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Trying to stop a panic attack from coming

i made my first post here a couple days ago, is it ok to post again so soon, or should i have kept it to the same post? sorry if i did it wrong. not even sure if im going to post this, mostly just writing to get out of my own head. its going to be messy sorry, dont have the mental energy t go through and fix everything like i tried to do for my fors tpost. i put it as journal instead of support cause i dont really know that i can be helped, it just seems to be just teh way i am, ive been broken for as long as i can remeber. i get anxiety a lot, it turns up in a coulpe differnt ways. social anxiety, like not being good around people, always worrying what they think, being afraid to speak in public situations or around new people. not coping well with crowded noisy places. these things i can kinda deal with. like, its not pleasant, but i can get through it because i can come hom to my quiet empty house and then thinsg slowly get better. but the other way my aniety comes is harder to escape from. it shows up in the dark, when the lights are uot and im trying to sleep, and i have nothing left to distract my brain. and then things get tighter and i feel like i cant breath, and i just lie there in bed adn i cant move, because my brain starts getting really illogical, and i start feeling like if i move, even just a little bit, bad things are going to start happening. it sounds so ridiculous and pathetc writing this, but often ive felt like the world would start coming to an end, like the whole apocolypse thing, as soonas i start moving again. and every little noise, like the house creaking or wind blowing, makes it worse. i know it doesnt make sense, even in the moment when imhvaing the panic attack i know its not right, but i cant get myself out of it. i just end up lying there without moving, trryning to remember to breath until eventually i get so exhausted that i fall as leep. then i wake up the next morning and realise how crazy i was for having thise silly thoughts. there was an eearthquake here a couple hours ago, not a big one, just enough to rattle the windows. they are pretty comon here in new zealand. but i knew that it was likely to trigger a pani attack, so i tried to distract myslef with youtube and stuff, and there was a stream a little while ago that i watched and that helped a bit. but i know that evetuall i have to turn off my laptop and sleep, its like 5am here and i havent slept yet, and just thinking about it makes my brething go all wrong again. being worried about the panic attack is causing it to happen, its a stupid cycle. but i dint know how to break it. im sorry this is such a mess, i just thought maybe it might help to get everything out of my head, maybe it would help me see things better an stop it from happening, and if it doesnt, at least it wont make it any worse, i dont think. i dont know. im so tired of fighting my own brain. i just want it to stop.

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Hi kikorangi_ruru
I am sorry you have to go through this every day. There are ways to make your social anxiety get better. It is not easy but it is doable. There is this video from the amazing Psych2go that deals with ways how to deal with anxiety. These ways are not ways to treat anxiety but they can make stressful situations more bearable. If you want to actively get rid of your anxiety I would consider contacting your doctor and disscuss possible ways of treatment. 6 Tips To Overcome Social Anxiety (Affects Our Everyday Life) - YouTube I hope at least some of these help you. :wink:

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I know we’ve mentioned the costs associated with therapy. Have you tried calling any of these resources I saw listed here? Maybe a friendly voice on the phone could help you through the worst of these difficult moments?

I see there are low cost or free services that may be possible.

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and also, it’s totally okay to post again, and as a new post. :slight_smile:

Also, have you ever looked into meditation and mindfulness?
At the least, deep breathing and being focused on it can help you. Hoping you can check out some youtube vids that will help you.

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sorry it took so long to reply. i kinda paniked after i posted, scared of what people would think i guess. i dont usually share stuff like that, even online. i guess im ashamed of being like this, of not being able to hold it together, of having panic attacks over something so ridiculous and pathetic.

i also see its been changed to the support section insteda of journal, i guess that makes sense, sorry for putting it in the wrong place, my brain really just wasnt working well last night, which is probly pretty obvious from the mess that i wrote. sorry its all jumbled and messed up, im not very good at this.

thankyou to the people who replied. i struggle a bit with helplines, though i have tried them in the past. i have a bit of trouble with audio prosessing, which makes phonecalls difficult cause i cant see the person talking to get visual clues to what they are saying, if that makes sense. ive also felt kinda bad when i have used them, cause ive never been at a “crisis point”, so i felt like i was taking someone elses spot when they might need it more. helplines are pretty notoriously understaffed here in nz unofrtunately.

i have made a step though, today i made an appointment to see my doctor. i couldnt get in till next thurdsay, but its a start. havent been in to see her since before covid, shes the one who prescribed the medication im currently on. ive been writing down what i want to talk about, and hopefully she might be able t suggest a way to get more help? it sounds sily, i know, making a list, but i might be mre likely to be more open with her if i write things down i think. in the past when ive been to see her, ive kinda downplayed my mental helatth stuff a bit, i guess i was ashamed, and i kinda figured that once i was on medictaion, i was supposed to be getting better, and it did help for a little while, but not very long. i think maybe i was expecting it to work, so i felt better for a little wjile until my brain figured out that it wasnt actually working. sort of like a placebo i guess, i think thats the right word. like, i know the medication isnt actually made as a placebo, but i guess it isnt the right one for me, and so it didnt work. sorry, im not doing a very good job of explaining this. but anyway, i will do my best to be more honest woth her about whats going on, and hopefuly there might be something in my town that i have missed where i could get some help.

ive tried mindfulness/meditation a little bit before. it seems to wokr for a little while, and i suppose it would get better the more i do it, ut the first few times i tried it kinda freaked me out, i know that sounds weird. i was trying the deep breathing, and i could feel myself relaxing, but then i think my body and mind is so used to being on edge that it panicked when it started to relax. it was kinda like that sensation people get sometimes when youre falling asleep and suddenly it feels like you are falling. but instead of falling it was like floating up, and suddenly realising there wasnt anything under my feet holding me up. its hard to explain, sorry.

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Hey @kikorangi_ruru,

sorry it took so long to reply. i kinda paniked after i posted, scared of what people would think i guess. i dont usually share stuff like that, even online. i guess im ashamed of being like this, of not being able to hold it together, of having panic attacks over something so ridiculous and pathetic.

That is part of the perks of anxiety, the fear of being judged, of taking too much space, of not being “valid” in our struggles… That is something I struggle with as well. You are not alone, and I promise you that there is absolutely no shame to have. This panic attack happens to be an obstacle on the road. It’s okay to say it, it’s okay to reach out, it’s okay to be helped. You are not failing, weak or ridiculous because of how you feel or react.

i also see its been changed to the support section insteda of journal, i guess that makes sense, sorry for putting it in the wrong place, my brain really just wasnt working well last night, which is probly pretty obvious from the mess that i wrote. sorry its all jumbled and messed up, im not very good at this.

I changed the category, because you seemed to be in a huge distress and I want you to receive all the support and love you deserve. :hrtlegolove: No worries at all, no apologies necessary. It’s absolutely okay. No mistake happened or anything - it is just a matter of personal perception and increasing a bit the visbility of your post.

I hear through your posts how much you are worried about doing the wrong thing, making the wrong decision, making a mistake basically. A big chunk of existing for me is absolutely that, feeling like walking on eggshells and being completely afraid of being seen, being present and taking up space. Just a couple of days ago, I broke down in tears because I was supposed to have a video call with an online friend, one who hasn’t heard my voice nor saw me yet. I was so anxious before the meeting that the stress just piled up to the point of breaking down completely. It was supposed to be something normal, right? But the panic and the impression of literally dying because of it was very real too. For my brain, it was a threatening situation. When I’ve realized that, I welcome the emotions as such, and told myself I was safe anyway, that it was a matter of riding the wave at the moment. I didn’t talk as a result, but my friend reassured me for a couple of minutes because he understands how distressing this is for me.

All of this to say: we’re humans. It’s okay to struggle with specific situations. I can assure you, that this place right here, this community, is a place where you can really ease your fears (at your own pace), as you will only be met with love and understanding. You are in a good place to make small steps and progress at your own pace.

ive tried mindfulness/meditation a little bit before. it seems to wokr for a little while, and i suppose it would get better the more i do it, ut the first few times i tried it kinda freaked me out, i know that sounds weird. i was trying the deep breathing, and i could feel myself relaxing, but then i think my body and mind is so used to being on edge that it panicked when it started to relax. it was kinda like that sensation people get sometimes when youre falling asleep and suddenly it feels like you are falling. but instead of falling it was like floating up, and suddenly realising there wasnt anything under my feet holding me up. its hard to explain, sorry.

You have explained it very well, and, my own experience of breathing type of meditation is the same. Mindfulness/meditation is not necessarily for everyone, or not at any time of our life. When we are anxious like that, it is as if an “on” button has been pushed and we can’t find the off one to turn it down. When feeling on edge constantly, suddenly sitting down and focusing on our breathing can be so overwhelming and distressing and actually increase the anxiety.

You’ve had a good response though even if it has been temporary. I would personally encourage you to try to practice grounding/mindfulness while doing something. To me personally, drawing and coloring while listening to some calm music really helps. It is a time to let my thoughts wander and observe them as if they were floating around. I would try to focus on the shapes being colored, on the lines being drawn, etc. There is something very satisfying and soothing. But it could be any activity, as long as you feel that it allows you to somehow slow down a little bit. Being fully relaxed may not be possible right now, but you can try to practice things with the intention of simply slowing down your heartbeats and your body. Doing some soft stretches could help for example. Making sure to listen to slow music helps as well, as our body tends to react to the beats we listen too.

More generally, I’d recommend you this list of grounding types of little exercices that are available to anyone: Grounding 101: Featuring 101 Grounding Techniques! — Beauty After Bruises - This list has saved me from panicking many times, as the suggestions are very simple and effective.

i have made a step though, today i made an appointment to see my doctor. i couldnt get in till next thurdsay, but its a start. havent been in to see her since before covid, shes the one who prescribed the medication im currently on. ive been writing down what i want to talk about, and hopefully she might be able t suggest a way to get more help? it sounds sily, i know, making a list, but i might be mre likely to be more open with her if i write things down i think. in the past when ive been to see her,

Not silly at all! It really really helps to clarify your ideas and make sure you say everything you need when you’ll see her. The panic/anxiety can make us lose sight of what we wanted to say during a meeting. It can make us feel as if our mind goes blank suddenly. It’s totally okay to write down a list of bullet points before. It’s actually very thoughtful. Well done! I’m also proud of you for seeing her again and deciding to address these issues with her. She may have some recommendations in terms of getting help, indeed, whether it’s therapy recommendation or financial aid. It’s always worth it to ask.

i was supposed to be getting better, and it did help for a little while, but not very long. i think maybe i was expecting it to work, so i felt better for a little wjile until my brain figured out that it wasnt actually working. sort of like a placebo i guess, i think thats the right word. like, i know the medication isnt actually made as a placebo, but i guess it isnt the right one for me, and so it didnt work.

