Need Help With Anxiety Question

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   Posted 11/14/2007 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok, today at school I had an anxiety attack. My teachers don't know that I have them. Only one of my friends knows. She was in the same class as I was. I had it when I had to go talk to another teacher then came back and she asked me what was wrong, but during an anxiety attack I really don't talk so I didnt say. But, she knew something was wrong. I later told her when I got home from school. So, the thing is, we have come up with a plan incase it happens again. Since I can't talk during it, I told her if she ever thinks I am having one (she can usually tell) she has to ask me and I will nod. But, she wanted to know what she should do if I am having one.
This is where I am stuck. What can she do for me when I am having one? I asked her what she would have done if she had known and she said she would have asked what she could do, then tell the teacher. Well, how would my teacher respond? So, we are trying to come up with a plan. I have had 2 at school. And I seem to be having them more frequently. I have thought about telling my teachers just in case I have a really bad one or something and maybe I am out of it or faint or something that they would at least know about it.
But, is there anything that can help? When I have one I feel like I am disconnected I want to be left alone, in the quiet, not talking, and just ride it out I guess. But, if my friend were to talk to me about something else and try to get my mind off of it, would that work? Anyone have ways other people try to help them when you are having an attack?
Can anyone think of any suggestions for me? Just ask! Thanks so much!

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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 11/14/2007 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello I  have been  having them  for a year  now and  when i feel them  coming along  I  start to think about something  else  like me being at the ocean , that usually works  for me . or if  that doesnt  work i just  sit there and  just  remember soon  it  will be over.

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   Posted 11/14/2007 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   

  Hi teNNISdoc09

  When I'm having a hard time like that I tend to keep a coin in my pocket and take it out and just keep turning it around in my hand, it tends to help sidetrack your mind and focus on the coin being turned around and around in your hand at the first hint of a P/A coming on I hope this helps but yes I would still tell your teachers about your P/A's

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   Posted 11/14/2007 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi TeNNis,

I would definately let your teachers know, that way if you do have an attack they will know, and perhaps you will be able to walk it off or something else that may help. :-)

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   Posted 11/14/2007 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   

HI Tennis,

I would agree to let your teachers know.  I would ask your friend to just stay with you so you know someone is there. 

I find that I will force myself to just breathe and tell myself to just settle down, I am ok.  It is kind of a mantra...." I am OK".  I take deep cleansing breaths and just remember to let all my muscles relax.  Breathe and relax.  "I am OK"

Make sense? Gentle Hugs to you.


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   Posted 11/14/2007 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies!
All very good ideas that I will try! Imagine something else. I can do that! I keeps coins in my pocket, never thought of that though! Thats a good idea! I will try that! Thanks!
I was reading this thing for teachers who have students with a/p and it had things to do that may help. Such as give them a special pass in case they need to leave. Or a pass so they can get up and leave when needed. Honestly, I hate to ask to leave and if I have an attack I am not able to say anything. It's like I am not even there. I am on the inside but I dont say anything so I cant ask to leave until its over. Today asked to go to the restroom, but I walked around the hall. Just to 'get away' from the classroom.
It had things like establish a 'safe place'. Somewhere the student can go if they have an attack. Like a quiet place to just ride it out. For example, the counselor's office, nurse, or another teacher room. Some of our teachers have offices. I am a really good student so I am tight with all the teachers so if they knew, they wouldn't mind me staying in there office if I needed to.
It was mostly about giving the student a pass and having a safe place and being understanding.
For me, I think whats most important if I have an attack, and I let the teacher know, I cant be questioned about it, it makes it worse because I get more worried having to explain. So, the teacher just needs to understand to let me be, I can talk about it after, but not during. I need a quiet place to get away and just ride it out, then I will be ok. I think that would help.
Ok, I have wanted to talk to each of my teachers about it because I want them to know, but is it wrong to tell them if I haven't actually been diagnosed with an a/p disorder?
Its complicated, I tried explaining to my parents but they dont understand. And they dont know I have a/p attacks. And I haven't been to the doctor specifically for a/p. So, if I were to tell my teachers, what if they wanted to talk with my parents?
I want to do it for my own safety and well-being. My parents dont understand it. I mean, I actually asked for a pdoc for my 16th birthday. I was serious enough. They just dont want to accept it. But, I know its real and I experience it so I believe I should tell the teachers.
Also, I talked to my school counselor, so she knows. I don't always tell her when I have them, but I wrote her a letter and I put in it that I had had them so she knows. I talk to her like once a week. So, I guess if its ok for me to talk to her, it should be ok to tell my teachers. I think.
I really just have doubts. I am overthinking this! My friend told me if she knows I am having one she is going to tell the teacher, so I think it would be better for the teacher to know ahead of time so that we can set up a plan. I am close with all my teachers so I would have no problem with them. I think its because I never talk and always do my work, but hey, they like me so!
Ok, thanks so much for the help. Sorry this is so long. This is me thinking and writing it all down! I believe thats called venting! :-) Anyways, thanks so much!!!

