Yes, there are many things you can do for the posttraumatic stress and anxiety, and I’ll be happy to suggest some of them.
But I do want to reassure you that most SSRI medications like Celexa take a few weeks to really kick in, so it’s not likely that it was the pills per se that set off the panic, nausea and heartburn, so much as your fear of the pills. That said, I’m still with you – with a horribly unpleasant reaction like that, it makes sense to look for other approaches that won’t catalyze such distress.
First off, any technique that teaches you how to relax at will is going to be helpful – for the general anxiety, the panic attacks and the posttraumatic stress.
So I’d start with our guided imagery for Panic Attacks. This audio program has 3 simple relaxation exercises – counting the breath, progressive relaxation with a body scan, and simple phrase or mantra repetition – plus some more complex guided imagery and affirmations.
There should be some tracks in there that work for you. Remember – your most useful tool is going to be training yourself to relax at the first hint of getting triggered. And the good news is, if you were suggestible enough to have that immediate reaction to taking Celexa, you’re very likely going to be totally terrific at accessing that immersive, hypnotic state that makes guided imagery so effective.
Please note that I’m purposely not recommending our Posttraumatic Stress imagery for you. It’s very effective but also very intense and emotionally evocative, and if you use that before developing and strengthening these relaxation skills, it could trigger another panic episode. So let’s steer clear of that one for now. Besides, if you have success with the other ones, you may not need it.
Another tool that could really help is one of the acupoint tapping techniques – in spite of many theories, nobody is quite sure how these work to reduce anxiety so quickly, but they’re helpful for a lot of people, and that’s what counts.
You may want to find a local practitioner of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) or TFT (Thought Field Therapy) or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or SE (Somatic Experiencing) to name a few. Or, if you want to check out what this approach is like first, try Mary Sise’s DVD to see it in action.
Another thing you can do is energy work for accessing a profound state of relaxation – Healing Touch or Therapeutic Touch, aromatherapy massage or acupressure. This brings you relaxation from the outside in, and that could be really helpful to you to deepen your ability to access this mind/body state.
You can actually even combine this kind of table work with listening to guided imagery – we know from Scripps’ work with traumatized Marines from Camp Pendleton, who were given just 6 Healing Touch sessions while listening to guided imagery, that this was very effective in dramatically reducing their symptoms.
So why not start there, and see how it goes? Try to be patient. It may take a while, but try out different methods, see what suits you and works well for you, and build from there.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.