From Strong & Independent to Crippled by Anxiety

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    the switch

    Hello Everyone,

    I’ve been struggling with panic/anxiety disorder for the past 18 months, it’s come to the point that I can’t find the strength or courage to do the simplest tasks in life.. things I use to enjoy, like going to the mall by myself, staying home alone, driving, trying new places, etc. I’m not sure what the switch was.. either than.. just one very bad panic attack. I have had many negative instances in my life that I overcame… I have enough evidence to support that I am strong and capable of coping.. but yet lately..I find it difficult to find things to do, to enjoy, because I’m petrified of feeling petrified …and then I find myself so depressed that I am the only thing in the way of my own happiness and freedom… and now people who care about me are being affected by my disorder. I use to explore and dive in to ideas… and now I find myself hyperventilating at the thought of change or being away from my “safe people.” I’ve developed so many “safety” behaviors and plans to reduce panic/anxiety in stressful situations.. but that’s not the life I want to live… that is not living. I strongly believe that medicine is not for me, I’m not against it, I just know that my mind put me here and it needs to get me out. I’m just wondering, am I alone? I can honestly say, that I have improved over the year, but I get down that I still can’t imagine doing things I use to be able to do. Looking for a survivor… some tips to help me get through this anxious time.


    Hi there… You are not alone in this. I’ve been dealing with anxiety for over a year now and there are some things that you can do to minimize it, you can try breathing exercises, aromatherapy, meditation, etc…

    There is an online radio “LIVE365” that plays a channel called “Healing and relaxation” you can try that and drink some 12 flowers tea…believe me, it helps.

    Hope you are feeling better 🙂


    Hey – You are DEFINITELY not alone. One thing I’ve found that has help minimize the symptoms of panic attacks, when I feel one coming on is to confront it. So, if for example, you’re afraid of being in a crowd… put yourself in a situation where you will be in a crowd. Perhaps bring a friend or make it a crowd of people you already know. But if you feel the feeling of panic, stop, slow your breathing and ask yourself things like “what’s the worst thing (realistically) that could happen to me by being in this crowd?” or “am I going to die by simply being at this party?” You get the idea. It’s not easy, but depending on your triggers, you may find it helpful.

    This is something I found on Facebook that helps but panic attacks into perspective. I ended up saving it as a picture and keep it on my phone and refer to it often:


    Good luck, it’s not easy and it takes work but YOU CAN OVERCOME IT!

    ~ Sarge


    Hi Switch….you are not alone! I am an anxiety survivor still learning to walk my new path. Your story really hits home with me. For me I had two main things help me and many life changes that combined not only help me feel like myself again it helped me find a life that is more peaceful then I have ever known. When I first noticed my anxiety it was small things, that twinge in my chest, my body would be tense. As it progressed I stopped engaging in the things I enjoyed in life. Then it seemed to grow into a monster inside me with a mind of it’s own. The most simplest of things would take everything I had just to try and make it through. It got to the point that I didn’t do anything that wasn’t a “have to” and driving was the worst!! I ended up being scared to just leave the house never knowing when the anxiety would show up. I have always felt that I am a very strong person, I’m the rock that everyone leans on. I knew I could accomplishing anything I set my mind to. But this……anxiety, panic and fear, I had no idea what was going on with me and I was paralyzed buy it. I finally got the courage to go to the doctor and doctor after doctor but they just wanted to give me medicine to deal with the symptoms and nobody seemed to be willing to help dig for the root cause. I have severe allergies to most medications and choose not to take them. Just like you I knew it was internal and I thought I should be able to handle it and I would get disappointed at myself for even having anxiety and angry with myself that I couldn’t control it. For months I fought a battle with doctors that didn’t want to help me. I was actually told it was all in my head and if I didn’t want to take the meds I was just wasting their time. After months of this a friend suggested acupuncture, not a fan of needles but I was willing to try anything. It was the best decision that I made and the events that followed have totally changed my life. I sat and talked with the acupuncturist about my symptoms and she asked me to take an adrenal test and when we received the results I finally had an answer. I had adrenal failure and the treatment was holistic and we used amino acids that I took for 7 months. So I would suggest getting your adrenals tested, saliva test are more accurate. I also went to a qigong energy healer an not only did it help physically but mentally, emotionally, spiritually. The difference I saw in myself was amazing and the simplest and best explanation I can give is that I not only felt like myself again but I was even better!

    There are many other things I have learned and changed on the path to getting rid of my anxiety ultimately my goal has become to get healthy with my body, mind and spirit. Because it wasn’t just my adrenals that were giving me the anxiety it was my life and the people and things around me. My intuition was telling me the life I was living needed to change and I didn’t listen and It kept pushing until it presented in the physical with anxiety and panic. As I reflect back I can see so clearly things that played a roll in it that I wasn’t able to see as I was going through it. I got my vitamins and minerals balanced, and cleaned up my diet and have learned a lot about nutrition. I learned about energy healing through qigong, I removed toxic people from my life, learned to let go, I use to have severe monkey mind that would have me floating ten feet off the ground at any given time and if you have experience monkey mind you know exactly what I mean. So I learned to meditate which has taught me to calm my monkey mind and Yoga keeps me grounded and connected with myself and the earth. I’m still learning to hear and listen to my intuition…this is a huge one for me. I have learned I am a HSP and I physically get ill if I let it go to long without making a change. But it is teaching me to trust myself again and to know that If I listen it will continue to guide me to my greater good. It helps me find my purpose and direction and with that comes a wonderful feeling of fulfillment. I am still learning everyday but I am no longer scared of life or how I “may” react to it. I am excited to get up and out of the house everyday and experience life.

