Chat Now!   Member Gallery    Member Articles    Games   Member Groups   Member Blogs   Health News    Bored?

Author Topic: Panic Attack!  (Read 328 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline wgokc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Panic Attack!
« on: January 19, 2014, 09:53:16 AM »
Hello, this is my first post after posting my introduction.  My issues with panic have really started over the last year.  Now it's to the point that when I have to go somewhere such as the grocery store or any place where I know I'm going to have to wait in line and such, I start worrying that I'm going to have an episode.  Lately, this has been happening quite frequently.  I worry about it happening and then once I'm there and waiting in line I have nothing distracting me and it hits me.  I'm standing there waiting and I start thinking about it happening.  My heart starts racing and I get sweaty.  I have this feeling like I am trapped in a cell (that cell being my body).  My mind is racing and focusing on all of these feelings.  I feel as though I'm going to pass out, which I never have during these episodes.  Although I have these feelings I force myself to go into these situations because I've read that avoiding them will only make things worse.  It's just such a struggle to force myself to do this.  It's really driving me nuts because I know there is nothing physically wrong with me and I see it as completely silly.  As soon as I walk back out the door to the parking lot I'm fine. 
Bookmark and Share

Offline PinkIcePrincess

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 315
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 9
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Stressed
    Stressed
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Panic Attack!
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 03:24:28 PM »
Hi wgokc,
 YES!!! Oh my gosh that is the worse standing in line in a store and then it hits so hard and sweating starts and then the breathing and then the thoughts Oh I am going to pass out I am going to die I need to run now ..etc...Ugh all we can do is what you said stick it out and breathe and talk to the cashier or distract look around and talk to yourself...

 The more we run the more Anxiety and Panic chase us.. I hate it!! I always say WALMART knows when I walk in they change the lighting just for me or they close down all the lanes so I will have to stand in line for ever !! lol.. not real funny at the time!!

Good Luck and keep going and no don't back down and let it win I sure did and now I am worse..
Take care,
PinkIcePrincess
Bookmark and Share

Offline i960

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Rec's: 1
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Panic Attack!
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 06:40:19 AM »
The feeling of panic/anxiety arising in situations where one cannot escape easily and/or with feelings of being trapped is a general symptom of agoraphobia. It's completely expected and relatively normal. However...

Quote
I feel as though I'm going to pass out, which I never have during these episodes.  Although I have these feelings I force myself to go into these situations because I've read that avoiding them will only make things worse.  It's just such a struggle to force myself to do this.

You are definitely on the right path here, rationally, in realizing that you should *not* avoid these situations. Avoidance is the worse thing to do as far as fixing the underlying problem which causes the anxiety in the first place. See, the problem here is that your brain believes those environments are threatening - even though rationally we know they're not supposed to be threatening. Rationality does not matter here - the brain thinks it's dangerous and triggers the sympathetic nervous system to prepare for fight/flight mode. The latter is what gives you feelings of extreme anxiety, heart racing, sweatiness/clamminess, shortness of breath, pre syncope, and overall creeping dread feeling. The majority of these are legitimate physical symptoms as a result of the body preparing itself for a threat. But here's the gotcha: the sufferer does not perceive an active threat at the time - and as a result they cannot make a rational connection between the reaction of the mind/body and the actual reality they're part of at that moment. A panic "attack" usually occurs as a result. Compare this to a legitimately fearful situation (e.g. car accident, dog attack, fight, etc.) where the body has similar physical symptoms but which are quickly masked by the crisis at hand and also dissipate fairly quickly (physically and mentally) because there is a logical connection that the brain recognizes. On top of that, the vast majority of panic sufferers also help facilitate the situation by providing anticipatory anxiety - where they become anxious about potential anxiousness that has yet to happen and in a way help drive self-fulfilling anxiety.

