View Full Version : Restaurant phobia?
11-12-2005, 05:36 PM
Guys, I can't believe this is happening to me. I have regular panic attacks, especially during dinner or eating with people. Well, my uncle came from Boston yesturday and we were going to eat dinner today. I guess I am about to leave and totally freaking out. I don't know why. I don't want to goo!!!! you don't understand, but I have no choice. I feel like dinner will be unbearable. I feel like crying so much. Why do I have to feel like this? I should feel happy and excited to go out. I have not gone to eat dinner out for more than a month. Why does my anxiety escalate while I am going to eat dinner? I feel selfish and ridiculous! I don't know what to do anymore with myself :(
babycristy, sorry you feel so bad. It's not selfish or ridiculous, its just a part of your anxiety disorder. Don't beat yourself up over it. I suppose by now you've already gone out, I hope it turned out okay.
I know you'd rather not do medications but there are medications like benzodiazepines you can take on an as-needed basis when you need quick relief of anxiety. (Sort of a backup plan) There are also calming herbs... and maybe even aromatherapy could help some.. but I guess you cant' take that on the road :?
11-13-2005, 07:01 AM
Im sad to say that I had to get up and leave again. Thank God women can use the period excuse...I am sooo disappointed with myself you don't understand. I went to the bathroom and cried like never before. My boyfriend was trying to comfort me so much and told me to give it another shot. And i did...and i failed again.
I felt this nervousness to leave, like this feeling that everyone was asking me questions and I felt like the attention was on me. That made me uneasy. From there, it all went down hill...
i feel so horrible. Do you guys ever wonder something when you get your anxiety? I always ask myself.."is this all in my head? did I convince myself that I have an illness that I really don't have, henceforth I act like this?
Sometimes I ask myself another question: Well, I was raised Catholic and always went to strict Catholic schools. I have always believed in God and always prayed etc. etc. However, since those days, I have lost my faith. I believe in a power beyond human control, but I am not so sure it is a man called God. I don't also believe in many church practices such as your going to hell if you don't go to church every sunday.
But now that I look back, I used to be happier back then. I also used to be more optimistic. I would pray to God and the next morning my worries were gone. Prayer was miraculous for me when I was little. Now that I have turned myself from God, I wonder if this is the reason that I am like this. I pray now, but the prayers don't work like they used to when I was little. Maybe my lack of spirituality has made me like this. And when I look at my brother who is very spiritual and meditative, I see a peaceful soul inside. He has nervous and sleeping disorders too but his faith helps him face anything and everything.
I would feel hypocritical to the Catholic religion in going back to church. Knowing that my belief is in question and limited. I think it will always remain this way. But I want to find a spiritual side. I am attracted to Buddhism alot. Not as a strict practice, but its overall picture. Such as reincarnation, and meditation. It makes more sense to me.
Does anyone feel like this too?
11-13-2005, 11:01 AM
I understand Completely, I have trouble going out for meals sometimes...but only if I have time to dread it in advance...I go out for lunchs spare of the moment and dont have a problem at all. I worry that I will worry....and that cycle triggers my anxiety :(
I totally understand Cristy, I myself have had Panic Attacks when I have gone out to eat, and I hate it. I don't know why I get so worked up about things, I try not to but I can't help it. I always find myself worrying about something or the other. I know I have gotten myself so worked up about going to places I have been to a hundred times, and its like I have been here before and been just fine why is now any different you know. I do though always find myself thinking after I have forced myself to go someplace that I was so anxious about think why did I get so worked up about that, when it is done and over its like wow I got so worked up over that, when there was really nothing to worry about in the first place. It makes you think wow that wasn't so bad. I have also had times were I have been just sitting here at my computer thinking about an event that I am anxious about or nervous about that is days away, and have Panicked, and had to run to the bathroom, it was like the event was happening right now, and I hate it.
11-15-2005, 02:59 PM
chris i understand the way u are too. Its just so frustrating that things i hav done a number of times still cause me to be anxious. For example i was just invited to the pub with a few close friends...but i didnt go because last time i went,( on friday) I felt terrible and left after 1 pint. It would be nice to have some sort or technique to deal with those situations
05-07-2010, 02:18 PM
Hi, I have exactly the same thing.
05-12-2010, 02:02 PM
I had massive awful panic attacks in my early 20s whenever I went out to eat. Friends, relatives, boyfriends, didn't matter.
