety dissipates over time to help you figure out what normal feels like and what you feel like. For so long your baseline has been anxious, but now that the anxiety it gone you feel not yourself, so you will have to get a new baseline for yourself without the anxiety.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I've been taking a 2mg ativan at night, just because it seems start the day out right the in the morning, took 5 days straight last week, and then didn't take it for 3 days, but have now taken it again tonight. Is this abusing it? Also, so what your saying is my baseline before was pure panic and awful sypmtoms, don't have that anymore so my new baseline is more calm but causing anxiety because i am not use to the calm feeling? Anxiety is such a strange thing :S

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
No you are not abusing it and you are using it as prescribed, but sometimes individuals when they do not take it for three days straight after taking 2mg for 5 straight days may get withdrawal symptoms that can cause a "rebound anxiety" symptoms. I think your baseline has been anxious for so long, so that now when you go a few days without anxiety it feels odd to you and not "normal," which causes you more anxiety unfortunately. Initially you feel relief about the days without anxiety, but then after a few days you start to wonder why you are not feeling those anxious feelings (although you may not have identified it), and this is what causes you to be concerned. This is just because you are not used to it and that is why you are becoming anxious because you are not feeling like yourself, so right now you have to train your brain to figure out a new baseline where anxiety is no longer the norm for you, to establish a sensation that this non-anxious feeling is comfortable and normal for you. And yes you are right anxiety is a very strange disorder that can be confusing, but you have made wonderful progress and you are doing great!
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
By the way I have emailed and there appears to be no category moderators online right now possibly because it is late in the night, so I cannot get the okay to answer that chat with you. I can ask customer service to remove it and you can save your monthly mental health category question for a later date if you like or we can leave it for tomorrow and chat with you tomorrow, it is your decision. I am so sorry for this inconvenience, but I did not make the rules on this website.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Hello I just saw your chat and I just sent a request to be able to chat with you because like I said I need approval from the moderator beforehand (I know it is not a good system at all). Hopefully they will approve it soon too because I do see some moderators online right now. How are you by the way?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Not sure, thats the problem, I don't feel anxietyish and I don't feel normal, just feel kind of lost. Don't know how to describe it really

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Lost? It could be disorientation, where you do not feel like yourself, would you describe it as a disorientation?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
I want you to focus on something in the present to give you a frame of reference and grounded. Focus on your heartbeat, the deep breaths that you take, clench and release your fists slowly as well and focus on that movement. This will help to keep you grounded and not as lost.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Dr.Z, sorry I disappeared on you last night. I called a friend and she got back to feeling normal again. Hated that feeling last night, but on a good note at least it wasn't anxiety. I also feel kind of odd today...no anxiety, not feeling "lost" like last. My whole body feels odd but not in the numb tingly way or non- existent like before. Oh man, I don't even know what I'm trying to say lol.......ummmm could I just be feeling "normal" ? lol I haven't felt normal in forever don't know what it feel like anymore?

