Author Topic: Anxiety Self-Help?!  (Read 1830 times)

The 585

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Anxiety Self-Help?!
« on: March 17, 2017, 03:45:26 PM »
Hello! I'm a very physically fit 26 year old male with a healthy diet. However, I get EXTREMELY nervous and anxious when I get my blood pressure checked at a medical facility, which in turn, ends up giving me a very high reading.

My physical and dietary habits are flawless, but I think it's just my anxious mind which makes me get spikes in blood pressure and stress. I know it's just me overthinking, but sometimes I get trapped in these mental phases of anxiety--for no real reason--and can't make myself relax. During my last doctors appointment, they recommended I get a heart sonogram (Est. $2000 out of pocket... I have a high deductible insurance plan), but I truly believe it's just mental. For the most part I'm a very happy person with a low blood pressure.

I've started routine meditation several months ago, which helps temporarily, but I still get overwhelmed with anxiety in certain situations. Does anyone know of any other self help methods that I can try? Has anyone had similar experiences? Thanks in advance!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 03:57:39 PM »
Is the problem that you get anxious during blood pressure checks and that you think your BP is normal but the reading is always really high? In that case, chill. You have white coat hypertension. It's a thing. If you don't think you need a sonogram, don't have one. It's fine.

Or is the problem generalised anxiety?

The 585

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 04:11:54 PM »
I'm thinking generalized anxiety, but never been diagnosed or anything. If I have a doctors appointment, I tend to be nervous all day, and then my blood pressure readings end up being ridiculously high when they do finally check it (166/80+ish last time), and then slightly lower when they check them again... but still above 144/80.

Future Lazy

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 04:14:09 PM »
I was going to recommend meditation, but.. :')

Check your blood pressure yourself at a facility like Walgreens or King Soopers/Kroger? Buy an at-home pressure gauge to use on yourself? Just to get a few readings to confirm you really don't have about-to-die blood pressure levels.

It's unclear from your wording - is this medical anxiety around doctors/hospitals? Or is this anxiety about the specific act of checking your blood pressure?

If it's general medical anxiety, talk in depth with your doctor about your healthcare/medical anxieties. See if you can come in first thing in the morning, or as the last appointment of the day, and have them walk you through the facility at your own pace. Have them answer questions about what certain devices do and why the environment is set up like it is, or answer questions about procedures.

If it's blood pressure specific anxiety.. That's pretty specific. Explore why you've got anxiety about that specific piece of body feedback? Are you afraid it's going to be high, so it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy?

Just some thoughts from a generally anxious person!

The 585

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 04:19:30 PM »
Are you afraid it's going to be high, so it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy?

Thanks for the recommendations. Yes, its a vicious cycle, where I'm paranoid that it's going to be high, and then it always is. Which worsens the cycle.

I'll continue the meditation, and make sure I check my blood pressure every week at the grocery store. Hopefully becoming more used to blood pressure checks will ease my nerves a bit!

rubybeth

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2017, 04:40:21 PM »
I'm an anxious person, and my husband is a therapist. One thing he does that isn't really therapy but helps me is to ask, "what's the worst that will happen?" when I'm stressed about something. For me, I love to sing but I get terrible performance anxiety--but I just love to perform! So part of me hates it but part of me loves it. He's asked me before performances, "What the worst thing that could happen?" and I have to admit, I might forget the lyrics, sing the wrong note, mess up in some way. "Okay, but would you still enjoy it even if that stuff happened?" And I have to admit, yes, I still would have fun, even if I forget the lyrics and have to start over. The embarrassment wouldn't kill me.

So maybe you could think about that. If your blood pressure is high, what's the worst thing that could happen? Ask yourself logically, use your rational brain, to help you figure out that everything is likely still going to be okay.

Also, one thing my voice teacher has asked me is where I feel my anxiety to determine what type of reaction I'm having--fight, flight, or freeze. I'm definitely a "flight" kind of reaction to high anxiety, where I want to run away--I will sometimes come up with excuses NOT to sing. And I get very shaky legs when I have to perform. They feel shaky, but they don't look shaky. It's like my body is getting ready to run from a predator, but I'm the predator, forcing my body to do something it doesn't want to.

