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Feeling panicky? Anyone else and how do you cope

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bluefox
bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
Hello all,

Just wanted to share my thoughts of being panicky on the forums. I am struggling with aspects of agoraphobia, non epileptic attack disorder, anxiety and depression. 

So today my friend pushed me to go for a gentle walk down the woods, which was lovely as we also took photos and I took my stimming ball with me. 

Anyway we then tried to go to a garden and he could sense my panic, so we ditched that and then we ditched the idea of a cafe. I just felt so panicky, unreal, sweaty, heart pounding, headaches, dizziness and feeling like I’m going to pass out or I’m not here, like I’m not alive. Really scary feelings. 

If anyone else’s feels like this it would be great to talk and share some experiences of how you overcame this. 

I want to get better and dream of a life again without fear and panic. 
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Comments

  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @bluefox and thanks for sharing your experience with us and explaining so well how you felt. Your gentle walk in the woods sounds lovely :)

    I'm pleased you took some photos to help remember it, and that you had your stimming ball with you too. 

    I wonder if the garden or café felt scary because they were a change to the woods, they were new places, and you didn't know what to expect. It does sound like you were having a panic attack, is that something you've experienced before?

    The mental health charity Mind has some guidance on panic attacks, what they feel like, what might cause them, and how to help manage them. I hope that's helpful for you. 

    When I'm feeling especially panicky I try and focus on my breathing and centre myself if I can. 
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Hello @bluefox and thanks for sharing your experience with us and explaining so well how you felt. Your gentle walk in the woods sounds lovely :)

    I'm pleased you took some photos to help remember it, and that you had your stimming ball with you too. 

    I wonder if the garden or café felt scary because they were a change to the woods, they were new places, and you didn't know what to expect. It does sound like you were having a panic attack, is that something you've experienced before?

    The mental health charity Mind has some guidance on panic attacks, what they feel like, what might cause them, and how to help manage them. I hope that's helpful for you. 

    When I'm feeling especially panicky I try and focus on my breathing and centre myself if I can. 
    I don’t know what it is but since I had my non epileptic seizures. I have felt intense fear and panic when out of the house. Like super intense fear. Loud noises and daylight, busy crowds, cars frighten the life out of me. 

    I used to have coping mechanisms before my seizures and the pandemic but I’ve lost them all. 

    My stimming ball is a distraction but it’s often not enough and I have to just go back home. 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,505 Disability Gamechanger
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    Have you tried using any grounding techniques @bluefox?
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Have you tried using any grounding techniques @bluefox?
    I have but I’m finding it really hard to do them in the moment. My brain just keeps saying, “I’m going to die, I’m going to die.”
  • Cartini
    Cartini Community member Posts: 1,108 Pioneering
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    Hi,
    Please don`t laugh and please don`t think I`m taking the micky....
    I read a thread once where someone suffered from panic attacks / anxiety and to get over them, the person sucked on an ice cube and that method helped him / her.  The idea behind it is that the intense cold on your tongue overrides the sense of panic / anxiety
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,505 Disability Gamechanger
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    Yes, it can be really tough to override those cycling thoughts @bluefox :( 

    If feeling panicky at home, I like to jump in a warm shower. The immersiveness of it helps to drown out the thoughts, and makes my muscles physically relax.

    Something else I find helpful is to scribble down my thoughts. Seeing them on paper helps me to rationalise my irrational thinking, and makes my thoughts more tangible. I can then throw that paper away, which is quite therapeutic. 
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,505 Disability Gamechanger
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    That doesn't sound silly at all @Cartini! I can see how that might be helpful :) 
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Cartini said:
    Hi,
    Please don`t laugh and please don`t think I`m taking the micky....
    I read a thread once where someone suffered from panic attacks / anxiety and to get over them, the person sucked on an ice cube and that method helped him / her.  The idea behind it is that the intense cold on your tongue overrides the sense of panic / anxiety
    Therapist suggested that. In the house that’s a great idea but if I try to do something out of the house I’m not sure how I’d use an ice cube :(
  • Cartini
    Cartini Community member Posts: 1,108 Pioneering
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    bluefox said:
    Cartini said:
    Hi,
    Please don`t laugh and please don`t think I`m taking the micky....
    I read a thread once where someone suffered from panic attacks / anxiety and to get over them, the person sucked on an ice cube and that method helped him / her.  The idea behind it is that the intense cold on your tongue overrides the sense of panic / anxiety
    Therapist suggested that. In the house that’s a great idea but if I try to do something out of the house I’m not sure how I’d use an ice cube :(
    To be honest, I didn`t consider outside :#

