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Old 02-06-2006, 12:36 PM   #1
Ariella
 
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Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

What does it mean to master anxiety? How does one do the act of mastering it? Does it mean getting rid of it? Does it mean never suffering its visits again?

Most people want to believe that mastering anxiety means killing it so thoroughly, it never revisits. That's a popular view, and it echoes how humanity solves many of its problems. We kill bacteria, we flush virii, we kill mosquitos, we kill garden parasites, we kill each other, etc. Unfortunately, life (bacteria, virii, mosquitos, parasites, human beings) never ends. It's always there. We ARE it. You can't kill that which you are, otherwise you'd kill the you that's trying to do the killing, and you'd get nowhere.

So, I'm going to remind you of the definition of mastering, and this will give you a HUGE clue as to what you will do about anxiety:
Quote:
mastering, to acquire complete knowledge or skill in.
Let's say you wanted to master fishing. Does that mean you'd be so good at fishing that you'd fish until there weren't any fishes? No. It means that when fish come around, you know what to do with them. Catch'em and eat 'em right? Or catch and release? Anxiety is like fish.

When you master anxiety, you become its master; not its executioner. Therefore, it is folly and denial to think that your goal in mastering anxiety is to get rid of it so that you never feel it. That's for robots. You're human. Even superman gets scared if you know what I mean. Therefore, always make your goal in mastering anxiety be true to the very definitions of the words you're letting your inner dialogue use:

I will master anxiety. In mastering it, I will know how to see it, catch it, look at it, marvel at it, and then let it go as I have no need to keep it for extended periods of time.

Right now...anxiety is YOUR master. It knows how to catch YOU, and it's not so much into the catch-and-release game. It's much more fond of the catch-and-eat game. Time to turn the tables. It will never not be a visitor in your life. It will however someday not be your chef.
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Panic attacks started Dec/1996
Zoloft summer 1998 (quit CT after a few days - bad reaction)
10mg Paxil fall 1998 / 20mg Paxil winter 1999
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Intense Withdrawal symptoms well into 2001
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:49 PM   #2
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Great post Darcy!! It took us a while to figure that one out, we were never successful at removing anxiety, but very successful in making it a minor incident that can be dealt with easily.
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:18 AM   #3
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Again, you've given me a new way of looking at things:-)

Thank you
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:49 PM   #4
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Darcy,
I must say I was impressed and saddened by your story. Number one, it hit home on many fronts. I have suffered panic attacks for many years, but didn’t realize what was happening to me. They were never so bad that I reached out for help. I was on Zoloft many years ago because of severe back pain and the depression associated with it. I honestly didn’t know whether it helped or not, so I stopped. Fortunately, I did not experience any withdrawal symptoms, not did I experience any weird side effects while on the medication.

I’ve recently moved to a colder environment, one with much less sun than I’m used to. I don’t know if this has been a contributor to my recent depression symptoms or if it’s just one of man things going on in my life. I’ve has some real reasons to be depressed. We’ve had a death in the family as well as my father-in-law losing his leg. I think those are good, viable reasons for being depressed. However, the depression started to get out-of-control. It started affecting family life and my work as well as my relationships with those I love.

I decided to go to my family doc. She is a really good friend of mine and I trust her with everything I have. We decided Zoloft would be the way to go because my previous experience was not bad. I did tell her I was not truly sure if it was helpful or not. We decided to start the process and monitor my moods and progress. Keep in mind, I started the medication while I was fighting strep throat as well as a virus that was going around. I lost my appetite, which I contributed to be sick. I became very shaky, also contributed to being sick. Then the MAJOR panic attacks started. I started dealing with them in many different ways. Enya was one of the tools I used to help regain control. I would also go read about panic attack symptoms to reassure myself that I was not dying. Both did help. Keep in mind, these panic attacks lasted hours, if not days, with no relief. It was not what was considered normal from what I have read. My reading suggested panic attacks peak in about 10 minutes and dissipate much quicker than what I was experiencing. I couldn’t find triggers. They came on without warning or stress.

One day, not to long ago, I had the worst attack I’ve ever had. I woke up feeling ok. By the time I started blow-drying my hair for work, I was feeling very light-headed. I went to work anyway and then all heck broke out. I was shaking uncontrollably, my chest hurt, my head felt strange, I couldn’t breathe and I could not concentrate at all. I couldn’t get full sentences out of my mouth. Mistake! I should not have gone to work. I immediately called my husband who happened to be with my doctor. He drove over to pick me up immediately and she got me in right away. My supervisor had to help me out of the office and sat with me until my husband arrived. I was thankful for his understanding, because I felt like an idiot or a crazy person.

I was having a reaction to Zoloft! I thought I was dying. I was sure of it. She (my doctor) told me I was not dying or having a heart attack and she said she could prove it. She performed an EKG, which came back normal, once I could stop shaking enough for them to get a good reading. I was relieved, but still scared. I knew I couldn’t continue to hold a job like this. I refused the weaning of the Zoloft. I wanted off and I wanted off right now!
She wanted to put me on Effexor, but I refused to take it. The panic attacks continued and the depression was getting worse. She did give me Klonopin to help relieve the attacks. It saved me. I could not have gone on without it at that point.

My next visit with her I just cried. I was afraid she would take the klonopin away and it was the only thing helping. She assured me she wouldn’t until my symptoms where under control. We discussed and decided to try Paxil. I’m still new to it (two weeks), but hopeful. After my first dose, I was able to go three days without one attack. I don’t think it was the Paxil as I’m well aware it takes awhile to become effective, but I was grateful and happy. Since then, my attacks come very infrequently and are manageable without additional drugs. I don’t know what’s to come. I hope I have a better experience than what I’ve been reading. To be honest, I’m scared to death. I don’t want to go through what some of these people have gone through. I also hope it is not a lifetime solution. I hope I can get past this and be drug-free.

Your story really hit something in me. I just wanted to share mine and I hope you wish me luck on this long and tough journey ahead.

Good luck and best wishes to everyone! You’re not alone.
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:57 PM   #5
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Don't forget to read my withdrawal journal too:

http://www.paxilprogress.org/forums/...howjournal&j=1
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:59 PM   #6
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Welcome toomuch! Just a warning that zoloft and paxil are "sister" drugs who's actions are basically the same. What else have to tried to help deal with the anxiety?
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:10 PM   #7
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Thank you for the reply. I believe the best the best therapy is being able to talk about it. That is why my next suggestion to my doc is to send me to someone I can talk with. Itís different though to talk with someone who has experienced or is going through the same thing as I am. I have been on Klonopin, which has helped tremendously in the short-term. My understanding is this is very addictive and that worries me.

She has prescribed Buspar on top of Paxil to get me back where I need to be. I am not taking Buspar. Iím not one to take medication unless I feel it is absolutely necessary. I plan to try to start it this weekend. I donít want to start something in the middle of the work-week.

Zoloft was a bad experience for me from the beginning. Paxil, so far, has not had any side effects that Iíve noticed. Iím very sensitive to stimulants and Zoloft seemed to trigger something that it didnít in the past. Not sure why. Iím happy to be, for the most part, past the panic attacks. Iím still suffering severe depression, granted Iíve only been on it a week and a half. I just increased my dose yesterday and had a good day today. Not sure if itís related or notÖjust happy to have a good day. Klonopin does help me through the bad days. I have not had to take it during work since starting Paxil. Iím not saying itís an ideal situation, but glad something is working.
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:56 PM   #8
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Fear feeds fear, anxiety is a bad habit, we are perpetuating ourselves. I found paxil stopped my panic attacks, I was constantly in panic mode, I felt the anxiety chemicals pouring into my body constantly, it nearly crippled me, I was in so much physical pain. Apart from the panic/anxiety what is really worrying you?
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still waiting for the other 11kgs to go
Still suffer morning anxiety, jittery during the day
Paxil did help my anxiety/panic when nothing else did.

