Public speaking and panic - fast solution?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/20/2008 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Everyone,
I've got a history of panic attacks.  about 5 major ones in my life.   I deal with a lot of anticipatory anxiety as a result when it comes to heights, social situations and public speaking.  I've been able to deal with it though and it only comes up during public speaking and being in high or trapped scenarios. 
I found out yesterday that my boss is flying me to a conference on short notice to speak in front of 250 colleagues and executives. Needless to say, I've got no idea how I'm going to react and it's a critical career moment.  I'm not actually afraid of speaking and I can speak in small situations quite confidently.  The problem is the physical reaction.  My throat clamps shut and I when the anxiety creeps in and my breathing gets very shallow, making it hard to speak. That feeds the anxiety. That makes the anxiety and physical reaction worse. 
I've got to figure out how to deal with this in a day or two.  I'm not a fan of meds, but I've heard that beta blockers can help control the physical reaction.  I take Xanax for flying and I've had the same bottle, mostly unused, for 4 years.  I'm worried I might not be able to get a prescription on short notice. 
Does anyone have any links to good resources, or opinions on beta blockers, or ideas of whether I'd be able to get a prescription if I needed one?  This is a significant speech that I'll be giving, so I can't be hazy.  I just want to control the physical reaction.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 9/20/2008 10:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome.
First think I want to say is, throw away that xanax. