Mental health issues
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Dealing with anxiety

leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
edited July 2020 in Mental health issues
Having suffered from anxiety myself I’m wondering if you’d like to share your remedy partial or otherwise for this condition.
 Of course there are medications for anxiety but there are also other methods to help deal with it too, perhaps yours could help me or others to cope with this debilitating condition.  

What is it that you find helps? (Not medication please)

Replies

  • Wini1960Wini1960 Member Posts: 125 Pioneering
    leeCal Hi I found regular exercise something you enjoy because there is nothing worse than starting something you don't like but your doing it because I have to do something. So really consider that, I exercise at home. Also what is important is mindfulness or meditation. I meditate every day. Focusing on the negative makes anxiety worse. So thinking about something beautiful and refreshing helps a lot. Massage is wonderful. I have a lot of physical pain but when I get a massage I feel rested and refreshed. When meditating put some meditational music on and if you can be alone even better. Make sure to get out every day for a walk to get fresh air. I take medication because I have clinical depression but you don't have to take medication for anxiety. My daughter has quite severe anxiety but has learned how to deal with it through meditation and exercise and a counting technique. Have you tried CBT?
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2020
    Hi @katho31 I’m glad you said about the breathing because I can never remember the exact counts for in and out breaths. 
    Also the chamomile spray sounds helpful, I sometimes use an essential oil called Oud to nudge me back to earth a bit if my thoughts start to race. You can also get an essential oil which smells like fresh linen which I should think is good, it’s a pity they don’t do the smell of a new book, Id really like that too.
     Thanks.
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2020
    Hi @Wini1960 that’s interesting about meditation and mindfulness. I do a little meditation but I find it very difficult to do if I’m feeling too anxious. 
    I haven’t tried cbt  but it was suggested to me. Perhaps I should read up on it, the reason why I haven’t is because an anxiety tutor told me it wasn’t her favourite thing, that put me off I must admit. Thanks.
     I can’t get a massage when I need it for anxiety but I can see how it would be difficult to be anxious and be massaged at the same time, really effective I should think!
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    Hi @Wini1960 and @leeCal im going to try those essentials oils, poundland and b and m sell them i think? also couple of years ago i got an infrared back/neck massager, it was about 40 pound but i couldnt be without it, it is better than a hand massage and has different settings but does ease the neck tension, a few pals have bought same and ive heard good things about cbt so im going to give that i try.
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    Hi @leeCal, great film on itv4 at 9, clint eastwood, grand torino
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @katho31 I do like Clint Eastwood films (unforgiven was a great movie)
    🙂
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    I agree and think unforgiven was one of his best  :)
  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,907 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @leeCal - if I may add about 'breathing,' what many adults have completely forgotten is how to do this correctly. If you ever watch a baby, or very young child, they do this automatically. May I suggest that using the correct 'diaphragmatic' or 'abdominal' breathing is the way to go. It aids relaxation, & also helps with 'stress'.
    When I try on here to correct this, I have bother describing how the majority of adults do it wrongly, as I've done this the 'right' way for so many years. It's something I was taught, & we were warned we might fall asleep! Please see: https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/therapies/abdominal-breathing.pdf  
    It's not about how long you breathe in or out, but breathing correctly. I also wholly endorse exercise, which is my (daily) mainstay. This releases endorphins, which make us feel that bit better. I'm rubbish at meditation, nor did I personally feel that CBT would be helpful, but do use mindfulness & visualisations. The latter is more because of chronic pain; I imagine lying on a warm beach & the seawater gently washing up over the lower part of my body, then as it recedes, taking my pain away. Again, I'm saying in my own case, that distraction helps....whether it be reading, listening to music, gardening, or watching a film. But I think any such modalities can help with many disorders, whether it be anxiety or pain, it's finding what works for an individual, & often it seems to be a combination of things, as has already been mentioned.
    Just to add, I spent Wed-Fri this week in a 'virtual' conference hosted in the USA about my medical problems...the only positive I've had due to Covid-19! What was interesting in several presentations, was what they are learning about the brain. Some of the presentations I feel may help others here, as there were mentions about anxiety, depression, 'brain fog,' pain, & varying other medical conditions. Thankfully they want to have their findings shared by as many people as possible. Hopefully they'll provide YouTube links to these as early as next week, & I'll be pleased to share any relevant links with the community. :)

