Anxiety/ panic attacks

Discussion in 'Bush Medicine' started by survival45, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. survival45

    survival45 Tracker

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    Does anyone have experience with alternatives or even bush medicine to treat anxiety and panic attacks. something like benzo's with out the addictive side effects.
     
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  2. lodge camper

    lodge camper Scout

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    GABA works real well right away. the B vitamins work well long term.
     
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  3. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    ganja. eating, not smoking. I have friends who have diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety.... etc...

    edible mary jane works great for them, not crazy high amounts of get you all goofy, but a small manageable amount.
     
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  4. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock T's Custom Outdoor Gear Vendor Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Just being in the woods is always good medicine for mine.
     
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  5. Hoof

    Hoof Guide

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    Anxiety is most often triggered by improper breathing that you aren't aware of. Inhale and exhale by the same slow count of seconds, by the time your count reaches 8 or 9 you will usually find that the symptoms have subsided. At first do this in a comfortable position like reclining, with a little practice it'll work even when driving your car.
    You can't control anxiety but you can manage it. I hope you try this and it helps, it can be debilitating.
     
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  6. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    Subscribing.. I have chronic anxiety issues that I am able to manage it most of the time. That said, on those days when I need a little help, I would much rather avoid the Xanax. It makes me sleepy for a day or so after, which bothers me. It is at its worst for me when I am in large crowds for long periods, so I usually take one in anticipation when going to the fair, or concerts or whatnot. The challenge is that it (Xanax) works really well to knock it out. :eek:

    Interesting.. I've heard good things about B vitamins for depression too.
     
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  7. lodge camper

    lodge camper Scout

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    compulsive thinking/worrying is main cause of physical symptoms known as anxiety!

    one of best tools for anxiety is book called 'power of now' by eckhart tolle. the title makes it sound new-age or even worse, but it is actually best book to read if you angzy type. i read it many times.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
  8. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Get out there helps a lot for me. Just for a few hours a walk seem to help me and good cup of tea.
     
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  9. Hoof

    Hoof Guide

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    At first, xanax relaxes your body enough for breathing to return normal, after extended use it becomes far less effective but by then folks don't want to give it up. It's a brain desolving, toxic chemical, get away from it.
    Just my worthless advice
     
  10. FreudianSlip

    FreudianSlip Scout

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    talk to your psychiatrist about Buspar. It's a new age anxiolytic that does not have addictive qualities of benzos. Also would suggest therapy to go with medications as best outcomes include both.
     
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  11. FreudianSlip

    FreudianSlip Scout

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    You need to give yourself credit. That's really accurate, benzos build tolerance and you eventually get to a point where they cannot prescribe anymore safely. Some of what I've read suggests benzos are a short term fix and not meant to be prescribed over long periods of time, however it typically is.
     
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  12. Haggis

    Haggis Supporter Supporter

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    Living in the past causes depression, living in the future causes anxiety, living in the moment is the only peace,,,;
    (And this from someone who survived struggles with both depression and anxiety). I finally stopped trying to renegotiate the past and stopped trying to predict the future,,, I started living right now this second, and no more doctor visits, no more medications, and have had 12 years of absolute peace,,,

    What was was and I can't change it, what's coming is coming and I can't predict it, what's going on right now is usually just fine if I keep the other two out of the equation,,, It's a learned behavior, just like losing over 100 pounds and never regaining it. I retrained the way I think, and got my life back,,,
     
  13. Togus

    Togus Supporter Supporter

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    Cognitive behavioral therapy works but requires a licensed therapist or psychologist. Other forms of therapies such as mindfulness and DBT can work for some. Learning your triggers and quelling the panic before it begins is imperative. Frankly, once anxiety elevates to a panic attack there's little that can be done other than letting it run its course, or medicate with IM benzodiazepines. Oral medications aren't effective in the midst of a full panic attack, because they take approx 30 minutes to work. Not to mention the physical manifestations of panic would likely prohibit you from taking a small pill. Benzos work by sedating the CNS just like booze. Probably easier albeit not healthier to take a big swig of your favorite spirits. Beyond that preventative measures; mindfulness, breathing exercises, meditation, reducing external stimuli, and allowing yourself to "let go" of shit, "forgive", and awareness of yourself. No easy answers. The good news is it's all in your head.
     
