Q: I have suffered from anxiety for years. Usually it’s manageable and I have never had to take any medicine. If I am in an overly stressful situation my throat begins to close and I have difficulty swallowing. Is there any way to control this?
A: You are right, anxiety can be managed without medication as you are apparently living proof. Barring any medical reasons the tightness in your throat and difﬁculty swallowing are probably caused by anxiety. For some reason your stress level is higher than average and the adrenaline which is being released is leading to symptoms associated with panic attacks.
If you know why you are more stressed, the ﬁrst place to start would be to examine why and then use your already well developed coping skills to deal with it. If that is not working, medication such as Xanax can be a temporary solution until you are past the acute stress.
Brief, targeted psychotherapy is also useful for coming up with reasons for your symptoms and new ways to get back to your medication free life.