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   Posted 11/14/2007 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt! :-)

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   Posted 11/15/2007 4:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I am curious as to why everyone suggests a distraction which then becomes a habit when having an attack rather than riding it out and long term getting rid of them.....I know they are scary but sometimes I feel really strong when having one and can ride it out - not all the time, don't get me wrong, but isn't it worth a try?
Smile and the world will smile with you

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   Posted 11/15/2007 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   

I have had panic attacks for years (sorry, the onset is usually young and can continue for life). I would definitely tell my teachers and parents, & get a Drs. appt. There might be something physically to check out and there are meds for chronic anxiety.

In the mean time deep breathing is good, focue on a tangible object and say to your self - this is a tree - it igreem - it has so many beanches, etc. and I also found if I count from 10-9-8-7 slowly while focusing & breathing I can't get through attacks. Also try your best to remain present & not think about anything that makes you worry about the future. Hope this helps.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 11/15/2007 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes plz do tell teachers IMHO .....Cait has had to with me there as she has had a few at school as well and does not talk ......Her B/F is the only one that understands and he is not around her all day so.........

I think focusing on something like Freezing said is a great idea and yes it does work just like breathing or ounting for most .......

I am so happy that you have a friend to be able to help you out in this situation...........Keep us posted plz......
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   Posted 11/15/2007 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   

First off, what is IMHO? I been here a few months and still dont know all the letters!

Chowch, I see what you are saying, I always ride them out. I was just asking for distractions that my friend could do for me if I have one at school. But, she is not with me all day either teachers would benefit from knowing.

Thanks. I have asked my mom about going back to the doctor. Everyone I know thinks I have Fibro. If so, that would explain my depression and therefore if the doc asked me about it he would probably refer me to someone for it and then I could tell about the a/p and stuff. I hope it works out that way anyways. But, as long as I can get some diagnosis and start getting help then maybe it will work out.

Well, thanks all and take care!

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   Posted 11/16/2007 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   

Ok, my Latin II class is going on a field trip about 3 hours away. I have been before, but I don't think I can go now. I would be going with a group, which I hate, and I wont know but about 3 people. My anxiety cant handle that. Plus, I cant get up early because I get really sick. Obviously, I have anxiety just thinking of the trip. I told my teacher no, and she understood because she knows I dont like being around groups or a bunch of people and such. She said I should go because it would be good for me to get out. My counselor tells me this every week. Easier said than done!!!

How is it, I am suppose to get out and be around people, when I hate being around people? I dont like to talk. And I wish I never had to, but in this world it is hard not to talk. I almost wish I couldnt. I actually waste energy when talking. Sometimes I start to talk but I feel like I cant and I wont even open my mouth. People often ask me if I can actually talk or not....

My point is, how can I go out, if I hate it so much? How does a person get over this or help with it???

Thanks, and have a great weekend!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
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   Posted 11/17/2007 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, for me when I have them I either take an ativan or if I don't have that with me, I will make sure I have a water bottle. For some reason the water helps me. Obviously it is psychological. But hey it works. Although one time I went out in public and I forgot my water bottle and I had an anxiety attack because of that. :-)

I tend to have them when I am in public. Especially at things where there are lots of people and a shut door. Like weddings, school concerts for my sister (not concerts like professional singers which is weird), and plays and stuff like that. It's so weird.
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   Posted 11/20/2007 4:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry I misunderstood. When I am with people, I just ask that they talk to me about anything!
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 11/20/2007 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tennis,

First I'd like to tell you that I am relatively young, like you are (I'm 23), and I have been suffering from a/p for about 13 years. I know how hard it can be to get people, especially family, to take you seriously about these disorders when you are so young. For me I started to have panic attacks before I could understand that's what they were, and the only way I could explain them to my parents was by saying "I don't feel good." Naturally they started to think of me as a hypochondriac because I always "didn't feel good" but no doctor could find anything phsyically wrong with me. I had to struggle through panic attacks in school, from elementary school all the way through college, when my parents FINALLY took me seriously and I got the help I needed.

