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chirpchirp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 9/2/2010 12:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I recently moved across state to a small town where I could be close to family. For the past several years I have worked at a place where I could be near my husband (and our boss dealt with my anxiety). I'm now starting a new job - I started today - and during orientation I almost left work. I got really dizzy, I couldn't concentrate, my heart raced, I was restless, I almost sat there and cried. The place I'm working is a new opening of a business and while the owner was talking, I almost got up to pull his wife aside and tell her that I was panicking - and that I needed a moment. But I didn't. I sat there with racing thoughts, not hearing anything the owner was saying. I made myself calm down (even thought I had taken a Klonopin before hand). After I calmed, later in the night, when it was time to leave, I got nervous again. We were standing around and I got REALLY dizzy to where, again, I couldn't concentrate.

How am I going to work full time with this anxiety? I feel like running away. Does anyone ever feel like running away? I have no idea how I'd manage alone, but I feel like if I were alone, I'd have no choice but to survive. I am so tired of letting people (family) down - the don't understand.

We have a dinner we all have to go to next week, where we all ride together in a bus 30 miles away, to a fancy restaurant (I can bring my husband). I am going to FREAK out being away from my safety zone, no car, at a restaurant (I CAN NOT DO RESTAURANTS)! This makes me want to quit. I have quit so many jobs due to my anxiety. I can NOT afford to quit, but I can't help my anxiety. And like i said, my anxiety overwhelms my klonopin.

What in the world am I suppose to do? Is it normal to want to run away?

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/2/2010 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
chirpchirp,
 
Oh my yes I have wanted to run away too but I have no where to run and my problems will still be waiting for me when I come home.  smhair
 
First of all congratulations on taking a new job as that took a lot of grit on your behalf.  So you are very capable of performing but the anxiety has to come down.
 
Starting a new job can be a nerve-wracking experience.  Many people experience a great deal of social anxiety when starting a new job, and if you’re already predisposed to anxiety or panic attacks, you may experience a higher degree of social anxiety during this stressful time. 

Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make you feel anxious , challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. Practice positive thinking. Avoid unhealthy thinking styles, including catastrophizing, mind reading and personalizing. Focus instead on your surroundings and really listen to what people are saying – not the negative thoughts in your head.


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 24686
   Posted 9/2/2010 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chirp Chirp. Yes congratulations and kudos on taking a new job! You got through the first day-Yeah! You can do anything now! The dinner does sound as if it could cause you anxiety. May I pass along some advice I received in therapy? I was very anxious about going a dental appnt. I told my therapist, even thinking about it could send me into panic mode. He suggested an exercise of driving by the Dr's. office, then just going to sit in the lobby once or twice before my appnt. This was to familiarize/desensitize me to the surroundings and fear. Is it possible for you to visit this restaurant with a safe person (your husband?) before the event? This may help alieviate the anticipatory anxiety, and prepare you for the real thing. I am sending my best wishes and encouragement your way in the next week-keep us posted, we understand!
Scaredy Cat
"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

chirpchirp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 9/2/2010 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Scaredy Cat,

I have to work from 5-8pm again tonight and I am terrified to even get ready. I've been sitting here crying, thinking to myself "I can not go back. I'm going to panic." I slept all day so I didn't have to think about it. We'll see if the Klonopin helps alleviate that.

That's a good idea to go up and visit and see what it's like. The lighting, the mood, the atmosphere. I get the same way when I go to the dentist. I'm not afraid of the dentist, but I always get a panic attack when I am stuck in that chair. And since I've gotten them before, I have it in my head, I'm going to get them again. I have to go every three months to have my teeth cleaned. So I totally understand your situation, too!

I'm really emotional right now and I'm afraid I'm going to break down and cry at work. There's 40 of us altogether. I can't imagine having dinner with 80+ people! Maybe it isn't mandatory.

I already have it in my mind that I am not ready to work and I want to quit - but then what am I going to do? I've got bills piling up, but the fear is so bad, I don't care about bills. Will let you know if I go!

Thanks all
=======================================
Agoraphobia, OCD, Panic Disorder, GAD, Hypoglycemia,
Migraines, Kitty Lover, Bird Lover!
 

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 24686
   Posted 9/2/2010 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Occasionally I will feel unwell @ work. I have don't full blown attacks, but a general feeling of malaise and/or anxiety. I am a dance teacher, and almost always have a room full of parents watching from my studio waiting area (who's brilliant idea was is to put huge windows there? It like working in a fishbowl!) Anyway, add in ten to fifteen students and you get the idea-major pressure to perform. I am often uncomfortable, but find that if I push through it, I can manage it and actually feel better afterward. I don't mean to minimize anyone's A/P, but maybe throwing yourself into the work and not giving it a chance to take hold could work. Sometimes avoidance is our worst enemy. I am sending you lots of encouragement and hugs:)
Scaredy Cat
"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

Fugs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 9/2/2010 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
chirpchirp said...

