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Many years of panic attacks and agoraphobia

T

Talith

Guest
Boring, I know. But something we all share on this site. I have tried everything you can think of to stop the terror, but something always comes along to set me back to zero. Right now I cannot get out of my comfort zone - our house - going outside without someone with me terrifies me. It doesn't help that Mum died last year and hubby and I bought a house, ultra stress. Plus I disowned my awful family which although I am not sad about, it has left me with a bit of feeling of not belonging. I try and keep my sense of humour going, but sometimes it is very hard to do when I have to go to the shop on my own and I am trying very very hard not to have a panic attack and trying to do breathing exercises and all the while wanting to run back to our house but being unable to run as I walk with a stick. I'm sure other people feel like this, how have you all overcome it? Or coped with it? I do happen to know a very famous young rock star who had terrible panic attacks when he started out, and I tend to try and think "He can play in front of millions of people now, so I can at least walk down the shop". I wish he would write for some of these forums, it would give hope to so many people, but his Mum and I aren't speaking too much now.. She was my best mate at school. Oh dear, too much woffling. Talith
 
honeyquince

honeyquince

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Location
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Hi Talith and welcome to the forum. It's good to have you here.

I have a friend who has panic attacks so know a little of what it's like. Do you get any support from anyone? I've heard that CBT can be quite good??

Take care and keep posting.

Honey, :hug:
 
T

Talith

Guest
ta

Thanks for your reply. I have not tried CBT as am too scared to get to anywhere out of my comfort zone. Comfort zone includes anything I am wary of. CBT smacks of psychiatrists to me and that makes me very uncomfy as I had a very bad experience with a few of them back in the 70's. However, I am open to suggestions as long as they will not frighten me
Talith
 
iffybob

iffybob

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Oct 20, 2009
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Location
England
MP3

I use an MP3 player, and sunglasses on a bad ( or sunny day ), I can focus on the music, and if peps cant see my eyes I seem to feel not quite so bad.

Just be careful to be more vigulent when crossing roads........:scared:

Hope this helps ..... boB. ..... (y)
 
T

Talith

Guest
Thanks

Thanks for that. I have reactolite specs, so the sunglasses bit is taken care of. I haven't got an MP3 player, how much do they cost? I tend to try and concentrate on surroundings, it's amazing how much detail you can see when you are trying hard not to have an attack! I also do a breathing exercise I was taught, in 2 3 hold 2 3 out 2 3. The only problem with that is your lungs get filled with exhaust fumes when you are walking along a busy road.
Talith
 
iffybob

iffybob

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Cost .....?

Cost of MP3 players.......

... it depends the come in differnt capacites, and qualities, you should be able to pick up a cheap 512KB one new for less than £10 easy, an IPOD the high end will set you back over £100.

You do need a computer with USB to load the music on to it, but you may find some one to do it for you.

Just a note. You can load it with converted tracks from CDs that you own, you do not have to buy them new as MP3 tracks, I have known of some people do this.

You may also find sweets such as polo's helpful they give you a sugar boost, even soft drinks or glucose drinks, not diet drinks.
 
T

Talith

Guest
Well, this forum is helping me already and I only joined yesterday. It's great to know that I am not the only one to have these problems and to have such nice friendly people who understand and reply. My computer has a USB thingie (I am not very computer minded, but I am learning slowly). Do you have to pay for downloads? If so, how? I wonder if Asda do MP3 players, I shall ask hubby to look when he goes shopping tomorrow. If I feel brave enough I will go with him. Last time I went with him he disappeared when I was looking at the tomato juice and I had such a horrendous panic attack I was being looked at very strangely by people as I was biting my knuckles and trying to find out where he was and my eyes went into blurred tunnel vision..... I can only go into supermarkets if I am in control of the trolley, it's something to hold onto. The lighting and the huge spaces tend to send me into panic mode.... Is that a usual thing?
Talith
 
unlucky

unlucky

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I'm the same with going out, I can only handle it if my hubby is with me to hold onto. Supermarkets are a nightmare and I know the tunnel vision thing, its as if you're not really there. My pysch prescribed me chlopromazine which seems to be helping with the anxiety when I'm at home but I still have panic attacks if I even think of going out on my own. I'm getting cbt at home from a cpn but personally I think its a load of simplistic rubbish, I'm being told not to think about it and not to focus on the past but if it was that easy I think there would be no-one with any problems!!! Hope you get some answers, if you find anything let me know, its 2-1/2 years since I was out alone and its getting v v boring!!:rolleyes:
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Ha ha Unlucky I'm holidaying in Scotland next year, I will make sure you get out of the house! I lived with an agoraphobic and helped her out to the pub for the first time in years which was unheard of! I'm persistent!

