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Author Topic: I'm panicking on the subway now? really??  (Read 515 times)

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Offline italianyc84

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I'm panicking on the subway now? really??
« on: August 19, 2013, 03:57:06 PM »
Why is it always something?  Everytime I concur one phobia, another crops up out of absolutely nowhere.  I haven't had a full-blown panic attack is several years, though I still very much struggle with anxiety daily.  Out of nowhere on the subway the other day i felt that familiar, horrible feeling--like I was losing control and was afraid that I was going to embarass myself.  For those who don't live in NYC, everytime the door closes, I get anxious that the train might get stuck between the stations, which does happen occasionally (sometimes there's train traffic, etc, the train might get stuck for a few minutes). I try to be rational about it--if the train stops between stations, nothing bad is going to happen, it's just stopped.  I listen to music, read my kindle, etc.  But in the back of my mind, I CAN'T STAND not knowing.  Will the train stop between stations?  Will we be stopped for 1 minuts or 20 minutes?  What if it's a sick passenger and we're stuck for an hour? 

I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan.  I made my spouse drive us to work today because I just couldn't handle it.  It's 4pm and I'm already panicking about tomorrow's commute on the subway.  So far I've managed to fight the urge to get off at each stop, and I've stayed on the train the whole time, but what if tomorrow is the day I lose control and FREAK on the train?  The only thing I can think of is to take some klonopin in the morning, but I hate the idea of getting sleepy so early in the morning...

I'm so frustrated, I'm in tears over this.  I've lived here my entire life, have taken the subway since I was a kid.  I took the subway on my lunch hour today, only two stops, and was pretty much fine.  It seems to be the longer 30 minute trip to/from work that's killing me. 
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Offline Just Emma

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Re: I'm panicking on the subway now? really??
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 07:37:03 PM »
Hi ItaIiany,

I live in Toronto and when I first moved here and rode the subway, I had a MAJOR panic attack. The only thing that worked for me was watching the people and trying to incorporate their laid back attitudes. I work with dogs and know about transferring of energy....so I decided to give it a go. It actually worked! I was able to dampen the panic (though I was still super-anxious). Try it.
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Offline flowersblair

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Re: I'm panicking on the subway now? really??
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 01:32:44 AM »

I totally relate. Except for me its the bus, not the subway. I already know i would cope very badly having to stand up on the subway (so I don't catch the train where I live)

But because anxiety makes me too scared to drive, I catch the bus and suffer the same as you. I start to panic. It's either fear of passing out and having my money & phone stolen while I'm out, or shouting/going crazy.

I don't cope well with it; despite psychologist advice to do what scares me (yeah, right) I have shortened my bus trip to 5 minutes and have people pick me up. My old trip was 20 minutes but I can't do it anymore. Rather, I've let anxiety tell me I can't.

I understand how you feel. All that helped me at the time was deep breaths, my iPod and wiggling my toes -- concentrate on wiggling each one of your toes. Or I'd look at other passengers and make up stories in my head like "he works in a bakery and his wife is a beautician, and they have a pool, and 2 dogs.." I know it sounds silly but my psychologist told me to do it...it is just to distract the mind from the symptoms of panic.

Another one I do is think of a colour then list in my head all the things that are that colour. Eg red:
Apples, strawberries, lipstick, cars, roses, tomatoes, Jessica rabbit's dress, bay watch swim suits, etc. again sounds silly but that one really works for me. Otherwise all I can think is "gonna faint, gonna faint, gonna faint, can't deal".

Hope this helps..I fully sympathise.
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Offline Gailmarie

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Re: I'm panicking on the subway now? really??
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 09:32:03 AM »
I know plenty of people without 'anxiety issues' who get nervous going on a tube (subway). Even though you know it's safe the fear of it is very real - and the fear of 'losing control' adds to the anxiety - I know that feeling. My husband will go through the plot of a movie or book in as much detail as he can to distract himself from anxiety. This might help and is similar to the comment above. I don't live in NYC but I know Brooklyn is a fair way from Manhattan - is there a bus you could catch instead - or just do a shorter journey on the tube and build it up gradually (walking the rest of the way)?
I read the other day that anxiety is when we over-estimate the risk of something and under-estimate our ability to cope with it. Maybe by making a strategy of how you would cope if the the train did get stuck for an hour might help as well. This is a bit blue sky thinking but maybe you could use any time the train is stopped to plan your first novel!!! That way you might even be disappointed when the train starts up again - and you could become a best selling author - The Tube Writer!
(Sorry I keep saying tube its cos I'm from the UK). Let us know how it goes - you are stronger than you believe you are. 
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Gail Marie :-)

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