Panic attacks set off by strangers

My anxiety is always at a level just bubbling below the surface. It’s always there and I’m always aware of it but it’s not usually debilitating so I can go about my daily life most of the time.

Over the last week it has crept up, I can almost feel it physically moving up my body. It’s now got to the stage where I’m having extreme panic attacks that make me feel like I’m literally about to die - one time it even made me physically be sick.

I don’t know why it has been triggered recently, but I’ve noticed it started happening whenever anyone knocked on my door, and now if I even see someone just walk past my house it can set me off. I haven’t been able to leave the house most days this week as just the thought of it is enough to set me off.

I feel like I’m going crazy and I don’t know how to address it

10 Replies

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  • Hello Ali-Row

    Thanks for your post. It sounds as if you are having some difficult things to deal with. You have made a positive move telling us about things.

    Could you tell us more about yourself and your situation?

    You need to go to the doctor and tell them all about what is happening, they may be able to offer you more help. Do you have a friend or family member you can share things with? This can also be a good starting point.

    Our members are very supportive and helpful, so they may be able to offer more support.

    You may want to contact MIND at mind.org.

    Take care and keep talking to us.

  • Hi MAS_nurse,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me.

    A little about myself - I’m 30, live alone with my dog, and often spend long periods of time alone for work. Part of this is through choice as I want to shut myself off, but I know it doesn’t always help because it makes me feel lonely and more paranoid.

    I went through a situation where I was being stalked which ultimately resulted in an attack around this time last year.

    I suffered panic attacks immediately after but haven’t had any for a long time now, and all of a sudden they have returned. Sometimes I will wake up from sleeping mid-attack which is the most frightening sensation.

    I feel like if I go to the doctors it won’t be taken seriously

  • Hi, please read my Post I wrote only this afternoon.

    healthunlocked.com/mental-h...

    You are saying you were attacked this time last year. Of course you will get panic attacks and be in fear. It is a form of PTSD.

    Yes, I agree with you, if you went to a GP and you happened to see one who was not compassionate and understanding (as many are) you wouldn't be taken seriously. It is a very sad indictment of our medical service. I personally have managed to turn my mental health symptoms around over the last 3 months by changing what I eat. I now have self confidence, self esteem, no fear of bullies or abusive people.

  • P S The Nurse's reply suggests MIND. They give excellent free services.

  • Hi, thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

    I read your post and it is very relatable. It’s so hard to overcome and today has been a really bad day for it, I haven’t been able to leave the house even to take my dog out. I’ve just been sitting and shaking and sleeping when I can.

    How did you get a hold of it and turn it around? I have a fairly healthy lifestyle (physically). Part of me wants to go and see a GP, but then I have anxiety over that too.

  • It depends if you have been diagnosed with any other illnesses. If you have an absolutely clean bill of health, except for these high anxiety and panic symptoms, then I would recommend eating the Paleo Diet. That is what turned my life around to make me a confident, self assured person with high self esteem and self worth.

    I have actually written a Word Doc about how I started to eat in early September on the advice of a homeopathic doctor (he also is a nutritionist and counsellor). I have realised though that it is the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet is not designed to lose weight, it is to assist your body and mind to work in the very best way possible.

    I can send you my Word Doc by private message if you would like..... it lists the foods you can and cannot eat. Also it simply explains the reasons for cutting out or adding certain types of foods.

  • I haven’t been diagnosed with any other physical illnesses/disorders. I’ve suffered with depression in the last but only ever as a reaction to specific situations (eg death of a relative, loss of a job etc), which eventually goes away and doesn’t come back (unless triggered by another event).

    It would be great if you could send me that document, it would be interesting to read. Would the Paleo diet be suitable for a vegetarian?

  • I think a vegetarian could eat the Paleo Diet. Do you eat fish? As you have said you are a vegetarian, you may be low in vitamin B12 and other vital vitamins and/or minerals. It depends on what you do eat. Low vitamin B12 and low vitamin D - these two can particularly give symptoms of mental health disorders. Many people living anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere are very low in vitamin D, which is nicknamed The Sunshine Vitamin. We get it from sunshine. Low vitamin B12 can give extreme mental health symptoms. Meat contains B12, but eggs, milk, cheese, dairy products also contain vitamin B12.

    The Paleo Diet CUTS OUT all grains, carbohydrates, soy. It ADDS IN a lot of dairy products and cholesterol. In my Word Doc I explain the exact reasons for the additions and removal of these food groups.

  • P S You can add seeds of any type

  • Hi Ali-Row

    My goodness your post was like reading my life, and I'm sure many others on this forum can associate.

    I've suffered with acute anxiety for near 10 years that I've known but now looking back probably since I was quite young.

    My first full panick attack was 10 years ago and then I had no idea what a panick attack was, from that I ended up finding myself afraid to see people, even people walking past my front door set fear off in me, and slowly but surely I stopped going out and became agraphobic. This lasted for up to 7 months but I did eventually recognise what was going on and managed to get myself out of that situation. I still now suffer pretty badly with anxiety but that's because I never sorted the problem out, although I finally am as we speak.

    There are a few things that really help me in times of panick.

    First technique is running your thumb over all four fingers tips slowly while staring at your hand. This helps bring focus to the area that is usually effected first, and associates feeling with reality that your hands are still there and that you still have feeling in them. Also known as EFT thelawofattraction.com/eft-...

    Another helpful exercise is finding the control over your breath, easier said than done right but you want to try to breath in for 4 and hold for 1, then breath out for 4 and hold for 1, trying to work towards maintaining a steady breath.

    If you are in full panick the most important things to do is keep your eyes moving, it's very common to begin to go into a daze which will only send you into more panick, also if someone is with you to make sure they get you talking. Simple everyday positive or general questions that you can answer.

    Worse case scenario and I really try to make this a last resort a quarter of a diazepan can help to calm.

    But really all of this isn't at all helpful if you don't find the main cause of the anxiety. Maybe some counseling or CBT may help.

    Please let me know if I can help anymore or even just to chat.

    I hope you are ok and this group may help give you some rest bite

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