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I have always dealt with anxiety off and on. However

sometimes I get in these...
I have always dealt with anxiety off and on. However sometimes I get in these spells where my anxiety is all consuming for days or weeks at a time. A recent example would be this past year where I had a headache every day for about a month. I went to a neurologist to rule out anything scary, but nothing would help me get the thought that I had something terribly wrong out of my head.I eventually ended up getting a prescription for Xanax for when it got really bad. That - in combination with the fact that I found a project to occupy my mind with, led to that episode passing.About a week ago I was nearly in a terribly car accident - and I haven’t felt right ever since. The difference this time is that it seems like the anxiety is there BEFORE the anxious thoughts. Almost like I wake up in the morning feeling anxious and I can almost watch my brain searching for a thought to go with that feeling.Is this normal?I still have a handful of Xanax from last time, but I would like to avoid taking them as I never feel well the next day.
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1/24/2018
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist
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Satisfied Customers: 5,988
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Yes, what you are describing is very normal. Anxiety can make you feel like something is "not right" or that you feel off but cannot put your finger on it. While taking medication can help, understanding anxiety makes it easier to deal with and and also to find what helps you the most in regards ***** ***** and recovery.

Anxiety can feel overwhelming and terrifying. Many of the symptoms mimic physical disorders, causing some anxiety sufferers to go from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is wrong. But anxiety is really created by thoughts that cause bodily symptoms. While doctors can help you eliminate any possible medical cause for what you feel, they are not trained in dealing with anxiety except through medications. A mental health professional is trained to deal with anxiety and help you overcome your symptoms and feel better.

When you are anxious, your thoughts are causing your mind to think your in danger. Your body reacts by releasing adrenaline into your system. Adrenaline cause you to feel the physical symptoms that are common with anxiety. It is much like after you have had a bad scare except with anxiety, there is no focus. The only thing you have to focus on is how you feel and often it makes you feel "off" or odd. And because your thoughts are probably always on alert, so is your body. This may be why you always feel anxious and scared. For example, you may experience a sudden scare if someone jumps out at you unexpectedly. Your heart will race, your legs weaken and your senses will heighten. If you don't have anxiety, you will simply acknowledged that you were caught off guard and calm down. But with anxiety, these symptoms as well as others stay with you, in a constant state of fear.

The good news is that anxiety is easy to treat with therapy. In therapy, you learn to pay attention to what you are thinking to make yourself anxious. The therapist then can help you change your thoughts and therefore how your body reacts to your thoughts. You also can learn about how to let yourself float through your anxiety thereby gaining more control over how you feel. When anxiety comes on, you allow it to flow over you without tensing or panicking in response. This makes the anxiety reduce or go away faster. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/. It is helpful to search for a therapist who has experience with anxiety.

Medications are helpful to ease the symptoms but they vary in their effectiveness. Each person has their own body chemistry and what works for one may not work for another. Also, once you take medication for a while, your body becomes accustomed to it and you either need an increase in dosage or you need to try a new medication. But medications can help to reduce your symptoms if you are struggling daily to cope and need something to help until therapy progresses. So Xanax can help ease your symptoms, but the anxiety itself needs treated since medications will only cover the symptoms, not cure them.

You can also help yourself at home. There are numerous resources to help you learn more about anxiety. Here are some to get you started:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne is excellent for any fears. It is self help and contains everything from supplements to relaxation techniques.

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

From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett

http://helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_treatment.htm

You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you. You may also want to try online or in person anxiety groups. Be careful to find ones that talk about how to recover rather than repeat symptoms and anxiety producing scenarios. You want to feel better and move forward towards recovery and not fuel your anxiety.

I hope this has helped you,
MaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn
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