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Thread: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

  1. #21
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    Quote Originally Posted by gareth700 View Post
    Dont know if this will help, but when you start to feel like you might have a panic attack, just sit down on a bench for five minutes to try and calm down and then try walking again.
    Thanks, that sounds like good advice (when I can find a bench).

    I've just been lucky enough to find a copy of Claire Weekes's book"Agoraphobia" in a local Oxfam shop and will be reading that soon.

  2. #22
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    Some good news; Plymouth Council in their wisdom have recently moved the city's main library to a site in the city centre, close by the shops I usually visit there. This is great for me as it means that I now have a "safe space" in the centre of the city where I can go and have a read if things get too intense. It even has a cafe on the roof where you can go and look out over the city. I hope to take advantage of this roof space in the future - I felt a bit too uncomfortable last time to want to stay there and didn't have time to work through it, but I expect to be able to soon.
    Last edited by graham58; 05-08-16 at 11:38.

  3. #23
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    Thanks again to everyone who's replied. For me, the important thing at the moment is to build up a memory bank of times when I've had a bad anxiety spell and gotten through it successfully, so that if / when the next one happens I can hopefully remember those and think that if I got through them OK, I can get through the next one successfully too.

  4. #24
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    Well the best thing you can do with anxiety is to just let it happen. It's common for people who have bad anxiety to think that others don't get it, and theirs is somehow worse than the majority of other people that suffer with anxiety, but it's not. My worst anxiety attacks were sheer hell. I couldn't possibly imagine feeling worse. They took me to hospital on multiple occasions because I 'knew' I was dying.

    In any case, the only way to recover is to accept them and let them happen. Contrary to popular belief, yes you might actually pass out, but it's incredibly, unbelievably rare with anxiety. You've already probably experienced the worst that can happen, so there's nothing really to fear is there?

  5. #25
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    Thanks for replying Joe. I don't think I've experienced it as bad as it can go (and nor do I want to); I had graduated exposure therapy some years ago and I think the worst I experienced then was about 7 (on the 8 point subjective scale suggested by by my *NBT). It worked for a while but unfortunately came back again in 2007, shortly before I joined this forum.

    My preferred approach now would be graduated exposure therapy combined with CBT (only there's a long waiting list here for that). I'm also open to alternative treatments such as EFT, or hypnotherapy aimed at locating the cause of the problem (if there is one).

    * Nurse Behaviour Therapist.
    Last edited by graham58; 27-07-19 at 18:12.

  6. #26
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    I had CBT about 12 years ago and it was useful. It put some 'tools in the box'. However, CBT is only useful as a reactionary measure to something that is already happening.

    I battled with anxiety hard for ten years, and eventually came to the conclusion that anxiety is simply a reaction to stress. The problem these days is that you might not even know you're stressed. Stress can be emotional (loss, work, relationships), physical (over exercising, illness) or chemical (drugs, alcohol, diet).

    You take a person who drinks a little bit too much, doesn't really get enough sleep and works more than they should (almost everybody these days) and eventually that will break you down. Diet is also another big issue. We were fed the idea (no pun) for decades that we need to eat loads of carbohydrates, bread, pasta etc. Turns out that's really not very good for you. It's actually really, really bad for you and effects you on a hormonal level. At the same time we were told to reduce fat intake, also really bad for you. Fat is an essential cognitive nutrient....good fat at least.

    I would take an audit of where your life is right now. Look at your diet, sleep, work, relationships, booze, smoking....whatever it is you might be doing that causes you stress, and work out ways to reduce the stress.

    For me a combination of lifestyle and diet changes, light exercise (too much exercise can easily be counter productive) and finally meditation were what really kicked the anxiety out the door. Meditation in particular is extremely effective if done right.

  7. #27
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    I've been there like you with severe panics like that and they almost feel beyond 'just' a panic attack. I could have bet my life on the fact I was truly dying, about to faint or go crazy during the severe ones. Not once have any of those things happened though in reality. Nothing that deep down it won't happen doesn't help me in the moment though when I'm in the panic.

  8. #28
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    I have a screenshot of the panic attack FAQ from here and read through it when I'm having a bad one.....like today! Despite that I still have attacks I cant shift, more like overbearing anxiety than an actual attack.

    For me it's always my heart, I think it's never going to slow down and when it's starting to go faster, despite exercise, having ate a large meal or on a hot day for example, I still struggle to calm my mind. That sets off a chain of events.

    Thankfully these are few and far between compared to a few months ago.

  9. #29
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    Graham I'm exactly like this mate. My heart is my main worry too. And open spaces. I hate open spaces. I had a successful day today where I managed to get out for a nice walk almost anxiety free. The same worries you have are the same worries I have. I can't give you much advice because I'm battling this beast myself and 1 good day doesn't necessarily mean that I'm out of the woods. It's frustrating when your partner says "But you left the house yesterday? Why can't you do it today?". I wish she understood. You've just got to make the most of the good days

    You done better than me buddy. You got on a bus. I don't think there will ever be a time when I could get on a bus or a car. Haven't got on public transport in 2 years.

    To answer the question how bad can it get? ... You've already experienced the worst. Your panic attack today is the worst it can ever get. What you need to do now is next time you go out and you have a panic attack tell yourself "I had a panic attack last time and I was fine. Nothing bad is going to happen. Go away anxiety".

    At times it is literally almost like there's 2 brains. 1 is me, the other is anxiety.
    __________________
    Software Developer. HA. Ex window fitter. I record podcasts: https://anxietyjames.podbean.com/e/a...ty-affects-me/

  10. #30
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    Re: Panic attacks - what's the worst thing that can happen?

    I'm the opposite i lived with SA anxiety and panic/severe panic attacks without medication from age 4 to age 47 I got them more when I was at school and when I was working serving customers in a busy shop but because I didn't react to them they stopped in seconds obviously I had anxiety after them but i just kept on working,I think the fact that I didn't even know what anxiety and panic attacks were never mind that I had them helped me it was like a severe panic attack was just like a step up from my normal everyday anxiety/panic attacks.
    It had been a while since I had took one it was when I wasn't working and I wasn't expecting it I took one and it just hit me like a ton of bricks I still didn't react to it in front of a room full of people it was when I got out of the room I had a meltdown after all that time the anxiety finally got me but thankfully I haven't took one for 6 years because I'm on esa and diazepam to stop them because I just couldn't cope with another one but I hope my story proves to you that not reacting to them stops them in seconds I just waited too long to get help.

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