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
No worries, I am glad that your friend was able to help you on the phone. It could be feeling normal, I mean this is definitely different than anxiety as you have already noted. Most likely this is feeling normal, and this is your baseline before the anxiety ever happened. You could try going out and doing your regular activities and see how you feel. A distraction may make this feeling go into the background and let you adapt and get used to it, if it is indeed this a normal feeling that you have not been used to for sometime. I hope that is what this is, just try to be patient and see if you can adjust to this. I wish you all the best and please contact me anytime if you need anything.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Dr.Z, ok kind of having an anxiety attack tonight. I know I'm not having a heart attack but wow please talk to me and verify this for me. I've had numerous ECG's and blood work done, and I don't think things could go downhill this quickly. The tension in my chest is just crazy tonight feels like my whole left shoulder and chest area is seizing up, it scaring the crap out of me and it's been going on for hours.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Hi, Sorry I did not see this last night I went to bed before you asked this question. The chest pains are classic signs of a panic attack where it feels like a heart attack, but its not. Remember to try to take deep breaths and focus on the something in the present to help keep you grounded. Focus on your deep breaths, focus on a fixed point in the room and admire the details, clench and release your fist in a repetitive motion and focus on that. This will help distract you and will help you lessen your anxiety. Also you can take an Ativan when it is this bad. I hope this helps the next time this occurs. Hope you slept well last night and that this panic attack went away swiftly for you.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Dr.Z, ya i got through the attack last night, took me awhile but I finally calmed myself down. I still have that tight seized up feeling in my chest and shoulders today, but trying not to concern myself about it. As much as my anxiety has become alot better, I still suffer from really tense muscles, it's like after almost a full year of anxiety my muscles don't know how to relax anymore. I think I really over worked myself this week. I have been having anxiety free days this week with only mild anxiety acting up in the late evenings ( except for last night, that wasn't mild). So I've taken full advantage of not having anxiety this week. I've stained my whole 2 tier deck, cleaned my house top to bottom, steam cleaned all the carpets, started my Christmas shopping, and I've been going for a jog with my dog every day which is something I haven't done in months. I think the jogging was even a shock to my dogs system lol. I signed up for a yoga class today heard it's good for anxiety and relaxing muscles, I hope it works. I also booked myself in for an hour massage tomorrow. I think if I could actually relax I would be as good as gold. The different sensations from being so tense, I think is what really stirs up the anxiety in the evening when it's time to actually relax and I just can't seem to. I also have been thinking a lot about my life this week, which has been a motivator for going out and just living life this week. I have a good life, a great husband, great family and friends, I have the perfect job that I love doing, I have a nice house, and really have it quite easy and lots of people would love to be in my position. Why am I, and have I been letting anxiety run life for almost a year? I am stronger than this, I am usually the happy go lucky, life of the party kind of girl. I think this year has just been a little too much for me. I didn't tell you this but I had a miscarriage last year in September, I didn't think it bothered me that much because I didn't know I was pregnant. 2 weeks after that I had the mother of all panic attacks and from that point it's been a life of constant anxiety, it's like after that panic attack I was always so worried about having another one, and then the anxiety just turned into habit. We also just got married in July and the stress of planning all that really intensified the anxiety to for awhile. I don't know why I am telling you all of this right now, but I just felt the need to vent. Also, I have a question for you, you gave me a relaxation technique, it doesn't work for me, do you have any other relaxation techniques I could try? I have a very bad habit of clenching my jaw all the time, started when the anxiety was really bad and just haven't been able to stop doing it now, any suggestions on how I could possibly stop doing this?

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Hello, I am very happy that you were able to get through last night. I was definitely going to suggest getting yoga, pilates, or exercise to help you through this with muscle tension and anxiety you have. This is also a link that can provide you with some relaxation techniques as well.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm


In addition, some individuals get benefits from resistance training in addition to the cardiovascular work. This can help relieve anxiety and those muscle tensions issues as well.

I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage last year, I can understand how that would be traumatic for you and that can cause you increased amounts of anxiety. And the addition of getting married in July will naturally cause anxiety, I do not know any bride that did not have anxiety planning a wedding, so some anxiety is natural and expected. And its okay you can vent with me at anytime. For the clenching of the jaw a really good trick that I have used with patients is to chew gum when they are very anxious to avoid clenching the jaw.

I hope you had a better day today and that you have a great rest of your night. Let me know if you need anything at all.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Dr. Z, it`s happening again that tight feeling in my chest and shoulders. I am also having worrisome thoughts that my heart is just going to stop working. On the flip side of that I can`t stop moving I feel like I just have to go go go, it`s 1:45am and I`m cleaning the house like a mad woman. Everytime I stop and try to go to bed the tight feeling and worry goes out of control. I just don`t know what to do with myself. I feel like I`m going to go crazy!!!!

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
I am so sorry, this appears to be restlessness which is associated with anxiety. Try those other relaxation techniques I gave you the link to. Also you can try these techniques too.

http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/treatment/relaxation

This will pass in time, you have to remember that, but try to take control of your body and realize that this anxiety will not control you, but you will control it.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Ok thank you, XXXXX XXXXX don`t know what I would do without you sometimes at these hours. I must say tho since I`ve been talking to you these past few weeks I have come so much further with my anxiety then ever before, I don`t let the anxiety stop me from doing things anymore. I can`t thank you enough for you time and care :) I know it`s not going to happen and it`s just a little anxiety....my heart is not going to stop or explode or anything along those lines and I am not going to lose my marbles right? Sorry just need to hear from someone else other than myself.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Anytime, I am always here for you when I can to help. No nothing bad will happen to you physically, and your heart will definitely not explode. Also you are not "losing your marbles" at all, this is just anxiety and it is controlling you. These relaxation techniques will help you take back control and calm you down more. Anxiety is a horrible disorder and I am so sorry that you are going through this, but you said it yourself that you have been improving and these are positive steps that you have to keep on taking on your road to being free from this.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thanks again Dr. Z, It is a h orrible disorder and it makes me sad to know there is alot of people that have it worse than I do. I will get through this and it is getting MUCH better.I guess on another good note my house is so clean you could eat off any surface in any room lol. Which is really good as I am having alot of family over for Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. Another thought that just crossed my mind and calmed me a bit, if there was something wrong with my heart I highly doubt I would be able to clean like a mad woman without just keeling over.But I guess I should let ya get to bed now, and if I don't talk to you again this weekend Happy Thankgiving!!! ( if it is Thanksgiving weekend in the states too this weekend)

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.