  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you @chiarieds all that information is so useful. I’d be interested in the YouTube links and I’m sure many others would be too. Thank you again. 
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    I'm not sure my suggestion is helpful but I have found a way to head off the "collapsing onto the floor, shaking and crying and shouting at people to leave me alone and go away". I use a simple method of disbelief so that when I get into such a situation I simply stop believing that the person, persons or situation simply doesn't exist or is an outright lie. Unfortunately this now means that instead of collapsing I get angry (not violent) and completely Paranoid and stop listening to anyone and everyone because they are all lying to get me to do something I shouldn't. I will often then go to extreme physical exertion using Adrenalin to "get away" from whatever caused it. This has led me to walking long distances and suffering awfully later including walking out of hospital and even off a ward in 2 occasions. The last time this happened I tried to walk off a severe case ward and got halfway across the hospital before having to be physically restrained by 4 security men and 2 doctors (it took ALL of them to pin me down on the floor). They had to dose me with something just to get me to calm down and then I had a panic attack anyway and an incredible attack of hyperventilation.

    As I said, probably not much help unless you can find some way of limiting the Paranoia (which I haven;t been able to do).

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    That sounds like myself @Topkitten really powerful, thanks  :/ from kath 
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes thank you @Topkitten I think questioning the reality of the situation is definitely of great value. Thanks.
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2020
    Mindfulness is a powerful aid in combatting anxiety there’s no doubt about it. Especially if you can catch it as it arises. I once spoke to a famous man who was abducted in the east and kept prisoner for five years mostly chained to a radiator and in semi or full darkness. No radio, no company and nothing to read, he was sometimes tortured and threatened with death. Extreme anxiety could’ve set in but he combatted it with one powerful thought and that was that right at this moment in time he was okay, right now, right here he was alive and okay. That was enough to help him through that awful and long period of incarceration along with another thing which was to write his first book in his head by memory only. A very unusual man indeed. 

    So yes, mindfulness, living in the present moment really can help if applied.
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    Was that Terry Waite @leeCal?
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes it was @katho31 he visited a church near me once and gave a very stirring account of his life in those years. To be honest I nearly choked up just listening to him. He’s very tall, a big man in mind and body, I have the utmost respect for him and what he endured was beyond most people I think.
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    He is such an amazing and intellectual man, my late mum read his book about his captivity, im going to buy it, such respect i agree and how the human mind can overcome such horrific ordeals, very moving.
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    Hi all footy fans  :) are you up for this  :) love it!!! come on the pool ynwa  :#<3
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2020
    Having watched a YouTube video on the subject by a professional it seems that hard exercise can help mitigate anxiety by completing the flight or fight cycle. The exercise tricks the body into thinking that the danger has elapsed since the energy used has depleted resources. Hard exercise should only be undertaken if a person is fit enough to do so, and it could be that gentler exercise could be sufficient as it may alone act as a distraction from anxiety.

    Another simple thing which may help is chewing gum. The theory is that eating and the flight or fight response are incompatible, since eating and salivation takes place during a time of safety. You may want to be careful if you have fillings however or you may swap anxiety for toothache!
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    edited July 2020
    Careful with chewing too much gum @leeCal, you might develop an American accent. :smiley:

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    Great stuff  :#:) cheered us up on a very dull, drizzly morning!!
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi leeCal, I have had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which helped however, non medical remedies which have helped me are gardening, going to the park when it’s safe of course given Covid 19, just being outside for me makes a difference, observing nature including plants which takes my focus away from the cause of my anxiety watching videos on YouTube about things that interest me, reading a book, listening to forest sounds on an app as I love visiting forests when it is safe as I find the forest environment very calming and watching wildlife programmes. I have tried to do things which are not related to the cause of my anxiety which I have outlined in one of my posts. I would suggest spending time outside if it is possible as I don’t know the nature of your disability ( and I am not asking) as I find being outside lifts my mood but obviously this is what helps me. 
  • LouiseHLouiseH Member Posts: 96 Courageous
    I've started going for walks and hoping that will help with anxiety and also sleep. I've tried mindfulness a few times but have struggled with it. Reading helps me, which is a form of mindfulness as you're focusing on the story. I find that easier than trying mindfulness on its own. 
    Louise Hesketh
    Community Champion
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @LouiseH have you tried the kind of mindfulness, whereby you count your breaths in or out either, though I find counting the out breath easier. You count from one to ten and then start again, if you forget what number you’re up to you start from one again. The idea is to be mindful of your breathing. This is mostly the kind of mindfulness I practise myself and I find it can help if I catch my anxiety early on ish.
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    Hi and the sea sounds and waves cassettes, showing my age there!! cd's the mobile library have them and online there are some good value calming ones.
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    @katho31 I really like the sound of the sea, it’s also known to be a good masking sound for tinnitus, which I have as well.
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    Hi there @leeCal, i didnt know that but now you say it, it does make sense  :) also the music from when world cup is on is it opera or there one called Barcellona my late dad loved and maria calls too  :) memory not great at mo  :#
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    maria callas i think?
  • MsbettyboopMsbettyboop Member Posts: 25 Courageous
    Planting in the garden really helps me. So growing things from seed, or buying plants and planting them out. Watering the plants isais really relaxing and feeding the birds. I have a few bird feeders and bird baths and watching the birds eat and drink is good.
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi Msbettyboop,
     I really enjoy gardening. I collect seeds every year to plant again, take cuttings and because of Covid 19 (I am in the shielding group)? I have tried to grow plants from seeds that I bought online as I haven’t been able to visit any garden centres. I find it very relaxing and it helps me to focus on something else. It is also rewarding to see the results. 
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi Msbettyboop,
     I forgot to say that  although I don’t feed the birds in the garden because I have cats, I do feed the ducks, geese and other wildfowl when I go to a park with swan and duck food which I buy online. 
  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    Hi @RAwarrior, i read in paper yesterday that birds and ducks enjoy porridge and sesame seeds, the reason they say don't give them white bread is because they get no nutrients from it, brown breads good they say  :)
  • MsbettyboopMsbettyboop Member Posts: 25 Courageous
    @RAwarrior yes my favourite part is seeing the rewards of growing from seed. Also if anyone is struggling to relax or sleep gardening world on BBC iPlayer is perfect to watch and very gentle. 
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi katho31,
    Yes you are correct about oats. You can feed wildfowl oats, frozen sweet corn, defrosted peas, chopped up lettuce or swan and duck food which floats on the water and is very healthy for them. I wasn’t going to mention bread, however, it is very harmful for wildfowl and can actually kill them especially ducklings and goslings. Unfortunately it can cause Angel Wings which can be fatal and it means they can’t fly to get away from predators. Unfortunately I have recently seen Canada Geese and Egyptian Geese goslings with Angel Wings and it was heartbreaking to see. I know there are well meaning people however, it is better not to feed wildfowl anything rather than feeding them bread especially white bread. 
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi Msbettyboop,
    There are also lots of virtual garden videos on YouTube because of Covid 19 which are also very relaxing to watch. I also found some videos about how to take cuttings from particular plants as I wasn’t sure and I found them very useful. Many places have put videos on YouTube since the lockdown so we can still see some lovely gardens and also get new ideas about what to plant. 
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @RAwarrior if you want some to be aware that you’re talking to them you need to use the @ sign before their name, that way the system alerts lets them know. 🙂
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi @leeCal,
    Thank you very much for letting me know as I wasn’t aware of this as I only joined today. Thank you very much for your comments earlier and I hope my suggestions regarding anxiety were useful. 😁
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2020
    Yes @RAwarrior your suggestions are useful. I’m hoping the thread becomes a sort of compendium of methods to combat anxiety for both myself and any others who find this malady to be a constant. Thank you. 
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    You’re welcome @leeCal. I only joined today and I have never joined any type of forum before however, I contacted Scope about something else and I was looking at their website when I came across the online community. I started reading some of the comments and I was really impressed with the comments, the kindness,  the information and support people were giving each other about so many topics so I decided to join. 