It can be tough to find the right one, because we are all unique in terms of health and physicality. Our brains and body react differently to medication, so it’s kind of a “try and see” process, which can be frustrating and even discouraging at times. But I want to encourage you to keep trying. Being aware that this one doesn’t create any improvement is already a big step, and now the next one is to share this feedback with your doctor, so you can figure out what’s next. Again, it’s very brave of you to go through that process and ask for help as you do. I know that, when we are anxious like that, it becomes an automatism to downplay our struggles because the fear of asking for help is too high. You are thriving and doing the right thing, friend. Really.

As for the medications, I would encourage you to see them as a crutch, but of course it’s not something that will suppress the root of your struggles. Your anxiety had developped over time. It is a habit for your brain to say “I’m in danger” in situations that are not appropriate. The problem is that for now it seems to be interfering with the possibility to just live for you and have a bit of peace. So, a medication would be this crutch that will help you to walk again, but still there will be a need to work on the automatisms that your anxiety created in your mind, little by little, and preferably with the help of someone.

On a different note, I would encourage you to eventually look after some books that could help you understand the mechanisms behind your anxiety. It is in itself a great step to take as it helps us understand that we are not the problem, and there is no shame to have for struggling. I would personally recommend you a book called "The Wisdom of Anxiety by S.Paul. It is full of compassion, understanding, and peace. Just a personal recommendation as I see you blaming yourself a lot for what you are going through.

I’m sorry you are struggling with anxiety. It’s not your fault though, and it is possible to work through it, to thrive. I know this shit tends to affect everything and it feels like it ruins our life. I’m so very proud of you for deciding to take care of it and being in this process of seeking help. :hrtlegolove:

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  • writing down things is my fave thing ever! Like, how are we supposed to remember everything otherwise? It’s brilliant that you’re doing so!

  • being open and honest with your doctor is another super great move, because she’s there to help and advise!

  • Meditation and mindfulness can be a real shock to the system when you start getting into it, it’s like your brain is used to firing in all directions at once and suddenly it’s being forced to settle down, relax and not fire all at once? It definitely is strange at first, but it should get better as you get used to it. Same with deep breathing, it forces your body to behave differently, it forces your brain to fire differently, and that can be scary to experience.

  • there is never to apologize for how you write a post or what you’ve written. We’re glad you’re here and trusting us :slight_smile:

  • helplines are there to help, at any stage of the process where you need help. You’re not taking a spot when you ask for help. They’re there to help anyone who needs it, and you’re worth being listened to.

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Hi kikorangi_ruru
You dont have to apologize there is nothing to apologize for. It is understandable that you would feel unsure and even scared when sharing something so personal. Its really ok to do so here. Nobody is going to judge or shame you. We all have our struggles.

You did not choose to have a panic attack your body did. You are not the cause of the issue you are just trying to cope with it. There is no reason to be ashamed. People who are claustrophobic did not choose to be that way, the same goes for everybody even you. We are to way we are and we can deal with that and work with that but we did not choose to be the way we are.

You live in New Zealand… OMG Lord of the Rings country. Sorry my inner fanboy got out… Ehm… Where were we… oh yes… When you are in crisis there is no shame in calling a crisis hotline. You are as important as everybody else. If everyone said “well there is somebody who has it worse than me” than nobody would get help. So if you are in a bad place dont be afraid to ask for help. :wink:

Great!!!

I understand that feeling. This just means that you issues are serious and should not be treated lightly. Discuss this with your doctor. Maybe there is a different medication she can give you or maybe a higher dosage would do the job. Just ask her. She will figure something out.

Meditation and mindfullness take practise so dont be discouraged that the first few attempts kind of freaked you out. It is an unusual experience to be sure and anything new can be scary so the more you are familiar with it the less scary it becomes. I hope things will get better for you. I am wishing you luck. :slightly_smiling_face:

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thanks to everyone who has replied, i appreciate your kind words and advice. i feel like i should be going through and replying to all the different things people have said, but words are hard at the moment. can’t get my thoughts in order. maybe ill make a post after ive seen my dr, might have some more answers, or a plan of some sort. sorry, you all seem to have put a lot of time and thought into your replies, and im not giving much in return. i am thankful, im just so tired, i cant think straight

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Take all the time you need, @kikorangi_ruru. Rest as much as you can. There is no rush nor any pressure to respond extensively or anytime soon.

I’m looking froward to hearing from you, but because I care about you. No pressure and no specific expectations in that.

This community is here whenever you feel okay to talk. You are loved. :hrtlegolove:

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