That is great that you did a great cleaning job at your house for the Thanksgiving weekend :) Actually the U.S. Thanksgiving is in late November, so I still got some time on that one. You are right if something was wrong with your heart, you would be weak and have hardly any energy. This is restlessness associated with anxiety, but your are beating it, so that means you are winning the battle! I hope you have a great night's sleep and a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend if I do not talk to you before :)

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Dr. Z!!!!! So I've had mild anxiety the past 2 where i have a brief feeling of being nauseous, and then ill worried/panicy feeling where I feel like I can't breathe.....but guess what I haven't let it get to me or hold me down. Just have the brief feeling and then carried on like nothing ever happened. I went shopping all day yesterday, and the BIG thing is I drove out to my friend Shauna's place ( she lives about an hour out of town), something I haven't been able to do in over a year. I've always had to turn around in panic each time i've tried to go out there. I also stayed out there for over 4 hours without my husband which is another BIG thing because I won't stay anywhere that long if there is no hospital within a 5 minute reach and if Trevor's not with me. This is huge to me, I feel so empowered!!! WOOO HOOO!!!!! Also had all the family over today and didn't panic much with my place being so crowded, not to mention my meal turned out perfect

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So in closing all I have to say is WOOO HOOO!!!!! Just had to share that with you

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Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
That is great to hear!!! It sounds like you are doing amazing at taking control and not letting this anxiety control you. I am very proud of you, keep up the great work and I am so happy that your Thanksgiving meal turned out perfect :) Thank you for sharing this wonderful news with me.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Dr. Z, I have a question for ya... I feel as though my anxiety is slowly starting to fade away and my days have been soooo much more enjoyable but the thing is the more I start to feel myself relax the more I get these odd twitching sensations in my legs. It feel like there is popcorn popping just beneath my skin. Is this really odd and something to worry about? I looked up twitching on google, something I soooo should not of done!

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Most likely the twitching is just a somatic symptom as your are getting used to having no anxiety which causes you to worry a little bit about what happens if it comes back, is it really going away, or if "I'm really okay?" I would not be too concerned about it all and most likely this is just leftover anticipatory anxiety and will go away as you adjust to this new found anxiety-free happiness :)
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Ok thank you, I've had the twitching during times of high anxiety but since they are happening now without the anxiety it was starting to worry me. I really would like to thank you again though, in the month I've been talking to you I've made leaps and bounds with my anxiety. I know if I would of been able to do it without you. Also thanks for thanks for the tip on chewing gum to help with my jaw clenching, it really does work :)

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Anytime, I am happy that I was able to help during this month and I am very pleased that you have made such strides in your treatment :) If you need anything else please feel free to contact me at anytime.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Dr. Z, I'm day having a not so great day today. I don't really know how to

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Well some bad days will happen, but you have to focus on the progress you have been making and that overall you have been doing better. This bad day will only be temporary and will go away soon. Just try to practice some of the relaxation exercises and use the CBT techniques. If it gets really bad then you can fall back on the benzodiazepine (Ativan). You can do this, you have been so great recently, this will pass and you will be right back on track again.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Just feeling weak, and like something is wrong, I feel like I can't breathe but i am breathing perfectly fine kind of a smothering feeling, I feel lightheaded, and have odd periods of sweating..... Hmmmm well with writing that out I just solved that issue kind of a "duh" moment.... just anxiety once again. Just the feelings without the panic basically. I have been seen by a doctor numerous times in the past year I should know there is nothing wrong with me. Just a bad day like you said and I will get through it, tomorrow is another day :)

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Thats great that by writing it down, seeing it in a tangible way, you were able to recognize that this is anxiety, that shows great insight :) Just try to distract yourself and do something enjoyable to allow your mind to focus on something away from the anxiety and you should be fine. And yes this day will pass and tomorrow should be a lot better for you. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at anytime.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Hi, I saw that you asked a question. I put a request for the moderators to allow me to answer it because you are a subscriber. But what is your question that you wanted to ask?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Ok so you know how I've been doing pretty good with my anxiety lately, well i've been taking an ativan every night before bed....just realized i've been doing this for 2 weeks straight is this a bad thing and would this be considered abusing them? I will also take another one during the day if I'm having a bad day and the anxiety is acting up.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
No you are definitely not abusing them at all, you are using it as prescribed. But the Ativan can be physically addicting, so once you try to go off the medication you will have to wean off of the Ativan carefully to avoid withdrawal symptoms. The Ativan is meant to be used in this manner, so you are not abusing it and this is not a bad thing for you.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Ok good to know, how what is the longest someone should be on ativan, I've been off and on it for about a year. I go weeks are months without taking any, and then a few weeks where i take it regularly.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Well it seems like you are taking it as prescribed then, by taking it here and there. I see some individuals taking it for years and years, which is something I do not recommend because then they get addicted on it and cannot function without it. Usually if you take it as needed and off and on like you have, you should be fine.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Ok thanks again Dr. Z, hope you have a great night