  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Cartini said:
    bluefox said:
    Cartini said:
    Hi,
    Please don`t laugh and please don`t think I`m taking the micky....
    I read a thread once where someone suffered from panic attacks / anxiety and to get over them, the person sucked on an ice cube and that method helped him / her.  The idea behind it is that the intense cold on your tongue overrides the sense of panic / anxiety
    Therapist suggested that. In the house that’s a great idea but if I try to do something out of the house I’m not sure how I’d use an ice cube :(
    To be honest, I didn`t consider outside :#

    Yeah, my long term goal is to be able to be independent again. Leave the house on my own and feel safe. Not have panic attacks and seizures or tics. 

    But I’ve got a lot of work to do to get there. 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,505 Disability Gamechanger
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    Could something with a strong flavour work instead, do you think @bluefox? Like a methol sweet, or mint?
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  • Cartini
    Cartini Community member Posts: 1,108 Pioneering
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    bluefox said:
    Cartini said:
    bluefox said:
    Cartini said:
    Hi,
    Please don`t laugh and please don`t think I`m taking the micky....
    I read a thread once where someone suffered from panic attacks / anxiety and to get over them, the person sucked on an ice cube and that method helped him / her.  The idea behind it is that the intense cold on your tongue overrides the sense of panic / anxiety
    Therapist suggested that. In the house that’s a great idea but if I try to do something out of the house I’m not sure how I’d use an ice cube :(
    To be honest, I didn`t consider outside :#

    Yeah, my long term goal is to be able to be independent again. Leave the house on my own and feel safe. Not have panic attacks and seizures or tics. 

    But I’ve got a lot of work to do to get there. 
    Good luck and I hope you achieve your goal, no matter how long it takes.

  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Could something with a strong flavour work instead, do you think @bluefox? Like a methol sweet, or mint?
    Good idea. 

    But I think I'd probably worry about choking on it. Sometimes with the seizures and FND etc. 

    My counsellor said I need to get my front brain to work rather than the back brain. The back brain is constantly taking over basically. 
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Perhaps something with a strong, pleasant smell would help, anything to stimulate your senses, and take you away from your "back brain" as you say @bluefox :) What smells do you really like?

    There might be a spray or perfume you could have with you?
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Yeah I’ll look into a spray or perfume. I like that idea. I need to do something because I feel so miserable. 

    Staying in the house when I was active and outgoing is awful. I feel I’m missing out on life being unwell. 

    My friends went to Blackpool yesterday and I’m there at home just trying to survive the day. 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2022
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    It sounds really difficult that you are feeling miserable @bluefox. Have you managed to try any of these things yet?

    I am aware that it has been a little while since you last posted on this thread now and things may have changed.

    I just want to make sure you are receiving the support you need and deserve  :)
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    I am due to start my therapy for my non epileptic seizures, which could reduce also my panic attack symptoms. 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 174 Listener
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    I used to suffer panic attacks, but luckily they stopped last year. It started when someone put Spice in my roll up tobacco,i was absolutely convinced I was having a heart attack and it triggered after that, if my heart rate went up slightly I would panic, I would have to go outside and walk really fast up and down the street. I then developed premature heart beats caused by stress which caused even more panic attacks. Luckily mine just disappeared after I started taking Magnesium supplements and Beta Blockers.
  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    I tried beta blockers once but they slowed my heart down so much I literally panicked even more. Panic attacks really make me hyper focus on my heart more than anything. 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 174 Listener
    edited September 2022
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    Beta Blockers aren't for everyone. I was worried about a rapid heart rate so they helped in my case. I love having a slower heart rate. Have you tried the breathing exercises, they never worked for me though. You just have to try and remember that they won't kill you. I know it easier said than done. One of my friends had Exposure Therapy, they triggered deliberate panic attacks, to show how harmless they were. She had it done on the NHS for free.
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