View Full Version : Hey everyone!

07-25-2016, 07:58 PM
Hi I'm Sarah,

So this is completely out of character for me to put myself out there like this (it makes me a little nervous-- ha!), but here goes nothing! Well First off I can tell you that I have had intentions of posting something on here for the past two hours and haven't hit the button, if that tells you how much I don't normally post things on the internet! I would just really like to connect with some people that understand anxiety and panic attacks. It seems to be getting a lot worse for me lately and i'm considering going on a prescription on a daily basis instead of just when I have a trigger or when I'm having a panic attack. Just to give you a little bit of a background on me: I am 23 years old and suffered my first panic attack when I was six years old. I have lived with it my whole life, and it has held me back from doing a lot of things through out high school and college. I am in my final year of grad school and start an internship in a couple of weeks. All of this life change and pressure as I'm finishing my degree and moving into the "real world" , is scaring the living shit out of me. I have so much to do in the next couple of weeks to graduate, and once I do "the world of possibilities" seems like a scary one, not exciting. I can't wait to read through this site and get to know some of you!

Thanks for reading, can't wait to meet you!

07-25-2016, 08:15 PM
Welcome to the forum. You sound pretty smart, as you are in grad school. Even though I am older now, I always found work less stressful
than school was. Once you get your first job, you will see how things improve for you and your anxiety should lessen.

07-25-2016, 08:31 PM
Hi Kirk!

Thanks for the reply, I really hope that once I start working it won't seem so scary! I wish it hadn't taken me so long to join a a website like this one, it seems like a great community of people.

07-26-2016, 04:56 AM
For me, work was always less stressful than school and many of my friends agree. I am confident you will be OK.

07-26-2016, 06:44 AM

Hi … Welcome to the site and forum(s). I am a newbie to this site but no stranger to the support groups out there for panic, anxiety, depression and other conditions. Once I have lurked around the site a little, I will share my own experiences which will show that you (and others) are NOT alone with the fears and symptoms we all experience in various degrees and frequency. This is a great place to collaborate to give and offer understanding to and from each other in a safe space. It is unlikely that any of us have the answers or we would not need to be here, however, together perhaps we can learn ways to cope and challenge ourselves for a less stressful future? What do any of us have to lose?

I have to laugh (figuratively) about the apprehensive of hitting the “submit” button after two hours of looking at it because I find my anxiety messes with me that way. I will write a post or reply and then second guess myself so I delete, rewrite, edit, delete and then get distracted to other problems and projects. You, my friend, are not the only way to feel awkward in revealing things about yourself that you may feel others will judge as “irrational” fears but what you are fearing are completely normal and natural fears of the unknown, of the future, of the “what if’s?” which is exactly what anxiety is all about.

You stated, “! I would just really like to connect with some people that understand anxiety and panic attacks.” … Congratulations! You have just achieved that first objective. I understand anxiety and panic attacks and I’m willing to bet you’ll find many more as your read the forums here. You further stated, “i'm considering going on a prescription on a daily basis instead of just when I have a trigger or when I'm having a panic attack.” … I can also relate to that because I have recently started on various medications and dosage increases to help with the conditions and symptoms that I suffer from (more than just panic and anxiety). So far my medication plan(s) have not been successful but from what I understand there can be a lot of trial and error in finding the right balance and right medication for YOU. It is important to get together with a Psychiatrist (as opposed to medical doctor) for the best options and someone to diagnose all of your conditions and speak about the pros and cons of each. There are no one size fits all magical pill. Everybody and every body is different!

While I know right now with all that you have on your plate may not be the BEST time to mention this but I found an awesome amount of relief from reading the book, “When Panic Attacks” by Dr. David Burns, MD. Sarah, the book (check your library) offers a number of exercises and perhaps just skimming through the book will give you some things to think about how people with anxiety often tend to take on the role of fortune tellers or mind readers. This statement goes hand in hand with your comment, “I have so much to do in the next couple of weeks to graduate, and once I do "the world of possibilities" seems like a scary one, not exciting.” … You will read about the horrors of “should” and “shouldn’t” thoughts. Hopefully the book will enlighten you as it has me. Dr. Burns also wrote, “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy,” a little more about depression and a complex review on medications.

But this response is not to overwhelm you. I am writing to tell you that you are not alone and that I understand exactly what you are thinking, perhaps feeling like you are on the yellow brick road on your way to Oz but running into fears like Dorothy ran into flying monkeys, poppies, forks in the road, and combinations of good and evil people trying to guide and distract Dorothy from her journey.

Let’s talk more… anytime!

07-26-2016, 07:44 AM

Thanks for the reply! I will definitely check out that book. Any and all advice is much appreciated :) Its comforting to know that others are just starting the medical end of things as well. I have contacted a psychiatrist, but wasn't able to make my appointment until next month. I'm taking a huge exam this morning, but your response has made my day and put a smile on my face! Also that analogy is perfect--I think I'm in the right place!

07-27-2016, 02:56 AM
Hey XxSarahxX,

From a previous post:

"There are some differences between anxiety and panic attacks. While books are written on this topic, the following will attempt to summarize some basics here for a brief overview".

Anxiety Attacks:
An anxiety attack, sometimes referred to as a panic attack, is an unforeseen periods or incidents where there is a sudden fright or fear of intense proportions. These attacks focus on fears that are most often not rational; however the person with the disorder believes he or she is in terrible danger or at extreme risk. Most often these anxiety attacks occur all of a sudden; i.e. they are not planned nor do they come with any type of warning mechanism built in for advance action. Results are that
the person suffering the attack will feel about to faint or near death's door. People who suffer anxiety attacks report the following symptoms, listed in no particular order:
Discomfort or pain in the chest, Vertigo or
Dizziness, Upset stomach / Nausea, Loss of
Control, Loss of Mental Stability, Stress,
Cold or hot flashes Heart palpitations or
near heart attack, Shallow breathing, Shakes / Trembling.
Anxiety disorder is characterized as having anxiety feelings that are "always there / all inclusive," make people want to isolate themselves from society and hamper everyday activities with others.