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Old 04-14-2006, 05:33 PM   #9
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

wow, thanks so much for this post darcy.
it's really inspiring and gives me a lot of hope!

i don't want to ever have to go back on paxil, but i do recognize the difference in my attitude and self confidence... i've recognized the anxiety, but have never thought about what i should do from there, and mostly it catches me off guard still and just frustrates me or drains my energy.

i guess i am searching for an answer... anything that will help me to overcome this cloudiness in my thoughts and inability to express myself like i did when i was on paxil. i sometimes fear that the goals that i have made professionally and the life that i have built socially are being jeopardized by my inability to function the same as when i was on paxil. i really loved the life that i was leading, and have been working so hard towards my career goals, with success. it's very frustrating to feel as though i may not be able to maintain the same life. it leaves me feeling very unsure.

during the times when i get back my second wind and my hope, knowing how to handle all of the things that i'm feeling again while off paxil is very helpful. thanks for your advice and perspective
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Old 12-15-2006, 08:45 AM   #10
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Quote:
Originally Posted by toomuch
She has prescribed Buspar on top of Paxil to get me back where I need to be. I am not taking Buspar. I’m not one to take medication unless I feel it is absolutely necessary. I plan to try to start it this weekend. I don’t want to start something in the middle of the work-week.
i'm not sure how much paxil you're on but you may not need that much.. it doesn't take much to numb away the panic attacks.. the more you take now the harder it may be later to taper. 5mg may be enough if you're going to take it. Your goal shouldn't be to totally numb the panic and anxiety... trust me, if you do this it will be there when you taper and you won't know what to do about it.

Check out the anxiety alternatives in my signature.. some books and resources there that may help you.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:32 PM   #11
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Hello all, I am still on 5 mg daily. but it seems like I am always in a "stay calm" mode. I take extra magnesium, fish oil and a multi vit. Is there anything more or different I can take to help? I go to a psychiatrist 4x a year for meds but it seems i go in for 10 minutes and come out feeling the same as when I went in. Does anyone know a doc in my area ? Mine wants to keep me on paxil and I am trying to get off. Is it possible to go off paxil without a doc.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:49 PM   #12
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pamela
Hello all, I am still on 5 mg daily. but it seems like I am always in a "stay calm" mode. I take extra magnesium, fish oil and a multi vit. Is there anything more or different I can take to help? I go to a psychiatrist 4x a year for meds but it seems i go in for 10 minutes and come out feeling the same as when I went in. Does anyone know a doc in my area ? Mine wants to keep me on paxil and I am trying to get off. Is it possible to go off paxil without a doc.
Sounds like you're doing really well and are pretty stabilized, now, on 5mgs.

I can't understand, though, why your doc wants to keep you on Paxil, when you want to come off it? How about telling your doc that you want to wean yourself off it at 10 per cent per month and see how it goes?

The supplements you're taking are the same as mine, and if they're working I wouldn't bother adding anything.
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: 5mgs
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:15 AM   #13
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

hi guys

the article about anxiety:go fishing example is very good indeed. Well explanined and so much valued towards self conciousness...
thanks, it was very well indeed

Charlene
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:47 PM   #14
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Quote:
Originally Posted by darcyb View Post
What does it mean to master anxiety? How does one do the act of mastering it? Does it mean getting rid of it? Does it mean never suffering its visits again?

Most people want to believe that mastering anxiety means killing it so thoroughly, it never revisits. That's a popular view, and it echoes how humanity solves many of its problems. We kill bacteria, we flush virii, we kill mosquitos, we kill garden parasites, we kill each other, etc. Unfortunately, life (bacteria, virii, mosquitos, parasites, human beings) never ends. It's always there. We ARE it. You can't kill that which you are, otherwise you'd kill the you that's trying to do the killing, and you'd get nowhere.

So, I'm going to remind you of the definition of mastering, and this will give you a HUGE clue as to what you will do about anxiety:
Let's say you wanted to master fishing. Does that mean you'd be so good at fishing that you'd fish until there weren't any fishes? No. It means that when fish come around, you know what to do with them. Catch'em and eat 'em right? Or catch and release? Anxiety is like fish.

