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Brad The Therapist
Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience:  10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
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I have pretty severe anxiety and have had it as long as I can

Resolved Question:

I have pretty severe anxiety and have had it as long as I can remember. I have tried every SSRI and they only make it worse or I have major jaw clenching after a few days on the meds. I take 0.5mg of clonazepam twice daily but my doctor doesn't like the idea of long term benzo use. Unfortunately benzo's are the only thing that seems to work without major side effects. My doctor has made me very scared about continuing on clonazepam saying that they are dangerous and not meant for daily use. I am terrified and don't know what to do.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.

Brad :

Thank you for your question. Other than medications, have you considered therapy? If not, why not? Also, when did this anxiety first start? What was happening in your life?

Customer: I did a few months of therapy with my psychiatrist last year. I know I had a lot of anxiety as a child. I remember crying almost daily during jr high after my father died. I was always thinking I had a fatal disease or was having a heart attack. I saw a counsler for a couple yrs back then. As an adult, I am just plagued with almost constant fear and horrible feelings. I am very successful with respect to career and relationship but it is very difficult at work. I force myself to get things done. Lately, I go to my office and don't even open my door most of the day when i dont take anything Anyway klonopin works very well for me.
Brad :

Yes, I understand how klonopin works well for you, and I can see why you and your doctor are cautious because of the addictive qualities of benzos. What type of fear do you have? What horrible feelings?

Customer: I usually don't know what I am afraid of. That is just the best way I can describe it. Sometimes I can identify that I am afraid I am dying or I realize I am thinking about how I will die ... When.... If I will be alone and terrified. Will I be old and alone or in a nursing home or hospital. It makes me almost paralyzed with fear as I think about that.
Customer: It makes me cry sometimes.
Brad :

There are a number of things you can do to ease your anxiety. First, I suggest taking deep breaths where you breath in where your stomach expands, and breath out where your stomach deflates. Do this 10 times when feeling stressed or anxious. The deep breathing is a distraction technique from the anxiety. If the deep breaths do not work, I encourage you to think about something that is pleasurable. Another suggestion I have is to use a technique called "thought stopping" where you just tell yourself "stop, stop, stop" over and over again until the thought disappears. Thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interrelated so another suggestion I have is to change one of these things. For example, if you have thoughts that you are not going to succumb the pressure, challenge the thought which will change your feelings and behaviors. If you feel sad and isolate yourself, don't isolate yourself and force yourself to do the opposite which will change your feelings and thoughts.


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