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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I know I have a anxiety disorder that I've struggled with

Resolved Question:

I know I have a anxiety disorder that I've struggled with for a long, long time. I've done meditation, Yoga and tape programs - but I haven't taken medication out of fear of the side effects and because to me it feels like I am admitting there is something wrong with me if I take medication. Are there any treatment places that I could go to that would really help me get beyond this ? I first experienced strong anxiety 14 years ago and I naturally gravitated to self-help books and tape programs.  Tony Robins, Deepak Chopra, Attacking Anxiety, Buddhist materials, etc. Over time I amassed an eclectic form of materials that cost me thousands of dollars. Even though i had moments I felt "inspired and positive", in the end the materials and practices (like TM meditation) left me as confused and anxious as ever.  My 26 year marriage ended  in part due to my anxiety / depression and I lost my business partners booted me out of a business I started 28 years ago.  I am searching in a way for some relief and at the same time I am skeptical there is any real help available.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

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

You do not need to take medications unless your anxiety is interfering with your ability to live your life. And in that case, a small dose of something such as Ativan, taken as needed, would probably be enough. Admitting you have a problem with anxiety and seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. You can face this and conquer it. And you are not alone. Anxiety is one of the most common problems in mental health.

Therapy is considered the best treatment for anxiety and panic. Anxiety is one of the most easiest issues to treat and therapy has been proven to be the most effective method. You mentioned seeing a therapist but it does not sound like they were very helpful. Sometimes, finding a therapist is like finding a doctor. You need to try a few before you find one you can work with. To find a new therapist, ask your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at

Understanding why you feel as you do helps as well. When a person develops anxiety, they feel more than the usual nervousness or anxiety. The feelings become overwhelming and take over their life. They begin to fear how they feel when anxious. They feel they can no longer control how they feel so they develop a fear of losing control. The person who feels anxious focuses on the sensations and feelings that reinforce the fear. Once the fear cycle starts, it is hard to stop. But therapy and self help can change the anxiety and help you learn different ways of thinking.

Part of learning how to rid yourself of anxiety is learning how to relax. When you feel anxious, let your body relax. It seems wrong to do that, but when you allow the anxiety to wash over you, it cannot take hold and make you more anxious. Here are some resources to help you learn how to do this and more:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne

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

I hope this has helped you,

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