Anxiety and Panic Attacks

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Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:43 pm

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Postby StephLadd » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:54 pm

Hello all,

I am new here and I have been enjoying reading the archives. I love Susun's work and have been listening non-stop to Susun's podcasts.

I have struggled with anxiety and panic since I was about 5 years old. I am now 27 and have been having a very rough 2 years. I was diagnosed with ADD at 10 and put on medication right away and stayed on that medication (Dexedrine) until I finished college in 2012. Later, when I was closer to 13, I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder and put on Paxil right away. I switched medications when I was 20 and was put on Pristiq, another form of Effexor. I weaned myself off VERY SLOWLY (almost 2 years) and was off completely in October of 2014. I have been having anxiety and panic on and off pretty bad since August of 2012. I also grew up with an alcoholic father (not trying to whine about it, just trying to give a full picture of what "me" looks like).

All of my anxiety stems from the state of the world right now. The environmental destruction, species loss, global warming, growing population, and agricultural practices all keep me in a constant state of worry. If I hear a story or read an article pertaining to any of those topics, I immediately enter a state of panic and it can last for weeks. I believe I am what you would label an "indigo" child. And I believe years of being medicated and "asleep" has led me to the state I am in today. I have no feelings of worth and although I have not attempted suicide, I sometimes think of giving up or that somehow the world is "telling me" to die, which in turn gives me a whole new level of anxious feelings.

I have a strong connection with Mother Earth. I love her, and I don't want to hurt her in anyway. I don't want to take too much from her. But through those feelings, I am left with a sense that just by being alive, I am hurting her. I don't know if this is my intuition or my paranoia or just plain anxiety.

So, with that, I ask for some help. The herbs I have been utilizing are:

Kava tincture (works well)
Skullcap tincture (works well)
Motherwort tincture (seems to make my heart beat speed up which is not what I want when having a panic attack)
Lemon balm tincture
Passionflower tincture
Kanna root

And I have just started with Nourishing Herbal Infusions.

Any help or positive words are welcome. Thank you for listening.

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Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:47 am

Re: Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Postby NateFlory » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:21 am

Sounds like you have a bit of a handle on things, even being aware of them, and this is excellent!
My go-to for anxiety is Motherwort tincture for acute "AHHH" moments, but you mention that spikes heart rate sometimes too.
Also, The standard daily infusions of Nettle and Oatstraw help me in my more anxiety weeks, as well as settin up some minor ritual/habits. Night time, I make a cup of tea, and set aside a half hour to jsut relax with a hot shower and let the stress wash over me as the soap is washed off me. Symbolic, yes, subtle, yes, easy to do, not always, but in general it's those sort of little moments that take the edge off Life when I personally am having "Really Bad Days".

Similar to my posting here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=158#p665


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Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:43 pm

Re: Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Postby StephLadd » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:05 pm


Thank you for your response and for the link to your other response. I am happy to hear that Nettle and Oatstraw have helped. I'll be hitting those hard for the next few weeks.

I have been trying to meditate more and meditation usually helps but I haven't been consistent. Hot showers do really help. I will remember that. I have a very supportive husband as well which I am beyond thankful for. I've noticed being on Facebook and reading troubling things is getting me deeper and deeper into these feelings so I also know I must stop that. But I also do not want to turn a blind eye to the horrible things that are going on. I want to be informed. But I'm just not strong enough.

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Re: Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Postby marvinuncleherbs » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:44 am

Use the occasion to observe how the panic works, and how you respond to it. The best way to do this is to fill out a panic diary. The diary is a questionnaire which helps you notice important aspects of a panic attack, so you can respond more effectively over time. Feel free to download and reproduce it for your own personal use.

snow moon
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:17 am

Re: Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Postby snow moon » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:52 am

Hi Stephladd,

I was touched by your reply to my post on climate change ... Now I see you started your own thread and it is nice to know more about you!

I'm sorry you "met" those drugs so young ... But I give you a standing ovation for taking this heroine's journey of healing. I am currently moving away from some prescriptions and it is frightening ... But what particular strength to maintain that trajectory for two years. Really, it is inspiring.

I can relate to many of the things you wrote. And I will surely spend this entire lifetime cycling through these questions. But for what it's worth, here are some things I am currently learning:

~ There is nothing wrong with us.

~ Feeling worthless is part of the illusion/illness of patriarchal society. No guilt in having learned this false teaching: It is just something we can experience the joy of healing. Because we are sacred, down to our last cell. But considering how embedded the illusions are around us, we must consciously protect ourselves.

~ Which brings me to Facebook. I was following every feminist, environmental, and political page ... Which, together with the blithe "updates" from "friends," was exhausting me. Leaving Facebook proved one of the best moments of my life. I then opened a mock account where I only follow the few pagan and homesteading pages that make me happy. This may not be for everyone, but I would at least recommend using the "hold" setting for a set holiday.

~ On following the news: I spent literally years of my life working to understand how this world works. I painstakingly pieced it together, often against the current of my formal education. The trajectory of patriarchy into white supremacist capitalism and the corresponding "environmental destruction, species loss, global warming" etc.

The thing is: You and I both get it. But at the point we've identified the core wounds, what purpose does it serve to read about their *each new manifestation*—at times we cannot psychically process them? I will always fight for justice, but I cannot do this when I am beyond my saturation point. So maybe you can join me in granting permission to only take in what we can ... Even if that is nothing for a time. The things we've already learned need time to be absorbed; I am just beginning to honor this.

I am not saying this as an excuse for zoning out, but on the contrary as a form of actively resisting the constant information stream that seems designed to paralyze us, and moving into thoughtful engagement that better resembles sustainable growth.

~ Meanwhile, the good things happening are just as real. Plants are flowering, planets turning, permaculture designs abounding, weeds healing, goats birthing, women laughing.

I am focusing on these "world events" more and remembering they are real—in fact, more real. Because the illnesses are based on lies, but the beauty is truth. However things turn out, we got to witness the beauty too.

~ You are not hurting mother earth, and your presence here is part of our collective healing. This is a given.

- I don’t know if this video would interest you, but I love what Jacqueline DuBois says here about individuals “holding the peace”: Sometimes our "work" is not empirical: but each of us embodies an energetic template that benefits the whole.

~ The solutions to these strange times will not come from head knowing, but heart knowing. I am most in my heart when I am in ritual as a pagan witch (not something I usually say “aloud”), but everyone has their resonance. These "other" knowings are the path forward. And I visualize "handing over" the sufferings I read of to a deity; it is not our job to carry them all in our bodies.

Anyhow I will now return to read your comments on my post; which were very encouraging to me! I particularly like considering the molten lava and endless creation. And thank you for the introduction to Joanna Macy.

Green blessings to you~~~

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Re: Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Postby StephLadd » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:51 am

Snow moon,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. It brought me to tears. Although it is still painful, it helps to know someone else feels the way I do. Although I have had anxiety in the past, this is the worst it's been because my "triggers" are so real and they are everywhere. I, too, will spend my life cycling through these questions, I just hope it will be less "obsessively" and not attached to debilitating anxiety.

I struggle with the spiritual side of this as well. Raised a catholic, in my early twenties I totally denounced all religion and considered myself an atheist. I now would consider myself pantheist I guess. I am really interested in Paganism, I think it's a beautiful way to be.

I agree that the solution to this mess will be less thinking (ie technology and science, although they have their place) but more changing our ways. Realizing what is important and what is just greed.

I too love love love reading about permaculture. However, my therapist has put me on a ban and I am not allowed to look at anything that feeds my "obsession" for now. It's good. I needed a break. But I hope to learn more about it soon and even get my Permaculture Design Certificate. There is a Woman's Permaculture Design class this summer in my state that I would love to take, but not sure I can break away from work for 10 days.

Anyways, sorry for all the rambling. It's just nice to talk to someone about all this.

Be well-

snow moon
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:17 am

Re: Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Postby snow moon » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:41 am

The class sounds beautiful. I too was raised Catholic. It's interesting how so many of us are ending up somewhere so far from where we were raised (cognitively and spiritually), often against all odds ... Like it was meant to be. :)

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