    This is the first post I have ever done and I felt compelled to because I felt so alone when I went through it and was scared to talk to anybody about it fearing they would judge me and think I was weak. I really wanted you to know that your not alone and that you can make it through this….You can do this!!!


    Hi Switch,

    Anxiety strikes at any age and is usually triggered by a life event/stressor. The good news is that lessens as time goes by and even goes away completely !

    However, we have to take positive steps to deal with it. Here is a website that should help you:

    God bless !


    Hi Switch (and anyone else who may be struggling with anxiety),

    I’ve suffered with anxiety on and off since I was nine years old. I won’t say it’s ever really gone away – it seems to come and go like waves. I’ll go months and months feeling normal – if any anxious thoughts come, I’m able to disregard them easily. But then, at some point or another, my wave crashes and the anxiety comes rushing in again. I can’t explain how or why. I don’t know why I can handle it sometimes and other times I can’t. But you are not alone.

    Suffering with anxiety feels so messed up, I know. We think, why me? No one else has this problem. Why can’t I just live my life? It’s hard because you know you’re being dumb. You know there’s nothing actually wrong, you know you aren’t going to die. Yet, we feel anxious and scared anyway, even though there isn’t real danger. It’s easy to get upset at yourself and think you’re just screwed up and will never change. I’ve felt like that too. But I never give up, and neither should you. We’re strong and we can overcome this struggle.

    It helps to slowly challenge yourself. Slowly do the things you’re scared of. The more you do them, the more you’ll prove to yourself that you can do them, and you’ll build up your confidence. When we feel anxious we’ll as, is this a reason to be scared? No, because I did it the other day and it was fine. I know that it’s easier said than done. When anxiety is at a peak, many things are scary – I recently got scared to drive to a nearby town 30 minutes away! I never realized how much it had taken over my life. It made me scared of things I used to do without thinking. We don’t have to let it control us, though. We are in control of our own minds. That’s the most important thing to remember. We have the power to choose whether we want to feel anxious or not. We can change our emotions, and in turn, our experiences and our life. It takes patience and time but the truth is, we have the power. That means there is always hope to overcome it.

    It’s easy to feel like anxiety is a monster that you can’t control – it just pops up whenever it feels like it, and you have to fight it off or hide from it. I think that’s where we develop our idea of ‘safe places’ and ‘safe people.’ But we need to realize that everywhere is safe. Everywhere is safe, as long as we’re there because all we need is our minds. We are all Dumbledore – we just have no idea how powerful we are (I hope there are Harry Potter fans out there). Anxiety is something we create – that means we can un-create it. Stay strong and believe in yourself. Life can be amazing if only we let go of our fears.


    Hello everyone . New here . How does one start a new topic? I need help badly. I’m sorry to hijack this thread but i’ve nowhere else to turn . I’ve suffered anxiety since I was little. Anxious, stressed, nervous :thats me. Living like this has taken a toll . I’m 40 now& facing the worst period of my life. I lost my dear beloved mom a year ago. She was everything to me. She was very sick for 15 years & I was her caregiver. We were always together 24/7. As long as she was alive there was hope. Life was tough due to the various illnesses she had but my primary mission in life was her well being & happiness. Post her demise the world has ended for me. I’m terribly panicky, scared, nervous, depressed. Have insomnia & was put on anti anxiety medication to help me sleep. I resisted but eventually gave in as I went months without sleeping a week. Past one year since mom has gone i’ve hit rock bottom. Every minute is spent in anxiety & fear. Scared to go out, scared to be alone , scared to do anything . No motivation or interest in anything . I am seeing a counsellor but getting nowhere. My family is concerned & frustrated with me. What does’nt help is that I suffer from a few ailments that feed the anxiety plus the anxiety excaberates the ailments. I dont know what to do to heal myself. I feel exhausted, sad, lonely & anxious. I suspect i have OCD about disease & dying. Watching my belived mom suffer & die has broken my heart & killed my spirit. What makes matters worse is that I suspect i ‘m going through perimenopause but my doctors are dismissive. I just dont know what to do . Im stuck in a persistent fight or flight mode. Somebody help please. I’m fed up. Thank you .

    the switch

    Hi Dia,

    I’m not sure how to directly post to you – so I’ll add to this thread.. sorry if it’s a duplicate!

    Dear Dia,
    In my early 20s I lost my best friend. We were attached at the hip since birth, his death came to a surprise and I was completely floored. Interestingly enough, I always worried about losing him and then my nightmare came true… cue in panic mode. I could not get the courage to leave the house, do new things… I constantly thought I was dying, I can’t even express how anxiety took over my life and how I worried my family. I was born a worrywart – so we share that in common as well.

