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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 have been diagnosed with "Generalized Anxiety Disorder"

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I have been diagnosed with "Generalized Anxiety Disorder" and possible Adult ADD. At times, I've seen therapists or used medication. I've tried Paxil, which worked, but lowered my blood pressure severely, and Xanax, which works, but even at an extremely low dose, makes me too sleepy to take it during the day. At the moment I can't afford therapy and I've been getting anxiety attacks.. usually just hyperfocusing on a particular issue (an imagined medical problem in myself or my kids, global warming, gun violence, etc.). From past experience, I know that I can manage the symptoms with a strict diet and exercise regimen. But my current work schedule has pushed things slightly over the point where I can manage easily. Overall, I'm wondering if there have been any advances in the world of anxiety management in the past 6 years or so. Are there any supplements that you would recommend that could take the edge off a little and make me better able to get myself back on track. For example, this morning I was supposed to take some time to myself and go to the gym, but I ended up on "" posing a half dozen medical questions and frantically examining myself (oops). In the past, this would be a time when I would go to a doctor and ask to try a pill that might help me get a grip and get back into the gym. But.. I don't have the money for a psychiatrist appointment and the required follow-up care. So I'm wondering if a professional would recommend anything that can be purchased over the counter! Or any other possible tip/trick that could help me overcome the waves of anxiety that prevent me from getting on track with a good diet and exercise. I strongly suspect that the lifestyle changes would be sufficient for long-term management, but when I get de-railed, it is SO hard to fix.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
Therapy is the best treatment for anxiety. It sounds like you have tried it, maybe without success. However, if at all possible, you may want to try it again. With the right therapist (someone experienced in anxiety who you also "click" with) anxiety is highly curable. And there is low cost/no cost therapy available through community mental health and other resources. Contact your local United Way for resources.
You can also try herbal remedies. However, you need to check with your doctor first before considering any herbal remedy. Some can cause side effects especially if you have certain medical conditions.
Some herbal remedies that are thought to help are:
Passionflower-is shown in some studies to help reduce anxiety. However, it can cause dizziness so be sure to ask your doctor about your ability to take it.
Valerian- has been studied some but long term studies have not yet been conclusive.
Kava Root- although used for reducing anxiety it can also have serious side effects. But you may want to talk to your doctor about it and see if it is safe for you on a short term basis.
You might also want to consider Ativan. It is a medication you can take PRN- as needed. It can help reduce your anxiety quickly and you don't have to take it all the time.
Self help is also a great option to help with anxiety. Here are some resources to help you-
On line links:
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne
When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David D. Burns
The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by William J. Knaus EdD and Jon Carlson PsyD EdD
Coping with Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety, Fear & Worry by Edmund J. Bourne and Lorna Garano
Support groups:
I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
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Can I help you any further, Laura?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. This is fine. I guess there wasn't much of a chance that there was some new exciting breakthrough in home anxiety treatment. :)

I wish there were a free/low-priced psychiatric care option around here, but the most they have are screening and referral programs. Maybe I'll ask about Ativan if I find myself making an appointment sometime down the road. I'm never too keen on the idea of drugs though, since it seems that I only have two speeds: anxious or asleep. ;)

Therapy seems like a good idea in theory, but.. I've found it difficult to find a therapist that really "gets" me. And the idea of shopping around is really daunting at this point since I have serious time and budget constraints.

I'm hoping that when my current cold goes away, I can get back to the gym and get a handle on things. :) Thanks again.

Sorry, I wish there was a new and exciting treatment for anxiety. It would help so many people. But you can also work on how you feel at home until you can afford therapy. Support groups, reading about anxiety and learning what you can really does make a difference. The more you know, the better off you are and the faster you can heal.
You may also want to try therapy on line. There are sites that are legitimate and you can often try before you commit. It might be worth looking into.
Hang in there. With time you will feel better.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I remember reading about a potential anxiety-relieving nasal spray, but I don't think it ever reached the market.

As a biomedical scientist, I find that sometimes knowledge is power.. and sometimes it's fuel for hypochondria ;)

I should look into online counseling again. I tried years ago, but I imagine it's a bigger/more reputable business now. :)

Counseling is a good idea. Finding the right therapist really makes a difference.
Take care,