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How to handle anxiety disorder?

Q: I am a 29 year old unmarried male. I have a peculiar problem of some kind of anxiety disorder. I get nervous very quickly and have this problem since last 6 years when my grandmother suffered a stroke due to high B.P. I was not able to bear her helpless state due to paralysis and from that day started fearing this disease. Now every time I am under stress due to any reason, I assume that I may get in some kind of trouble and then would concentrate on my heart-beats and try to forcibly slow down my heart-beats thinking that this would slow down the BP or ease out my nerves that may occur due to stress. But instead, this results into choking of my breath and I feel breathless which leads to a kind of stress cycle. I am at a very low confidence level since my childhood due to my weak personality and always get easily trapped in some or other problem of this sort. Though i tried to fight this problem alone without talking to anybody and without the support of any doctor's advice, I am happy that I have improved myself a lot from what I felt 6 years back. But I have still not completely got out of it even after 6 yrs. The kind of advice I am looking from you is regarding some natural healing process (behavioural therapy), through which I can control this problem and anxiety. I DONT want to go for any kind of medicine at all.

A:I do understand your problems somewhat from the description you have provided. It is good that you have been able to help yourself in the last six years. There can be many ways of further helping oneself with yoga, meditation or any of the self help me available in books or the techniques like Art of Living etc. You may like to consider any one of these. Do keep in mind that although it is good that you wish to help yourself without medicines or professional help, it may be worth whille keeping in mind that sometimes ones own judgement may be erroneous in such matters. One can also consult psychiatrists or counsellors without necessarily going in for medication, and get help. I suggest that you try helping yourself further for the enxt few months, and if you still find it difficult, consider seeking help. Sometimes, it is sensible to seek help if one has tried and not succeeded in helping oneself.

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