Talith it sounds like what you might be doing counting your breaths and noticing things around you are a form of mindfulness. Mindfulness is fully immersing yourself in the moment without judgements. I found it most helpful for my panic attacks.

There are various exercises you can do to encourage this. There is alot about it on the web. But I found that if I was having a panic attack to stop take a breather and focus on one interesting thing.

One time I did this was by a tree so I stopped, looked at the tree and really noticed the colours, the feel, the smell of the air and the leaves and to my wonder I soon spotted two squirrels playing around near the top. I got so absorbed in their chase that my anxiety subsided and i'd gathered myself enough to move on. It's not easy, especially at first because my mind kept wondering off to panic thoughts and my instinct was to run back home but when they did I noticed that I had the panic thought, tried not to get involved in it then went back to the task in hand, like looking at the tree.

boBs idea of the music is a good one, if I find my mind wondering to panic thoughts when I listen to it then I start an exercise of trying to pick out all the instruments, the beat of the music, the time, the key and remember the words. I really listen to it. The only problem I found with music is that some music can evoke strong emotions and that is not always a good thing when trying to practice mindfulness at first as your thoughts can wonder to memories and emotions it might evoke etc which can then start the panic thoughts.

I might not be making sense but it's worth looking into.:)
 
T

Talith

Guest
I'm not the only one then, Unlucky? Mind you I have known some very sane friends get freaked out in supermarkets with the lighting they use in them. I'm sad you haven't been out of the house for so long on your own. When hubby was working away all the time and we lived somewhere else, the village shop was about 2 mins away and even then I found it very hard to get out of the house and used to keep all the curtains drawn and do without whatever I needed until I could force myself to concentrate on something else and make myself go down there. Even then I used to get the attacks when I got to the shop and the owners there were good friends of mine. I used to have to hobble out for fresh air and try and compose myself.
Thank you Sapphire77 yes it does help finding something to focus on as in trees and squirrels. Being in a semi urban location now, I tend to look at the shop signs on the way to the local newsagent try and make anagrams out of their names. Anything to get my mind off the fact that I am about to collapse on the pavement!!!
Talith
 
iffybob

iffybob

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Oct 20, 2009
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England
Asda .....

They 'might' have them in, get OH (other Half) to ask if they have cos its 50/50, Argos 'will' have them in always, downloads , 'legal' yes you pay, but if you already have what you want on CDs, you can convert them, it would be easyer to get some one to do that for you, or show you how to do it.

As sapph said, just make sure of what you put on there that it will not upset you..... if there is a trck on an ablum you dont want on there you can delete that single track........

Hope this helps........ boB .... :)
 
honeyrose

honeyrose

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Jan 17, 2010
Messages
10
Location
West of England
I have always found that I and other agoros are better on holiday, i do things away that i find difficult at home.

but then i expect some of you would be in dread of going on holiday. just getting there. The first hour is pretty bad and then the symptons get less and less thats what i found. now it dos'nt worry me at all. :)
 
T

Talith

Guest
Ta!

I suppose there are so many different ways that we can overcome the panic attacks and agoraphobia, but it is individual to each person. We all have to find the thing that works for us personally. I wonder if a lot of it is down to lack of confidence in ourselves? I don't know, I only know that I have always lacked confidence even though I have had some very responsible jobs in the past, my favourite as a tour guide, travelling throughout Britain and Europe. In all my jobs I had to look after other people. Maybe giving so much to others for years took away from me and my needs. I would never change it, I know that I helped a lot of people in my past, but there doesn't seem to be anything left in me for me.
Also, and I don't know whether anyone else feels like this, but if I feel that I have said something wrong to someone or upset someone, I beat myself up over it - sometimes for years. Even though I keep telling myself that whoever I may have done something to will not even remember it now, if indeed I ever did upset them in the first place.
On another note, my dear elderly friend tends to suffer from a lot of panic attacks, and I have passed on some of your tips to her and she is very grateful and positive about them. Talith
 
honeyrose

honeyrose

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Jan 17, 2010
Messages
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Location
West of England
Yes I think you are right about serlf confidence because i had none, although I did find painting gave me more confidence and managed to go to exhibitions at times.

My husband is my crutch, as I dont go out without him, although I go most places with him.. I know I shall become more of a hermit without him around.

I know what you mean by going over things, in ones head.

I also found visulisation a good way, to visulise the activity ahead of you and it goes easier.:)
 
T

Talith

Guest
hi

Hi Honeyrose, what kind of painting do you do? I used to be very good at charcoal/pencil portraits but haven't done one for years. I tend to look at the classic painters and think I am rubbish. WE'VE ALL GOT TO GET OUR CONFIDENCE BAck!!! This site is excellent for help let's all think what we are good at and take it in tiny stages. I will try hard to have the confidence to do a small drawing tomorrow and maybe I will feel better.
Talith
 
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