How to stop the madness:

1. Accept that this is 100% anxiety and not some kind of hidden physical illness, brain tumor, MS, ALS, lyme, lupus, cancer, heart problem, adrenal dysfunction, etc. (you seem on the right track here).
2. Do NOT avoid potentially anxious/panic-like situations as a way of coping or trying to make the problem go away. It will not go away like this. Avoidance is a form of negative reinforcement.
3. Realize you can be actively rational/safe and the mind/body irrational/threatened. There may be no logically explainable reason behind the mind's rationale for feeling threatened at the time (although usually there is some kind of potentially "trapped" feeling buried somewhere). Recognize and catalog triggers but don't get excessively wrapped up in trying to determine logical explanations.
4. Reduce anticipatory anxiety and other precursor fears about potentially anxious places/situations you'll be placed in. Instead, be prepared for them to happen (or not happen) and have the attitude of "if it happens, it happens - if not, great." When the seemingly random panic attack does set in you'll easily recognize it for what it is and can react with confidence rather than fear.
5. Breathing exercises as a means of managing and reigning in the sympathetic nervous system when it's triggered by the irrational mind over a non-threat. This is important - and helps keep the physical symptoms controllable and manageable. It really is as simple as inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly. Don't worry if other people notice this, what matters is that the physical symptoms are regulated.
6. Actively challenge your anxiety and panic to cause you problems in situations/places where you expect it to occur based on past history. Think of it as the reverse of anticipatory anxiety. Rather than becoming fearful of the same-ole attack happening in it's expected places - instead actively laugh at the ridiculousness of our own brain's irrational reaction to non-threats.
7. By this point you're gaining control. Do not envision anxiety as some kind of life-long sentence or place it on a totem pole. Be aware of how it fits into your life now, but absolutely know it will be gone by the time you're done with it.
8. Repeat over and over until the brain (hippocampus in this case) sees and learns (and trust me, it will) that these environments are *not* actually threatening. The brain will recognize your own abilities in confidently mitigating the physical effects (via breathing/active awareness) and respond, through learning, by diminishing the severity of false threats until they're effectively nil again.

This is why exposure therapy and CBT work. Exposure therapy causes the brain to reteach itself to stop the madness by breaking the dysfunctional feedback loop through repetition and relearning.

Avoidance keeps anxiety sufferers trapped for as long as they choose to avoid whereas awareness and confronting it make the disease go away. You'll know you're on the right track when you have that "a-ha" moment about how it all fits together after successfully managing a few panic attacks and eventually realize just how ridiculous anxiety actually is once you gain real control over it.
Bookmark and Share

Offline wgokc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Panic Attack!
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 12:11:56 PM »
Thank you for the replies and words of encouragement.  I'm going to try and get in to see a therapist/counselor this week.  I have yet to speak to anyone about this other than my wife and mom, so I'm hoping some professional counseling will help. 
Bookmark and Share

Offline dreamspirit

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Panic Attack!
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 05:36:45 PM »
Hi wgokc,
 YES!!! Oh my gosh that is the worse standing in line in a store and then it hits so hard and sweating starts and then the breathing and then the thoughts Oh I am going to pass out I am going to die I need to run now ..etc...Ugh all we can do is what you said stick it out and breathe and talk to the cashier or distract look around and talk to yourself...

 The more we run the more Anxiety and Panic chase us.. I hate it!! I always say WALMART knows when I walk in they change the lighting just for me or they close down all the lanes so I will have to stand in line for ever !! lol.. not real funny at the time!!

Good Luck and keep going and no don't back down and let it win I sure did and now I am worse..
Take care,
PinkIcePrincess

Yup, What is it with Walmart?? I get that way at Walmart sometimes too, Not all the time but at times.. It's those times when you want to put a paper bag over your head lol
Bookmark and Share

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
10 Replies
9855 Views
Last post July 09, 2011, 09:53:55 PM
by grateful
4 Replies
778 Views
Last post February 22, 2012, 09:43:42 PM
by GTfan
4 Replies
2446 Views
Last post February 25, 2012, 09:25:01 PM
by tlynn
5 Replies
720 Views
Last post June 25, 2013, 03:42:28 PM
by Tounx
4 Replies
606 Views
Last post October 04, 2013, 08:31:44 AM
by Calamy

anything