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another panic attack
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lovenj41 posted:
Hi my name is Trisha , just wanted to share what happen to me yesterday when I went out for a walk...well I am from the Jersey Shore, so yesterday I decided to get out for a long walk to the beach a few blocks from me. I left the house and felt pretty good because i was getting out of the house. For a while I have been staying in a lot because of my Anxiety & Panic attacks. Anyway I walk the beach , nobody was there it was really cold but I felt good and I was relax ok so now on the way back this guy seen me but I was like a few feet away from crossing the street, so anyway he waited for me to cross the street and that when I had my panic attack!!!!!!! So I just took a deep breath and kept walking. Is there any tips how to control this feeling I get? Thanks
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Viktoriya7588 responded:
Hi Trisha,

Great job getting out of the house and going for a walk. I know it was probably a challenge but it's great that you are continuing to live your life as best as you can despite the anxiety. You actually did the right thing by continuing to walk even though you started feeling the panic symptoms coming on. Below is some information that can help you understand panic a little better. I would also recommend for you to seek treatment with someone that specializes in anxiety disorders using cognitive behavioral therapy (adaa.org is a great website). Good luck

Control PanicControlling Panic Attacks
Many people suffering from Panic Disorder try to control the symptoms as much as possible and search for new and creative strategies to reduce the anxiety including cold showers, alcohol, breathing, meditating, medication, breathing, relaxation training, avoidance of caffeine, etc. All these techniques appear to work short-term, yet panic and anxiety always ends up coming back and often with a vengeance (maybe because trying to reduce the anxiety tells the body that the panic is something that needs to be feared and fixed). The paradox of panic is the more a person tries to control it, the less control he or she actually has over it.


Avoidance of situations to control panic usually starts small but quickly escalates to becoming debilitating. Initially a person tells him or herself that it's not a necessity to go on cruises and you can go on vacation somewhere else. Then, flying doesn't become a priority and driving becomes just as good of an option (so what if it takes 25 hours to gets somewhere rather than 3). Driving in traffic can be avoided by taking side streets. This avoidance can gradually turn into not driving long distances and having to quit jobs.
All of these avoided activities are often justified. The ability to convince and make excuses/justifications to oneself and to others becomes almost automatic. Without treatment a person can become more and more confined by the panic. Sometimes, the only place to feel "safe" is at home. People often question how they got to this place. How years ago, the person was full of life and did all of these wonderful things? What happened to that person and is there any hope of getting her/him back?


One way to stop panic is to let go of the control. The harder a person fights having a panic attack, the more likely he or she becomes anxious. Allowing panic to ride its course is vital. Giving it permission to come in, do what it has to do, and leave when it's ready is what helps the body realize it is not that scary (and to react less strongly). There unfortunately is no magic pill and creative technique that will eliminate the anxiety. The only way to really and truly stop it is by not fighting it. This is obviously no simple task and it is no way to minimize how terrible it can feel to have a panic attack. However, the paradox to panic is that by giving into it and letting it come is the way to tell the body that it is really not that scary (which allows the body to react in a less anxious manner).



Viktoriya Abramova
Clinical Director
Anxiety Treatment Clinic
754-444-2694
http://anxietytreatmentclinic.com/
anxietytreatmentclinic@gmail.com
 
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
I'm assuming that you have had major problems with anxiety and depression in the past and that's the reason you have been pretty much housebound. It's never easy going out after you've stayed in for a long time, but you managed it and you should give yourself a pat on the back for that.

You also managed to get through the initial feeling of panic when you saw that fellow wait for you to cross the street. I'm sure that that took a great deal of internal strength, but, again, you managed it and you can give yourself credit for.

I'm not sure if you have been working with anyone on your anxiety and panic, but this would be a good thing to consider if you're not. You've proven that you can benefit from self-help techniques and, I'm sure, you will be able to benefit from cognitive therapy for this. One thing that we do have here in our Tips column is our relaxation breathing video tutorial which I would suggest that you view. I think you will really help.

As I said, if you are not in cognitive therapy, I would recommend it because things can't get much better for you.
 
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lovenj41 replied to Viktoriya7588's response:
Thanks Vikoriya, Yeah it was a challenge but the more I do it the more it helps me it seems to deal with the real world..really sucks having a life like this! I am glad to be able to join this community I don't feel like I am a wacko anymore...lol thanks again! Thanks for the good advice I have it bookmarked so I can read it again and again! and have a better understanding about these attacks. Trisha
 
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lovenj41 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
Hi Patrica , Yes you are correct I did have problem in the past with aniexty/ depression .. but now that I am older and I know what sign to look for before I have a aniexty/panic attack I can calm myself down sometimes, sometimes not!. I dont have insurance right now..I will look into the self-help techniques video's , maybe that can help some.
Thanks for getting back to me! as for today I am doing well. Thanks Trisha
 
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miranau responded:
Keep doing it. Keep going for walks, even if they make you panic.Running away from things that cause you anxiety will reinforce the trigger, I've found. Cognitive behavioural therapy will tell you the same thing - do the thing that makes you anxious so as to "disarm" it. Your anxiety will start, peak, and then come down. It'll be really uncomfortable for the first while, but if you keep doing it, I bet it will get much better.

Best of luck.
 
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lovenj41 replied to miranau's response:
Thanks miranau I have been doing good lately even though I am having my attacks but I still go out little by little feels good when I get back at home! I am invited to a big wedding, it's my first wedding and I am so nervous, there is gonna be a lot of people there and I don't really know anyone but my boyfriend and his son. So this is gonna be a big step for me, I really feel like changing my mind! But my boyfriend would be really hurt if I didnt go to his daughters wedding and he don't understand about what I am going through, he gets very angry with me. So I was thinking maybe have a couple of drink before I go to the wedding. I don't know what else to do!! thanks again for your respond...Trisha
 
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Viktoriya7588 replied to miranau's response:
Maranau,,

You are absolutely correct. Leaving a feared situation at a high level anxiety will only make that situation more fearful. The body cannot be at a high level of anxiety for a prolonged period of time and it will eventually reduce naturally if you stay with it and don't run away (parasympathetic nervous system which is the brake). It is very important to stay in the anxiety provoking situation and then repeat it over and over again until it gets to the point of being boring (ex: the first time you watch a horror film its very scary, the second less so, and the third you're falling asleep). Great post and very true.

Viktoriya Abramova
Clinical Director
Anxiety Treatment Clinic
754-444-2694
http://anxietytreatmentclinic.com/
anxietytreatmentclinic@gmail.com
 
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Viktoriya7588 replied to lovenj41's response:
Hi Lovenj41,

I am really happy to hear that you have been doing better and pushing yourself. I would not recommend you drinking in order to reduce your anxiety. By doing so you are telling yourself that you are not strong enough to overcome the anxiety and need a crutch known as a safety seeking behavior to reduce the anxiety which in essence not only maintains it but even increases it. Short term it works great, but long term it makes it worst. Just a suggestion and good luck with the wedding. Keep us updated!

Viktoriya Abramova
Clinical Director
Anxiety Treatment Clinic
754-444-2694
http://anxietytreatmentclinic.com/
anxietytreatmentclinic@gmail.com
 
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lovenj41 replied to Viktoriya7588's response:
Hi Viktoriya, Just wanted to give you some updates on how the wedding went. Well getting ready for the wedding was nerve recking all together...trying to do my hair with the curling iron was impossible because I was shaking and sweating Lol but I got it done..the only problem was with my hair is by time I got done with one side the other side flopped even with hair spray...Lol but it still looked nice, so now it was getting closer to leaving and I started to feel like I was gonna throw up, so I wind up having a couple of shots which helped! At church I was fine and catching up with my boyfriends sister, that was my second time meeting her. I felt comfortable around her because she was also nervious. And At the wedding party I had a blast, lost of dancing and good company. I did get nervious there a little but when I did , his sister walk me out side and we sat there and talked..then when I felt ok I went back in, I am so glad that it went away fast Lol P>S There were 500 people there..so I give myself a pat on the back!


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