When you master anxiety, you become its master; not its executioner. Therefore, it is folly and denial to think that your goal in mastering anxiety is to get rid of it so that you never feel it. That's for robots. You're human. Even superman gets scared if you know what I mean. Therefore, always make your goal in mastering anxiety be true to the very definitions of the words you're letting your inner dialogue use:

I will master anxiety. In mastering it, I will know how to see it, catch it, look at it, marvel at it, and then let it go as I have no need to keep it for extended periods of time.

Right now...anxiety is YOUR master. It knows how to catch YOU, and it's not so much into the catch-and-release game. It's much more fond of the catch-and-eat game. Time to turn the tables. It will never not be a visitor in your life. It will however someday not be your chef.
I'm sorry darcy but I don't get what you are saying. Can you explain it a little differently?
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:42 AM   #15
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

I didn't know about the magnesium as a possible way to help you when you're off of Paxil or weaning off of it. I've been of Paxil (did it slowly!) for about 5 or 6 weeks now and I'm doing okay. However, I am anxious about health issues. Since I've been off of Paxil - actually, since I've been tapering off of it - my menstrual cramps have been worse. I'm 39 and never, luckily, had to deal with bad menstrual cramps. This is making me anxious, although I know that I'd probably find something to be anxious about...lol...it's a crazy cycle, but I'm glad that I'm off Paxil. I'm trying to get pregnant. Anyways, the strangeness and frequency of the menstrual cramps is what's bothering me and making me wonder and wonder and wonder...I'd love any tips and to hear any similar experiences...thanks, everybody...
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:55 AM   #16
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Hi Darcy

Just re-read this post and telling myself MASTERY of my anxiety is what I am aiming for !!!!
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:07 PM   #17
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

I really needed to read this because i feel like I am so out of control right now....
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Tried unsuccessfully 2x's to reduce and get off within the last 2 years...(dr's messed me up)

Was forced to go almost "cold turkey" and was Paxil free for 5 weeks. (Mid-Dec 09 thru mid-Jan.) Had horrid w/d.


1/19/10 - back on at 15mg.
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2/2/10 - .5 mg Clonopin 2x a day
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:08 AM   #18
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

I would not say I have mastered my anxiety but since I started using cbt I think I have the upper hand and a good amount of control over it now.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:51 AM   #19
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

cbt--Could someone please define this type of therapy please? Was in therapy for a long time and have not been in 2 years. Been off paxil since July. Not doing well. Looking into therapy but want to be sure I go to the right doc.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:31 AM   #20
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It teaches you how to relax and accept the anxiety, deal with it and allow it to pass.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:44 PM   #21
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

There are two main components in dealing with anxiety with cbt. Countering correcting your thoughts in an exercise called the TEA form and exposure once you have got a handle on countering and correcting the thinking errors you were previously making that lead to anxiety. Worked wonders for me, but it takes a bit of effort and self discipline.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:26 AM   #22
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Great Post! I also love your statement in your signature Ariella (below)! "it really helped me do a shift in my thinking"...I'm a processor and problem solver; in my state of anxiety and depression, my attempt was to figure my way out of it, which made it worse. The shift, to follow my passions, took my mind off the problem which has moved me into a state of peace.


Ariella's signature quote:
I could never think my way out of anxiety and Paxil. It was thought that got me stuck with them. So I had to learn to follow passion instead. Passion brought me freedom and joy. Avoid thinking, get busy passioning and life will be a whole lot funner-like.
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:49 PM   #23
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Great to hear you are feeling better Genny!
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:22 AM   #24
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

Well said. "Fishing" is definitely on my future agenda. For now however I have started singing again -the cats and I have been caterwauling along to Glee..
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:32 PM   #25
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Re: Mastering anxiety : go fishing (sort of)

You can watch Glee in NZ? Wow, that is great
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