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Panic attacks

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 12:45 pm
by Annpan
I know... I am falling apart :roll:

After everything that happened last month (cancer deaths, huge stress at OHs work, bad tummy bug and finding glass in my food - plus some other stuff) It would appear that I am now getting panic attacks again.

I get them when I am stressed but not in the moment, might have something to do with adrenalin getting you through the really stressful things. Last time was when I couldn't go to my brother's wedding but didn't want to hurt his feelings, they stopped within hours of talking to him :roll:

I know what they are so I never allow it to get passed the first breath - most people who have suffered panic attacks know what I mean. I trained myself about 10 years ago to understand I am not going to die, it is just a turn, it will pass. But it is starting to get really painful as it happens every 10 to 15 mins, except when I am asleep, or have just woken up.

Has anyone got any other coping strategies?

They do pass, which hopefully will be this week or next - when the plans for the house go into planning and I hear back from environmental health about the glass in my food - and I stop panicking about things I can't do anything about.

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:09 pm
by Milims
Aww hun :hugish: they are horrid! The only thing that helps me is to ask myself what I think it is that's making me feel like that and then basically take the time to breath and reason it out. I do hope they pass soon

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:21 pm
by Green Aura
It sounds like you're already doing the right things honey.

One further suggestion though is to get a smell, or something else you might think appropriate, that you can associate with calmness and well-being. I say smell of course because it's what I do and it's immediate. But it might be the feel of something (like a blankie :lol: ) that brings you comfort. It just needs to be something small enough to have with you at all times.

A couple of drops of lavender, or whatever your favourite oil is - as long as it's not a really stimulating one - on a hankie. You can keep it in your pocket, or bag, and have a good snort every time you feel it come on, or rub your blankie - you get my drift.

Another technique I teach people is grounding - you may already be familiar with it. It needs practice in order to initiate it, but it'll stop a panic attack almost instantly. It's difficult to explain in a few brief words, but essentially you concentrate on each of your five senses in turn, each building on the last, and concentrating them on the world around you - what you can hear, smell etc. This feeds the message back to your brain that there's no need for "fight or flight" and so it stops adrenaline production, and so the attack.

You know your own body, and that this will pass, but :hugish: in the meantime. PM me if you need any help.

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:26 am
by the.fee.fairy
Along with the lavender (i like a bit of peppermint just to give the lavender a fresher smell and make it less like an old lady...) get some rescue remedy and have 4 drops under the tongue. It tastes lovely and is very calming.

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:36 am
by CyberPaddy66
Sounds to me like you need a good old fashioned holiday, take a week off and spend time somewhere nice.

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 3:46 am
by JulieSherris
Ann, I wish I had some advice for you.....

After many years of putting myself in the situations that cause me panic attacks, I still can't cope with them....
Think crowds.... then we go to Notting Hill Carnival, we move to Blackpool, we go to Parade Days, etc etc....

But now we're living where we are, life is simply wonderful - if only it would stay that way & I never need to see crowds again... yeah right! At least now I don't impact on others around me anymore like I used to :roll:

Like Maggie & Fee say though, a reassuring smell - and some 'chill' music on an mp3 player - discreet enough to pop in your ear & small enough for the pocket.... my favourite calming music is a range of stuff by Aaron Neville.... his Ave Maria version is beautiful.... really it's a form of diversion therapy - and put the music & smell together, it can really help to trick your brain into being distracted long enough for the attack to subside.

In the meantime, don't put yourself under any further pressure - and relax... go potter in that garden & remember that we're always here for you... even if we can't always help, we're at least sympathetic & understanding. :hugish:

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:13 am
by Annpan
Ahhh, thanks guys, feeling better this morning... touch wood.

I have tried the lavender trick... I always carry a bottle around with me anyway.

OH has just left with house plans to post off to planning (one of the many weights that I have been dragging around with me)
Yesterday Environmental health were over to collect ll the glass samples. I am trying to envisage these as full stops to those worries.

Paddy, I would love a holiday... but we can't afford one :( Some time off would be lovely, but sadly my job is as a Mum, Wife and Housekeeper (and all that entails)... you don't really get a day off from that.

