Anxiety and Depression Support
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Panic Attack at 30,000 feet over the Pacific

I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember. The odd thing about my anxiety is that it's not necessarily constant. It ebbs and flows throughout the course of my life it seems. Sometimes I can go a year without having a major outbreak, other times it seems that a second cannot pass during the day that I am not weighted down by it. I recently was traveling from overseas back to the united states. The plane ride had several legs but the longest was over the pacific for about 9 hours. About two hours into the flight, seemingly out of nowhere, I went into a full on panic attack. Talk about scary. . . a panic attack at 30,000 feet over the pacific ocean knowing that this plane was not landing any time soon. I jumped up and went to the gally where the flight attendants and explained to them that I was having a panic attack and needed them to talk me out of it. A lot of times I can push through my panic attacks if someone is talking to me and calming down. They did a great job and I made it through the flight. My next flight (which was my final leg) was 4 hours long. Coming off the incident on the pacific flight, I got to scared to get on my last plane and ended up missing my flight. It's a terrible feeling to know that you are too scared to get on a plane and subsequently being stuck unable to get home. I ended up going to the local ER and just explained to a Doctor there that I had severe anxiety and I need SOMETHING to get me through the flight. He gave me two .5mg of Ativan (a very small dose I believe). I am unsure if the pills actually worked. . . I mean I got on the flight and made it home with no panic attack. But I did not feel mentally any different, and I was still a bit anxious getting on the flight. Maybe it was just enough to take the edge off? At any rate I made it home. . but my anxiety would not allow me to rest now, it was in full swing and have a great time with my brain. Did you ever see the old original Star Trek series? There was not really a constant overarching theme to it. Each episode was a “monster of the week” type of story. That's how I feel like my anxiety is. Today I can have a panic attack because I am terrified that I have gotten some rare disease and tomorrow I can be in a full panic attack because Im scared Im going to get depressed. Yes, as odd as this sounds my latest episode is due to me worrying that I am going to become depressed as a result of my anxiety. I was sitting in my room at night, and this wave of dread washed over me, it's hard to explain. My thoughts were that I am alone right now, and as a result of being alone I am going to become depressed, and as a result of becoming depressed I am going to do something stupid. Mind you, I am not depressed right now but worried myself to sickness that I was going to be. . . does anyone else go through this crazy type of catastrophic thought process with their anxiety? I feel like im the only one and its driving me crazy.

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I'm sorry your going through this wave of anxiety, it sounded like the meds the doctor gave you did help some what, do you take meds now, if not, may want to talk to your doctor.

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Please don't think you are alone in this. I catastrophise constantly. It is horrible and you just go round in circles. Acceptance not fighting it is the key. You DID get home and you did well. Whenever you think there is never answer you usually find there is.

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Thanks for sharing! I love the way you describe it a "monster of the week"! That is so spot on! I know exactly how you feel, I feel the same way when I am alone. Your brain is just fantastic at dramatising stuff and can make the most incredible acrobatic moves with your thoughts. It is so exhausting and so very unnecessary too. I wish I had a miracle answer, but I don't think anyone does. I agree with Forestina, try to remember your achievements and praise yourself for them. You DID get home, you DID go to a local doctor and took control of a very scary situation, you made that happen and that's no small thing. You are already aware of your issues and are not denying them, which also takes a lot of courage. You have come on to this community and shared your inner most troubles, that too is courageous and shows that you have strength and care about yourself. These are all things that count as achievements and they should be recognised for that. I know these worrying thoughts are not something you can just switch off, so I am not going to even suggest that, but try to examine them as best you can. What is it that you are really worried about? if you do feel down and get depressed, what is it that you are afraid will happen? has anything worked in the past to make you break that cycle? you mention talking, which is great! Perhaps something else? music? reading something interesting? watching a documentary about something quite incredible? looking at pictures of something inspiring? I mean it could be anything! A lot of people on here deal with panic attacks and I am sure they can share what helps them when the Monster of the week knocks on the door. Keep fighting, you are worth every effort! Big Hugs x

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