Hi guys. I was curious to see if any of you suffered from anxiety/panic attacks. My sister has been taking Lexipro for a year and she still hasn't been able to control her anxiety. Obviously, it seems like the drug isn't working, which is no surprise to me, but she said her life depends on taking it. She hasn't gone to school in a month and it's really not a good thing because she's just a junior in high school.
Do you know of any natural ways to help her?? I told her there is always an answer besides taking a drug, but nobody in my house listens to me-They think I need to be sent to the nuthouse for even suggesting it.
I just don't want to see my sister like this anymore.
I'm really sorry to hear that about your sister. When families firmly believe that their child needs medication, it is *so* hard on the child; a child with anxiety depends upon their family for help and guidance. The fact that she has you is a very good thing! I know first-hand what it feels like to feel as if you can only function with medication, and unfortunately, it is a long process to get to the point where one believes in themself more than the influences of others. You sister is probably scared something really bad will happen if she doesn't take Lexipro. Talk therapy is the most effective treatment for anxiety/panic attacks - ask anyone with a doctorate in psychology! You might want to help your sister out by looking for therapists who use exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. It sounds like she has become agoraphobic, and she needs a therapist to help her get back to a normal way of life...so she can go to school, etc. You are a really great sister to help your sister out like this.
Is she *just* taking the medication? I have never heard of someone who only took medication (along with bad therapy from a psychiatrist) who ever helped their anxiety significantly. Also, if you read the warnings for SSRI's, you will notice they can also INCREASE anxiety! Was she prescribed xanax or clonipan for the panic attacks? Ugh! Just sounds like a mess! She might need something like xanax for the shorterm to help her get out of the house and back to a normal life. The goal should be less medication, but for someone who is likely agoraphobic, she needs to take things slow.
Basically, she needs to find a good therapist who will help her confront her fears and understand the roots of her anxiety. The longer anxiety goes untreated, the worse the condition can become overtime. There is a book, which I believe is called "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook" which is great for helping yourself. ***NATURAL CALM***!!! I recommend this to *all* of my friends who have anxiety issues and use it myself. I find it more effective than xanax. Lastly, try to understand where your family is coming from and what they believe and try to approach them with your ideas in a way they will understand. They might just not understand the things you do. She should also be taking lots of omega 3s. Wow...there are so many natural remedies to help, but the workbook I mentioned, breathing exercises and Natural Calm!
Buy her this DVD - it is full of great breathing exercises that you can do laying on the ground. Good luck...and you are an awesome sister! <3
she's been seeing a therapist for about 2 years, but that hasn't really done much. she told me that she isn't honest with her therapist so that's probably why it's not helping.
my mom takes clonipan and some other med. for her problems, too. my sister is just on lexipro as far as i know.
she can go out of the house, but she just refuses to go to school. she said she's scared. she makes this huge crying scene in her room every morning and my mom just tells her to stay home.
it's interesting you mentioned the omega 3s. i was talking with my therapist today about what my sister should take, and omega 3 was what she mentioned.
i will definitely look for that book for her. she needs to get her life together!! i know she can get back to school if she can get her panic attacks under control.
You have written about your family before. Maybe they would take someone else seriously, as they seem to (sorry to say) dismiss everything you say. I'm not sure who that could be, but it seems your parents like to trust authority type figures. Find someone with a higher education than them... I don't know! But I do know I can sort of relate. My sister thought I was bipolar when I went no poo!
hey carnap, i totally agree with that. it's only my mom though. my stepdad stays out of it. she thinks she knows everything and that the doctors know everything, too, so how could they ever be wrong???
i told my mom about having my sister taking more omega 3's and she turned it around and said "i think you should be worrying about your own sick diet than what your sister eats."
i talked with my sister last night and she said she's not going back to her high school anymore. my mom is sending her to another one, so hopefully she can go to it. she starts on monday.
Oh Joanna, I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time getting your mother to take you seriously. It's so frustrating and I can completely relate. It's sad that some parents have a hard time talking to their kids and just seem to want to always tell them what to do as opposed to listen to what they have to say.
Have you tried maybe finding a good site that contains information on Omega 3's and how they can help people with anxiety disorders such as your sisters? This site (listed below) gives reference to some studies done bay researchers at Harvard Medical School as well as an article published in General Psychiatry. If you have access to a nearby university's database, maybe you can pull one or all of the articles so you are equipped with some credible, not to mention peer reviewed, scientific research proving that you're not just pulling this information out of your butt.
Here's a link to one of the articles cited in the link
If you scroll to the bottom, you'll find a plethora of articles that have referenced this one and are pertinent to your sister's condition. Good luck!!
Yikes JoannaBanana! Like Carnap, I can relate to some of your family's problems too. And your stepdad just staying out of it is still contributing to the problem. It doesn't sound like your mother respects your lifestyle (maybe even your opinion). But it seems like you are doing a good job of tuning out their negative messages and are true to yourself still. That hard to do, so hats off to you. It's funny, because my mom was just the opposite when I was on meds. She went out and bought a bunch of books about natural cures for depression and diet (written by, yes, doctors!). She wanted me to have whatever else was out there to help...in conjunction with meds or without. Do you think you might be able to approach the issue by suggesting other treatments in conjunction with your sister's medications? No offense, but it sounds like your mother and sister's relationship is pretty dysfunctional and you are the totally sane one. Your sister deserves to go to school and have a normal life. It sounds like a difficult situation. Since your mom is on meds herself, I wonder if she mistakes your concern for your sister as a personal attack of some sort...or some suggestion that she isn't being a good parent. I guess I'm not really saying much here, but let us know what your thoughts are and what's going on.
zemphira, i think it's hard for my mom to deal with me because she had never heard of a raw diet before i started on it. it's so alien to her and everyone else i talk to. i feel like as long as i am healthy on it, she will see that it is a good way to live. i will definitely show my sister these sites though. i'm so worried about her. she tried to go to a new school this week, but whenever the bus came, she couldn't get up. my mom is talking to a social worker about homebound schooling.
heloise, thanks so much for your thoughts. they are actually spot on with mine. you're lucky you have a mother who doesn't like meds!! the one person who understands my reasons behind not using medicine is my dad. he has never wanted us to take medicine and is really opposed to my sister's lexapro. he knows it's not working either. i honestly think that my sister and mom are just so brainwashed by their psychiatrist. i wish they would both stop seeing him, period.
i think my sister knows that i care about her and that i'm just trying to help, and that's what i really want. she makes the decision in the end, whether it's about taking meds or going to school. i just never want her to be able to say that i didn't try to make things better for her.
JOANNA BANANA - I too am sorry to hear about your sister and your ideas being so easily dismissed. I have personally heard of many people that were "normalized" from practicing meditation, which I think is much harder to stay with than most people realize. I have met 2 people in a local meditation group who no longer need meds or therapy for their diagnosed personality disorders and 2 others who were bipolar and on meds. One discussed that her illness was most severe.
I think most conventional thinkers don't consider meditation to be as radical as something like a raw food diet. Like acupuncture, many doctors are beginning to prescribe it.
I wish you and your sister the best.
joanna banana- i wish your sister the best, and if somehow you could get your family to take her to a naturopath or someone who would professionally recommend what everyone's been suggesting maybe that would help?
also, dont lose hope on convincing everyone that raw is the best way to live. my grandma is your typical stuck-in-old-ways 86 year old (the kind that didnt let my mom leave the table as a kid until she finished her steak). when my mom told her i was getting into raw food and that i had been vegan for a while and she was terrified and thought i was probably going to get really sick and skeletal and whatnot. a month or two later she saw me and told my mom she was convinced raw/vegan were great because i looked really athletic, healthy, and beautiful. although she will probably never go raw or vegan, she definitely changed her mind over time. the proof is in the pudding, as they say.
I'm sorry to hear about your sister's situation... But I believe diet change can do a lot and it's so nice of you to be looking into it for her!
My mom and I both used to get panic attacks until we took gluten, dairy and soy out of our diets
turns out it was a symptom of gluten/lactose sensitivity
We both now get a panic attack immediately upon accidentally ingesting gluten!
I have read many stories of people taking these two things out of their diets and finding immediate relief from panic attacks, and I think it is well worth looking into!
Along with this diet change, she could try supplementing magnesium and B vitamins, which both , if lacking, can increase anxiety
She might also want to get her thyroid and adrenals checked too see if they are working properly... and if they are not then definitely exclude the two foods I mentioned because they are the main 2 foods that mess with both of those systems
When your adrenal glands are under functioning you get food allergies/allergies as above these overstimulate and can cause anxiety and panic attacks. I was similar to yourself in that regard GypsyForest.
Supporting the adrenal glands through adaptogen herbs such as ashwagandha(good for anxiety and works on GABA), schizandra berry, jiaogulan, licorice, maca etc is a good idea.
The best herb ive found for anxiety is gotu kola, which is also good for circulation and restoring proper adrenal gland function.
Neurotransmitter inhibitors amino acids work for some also such as glycine, GABA etc.