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Dear Dearest Q&A's
Name: Carla

I am trying my best but this anxiety and panic feelings since I started going thru menopause has been terrible. I don't want to take xanax all my life. What suggestions can you give for helping me get thru this?

Because anxiety has been a condition I have suffered from for years, I've made sure this site is FULL of information about anxiety, panic attacks, panic disorder, stress, stress-related medical conditions, drug dependency and the like.

I highly recommend going into the Ask The Experts Area - with our NEW anxiety/panic/stress/depression expert, Stuart Shipko, M.D. will reply to your questions. He's a board-certified psychiatrist, neurologist and is well-known for his expertise in the area of psychopharmacology.

I strongly recommend reading his transcripts in the Library. He's been a guest 9 times and his transcript of just last Thursday can be found by clicking here. His transcripts contain links to his book and Web site.

Stuart Shipko is one of the best guests I've brought to Power Surge over the years. In fact, my favorite of his transcripts was this one.

He is also the author of the new book, Surviving Panic Disorder: What You Need To Know. But, don't be deceived by the "panic disorder" title. There's a wealth of information that can help you with anxiety and depression as well because they are closely intertwined.

You can also read the transcripts of Bronwyn Fox, who utilizes a totally natural approach to anxiety and panic attacks. Bronwyn, herself, suffered from anxiety and overcame it using her own theories. She was Power Surge's anxiety/panic expert until recently as she's decided to focus on live workshops in her local Australia area, and not devote as much time to the Internet. However, there are excellent archives of her answers and transcripts of her guest chats in Power Surge. On her transcripts, you will find links to her books and Web site.

I'd also recommend the transcript of Dr. Alice Domar, Psychologist and Director of The Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Harvard Medical School and author of "Self-Nurture" and "Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life." She, too, was an excellent guest! Links to her books on on her transcript.

There's also an article specifically about Xanax that is located in the Educate Your Body Library. Once there, look through the list of articles on the left side of the page under "Your Health At Menopause." You'll find an article entitled, "Xanax." There's also another article about stopping Xanax.

I would take the time to read both these experts transcripts from beginning to end. There's an incredible amount of information that you'll find useful in treating your anxiety, whether menopause-related or not.

I would also recommend checking out the Power Surge Bookstore under the "Anxiety" section. There are numerous books recommended for grappling with the dificulties of anxiety.

I have for years been recommending the books of Dr. Claire Weekes, whose work personally helped me tremendously when I was suffering from panic attacks and severe anxiety after a traumatic experience many years ago. Dr. Weekes', an Australian psychiatrist, was the pioneer in the area of agoraphobia / panic attacks and did a great deal of work with anxiety as well.
Her book, Simple Effective Treatment of Agoraphobia: Panic on traveling alone away from the safety of home and on being in crowded places." Because this book was written years ago, it may be difficult to locate. I would recommend checking with your local library. Also, you can find almost anything on Ebay. You can do a search for "Dr. Claire Weekes" on Ebay and you're very likely to come up with a used copy someone is selling. I've found numerous things on Ebay that I've been unable to locate anywhere else.

Unfortunately, Dr. Weekes passed away, but the quality and success of her body of work she created will live on forever.

One of her tapes, Pass Through Panic: Freeing Yourself From Anxiety and Fear is excellent. I have used it again and again over the years.

Her book, Hope and Help For Your Nerves is a classic. I recommend it highly and have read it numerous times. Another is Peace From Nervous Suffering.

Long before Power Surge was created, when I was searching for everything I could get my hands on regarding anxiety, I came across a psychologist named Dr. David Illig who made many tapes. I have used one of his subliminal tapes, Reduce Stress & Anxiety. I have the cassette tape, but I believe this is the CD. There are other CD's by Dr. David Illig. I recommend him highly. This partiular tape has helped me through more crisis moments than I can begin to recall.

If you scroll through the many topics in this Anxiety forum, I'm sure you'll find other posts by me with references to other tapes and books, but for now, I highly recommend all of the above.

In closing, one of the things I'd like to say about anxiety is that, like menopause, it doesn't happen in a vacuum. Many of us suffered from anxiety prior to perimenopause. And, for many of us, long after the years of discomfort from perimenopause, anxiety can continue. However, the constancy, severity and preoccupation with it will ease. Learning to cope, using the many techniques available can help you to treat yourself.

It's not so much about getting off Xanax and getting on with your life as it is a matter of resolving the problems that are causing you to use Xanax and not get on with your life.

There is no shame in taking medication for the suffering. There is no shame in asking for help. The only stupid question is the question that isn't asked. Counselling can be tremendously effective along with medication. Once you get a handle on the real source of the anxiety, you may find you no longer need the medication.

Exercise, distract yourself in whatever way you can. Avoid toxic people -- people who bring out the worst in you. Avoid foods that cause you gastric distress. Avoid situations that provoke anxious reactions. You must learn to do what's best for yourself and not be consumed by what everyone else is going to think about your behavior. Learn to be your own best friend. Pamper yourself. Do anything you have to do to create a more peaceful environment for yourself. You must learn to be kinder to yourself, give yourself time and what you need to feel better. This is not selfishness, it's survival.

What matters above all else is that you're taking control, trying to help yourself - and by doing so, one day you'll probably look back on all this and wonder, "Why did I torture myself worrying so much about everything?"

Power Surge Founder

Information provided by Dearest is general in nature and should not be construed as a substitute for a visit to and examination by your own health care practitioner.
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