    I need to tell you this, IT IS OKAY! It feels so bad right now, but it will get better. What was key for me.. was learning that I was GRIEVING and my anxiety masked it. Bereavement is NOT depression and it is NOT anxiety. It is what happens when we lose someone we love, and depression and anxiety may be apart of it, but they are merely just symptoms. It is a way to tell yourself to deal with the emotions you may be hiding. I would recommend talking your heart out to someone, whether a family member or friend, therapist, etc. Talking about it, writing in a journal, expressing your feelings helps you digest the reality and helps your brain figure it all out. Overtime, the emotions won’t feel so overwhelming.

    I was so disturbed to find out how fragile life was, how it can change in a split second. I also suffered from some serious insomnia. I ended up taking anti-anxiety pills.. which made me feel like a emotionless zombie, the day I threw the anti-anxiety pills out, I sensed a bit of confidence, like I had a little fight in my left after all. Not suggesting for you to stop the meds, just in my instance, I felt like they stopped the anxiety but did nothing for the depression.. but they did make me realize that I was depressed, I lost my best friend! I was grieving and the reality of my loss did not settle in yet…

    Also, OCD is a symptom of anxiety and so is being Hypochondriac, having “safety behaviours” helps to cope with the overpowering anxious thoughts, similar to how social anxiety is a symptom of panic. It is a way to distract you of what you’re really feeling.
    I’m really sorry for your loss. But there is happiness for you if you allow it, I promise. You need to build your spirit up, your confidence, and find the will to live life happily. I’m sure your mother would want that for you. The way I looked at it was.. my loss happened, I suffered and that’s it. I did the best the I could, and I’ll love and miss him forever but I still have a lot of life left, a lot of people I love with me still, and a lot of people I haven’t met yet.

    It is okay that you feel this way but start to move forward. Help, care and love yourself.

    I would recommend a journal, a therapist, some communities have group sessions for grievers (highly recommend), discover new hobbies, put some time and effort into your health, ie., working out, meal plans, etc. It makes a world of a difference.
    Invest in your future self, what you do today may not make you feel instantly better, but it will in time. This act of self kindness goes a long way.

    I hope this helps – wishing you strength through these hard times.


    Hello The Switch,

    Firstly thank you so much for your reply and kind, supportive words. So much of what you wrote reasonates with me. I always lived in fear of losing my mother & now i’m living in a nightmare. I’m a huge worrywort too. I envy those who are free spirited, carefree.

    Prior to my mom’s passing I’ve never experienced death at such close quarters. Sure I lost my grandparents, an aunt & uncle but in my culture children even teenagers are shielded by family members from the death of the elders.

    My mom suffered tremendously during the last 2 years of her life . I literally saw the life go out of her. Needless to say its highly traumatic.the visuals of her pain , suffering & death are imprinted in my soul. Initial months post her demise i was numb , thereafter grief & depression have hit me like a ton of bricks. I question everything. Everything seems worthless. Ive joined online grief forums, seeing a counsellor but in vain . I feel like ive lost myself . I miss my mother every second of everyday . Its heartbreaking. Add to that insomnia, phobias , anxiety, physical illness. I’m at my wits end here. Sorry for going on & on but your words gave me comfort. Thank you . God bless.


    Hold on tight – perimenopause is a process that begins well before menopause and many are shocked to learn of the testing of strength to get through it.

    I am annoyed by jokes made by those who have not experienced these hormonal shifts at the expense of the sufferer. The symptoms are vast, numerous and frightening at times.

    Join a forum such as menopause chit chat for more sisterhood talk that will help you navigate this life changing event.

    You will find many women who also face challenges such as yours – being caregivers and losing a parent or both as mid life is usually when many experience this.

    It is also a time when we re evaluate ourselves and surrounding, thinking about the meaning of life and the human experience. Now that your mum has become part of a larger and magnificent force of light, you find yourself focused on the person you set aside while being a caregiver: YOU. It can be scary to wake up and see you need care as well. Getting the weeds out and sorting through the piled up years can be overwhelming.

    Google Claire Weeks anxiety help and meditate. Many groups can be found on meet up dot com.

    It is time to rediscover and face you now that your attention is not on mum now.

    My sibling passed away a bit over a yr ago and my GAD and panic attacks plus peri etc., put me in a similar mindset.

    Look for you on the other forum.


    Hi Gen,

    Thanks so much for your reply. You nailed it : perimenopause is a rollercoaster. Mine is feom hell :-(.

    Thank you for the forum suggestions . I feel lost , like everything seems meaningless. Yesterday I saw a photo of my beloved mum (in it she was healthy ) . I wept the whole night away. A year has passed & I seem to still be in a state of shock & disbelief. Its so tough. Nobody cares. Nobody gets it. People make inane suggestions & expect me to * move on* ( what does that even mean ?) .

    The illnesses i have plus the grief makes me so depressed . I dont wanna get out of bed most mornings.

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