    I am physically disabled however, because of the reasons I have mentioned in several of my posts, I also now suffer from anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I didn’t have PTSD before but thanks to being bullied and harassed at work for many years PTSD was added to my already serious health issues. I often struggle to find ways to cope so my suggestions might not be suitable for everyone. I find going outside really helps but because of Covid 19 I have been restricted. I also feel able to contribute because I can see that people posting do want to help other people. I am grateful for all of the suggestions people have posted and I think it’s a great idea of yours which hopefully will help you and other people. It is a refreshing change to read positive suggestions instead of the usual “you need to move on” that I usually get from people. Good luck with this thread😁
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Reading around the breathing techniques I find the expert advice that whilst doing the exercise it can be very advantageous to think of the thing which produces the anxiety. Apparently this can retrain the brain as the breathing technique lowers anxiety whilst thinking of the anxiety producing situation or thing. Eventually the idea is that the anxiety is lowered or cancelled out by repeatedly doing this.

    This could be very helpful for some types of anxiety I think.
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    @Msbettyboop
    Hello, I have come across an excellent gardening channel on YouTube called The Allotment Channel. It is so relaxing to watch. There are so many hints and tips about what to plant, when and where. The channel is run by a man called Sean who gives really good gardening advice and I find it therapeutic to watch. Someone else told me about the channel and I have found it really useful to watch. It might interest all those keen gardeners🌼
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for your kind words @RAwarrior, I'm so glad you have found the community a supportive place.

    It's great to see everyone's suggestions. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • MsbettyboopMsbettyboop Member Posts: 25 Courageous
    @RAwarrior thank you for the suggestion, I shall definitely look that channel up! 
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi @Chloe_Scope,
    You’re welcome and it might sound strange but to come across a community that despite their own problems, actually tries to help others was a shock to me and it has no bearing on the members of the online community but I had become so used to trying to defend myself and I felt very alone. I had become so disillusioned because of having my health ruined not because of my Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis which although they have had huge impact on my health especially the Rheumatoid, I now have mental health issues which I didn’t have before as a direct result of being bullied and harassed at work for several years on a daily basis with the bullying being covered up by management. 

    I know what the treatment is for RA and OA and I have been under the care of an excellent Rheumatology Team. However, with mental health issues I honestly don’t know what the treatment is and I am very grateful to read about other people’s coping mechanisms and suggestions. 

     I didn’t ask to be bullied but I was an easy target.  I now have to live with the legacy of this in addition to my physical disabilities. 

    However, the online community has given me the opportunity to say how I feel without fear of retaliation because the bully is still employed so I could never ever feel comfortable in participating in anything about disability at work because I would be identified and fearful for what would happen. It is a pity because I could make contributions however, I just keep quiet because I know  the bully will be protected at all costs. 

    Workplace bullying can be devastating for anyone but when it is done to someone who is disabled and has more than enough to deal with then it ruins lives. Another problem is that I was alone because although the bully picked on disabled staff, the others buried their heads in the sand and actually  told me that although they knew what the bully was doing to me because they hadn’t bullied them they would not back up my complaints when I tried to get help to stop it! It really was a case of “I’m alright Jack”. Well I wasn’t and I have never recovered.

    Life can be hard enough for disabled people and all I wanted was to do was to do a good job and earn a living instead I was subjected to being bullied and harassed.
     
