Zyn's Story....New Member

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stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/18/2008 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello All ....... I am starting this post for Zen our newest member.
Zyn said...
 
Hi. I am Zyn
I am 36 years old. Never married and no kids.
I suffer from panic attacks.
I am three years sober.
I stumbled on this site while googling a doctor I saw on an anxiety commercial.
 
I was 15 the first time I witnessed my mom have a panic attack. She stopped at the base of a bridge and threw her truck in reverse to avoid it. I thought it was silly. Fast forward 17 years. I found myself on a bridge getting ready to go through a tunnel and I it took every ounce of strength I had not to turn the wheel around to avoid it. I remember thinking how "silly" I was being. I had been over the same bridge HUNDREDS of times. Well, it feeling silly didn't make my heart stop racing. It didn't stop the penny taste in my mouth or the ringing in my ears. It didn't stop the fog creeping into my vision or my knuckles from turning white as I clung to the steering wheel.
 
I told my told my mom what had happened and she nodded knowingly. The only thing I could say to her was that I was sorry for all the times she was driving and I thought "Get over it" or "It is JUST a bridge" when I saw her go pale or begin sweating in the dead of winter. I finally knew what she was going through.
 
My mom's panic attacks have stopped her from driving more than 20 miles from the house. I can still drive but I know every route to avoid the bridges in the area. Unfortunately, my job forces me to drive about a month out of the year. I have been able to "trick" myself into driving over some familiar bridges so far. I am scared that these attacks will eventually cause me to lose my job. I have told my employer, family, and boyfriend about my attacks and they give me "that" look. I know "that" look. It is the same look I use to give my mom. eyes
 
My comfort zone is collapsing. My boyfriend is getting annoyed that I don't want to go anywhere. I HATE leaving the house. I drive as little as possible because I am in constant fear of an accident. Most of my attacks are triggered by bridges but I do have them while driving with no known trigger. My panic morphs into anger after each episode. I wish I could control it.  mad  
 
I haven't gone to a doctor about the attacks. I have seen my mom labeled crazy by society, insurance companies, and friends after she started taking medicine. She is now on disability because of it and she is living with me. I registered to this board in the hopes that I can learn ways to help my mom and I cope with the anxiety beyond the walls of our home.
<!-- Edit -->

Post Edited (Zyn) : 7/18/2008 9:47:45 AM (GMT-6)



 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Post Edited (stkitt) : 7/18/2008 12:00:09 PM (GMT-6)


ekkorose
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 7/18/2008 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Zyn,

I just want you to know that I have the same fear of bridges you do. I have been known to go 15-20 miles out of the way to avoid them. At one point it was so bad I had to stop the car before the bridge and let someone else drive over it while I hide in terror.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/18/2008 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear Zyn,

Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P forum.  We are happy to have you join us and I hope you will find the support you are looking for right here.

I am sorry about your driving phobia. There are millions of people who share your fear. You are not alone and I know we had a person not long ago with a bridge phobia.

Let me give you some ideas..............first of all don't stop driving over bridges.  In fact if you can find a small bridge practice driving back and forth over it until you get so it does not bother you. Remember you are not crazy so lose that thought. :-)

Take small steps and you will eventually get to your destination -- A lot of people who have a fear of driving simply give up using their car altogether. This is the way to perpetuate your condition, not to heal yourself. If you feel that you're unable to drive, simply use the car for short periods. Either drive around the block, or to the grocery store, or take frequent pit stops to make sure your fear doesn't build up. By doing so, you're conditioning your mind to gradually overcome your fears. This may help your Mom.

Take deep breaths -- If you're ever driving and start to experience one of the many symptoms of your phobia  take a few deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly. Deep breaths steady the heart beat and help you to relax.

Please do not fear seeing your physician or trying therapy as now days people are beginning to recognize Anxiety and Panic for the disorder it is.

You have our support so keep posting and we will take your hand and help you through this rough time.

Gentle Hugs

Kitt


 


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/18/2008 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Zyn,

Hello and welcome!

I'm glad you're working to fight your anxiety from narrowing your life. It can be hard when you don't feel supported. Try not to let guilt for how you misunderstood your mother's anxiety make you feel worse. You were young and people in general didn't understand or support those with mental illnesses back then. They may not now either, but at least there are great venues like HW for finding more aware folks.

We talk a lot here about taking baby steps to overcome some of our anxiety, particularly of things we'd rather avoid. Kitt's suggestion about practicing with small bridges is a good example. It's really easy to let the fear crowd into our lives so much that there's not much room left for *us*, and one way to push it back is to challenge our boundaries, even if it's only in a very little way.