That's a good idea to go up and visit and see what it's like. The lighting, the mood, the atmosphere. I get the same way when I go to the dentist. I'm not afraid of the dentist, but I always get a panic attack when I am stuck in that chair. And since I've gotten them before, I have it in my head, I'm going to get them again.


I noticed how you said you always get an attack when stuck in the dentist chair. Unfortunately if we expect to have a panic attack we can often talk ourselves into having one that might otherwise not occur.

The other thing that comes to mind when you say "stuck in that chair" is the feeling of being trapped. We tell ourselves that it would not be socially appropriate to get up in the middle of something (dental exam, orientation, etc.) and that we have no choice but to suppress any panic or anxiety that comes up.

Last year, I decided to go back to college and take two classes at a community college. Despite the anxiety and having some panic attacks in class, I felt like I had no choice but to stay in my seat until class was over. The door was right there, but I couldn't get myself to walk out. One day I finally convinced myself that I'm more important than any class and I got up, walked around outside for 15 minutes until I felt well enough to go back inside. Just the simple act of "giving myself permission" to get up and proving to myself that if I'm feeling anxious/panicky that I can and will walk out of class and take care of myself when necessary helped me to feel more comfortable -- because I felt less trapped. I still got anxious; but less so.

I also liked Scaredy Cat's idea about going in advance to the restaurant so that it won't be totally unfamiliar. I might add that you could look for "an escape route" such as a place where you could sit calmly if you needed to excuse yourself mid-meal. You also might want to choose your seat carefully (closer to the door and not in a corner). And maybe you can even meet the group there instead of taking the bus, so that you don't feel like you're trapped if you feel the need to escape. Good luck. I hope it goes well!

Post Edited (Fugs) : 9/2/2010 7:45:16 PM (GMT-6)


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 9/2/2010 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Tough situation. I haven't been to this forum in a long time so forgive me, but are you doing anything else besides taking Klonopin to reduce your anxiety? Klonopin's only one tool in the toolbox, so to speak.

You say you can't help your anxiety, but you have to believe that you can. I know a full-blown agoraphobic who has improved so much she's now flying halfway across the country just to go to parties. By herself, too. Well not at the parties but on the plane. It wasn't easy for her to make the progress that she has, but the results speak for themselves. If you keep an open mind and actively work hard at finding something that works for you, I'm sure you will make some progress as well.

Good luck to ya.

chirpchirp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 9/3/2010 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Fugs,

I have days where I am perfect at the dentist's office. And other times I can't calm myself down, I cry, have my panic attack in the chair and then calm down. My hygienist understands, so I'm glad I feel comfortable enough to go through this with her, hah. I also NEEEEEVER get Lidocaine if I have a cavity filled, etc. It has epinephrine (adrenaline) in it to make the numbness last longer. This makes sense as to why so many people panic at the dentist. So many people don't know about this!!

I have this problem, as I'm sure many others do, that if I have a panic attack in a certain place, I don't want to go back. Then I worry about having an attack once I do go back to that same place. Even if I've been fine a million times going to that same place, yet have ONE panic attack, I focus on that ONE panic attack. Isn't that strange?

No matter how hard I tell myself I'm having a panic attack, I absolutely can not control what my body does. My resting heart rate shoots up to the 140's even though I KNOW I'm panicking. I was at the doctor once and it shot up to 142. I should have felt safe being at the doctor, but I paced, cried and thought I was going to die. Not even my doctor could calm me. They made me take a Klonopin.

Honestly, it's so random that my panic happens, I can't seem to get a grip at any time. I'm just waiting for something to happen, because I know it will. If I don't expect it and try not to think about anxiety, I feel like (if I'm having a good time), it sneaks up on me, startles me and catches me off guard, making my panic attacks blow up in a HUGE way. Positive thinking or not, I'm screwed.

Good news is, I HAVE been to this restaurant we are going to! So I don't feel as badly about it. I also made it to work last night (yay)!!! and told my boss that I get car sick (which is true) - and asked if I could drive myself up to the restaurant. He said it was no problem.

My next dilemma? I have to drive 45 miles next week up to another town (I live in a small town) and train!!!! I have to go 45 miles away from home AND he wants us to carpool. Seriously, this new job is asking a lot from my anxiety, haha. I do NOT know how I am going to be able to ride up with 4 other people, be stuck in a car with them while they drive (I HAVE A 2 SEATER TRUCK!!), be stuck at a place I am not familiar with all day, with no escape. I guess I'll have to take some extra Klonopin with me. I feel sick to my stomach thinking about it. I'm going to try and see if I can drive by myself, but I don't want to look like a non-team-player. And I don't want my boss to think that I won't be able to handle my job, which is why I don't tell him about my anxiety and how bad it is.

Debaser, I used to be agoraphobic when I was 16/17. I would NEVER leave the house. My mom made me leave once a week for counseling and I cried the entire car ride and session. It was miserable. I took Prozac and then led a normal life, like I never even had panic attacks. Through out the years I have episodes of anxiety, but not enough to home bound me.

2008 was when my full blown panic came back. I became agoraphobic again, have tried Prozac again (which I ended up at the ER - something about it didn't work and the side effects were horrendous). I then took Lezapro and Celexa. One made my heart race so badly, the doctor took me off of it. This was when I developed a HUGE fear of taking medicine, after these horrible side effects started happening. I won't even take TUMS with Motrin. Or Claritin with Klonopin. Or Klonopin with Motrin. I will only have one drug in my body at one time. You can probably tell I have OCD.

My doctor wants me to take Zoloft, and I have a 6 months supply, but I won't even start it. I'm terrified. I know I need to do something because he told me I will not get better unless I take something, but I keep putting it off. I am convinced the Zoloft will be the one to give me a heart attack, or give me seratonin syndrome, or do something crazy with my blood sugar... or who knows what else.

I really want to try vitamins. That's my new thing I want to try. B's for stress, Ginko of concentration, Magnesium for anxiety. But my doctor says he can't know it's safe to take with Klonopin because vitamins are not FDA approved. So I pretty much just take my Klonopin when I leave the house and hope for the best.

Thanks all! You will all be the first to know if/when I survive work AND mayyyyybe take my Zoloft. :)
=======================================
Agoraphobia, OCD, Panic Disorder, GAD, Hypoglycemia,
Migraines, Kitty Lover, Bird Lover!
 

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 9/3/2010 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I was referring to mental work, not drugs or vitamins. From what I've seen and experienced, if you train your mind to think differently, you can get better without taking something no matter what the doctor says. Of course you'll probably do a lot better by taking something AND doing the mental work.

I know a lot of people who take vitamins and all kinds of drugs for all kinds of stuff. Personally I wouldn't worry too much about taking them, but obviously you should listen to your doctor before you listen to a random guy on the internet.

Fugs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 9/4/2010 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
chirpchirp said...

I also NEEEEEVER get Lidocaine if I have a cavity filled, etc. It has epinephrine (adrenaline) in it to make the numbness last longer. This makes sense as to why so many people panic at the dentist. So many people don't know about this!!

I have this problem, as I'm sure many others do, that if I have a panic attack in a certain place, I don't want to go back. Then I worry about having an attack once I do go back to that same place. Even if I've been fine a million times going to that same place, yet have ONE panic attack, I focus on that ONE panic attack. Isn't that strange?


I didn't know that myself about the Lidocaine. Thanks for the info. And no, I don't think it's strange to focus on the one scary or negative time as opposed to the 100's of positive ones before that. A lot of us tend to have what's called a "negativity bias" which is exactly that - the fact that we focus on the negatives and dismiss the positives. If something went well there's nothing to worry about, but if something goes bad you're mind gets into this endless trap of analyzing it, worrying about it happening again, how to prevent it, etc. I once heard that in relationships we need to hear 4 compliments to balance out every one criticism. Same concept.

I know that you can't just will a panic attack or anticipatory anxiety away. But there is something to be said about positive thinking. When you start thinking about the one time you had an attack somewhere, try to remind yourself of the other 100 times you didn't. Think about how this next time is an opportunity for growth, not a certainty of impending doom.

You also said that no matter how hard you try you can't control what your body does. That comment suggests to me that you're still afraid of what might happen (heart attack, passing out...). I know it's scary. I've had those same fears myself time and time again. One of my problems with all these breathing techniques and positive thinking exercises is that I think of them as being "tricks". When I think of them as tricks I'm saying to myself "I hope this trick works, because I want the panic to stop and I'm scared". But when you're trying to control the panic you're fighting it. When you fight the panic you're sending your body more stress hormones as your brain is saying "keep fighting". In reality though you're fighting your own body; there's no real external threat.

I had a two hour panic attack once and I think the reason it lasted so long was that I was embarrassed, I was in public, and no matter what gimmick or trick I tried, nothing worked. It wasn't until I was in an ambulance talking with the EMT (who distracted me with conversation) that I stopped thinking/worrying about what was happening and stopped feeling ashamed about people staring, that the attack began to stop. The fear of an attack is a powerful thing and as hard as it is we need to genuinely know and believe that we'll be OK. Think of all the attacks you've had in the past and how bad they've been. Then remember that they all ended and you survived every single one. If another strikes, you'll survive that one too - but you have to truly believe that.
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