First, let me tell you some of the techniques I used to get through them while in school. The thing that helped me most was to go to the restroom (if you can) and if no one else was in there I'd force myself to look in the mirror. I would do deep breathing and tell myself "It is just a panic attack, nothing bad is going to happen to me, it will pass." I'd keep repeating stuff like that to my reflection until I started to relax. If I couldn't get out of the classroom I would pick up my pen and just start writing or drawing in my notebook to distract myself. I would feel disconnected, but if I forced myself to pick up a pen and actually DO something it brought me back to reality.

Now I personally did not tell my teachers, just because I guess I didn't think of it at the time. But if I were you, I would definitely tell your teachers. I would do it before you suffer another panic attack, because if your friend notices you are having one and decides to tell your teacher, it may draw attention to you while you're in the midst of an attack. It seems to me that if the counselor knows you are suffering from panic attacks, she would already have made this suggestion to you or set about helping you to reveal this to your teachers. I think you should go back to the counselor and MAKE SURE she knows that you are seriously dealing with a/p, and then ask her if you could please have some help with talking to your teachers. If they ask for a doctor's note, tell them that you are in the middle of being diagnosed, but that the attacks are becoming more frequent, which is why you felt you needed to talk to them. If the counselor/teachers want to talk to your parents...I say let them. Maybe if your parents see that you are really having a hard time dealing with this at school, so much so that you've had to bring in the teachers, they might reconsider how seriously they take you.

I do think that you need to get yourself to a doctor somehow. I see in one of your posts you mention that you think you have fibro (we are pretty similar -- I am in the midst of seeing doctors about chronic pain too), so if you are seeing any doctors at all for this, tell them "Hey, I have been having some anxiety and panic." Even though they are not pdocs, they will be likely to take you at your word, and they might then talk to your parents about it. Hearing it from a doctor might do more for them than hearing it from you. Whatever happens, you do need to get some help for this disorder. You can not go on living a limited life like this, especially since you are only 16! It would not be fair and I suspect that's not what you want. You need to do whatever it takes to get help. I know you have said several times that it's hard for you to talk and open up about it, but you might have to. Are there any other relatives besides your parents that you trust and can talk to? Perhaps a grandparent, aunt or uncle?

I know how hard this can be, and I truly do understand what you are going through. But I can also see it from the other side, because once I finally got help and started with therapy and medication, I was a whole new person. I still have anxiety and occassionally panic, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was in the past. To be so young and to be suffering with this, it can sometimes feel like the future is bleak, like it's the way life will always be. But I am hear to tell you it does not have to please do something for yourself to get some help. You deserve it.

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Date Joined Jul 2007
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   Posted 11/20/2007 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you so much. I really took in everything you were saying. I can tell by what you said you really do understand. And you are right. Thanks. I dont think the counselor understands, but I think what you said would be good. Maybe I should start over with her, explain things again and make sure she knows. I wrote it in the letter that the reason I came to her was because of a panic attack I had and thats how I knew it was bad. But, maybe she scanned the letter, or didnt pick up on it quite so well. I should tell her again, just to make sure.

And you are right about the teachers. We also have school nurses. They are supposed to know about things like this. I had my first panic attack 2 days before school started, and thats what made me want real help. On the first day, they always give papers and such, one was a nurse's form for any type of medical condition. It made me feel bad because I didn't know what to do. I really need someone to talk to my parents about it because it needs to be known that something is wrong with me. I guess I was somewhat ashamed at first. Now, it just kind of scares me because the world isn't all that accepting of things it doesn't understand. But, thats also why I wanted people to know what I deal with. I want to spread the word and educate people on it through myself. No one can understand something that they nothing of.

I guess its up to me to tell them and make them understand. I have been thinking lately. I feel like I live a lie. Not telling people how I really feel or what I am going through. I dont want to lie. It isnt my fault, and I shouldnt have to feel like I need to hind it. Most people dont understand me now anyways!

But, anyways, thanks so much. That post really helped open my eyes a bit. I think I am just in a better mood today! I keep smiling just so I can think about how much I will be smiling once this is all over. I keep imagining me with my friends, smiling, happy, having fun, and looking at that and being able to say "she's back". :-)

Thanks so much! Have a Great Thanksgiving everyone!! yeah

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