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Hi there! I also choose to try and do this without meds - here' s my story in a nutshell:

I originally started having anxiety after I went to the hospital for chest pains out of the blue. To make matters worse, while I was at the hospital, I had a reaction to a drug called compazine - something called akisthisia which caused me to be very agitated, couldn't sit still, couldn't swallow, etc., etc. My anxiety was sky high after this and made worse over the next couple of months because of endless visits to the doctors to figure out what was causing my chest pains. I kept going to the doctor and saying that I can't breathe and they would tell me I'm having a panic attack.I was finally diagnosed with asthma and possibly acid reflux. It turned out that I was having an asthma attack when I felt that I couldn't breathe!

Even though I was finally diagnosed with asthma, it was like a switch was turned on in my brain and wouldn't turn off. I've constantly been completely anxiety ridden and find it hard to even drive my car or go to restaurants. Sleep has been nearly impossible.

I'm not a person who normally even goes to the doctor so this has been terrible for me. I was on xanax for about a month and then decided I wanted to get off of it. That was pretty hard and another story, but I did. Now I'm working through this one day at a time. I have some meditation CD's I use that seem to put me at ease for a little while. I take St. John's Wort, Ashwagandha, Vitamins C and B, and magnesium to help me with the depression that's followed this terrible anxiety. I'm going to try a new herbal supplement called Clarocet for anxiety and depression.

I think the most important thing for me has been learning to sit with my feelings. This is a buddhist concept as well as something my therapist has taught me to do. It's hard because I get a lot of physical pains to go with my anxiety, but I force myself to just sit and feel everything. Sometimes I'll just watch tv and just allow myself to feel as crappy as I need to feel and now, slowly but surely, I feel a little better every day. I think getting out into the sunshine and listening to music help, too. I'm not completely well yet, but I feel like I'm on my way.

By the way, I am also far away from my family, and I know how that feels!





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