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What are you panicking about?



New member
Dec 13, 2018
People are always surprised when I say that I'm not a confident person, but it's absolutely true. I'm very good, most of the time, at hiding it, at acting, as I had to do every single day as a teacher. I NEVER, in 37 years of teaching, applied for a promotion because I knew that I wouldn't have the confidence to go for an interview! I used to get nervous if I had a new pupil joining my class, and the thought of having to present something at a staff meeting or lead an assembly would give me sleepless nights, amongst other, physical, rather unpleasant symptoms! On one occasion, the school nurse had to sort me out when I was feeling very faint just before having to lead school assembly! Immodium has come to my rescue on more than one occasion before going on stage to sing with a choir. Walking into a room full of people at a function, party, meeting etc. is my worst nightmare; I'm boring; I have nothing interesting to say; everyone has more to contribute to the conversation than me; I'm not worldy-wise; I'm from a grotty, deprived, little ex-mining town in South Yorkshire; I'm not dynamic; I'm just never quite good enough (when you've had that drilled into you constantly by a parent it's quite difficult to 'un-believe' it). I try not to let it stop me doing things - I still make myself do things that are WAY out of my comfort zone, but it's not easy, despite appearances!
For the past couple of years I've been suffering with panic attacks at night when I'm away from home. I mean REAL panic; my heart thumps; I can physically feel the adrenaline flood my body; I sweat but my feet and hands are freezing and my legs shake uncontrollably; my stomach churns and I can't lie in any position other than flat on my back or I feel sick; I get awful diarrhoea; I feel faint. It's frightening. Very. What am I panicking about? I have no idea. I can lie there and tell myself that I'm being silly, that there's absolutely NOTHING that I should be worried about, I'm safe, I'm warm etc. etc., but once the primitive, fight or flight part of my brain has kicked in, there's not a thing I can do to stop it other than let it happen. When the morning comes I'm ok. I feel dreadful because I've had no sleep (and can totally understand why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture); I don't want to eat - actually putting food in my mouth, after I've had a bad attack, is really difficult; I feel nauseous and dizzy but know that if I go for a lie down to try to catch up on a bit of sleep I'd probably only have another attack, so it's a vicious circle. I then spend the rest of the day obsessing about whether I can feel a bout starting or whether I'll have another attack when I go to bed. I've tried CBT, hypnotherapy, beta-blockers to stop my heart racing, anti-depression drugs, anti- anxiety drugs (currently taking citalapram), diazepam to calm me down/ help me sleep. The attacks are not quite as frequent or severe but they're still there and SO unpredictable! It's incredibly frustrating because although I'm totally lacking in real self-confidence, I do think I'm quite a capable, sensible, logical person, so I'm working on it.
Why have I written this for anyone to read? Not because I want lots of sympathy so please don't feel that you have to comment or 'like'. I just think it might help someone else who's also struggling with some mental health issue but hasn't felt that they can talk about it. That's all. The mental health thing is just something I have to deal with - I love my life, I'm retired, otherwise in good health and I'm doing all the things I enjoy and loving it!
Poopy Doll

Poopy Doll

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2015
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Hi there. I thought I was the only one who gets diahrrea when faced with public speaking. Not even immodium helps me. :eek2:

But I'm so happy for you that you are a teacher. What a wonderful profession.

I'm sorry you have these panic attacks for no good reason. I'm in a panic all day long because I have medical procedures coming up this week. I wish you could find a medication to stop these. :)
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