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Author Topic: afraid to go to the movies ...  (Read 225 times)

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Offline artsyJ

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afraid to go to the movies ...
« on: June 14, 2014, 03:09:21 PM »
I was just wondering if anyone can provide some insight on how to address my problem....the last time I went to a movie at an actual theater I suddenly became very dizzy and light headed....which made me leave to go to the restroom....I was temporarily calmed....and went back into the movie.....a particularly loud scene ( not action packed just a loud theater) got my dizzy sensation to return. I eventually became so distressed that I had to leave with my boyfriend, and I eventually had a full blown panic attack in his truck complete with bewilderment and crying...and a general feeling that I was about to die or go crazy.....this has led me to develope an apprehension about movie theaters, although previously I was able to control the anxiety during a movie. I guess my fear is that I will become trapped there? Like I am obligated to stay for the entire showing in order to be polite....of course this feeling led me to feel very ashamed and sorry for making my boyfriend have to leave with me....any insight? Thank you!
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: afraid to go to the movies ...
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2014, 07:18:27 PM »
Artsy, did that movie have shaky camera work?  When I see a movie that's shaky, I get dizzy and nauseous and feel like I'm dying.

The other thing, you might try Netflix and watching films from home.  I love movies.  Couldn't live without them.
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Online anxiouskathie

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Re: afraid to go to the movies ...
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2014, 07:26:46 PM »
Please don't let this one panic attack ruin your love of going to the movies with your boyfriend!!!!  Next time, have something to do.....get a box of those gummy candies that take a while to chew or some popcorn to keep your hands and mind occupied....count the popcorns you put in your mouth until you are settled enough to sit and enjoy the movie....once your mind gets into the movie, hopefully you'll do fine and dandy!!!!

Closed in spaces can often cause panic, so just scope out the theater before you choose your seats and pick and isle seat that has easy access to leaving without having to climb over people if that makes you feel more at ease!  Please let us know how the next theater outing goes!!
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Offline artsyJ

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Re: afraid to go to the movies ...
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2014, 07:46:22 PM »
Thank you both so much! Will let you guys know how the next outing goes! I will try those things! :-)
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Offline lazylady42

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Re: afraid to go to the movies ...
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2014, 01:11:44 AM »
I have gone through this same thing twice before. I definitely agree that getting an aisle seat helps a lot. This way you can feel free to get up anytime you want, plus you get extra leg room to spread out. I like the idea of eating something to distract your mind. For me eating makes my anxiety worse so I always buy a bottle of cold water to sip instead which works similarly. Other things I do is sit closeish to the screen (not so close that you have to hurt your neck to watch it though) because for some reason focusing on something far away makes my anxiety worse. If your theater has giant chairs with head rests I suggest leaning all the way back and letting it support your head/all your weight which I find helps me to keep my muscles more relaxed. If there is a time that I do start to feel anxious I close my eyes and do some slow breathing which helps it pass.

I also feel terrible about the possibility of making my boyfriend leave with me too which is why I usually go without him to totally eliminate that layer of anxiety. I know this might not be an option for you but maybe there's a movie you want to see that he doesn't and you could use that as a stepping stone before going to see the next one with him. I know that when I have successful outings they boost my confidence and make me feel more comfortable pushing myself out of my comfort zone in the future. I also used to find that movies with a lot of action made me particularly anxious so I went to some mild comedies (the humor also helped distract my mind) just to get myself more acclimated to being in a theater and watching a movie before I started watching visually intense films again. 
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Offline ARose318

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Re: afraid to go to the movies ...
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 08:09:18 AM »
I haven't gone to a movie in years!

For one, I can't sit still so I'd be up every 5 minutes. I don't like being confined in dark places either so that wouldn't work. My hubby hates that we can't go to the movies but it's not like we CAN'T - I just don't want too
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Offline Rob783

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Re: afraid to go to the movies ...
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 09:12:05 AM »
I tend to hate movie theaters...large open space.... crammed in seats... than dark loud scenes that rattle your insides.  I went and saw Maleficent the other weekend with my fiance.   It was a decent movie but my anxiety kept me from really enjoying the movie experience.  My only suggestions is to go at off times to avoid crowds, also if you have benzos try taking one before you go to calm down.
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Offline hannah22

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Re: afraid to go to the movies ...
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2014, 01:06:11 PM »
I know how you feel!!!  I have always had this! I always have panic attacks when I am in places where you have to be quiet and I might embarrass my self- I have had some wicked panic attacks in movie theaters...I went to a movie last weekend and I started feeling numbness on one side and in my face...which makes me think I am having a heart attack....thus the anxiety. 
I try to take deep breaths and not go too early and have to sit through all those previews..the previews are the worst time for me.  Good luck to you and your boyfriend sounds very supportive.
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Offline artsyJ

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Re: afraid to go to the movies ...
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2014, 04:29:21 PM »
Thank you all I don't feel as nuts anymore! It isn't just movies for me either...I hate going to plays and large meetings where I know I will have to stay put! I hate that "against my will" trapped feeling I suppose! I'm always afraid I will be caught in the middle of a medical emergency in front of everyone...or I will faint in front of everyone! My anxiety is very health related. Rob, I hate the loud scenes as well they make me dizzy! And I have never been on any medication...I've been a "closet anxiety sufferer" for years. Just recently have I been reffered for CBT. Hannah, yes he is very supportive and I have given him MANY opportunities to get off of my "roller coaster ride" because it isn't fair to him.....he simply replies that it is not fair that I have to be the one to suffer which makes me realize that people like us are people too, and deserve to live as normally as possible.
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