NO CATS (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, sugar/sub.) really helped!

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mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 2/17/2009 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
So I started seeing a new doctor that I'm crazy about - he's an MD, retired colonel, ordained minister and has helped me develop a great plan of attack for my panic disorder.  But his first order of the day last week was to start CATS immediately.  He said that other CBT, relaxation, breathing, mind techniques for panic/anxiety just won't work as effectively. 
 
It sounds simple...and I'm sure that 99% of the people on here probably do this anyway, but it has been such a help to me in just the week that I have tried it:
 
NO CATS (Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco, Sugar/Sugar Substitute)
 
I was on the C & S only, but it still made a difference (not that decaf is fun, I was exhausted and had a headache and skipping my kids' valentines cupcakes wasn't a treat either).
 
Anyway, I know that people are often asking about natural anxiety helpers and so forth...I would offer that saying no to CATS and throwing in a little exercise might really help out.  I haven't started much of the CBT and relaxation that we are going to begin, so I can't comment on those yet!
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/17/2009 11:36 AM (GMT -7)   

I read these posts over and over and they  make sense but I wonder if there is anything I can have that I would like.............I am 63 and I now need to give up the few things I enjoy so where is the joy going to come from? I would like to believe in  moderation when it comes to some of the advice.

Sorry, I have just read so much, take this vitamin, this supplement, work this program, stop this food............

I spend all day trying to decide what is the right choice.

I am glad this new relationship with your therapist is working for you and keep it up. I want to see you win the battle.

Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 2/17/2009 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Mom2three,

I am glad you are getting the help you need and that you like your new therapist my friend :) I have to agree with Kitt though about feeling just. . . . idk. . . ughhhhhhh about all the info and regimes out there. I have also been coming to the conclusion that life is short and we need to take some of this in moderation. I, like many, just want to enjoy life to the fullest, and even though I cut back on many of these things, I do treat myself and will continue to do so as long as I can. It is a very good thing to limit the intake and exercise even a bit, plus eating healthy foods. . . I've noticed tremendous differences in my life with these simple baby steps :)

Good luck to you and thank you for sharing!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Although the world is full of suffering. . . it is also full of the overcoming of it."
~Helen Keller~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 2/17/2009 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm new here and didn't realize that there were "so many posts" that were similar and touting take this/do that...I'm trying to wean off of med.s and cutting out those things have definitely helped me.  Personally, I don't see how offering advice about diet is any different than offering advice about how to practice controlled breathing or other relaxation techniques - it's just another option for helping control anxiety?  Sorry everyone feels so "icky" about my post...I thought someone might find it helpful - particularly a new person like myself.  Moderation sounds great and it's something that I aim to have long-term for sure!

 


Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


AuroraRavencrow
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 2/17/2009 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I know I have cut out caffeine and sugar altogether and it's made me crankier than who knows what. I don't smoke or drink so I didn't have to worry about cutting those out but now I have to wonder "What do I get to enjoy?" So, I have deciding that maybe a little bit of this and a little bit of that isn't going to be so bad...at least until a certain time of day. I figure I will stop the caffeine intake around 4 or 5pm so as to not hinder my night time anxieties that I get every night. I guess this isn't much advice just giving you some info on what I was going to do. Let me know how things work out for you.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/17/2009 5:10 PM (GMT -7)   

mom2three

Please do not feel that we were putting you down for your post..........I am glad that you have found something that works for you.  I do believe in life style change but I have been a lifetime member of weight watchers since 1972 and I have seen their eating plan evolve from eating liver once a week to tracking food points.

I understand your not wanting to be on medication if you can do well without them and I admire you for that. I am weaning off my AD after taking something for 25 years so I am not against change.  I gave up drinking and smoking. I also have GERD so I cannot eat frozen custard and other food items or I am in trouble.............. I was only referring to me as far as having to cut back on more.  I gave up coffee.  So I do understand what your talking about.

On HealingWell we strive to seek a balance between alternative and traditional approaches. I feel strongly, both approaches have value for anyone seeking healing.

Please accept my apology if what I said upset you.  That was never my intention.

Respectfully

Kitt 


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 2/17/2009 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
No worries, Kitt - I didn't take it that way. Honestly, you probably read a gazillion posts as a moderator - I can only imagine how many seem similar and repetitive!

The other techniques take so much time and practice (breathing, relaxation, CBT, etc.) that diet is at least something that I can control in a relatively short period of time and have some positive benefits. Maybe others can do the same to help them get started on their healing journey. As I progress in other areas, the diet part will hopefully relax and moderate as well.

