I don't talk about my A/P issues that much, but...

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/19/2009 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
...I had a horrible spell last night. It was quite intense, which is unusual for me these days.

My anxiety issues have changed a lot during the last few years. When I was first diagnosed, I had nothing but panic attacks. If I'm remembering correctly, if I wasn't actually having a panic attack I'd be fine. Through medication and hard work I've almost rid myself of panic attacks, though they still happen every great now and then.

These days it's more like I have spells of elevated anxiety. How elevated these spells are varies by quite a bit. Sometimes it's barely noticeable. Other times it's a nuisance. Other times it impacts what I'm trying to do, and causes me to delay leaving for work appointment or whatever. These spells are sometimes similar to my old panic attacks (which mostly involved my stomach going absolutely crazy), and sometimes they are just a period of nervousness. The spells tend to last longer than my panic attacks ever did, but even the worst of them have a ramping up period and then a ramping down period. When I had panic it would come on very suddenly and last an hour or more often less, and go away just as suddenly. Often I would be so sleepy afterward that I'd have trouble staying awake.

I experience the elevated anxiety often enough that it's still a problem for me. I'm nowhere near cured, really. At the same time I can usually work through those periods and am functional. Panic attacks were worse because they could come at any time and whatever I was doing would have to stop. There was no way to ignore them. Anyway I'm not immune to getting them but they're rare enough to where I don't think about them a lot. When I had them often they were always on my mind. I used to have a job in which I was in court a lot, had endless meetings with groups of attorneys, prepped witnesses, and on and on. And of course I'd always wonder "what if" I had an attack during a setting like that. And I did have them every once and a while in those settings. Weird thing was, those were never the bad ones. The worst ones would always come at night when I was alone in my condo (not unlike what happened to me last night). Sometimes they'd happen during staff meetings (not the ones I held but the ones I had to attend), and sometimes they'd happen when I was stuck in traffic on my way to the courthouse or wherever. I was lucky in that the bad panic attacks would only very rarely happen when I was in the middle of something important. I could generally work around them. Yet they still plagued me in the form of more minor attacks, and the simple fact that these attacks were on my mind all the time was disquieting as well. It seemed like I never had any peace in those days.

I've come a long way. While these "elevated spells" still bug me and I still get the odd panic attack once in a blue moon, it's nothing like it was before. I no longer have a fear of the anxiety/panic and so I'm able to get peace. I don't have to worry about falling apart during a meeting or anything like that. I know that if I eat "the wrong thing" the chances of it triggering a real attack are very low, so I eat anyway and don't worry about it. And the periods of high anxiety are best dealt with by getting out and living life. Getting on with things, getting out of my own head.

So as you can see these types of anxiety issues are quite a bit different. I was wondering if anyone else had seen their A/P problems change over time like this?

Georgie Girl
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 10/19/2009 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Good morning.

I am sorry you are experiencing this.

For me, my anxiety disorder is definitely always changing. Started out in Jan 07 as an annoyance I was always aware of. Kept getting worse and worse until in Mar 08 where I was so bad I was hospitalized. Then when I got out of the hospital the anxiety continued very severely but began to reduce after a month or so. I still had very minor anxiety all the time though then a few months ago it started getting worse again. I got therapy and a change in meds and the anxiety is back down to a dull roar again. When my anxiety is bad I remind myself that it probably won't last at that level, as it hasn't before.

Good luck to you.

GG

Panike
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/19/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
MY A/P started in 1997 and mines have went through different stages as well. I think everyone who has them have experienced them in many different forms. I have went long periods of time where they were almost non-existent but never far away form my mind. Then there are other times where i have them all day long,with little or no relief. To be honest i have had them for so long when i dont have them i think something is wrong.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/19/2009 9:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Georgie Girl,

Thanks, but with the exception of an attack last night I've been doing quite well recently.

Panike,

That's a long time...more than twice as long as I've had it. I hope you can find peace during your calmer periods. I think it's those periods in which we can learn most about recovery.

paniccu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 10/21/2009 6:46 AM (GMT -7)   
My anxiety is similiar to yours now. I get elevated anxiety with only occasional panic attacks. I'd like to think it's because we know how to deal with it better now.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/21/2009 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   
So I gather it's pretty common for it to wax and wane.

Today it's supposed to rain all day. Four inches is expected, and I have to drive a very, very long way through this mess of freeways known as Dallas/Fort Worth for work. I'm not all that nervous, but there are days in which I would be dreading it so much that I'd be a quivering mass of anxiety anticipating this. I have three AM meetings, and the closest one is about thirty miles away. Then I have to come go north and a little to the East, a little closer to Dallas for another meeting. And then, get this, I have to way, way out to the Northwest two counties away. After that, of course, I have to come back to Dallas and there's a meeting on the way back. Lots to do, and I will probably be stuck in or evading traffic jams all day long. In the past I don't think I could have done it. Even if I'd tried I may have come home early. I'm pretty confident I'll get it all done today, though.

