How I deal with anxiety.

Life It's been a while. Yes, I still have anxiety but at the moment it isn't running my life. Lord knows, I have enough things to be worried about but between the drugs and other things, I'm feeling pretty solid.  I've been added to the waiting list for a therapist so there's that to look forward to.

Earlier this evening, someone who isn't, a complete stranger who suffered an attack last night was asking mental health author Matt Haig for help and he threw the question open to his followers.  In a dash, I sent her a flurry of tweets of the things which have helped me, so I thought I'd memorialize them here for my own future memory and in case you need some help too.
  • Go see a Doctor, get drugs. I began in Sertraline about three years ago and while I do still have attacks, they're rarely with the impact or regularity.

  • When an attack is happening talk to someone you love even if just by phone. Tell them. Take the sympathy and don't be too proud about it.

  • Get a gravity/weighted blanket and sleep under it every night preferable on top of a sprung mattress. It's like sleeping in a hug. I used to have terrible anxiety dreams and wake up each morning with a pain in my chest. Not any more.

  • Drink decaf, remove caffeine from your life. It's hard at first and you will get depressed about how limited the choice is, but eventually you'll accept that your mental health is more important.

  • Exercise even if it's just walk places as much as possible.  Depending on you mood, listen to a podcast or some music, but sometimes its good to do without and just go with the sounds of the life around you and pay attention to your environment.  Try not to get inside your own head.

  • Anxiety attacks rarely have a reason and although you might think that trying to rationalise them helps, you're probably just going to end up thinking about reasons why you should be having an attack which only increases the intensity.

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