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Gina P
Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience:  MSW, LCSW, PIP
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Anxiety disorder runs in our family. I have been diagnosed

Customer Question

Anxiety disorder runs in our family. I have been diagnosed with GAD, and have been successful with medication, meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques, etc. My question relates to my younger brother (33 yr) he is experiencing what I would call an extreme attack today. He has Factor V Leiden and is taking medication for sleep, anxiety and blood thickness. He didn't sleep at all last night, took a nap today and an additional anxiety pill; yet he is still experiencing high/extreme levels of anxiety. My coping techniques (slow breathing, head lower than the heart, soft/quiet music) are not helping. Do you know of other techniques I can suggest to him to help him through this and future attacks?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Gina P replied 8 years ago.

Hi, Gad can be managed with consistent work and behavioral training, and with medications if needed. Key work here being consistent. Being able to control your breathing is a primary means of manageing anxiety. This should be done on a daily basis for approximately 10 minutes per day, and during periods when there is little to no anxiety. Breathing in throught the nose and out through the mouth, keeping the spine as relaxed and straight as possible. Counting to ten, if possible, before exhaling. Put your hands on the stomache area and when inhaling this should puff out, and should go in when exhaling. Lying down is a good way practice this. This breathing must be mastered to allow your brother and his brain to feel confident in the ability to control these, out of control feelings of anxiety. The daily practice helps train the brain to stay calm on command, and when an anxiety attack hits, it is conditioned to go into slower breathing mode. It will also give your brother confidence to handle these feelings thus lessening the panic and anxiety symptoms.

After the breathing is mastered and he feels comfortable, you can begin to add some other techniques. One I like is to close your eyes and imagine a color that is calming for you. Imagine this color is flowing into your body as you inhale and visual it flowing throughout your body bringing calmness. Upon exhale, imagine a color that is unattractive to you, and visualize this as the anxiety releasing from the body.

The trick here is to trick the brain. The brain is easily conditioned into believing what we want it to. It is manageable. Gina

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