Restaurant => panic attack
You are not alone.
05-17-2010, 07:34 PM
Yeah babycristy, you're not alone! I have general anxiety and do perfectly fine with people and social situations (in general anyway)...as long as there is no food! The second someone want me to come over to eat, or go to a restaurant, I get a panic attack...I literally cannot handle it mentally or physically. It has affected my life big time, and I cannot understand it at all...I don't get why it bothers me SO much, or how I can stop it. I can do rock climbing, paragliding, mountaineering, and feel no fear, but a little measly meal can shake me to the core....wtf?
I took counseling about 5 years ago in college with a couple of different counselors, took Paxil (which is TERRIBLE stuff btw...stopped it soon after because it didn't help, and made everything else worse), and did biofeedback. The biofeedback seemed to help the most, but still not enough to make a difference.
I like my space, but really enjoy being social, and want to be more social SOOoo badly. I live alone, and have really no friends other than coworkers. The worst though is dating because dinner and/or lunch is such a common thing...I actually have a girls number right now, just can't seem to go through with calling her...not because of meeting her and hanging out so much as the idea that she'll want to eat...and if not on the first date, certainly later on.
Lunalady...you said "had"...were you able to get over this, and if so how? If anyone else comes up with something helpful, please post it...
05-18-2010, 01:13 AM
Anxiety sufferers have no patience and think the cure for GAD, phobias and compulsions must be instant. Do you know that all-or-nothing thinking is one of the chief characteristics of anxiety disorder?
Your all-or-nothing thinking is causing you guilt. Guilt that you are a bad person and that God hates you. But guilt is how your subconscious programming gets your adrenalin pumping. Now you will be in super avoidance mode. This will make your guilt worse.
What you need to do is practice slowly exposing yourself again to these restaurant situations and FEELING the fear. Your phobia is not fear of restaurants; it is fear of fear. Claire Weekes discovered this like 50 years ago. Read her books. They're classics.
Yes, you have to feel the fear. Confront it head on. You'll win. Trust me. But go do some research first.
11-28-2011, 08:05 PM
I have it to it really sucks...im 19 and when I get asked out on dates i have to tell them the truth and i feel embarressed. Mines so bad that when I try to eat at a resturant I either have to run to the bathroom to get sick or i pinch my hands to trigger pain to get the though out of my mind...god im so weird lol
11-29-2011, 01:34 AM
Yeah this seems very typical of people with anxiety. There's no need for alarm. I used to have panic attacks just buying water next door to where I lived, let alone go to restaurants. There were times I had to turn back home, because I couldn't even get far enough away from my home to get food. But when I needed water, I had to grin and bear it because we all need water.
Restaurants can be overwhelming with all the commotion and annoying waiters and all the chaos there. In this hyperactive state, where your nervous system is like a spring that is going boi yoi yoi yoi yoing, events that require you to behave a certain way in public, can bring on anxiety and panic. There is the added factor of thinking, "What if I totally freak out here and everyone sees me?" Well, whenever you think that, remember me? I have had a full on, massive panic attack, in a very busy public mall, where an ambulance was called. People crowded around to watch or offer help. I am here today, anxiety free, and I feel no shame from that event. Actually, a few wonderful strangers came to my rescue. Even 2 rode in the ambulance with me for support. Noone laughed at me. So that fear you can let go of, because if you do have a full on freak out, it's no big deal. Heck, you may even meet some friends out of it.
I would do slow reduced breathing in restaurants to keep my anxiety at bay. A lot of my anxiety was linked to my overbreathing. I would focus on breathign much less when in restaurants and this helped me.
Basically, you have to ALWAYS remember, that the fear of a panic attack, can cause a panic attack. And if you get a panic attack, although it is extremely horrifying, nothing bad really happens from it. You know the drill by now: Heart rate increases dramatically, you feel lightheaded, feel you can't get enough air in, it feels like the world is collapsing around you, you fear you are going insane, and the only thought in your head is , "I am going to die! I must get to safety!" If you are able to recognize a panic attack as a panic attack, then you can sit back, and say, "Ok. My body went into fight or flight mode, a cascade of biochemical reactions have begun, if I don't add 2nd fear, and stay still and let go, after my adrenaline clears, I will be ok again."
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