It seems to me that some part of your stress response is getting screwy when you go to the doctor, like mine does before a performance. If you're like me, it might help to go on a run or brisk walk or something before going to the doctor, to get that excess adrenaline to wear off. If you're more of a fighter or one who freezes up, I'm guessing there are tips out there for those stress responses.
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The 585

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2017, 04:46:32 PM »
Thanks for the advice rubybeth! That is some good insight that I will think about before my next visit.

BlueHouse

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2017, 07:01:58 PM »
I have a Withings Blood pressure cuff that plugs into my iPhone.  You might want to consider getting something similar and taking your own blood pressure on a regular basis.  The software is great because it shows trends and you can take it to your doctor's office and show them your trends too 
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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2017, 07:53:19 PM »
Hello! I'm a very physically fit 26 year old male with a healthy diet. However, I get EXTREMELY nervous and anxious when I get my blood pressure checked at a medical facility, which in turn, ends up giving me a very high reading.

My physical and dietary habits are flawless, but I think it's just my anxious mind which makes me get spikes in blood pressure and stress. I know it's just me overthinking, but sometimes I get trapped in these mental phases of anxiety--for no real reason--and can't make myself relax. During my last doctors appointment, they recommended I get a heart sonogram (Est. $2000 out of pocket... I have a high deductible insurance plan), but I truly believe it's just mental. For the most part I'm a very happy person with a low blood pressure.

I've started routine meditation several months ago, which helps temporarily, but I still get overwhelmed with anxiety in certain situations. Does anyone know of any other self help methods that I can try? Has anyone had similar experiences? Thanks in advance!

Two good brands (but not necessarily each model they make) of at home blood pressure monitors are Omron and CVS (the CVS pharmacy store brand).

That said, as for “white coat hypertension”, the world is full of metaphorical white coats. So if a routine and painless procedure like getting your blood pressure checked is raising your blood pressure, probably a lot of other daily events are too.

Also be aware that many doctors fail to check blood pressure correctly, resulting in false high readings. Talking, actively listening, moving your arms, and crossing your legs at the ankles all can result in false high readings.
FIRE'd on January 4, 2017

milliemchi

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2017, 09:18:21 PM »
CBT is the therapy of choice for anxiety. I would pick up 'CBT for Dummies' and go from there. There is a lot you can do without a professional. They are there to guide you, but if you can write your own 'substitute thoughts' (e.g., "the worst that could happen is [...]", which usually isn't that bad; or "maybe this time I will sing flawlessly, let's try it"), and if you can practice with some discipline, you can get a lot done on your own. You need some self-awareness though, since you need to be able to identify the unhelpful thoughts that do go through your head, sometimes in stealth mode. Practice helps a lot.

Scandium

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 10:01:55 PM »
You're 26, why are you going to the doctor? And blood pressure, who checks that in their 20s? Unless you are sick, random checks are a waste of everyone's time and money. (except paying for the doc's new BMW I guess..) I'm 34 and have seen a doctor maybe 3 times since my early 20s. And those were all pointless. I'm alive, proving my point..

Dollar Slice

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2017, 10:35:18 PM »
I've had this problem with blood pressure readings also - the doctor had basically threatened to take me off of a medicine that greatly improves my quality of life because high BP is a risk factor for something or other with that med. I found out later her basis for this was a high reading I had one time while I was at the office due to an injury and was in a lot of pain/stress. Anyway, I would always get worried that I'd have another high reading and she would refuse to prescribe it any more. What works for me is to do some deep breathing relaxation techniques while I'm waiting for my appointment to begin. I usually get 120/80 doing that (not perfect, but I'm not a young healthy person like you!).

If you're taking any stimulants, you might try cutting that out on appointment days, also. (E.g. caffeine, certain medications...)
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Trifele

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2017, 05:03:17 AM »
You're 26, why are you going to the doctor? And blood pressure, who checks that in their 20s? Unless you are sick, random checks are a waste of everyone's time and money. (except paying for the doc's new BMW I guess..) I'm 34 and have seen a doctor maybe 3 times since my early 20s. And those were all pointless. I'm alive, proving my point..

