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08/04/2010 12:56 PM

Grocery store anxiety

Posts: 269

So everytime I go to the grocery store I get horrible anxiety. I used to shop with my mom but now I go with my boyfriend but when I went with my mom I never had the anxiety. It might be because with her we went at 7 in the morning when there was like maybe 5 people shopping at the most. I don't really know what to do because when I get anxious at the store I act real aggitated twords my boyfriend and I feel real bad because of that. This mostly happens in the grocery store and not so much at other stores and I can't think of why. It's not like I've had a bad experiance once at the store and now am freaked out about this. I also tried writing a grocery list so that way I'm prepared and more organized but I still freaked.

I need help with this so that way I can figure out what's going on and learn how to calm down so I don't act horrible to my boyfriend.


08/04/2010 01:51 PM

hi hun what you are talking about is something almost like a mild form of panic attacks, or a phobia of being in a store. You may not understand why this store does this to you but here are some common reasons why this happens ( I know because I have researched them and been through it walmart scares the hell out of me lol)

1. The first time you went to the store with you boyfriend it was a change from you mom.

2. In your mind you knew this was diffrent and worried you to be there with someone diffrent.

3. You start a negitive thought process in which you may not see it but before you even leave for the store you start thinking about how bad it felt last time this builds and builds until you are so upset about the thought you are almost mad when someone just talks to you.

4. Once you make it there you keep thinking about what if's about everything,

I understand I have been there and still am to some point though I have gotten over it for the most part using whats called controlled expoure therapy

Heres what you do-

You make your list

You get in your car

You drive to the store

You go shopping


No one is there to help you, you get EVERYTHING on your list no wimping out everything you may feel like you are going to die then tell yourself well then I am going to die going to the sugar isle!!!

When a negitive thought comes to mind at anytime

Before you leave

On the way there

Or there

You return the thought with a possitve comment about yourself or talk about the facts of why you feel that way LEARN about your illness so you can logically explain to yourself whats going on

Ill use myself as a example-

I go to walmart (my hell) alone once a week I have at least 10-20 things on my list things I need food,house things,pet things ect...

On the way there I do belly breathing and listen to some relaxtion music in my car and think about everything I am happy for if I think wow my hearts beating fast here is what I say back

" Your heart is beating fast because you have a high anxiety rate right now, you know what you get upset and have high anxiety your heart rate incresses because it is your flight or fight responce and there are chemicals released to make it ready for you to run from something or fight it, there is nothing here to fear so breath , you are happy that you can drive finally you were not doing that a month ago, look at you this is the third time this month you have went to walmart and not had a panic attack some anxiety but that never killed anyone...ect"

Once there if I have problems I belly breath and just pick something up and act like I am looking at it I feel faint " Thats stupid lee you have NEVER passed out EVER this is all just part of you panic disorder you know that lets see whats left on the list to get you will feel much better when you are done and out of here."

This is VERY VERY hard to do I know I cried really cried making myself get out of the car my first time but now I can do it pretty easy very rarely do I have a panic attack in a store anymore I always have anxiety but I have learned to breath through it and control it and you can too

NOT having someone there gives you a chance to PROVE you can do it alone and the more you do it the less hard it will be and the better you will feel about your self!!!!



08/04/2010 02:13 PM
Posts: 269

Thank you sooooooo much. I talked to my therapist about the whole grocery store thing and we couldnt figure it out but what you said makes so much sense and now that I understand what's going on hopefully I can get over this. Thanks sooooo much. I'm deffinitly going to try going alone and see what happens.

08/04/2010 02:29 PM

It will be hard and scary and the first few times will be like you are going to die ha I know but you CAN do this and think everytime you leave to store say to yourself


Build yourself esteem girl you can do it!

08/04/2010 02:45 PM
Posts: 269

thanks! ill write how it goes next time i have to shop.

08/04/2010 03:53 PM

oh please do I would love to hear how you did, what you thought and learned and what worked and did not work for you feed back on things like that help me I am writting a book about panic,anxiety depression and natural way to change your thoughts to help with him and I LOVE personal stories!!


08/05/2010 07:54 PM
Posts: 9116
VIP Member

I get anxiety in the grocery store too. The anxiety was so high in my chest and heavy. I couldn't wait to get out of there. I thought it wouldn't be bad because there it didn't look crowded but around where I live the people are enough to send anyone in a mood. They are so rude and disrespectful. Nearly run you over, try to cut in line. I was with my kids which didn't help but the people are unreal. Unfortunately its about overcrowding where I come from and people don't give 2 sh--ts about anyone but themselves. I just put on some music in the car and when I got home put the food away, sat down and took some deep breaths but I tell you feeling like that is exhausting.

08/06/2010 03:57 AM
Posts: 2819
Senior Member
I'm an Advocate


I can relate to the "Grocery store from Hell" experience lol. It is a place of anxiety for me. Mostly because when I retired on disability my income makes shopping very stressful.

Many people get stressed from the neon light ( I don't think neon is the right word), but the lights do bother some people. For some of us it's the pressure of budgeting our money......

How do you grocery shop??? It is a necesary evil. lol

Divide the list. Lesson the responcibility.

Don't be afraid to set your cart aside. Tell the clerk you'll be right back and go outside or in your car and do some deep breathing and relaxation.

Good luck. If you see someone abandoning her cart and heading for the door , it might be me....W00t

08/06/2010 08:31 AM
Posts: 9116
VIP Member

When people are rude in the store, I just sigh and give them dirty looks. I may pull my cart to the side and let them go, as they look like they are running from a burning building. Nut jobs! I wish I lived somewhere that people werent't so selfish and in a hurry.

Post edited by: Peace4Rach, at: 08/07/2010 07:11 PM


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