A Huge Setback

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/27/2008 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi.  I just joined this morning....I feel so scared and desperate.
Several years ago I had some several anxiety/panic problems.  I left a job because of them, I job I liked very much.  It took months and months of my life, but finally last year, I same some major improvement.  I was rejoining life, getting out with friends without fear, even traveling with minimal apprehension.
I was so relieved and proud of myself.
Then about one month ago, I was having dinner in a restaurant and BAM....panic attack.  Out of nowhere and for absolutely no reason.  I went home that night and put the covers over my head, exhausted (panic attacks take EVERYTHING out of me physically) and broken-hearted that after all my progress....I went so far backwards.
I didnt leave the restaurant, but it was SO HORRIBLE to stay there.....I've tried to go back to the restaurant with my Mom, I shared this with her, and cried through the entire lunch, couldnt eat, evidently now I can no longer go out to eat?????  I know, only if I think I cant, but the fight back seems too hard right now.
Last night I had friends over to have dinner at MY house and didnt have full blown panic but lots of anxiety, the back of my neck gets so horribly tight, almost burning sensation......, ears ringing, heart racing......I couldnt wait for the entire thing to be over.  My world is going to shrink to nothing if I dont get a handle on this.
Has anyone experienced such a set-back and if so, any tips to get back on track?????  I've read the Claire Weekes books and other books, lots of self-help programs,  I fought HARD to get some normalcy back in my life before, so Im not new to those types of things.  I do take xanex as needed.....not much......I have a script for .5 mgs and I break these.....take approx 4 per month but took a whole one this morning.
Back to square one.  Its devastating.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/27/2008 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Go ahead and take the medication. It helps! I just developed anxiety this past year and after living with a chronic/incurable illness for 33 years this was not a welcomed addition. But I was prescribed Xanax and it helps so much. I have also started seeing a therapist, which helps ALOT. Don't beat yourself up about this. I know that many on this board use CBT and hopefully someone will be along soon who can share that with you. Good luck and I hope you get feelling better soon.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/27/2008 1:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for responding!!! I have been coming in and refreshing this page like crazy!!! I just dont know where to turn. I think I already truly do know the work that needs to be done to recover. I just dont have the energy, strength or heart for it at the moment. I feel defeated.

I always believed that the more confidence I gained with this....the less it could ever come back to haunt me. My books seem to indicate this, anyway. The less you think about it and fear it.....its power is diminished. Right????

I had gotten to a point where I RARELY even thought about it. I was no longer scared of how I would react in a situation......no longer afraid that I would feel that "trapped" feeling and need to flee from a room........Its so great to have this freedom again, I was LOVING the fact that I could do what I used to be able to do.....

So, I guess my question is WHY? Why did it come back? If its an illness of "how we think" and I have been thinking in healthy ways....not afraid, not scared, no "anxious thoughts"......why in the world would it just come back?

And YES, I have no problem with taking Xanex when I need it. I suspect I am going to be needing it regularly for awhile. I took a whole one this morning. Which is probably why I reread my first post and realized my first paragraph didnt make alot of sense....lol. Typing faster than my brain can think....I was frantic this morning.

But I went outside and did the yard.....in an effort to burn off the huge amount of adrenaline surging through me. I will admit.....I am a little calmer now. Still very upset, it seems like such a curse......

And I was thinking about both of the posts that I read after mine....two people that are dealing with health issues.....of course thats anxiety producing. Mine is I cant seem to sit through dinner. OMG....what is wrong with me????