And I don't know if I will ever be 100% free of medication - I just lowered to half of what I have been taking for a long time (from 10mg lexapro & .5 mg klonopin to 5mg lexapro & .25mg klonopin). May not work to go all the way, but I'm going to see how therapy goes. I'm super supportive of both routes - having had such serious panic disorder since childhood, I will never be one to only do "one thing" and have it under control. More than likely, I will end up a big mix of traditional and alternative approaches myself!
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 2/17/2009 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry about that Mom2three :)

I wasn't refering to anything either except years of all the "right" stuff and I'm just worn out as well. I do the same things you do and have for a long time, but I still just want to enjoy life more with an extra treat every so often. . . Plus, I used to be in the medical field and you see your share of different diets as well. I do apologize for miscommunication my friend :) I think you are right on track with everything and I wish I could find something that works for me as well that I'm not already sick of cause I have tried everything is seems and I keep gaining weight having to use my darn cane which makes me more lazy and hurts my anxiety. I'm just weak with my willpower at times, lol :)

Take care now and many apologies :) Thank you for sharing this with all members :)
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Although the world is full of suffering. . . it is also full of the overcoming of it."
~Helen Keller~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 2/17/2009 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh gosh - please no more apologies - dealing with anxiety issues is a long road and we all get sick of it! But at least we know that we are not alone, right? :)

And, yes, of importance - I am very happy about finding a great doc/therapist who I connect with - I'm excited to see what he brings to the table. I had been with my last doctor for 12 years, but our sessions had long ago become nothing but med. assessments and I was really ready for more therapy and alternative treatments (although still using and monitoring my medications). So thanks for the support with regards to taking the step to find a doctor who fits what I need...it's easier to stay in that rut!
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/18/2009 7:34 AM (GMT -7)   

mom2three

Wish I had a new pdoc that I had a great relationship with, so do grab onto this person and develop that trust relationship that is so important. I am happy for you.

My Pdoc knows my background and she will butt heads with me or tell me that if I go off  my AD I will crash for sure........well I am down to 20 mg of my Cymbalta every 48 hours and yes I am feeling the effects of the withdrawal but I have a lot of stress in my life right now so I think it is a combo of both.

I refuse to not give this lower medication regime a chance.  I would just like to be me.

I get the 20 minute med session with my Pdoc and she tosses me out when my time is up but the bill for the 20 minutes is $248.00.  So yes I want to drive the bus.........lol.

You keep on doing what is working for you and do keep on sharing..............I am reading and listening too.

Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


shedontwearsocks
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 2/18/2009 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear mom,

I am so happy that you have gotten off the CATS and that it seems to be helping with your anxiety! I have had my doc recommend this to me, as well as read it in numerous books. i wish i wish i would take this on headfirst, but i just can't seem to give up my sweet tea (it's a southern staple), my cigarettes, or my chocolate!

i always tell myself when this subject is brought up that if i could at least cut back on these i know it would help my anxiety, but i never do mad

so in the end, CONGRATULATIONS!! to you for a job well done and i hope that you see long lasting results from your hard work wink

 

Best wishes,

megan


mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 2/19/2009 5:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh, Megan - don't give me too much credit - it's only been 1 week! This isn't a 100% permanent thing, but more of a short-term solution to help cancel out some breakthrough panic while I cut my medications in half and learn some alternative methods. But I do plan on keeping up with it for as long as possible - at least for the most part - I'm not going to through myself into a tizzy if I eat some chocolate :)

It definitely does make a difference...however, like everyone else has mentioned, is it really worth it in light of living life? For me, in the short term, yes. It's a good "springboard" into healing if someone is leaning more towards alterative techniques or weaning off of meds, I think, because it can ease some of the withdrawal anxiety. Long-term? Probably not a great choice, although smaller amounts is probably what I will aim for...but I couldn't (and wouldn't!) want to do it forever!

Thanks!
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


badfish
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 393
   Posted 2/19/2009 6:29 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear mom2three,

Firstly i cant imagine being a mom2three is very easy. Just wanted to say that i believe giving up CATS when your anxiety is really playing up is an extremely good idea. But when my anxiety is fine like now I do drink alot of caffeine and with it sugar (cant imagine life without coke), have some alcohol when i go out with friends at the wkend and smoke alittle. As long as my anxiety under control then its ok for me. Admittedly giving up caffeine seems to make a big difference for me.

