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Forums / Staying well / Can anyone who has recovered from Anxiety and Panic Attacks without drugs please tell me HOW

Topic: Can anyone who has recovered from Anxiety and Panic Attacks without drugs please tell me HOW

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. Romany
    Romany avatar
    8 posts
    8 May 2013

    I really want to hear from someone who has been there with severe anxiety and panic attacks and RECOVERED!

    We are all in the same boat here we have all read the same literature - bought all the books sought appropriate advice.. We have  tried various types of HELP. We have purchased Internet programs. Seen the Psychiatrist or Pschologist. Been to the naturopath, thought about Hypnotherapy, tried Reiki, Yoga, exercise, relaxation, meditation etc etc etc .

    I dont want to talk about my symptoms any more -   I JUST WANT TO HEAR SUCCESS STORIES

    I just want people who have sucessfully recovered to tell me how they did it in as few words as possible.



    Self- help tips for managing anxiety

    What worked for me

    Strategies for coping wanted

    What do you usually do to stay calm and positive?

    What life can be like at the end of the tunnel

  2. integrityguy
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    integrityguy avatar
    21 posts
    9 May 2013 in reply to Romany

    Hi Romany. It sounds like you're in a dark place right now, and I sincerely hope you can find some peace and hold onto it. The best piece of advice I can offer you - as someone who has suffered from chronic anxiety for at least 19 years - is that there are no quick fixes or magic solutions. Hear me out though ... what has worked, and is still working for me, is a change in perspective. I think of anxiety as something which is part of me, rather than something I recover from. If I force an expectation on myself to recover from anxiety, it fuels the fire and makes it worse. The more I learn to accept the existence of anxiety, the less pressure I feel.


    2 people found this helpful
  3. Ann Ziety
    Ann Ziety avatar
    3 posts
    11 May 2013 in reply to Romany

    Hi Romany,  I agree with integrityguy.  I have been living with anxiety all my life and I am now in my 60s.  It is a part of my life.   However, I am in a place right now where the anxiety is causing me distressing physical issues.  I've been down the drug trail in the past and have decided that I don't want to do that again so I am currently undertaking a change of lifestyle programme.  I've joined a gym, started eating healthy and have started using EFT.  The EFT is really helping me.  I am seeing a therapist and use it whenever I can to help calm me. And I am also using CBT.

    I see my anxiety as something that is happening in my life but something that I can control.

    I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.


    2 people found this helpful
  4. Romany
    Romany avatar
    8 posts
    13 May 2013

    Rewording the question.

    I really do want to hear POSITIVE stories. I am not in a dark place in fact I am feeling positive and looking for stories that support this.

    Yes its horrendous and I have had all the symptoms and I got scared that I was going crazy and will never have a normal life again BUT

    I am now taking a different  direction  I believe that gathering stories that give HOPE is the way to go -  IF ONE PERSON CAN DO IT WE ALL CAN!!!!    and

    I am going to make it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Romany
    Romany avatar
    8 posts
    13 May 2013

    Hey Ann

    You are doing it girl! Congratulations. Joined a gym, eating healthy, EFT and CBT.

    Great Lifestyle choices.  Good attitude - you said you now see anxiety as something that no longer controls you.  Ditch the past and how it all happened. Keep at it you are going to make it and  - You were helpful. Keep positive.

    Thanks Romany

  6. AlexG
    AlexG avatar
    1 posts
    13 May 2013 in reply to Romany

    Hi Romany,

    I was on this website for another reason and happened upon your post. Simply had to respond to you.

    I have gone through this. It took me several years. But it can be done. No drugs. I'm no expert in this field but I have lived through it and got out the other side. Not sure what you are after but it can be done. What the others say about 'change in lifestyle' is part of it. One thing is for sure, whatever you are doing now, must change. I'm not saying it ever goes away but in my case it is very much under control. I know what not to do. And the change in lifestyle, is part of that 'keeping it under control'.

    You want the answer in "as few words as possible". Well, that's just it, if it was that easy a fix, it would not be a problem would it? Accept that the fix it not easy, but it does exist.

    This is (in my case) the most challenging  thing I have ever done. But I am grateful that I persevered.

    Not sure what else i can tell you.



  7. Romany
    Romany avatar
    8 posts
    15 May 2013

    Thanks Alex

    I very much appreciate your reply and it gives me encouragement and hope. I am making changes and it has been very much trial and error. What I have had to learn is patience and to start to accept that the path to recovery is very much an up and down one.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. velvety
    velvety avatar
    2 posts
    17 May 2013 in reply to Romany

    hi Romany

    I am in my mid 50s and have had three serious bouts of depression in my life when the best choice I could have made at the time was to be on anti-depressants for a few months.  The first two times I needed help I was 31 years of age, following the birth of my first child. With no real support, It took years to recover my confidence but I also discovered how resourceful l am and how to be self reliant.  The other time was following separation after 21 years of married life. I was stronger and wiser by then and understood a lot about mental health.  Even so, nothing could prevent me from spiralling down into a sense of panic that only a dose of benzos could help stop that feeling.  I was glad I made that choice at the time.  Otherwise, I exercise most days of the week, swim, meditate, dance, rock climb, and have some great friends.  I think of myself as someone who get a lot of pleasure out of life, sometimes I experience intense satisfaction and a genuine sense of achievement, but I am often aware that I have arranged my lifestyle so that I can keep some emotional equilibrium. If I start to stress, I swim three days in a row, just to get my breathing back to what feels calm and normal. If my thinking races too much, I take a sleeping tablet to have a good night's sleep. If I need someone to talk to, I make an appointment to see a counsellor. These strategies are usually enough to get me through a stressful patch.  If it wasn't, I wouldn't hesitate to seek further medical support.  Thankfully, I seem to manage well enough on my own.

    I hope that helps :)

  9. Scotty2013
    Scotty2013 avatar
    117 posts
    20 May 2013 in reply to Romany
    You dont Recover, you just learn to manage it better...and like most illnesses there is chance of relapse , well this has been my experience. TC
  10. Joan Smith
    Joan Smith avatar
    7 posts
    28 May 2013

    Hi Romany,

    I recovered by going to counselling 2x a week. The techniques we used were mindfulness and CBT for the preliminary stages then other techniques for deeper recovery work once the preliminary symptoms and surface level anxiety has been resolved. I have since trained as a counsellor in the hope of helping others do the  same without drugs.


  11. Flora
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Flora avatar
    9 posts
    31 May 2013 in reply to Romany

    Hey Romany,

    I agree with the others, it's not always a quick fix but it is DEFINITELY possible to learn to deal with anxiety.

    When my anxiety was at its worst and I hadn't learned how to deal with it, I felt like I would be a nervous wreck for the rest of my life. I felt an overwhelming sense of doom and dread and didn't see a way out.

    I don't take meds - I tried benzodiazepines but found that it made me feel even more depressed! The best thing I did was make an appointment with a psychologist. The reason I found her so helpful was because

    1. She explained the anatomy of anxiety/panic to me so I had an understanding of what was going on, biologically. 

    2. She put my mind at ease by clarifying that my issues came from mental, not physical stimuli. 

    3. She reminded me that countless people have the same issues, and living a normal happy life is extremely possible

    4. She gave me a new way of thinking about anxiety that helped me see it as a part of my personality that I need to embrace and nuture, rather than fear (this is half the battle!)

    5. She gave me some techniques and ideas for coping with symptoms when they came on, without having to resort to medication.

    Hang in there buddy, you will make it! And you will be stronger for it.

    All the best :)

    4 people found this helpful
  12. iJim
    iJim avatar
    3 posts
    11 October 2013 in reply to Romany

    Hi Romany,

     Full recovery from "inappropriate" Anxiety/Panic is absolutely possible. But  it's healthy to keep in mind that you we need anxiety to survive. It's a part of us, and takes care of us. It's just when it responds inappropriately that is bothersome...


     You hold all the keys to all the doors. You simply have to learn which key fits where, and have the confidence to walk through.

     Keep in mind too that Anxiety/ Panic are for the most part a result of exposure to stress of some kind. We are all human, and anyone who is exposed to prolonged stress will react the same way... Make sure you look into where your own stresses are and how you can mediate them to deal your recovery.

    best wishes.




    1 person found this helpful
  13. iJim
    iJim avatar
    3 posts
    11 October 2013 in reply to Romany


    I've tried to post a few links to helpful sites but due to site rules regarding profit/ gain etc, they were deleted. Which is understand.

    I think I can get away with saying that there are "systems" available that have been developed by people whom have gone through Panic Disorder/ Anxiety, and have documented their recovery, and how they did it. Google it... There are a few shonks there for sure, but if you read between the lines, and cross reference against youtube etc, you'll work out the crooks from the genuine article.

    The answers are there, the inspiring stories of recovery by the thousands... It's all out there on the web. Google is your friend.

    Best wishes.

  14. strivingtosmile
    strivingtosmile avatar
    4 posts
    14 October 2013 in reply to Romany

    I like your attitude, Romany.   I too have tried various avenues along the road to recovery, and past experience is so handy.Yoga's deep relaxation techniques are a big help.  And a sense of humour.  

    I agree with Flora, in large part. But I wouldn't call mine a success story as such, as I fully expect it to happen again, to one degree or another. 

     My profession is high-risk/high reward, and I'm truly terrified a lot of the time.  I have to keep those fears hidden, often disguised with a joke or pleasant anecdote whilst I'm madly chipping away at whatever problem arises.  Sometimes the the tension gets so high my mind starts working overtime, & my body pays for it.  Only yesterday I was bumping my head (gently) against the bathroom mirror, trying to remember how to smile. :)

    I know this may sound pithy, but almost every business has a risk management plan - some are a couple of loose pages, others take up entire filing cabinets.  In my day to day work/life I'm forever dealing with issues that arise. They're either dealt with immediately and then I can forget them, put on the back burner to deal with later, or even better, delegated to someone else, so I don't have to worry quite so much. 

      It certainly helps to mitigate anxiety, minimise fears and remind yourself of priorities, bearing in mind priorities tend to change by the second. There are some things which will certainly kill you outright (remember to think happy thoughts here), and others that merely mean you'll reach your bed a few minutes after midnight.  :D  I do little routines & preparations for various things I'm scared of in order to have a few less things to worry about for whenever I have an attack, in the hopes that my long-practiced movements will be more or less reflexive, and serve to remind me how to get back on track. 

    It was only after a good night's sleep, waking up to a cool wind on my overheated forehead, a disturbing series of noises from my stomach, and a few minutes mooching around the garden, watering & pulling up weeds that I managed to bounce, or at least bobble back on track.

    With me it's always a question of what the trade-off is.  Will i risk putting all those blasted fears aside on the chance of getting some decent sleep, or will I continue on at the risk of my hard-earned "safety"?  The fears are always there again, but I'm better able to deal with them when well rested.  Having a 'fear management plan' in the back of my head has helped me a lot in the last few years.  Okay, some of the methods of dealing with them scare me too, but there's always a tradeoff.  If I weren't able to set aside at least some of those fears, I'd not only never get anything done, but also never have any fun.  

    Registering on this forum & typing up my problems helped me a lot this time. Somehow, writing down my various issues in a safe,supportive environment cemented them in my head, gave me focus & helped to bring me out of it.  Typing comes much more naturally to me than talking to someone in person, even to my closest friends, funnily enough.

    Hope this wasn't too long-winded, and hope it helps. :)  

  15. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email:
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    17 November 2014 in reply to Romany

    Hi all,

    There are some really great suggestions here, it's worth checking out the related threads listed at the top as well, and if you have time the video stories below:

  16. ChichBastich
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    ChichBastich avatar
    1 posts
    30 March 2015

    Hi Romany,

    i know you're hanging in there and trust you are doing well.

     i mean no disrespect to others who have experienced a mental illness when I say i had severe anxiety for 3 years. I was in a highly stressful job which required me to present and be out under the microscope on a daily basis. Started feeling very very nervous for no reason, slurring my words and my lip started to twitch. My social interactions were minimal because I didn't want to embarrass myself in public by talking like a nervous wreck. What was once my strength was my Achilles heel. I was low on energy, confidence, life in general. Luckily i saw the signs early and saw someone for help. Telling your family is important so they know what you're going through and you can feel them as a form of support. The doc didn't prescribe meds just told me to practice breathing, exercise, eat right, limit coffee..... Also to do things I love and if I do them long enough the feeling of anxiousness will reduce with time. 

    So I left that industry and started afresh by going back to uni, working part time, playing tennis again which was a childhood hobby and gave me that winning feeling again, and have started to teach people how to do boxing. Teaching people has given me my confidence back. I am so happy and i appreciate it do much more now. It takes time and you need to stay strong because the feeling can pass Romany and it will. With time I realise that given how happy I am now and knowing what I went through along with those ppl I engaged to help me I know that if anything like this happens again I have a solid support network that works and will get me through it. My happiness teaching ppl makes me feel like I have great purpose and has opened my mind in other areas of my life. Have regular counselling and say exactly how you feel because you will do this as uncomfortable as it feels things change Romany!

    best wishes 

    1 person found this helpful
  17. MayaP
    MayaP avatar
    2 posts
    9 April 2015 in reply to Romany

    Hi Romany

    Thanks for sharing your story. Im a little different in that I am getting off the pills for anxiety after going through some really difficult times. I find exercise soooooo helpful! I have taken up muay thai and I fell like every time I hit the focus pads that I am kicking anxieties butt. Also, the chemicals that the pills release artificially are naturally released through exercise. Good luck on your journey :)



    1 person found this helpful

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