Panic Attacks:
On the other hand, a panic attack does not carry with it that "always there" association. In fact, panic episodes generally burst forth, peaking after roughly 10 minutes or so, then ending after about 25 minutes. During a panic attack, 4 of the symptoms listed below (in no particular order) generally make an appearance:
Hyperventilation, Shallow breathing, even to the point of
suffocation sensation...
Increased heart rates Tightness of chest, Chest pain or discomfort,
Shakes / Trembling / Sweating Choking
sensation, Upset Stomach / Nausea Vertigo,
Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations),
Surreal feelings, Loss of Control, especially
of mental faculties, Death coming on, Numbing,
Cold or hot flashes.

The Difference:
The main difference between anxiety attacks and panic attacks is in the duration of the attack and how intense it is for the person with the affliction. While anxiety attacks are less hi-stress, they tend to last longer than the power-packed panic stressors".

If panic, learn an anti-panic breathing method before another attack, so you are proficient.

Advice from a clinical psychologist about panic attacks is to breathe in to the count of 3: ( count: one thousand one; one thousand two; one thousand three) each takes around a second to say to yourself, in your mind, and out to the count of 3. Keep repeating this until the panic subsides, (up to 25 minutes) which will deal with the hyperventilation aspect. Learn to recognise the thoughts which trigger attacks; challenge and reprogram as shown*.

Also learn, and employ either Progressive Muscle Relaxation ( http://www.drcoxconsulting.com/managing-stress.html ) or acupressure tapping / EFT, whichever you find most effective.

Give the Meridian Tapping Technique / EFT a good tryout, to see if it helps you. It is free via mercola.com or www.tapping.com (13 free videos), or www.eftuniverse.com or www.emofree.com or one of the many YouTube videos. Google: "YouTube; EFT videos".
Professionally instructed is generally preferable (Google: therapists; EFT; [your location] ). - There is a version for use in public places at http://eft.mercola.com (if you like, you can claim to have a headache, as you employ the acupressure massage / tapping on your temples, but you would then be restricted to subvocalising: saying it to yourself in your mind: "Even though I suffer from anxiety / panic attacks, I deeply and completely accept myself)."

Use the Technique for Reprogramming Negative Thoughts: It's important to regularly monitor, and deal with a negative internal monologue (self talk), or mental process, such as disturbing thoughts, images, impulses, or emotions, by the process of (a): recognising it, and (b): challenging it immediately. Technique For Re-Programming Negative Thoughts: When you notice something negative, such as: "I can't do this/ am never going to get over this!" or: "Why am I always so useless/such a loser?" or even an image, emotion, or a memory; recognise that it is being generated from the negative part of your mind.

After identifying and labelling it, visualise a large, red, flashing, "STOP!" sign, and/or possibly a stern faced person wagging an index finger at you in a negative manner, then say to yourself as forcefully as you can, even aloud in a big voice, if alone: "I know this tactic: GO AWAY FOR A WHILE !!!" You may want to use either: "ruse", "ploy", "game", or "trick". In the case of an image, visualise a large "STOP" sign, or your preferred version.

Some people go so far as to keep a wide rubber band in their pocket, then put it around their wrist, when they catch themselves backsliding, stretch and release it, as a method of reprogramming their mind sooner, but I don't regard it as being strictly necessary. Remember to remove it, afterwards, if you use this method. Try replacing a negative thought with a positive affirmation of your choice, like: "I am a unique individual, with my own set of skills, and good points", or "I may not be perfect, but I'm doing the best I can, right now".

I'm aware of the opinion that inflicting pain doesn't prevent fear, but the intention is to reprogram, and establish a different way of thinking, by commitment to repetition. It usually takes around 25 to 40 repetitions to establish a new habit.

"Even if we have some vague idea that we are not our feelings or our thoughts, when we are experiencing painful feelings or painful thoughts, we believe we have to feel them or think them just because of the fact that they are occurring to us. But painful feelings can be indirectly controlled by physical action, and changing our present thoughts for different thoughts (since feeling occurs as a result of thinking.) Painful thoughts can be directly controlled by choosing replacement thoughts for the ones that are troubling us. Sure, it takes some practice to change a habit. But it can be done. Of course it can't be done if we choose to believe that it can't be done. But, since the choice is ours, why not choose to believe it can be done, and do it?"

Read: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky, & Change Your Thinking by Sarah Edelman, & "Feeling Good." The New Mood Therapy. Harper Collins.1999. ( updated sequel to his US bestseller about treating depression & anxiety; very comprehensive), by David D. Burns, M.D. Hypnosis is merely a heightened state of suggestibility, in which you are better able to communicate with your subconscious mind; view http://myfavoriteinterests.com/hypnosis/ about what it is, and isn't. 85% of people are suggestible to some degree; 15% - 20% highly so, and 15% - 20% aren't much at all, so you could either preferably seek professional hypnotherapy, or, if not an option, hypnosisdownloads.com has one about stopping negative thoughts.

Check out http://www.wikihow.com/wikiHowTo?search=stop+negative+thoughts such as: "How to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts: 9 Steps", & "How to Use Switchwords to Clear Negative Thoughts: 5 Steps".

"I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside" - Dr. Wayne Dyer*.