Good afternoon and thank you so much for your message. I realize it's difficult to reach out. Please know I honor your courage.
My name is ***** ***** I am a psychotherapist in the Metro Boston area of the United States.
I am so sorry you are struggling with anxiety--specifically agoraphobia. You certainly are dealing with a lot in terms of your depression as well as a trauma history. No doubt, each day is a struggle.
I'm curious if you are on any other medication aside from the Xanax? While the Xanax works well for anxiety, I wonder if perhaps an SSRI would help bridge the gap you are experiencing. My suggestion is to work closely with a psychiatrist to ensure you are taking the perfect combination of medication.
My other recommendation is to see a regular therapist (if you aren't already). This will allow you to work a bit through your past trauma, learn some coping skills for your anxiety and have a soft place to land each week.
There are a few things you can do from a behavioral perspective to manage your anxiety effectively as well.....some of them include the following:
1.psychotherapy to learn some coping skills (as mention)
2.psychiatry (medication for anxiety)
3.exercise (to raise serotonin levels in the brain)
4.yoga/meditation (to overall ease anxiety)
I would also recommend the following coping techniques:
- Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
- Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
- Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
- Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
- Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn't possible, be proud of however close you get.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
- Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
- Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
Have I answered your question? Is there anything else I can do to assist you further? I want to ensure you are pleased with my service. I also gently request you provide a star rating for me. Of course, we can continue to talk after the rating is provided.
Please take good care of yourself and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.