View Full Version : Panic during conversations?

03-12-03, 19:02
Hi, I'm new here and wondered if anybody here could relate to this. I have found that being in a conversation, usually with someone I don't know very well (happened today with the plumber, for example) starts to trigger panic. I'm listening intently, and then I suddenly start to tune out because I'm getting slightly breathless and very nervous. I end up watching their mouth moving, not really hearing what they're saying, and wondering how to get to my Xanax surreptitiously.

Is this just me? Thanks. [8)]

03-12-03, 19:27
Hi Lilith
Welcome on board!!!
No its not just you. This is one of my main problems,it happens to me with people i dont know well or people i know that I feel dont understand whats going on with me. I get scared that im gonna panic and they will think im nuts and as soon as i think this, lo and behold the panic starts.
love Sarah

03-12-03, 21:09
Hi everyone!

I start to get nervous the same way. It always seems to work out that when I start getting scared then that's when the people have the most to say. At that point it makes it soooooo much worse. There seems to be no escape. Terrible feeling.

03-12-03, 22:35
the thing to remember is they probably have no idea that you are panicking.

I had one of my worse panic attacks in a car with one of my bosses at work. I kept thinking OMG I am going to have to jump out in a minute and he'll think I'm crazy! In the end though the reality was I just panicked all the way home and he thought nothing was out of the ordinary!


03-12-03, 22:44
Hello Magster and Lilith,

Welcome to our little humble abode!!!! I always wanted to say that LOL........... No really welcome. All of the symptoms you describe are feelings every one of us has had atleast once in our life, So to answer the question if it is just you "NO" it is not. You are among others of your kind now. Keep posting to let us know how you are doing.


Diana xxx

04-12-03, 00:08
Thanks so much for the reassurance! Just a funny note - I mentioned this to my husband on the phone this afternoon, and he said (he knows how this plumber can talk your ear off) "Well, it's not much different than being 'trapped' in an amusement park ride, and you can't do that either." I had to laugh, because he's right. It's the same feeling of being trapped. Poor plumber. :)

04-12-03, 23:05
I had a panic attack while doing a presentation to over 100 people. Nobody noticed. (The panic attack, that is.)I've also had them at meetings while presenting to half a dozen folk, where you'd think they'd notice that sweaty breathlessness. In my experience though, it's only you that's going through it. I think that trying to focus on what you're saying helps. Also, if in doubt, ask them a question - giving you time to adjust your mental trousers.


05-12-03, 18:24
Hi Lilith,

Chatty checkout girls used to do it for me. Then I learnt to chat first ..Keep the control !


06-12-03, 00:18
I can understand people not noticing anxiety, or the beginnings of panic, but how can you possibly have a panic attack that nobody notices? When I have a panic attack I have to hold on because the room tips, and my airway seems to close up so that my breathing becomes a very loud wheezing sound. People can't see my hands going numb and the feeling that there are very tight bands around my forearms, but still I don't think I could hide this anymore than I could hide a heart attack.

06-12-03, 09:47
I'd admit that when I was initially hit with panic attacks, people did sometimes look at me quizically and ask "Are you feeling okay?", which never failed to make me feel worse! Over time, I probably managed to cover up the external signs.


06-12-03, 14:44
Yes, you're right...people offering help always makes it worse! If it's a stranger I'll just say "no, I'm fine" and try to get away someplace private. If it's a friend or loved one I try to tell them as gently as possible that I know they're trying to be helpful but I really need to left alone. I just need to get away from everybody and hang on till it's over. I can't imagine being able to cover it up, though.

