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Medical Anxiety and Phobias

  1. Mar 31, 2013 #1
    A couple years ago I developed a slight phobia to throwing up. For a couple of months it was pretty bad and i would think about it constantly. Especially when i ate. I saw a therapist that helped me learn to deal with panic attacks and such, and once i could function better, i stopped seeing her.

    Now, my phobia has manifested into more of an anxiety that has been surfacing a lot recently. It keeps me up at night at times until i can calm myself down. Recently i was at a party talking with a girl and all of a sudden i was really nervous and just wanted to leave and get out of the situation. Ive been thinking maybe i have chronic anxiety, but when i think about that i get even more nervous and spins me into another anxiety attack.

    It just sucks. I was wondering if anyone has had anything similar to this. How did you get through it?
    What kind of stuff did you do to get your mind off it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2013 #2


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    You should see a psychiatrist, they are medical doctors that spent a number of years studying the brain after getting their MD. They can evaluate you and prescribe medicine if you need it, therapists aren't doctors and can't prescribe medicine. Anxiety is a real condition that can be medically treated with a great deal of success.
  4. Mar 31, 2013 #3
    I work with a therapist to manage anxiety. At it's peak, my anxiety leads to fairly severe depersonalization/derealization. Psychotherapy is the only thing that works for me, medication does not. It's different for everybody though, sometimes both are needed.

    The therapist I work with uses a kind of practical approach. Not a lot of that "it's your mothers fault" stuff. Mainly teaches you through practice to maintain perspective on yourself. I also wouldn't stop going to one to be honest, that's usually where people fall short... it's not a cure.. there is no cure for the physiological effects of your own brain. But you can learn, and with medication and therapy you become more adept at managing your anxiety.. since on one level, your own over-thinking can drive your natural anxiety higher - learning to control your thought patterns in a moment of anxiety can help you feel less afraid of the moment.

    I've even learned to verbalize my anxiety, which is obviously most useful in a comfortable setting - for example at work, should a panic attack come on. I will mention it to someone trusted, and begin to humour myself about the absurdity of the situation.

    This is what works for me. Medication tended to increase my level of anxiety, but for you it might be something that will really help. Everyone is different.
  5. Mar 31, 2013 #4
    But when I had my phobia sort of thing I dealt with it, then moved on. I don't see how this is different. I'm not sure I really need to see a psychiatrist. Maybe if it gets worse. Maybe I'm just in denial.
  6. Mar 31, 2013 #5

    Well it's obvious you haven't moved on, because now your anxiety/phobias are manifesting as more. You've asked people for advise, so it'd be wise to listen to it. Keep in mind, you'll never actually move on - you'll just learn to deal with it, and get better at feeling comfortable with it. But you'll probably always have to medicate and or see a psychiatrist/therapist. If you don't like that advise, well then your life is definitely not going to get easier.
  7. Mar 31, 2013 #6


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    There are many medications out there. Don't just give up and feel it's something you have to deal with. If therapy helps, by all means stay with it. But as someone that suffers from anxiety, I have found that Ativan taken at the onset of an anxiety attack completely gets rid of the anxiety. Talk to your GP if you don't have a psychiatrist. My GP (family doctor) was the one that prescribed the Ativan, it was a miracle. I no longer have to suffer from anxiety. I only take the medication if and when I need it for relief.

    I usually recommend a psychiatrist to someone that has never been diagnosed since they are medical doctors with added expertise. I think too many people equate a psychiatrist with being crazy, and for that reason are afraid to see one. Too many people suffer needlessly simply because they aren't aware of the options available.
  8. Apr 1, 2013 #7
    I really appreciate all the feedback you guys have given me. With what you guys said, I talked to my parents and we are going to set something up with my doctor and see what he recommends. Whether that is therapy or seeing a psychiatrist or medication I don't know.

    But seriously, thank you everyone.
  9. Apr 1, 2013 #8


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    Wonderful, sounds like great parents that care about you! Remember, if what you are given as treatment doesn't work, tell them and insist (to your doctor) that something else be done. Anxiety is treatable, but sometimes it takes switching doctors and insisting on the proper treatment until you find something that helps your anxiety. Let us know how you are doing.

    Also, psychiatrists are usually just more up to date on medications for anxiety, the images and tales of people like Sigmund Freud give people a bad and incorrect impression of modern psychiatry. A good psychiatrist will take a complete medical history and will ask you about your symptoms, you're not going to lie on a couch and talk about dreams, etc... And a good family doctor should be able to help. The most important thing is that the doctor makes you feel comfortable, that they let you know how common this is, and that you are not responsible and it's not something you can just "wish away" any more than you can "wish away" a pimple or a broken arm.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  10. Apr 2, 2013 #9


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    I agree, in moments of anxiety it are the thoughts that make the situation worse. What helps me is controlling the thoughts by slowly counting down from 200 to 0 and relaxing by proper breathing. Usually that takes off the edge, which allows me to start feeling comfortable again quite soon with that. The anxiety can still be triggered in certain situations, but it can remain small.

    Do see a doctor and try out different strategies.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  11. Apr 2, 2013 #10

    jim hardy

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    Monique's technique is a good one for acute attacks.

    I think I read every self-help book in print in the 1980's.

    We don't diagnose here . So just know you're not that unusual.
    If you don't believe me, just stand and watch the self-help section in any library or bookstore.

    I kept busy with my hands. Small accomplishments build into better feelings. I fixed cars and old boat motors, made things in the workshop,,,
    even yard work gives you some little accomplishment to look at..

    But the best thing one can do to feel better quick is a random act of kindness.

    Pay it forward.

    old jim
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2013
  12. Apr 2, 2013 #11
    Thanks for your advice. Along with seeing someone I will most certainly do some reading. Can you suggest some good books on the subject?

    Were the ones you mentioned for anxiety?
  13. Apr 2, 2013 #12


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    No, those books had nothing to do with anxiety. Rather than read books that may be questionable, (so called self-help gurus are notorius for giving bad advice), I would suggest to wait until you see your doctor, then after you are diagnosed, ask your doctor for valid reading material which is medically correct and applies to you.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
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