+1. Our current culture tells us we must engage regularly with the health care industry.  We are free to NOT do this.  The health care industry definitely serves its purpose when we are injured or seriously sick, but --never forget it is a business.  Big business. (I work in the health care industry, btw).   

Physicians want to diagnose something and perform tests on us.  One view of this is that they want to help us.  Another view is that this is how they make their money.  As many times as a doctor might "catch something early" with regular tests, there are many more times when these tests pull us into more tests or even invasive procedures, only to find out they were not necessary.   There are many articles about this out there and I encourage you to spend a few hours on line researching it for yourself.   Prescription medication use has also reached an all time high.  Doctors sometimes receive payments from pharmaceutical companies, and other times prescribe drugs because they want to be seen as "doing something" for the patient.  Pharmaceutical companies are big, big business and are not motivated by our well being.       

OP --not sure what your health situation is, or if you have some real problem.  However here are my two cents as an older person who has been around the block:  Take charge of your own health.  Don't look to others to do it for you.  Eat well and exercise.  (sounds like you already do this -- great!)  Get enough sleep.  Take your own blood pressure as others have suggested.  Don't take any prescription medication without researching it yourself first to make your own determination if it is necessary.  There is nothing wrong with staying away from the health care industry completely until you are actually sick or injured.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 05:09:50 AM by Trifele »

marty998

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2017, 05:40:33 AM »
You're 26, why are you going to the doctor? And blood pressure, who checks that in their 20s? Unless you are sick, random checks are a waste of everyone's time and money. (except paying for the doc's new BMW I guess..) I'm 34 and have seen a doctor maybe 3 times since my early 20s. And those were all pointless. I'm alive, proving my point..

+1. Our current culture tells us we must engage regularly with the health care industry.  We are free to NOT do this.  The health care industry definitely serves its purpose when we are injured or seriously sick, but --never forget it is a business.  Big business. (I work in the health care industry, btw).   

Physicians want to diagnose something and perform tests on us.  One view of this is that they want to help us.  Another view is that this is how they make their money.  As many times as a doctor might "catch something early" with regular tests, there are many more times when these tests pull us into more tests or even invasive procedures, only to find out they were not necessary.   There are many articles about this out there and I encourage you to spend a few hours on line researching it for yourself.   Prescription medication use has also reached an all time high.  Doctors sometimes receive payments from pharmaceutical companies, and other times prescribe drugs because they want to be seen as "doing something" for the patient.  Pharmaceutical companies are big, big business and are not motivated by our well being.       

OP --not sure what your health situation is, or if you have some real problem.  However here are my two cents as an older person who has been around the block:  Take charge of your own health.  Don't look to others to do it for you.  Eat well and exercise.  (sounds like you already do this -- great!)  Get enough sleep.  Take your own blood pressure as others have suggested.  Don't take any prescription medication without researching it yourself first to make your own determination if it is necessary.  There is nothing wrong with staying away from the health care industry completely until you are actually sick or injured.

Yes, I don't understand this either. You know your blood pressure is fine, yet you go get it checked and have a doctor recommend you get a totally unnecessary sonogram done???

Go live life, and stop worrying about it. There's absolutely no need to check it weekly at the grocery store either.

Maybe when you're 56, but certainly not when you're a healthy 26.

Freedomin5

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2017, 06:13:47 AM »
For CBT bibliotherapy for anxiety, therapists often recommend:

The Feeling Good Handbook
Mind Over Mood

The 585

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2017, 06:29:05 AM »
Thanks guys! Awesome comments and recommendations which certainly make me feel better. I'll check out some of the recommended CBT books. I'd most definitely like to overcome this on my own rather than relying on a doctor's over-diagnosis, leading to unnecessary procedures and/or medications.

The 585

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2017, 06:33:10 AM »
You're 26, why are you going to the doctor?

My employer gives a $400 annual HSA credit for wellness checkups.

Scandium

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2017, 06:53:46 AM »
You're 26, why are you going to the doctor?

My employer gives a $400 annual HSA credit for wellness checkups.
Meh, still a waste of your time. Stay away from doctors unless you're too sick to walk.

rubybeth

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2017, 09:57:31 AM »
You're 26, why are you going to the doctor?

My employer gives a $400 annual HSA credit for wellness checkups.
Meh, still a waste of your time. Stay away from doctors unless you're too sick to walk.

Um, I would totally disagree, and I would guess most doctors would, too. Men are especially bad about seeing the doctor for checkups. It's one reason men die younger than women. Women are forced to go more regularly in order to get birth control.

I think the underlying issue here is the anxiety, and avoiding it is a bad idea. There are probably other situations where the OP is having a stress response but might not realize. Dealing with the anxiety is important for long term happiness and wellbeing.
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mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2017, 10:18:30 AM »
A few thoughts - ask your doc to hold off on more invasive / expensive procedures until you do some blood pressure monitoring at home.  If it's really white coat hypertension you should see normal BPs at home and then elevated ones only at the doctor's office.  If this is the case, then there's no need for further intervention.

However, if your BPs are also high at home you may have hypertension - even though you're young and relatively healthy.  Young people (especially those of African descent and men) can have hypertension basically for no reason (nothing causing it).  This type of hypertension still increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and can be easily managed with medication - so don't blow this off!  There are other scarier, but less common causes of hypertension (e.g., renal problems) that your doc may request to check out as well.

As for the poster that suggests you shouldn't go to the doctor unless you're at death's door, that's just not a smart move.  You don't need to go to the doc for every little thing, but waiting until you're health is in crisis is not smart either.  I think you're being smart about going to the doc, taking his feedback, but also being critical about recommendations.

Scandium

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2017, 11:18:09 AM »
You're 26, why are you going to the doctor?

My employer gives a $400 annual HSA credit for wellness checkups.
Meh, still a waste of your time. Stay away from doctors unless you're too sick to walk.

Um, I would totally disagree, and I would guess most doctors would, too. Men are especially bad about seeing the doctor for checkups. It's one reason men die younger than women. Women are forced to go more regularly in order to get birth control.

I think the underlying issue here is the anxiety, and avoiding it is a bad idea. There are probably other situations where the OP is having a stress response but might not realize. Dealing with the anxiety is important for long term happiness and wellbeing.
You mean men are good about not wasting time and money on a pointless doctor visit when you are healthy?

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2003/08/12/health/annual-physical-checkup-may-be-an-empty-ritual.html

Oh, it's only almost all evidence based medical professionals who agree with me..

But yes, I bet most doctors would disagree, because they make money of this! I wish I worked in an industry where I could convince people to pay for a service they don't need, on a regular basis!

I never said wait till you're on death's door, it was a figure of speech. Obviously if your arm is broken you can still walk, but you should see a doctor.

milliemchi

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2017, 12:23:22 PM »
High blood pressure can lead to kidney damage, and you would never know until you've lost most of the function. High blood pressure also often has no symptoms. So that's a reason to go see a doctor from time to time, even if you feel healthy. There's lots of other stuff of course.

Trifele

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2017, 12:32:57 PM »
You're 26, why are you going to the doctor?

My employer gives a $400 annual HSA credit for wellness checkups.
Meh, still a waste of your time. Stay away from doctors unless you're too sick to walk.

Um, I would totally disagree, and I would guess most doctors would, too. Men are especially bad about seeing the doctor for checkups. It's one reason men die younger than women. Women are forced to go more regularly in order to get birth control.

I think the underlying issue here is the anxiety, and avoiding it is a bad idea. There are probably other situations where the OP is having a stress response but might not realize. Dealing with the anxiety is important for long term happiness and wellbeing.
You mean men are good about not wasting time and money on a pointless doctor visit when you are healthy?

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2003/08/12/health/annual-physical-checkup-may-be-an-empty-ritual.html

Oh, it's only almost all evidence based medical professionals who agree with me..

But yes, I bet most doctors would disagree, because they make money of this! I wish I worked in an industry where I could convince people to pay for a service they don't need, on a regular basis!

I never said wait till you're on death's door, it was a figure of speech. Obviously if your arm is broken you can still walk, but you should see a doctor.

This.   Health care really is the perfect business ... the customer usually uninformed and powerless, and the industry determining what services you will buy.  And even when you're not in the market for services (feeling fine)  you are told that you need to get in there for regular appointments and testing. People who don't get "regular checkups" are shamed and guilted by guess who -- the healthcare industry.   

Are doctors "bad people"?  Of course not.  Are they human beings who care about their paychecks?  Yes.   At work I sit in meetings with docs all the time who talk openly about these things.  Physicians are businesspeople.  They talk about declining revenues and what can be done to drive more patients through their doors to increase business.

Hospitals and doctors do perform valuable services, but as a customer (patient) you should proceed with caution and your eyes wide open.   
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 03:02:09 PM by Trifele »

Scandium

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2017, 09:27:57 PM »
You're 26, why are you going to the doctor?

My employer gives a $400 annual HSA credit for wellness checkups.
Meh, still a waste of your time. Stay away from doctors unless you're too sick to walk.

Um, I would totally disagree, and I would guess most doctors would, too. Men are especially bad about seeing the doctor for checkups. It's one reason men die younger than women. Women are forced to go more regularly in order to get birth control.

I think the underlying issue here is the anxiety, and avoiding it is a bad idea. There are probably other situations where the OP is having a stress response but might not realize. Dealing with the anxiety is important for long term happiness and wellbeing.
You mean men are good about not wasting time and money on a pointless doctor visit when you are healthy?

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2003/08/12/health/annual-physical-checkup-may-be-an-empty-ritual.html

Oh, it's only almost all evidence based medical professionals who agree with me..

But yes, I bet most doctors would disagree, because they make money of this! I wish I worked in an industry where I could convince people to pay for a service they don't need, on a regular basis!

I never said wait till you're on death's door, it was a figure of speech. Obviously if your arm is broken you can still walk, but you should see a doctor.

This.   Health care really is the perfect business ... the customer usually uninformed and powerless, and the industry determining what services you will buy.  And even when you're not in the market for services (feeling fine)  you are told that you need to get in there for regular appointments and testing. People who don't get "regular checkups" are shamed and guilted by guess who -- the healthcare industry.   

Are doctors "bad people"?  Of course not.  Are they human beings who care about their paychecks?  Yes.   At work I sit in meetings with docs all the time who talk openly about these things.  Physicians are businesspeople.  They talk about declining revenues and what can be done to drive more patients through their doors to increase business.

Hospitals and doctors do perform valuable services, but as a customer (patient) you should proceed with caution and your eyes wide open.   
It's the same form of not-quite-a-scam as "change oil every 3000 mi", "annual AC preventive maintenance" and "dental cleaning every 6 months".

All recommended by the very people who stand to benefit..

Hargrove

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2017, 10:04:12 PM »
Quote
My employer gives a $400 annual HSA credit for wellness checkups.
Quote
Meh, still a waste of your time. Stay away from doctors unless you're too sick to walk.

1st quote demonstrates why it's not a waste of time at all. Do you have two-day-long appointments or something?

I go to a doctor every ten years or so myself but I would have no problem getting paid to go.

Employer: take extra care of yourself and we'll pay you.
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spicykissa

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2017, 10:51:17 PM »

For the most part I'm a very happy person with a low blood pressure.


My question would be . . . how do you know you mostly have a low blood pressure? Do you check it daily? You really can't feel a high BP. I had a 22-year-old patient with life-threatening end-stage renal failure due to hypertension last week--it's rare, but it can happen.

There are some great home BP cuffs that sync to your phone now. I'd probably get one of those and check it every night until you have a few weeks worth of data. If it's usually normal, great. Show it to your doc, they'll be convinced. If it's still averaging high, get the echocardiogram. BP meds are cheap ($4/month cheap, most of the time.), and dialysis sucks.

The 585

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2017, 07:05:14 AM »
Good recommendations to keep monitoring it myself. My employer has a small fitness center with a BP machine... I'll start by keeping track of it there daily. My grocery store also has a BP monitor, which I just made an account for (Higi stations) and will track my numbers every week when I go.

Lmoot

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2017, 06:59:11 PM »
EFT tapping. I too get intermittent anxiety, especially late at night. It started when I gained a lot of weight and was drinking a lot of caffeine. I've corrected both which helped but still get "pre panic-attacks" that I use EFT to tap down before it can turn into a full-blown attack. It's been almost a year since my last panic attack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwgFIKjTpWY


goatmom

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2017, 08:49:41 PM »
There is a great app called headspace.  Also, you might try adding some magnesium and calcium to your diet.