    As I have already stated, I wish people would think before they target someone who is disabled because there can be serious consequences. Many bullies are cowards which is why they target people who they deem to be vulnerable. The bully knew nothing would ever be done  about their behaviour because whenever anyone tried to challenge their  behaviour  the bully would make a vexatious complaint and nothing would be done. 

    To end on a positive I am grateful that I found this community and I apologise if I have been too open about my feelings however, workplace bullying is a major barrier to many disabled people from staying in employment because it is easier to ignore the bully than to stop the bullying. I felt like why couldn’t I just be left alone to do my job? I wasn’t employed to be ridiculed and humiliated.  I couldn’t face going to an Employment Tribunal but in hindsight it might have been better because it would have been interesting to find out what the judge would have thought about the bully closing the door in my face whilst I was carrying a hot drink! I simply didn’t have the energy left to go to a tribunal. A huge thanks to everyone in this online community and to Scope for having such an important outlet for people who do want to help rather than harm each other 😁
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi @ Msbettyboop,
    You’re welcome 😁It is a very interesting channel with so much stuff on from growing plants from seed, vegetables, herbs and flowers. It covers the whole gardening year. 
    🌼
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,924

    Scope community team

    Hi @RAwarrior. Your experience of workplace bullying sounds awful, but I'm really glad you found our little community. I hope we'll continue to be a supportive outlet for people in similar situations to yours and I hope you'll stick around and keep talking to us! :) 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi @Adrian_Scope,
    Thank you for your kind words and support. Unfortunately my experience was dreadful and I felt very isolated because nobody would do anything to help me as many people were scared that the bully would make a vexatious complaint about them. 

    Although the bully is at another location I have not recovered from my ordeal. I was so proud about how I dealt with my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis which as many people will know is a very serious disease and I managed to remain in work when unfortunately many people are forced to give up work. I was doing a good job, I was conscientious and my Rheumatologist was really pleased with my attitude. In my case like in most cases the cause of my RA was unknown. However, what I didn’t bank on was on going on to suffer from PTSD as a direct result of years of mental torture at the hands of the bully. I had managed to cope with having both RA and OA yet through no fault of my own I ended up with PTSD.  The PTSD in many ways can be far worse than the pain I suffer from because of my RA and OA. Nobody should be allowed to made vexatious complaints in order to justify their behaviour. The bully never wanted to do any work and tried to disrupt other people but when they didn’t dance to the bully’s tune, the bully would target them. Unfortunately bullying is something which many managers will not address but it can devastating for someone who is disabled and already struggling to cope with their disability
     I am grateful for the support I have had from this wonderful community. It is a refreshing change and I hope I can help others by contributing.
    😁
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2020
    Another method of dealing with anxiety promoted by some professionals is to stay in the situation or remain facing the cause of anxiety whilst attempting to lower anxiety by one or more methods already covered. This can be effective we’re told but I wonder how many of us could use this method, especially if alone.  I think it would very much depend on the cause of the anxiety.
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    @Msbettyboop
    I came across another really good gardening channel on YouTube called Good Life Permaculture and there are lots of great gardening hints and tips. I don’t want to turn this thread into a gardening one however, if there is one thing that I would say helps me to deal with my disability it is gardening. However, because I am unable to do many things in the garden because of my physical disabilities, I am always looking for easier and simpler ways to do things in the garden. I have found some really great ideas on some of the YouTube channels. 😁🌼


  • LouiseHLouiseH Member Posts: 96 Courageous
    @leeCal I tried something similar this morning when I was trying to get back to sleep. It helped a bit.
    Louise Hesketh
    Community Champion
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @LouiseH was it the counting breaths that you tried or something else?
  • LouiseHLouiseH Member Posts: 96 Courageous
    Hi, @leeCal it was the counting breaths but I found 10 far too long for me. So I just breathed in and out and counted it as I went rather than trying to do so many breaths.
    Louise Hesketh
    Community Champion
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