Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Woman's hands in a sweater

Is there anything worse than a panic attack? Of course there is. But when one strikes, most of us are willing to sell our own mothers and throw in free shipping to make it stop.

If you are dealing with panic attacks, I know that you are in research overdrive mode and you probably got yourself a fresh bottle of magnesium and a plan and probably a book. Good for you!

Person writing a checklist

No matter how resolute you feel with whatever path you have chosen, save this post. Remember it. You’re going to be processing a lot of information, but bookmark this one. You may need to come back to it.

I started this blog to give the advice I wish someone had given me. This post may challenge some of your core values and I apologize, because that shit is uncomfortable. So when I tell you that the method that is pushed the most when it comes to anxiety disorders is the natural method and not Big Pharma, take a breath and bear with me, baby.

If you don’t believe me, go ahead and google “how to deal with panic attacks.” The first four pages will be everything from breathing techniques to cleansing your aura with crystals. You’ll find antidepressants nowhere in sight.

Put the oil diffuser down, girlfriend, and step away from the door. Mama ain’t trying to take yo’ natural-paleo-detox-super-green-chia-seed-organic-golden-milk. I promise! I just want to give you the advice I wish someone had given me…

1. Give yourself a hippie shit timeline

Girl dancing in a field

Girl, you do you. You want to meditate, yogatate, herbitate, go on a fucking walkabout? Go for it. I am a huge proponent of giving that hippie shit a good try. However, when it comes to panic attacks, baby, you don’t want to have an anxiety disorder on your hands.

So if you find that you can’t downward dog and vegan taco your way out of it, please see your GP. Get a good antidepressant and retrain your amygdala tout suite. Don’t let this continue for more than six months. Trust me on this one.

2. You’re not giving up by showing yourself some kindness

Don’t you love how somehow we think we can keep ourselves in check by being heinously cruel? Like, hey, if you don’t tell your panicking self that you are a worthless piece of shit for calling in sick to work, you may never go to work again.

Our lizard brains have translated being kind with ourselves into “letting ourselves go.”

That. Is. Bullshit.

When you are trying to retrain your amygdala, there is no room for bad mental habits. Imagine bringing a frightened and abused puppy home. It’s barking and growling and crying. It’s cold and hungry and wounded. Would you yell at it? Call it names? Say it was a bad, bad, dog? Of course not.

Reverend Lovejoy fake chiding his dog

Your amygdala is in abused dog mode. While you may be tempted to call yourself names and express your disappointment and self-hatred, understand that just like yelling at the abused dog, it will only make things worse.

Actively stop and challenge any negative thoughts you are having about yourself. Forgive yourself by understanding a very powerful truth: anxiety is your problem, it’s not your fault.

3. It really is OK to go on an antidepressant

As a recovering member of the all-natural cult, I wish I hadn’t let my panic attacks turn into an anxiety disorder because I thought a temporary antidepressant would destroy my health.

Will Ferrell from Zoolander

Six years after acupuncture, massage, seed cycling, lunaception, cryotherapy, raw veganic jogging, supplements, gratitude journaling, herbalists, psychics, talk therapy, water therapy, and whatever the fuck else any guru could tell me to try, turns out I just needed a little Prozac for a little bit of time.

4. The Wizard of Doctor Oz

I get it: we live in the world of Dr. Oz. Our girlfriends swear by juicing, and when you search for “how to deal with panic attacks,” you’d swear that turmeric was not only just discovered, but it’s what actually made Jesus walk on water.

We are “proud” to not treat our mental pains. It “means” something about us. It means we are weak, that we “take pills to solve our problems,” and if we give in, it’s just a matter of time before we tell our doctors that we want a full-strength antacids and to just lop one of our diabetic feet off because we want to eat six pounds of bacon for breakfast and let the pills fix it.

God damn, we do not give ourselves enough credit. You can still be a hippie. It’s not a slippery slope. It’s fine.

This subject is one that is near and dear to my cold, dead heart. If you are struggling with panic attacks, I know. I’m you. It can be a long, unbearable process, and there is a lot of information out there. There is a lot of internal and external pressure.

Please don’t give your life away to anxiety or depression because you are afraid of what getting help might mean about you. Please accept that antidepressants work. I know there are a lot of horror stories but there are also millions of people, including myself, for whom they have made a night-and-day difference.

Feel free to argue with me down below. It’s ok, I can take it. I just took a Prozac.

168 thoughts on “Anxiety and Panic Attacks

  1. Loved reading this. As someone who is now 22 and has been dealing with depression/anxiety since I was 13, I feel this. I wish more people understood panic attacks. I’m glad our generation gets it and emphasizes more than older generations, because hopefully that will lead to a kinder and more understanding world.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Absolutely love your real talk and good advice! I would love to discuss having you guest blog on my Panic Attack Awareness blog sometime if you would be at all interested? Let me know!

    Either way, keep it up with the good stuff!

    JT – Panic Attack Awareness

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey girl!
    I loved reading this. I can really relate.
    I’ve been down the spiritual road of trying every new kind of spiritual practice/therapy/psychic or practitioner to heal me of my anxiety. Actually mad me worse and more confused as their advice was to ignore the negative thoughts and feelings, see them as not spiritual and dissociate from them/ think more positively.

    I won’t go into detail, as I blogged about it in my one titled “spirituality will make you psychotic.”

    The Big Pharma thing is complicated. I went on an anti big Pharma phase when I came off Lithium to work through my repressed emotions (lithium numbed me to my feelings a lot.) I use seroquel for times of anxiety and it helps bust me out of those phases faster. Medications work differently with different people. We all have different brains, that react differently to substances. It’s good to find what works for you. It’s taken me years of learning through trial and error.

    I’m finally accepting I need to work with my brain and not against it. Reading this post helped heaps.

    Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I wish I had read this post earlier! The last month was just a horrible experience for me. A had massive panic attack on public (at work) and my manager low-key made fun of it/didn’t take me serious, said it was not just about me and all that stuff. Even though he threatened to fire me if don’t improve (he said I was not friendly enough and slow). A few weeks later and I got diagnosed with social anxiety and depression and I’m still struggling to figure stuff out and how to handle my life now.

    I really love your message! Please visit my blog and follow me if you like it:

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I adore the brutal honesty of this post! I just tried to make Meditating part of my daily routine to help woth my anxiety because thats what everyone preaches by the end of it I was just thinking – this shit isnt really for me!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I have absolutely loved reading this post. It is so helpful, thank you for posting it. I have just began my blog and it is going to focus on mental health and my experiences. I have followed you as your posts inspire me xx

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Excellent Read! I completely agree with what you are saying. Hell, I even was scared of antidepressants for years, but now I am so happy that I am on them. I believe in a balance, take meds, but also improve lifestyle, and your anxiety then can no longer win-even if you have bad days. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Thank you so much for posting this advice, my anxiety has felt so bad lately, at the moment my only outlet is my blog which really does help, you are so right though, i don’t want my life to be consumed by anxiety!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OH GOD I NEEDED THIS. I’ve been suffering silently for for years now -i git help only this year. I’m 17 and the week before last week i was held down because i was clawing at my face. I’m on medication right now but god i needed this. God bless a good wifi connection (i didn’t need to hijack my tenants’ wifi this time. god bless them). Thank you for this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh sweetest heart 😦 I am so sorry you are going through such a painful time. Always take care of yourself and hang in there with the meds, the first few weeks can be rough, but it does get better

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea. =( The side effects can be scary and make you feel worse, and its hard to deal with these things when the reason you went on meds was because you have had enough with the pain =( I am so sorry these things aren’t instant. At about 6 weeks, you should feel the clouds parting. Hang in there honey, and write write write

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is! It’s so testing because i have to deal with my symptoms AND the side affects and it just wears me out. I’m in A-levels and I can’t be exhausted all the time because i need to study. Yes! my psychiatrist said as much. I’ll just have to wait wait wait (and write write write)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly baby. You are a beautiful writer. I feel like this is the dark side of being a creative. Reach out frequently, and as much as I know it’s a cliche, it is true that things can get better, and that a ridiculous amount of people understand what you are going through, and there is nothing but love going your way.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I love everything about this post. I’m always searching for blogs that I actually want to come back to every time there’s a new post. I just binge read a few of your posts and you are awesome.

    And 100% agree on the meds thing. I just wrote a post on this myself – medication changed my life. I’d be hiding in my mom’s basement to this day if I didn’t have my Paxil & Ativan.


    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s very brave of you to write this blog post and share your thoughts about anxiety and depression to the world. I personally suffer from depression and anxiety/panic disorder while being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It’s very hard but it’s worth fighting to see a better day.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Super into this post, and I completely agree. The problem with mental health issues like this is that you constantly doubt yourself and/or are terrified of the unknown. After 9 years of anxiety and panic attacks I went to the doctor, and taking meds was nothing like what I was stressing about. It’s an option worth trying as much as any other.

    Thanks for finding my blog and leading me to yours!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. OMG #1 reminded me of the years that I thought I could yogatate my way out of being burnt out and anxiety ridden until I ended up having such a bad panic attack I had to be taken to the hospital. Giving yourself a timeline for the hippie shit is really good advice.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Yes!!!! Thank you! The people who write the articles about steps to stop a panic attack, quite bluntly, have never fucking had one. To tell yourself to breath and count while in that state is like telling a lion to stop eating the animal its just caught.

    Liked by 1 person

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