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  • Anxiety

    Hey all, this is a completely non-primal related follow up to my last thread.
    The short version is that I was resentful of living primally but eventually decided that it was really just somewhere for me to focus the frustration brought on by my anxiety and depression which are bigger issues.

    Since then I've been doing a lot of reading, and certain parts of this article specifically really clicked with me. It seems to me that, like they describe on page 2, my depression (I'm not kidding myself anymore) is largely a byproduct of my anxiety. So I decided to get some outside help. Medication is out of the question; I want to do this on my own and don't think I'm too far down the hole yet to pull myself back up. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) looks very interesting. From what I've read, it's very effective given that you put in the necessary effort. I just want to know if anyone else has gone through the same thing, especially if you've done CBT... what has or hasn't worked for you, what I should expect, anything really that you think is worth mentioning.

    Thanks everyone

  • #2
    I also have issues with anxiety. As my therapist said I catastrophise everything. She helped me a lot with EMDR. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. I was surprised at how well it worked. I'm just running out of the house now but I will add some more about it later. Sorry no experience with CBT though.


    • #3
      If you are under 30 and want to get on with your life, CBT is definitely worth a try. If there are deeper issues EMDR can often help. If you are 40 or older and established in the world, it is better to take the time, whether with a therapist who does depth work or journaling or art to heal any childhood issues and become more connected to the depths inside you.
      age 56, type 2 diabetes, swimmer
      low carb since 2006 thanks to Jenny, primal since Jan. 2012


      • #4
        Originally posted by NowhereMan View Post depression (I'm not kidding myself anymore) is largely a byproduct of my anxiety.
        Oh hai thurr, have you met my journal? Please don't feel as though you need to read the whole thing, it's monstrous, but I have a lot of experience with anxiety and depression at this point. Yes, that is spot on for me as well.

        First, I would encourage you to consider what, if anything, precipitated these feelings. The usual: traumatic event of any kind, puberty? My emotional control generally started to go downhill around 13/14, when puberty really started for me. I believe that my poor (SAD) eating habits led to my body being unable to produce enough serotonin and the physical changes during puberty just sapped my stores. I found some relief with SSRI's, but not without side effects. I am hoping that whole food eating combined with supplements will lead to a cure.

        If you're interested in trying out supplementation and treating this as a deficiency, read "Primal Body, Primal Mind", "The Mood Cure", and "Depression-Free: Naturally". I think it's definitely worth reading to at least consider making sure your diet is as good as it can be to support your body. Probiotics and adequate protein consumption are an absolute must for best mental state, for me, as well as complete avoidance of refined sugar and wheat.

        I am not doing any particular form of therapy (not CBT or anything, just talk therapy as far as I know), but I do believe that finding the RIGHT therapist can really help re-train any negative mental habits. For me, writing in my MDA journal 5/7 days of the week has helped immensely to recognize "triggers" and work on mental habits that enforce my poor self-esteem, as well as any negative or positive food associations (how I figured out I'm hypoglycemic if I fall off the wagon). Finding the right therapist can be difficult, but you can totally call them up and arrange time to "interview". Tell them what's up, ask about their process, do the same for a few people. It helps to get a sense of what it might be like to talk to them on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

        I wish you the best of luck. I applaud your willingness to accept that you are in fact depressed, that is a hard step to get to. I wish I could say that it gets easier, but you are making an effort to get help for yourself and that is excellent.
        Depression Lies


        • #5
          I had CBT for anxiety and would definitely recommend it, as long as you are willing to do the homework and put the effort in. I've had basic counselling in the past which did nothing for me. However, CBT is different and you work together to challenge the way you think. It's interesting.


          • #6
            Sorry to hear your sufferings,

            I second EMDR in case you more or less know what kind of factors or events have triggered and deepened your anxiety, it worked well for me, though nothing is a magic cure.

            But please, first try vitamine B12 supplements and possibly vitamine D. It can effect your mind severely if you lack those.

            What also contineously works for me: a limited diary. 20 minutes per day where i can write/ draw/ punch the paper in front of me but after that, i have something planned. It sounds childish and stupid, but it works as a first step! I currently incorporated 2x 10 minutes on my job where i can open a blanc document or grab a piece of paper and go rock that. Because it is limited, it won't overwhelm you.

            Still struggling though.


            • #7
              So in EMDR the therapist moves her hand back and forth and you watch it while you are thinking about an event or a feeling. Your eyes moving left and right forces your brain to access both sides of the brain and the resulting feelings and revelations that are brought up are then discussed and dealt with. In a nutshell. Probably better described online somewhere!

              As halfbunny says it helps to know where in your past things happened that brought you to who you are now. We would do it muiltiple times in a session and each time I saw and felt new issues. At the end of a minute or so of watching her hand I would close my eyes and breathe deeply and she would ask me what I was feeling. Then the next set of left and rights would be focused on that feeling. Which would invariably bring up something else. I actually felt the feelings that I should have had all those years ago but supressed for whatever reason. Had some very powerful insights.

              Something else you can try just on your own is EFT. Emotional Freedom Technique. Google it. Its very easy to do and worked somewhat for me. No therapist needed. Although its good to have someone else to help you frame the phrases to tap on.

              Good luck. I hope you find something that works for you. Anxiety can be paralysing.


              • #8
                Hey thanks everyone

                I guess I should clarify that I'm 20 years old and in college. Usually my anxiety is related to people and social situations because I've set up most other areas of my life to be relatively stress free, but those are still about as uncontrollable as it gets.

                I have all sorts of theories and explanations about where it came from, but never talked to anyone about it. Nobody really knows about it actually. In fact, friends comment a lot about how put together and level headed I am, how I "give zero shits"... it drives me nuts. Until recently, I didn't even know I had anxiety, just thought this was how normal life was for people and wondered how everyone else had so much energy. Then I discovered they're just not exhausted from worrying all the time. I have been writing in a journal on and off (mostly on), usually before I go to sleep, for about 6 months now. It feels like I'm just writing my self in circles though. I really need to talk to someone else about it, so that's what the counseling is for.

                Fortunately I have access to free counseling through the university. I'm going to try that first, because honestly money is a little tight to be paying for an independent therapist. If it doesn't work though, I'll do whatever is necessary.


                • #9
                  I also suffer with anxiety and depression. im male, 22. Been having problems though my teen years and it got worse and worse.
                  The problems are definetly created from both exterior causes... like stress and triggers, but also from the inside such as trauma.

                  I have more problems but im really getting to master these... like self-hatred, bdd, too strong emotions, unstable mood...
                  I want to say it feels really good to get rid of these slowly! After all these years I feel like its about time.

                  its really good that you accept to yourself that theres a problem! about 2 years ago I started to feel something needed to change, but i could not have a good fighting-attitude... i wanted to give up most times. But this is a fight, and a journey, and it wont be easy but youll find what suits you to help you! And dont over-analyse, but study yourself and your feelings carefully.

                  I hope you find something that works good for you, i still feel i cant find the best things for me. Read alot, gain lots of wisdom!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NowhereMan View Post
                    brought on by my anxiety and depression which are bigger issues.
                    I went completely wibble several years ago. Medication had no effect whatsoever. Cognitive therapy likewise. I started to get better when I did two things. Number 1, I got out of the job that was causing the depression. Number 2, I made a conscious decision to be happy.

                    For Number 2, I recommend reading The Art of Happiness written by Howard C. Cutler on the thoughts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Simply put, we don't need stuff to be happy, we need good relationships with others. I found that to get the good relationships, be nice to others and (in the beginning pretend if necessary) smile & be happy. Helping other people makes us feel better about ourselves and has the additional benefits of us being happier and living longer. I also discovered a motto that works for me:- A positive attitude may not solve all your problems but it will annoy enough people to make it worthwhile (Herm Albright, American Author).
                    Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.


                    • #11
                      Meditation and positive affirmations help perk me up.

                      Affirmations - Positive Words for Improving Your Life


                      • #12
                        I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder last year (age 21), but through talk therapy, realized it was actually sub-clinical social anxiety. I was put on an SSRI by my MD, but I didn't really found it ever helped with the anxiety (it did clear up some depressive symptoms I had though). Any real relief I found was through a combination of CBT and mindfulness based therapy, where you pay attention to the anxiety rather than trying to stuff it down and ignore it. Being aware of the anxiety in the moment it happens helps the CBT along too, because its easier to pinpoint what is really the source of the anxiety. Just over a year later, I'm coming off my antidepressant and feel more confident than ever. I would definitely recommend the CBT approach, especially if you can find a therapist you can really trust and that won't take your bullshit excuses not to do the homework.


                        • #13
                          The best thing to try supplement wise for stress and depression and you don't want to take "meds " for it is red reishi mushroom, it works wonders at assisting your body at balancing it out so it runs properly as it is meant to. It has helped me a lot with my stress/ depresion levels since my job loss and the months of working to when I knew I no longer would be working any more. It has also assisted with my poor sleep, chemical sensitivity and keeps me in a more mellowed mood


                          • #14
                            Hey! I was just wondering how it's been since you started this thread. I see it's been about 4 years, and I'm going through the same situation right now... So... I guess my question is... What works? Do you ever become "anxiety-free"? Or 100% happy and not depressed? Or is it true what they say that you battle with depression forever and you never ACTUALLY recover from it?

                            I would really like to read your experiences... Just to know what to expect and so


                            • #15
                              Personally, the medication I am on is invaluable and I would not trade it for any "drug free" treatment at this time. Wellbutrin treats my depression and Adderall treats my anxiety & ADHD. I didn't realize the anxiety & ADHD were so connected until I got diagnosed with ADHD and tried medication for it.

                              I tried a lot of different supplements and ways of eating for years to try and "heal" my mental illness. Maybe it's possible. Maybe I "did it wrong". All that matters to me right now is that I am not struggling to get by every day and have a lot of hope and dreams for the future. Maybe someday I'll try something else again, but I personally have 0 issues with someone using prescription medication to treat mental illness.
                              Depression Lies