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04/12/2010 02:43 AM

Sometimes I feel like I'm putting on a happy face

Posts: 55

Hi everybody, I'm new here. I've never done this before so bear with me. My name is Jenny and I'm 21 years old. I have a history of anxiety attacks but recently what has been happening is so much worse than an anxiety attack. It all started after I made an idiotic mistake in the summer. I was peer pressured into doing something I KNEW I shouldn't have done and it resulted in me having the most intense panic attack of my life. It was my first one ever and I ended up going to the emergency room because I was SURE I was going to die. That happened in the beginning of July. I didn't have another panic attack until August 26th. It was so weird, I was having dinner with a couple of my girlfriends when all of a sudden this huge wave of panic rushed over my body. I instantly felt hot and nauseous and went to the bathroom to see if I needed to throw up. My heart was racing, my mind was racing and I couldn't breathe. I ended up going to the ER that night because I was absolutely terrified.

Lately my panic attacks have been coming more frequently, especially at night. I HATE the night time. I can't be alone, I NEED someone to sleep with me, just so I know I have a person there. I feel so stupid and "crazy" because I hate talking about panic attacks because I always feel judged with them. It's gotten to the point where I can't sleep anywhere but my own house, I feel like I'm 5 years old again and can't sleep anywhere but my own house. Like right now it's almost 3am and I can't sleep. I'm constantly afraid I'm going to pass out and never wake up again. I don't want to go on any medications until I HAVE to, I just want to be able to talk to someone about this. My mom didn't realize how hard of a time I've been having until the ER visit in August and just recently I finally told her the truth about what happened in July.

Sorry this is so long but it's nice to just write it all out. I'm just so tired of being like this, I miss my old self. I miss being able to sleep without the tv and a light on. I miss the Jenny of a year ago.


04/12/2010 06:07 AM

Hi Jenny

Welcome to the group. You are not alone any longer. Now you are with friends who understand, because we all have the same problem.

Your sleep problem suggests: You are approaching the fear side of panic and you need to understand - the panic attacks are not being caused by the car or the subway, or the movie or the mall. They are being caused there by you expecting them to occur there or being concerned that they might occur there. You need to change your attitude toward the panic attacks - you need to personify them and talk to them and say - go away. Or - "if you are going to occur - then do in now in the next 20 seconds or else bug off" and then count down backwards very slowly.

I know you are not into meds, but you need to set up a backup situation with your family doctor. And that will include his/her understanding your problem and being prepared to provide meds when you need them and to check you to make sure your symptoms and new symptoms are being checked out.

You need to see your family doctor and review what has been going on. Ask for a med to help you over the bad attacks. The problem you are encountering is generally referred to as - depression and anxiety. The best med for the attacks is generally something like xanax, because it is an immediate acting med.

Here is a great book I got referred to by a therapist - "Feeling Good" by Burns - available in any book store , self help area for about 7$. There are lots of other books too.

The tool that will help you to control the attacks best is the breathing exercises:

You need to go to the forums (top line menu in the panic attack support group) > "medicines and treatments" > titles - -- on breathing exercises and calming exercises. They will help you to control this problem. They work. BUT, they take a lot of practice - possibly a month at 8 times a day for some. But, they do work . They were all submitted by the members of the group for the members of the group.

In order to work with this problem and to get ahead of it:

You need to accept that you do have a panic disorder. That is hard to do. But when you get any sort of symptoms from now on - you need to first think - panic symptom. Of course, you do need to review any new symptoms with your doctor, but knowing that 99 percent of new symptoms will be panic that will help you to not go to the ER so often. Symptoms change - you need to expect it.

Try to understand - panic attacks are nothing more than your own body reacting to your worrying and fears. Your body gets overstressed by you being stressed and jumps into fight or flight mode. That means your breathing gets crazy and your brain does not get enough good air. You need to slow the breathing down - thus - the breathing exercises. Have you ever seen anyone breathe into a paper bag - well, that's it. Too much oxygen.

Look over the threads and the posts and the forums - they will help you. Feel free to comment on any of them, and to create new threads with new topics.

Big gentle Hugs,


04/12/2010 08:41 AM
Posts: 507


I welcome you to the group with open arms. Rest assured that your not alone and that no one here will ever make fun or lite of ur situation. This is a site starte by people with panic disorders, and is for the same. Rauol has made some excellent suggestions that I urge you to read. I to used to make"stupid mistakes" that I was sure was causing my issues. However they went away and didn't show up again until february of this year. I was sitting at work not thinking about anything and then I felt that disconnected feeling come over me.I tried to escape to somewhere that no one would notice I was wigging out. First it was disconnect. Then the heavy breathing, then the sweaty palms and butter flies. "I'm I goin to die?" Is this wot it feels like? Then the heart starts racing. Through the chest it seems. I was not eating, and like you I still have nights when I sleep w the tv on and I'm affraid od passing out and not waking up. I'm sure I'm going to die but guess wot? I didn't. I wanted to paint this picture for you so you could see that your not alone. That your symptoms are common. Try a med to at least calm u down because ur focus will be in better pitch. People who have never had this issue will never understand wot u feel and they will always make light of it. J"just don't think about it" "your just stressed" this sound familiar. I know how u feel about missing urself. But your home now, and we will take care of u and together we will help each other through this.

04/12/2010 07:56 PM
MikPosts: 143

Hello Jenny,

My story with panic disorder would take two pages to explain. But let me tell you this, I have had my anxiety under control for a year now, no panic attacks, no fear. That is until I made a very bad mistake of my own about a month ago. I was drunk, went to a party, did meth, came down, panic attacks for a week straight. It was tough to come out of it, but I have had a great deal of practice over the last two years. During the day when you start anticipating how your night will be, tell yourself that it is not reasonable to think you will experience fear prior to sleep. It is not reasonable to think you will have a panic attack if you try to sleep. After all your 21 years old and how many nights have you fell asleep no problem? I know recently its been tough, but remember this is not how it will be for much longer. If you find yourself feeling anxiety when you try to sleep. MAKE IT WORSE! Say ok you bastard you want to make me afraid lets see what you got! if you feel a little anxiety say is that all, you can do better! Scare me you son of a bitch scare me! I want to feel the fear! If you feel like you are going to die or you are going crazy, Say fine make me crazy, make me hear voices, I dont hear any voices you can do it make me crazy. Make the fear worse and it will go away. This is something that you will overcome, it will take a little work but you will do it, and once you do life will be so much better for you. "He who conquers anxiety, conquers life" Remember the goal is to cure your anxiety, Coping is a short term solution.

Post edited by: Mik, at: 04/12/2010 08:01 PM


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