PoutineLover

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2017, 08:48:33 AM »
There is a great app called headspace.  Also, you might try adding some magnesium and calcium to your diet.
I don't think adding supplements is a good idea unless they are recommended by a doctor following a blood test that shows an actual deficiency. Usually a healthy diet supplies all the vitamins needed and unnecessary supplements just make your pee expensive.

Yankuba

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2017, 09:05:49 AM »
Get an Omron blood pressure machine for $50 and check yourself a few times a day. Keep a log. Anything over 120/80 and you want to think about lowering it because each point over normal gives you an x% higher chance of having a cardiovascular event. You can lower BP significantly with diet (lots of produce and potassium) and exercise.

Stay away from the BP machines in the drug stores and supermarkets. They are extremely inaccurate.

When you get your BP checked at the doctor make sure your feet are on the floor and your arm is supported by a table or chair arm. If you are sitting on the exam table with your legs dangling and your arm isn't supported then you will get a high reading. Have the doctor take multiple readings.

I thought my BP was high because the stupid drug store machine dinged me but the Omron machine and visits to the doctor confirmed my BP is fine.

Lookilu

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2017, 11:26:10 AM »
A few thoughts - ask your doc to hold off on more invasive / expensive procedures until you do some blood pressure monitoring at home.  If it's really white coat hypertension you should see normal BPs at home and then elevated ones only at the doctor's office.  If this is the case, then there's no need for further intervention.

However, if your BPs are also high at home you may have hypertension - even though you're young and relatively healthy.  Young people (especially those of African descent and men) can have hypertension basically for no reason (nothing causing it).  This type of hypertension still increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and can be easily managed with medication - so don't blow this off!  There are other scarier, but less common causes of hypertension (e.g., renal problems) that your doc may request to check out as well.

As for the poster that suggests you shouldn't go to the doctor unless you're at death's door, that's just not a smart move.  You don't need to go to the doc for every little thing, but waiting until you're health is in crisis is not smart either.  I think you're being smart about going to the doc, taking his feedback, but also being critical about recommendations.
This is excellent advice, all of it.
My DH had hypertensive readings in his 20s, but his doctor visits were in the Emergency Department due to some sort of injury and the resultant stress could explain them. In his early 30s, a routine visit for a cold--treated with OTC meds--resulted in a reading that was so dangerously high that the physician would not release him until he had received medication to lower it.
OP, by all means do some monitoring on your own and learn about meditation/CBT but realize that continued elevated readings may require medical intervention. In the worst case scenario, you may need to take a pill. In the grand scheme, that's not such a big deal and is far better than destroying your kidneys. Good luck!

zinnie

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2017, 11:39:41 AM »
OP, just another suggestion on dealing with anxiety that has worked VERY well for me, is paying attention to what is happening to your body when you are anxious, and instead of focusing on the thoughts or on turning them off, focus on the physical sensations and on relaxing or stopping them. I guess this is a take on progressive relaxation, or meditation, but it is focused on the body and not on the thoughts.

Example: I used to get very nervous flying. I was trying to talk myself out of it, or "turn off" my thoughts, and that made it worse. I tried having a drink before I flew, but that only temporarily helped, and I eventually was just as anxious as before.

What worked was focusing on what was happening in my body, and just stopping THAT. I would tense up my legs, so I forced myself to focus on relaxing my legs. I would tense my biceps or grab onto the seat, so I focused on stopping that. I would hold my breath, so I focused on breathing in and out, slowlyt. I think that in a lot of ways anxiety is our brain interpreting physical cues, and stopping the physical cues worked really well for me. I still don't enjoy flying, but as long as I focus on relaxing muscles and breathing slowly, I can eliminate the feeling of being anxious even for very long flights. Just a suggestion in case you haven't tried it!

DarthKitten

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Re: Anxiety Self-Help?!
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2017, 06:22:47 PM »
Meditation will likely help a lot. For me,  the best way to control anxiety is a healthy diet and exercise.  I also take 5-HTP and avoid caffeine entirely.