Panic attacks after an accident

In January I had an accident, I was playing basket ball, only I was talking to the referee who I thought had made a missjudgement. Someone passed me the ball and as I was only standing a few meters away it hit me right in the head... I collapsed and was then takes to sit on the side line. At the end of the match I needed to get up to go to the changing rooms? I managed to take five steps and then blanked out. Next thing I know I am in an ambulance speeding to hospital... I had been in a minor "coma" for about 2 hours. In the hospital they thought that I had broken my neck, but luckily i hadn't. My spine had quite simply totall curved to one side, elongating my spinal cord and crushin one side of the vertebres. I gradually regained feeling and movement in my top half but my legs didn't change. i clearly remember the day that they told me that my legs were paralysed. I asked if there was Nothing they could do, from thereon followed an intense routine of phisyo and have succeded in regaining my ability to walk, but not yet very far... But now for the object of my post... Every time i see anything to do with my accident I succomb to a panic Attack!

Any advice would be welcome...

Berry xx

9 Replies

  • Oh and did I mention the flashbacks and the nightmares that make me dread going to sleep...

    Berry xx

  • I understand the nightmares... until I started taking sleeping pills, the constant nightmares kept me from sleeping at night. The meds help greatly... it's the only relief I've found!

    It sounds like you've made wonderful progress! Congrats! :D

    The "triggers" from the accident are normal. I'm not sure how to get over them... I still deal with them after many years of living in fear. I just avoid things that I know will trigger, and feel things that hit me out of nowhere. My problem is that my triggers are so varied, I never know what it is that will set me off, so totally avoiding things is hard if I'm going to go out into the world. So, I stay home most of the time... my safest way to ensure I can enjoy my life. My safe little nest with my husband and pets, and try to lock out everything else that disrupts my life. Not the life I had envisioned, or had lived once upon a time, but it is what it is now. I wish I could give you some words of wisdom, but I'm afraid I'm fresh out. Hang in there!

  • Hi berry,

    Lovin the Manga look!

    I used to dread going to sleep too! Things get less bad with time and when you are reaaaaallly tired you'll just fall asleep anyway and maybe not even dream.

    Panic attacks totally suck BUT they are harmless. It's just a body sensation - like holding an ice cube. It's not fun but it doesn't require you to do anything.

    What I used to do was go to a mall which I knew would give me a panic attack and stay there until it passed and I relaxed. I would not allow myself to leave the mall until it passed. Sometimes that was half an hour, at other times half a day.

    When panicking I would focus on something physical in the present - my breathing, a cute poodle, a fake palm tree, anything that makes 'now' more real than 'then'.

    It's not fun, but like physio it's just about doing the work a little bit at a time with lotsof resting in between.

  • thank-you, but I am still at school at the same one where the accident happened do I litterally get triggered all the time, like say the boy that threw the ball is one of my best freinds and now we can't really see each other as seeing him normally triggers me.:(

  • Hi berry,

    Triggers are tough and being triggerred a lot is quite normal. They are just feelings that indicate you might be in danger. You can remind yourself that you are safe. You can remind yourself they are just feelings. They pass.

    You can also create safe spaces for yourself. Places where you know you will not be triggerred or can go to recover from a trigger. Maybe the restroom or the locker room or a girl-only place or wherever. A place where you can guarantee no boy will go.

    You can also carry or wear something to help younstay grounded - a small pebble, phone charm, textured ring, necklace, perfume bottle. Anything that you can touch or have a sensate experience with, to remind you that you are here and now and safe.

    I have a big fleece blanket on my couch. I can snuggle into it and feel safe after a long day. If I have my cell with me I can check fb or the news or whatever.

    Over time triggers become less strong, less frequent and less scary. Until then you just do the best you can!

  • Thank-you very much for all your help... I find that carrying a bottle attached to a keyring with Something I wrote Inside helps....



  • My goodness Berry, that was a traumatic experience for your body. I am so sorry that you have had this experience. I applaud your advocacy for yourself in asking what can be done and also completing the intense routine of physio. Your panic attacks are normal and expected under the circumstances. Taking a deep breath or even a couple of deep breaths in the midst of the panic attack and softly reminding yourself, "I'm ok, I am safe in this moment and strong in this moment."

    Your post certainly does confirm the world's attention on head concussions and the seriousness of them. I am glad that you are mending.

  • thank you for your support, I am still in school, and people always said that I was just putting it on...

    Berry xx

  • That is even more traumatic, to have shared your experience and been invalidated. I'm sorry to hear this. Keep sharing within this community where we understand and support one another.

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