Lord only knows what time it is down under - you seem to post v. early in the morning there! Hope it’s not the anxiety keeping u awake/waking you up!
Really sorry to hear you’re suffering so much with this damn anxiety on top of the MAV. The MAV makes me utterly depressed and anxious about specific things, eg. work/family/what the future holds with MAV, but I feel that for me my MAV anxiety is not the same as the anxiety I had with the panic disorder. For a start, dizziness was never once a symptom of one of my panic attacks. Don’t want to bore everyone with the details but my main panic attack symptoms were the following:
sense of doom/impending death
intense fear (probably due to above!)
sudden tachycardia (130+bpm)
trembling and shaking - legs would shake so badly it would wake my husband up
weird and really scary ‘numb’ feeling which spead throughout my body, rising from stomach area or could start in hands/feet
cramps in hands and feet
the whole thing would build to a peak and last between 10 and 30 minutes. Then I was left feeling exhausted for a day or more, and sometimes I could have one attack after another when it was at its worst.
Basically, the gist of the CBT was to learn NOT to fight/ignore or avoid the panic symptoms but to ‘welcome’ them and say ‘ok then, do your worst, kill me then’ and have a sort of ‘so what?’ attitude to it (obviously it was more sophisticated and structured than this!). I don’t think my first CBT therapist was nearly as good as the second, as she didn’t have the convicton or understanding of the second.
However, from waht you say, your anxiety sounds a bit more generalised, or am I wrong, are you having discrete panic attacks on top of the background anxiety? My attacks went from being very specific and circumscribed to almsot joining up into one continuous attack - I think developed generalised anxiety disorder on top of the panic disorder!
One thng though, I never found any of the SSRI’s any good whatsoever for the panic attacks, and I tried a few, incl. sertraline and venlafaxine (I think they made it worse). The Dothiepin (tricyclic) may have helped a bit, but I think trying to come off it was what triggered the return of the panic attacks in 2006 (you see I thought I had it under control and it bit me in the butt!).
Actually, I downloaded a really good book called ‘Power over Panic’ by Bronwyn Fox - Google her to see some reviews. I forgot I had it and have just had a quick look at it and it has lots about mindfulness in it - which I’d completely forgotten. It’s in .pdf format and is 779KB so I’ll try and upload it as an attachment with this post. I just remember this book being one of the better ones (and I’ve read a few). She advocates a CBT combined with meditation approach.
You can get it via Amazon:
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