06-12-03, 19:11
I wonder why it is that when the one`s we love try to be comforting at that time, we do not want it???? I just wanna run like hell to wherever my safe place is. My loved ones try to talk me down from this attack, like I`m a cat stuck in a tree. I usually try screaming, but whilst out of air due to my attack I just throw my hand up and tell them "PLEASE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE"!!!! I know it makes them feel bad, but honestly when I`m in a full blown attack all I can think of is myself, and how I`m going to make it through this attack. My dog even tries to comfort me, like he knows what I am going through!!!! LOL... :)

Take care all,

Diana xxx

07-12-03, 17:36
I't not surprising that we get panicky sometimes in conversation. The real problem lies in trying to hide it from others. If you learn to say 'Sorry, I feel really anxious just now' almost everyone will understand. Having decided that a) It dosen't matter if people think I am mad and b) They've probably felt the same at some point really helps.
Years ago, whilst at college I had to tell fellow students I could not get in a car to travel to a lecture. Of the four people present one said they could go but not get into a lift, one could go but only if he could sit by the window, one go go as long as she drove and was not a passenger and the other thought we were crazy and felt left out! The relief and support we all felt by being honest got us all through 4 years of education. Now if I tell people I feel anxious in 'normal situations' and they are scathing I dump them.

11-12-03, 11:55
i too get like this when taliking to people and feel i cannot escape. how do others cope with this. i thought it was just me!
Nina x


11-12-03, 15:16
Hi, Count me in on this one. But as far as people noticing it. I must cover it well. I was talking to a friend of mine I ran into in a grocery store. I was already trying to hurry and get out of there before I ran into her. She stood there talking to me for a good 10 minutes. I was in the throws of a major panic attack. A little while later she called me. During our conversation I told her how I was feeling during the previous accidental meeting. She said she had no idea that I seem normal and why didn't I tell her at the time. I was sure she could tell I was acting odd but she didn't know. Linda

11-12-03, 15:31
Hi all

Proof happened to me yesterday that sometimes other people dont notice you panicking.
I was picking up my niece from school, waiting in the car and an old friend i used to work with knocked on my window. As soon as i started talking to her i started panicking. Big full on 'im going to be sick and faint panic'. she asked me how i was doing (she knows through the grapevine whats up with me) and i said i was sick of feeling like it for no reason and said 'as a matter of fact im having a panic now'
She looked at me a bit weird and then said 'are you?'
So you see, even tho I was dying inside she never even noticed!!!

love Sarah

oh by the way, i was picking up my niece because my little sis was having a baby. She had a little boy so im an auntie again!!!!
Just got to get my but in gear and have one of my own...lol

11-12-03, 16:21

I'm sure you're right. My friend Jan can always tell when I'm having one cos apparently my eyes go.

I don't know where, but they do. Nobody else has ever noticed though!

Have fun with the little one


11-12-03, 17:10
I've got a great cartoon for this. I'll send it to Nic and see if she can turn on the enable picture thing for a few minutes and stick it on.


Watch your thoughts, they become your words...
Watch your words, they become your actions... Watch your actions, they become your habits... Watch your habits, they become your character... Watch your character, it becomes your destiny...

11-12-03, 20:35
No-one notices when I panic. I just feel really scared and shaky but I always seem under control. That is what my psychiatrist said my main issue is - that I have a fear of looking or being out of control.

I always remember an incident where a girl on a train (which stopped in the tunnel) a few years ago (when I didnt have panic) started running up and down and shouting that she wanted to get out. At the time I thought she was mad and I think that when I panic on trains I think that the same will happen to me and people will think the same.

I said to my psychiatrist but why wont I run up and down screaming when she did? He looked at me in a patronising kind of way and said 'because it's not your personality'. And he is right, I had never before thought about the fact that that girl maybe didnt mind shouting out and that she was a loud 'dramatic' person having a panic attack when I am a fairly quiet 'reserved' person having a panic attack.

BTW I got stuck in a tunnel for 10m this morning with a dreadful hangover and had major panic :(


11-12-03, 22:16

It was good that you could tell the friend that you were panicking - did she help atall?

Congrats on the new baby - bet you are really excited!

Meg - sure send it on to me


11-12-03, 22:18

Sorry to hear that. I definitely feel worse with the panic when I have a hangover. I will probably have one Saturday cos it is alex's do tomorrow night so I will sympathise with you now.

You coped though didn't you - you are still here to tell us - no-one died and yes you felt bad but you DID it. So well done.


11-12-03, 22:31
hangover panic is the worst! Palpitations, low blood sugar, cant breathe......


11-12-03, 23:12

Congratulations!!!! on the new baby. What did you have? Is it your first? I am one who makes it known when I am panicking, I want "HELP"!!!!! LOL..... :). Take care all, keep those positive thoughts going.

Diana xxx

11-12-03, 23:44
Hi All

Diana, it wasnt my baby it was my sisters second one and at the time my friend was speaking to me and i was panicking, it was probably because i was worried about my sis. She was having a caesarian and had to be put to sleep so i was nevous for her.(she's a wimp like me...lol).I visited her tonight (big panic...hospitals ahhgggghhhh, but she was doing good and baby too)!
Nic, my mate didnt really help, she just looked at me and said 'oh shall i go?'. I stupidly said 'no, its not your fault' so she stayed yapping on and i felt worse...lol. but i got through it so thats something!
Em, well done for coping on the train mate. good for you!
love Sarah

11-12-03, 23:51

I get the same symptoms, palpitations, low blood sugar, dizzy, nauseous when I'm hungover too..doesnt stop us drinking though!!!

You did well on the train today though..I always feel like I want to get out but always manage to keep myself under control too...thank god.


12-12-03, 13:42
Congratulations on your new nephew, Sarah!

12-12-03, 13:52
(Oh my, I didn't realize this thread had gone to a second page, lol.) I can't imagine being stuck on a train in a tunnel. Thank you all for your accounts of "living through it" - especially unnoticed! I'm starting to understand (from this and the other thread about agoraphobia) that a large part of the panic is the fear of being trapped. And why I fear being trapped is because I might panic and won't be able to get out...it's sort of a vicious cycle, isn't it?

13-12-03, 05:05
Hi All,
Hey Sarah Congratulations on the new nephew. I am glad to hear your sis and nephew are doing well. I know from experience how it is to get through the trauma of the dreaded C-Section. I have had (4) myself, and everyone gets a little harder to recover from, and the "PAIN" gets more intense with each one. Kudos!!! to everyone who has posted here about their bad experiences. Keep ya chin up, after all you all made it through, and that is what counts!!!!

Take care,

Diana xxx

15-12-03, 19:21
Count me in too !
The truth is other people don't notice. My husband Steve always says "You look alright to me". Meanwhile my legs have turned to jelly and brain is yelling RUN AWAY!
I think what does it for me is talking to people I don't know very well and having this fear that I am behaving or talking in away that other people may find strange, or I am talking utter rubbish - and what my brain says is not the same as what is coming out of my mouth. Which is why I've not posted and Steve posts for me, as I worry I'm not making sense.
(If that makes sense, like I have 2 heads and people are staring at me because of it.)


15-12-03, 20:21
Hiya Liz,

Glad to see you here posting. Very good progress for you!!!! I know what you mean. I think we all here have experienced that from "OUTER SPACE" feeling when panicking. The good thing though is that you are here to tell us about your experience, so that means you are a survivor. Keep coming back to post we can`t see your (2) heads online LOL.... :) no punn intended.

Take care dear,

Love Diana xxxx

P.S. How is Steve doing? Well I hope.

01-01-04, 16:17
Hi evry1, congrats on the new nephew Sarah, hows he doing?

Wen talkin 2 ppl n u start to become panicky or anxious and end up concentrating on summin like ur tongue or their mouth, totally missin wot theyre saying is there neway 2 return 2 'normal' n begin 2 lose the panic or anxious feeling. I have this prob a lot esp wen talkin 2 adults, n wen my teachers tell me how 2 improve my work i begin 2 feel really paniky n anxious that i miss wot theyre sayin n end up worrying on me own wot they mite hav sed, is it possible 2 stop dis happening?