For instance, maybe you don't feel up to driving over any bridge right now. Is walking over them a problem? Or what about driving or walking over a culvert or other drainpipe under the road? Try to find some little step that you feel you can tackle, and then repeat it until you feel strong about it. Most of us wish we could go back to feeling how we did before the fear set in, but that might not be a realistic goal: we *are* afraid, we've experienced much because of it, and likely we're not the same person. For me, though, defeating anxiety isn't about making it go away; it's about learning how to kep functioning even when I am anxious or afraid.

I hope you'll find the comfort and support you need here.

percycat

karendee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 7/18/2008 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Zyn, I hope you will see a Doc soon.  I am new to this board but I can relate to you.
 
I am scared of bridges. In fact I know why, as a child my family went on a yearly summer vacation over a bridge under construction. I have been so bad about it in the past that my hubby told me to close my eyes when a bridge is coming. if I was driving he talks to me the whole time.
 
Now I am getting better with (probably with the help of my effexor) cause now I drive to work over a bridge everyday! This is a low and short bridge but I count it.
 
I noticed after reading your post that bridges don't scare me as much as they used to. I wanted to let you know this cause there is hope. you can get better. I am on occasion scared of an old looking high bridge but not as afraid as I used to be.
good luck,  Karen


 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 Started Humira June 2008 (have been on other cd meds)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Diagnosed w/ General Anxiety Disorder in 2005- Effexor and now new med Clonazepam starting 7/18/08

 


Zyn
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/18/2008 1:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for understanding. Just saying it out loud helps. I can't really talk to my mom about it because she wants to dwell on "how it felt" or at least that is where the conversations ends up. For some reason that makes it worse. I start to get that metallic taste in my mouth when talking to her and we end up feeding off each others fear. By the time we are done I am in sensory over load and want to crawl into a closet. I don't know she lives in that constant nervous paniced state. It must be exhausting. sad
 
The one thing that keeps me going over some (a few around here I won't go near) bridges is that I am stubborn. I get mad at the anxiety and force myself to do it. I mentioned I trick myself. The things that help me is when I lower my visors so I can't see all of the sky or I sit up further in my seat so I can see more road. Luckily, the bridges around here take about 2-5 minutes to go over. Except for the chesapeake bay bridge. It takes over 20 minutes to cross and has 3 bridges and 2 tunnels. confused   I can't bring myself to even try that one.
 
I did go over THE (the first panic attack) bridge last week. I had my boyfriend in the truck and told him he might have to take the wheel. I managed to get over it on my own but he said I didn't blink or breath the entire 2 minutes. tongue   I am going to try and do that more with him in the truck. I don't want to do it solo because the first attack gave me tunnel vision and flight mode was in high gear. I wanted to turn the wheel to get off the bridge. Yea that would have meant running through the guard rails into the water but the only thing my head was screaming at the time was "I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE NOW!"
 
Thanks for listening my rants. I am at work atm nono   so I haven't had much time to read a lot of the boards. I have plenty of time during the weekend to do it. I will be boarded up in my house after all. tongue
 
 
edit - Thank you for copying my intro. I came close to deleting it a few times. I needed to take the first step and today is as good a day as any. :-)

Post Edited (Zyn) : 7/18/2008 2:22:09 PM (GMT-6)


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/18/2008 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Zyn,

That's so fantastic that you drove over THE bridge recently. What a way to fight the fight!

I had a phobia for a while that took me over three years to even think of challenging. I still haven't followed through, and I'm sure it's harder because I didn't "get right back on the horse." Not that overcoming our fears is that easy, but I know I let my own tendency for anticipatory anxiety compound my fears, so now there are more of them to tackle.

I'm so glad you're facing yours before they get the chance to grow on you.

percycat

nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 7/18/2008 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Zyn, Welcome to HW, it's so nice to have you here.

You are in the right place for support, suggestions and the occasional laugh :-) .  I'm sorry that your BF isn't being very understanding at the moment. It really is hard to understand what true panic attacks are if you've never had one. Would he be open to reading a book on the subject, or looking online? Or is that just not going to happen?!! (as is often the case.)

Congratulations on being sober for three years. That is an incredible achievement. Much patting of the back!! I'm a recovering alcoholic and I still haven't made it to three years without having a bump off the ole wagon, so hats off to you.

It sounds to me like you are trying really hard to overcome this. Keep working at it and keep us posted. Again, welcome

Meg


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/18/2008 4:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Zyn,

I promised you wonderful members..............did I not :-) ?  I am so glad you are getting the chance to meet them.  Stick with us and you will make it, I feel it in my heart.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

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