Secondly the point you made about throwing in abit of exercise is so true. Exercise for me, is more important than CATS. After my first anxiety breakdown going to the gym and stuff made me feel good about myself again. 

I guess were all individuals and different things will work for different people personally CBT was alife safer for me and has taught me not to fear anxiety and now my A/P is jus another hurdle i have to jump rather than something which rules my life.

I hope you do well in your sessions and get back to your normal self soon.


 


boxaluvva
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/7/2009 3:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello to all here! I am new here (and have 3 kids under 6yrs old as well...big job!!) and was searching online to find a correlation btwn sugar and anxiety (more as a reminder to myself)...found this site. I am totally with you mom2three! I started having terrible anxiety attacks years ago while I was consuming caffeine (worked at a coffee shop), alcohol, smoking, eating poorly...now I find if I do my best to avoid the CATS I feel "normal". Today was a reminder of what my body doesn't need. I had a little sugar binge today...a chocolate muffin and a few very sweet chocolate chip cookies and within hours I felt "off", had the impending dark cloud feeling and was very anxious. I must admit I am a little envious of people a little who can consume anything and it not affect them but I have accepted my limitations. I have come through anxiety disorder (which started in 1994) and been quite successful at learning not just to cope but to take baby steps to overcome panic and anxiety. I have set backs from time to time but they are just new challenges to come through I decided to refuse to let anxiety run my life. I was on meds for a short time while I started nursing school (which was a huge step for me) but when they stopped working as they should I found a great naturopath and an awesome counselor to use natural means & prayer to help my body & mind to be at peace. I have family who have felt a world better on meds and that is awesome, but after awhile they didn't seem to help me so I needed other means to be able to live less anxiously. I have been through it ALL with anxiety attacks mentally, emotionally, physically and once you have tools you can actually learn to stop the anxious "scary thoughts" before they escalate to panic. I also attribute my success to prayer support, in fact, that has been the #1 reason I have been able to overcome so many obstacles. It feels like sooooo long ago when I was that frightened young woman who was imobilized with fear and was trying to figure out what was making me feel so out of control. Anyways, glad to have found this site. It reminds me I am not alone in this! Having support can change your life for the best!!!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/7/2009 8:09 AM (GMT -7)   
boxaluvva
 
Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P forum.  I am Kitt.
 
Thank you so much for the inspiring post and your sharing of your story was very generous of you.
 
I know that it will be a great post for mom2three as well as many members on the site.
 
We do have a welcome to new members thread I will pull up to the top.
 
Again a warm welcome.
 
Kitt
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/7/2009 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi boxaluvva!

Thanks for the post. Yes, I have felt a lot better. Although I did introduce some sugar back - little here and there. I can't have a bunch of refined sugar in one sitting, but I can have some honey, fruits, small treats, etc. okay so far. The caffeine made the biggest difference. It was hard to let go - so I just "pretend" now. I bought my own 4 cup coffee maker that sits next to my husband's big 12 cup :) I make my decaf and have my morning coffee as usual! I think that I like the actual routine and coffee itself more than I needed the caffeine.

I'm trying alternative methods too! I found a great therapist/doc that I really, really like. I'm on low meds now and working on CBT, breathing, relaxation and other techniques. It's hard - I've had this junk for so long and habits are tough to break, but I'm working on it.

Welcome!
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


Jndejmes
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/8/2009 4:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I so need to do that - give up the CATS! I cant seem to say no! I have coffee everyday, have a drink maybe once (sometimes twice) a week, and sugar everyday. I hate to admit this, but if I drink too much, I smoke! What the heck? I do all of these!! No wonder my anxiety is coming back. I hadn't been doing this but then in my mind I was "fixed." Figured I was past it and so I started up again. Yet, here I am....ugh! I feel so stupid. Thanks for the reminder, I really need to get back on track!

polyex
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/26/2012 1:39 AM (GMT -7)   
There is a lot to be said for this idea of "NO CATS" . I often hear people saying that they started feeling bad when giving up on these substances, well, it will pass. Try to think that the very fact your feeling bad or withdrawing is telling you that you should not have been taking the stuff in the first place. Get some strength from it. I know when I quit cigarettes cold turkey, I felt terrible for the first couple of days. I would have terrible urges to have "just one". In the midst of all those bad feelings , I realized that I wanted a cigarette just to feel "normal". Needless to say I did not like that idea. With that, I knew I could feel normal without them if I just gave it time. That time can be months or just weeks, but humans did not evolve with a requirement for coffee, cigarettes, beer or candy and we will all benefit to be "normal" without them.
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