But I do thank you for the replies. And yes, knervous, it is reassuring to know there are others....even though you probably have way more of a valid reason than I do to be anxious if your wife is ill often...... But thank you for the good thoughts!!!!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 201
   Posted 7/27/2008 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry to say the only thing that ever helped my anxiety/panic when I was in public was a xanax, or trying my best to close my eyes and just think of something else. Moon I know the feeling, but I don't know the feeling of actually recovering... meaning if you recovered a bit in the first place, setbacks can happen.. sometimes these attacks happen since we're prone to them even if we did a lot to recover from them... sometimes I can go a month without having one then I have one.
"Make a joke and I will sigh, and you will laugh and I will cry. Happiness I cannot feel, and love to me is so unreal."-Loony from Rings of Power

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/27/2008 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P forum.  I am so happy you found us and you will soon see that there are many, many members with anxiety and panic.
There is no answer to the why as some people are triggered by past traumas, stress in their lives or it just hits out of the blue.
I am Kitt and I have had A & P for 26 years.  I agree with the others, use the Xanax.  Also if you look at one of the first posts at the top it has some information about delaing with the anxiety, resource threads posted by Wendy.  Check those out.
Stick with us, we love new members and you are family here now.

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

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/27/2008 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, Kitt - 26 years. You must be a pro at managing A & P. Thanks for pointing out the resources, I have already looked through them and see lots of helpful info to start reading asap.

Can I ask you something?

If you have a "setback" such as I described, do you feel its better to face it head-on or take it very slowly.

In my case, I had the panic attack at a certain restaurant. It was so traumatic, I felt fairly certain that this same restaurant would now trigger another one. So I made my mom go back with me one week later. I was right.....I was so very uncomfortable there. Now I only have to drive by that restaurant to feel anxiety. Even typing it, I know its so very irrational...but real regardless.

If it were you, would you go back constantly and keep trying? I accomplished nothing with the first attempt except for adding more fear. No, I could not "float". So, my other alternative is......work on getting the anxiety back under control and then try?

Just curious to know what has worked for you.....if you are willing to share....or anyone....please.....

Georgie Girl
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 8/1/2008 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   

Ouch, that sounds like it was awful to deal with.  I don't have what I would call panic attacks but I do suffer from terrible, overwhelming anxiety.  I believe in medication - better living through chemistry is my motto.  I take four different medications to keep me on track and still I suffer from depression; thankfully the anxiety is controlled by Zyprexa. 

Take the medication you need and see a doctor to see if there isn't more that needs to be done.  Take care of yourself.


Georgie Girl

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 8/1/2008 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Can you pinpoint anything that may be causing you stress or do you typically juggle a lot of balls in the air at once and think thats normal for you and everything is under control but your body is telling you something different now? Sometimes we push ourselves so much we get used to a super fast pace and think its normal...then our body/mind gives us a wake up call. 
Dee-38yrs old 
Diagnosed with UC in 2004-PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression in 2007 & Fibromyalgia 2008
750mg colozal 3 pills 3x a day, .5mg clonazepam, 7.5mg Lexapro
1,000mg canasa suppositories (PM),
Prilosec-Not sure(Heartburn/GERD), Fish Oils
GNC Womens Active Formula Multi-vitamin
Colonoscopies-3 and one on the way 8/12/08

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 752
   Posted 8/1/2008 10:59 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi there moondance..

Well the first bit of good news is that you handled the restaurant episode without leaving - and That takes Courage..and I say Well Done :-) And it doesn't matter that you cannot go back there just now..give yourself a little time to settle.

The second bit of good news is that this is only a 'setback' and you cannot go back to square one coz you have already been there eh? You have meds and skills to calm and help you thru this bumpy piece in the road..remember to breathe...distraction...try not to fester bout Panic Attacks - having put up with these on and off for years I fully understand..For me they are a warning light that I have started old thinking habits of the 'blue' variety and that I had better get my act together :-)

You are not alone with this and you will be ok I promise :)

Sista J.

Love All
Trust a Few
But Always paddle your own Canoe...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 8/1/2008 11:06 PM (GMT -6)   


Welcome to HW. As Sista J said..you are not alone in having this. You are in good company. We do not ask for it but we cope. With a little help from those who understand. You have been given so much good advice I won't bash your ears any further! Stay well, be gentle with yourself. It's just a setback. You will get back to yourself soon.


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

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