Panicking about panicking

What a state I have got myself into, I am nearly 54 and have suffered with panic attacks since being a teenager, but to be honest hey have changed how they manifest. It use to be pains in my chest when I was in my twenties, I used to visit he doctor every week, they had the patience of saints, in my thirties I was not too bad to be honest when I think back but since turning 40 it has gone down hill and I am the worst I have ever been, Hot, feeling sick needing the toilet, feeling of going mad, totally out of control. I suffer fron seperation anxiety also, with the same symptoms, so ridiculous that 2 weeks ago my youngest son ( and only one at home) was going to France with College on the Saturday, but on the Friday I did nothing but cry and have the most terrible panic attacks so much so that I could have easily asked him not to go, how selfish would that have been, anyway I survived as much as I thought I would lose my mind and end up in hospital. I am trying to book a holiday for us all, but because I always have an attack when we go away I'm scared to book, one minute I am up for it the next I dont want to book, my emotions are all over the place, I just want to be like everyone else and look forward to going away, has anyone overcome this kind of panic and if so how, help I am so fed up and pre occupied with worrying about things not even here yet.

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  • Hiya, welcome in,

    we are all suffers here, I can understand that separation anxiety too, do you take any medication or have you had therapy help?

    I'm 53 and as you can see from my photo's life's not been kind.

    We are having some fun with our profile photo's so please dont think that mine is the real me :-)

    Its important that you remember anxiety is not dangerous, just inpleasant.

    We must take responsibility for the anxiety, as its of our making.

    Then when we feel anxious, we dont try to do anything to stop it or avoid it, just let it all come, it will increase in intensity at first and then if allowed will subside to a normalish intensity.

    So we face our anxiety and here I do the smiling at it, because it softens our minds, we accept it, and float gently through it with as much acceptance as possible, and allow it to take its course.

    So in a panic where we feel clammy, heart racing, breathing out of balance, wobbly legs tingling etc

    what we do is ...............NOTHING.................just face it do not run, smile at the thoughts and sensations, accept it do not fight it, float through the sensations and let time pass.

    If you think a panic is a response to a danger, here our bodies pump adrenaline into our system to keep us alive. then we get a reaction, a fight or flight reaction.

    ....................................So dont react to the reaction.....................................

    Dont fight or flight, simple really, but not so easy to actually do, we also float through the situation and let time pass, give the panic time to burn itself out.

    Try it, we dont get perfect overnight but as we practice it gets easier.

    By way of analogy it's like learning how to ride a bicycle, at first a person is very unstable and uncertain and they wobble and might even fall over and experience quite a lot of pain! But with a little bit of experience they learn how to travel smoothly and start and stop safely.

    Hope that makes sense

    Wishing you well

  • Good morning and thanks for your message, I take seroxet 20mg but if i was totally honest since being on them, whilst I feel ok the panic attacks are more intense when one comes on, to stopthem I normally try to go to sleep if able, I find getting into a cold bed helps weird I know, I honestly wish I had never started the seroxet because I really do feel I am worse on them as far as the panic goes, strange thoughts like I am going to go mad, unable to cope, I hate it, cannot plan anything or look forward to anything, the panic makes me feel so ill, I cant eat, I feel full to my throat.

    I have had therapy CBT but felt it not for me,would like to try hypnotherapy or something. I suppose that this is me and I have to learn to accept it, just feels like things are getting worse.

  • Thought I was reading about myself when I began reading your blog. I had panic attacks first at 18. My symptoms manifested the same way - chest and heart area. I had many years panic free but recently I haven't managed my stress weel and have GAD now with looming panic which I manage. This time, however, it's mainly dizziness that gets to me (from neck/shoulder tension). A few months back my daughter included me in a holiday booking which in a moment of 'gung ho' I agreed to. As the weeks progressed I began to dread the thought of flying and eventually, after hitting rock bottom with my anxiety (about 3 weeks ago), I told her I couldn't face it. She just said to leave things for now and if I changed my mind that would be fine. I despised my 'weakness', I suppose, and how anxiety was controlling and interfering with my life. I began to start reading material about positive ways to turn things around and using affirmations. I began to accept the symptoms as just something my body was doing in response to my anxiety. I began to think about the many things I wanted to do in my life and sort of made plans how I would achieve this (ignoring anxiety). I felt a change come over me - I even felt an excitement I hadn't for some time when thinking about my plans. We fly out tommorow morning - I'm fine about it. I'm determined I won't let daughter and grandchildren down. When I get back, I'll be making a move to put my plans into action. Taking the focus outside yourself does help, I've found. Hope you can take heart from this. xx

  • Thank you, Thank you, thats just how I feel - unable to plan and letting people down because of my panic. I do keep telling myself I am stronger than this, but do you know I think it's either inherited or a bad habit we pick up, my mum was a panicker, and one of my daughters is the same as me, poor love. Anyway enjoy your holiday with your family. xxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Hi everybody, I feel the same, have been coping well until lately, I have a holiday booked which is on 27th May, I am frightened of spoiling the holiday for my family because of the anxiety which has returned, and disturbed sleep, which makes me feel so ill.

    Good luck Veganese with the holiday and No life I hope you feel better and Baylien what brilliant advice, thank you.

    I may not be able to reply as my laptop has broken, and I am using somebody elses.

    Love to you all Eunice xx

  • jj you are not breath properly when panic learn to breath jj

  • Oh blimey, nolife, it's crap when it happens, but you've got some good advice on here! They all know what they are talking about! I've had depression/anxiety at times during my life and it has taken over at times, but now I know it is like any other temporary, but re-occuring illness - it will last for as long as it lasts and then go away. I do have beta blockers which I can pop if it escalates too quickly. xx

  • Just arrived back from my 4 day holiday (see comment above). I got on that plane, as I said I would. I was fine, had my moments throughout the holiday but considering the stress on a different environment etc. I think I did pretty well. Have been up since 3am for return flight, was really tired on plane and dozed for a while but I was relaxed. I think I'm on the right track to recovery by not allowing anxiety symptoms to dictate my life. I know it will take time for my physical nervous system to calm down and not be so reactionary but it will happen. xx

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