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  14. Leshy

    Leshy Scout

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    Bergamot, chamomile, coriander, cowslip, mugwort, mullein , pennyroyal, rosemary, thyme, sage and Valerian are just a few of the herbs that have a calming effect on the mind.
    There are others , with a more sedative effect , but all of these have a sedative effect so care is advised.

    I can recommend buying or foraging , any of those and preparing tea daily with a few of the choices. Sage and chamomile work well together, so does mullein and honey.
    Hope it helps

    Meditation and a bit of "you" time with nobody else around, by a stream of flowing water or just alone in a woodland.
    Allow an hour a day at first and concentrate on nothing but breathing.
    Carry on with the teas and infusions at bedtime and you should see some improvements very soon.
    Stay positive.
    Hope you get better soon.

    Let us know how it goes bud.
    [emoji106]
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
  15. winter1857

    winter1857 Supporter Supporter

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    This sounds weird but I usually carry about 50 bird flashcards with me wrapped in a ranger band. They are a great aid in getting my mind off whatever it is that is triggering me and onto something that brings me joy. It's an immediate change of mindset that can derail any sort of negative train of thought that my mind may try to take. I swap them out every so often to keep them fresh.

    It's unconventional, but it's helped me. I've been sober almost 4 years and the little things like this have really helped. IMG_1017.jpg IMG_1018.jpg
     
  16. tennecedar

    tennecedar Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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  17. Doubles

    Doubles BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    Surprised Harper hasn't chimed in yet
     
  18. Hoof

    Hoof Guide

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    Thousands of years ago if a man was walking thru the jungle and suddenly a hungry tiger stepped into his path his body instantly did everything possible to aid in his survival. His adrenaline pumped into him at a frenzied rate, his heart pounded every bit of oxygen into his blood quickly as possible, he was in a full blown anxiety/panic attack, but the hyperventilation and adrenaline gave him a chance to run and fight for survival.

    The same thing happens to us now, but as they say "We watch the vultures circling above when it's the mosquitoes on the ground that are eating us alive" the stress builds slowly, and suddenly your body snaps and says "Run for your life" adrenaline pumps, heart pounds, but we never saw the tiger.

    It is proper breathing that will control this but most sufferers will never admit or try this, they just want a pill to fix it. My own dear sister will not let me get her off those damn pills, won't even try. It has worked for me as well as the few who willingly let me help. It so easy that it's sad.

    I hate wordy posts, so sorry for this bad example of one
     
  19. Dogrobber

    Dogrobber Tracker

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    I don't get panic attacks, but a couple of skullcap capsules lower blood pressure and knock the edges off anxiety, without any side effects.
     
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  20. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Hey...I've been busy.

    I'm not sure if you are razzing me or not.


    On to the OP-

    There has been a lot of good info already posted.

    Personally, I would :

    1. Use the investigative form of meditation to figure out the triggers for these attacks. Once you identify them, you are in a better position to prevent them from coming up. If the problem is nutritional, that will still need to be addressed but dealing with the triggers can help prevent an accute attack which can overwhelm you.

    2. Breathing techniques. Can be used to allieviate an acute attack in progress. They are also a very powerful meditation tool which can be used in conjunction with #1, above. There is a lot out there on yogic and martial arts breathing techniques.

    3. Clean up my diet. Avoid artificial sweeteners, caffiene, etc. Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast.

    4. Take good, absorbable magnesium and vitamin B-complex supplements. These are very important for the nerves and muscles. Also, taking vitamins D-3 and K-2 together.

    5. Then I would look at herbs. @Leshy has given a good list. Most of these are mild sedatives and would be best taken at night before bed as he recommends. I would also look at Ashwaghanda. This herb brings things back to "balance." It is good for nerves and a whole host of other things. Ashwaghanda gives energy during the day and yet calms overactive nerves to allow for a good night's sleep. Another good one that is non-drowsy is Skullcap as @Dogrobber mentioned. It can work fast for somebody experiencing a sudden attack. This is probably a good one to keep on you if you experience sudden attacks. Also, Kava Kava (can effect the liver in the presence of drugs or alcohol). There is a great deal of information and studies on these herbs. Check for contra-indications.

    6. I, personally, would avoid pharmaceuticals--just read the side effects. Others may disagree. In any event, I would exhaust the things listed above first.

    Good luck!

     
  21. plumberoy

    plumberoy Guide

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    Vitamin D is very important Concentrating on breathing slow and study. A routine wind down time helped me. A cup of tea a shortbread cookie and reading my bible before bed . Keeping you mind busy with positive stuff . I still take meds but I am way down on dosage to the point a 3 month script last me 6 months now. I have come a long way in the last 2 years . A couple years ago if we went to the movies I remembered very little and My wife said I spent most of the movie in the fetal position in the chair. We just got back from a contemporary gospel concert and I had a blast . I have used most things mentioned here . In the end what got me to able to function is my Faith and beliefs call me to live and serve . I prayed that I couldn't do what I am called to with these problems. So I am going to leave my issues at God feet and just needed him to point me to what he wanted me to do . Changed my world . I am not preaching this is what freed me from my anxiety issues
    Roy
     
  22. Doubles

    Doubles BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    Just to clear that up....Not at all, I always enjoy the natural herbal and other advice you have to offer the forum, thanks for your input
     
  23. FreudianSlip

    FreudianSlip Scout

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    Respectfully disagree. Medications have their value. Not all people experience the side effects. Some definitely have more side effects than others, especially medications that came out decades ago. I didn't mention this earlier, but some anti-depressants also are used to treat anxiety and may be another option to discuss with a doctor. At the end of the day it is your body and your decision what you put into it.
     
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  24. okcmco

    okcmco Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Some on here have recommended GABA. It is effective although as with many alternative remedies is not as obviously effective as western medicine treatments like Zannex. On the other hand, you won't need a gallon of coffee the next morning to get going like with Zannex.
    TPH5, available from Swansons online or health food stores has helped me too
    Some other treatments that are very effective but take work and practice. Breathing is the key usually
    There is a Chinese practice called Chi Gong (chi Kung or chi qong also spelled). It is a program of movement and controlled breathing. It works but I did not get it immediately.
    Yoga, especially the breathing part helps. And it will kick your but physically which is always a good thing I believe the heavy breathing yoga is called Kundalini.
    It is possible to lower your heart rate and blood pressure just by breathing deeply and regularly. I have done it.
    Meditation with breathing is also very effective. I prefer Buddhist methods. But your local Vedic center (Hindu) should have classes as well.
    The problem with these last techniques is that most people don't get the knack the first day. Like any bushcraft skill, it takes practice and time but the benefits are your to reap.
    Lastly you might try regular and vigorous exercise, if you are not already doing it. You get all the good things like getting stronger and increasing your stamina. But you also feel good about yourself and your out look improves. But there is the release of endorphins that happens too. This may help.
    Good luck to you
    By the way, I agree with the living in the now as well. I am not as good at this as I will be. One thing I have realized. If you are angry or sad for no apparent reason, you are probably worried about the past. If you are scared or anxious, you are probably worrying about the future.
    Oh....one more thing and this is HARD. if you cut out sugar and most starches including potatoes and wheat, this will really help. It's hard but children's behavioral problems can often be improved through diet. It works with adults too
    Good luck


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  25. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Unless you aren't doing it try working out 5 times a week. Maybe running, hiking or the gym. Makes me relaxed for hours afterwards.
     
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  26. basher1981

    basher1981 Supporter Supporter

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    I have GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) for a little under a year now. I use an app called HeadSpace to practice mindfulness daily. It works pretty well. Ive had a few panic attacks, I have opted to not take meds and try to overcome this with mindfulness, meditation, and talking with a therapist. I am not against meds but I feel like I should use that as a last resort. I feel like I am progressing forward but still have off days. I have tried Kava tea and it does help to relax and calm you down a bit. I normally go for that after a stressful day at work to mellow out instead on my favorite vice (bourbon which also help too lol but is NOT an answer). Eating clean (no artificial sweetners and limiting gluten) definately helps so I try for that too. Working out and beign outside helps me a ton too. After a shitacular week 2 weeks ago I went for a long hke and I came out a calmer person and more relaxed. Outdoors, dirt time, and physical activity helps me stay centered.
     
  27. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Supporter Supporter

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    I don't have any tattoos but that right there is on the short list for things to get tattod on my arm so I can refer to it every day. Thanks for that.

    I've struggled with "mild to moderate" PTSD for quite some time now, which is a kissing cousin to the anxiety disorders. Plus, truth be told I was probably some what predisposed to some anxiety and depression.

    It doesn't help that we live in a society that encourages us to be constantly dissatisfied and afraid. You'd have to be crazy not to be a little anxious from all that.

    There's been a really wide variety of answers on here. The beauty of this is that you can kind of "choose your own adventure" and figure out what works for you.

    I think meds can be a blessing for folks who need a short term stabilizer to kick start them onto a different path. If I had to go back on them, for the sake of myself and my family I'd do it in a heart beat, but with the goal of getting off them in some number of months.

    Here's what has worked for me:

    I started meditating. There's lots of ways to do it, but I sat with a couple of Zen groups.

    I went to the woods. Alot. There's some real good science about how nature affects the brain (see books by Richard Louv). It doesn't have to be deep wilderness (that's great though) you can find little pockets of nature everywhere.

    I sort of combined the two practices of meditation and going to the woods by enrolling in a Nature Awareness program.

    I limited my intake of media that was full of fear and violence. Movies and TV have become incredibly dark and violent. The news is constantly about mayhem. I watch very little movies and TV, and try to find things that aren't super dark. I check the news once a day, and mostly just check the headlines.

    I changed where my energy went. I was really into Krav Maga, combat shooting, and disaster preparation, even though I wasn't fighting with people or carrying a gun professionally anymore. I still maintain some proficiency in those areas, just like I maintain first aid knowledge and stuff like that, but I don't LIVE there. I limit how much time, money and energy I put into those things.

    I changed who I hang out with, which is very much linked to the above paragraph. I became friends with some "crunch granola" hikers, and found them to be good for my soul. I keep unhappy, anxious people who aren't working on their issues at arms length.

    This forum continues to impress me. There's many places on the internet where discussions like this couldn't happen.

    This sort of thing is really important to me. Survival45, you don't know me from Adam, but if you (or anybody else) ever want to hit me up via PM and talk about this some more, that would be awesome. I'm no guru or anything, it's just that this stuff can be easier when people are working on it together.
     
  28. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Supporter Supporter

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    I don't think that's weird, I think that's brilliant. Thanks for that man.
     
  29. Leshy

    Leshy Scout

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    There's an easy breathing exercise called "castle breathing" where you exhale ALL the air out of your lungs in a slow but continuous manner.
    Inhale as normal but exhale as described above...
    This is very effective whilst having a panic attack , this breathing alone will slow down your heart rate as well as your panic.
    Its a little clumsy at first but if you practice this even when there's no attack, it will improve the technique.
    It works!

    Plenty of good advice in earlier posts too...
    Stay off the pills , they just mask symptoms and "kick the can" down the road, don't actually give you tools to remedy the situation.
    Best regards
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
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  30. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    Some good info here guys, thanks (even though I'm not the OP). :p
     
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  31. WildMedGuru

    WildMedGuru Scout

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    -buspar - if it works, it can do quite well - virtually no addictive nature, though can cause severe dizziness in some
    -lose the caffeine habit if applicable
    -try to overcome the fear your NOT dying and focuse on the symptoms and overcomming them
    -Dont be afraind of a benzo, SSRI or similar - at some point if you depend on them, just go with it, for some the heart fails and meds prevail, for others its mental disorder
    a lot of excessive worry and blame is placed on meds, which is often TRUE, but sometimes if the body is just not functioning like it used too, regardless of which system, then
    thats when medication is a great answer (remember, none of us are perfect specimines)
    -dont fear the anxiety itself - its scarey as hell and often difficult to control, but recognition and controlling the FEAR alone, can greatly help
    -vitamin D (seasonal depression)- most people are mildy deficient here
    -Excercise can greatly help - the old power of endorphins and seratonin
    -when you feel it comming on, change environment, talk, move, - refocus your intent or subject matter
    -breathing, meditation - if it works go for it, if not, dont waste your time / every "fix" dosent work of every person
    -Prayer / scripture - nice little book called the bible promise book has select scripture for select problems (nice calming reference)

    Good Luck
    - your not alone, and would probably be shocked out of the thousands of members on here, just how many have your same disorder.
     
  32. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Thanks. I didn't think so--which is why I answered.

    Unfortunately, I do receive grief by people who think that there is only one way to solve a problem.
     
  33. Tatonka

    Tatonka Young Brave Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    If I could just dissapear into the woods with my family to a lake in the middle of nowhere where nobody could find me, anxiety wouldn't be a problem. If I do get anxious, I kind of hold on to that dream. I close my eyes and just imagine myself in my canoe on my perfect lake looking at the mountains and such. I know it sounds silly, but the happy place works for me. Now to just get there...
     
  34. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Men of good will can respectfully disagree.

    I was speaking about medications with respect to this particular issue. People I know who take them sort of sleepwalk through life. The meds seem to deal with the symptoms but not the cause. Medications do have their place. In my opinion, that place is for things like trauma medicine where the pharmaceutical is taken for a short period of time--not for years on end. Long term use often affects other organs--especially the liver.

    I'm actually more concerned about some of the newer meds that are being pushed out without extensive long term testing to make money. That testing is done by the pharmaceutical company itself. Anybody else see a conflict of interest here? The older ones at least have a record to look at.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
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  35. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Make sure that it is D-3 and you take it with K-2. The K-2 helps prevent calcification or what the old-timers called "hardening of the arteries."

    I'm pulling for you.

    God Bless!


     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
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  36. okcmco

    okcmco Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    This thread makes me wonder about the prepping lifestyle. I am indirectly involved with prepping here in OKC. But I am not gonzo about it like some of my friends. We all on this board may understand the wisdom or need for prepping. But I mostly see the a main motivation for prepping as fear. Fear of SHTF to TEOTWAWKI. Worry about the future. The very thing we are talking about.
    I wonder if preppers are more predisposed to panic attacks, worry etc? Or do people who are predisposed to panic attacks or worry end up prepping?
    And I wonder if eventually and finally being being proven right about what is coming by your friends and co-workers, (who may view you as peculiar or paranoid) is worth months, years, or decades of anxiety? If that is actually what drives some of these preppers? Not saying it does.....just thought this may be part of the overall picture here....blah blah blah etc.


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  37. okcmco

    okcmco Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    ^^^^^^^^^
    This. Tolle really knows his stuff


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  38. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Supporter Supporter

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    I think that's a powerful question. It certainly worked out that way for me.

    It's hard to have discussions about "prepping" that don't devolve into black and white. You are either ready for the SHTF and the world to end RIGHT NOW, or you are complacent sheep that is in denial about reality. So prepping has become a lifestyle, and you can always go deeper down the rabbit hole.

    I think another part of this is insidiously, most of the post apocalyptic literature, movies and TV make it look like so much fun, or at least really compelling and important. Most of us live vacuous live, working jobs that are demeaning to our independence and spirit, and consuming goods and plastic culture that is deeply unsatisfying. The myth making in post apocalyptic entertainment is about doughty men (and some women) self actualizing and forging their own destinies through pluck and daring, while they overcome adversity.

    A big part of it is mindset. My family and I are pursuing a self sufficient lifestyle, not because we find it deeply satisfying and enriching to meet our own needs through our own labor and we value connecting with the natural world. We aren't doing it because we are afraid.

    As a vet and former cop, I am acutely aware of how thin the veil of civilization is and how horrible people can be, but I try to balance that out with healthy positive things too.

    So yeah, I can speak intelligently about what I believe is the "long descent" in western industrialized culture, and how nasty people can be, but I prefer to live a life that is about doing healthy, positive stuff and forming relationships with like minded people. Those skills and relationships will also be very useful in a short or long term emergency, and I think a much better response than having a plan to shoot all my neighbors and take their canned goods.
     
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  39. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter

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    This. I suffered through borderline agoraphobia for 30 years before I finally went to a shrink. After a bit of experimentation, I take 30 mg of Lexapro a day. I've suffered no side effects and can function as a normal human being. It was a life-saver for me. None of the herbal treatments or breathing techniques did much for me.
     
  40. okcmco

    okcmco Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Interesting view and approach. I agree the dark side of civilization can be very ugly. I try to stay open and observant of the opposite of that. And it is there. One can see a whole lot of good, maybe more than the bad. But you won't see this good if all you are looking for is the bad.....


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  41. RSniderWVA

    RSniderWVA Scout

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    I have a job that is extremely stressful and full of pressure from management. While I don't have anxiety issues I can get wound pretty tight with stress. My number one go to is reading the Bible and spending time fellowshipping with God. My other is spending time in the woods. I'm never more at peace and relaxed than when I'm alone in the woods.
     
  42. survival45

    survival45 Tracker

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    agreed. i Take ativan and it works very well. however my Dr. is stopping my prescription because its addictive.
     
  43. survival45

    survival45 Tracker

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    I really appreciate your input. Sometimes i find that it is hard to find me time or dirt time because i have 3 little ones at home that are begging for my attention when i walk through the door. You have given me some great advice and i look forward to trying these things out. Thanks
     
  44. survival45

    survival45 Tracker

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    Thank you, Yes my DR. just perscribed buspar and im a little worried about taking. Only because i had severe reaction to inderal. Has it worked for you or someone you know?
     
  45. survival45

    survival45 Tracker

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    worried about it throwing me into a panic attack though.
     
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  46. survival45

    survival45 Tracker

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    My Dr. just prescribed me buspar. Ive just been a little nervous to take it because i had a bad reaction when i tried inderal. which is a beta blocker. i know buspar is not. Have u taken the buspar? how has it worked? side effects? does it work immediately or is it one that has to be taken daily and built up in your system?
     
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  47. FreudianSlip

    FreudianSlip Scout

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    I know about buspar working in the mental health field. I try to be careful on the forum and not 'work,' although hoping to be helpful in some ways. I've never tried it myself. I would encourage you to talk to your providers about side effects and when you can expect to know whether or not it will be effective for you. Nurses, psychiatrists, or advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) should be able to talk to your about it and provide you with handouts on the medication.
     
  48. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Supporter Supporter

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    It does my heart good to know it helped you. Hang in there and just keep trying.

    Y'all ever go hiking or anything outdoors as a family?
     
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  49. kurtis the wild

    kurtis the wild Tinder Gatherer

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    I'm prescribed to xanax and I've been stuck in the mountains without it. breathing techniques are the only way I could find relief peace and the strength to get on with the next step
     
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  50. southron

    southron Scout

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    The old yarb doctors used to give st. john's wort and valerian root for such things. Both can still be bought, even at walmart if you can't harvest them for yourself.

    The Govt gets all over herbs lately so they are always labeled as food suplements with limited reference to their uses.

    A good herb book, esp older ones indicate those and others that might be helpful.

    I Don't know a lot about it cause I just handle stress and let it go. But perhaps that would be helpful.

    Chamomile tea is also supposed to be soothing.

    There are various foods that supply amino acids or direct supplements of various ones that help manage things.

    Essentially I suppose being in good physical health helps one manage stressful things.

    Then there are those who talk about meditation and such.

    I hope you find a solution that works for you.

    Just ran through my mind that a holistic medicine Dr (maybe web sites / books also) might point to things that could help. A lot is just managing your own mind and learning different ways to interpret the signals you body is sending and having a healthy body and diet and life style.

    These are just thoughts, and I strongly suggest you research it for yourself. Any thing I tell you is worth exactlly what you paid for it unless you can make it your own and incorporate it yourself for yourself then it has no use to you.

    Jim
     
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