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 8:04 am
by becks77
This is an awful thing to have to go through, whilst you cant take a holiday how about practicing a bit of yoga and meditation, with little ones around its not easy to find time for yourself but maybe just a bit of deep breathing and meditation might help,
Best wishes and positive vibes

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:47 am
by StripyPixieSocks
If you can't take a holiday (and we can't afford one either so we know where you're coming from) go get a relaxation CD, maybe a sea one or a bird song one, one of the more natural ones and spend an evening with a nice meal, the CD playing in the background, a nice bottle of wine, candles lit and then maybe watch a DVD later with some chocs or something.

OR

Take a long leisurely bubble bath and pamper yourself, music, chocolates, candles etc

Relaxation is the key, getting rid of the stress even for just one night helps generally and makes you feel a whole lot better... it works for us anyway and believe me we have needed all the stress relief we could get over the last year or so!

As I said on Twitter, I get dreadful panic attacks, my OH once left me in Lewisham for literally two minutes to go park the car, when he got back I was a gibbering tearful, hysterical wreck.

IN all honesty though if you're having them every 15 minutes or so I would strongly suggest going to see your GP and asking them what they can do for you. I know it might mean taking tablets for a while but it might just get you over the hump for a while!

:hugish: :hugish: :hugish:

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 11:17 am
by Annpan
I have been on beta blockers for them before, no way am I going down that route again.

I don't have full flung attacks anymore, because I know what is happening. I just do the deep breath thing... I feel my lungs aren't taking in enough and I take a deep breath but it feels like I am never quite reaching that level I need to, to get enough air in my lungs, this used to start a chain reaction that would have me end up in a real state. But now I just take a deep breath... but it hurts like hell.

It started again this morning as soon as I got E out of bed, she was at her grandparents over the weekend (to give us a rest :roll: ) but since she came home she is right a little Madam - demanding everything and having having a strop over the smallest thing - I am finding it very stressful... It will pass, it will... it just sucks while it is going on.

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:12 pm
by Millymollymandy
I have panic attacks but that is for a reason, a phobia (or 2 or 5 or 10) :roll: . I'm not going to discuss it in public but no lavender oil or relaxation or anything like that will stop me having a panic from mild to major, but then I've never got them like Annpan is getting them, and as I know exactly what and why I am having them I don't have breathing problems exactly - well not the type like you see on telly when people need to breathe into paper bags. I shake and quiver and my heart beats 10 times to the dozen and I break out into a cold sweat as well. I can only make them go away when the reason for the fear goes away. Anyway have suffered for donkeys years to some degree or other (20 - 30 years!) and yes life sucks! So I sympathise. :hugish:

Edited to say I have seen so many shrinks and none of their mumbo jumbo works.

Re: Panic attacks

Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:07 am
by SarahJane
Green Aura wrote:It sounds like you're already doing the right things honey.

One further suggestion though is to get a smell, or something else you might think appropriate, that you can associate with calmness and well-being. I say smell of course because it's what I do and it's immediate. But it might be the feel of something (like a blankie :lol: ) that brings you comfort. It just needs to be something small enough to have with you at all times.

A couple of drops of lavender, or whatever your favourite oil is - as long as it's not a really stimulating one - on a hankie. You can keep it in your pocket, or bag, and have a good snort every time you feel it come on, or rub your blankie - you get my drift.

Another technique I teach people is grounding - you may already be familiar with it. It needs practice in order to initiate it, but it'll stop a panic attack almost instantly. It's difficult to explain in a few brief words, but essentially you concentrate on each of your five senses in turn, each building on the last, and concentrating them on the world around you - what you can hear, smell etc. This feeds the message back to your brain that there's no need for "fight or flight" and so it stops adrenaline production, and so the attack.

You know your own body, and that this will pass, but :hugish: in the meantime. PM me if you need any help.

Its def timewe met up again Maggie!

I have found my panic attacks returning more recently, the worse ones when I was flying a couple of weeks, both flights. Normally flying really doesnt worry me but I had a panic attack on both flights. The way ( only way I could) deal with it at the time was to imagine I had a paper bag to breath into, it sounds silly , but it was the only way I could think of to try and regulate my breathing.
It did work fortunately!!! But I must remember never to sit on a window seat on a full plane again! :flower: