I have gone through a load of my emails and thought i would answer more of the questions i have been asked. I have written about most of this before but this is probably a quicker way to recap.
What is your diet, do you drink caffine?
A good diet is obviously better for us for a number of reasons but i have heard it is also good for dealing with anxiety. I few months back i stopped drinking fizzy juice (soda) completely. I now only drink water. Yes i do drink Caffine. When i first got anxiety i cut out caffine and alcohol completely but now i think they are both fine in moderation. If i am having a particularly anxious day i will probably give coffee a miss.
I found this website which may be more useful http://www.ctds.info/anxiety_diet_treatment.html
Have you tried EMDR?
I haven't tried this yet but i am due to try it in the future. A friend of mine who is a nurse is learning EMDR and i have offered myself up as a guinea pig. Apparently my friend sat in with a man giving EMDR therapy and she was shocked by the impressive results. I have no idea if this will work or even just help a little but i am willing to try anyway, i don't think it will do any harm.
What benefits am i entitled to?
I know there are a lot of people who read my blog in the states and unfortunatley it seems that they don't get financial help that we have in the UK. If your anxiety has stopped you being able to go out to work you should be entitled to Incapacity Benefit and maybe also Disability Living Allowance.
What is your biggest fear when having a panic attack?
I had many fears in the past. Now i don't have them that much at all. When in the midst of extreme panic i would most commonly worry that i was either going to lose control, have a heart attack or stop breathing. I finally managed to get my head around the fact that these things weren't going to happen to me. That it is just anxiety causing these sensations, adrenalin pumping through my body. I have read so much information and experienced so many panic attacks that i know nothing sinister is going on.
How do you cope when having a panic attack?
I go somewhere quiet and comfortable. I breathe and try my best to relax. Recently i have been using EFT and tapping but usually it is all about letting it pass. I accept the sensations i am having and i talk myself through them. I tell myself that this will pass and it always does. Sometimes i will take a drink or will fan myself down to keep cool. I have also used wet wipes on my hands and wrists as i can get quite sweaty. The coolness seems to help me. Really i just try to keep a level head and talk myself through it and i have got better at this with time.
Have you tried 'The Lindon Method'?
I personally have not tried this as yet. It is something i will look into, but if anyone else is interested they can check out the website
Do your attacks stop you doing certain things?
Yes! But this is what i am working on. My life became so limited when i was housebound but thankfully i got out of that situation. Obviously it isn't easy to change. I am 'stuck in a rut'. Instead of TRYING to do different things and putting ourselves into a panic situation it is a far more appealing option to just stay home. To stop trying all together. In the end this is the worst option as it only frustrates us more. I have spent weeks lying in my room thinking 'i wish i could go out and do things'. Why not just GO AND DO THINGS, then i wont be obsessing it over anymore. I know it's easier said than done. But this is where baby steps come in. A work in progress.
If there are anymore questions then please email me. I don't claim to have the answers. I only know what has worked for me. On the agoraphobia side of things i am only just starting the hardest part of the battle. But i do feel very confident in dealing with the anxiety and i know how to make it pass very quickly. For people who have told me i am brave for writing this blog then i can only say thank you. That means more to me that they will ever know because anyone will know how anxiety can make you feel so weak! In reality i think that anyone who lives with panic attacks or agoraphobia everyday is incredibly strong. Life can seem like a constant struggle but we plod on, we keep on trying. We are faced with so many obstacles like social events, relationships, work or even just simply getting through the day! and i think that it takes a very strong person to live this way.