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new to this forum need advice

Community Member
hi, i have always suffered from mild anxiety but have been ill for twenty years with chronic fatigue syndrome and then emigrated here three years ago from the uk and found that i had graves disease. i had a total thyroidectomy two years ago but cannot get my meds optimised as got many problems and the meds dont suit me. I have been hypo thyroid for most of this time and the anxiety has got worse and worse so that i get bad attacks even if i get a phone call thats different, going to friends, being taken shopping etc. i had to go to wellington nz last week for my daughters graduation and had such an anxiety attack on the plane because it was too hot, even for my husband, that i felt ill and the anxiety would not switch off all week. my bp goes up about 160/120 with the attacks but normally is about 117/78. i have been told i have low cortisol and adrenal fgatigue which could be making it worse. i was on 18.75 of an antidepressant in the uk half a tablet but here they only do capsules of 37.5mg and that is too much. I ve been on a different medication .5ml but its not helping and upping it seems not to help either? any advice on what to do? i did see a pyscologist and had a medical plan but she told me im not depressed which i know and basically that was it. I thought cognitive behavour therapy was supposed to give you strategies to cope? any help would be grateful.
2 Replies 2

Community Member

Hi Sooty22,

Welcome to the beyondblue forum. It does sound like your anxiety has become more intense lately, and we would recommend exploring some of the psychological treatments as well as the medication. Anxiety does respond well to a combined approach, and there is a lot of evidence to support the benefits of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for addressing anxiety. 

Check out some of the information under 'Treatments for Anxiety' on the bb website, which is located here:


From this page you can also download the booklet, 'A guide to what works for anxiety' which is a comprehensive review of all treatments for anxiety. If you are not happy with your psychologist, it is worth persevering to find someone else you are happier with. Your GP can arrange a referral or you can call our Support Line to find out about recommended services in your area. Their number is 1300 22 46 36.

We hope you stay in touch with us on the forum and let us know how you get on.

With best wishes

beyondblue moderation team

Community Member

Hi Sooty, I'm Tom, also new to the site and also a UK immigrant!

As the Moderator suggested, I have found a combined approach for my anxiety a good way to go.  I started by taking anxiety medication, which like you I had to switch a couple of times until I found the one that worked for me.  I later teamed the medication with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) until I was gradually weaned off the medication after a couple of years (taking care to do so gradually and at the right time, not just because I no longer felt anxious - that's how the medication is meant to make you feel!).

Now when I feel any symptoms of anxiety coming on, I implement the skills I learned in CBT.  My personal approach is to actually write down what is making me anxious - quite often this is much easier said than done, I'll often feel anxious and can't remember exactly why!  But I always manage to get to the root of the problem, and most of the time when I come to answer the question of 'how rational am I being in worrying about this?', the answer is generally I'm not being rational at all, and I come to realise that really I'm worrying over something very trivial and unlikely to happen.  So in my personal experience, the key is usually to question how rational the roots of my worries are.  For example, I often suffer when going into a new situation, such as a new workplace.  But when I rationalise and think about why this stresses me so much, I rarely think of a realistic reason to be anxious.  Then I begin to think about the potentially positive outcomes instead.

If I'm in a situation where I can't write my thoughts down, I use breathing and self talking; simply turning negative phrases running through my mind into positive ones.  I know many are sceptical about this approach as far as chemical imbalances go, but I can assure you it helps.  It stops your brain from releasing those stress chemicals in the first place; a prevention to go with the cure (medication).  

As for your other problems, I cannot provide much advice, but I sincerely hope you do well on the road to improvement. I would highly recommend CBT to go with medication (when you find the right one), don't underestimate the value of changing that voice in your head from a negative one to a positive. Think rationally about your anxiety, and start to tell yourself "I can do this" instead of "I can't do this".