I'm not agoraphobic. In fact for all intents and purposes I office out of my car, having meetings all over the place on a daily basis. In the mornings, though, I'll usually feel some anxiety before leaving. Sometimes it's a lot and sometimes it's a little. Weird that even though I have a daunting day ahead of me today it's only a little. I'm home now not because of my nerves but because I'm simply waiting out the worst of the rush hour before I start. I live downtown and getting out of here on a day like today would drive a "normal" person crazy during rush hour!

When I have a lot of anxiety in the morning, or if it's a weekend and I'm just chilling out at home and a wave of anxiety hits me, I think it must be because I forget how to deal with it. The familiar feelings come upon me and I get lost in the details, unable to see the forest for the trees. Usually the best course of action for me is action...to do something. Anything. Even though this morning isn't so bad in terms of anxiety, it's still frustrating to be sitting here waiting. I know that when I leave what little nervousness I do have will pass.

jazzy29
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 10/21/2009 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi
I have found my anxiety has changed alot over time, I used to get the classic P/A where my heart would race and i would find it hard to breath and think I would die of a heart condition or something.
I dont get what I would call a classic P/A hardly at all now, but mainly an elevated anxiety that can be really disabling. My fear is of literally going mad, to the point where I really feel i am losing it.
I find that i cling to my thoughts at this time which only feed my fear and I then get physical symptoms such as feeling hot, heart gets faster, feel sick, fidgety etc. I start to think 'this can't be anxiety...it feels too bad which then makes me feel worse!!
i had a nightmare last night which woke me up and started that anxiety feeling which has stayed with me most of the day.
In a way i think this elevated anxiety can feel worse as it lasts alot longer and just wipes me out.
Do others get this too? Debaser?
I have been relatively OK for a while now and have to realise that it does not mean that I am going to go down hill again.
The key is not to feel the fear and go with the flow of scary thoughts and not grab hold of them! let them flow by without attaching meaning.
 
warm wishes to all

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/21/2009 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah mine is somewhat similar I guess, but honestly I don't think mine is as bad anymore. I do have my moments or even a "spell" that may last a week or something.

I never had the classic panic attacks. Instead I got extremely sick to my stomach. I don't fear going crazy but like you I start to feel the physical symptoms and if I'm not able to calm myself down then they make the anxiety worse, which then makes me feel worse. My biggest fear is getting sick. Not like sinusitus or something which is something I have probably half of the time. I'm talking about influenza and other communicable diseases. And yet I'm not what you'd call a germophobe. Just a weirdo, I guess. haha

As for it being worse than panic attacks, that's a definite "no" for me. Like I said my panic affected my stomach. Even when the panic was over and I'd settled down my stomach still felt like crap, so I never really felt good back then. If I had the more typical panic attacks I may feel differently about your question.

The longer periods of high anxiety are no fun. I'm a lot better now, but if I'm in a bad way they keep me from sleeping at night and make those bad mornings I was talking about really bad.

Panike
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/21/2009 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Jazzy my anxiety is very similiar to yours. My heart starts beating fast,then i feel sick to my stomach,i start trembling,but yet i feel hot all over. Then i start feeling like you said like i'm losing my mind and i have feelings of unreality. Like i'm not real or the people and places around me are not real. Then like you said i start thinking this can't be a panic attack i feel to bad like i'm dying or something.Back in the day i use to go to to the ER only for them to tell me it's nothing and send me home now if i'm not at work or anything i take a nap. Because like you were saying it wipes you out.

Panike
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/21/2009 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   
As for you De, i think you sound like you are doing pretty good. At least better than i am. I can't even travel on the highway, especially long distances. I bet i haven't took a rode trip in all of 6 years. I live in a place called Chattanooga,tn. It is only 2 hours from where i live to Nashville,tn where most of my relatives live and i cant even travel up the highway to see them. If they don't come see me,we don't see each other.Because when i try to go i die a thousand deaths on the way there and the whole time i'm there i'm nervous and shakey and can't wait to get back home to my comfort zone. The feeling i get is so horrible i just don't even bother traveling anymore. De,what do you do to get through all those trips you take. If i were you i probably would have quit my job if i had to do all that driving and traveling. That's how intense the panic attacks i have are.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/21/2009 11:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Well it sounds like you have agoraphobic tendencies. I don't have any trouble driving. I used to, but that wasn't because the driving made me nervous; it was because my stomach was sick all the time and it wasn't comfortable to sit in a car, especially with it moving. Long trips would make me nervous back then because I'd get sick often and having to pull over on the interstate in the middle of nowhere to throw up or because you think you're going to throw up isn't fun. But that's not really a problem for me anymore.

