I have had panic attacks and anxiety off and on since 1998. I was symptom free from 2003 until 2014. I then had one of my most intense panic attacks 6/9/17. I have not worked since then. I am able to go to family that is about 35 miles away. I am also able to get around my city to take care of things. I received a phone call Wednesday for an interview at a previous employer that I really enjoyed working for in the past. This job will be much more routine as is set hours and such. My last job was construction that consisted of 10-20 hours days with no routine. A little over an month ago I had worked up to being able to drive to Sidney where the new employer is. I drives yesterday and was not able to make it. I really want this job and to be successful with it. I called them back the next day and no answer. After the second call I left a message that I had an overseas trip leaving the next day and returning the 20th. I also stated I was greatful for the call and hoped this would not affect an interview. They are doing a lot of hiring. I am currently on 200 mg of Zoloft and .5 klonopin as needed. Unfortunately I do not see much relief from other. I see my therapist Tuesday morning. I am going to inquire about Xanax to help me be able to ease into the job. In the past I had taking the klonopin daily and then less as I became more comfortable going back to work. I then hadn’t taken it for a couple of years until this last attack I have also read claire weekes books and bought her audiobooks. I just can’t seem the accept it and let it pass. I feel like i am going crazy. My triggers seem to be open areas and driving on hills or hilltops. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks
Returning to work after 14 months - Anxiety Support
I'm so glad you have Claire Weekes. She is the girl. I have something else for you to read (Same approach as Claire weekes but written with more humor and just really, really good...) It's called "Nothing Works". nothingworks.weebly.com/
You will take many important concepts away from Dr. Weekes and from the writer of Nothing Works. But one of the concepts seems to apply so directly to you: Show your anxiety it does not need to protect you. How do you do this? By taking your anxiety out into precisely the situations that wake it up, and show it that you survive. Stop avoiding. Take your anxiety out repeatedly. It takes many, many times before anxiety learns. Then, the next piece is this: Practice not adding second fear. So when you drove but weren't able to make it for example- what stopped you? Fear? Panic? That's exactly what you want. Yes, pull over of course but let the panic come. You want the sensations and the discomfort of fear and panic, and you want to practice a new reaction to them- which also takes many, many times. You want to learn to be intrigued by your symptoms. Curious about them. Fascinated by them. But NOT afraid of them. It's just a little adrenaline after all- a very normal chemical that our adrenal glands squirt out quite often. The same exact chemical that bathes our nervous system when we go on a roller coaster, or watch a horror film. You want to seek out that sensation- by going to those open areas, and by driving on hill tops (pull over for the panic attacks until they become less intense, which they will, as you keep practicing!) and you will slowly but surely see your symptoms start to lessen and lessen. Xanax is fine but it will slow your recovery down. You want to go directly into the panic. You WANT a panic attack. You want MANY. You won't have as many or with as much intensity on a benzo. Having them repeatedly and practicing utter acceptance of the symptoms as nothing but a little adrenaline...That is where anxiety and panic start to turn themselves around. Anxiety is quite a paradox!
Another resource- Paul David's book: At last a Life. Same approach, different stories, slightly different bend. Just keep practicing total acceptance - it takes time and practice- and you will be well on your way! All the best to you.
Have to admit I am jealous that you were symptom free for 11 years.
Can you remember what set you off in 'June of '17?
.Here are some thoughts about your questions:
Have you investigated EMDR for the resolution of your cellular memory of the big attack in'17?
I had one of those in '13, triggered by a family incident and I had to use EMDR to re process that moment in time. The medication that helped me the most to function when this happened was Inderal.
It is used for performance anxiety, or the "yips" in golfers to allow them to get back in the game.
You are functioning very well with a great attitude.
Don't let little setbacks bother you. Claire Weeks calls what you do " practice".
Michael Jordan practiced shooting hoops 8-9 hours some days, and he missed plenty of shots.
I have researched EMDR. I think that could be very helpful. I am actually on a waiting list for it. Leading up to the big attack in June of 2017 my ex wife had moved 5 hours away and I was planning to have my daughter for the weekend. That Friday I had literally worked 14 hours and was then told I had to go back out that night. I asked about the next weeks schedule. It was literally working day and night most of the week. I was very upset as I wasn’t going to be able to see my daughter for the weekend. I honestly was so burned out I wanted to quit. I loaded up my work truck and left for the second part of my day. I stopped and a gas station and loaded up On junk food as I hadn’t ate all day. I can look back and understand with all that it was reasonable to be overwhelmed. I was ok for a few days after that and then my world keep getting smaller everyday. I was almost not able to leave my house. This next week and a half is going to be a lot of practicing. No testing. Thanks for your reply and suggestion. It almost seems as though that attack being my worst ever has created some PTSD. Now anything similar such as drivering/ open roads or hilltops trigger me. I try to not rush away from it. I just wish i was able to accept it and let it go. Thanks again. Rob
I understand not giving medical advise. But it is something that I can bring up with my doctor. I get really freaked out driving. To the point I would do anything to get out of the situation. I feel like I am just losing control and some terrible is about to happen. I really appreciate your replies. Have you noticed anything negative from taking the inderal? Do you know if it is addictive like benzodiazepines? I usually run slightly high blood pressure too so the inderal is good for that also. Thanks again