Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 03-20-2011, 09:11 PM   #1  
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Hi Everyone

I posted a few weeks ago about the depression and anxiety attacks I've been having. My doctor started me on 50mg of Zoloft and I've been feeling better but last night, in the middle of the night, I had a horrible attack. I was woken up by it and the hardest part is the intrusive thoughts that race through my mind. Does anyone else experience this? I feel like I'm going crazy!

My doctor also gave me Ativan but I've been hesitant about taking it..
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:26 PM   #2  
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Yes, I get them. Get this book. http://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Ac...0666994&sr=8-1 It saved my life, and continues to do so.

Until it arrives, when you get the attacks, make some room for the anxiety. Then, recognize them for the what they are: physical sensations (name those things you feel - I feel my stomach flipping, and my arms feel weak, my heart is pounding), thoughts (name the thoughts: there is worry, there is planning, there is dread) and feelings (name those.)

The things you brain tells you in the middle of the night are not the truth. The panic and anxiety are not the truth. When you make some room for the anxiety, and break it down into what it is (instead of the giant monster it seems to be in the middle of the night) it is easier to bear, and starts to dissipate.

The book explains it better, and has some wonderful meditations, too.

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Old 03-20-2011, 10:06 PM   #3  
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Thankyou so much! Heading over to Amazon now!

These attacks are becoming unbearable and I can barely function throughout the day because I'm up all night after I have one. I know my thoughts aren't normal and it's more of an urge to hurt myself even though I never would. The attack happens when I start to think the thoughts will come true. Last night was the first time I was actually woken up out of a deep sleep.

I'm really hoping and praying nothing happens tonight.. This is horrible.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:11 PM   #4  
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I know these feelings, and I will look into this book. I do not take anything, but I consciously do deep breathing, and tell myself that I will NOT let ANTS (ANXIOUS NEGATIVE THOUGHTS) get to me. I then force myself to think of calm places in my life (the beach) or do mental lists to get myself back.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:26 PM   #5  
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Thankyou so much! Heading over to Amazon now!

These attacks are becoming unbearable and I can barely function throughout the day because I'm up all night after I have one. I know my thoughts aren't normal and it's more of an urge to hurt myself even though I never would. The attack happens when I start to think the thoughts will come true. Last night was the first time I was actually woken up out of a deep sleep.

I'm really hoping and praying nothing happens tonight.. This is horrible.
I think of my anxiety as a band of raggamuffin children. They chase after me, pulling at my clothes, warning me of dangers ahead. The more I run, the more of them chase me. And they get louder, and they call the ones who are bigger and can run faster. But if I stop, and sit, and breathe, they gather round. I tell them there is room for them here. That I will keep them safe. They start to sit. They might still cry, but they are feeling comforted. I tell them they can stay with me, that it is safe. That they don't need to warn me of dangers, that I am capable and will handle whatever comes. Then they lie down, and sleep.

Your anxiety might seem like giant monsters, but it's not. It's a combination of thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. That's all. Your pounding heart can be slowed with deep breathing. The other physical sensations can be felt, labeled, acknowledged and accepted for what they are - physical sensations. Your pounding heart is not scary when you are at the gym, but it is at midnight if you label it "truth about horrible future" instead of "pounding heart."

You are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are not the truth.

Do some quiet mindfulness meditation before bed. Tell your monsters there is nothing to rise up against tonight. They are welcome and you are all safe. Imagine them plodding into the room, getting smaller as they come out of the corners, and from under the bed. Turning almost muppet like as they pulls their blankets over to your bed, curl up, and sleep.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:35 AM   #6  
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I've dealt with anxiety attacks of varying severity since I was about 22 years old--so almost two decades, in other words.

I saw a therapist who specialized in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) about them about three years ago, and while I do still get panic attacks at times, some of the stuff he taught me really helps. Everyone's different, but here are some of the things I picked up that might help you as they've helped me:

- Re-frame your feelings about the attacks. I remember saying "I can't bear this" and "I hate this" and "I can't take feeling this"--but as Seagirl says, these are not the truth. The truth is, it's not a pleasant sensation, but it IS just a sensation. When I have a panic attack, I can bear it. I can stand it. I neither love nor hate it, it just is. I still get them, but now they're familiar and I have some ways to deal with them.

- There's a strong physiological component to a panic attack, and like a roller coaster, the ride lasts a minimum amount of time. This thought actually helped me because I realized that the "I'm having a heart attack" sensations were a purely physiological side effect of a whole bunch of adrenaline dumped into my bloodstream. It can no more be stopped than a doctor could un-inject a patient with a similar chemical cocktail. Instead of the half-hour heebie-jeebies I used to get, my panic attacks are now two or three minutes of feeling the emotional effects and another twenty or so minutes of shakiness and emotional calm. It's a HUGE improvement.

- I've learned a lot about what triggers panic episodes for me, and--surprise, surprise!--almost all of them are physiological. Pay close attention to when you get them. Sometimes it's random, but other times it can be something very specific--a given time of month, physical discomfort like an upset stomach or headache, letting yourself get too tired--and knowing that can help you avoid those triggers or at the very least understand your panic episodes when you get them. Now I can say, "This panic attack is happening to me the day before my period; it's right on schedule." It's like cramps, but it happens to my autonomic nervous system instead of my uterus.

I don't take anything for my anxiety issues, so I couldn't address how the Zoloft is affecting you, but I highly recommend combining any medication with therapy directed squarely at the panic disorder and/or with Seagirl's book, which sounds like a very helpful one that I'm probably going to look into as well. (Hey, my attacks are a lot easier to handle, but if I could make them easier still--even better. )

You aren't crazy, this is bearable, and you can stand it. It will ease.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:57 AM   #7  
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Nola dear where were you 30 years ago when I first started having panic attacks? Probably still in your mother's womb. Thank you so much for shedding light on this topic. I am trying to give up worrying (and the subsequent anxiety that accompanies it) and I will certainly follow your advice. Thank you for sharing!

Seagirl thank you for sharing about this book. I am going to re-share it with another person I know who experiences these as well.

Thanks Monica and Kimberly for sharing about these horrible attacks. I think of how many sleepless nights I have had as a result and of course dragged out days that followed. It is a vicious cycle.

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Old 03-21-2011, 04:01 PM   #8  
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Pam--nope, I was probably cruising down the street on my bike like a not-yet-chubby 10-year-old.

And I give all credit to my excellent therapist. I was surprised at how much relief cognitive behavioral therapy gave me, and how quickly; I thought it would be the work of years, but I found the attacks eased in severity and frequency after a month and a half or so of once-weekly meetings. It's even more impressive on his part that what he told me has stuck with me so well and so long; since the time I saw him, I've never had as much anxiety even during more anxious times.

Still, don't you wish we could wave a magic wand and make attacks disappear? My nerves took a lot of fun out of my life for a while; I'm glad they no longer do so as much.

I wish you all the best and am going to join you in reading that book.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:55 PM   #9  
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Wow this is an awesome thread, you all bring up some very helpful tips for anxiety attacks. I have generalized anxiety disorder and it's recently come screaming back into my life after I went off the meds cold turkey about a month ago. Now I'm dealing with the consequences and deciding to go back on Citalopram but a lower dose.
Seagirl your method of thinking of the anxiety in that way is AMAZING. It's beautiful and is something I'm definitely going to use. Thank you !
Kimberly, there are so many people out there who deal with the terrible anxiety as well, so know that you aren't alone. You will get through it and everything will be ok. Just keep loving yourself and treating yourself with respect and honor and love :-)
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:11 PM   #10  
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I understand where you're coming from. I suffer from panic disorder & a mild form of agoraphobia..at times better than other times. I've been on damn near everything out there & nothing has helped my anxiety except for Prozac 20 mg. which im currently taking. My sweaty palms, racing/obsessive thoughts, depression has all but disappeared. I've been in therapy for YEARS & as the poster above said..YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I also take Klonopin (it's faster acting & lasts longer in the body). Have you considered trying cognitive behavioral therapy? (or just therapy in general?)
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:01 AM   #11  
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Wow! So happy to find this thread! I've only recently started having anxiety attacks only days after my surgery in February this year. Nola, your comment was very helpful. My mother always tells to just relax and breathe, "you'll be fine!". I like your experienced and educated reply. Thank you for sharing. I am going to keep those things in mind the next time it happens. I don't feel mine last only a half hour. The worst of it does. But then I can spend the rest of the day, almost, worried and expecting something tragic, like death, to happen to me. Thank you so much for sharing those tips! God bless!
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:59 AM   #12  
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You are not crazy, and anxiety attacks are not a symptom of mental illness.
They are caused by an inner ear disorder.

This is easily corrected at home with the use of over-the-counter medications (antihistamines)
The breakthrough in anxiety attacks was accomplished by Dr. Harold Levinson of Great Neck, New York.

He has written a book: PHOBIA FREE
Just search for 'Dr Harold Levinson, Phobia Free' in the internet.

The book should be at your local library, but you can also buy it online. He will tell you how to treat the anxiety attacks, and how to get a good nights sleep.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:13 AM   #13  
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Wow! So happy to find this thread! I've only recently started having anxiety attacks only days after my surgery in February this year.
The anesthesia that is given to put you to sleep during surgery can damage the inner ear area.
If you read Dr Levinson's book, Phobia Free, he will tell you how it is treated using OTC medications from your pharmacy.
He lists the medications to use, and most don't require a prescription.
Harold Levinson, MD has a practice in Great Neck, NY.

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Old 04-08-2011, 01:23 PM   #14  
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The anesthesia that is given to put you to sleep during surgery can damage the inner ear area.
If you read Dr Levinson's book, Phobia Free, he will tell you how it is treated using OTC medications from your pharmacy.
He lists the medications to use, and most don't require a prescription.
Harold Levinson, MD has a practice in Great Neck, NY.

I had no idea! I even spoke to the surgeon about it and he said there's no relation. Thank you! I'm most certainly going to look into it!
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:55 PM   #15  
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Hi Everyone

the hardest part is the intrusive thoughts that race through my mind. Does anyone else experience this? I feel like I'm going crazy!
.
I also have intrusive thoughts--so I know how hard it is to deal with them. A lot of people with anxiety disorders have these thoughts, and it doesn't mean you would actually do the things you think of--its simply a feedback. The thoughts are caused by high anxiety, and then they create more anxiety. One of the biggest way to feed intrusive thoughts, is to react to them.

I can see how we might self medicate anxiety by eating or drinking, especially at night, when the anxiety seems to get worse (at least for me.)
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