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Anytime, I hope you have a great night and a good weekend as well :)
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hey Dr. Z, sooo I figured out some of my issue lol with out talking to a doctor.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Hi again :) Sorry about the mix-up earlier, but I am glad that you figured it out and got to talk to one of the medical doctors. So what was going on exactly?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I didn't get to talk to one of the medical doctors, these people seem to take forever, your the only one who is prompt with responding lol. So the horrible cramping problem is solved, but why that problem has solved itself so quickly is something that doesn't need to be discussed lol, my only thing now is the woozy spells.... could my neck and shoulders being so tight and tense for so long be causing this? I know there should not be anything seriously wrong with me all the tests done. I think it was a little bit of anxiety that was making everything a little worse too, with the horrible stomach pains I was thinking my appendix exploded and leaking toxins which was making me dizzy, once again my anxious mind going to worse case scenario.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Well I try to be as prompt as I can with responding. Trust me if this was the appendix, you would be in so much pain that you would be screaming in agony, so this is not an appendix issue. I think tension in the shoulders and neck could be caused by anxiety of you thinking about the worst case scenario regarding the cramps and yes that can cause woozy spells if your blood pressure was high due to the anxiety. You see with health anxiety issues, you will think bad-case scenarios even with minor discomfort and this can cause your somatic symptoms to become worse and other symptoms can occur due to this anxiety. I am happy that the cramps went away and you do not have to tell me anything about them at all.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Dr.Z, I have still been having some anxiety issues this week but I have been pushing myself thru and continuing to go out and do things as if I didn't have any anxiety at all. Tonight I am having a little more of a rough time dealing with the feelings. You said I could come to you whenever I need any reassurance, well tonight I need some reassurance again. Please reassure me that this is all anxiety and it's impossible for me just to go crazy and lose control of myself, that I'm not going to have a heart attack, and that i'm not going to stop breathing. So tense tonight, and can't relax, so frustrating!!!!

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
Hello again,

Yes this is just anxiety and you are not losing control or having a heart-attack. I understand that this is tough for you, but try to use your relaxation exercises to help you through this and help you control the anxiety from being too overwhelming. Remember you just went through some medical issues recently when you wanted to ask your medical questions, so you are having these negative thoughts thinking about possible medical issues, when nothing is physically wrong. As a last resort you can try taking an Ativan to help you too. But right now these are typical anxiety symptoms and they will pass soon.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you, that is what I have been telling myself. I know it's just anxiety just sometimes when I am alone it gets to me and I have to hear it from someone else.Since my anxiety has been getting alot better I have been noticing the control I have over the anxiety, not exactly the control in a good way at this point. Just realizing it is another good step I think. I may not be able to control the initial feeling of anxiety, but I have noticed that I am the one who makes it worse or better. At the start of anxiety if I give it the time of day and think about it, it gets bad in hurry. If I shrub it off and continue on like I don't feel any sense of anxiety at all, it goes away. I just need to keep on working on everything I have been working on, and consciously know I can make the anxiety go one way or another. It's just trying to go the right way all the time because if I don't and I do go the wrong way thats when I really do lose control of it. Sorry if I'm just rambling, I'm just trying to not talk about my anxiety to anyone but you anymore. Since I have been out and about like a normal person lately I feel my friends and family have a warmer happier disposition with me instead of just feeling pity or annoyance towards me. I have been hiding my anxiety the past 3 weeks as much as possible.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.
I understand and you can talk to me about your anxiety at anytime. I think you have been doing great managing your anxiety and yes you can control this and lessen it dramatically once you start to recognize this is anxiety. This anxiety is not going to control you, but you are taking control of it and that is why you have been feeling like a "normal" person. Remember to focus on the objective/alternative thought process and see things from that perspective to help you manage this anxiety. But because you and everyone else has been noticing a difference in you means that you have been taking control and what you are doing has been working, so keep up the good work :)

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