At the same time I do have a comfort zone, like I would guess most people with anxiety issues have. It's my apartment or really anywhere I can be alone and undisturbed. Crowds can be a problem for me especially during flu season, but then again I took my mother to the zoo last weekend for her birthday and didn't get nervous. The place was full of kids (disease vectors in my mind!). Much of it is a mood thing for me.

But really I have to have a job like I have. It would freak me out to have to sit in a cubicle or be in an office building all day. I've had my share of that, but before I went into business for myself I always seemed to have jobs that took me out of the office a lot. Even if I just had to go to other offices or courtrooms or wherever, it was good to be on the move.

Plus I just like to get out and talk to different kinds of people.

Even still, it's hard to leave in the mornings a lot of times. I think it's for several reasons. One, I don't ever sleep well it seems. It's 1am right now, my local time. Plus when everyone wakes up a hormone called cortisol is released into the bloodstream to give us energy. We anxiety sufferers don't always take very kindly to that and I'm no exception. Anyway on some mornings when the anxiety is worse than others it's hard to leave when I need to leave because I know the anxiety will pass, and it's tempting to wait it out even though I know that it will pass faster if I leave and get something else on my mind.

I'm sure that's a lot more than you wanted to know but it shows just how different and individualized our anxiety problems can be. Some of the things you do with no problem I'm sure I'd have a hard time doing. Things I do with no problem you may have a hard time with.

jazzy29
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 10/22/2009 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi
Yes Panike I get exactly the same as you, the feelings of unreality and any thought could make me feel like i am not normal which then freaks me out!
I am much better now and manage it well mostly, it is often at the back of my mind though.
I challenged myself today as my new job had an away day for staff and it was at the dry ski slopes! I was quite anxious about it as the people were new, im afraid of heights and also thought i would feel restricted int eh skis so i could not escape easily!! plus more anxiety provoking thoughts!

Well i did take part and actually really enjoyed it and felt totally fine, The ski instructor even said I was a natural!! So this proved to me and I hope others that challenging yourself and facing things that seem scary can be a very positive and rewarding experience.

I too get rather anxious when travelling on main busy roads but have to travel for my job and I just ride through it.

To add a bit of background I had a very bad spell last year and had 6 weeks off work, I found it hard to function and was basically in a continuos level of panic.
I say this in the hope that people can see that things can improve a great deal and do.

I just got a job as a trainee CBT therapist! which is kind of ironic but I know I can empathise with people as well as maintain a better way of thinking for myself!!

Panike
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/22/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
HI De,yes i do suffer from agoraphobia i avoid all places and things that have triggered my panic attacks in the past. For example i had one about 3 years ago going through a tunnel and now i try to avoid all tunnels. That's why i dont travel anymore because i had a bad one on the way to Atlanta,Ga and now i refuse to take any long road trips. Everytime i think about traveling that particular time comes to my mind and i say forget it. But hopefully i will travel again one day. You know the cortisol you metioned above that's released into your body early in the morning, is that why some panic attack suffers such as my self have not so good feelings early in the morning? I use to have a job where i had to be at work at 5AM every morning and it seemed like every morning when i first got up which was usually around 3:30 AM i would have a pretty intense panic attack.But like you said once i got up and got going i was ok.That's if the feeling wasn't intense enough to make me not go.

Panike
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/22/2009 7:37 PM (GMT -7)   
JAzzy congrats on facing your fear with your ski adventure!! Way to go! Panic attack sufferers never like to feel like they are somewhere they can't escape from. I know i don't. That's my whole thing with traveling,what if i'm having attack on the highway and there is not an exit for miles.That would be awful for me. I love to hear about people facing their fears even if i dont have the courage to do it yet. I'm glad you enjoyed your skiing. I've never tried skiing although it seems like something i would like to do. Before i started having these problems i was a very adventureous person that wasn't afraid to try anything now i'm afraid of everything.

jazzy29
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 10/23/2009 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Panike, thank you for your positive words! It also proves that you are more than a person that has P/A's!
You are also fearless and adventurous when not consumed with fear. That is good to hear and I hope you find the courage that is already within you to try a small something new/ or what you used to do and beat some of that fear!
look forward to hearing from you
Jazzy
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, December 10, 2016 7:43 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,735,828 posts in 301,337 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151440 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, stevclemon.
270 Guest(s), 5 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
fibrocushie, ChickenArise, trumpet123, iPoop, LanieG


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer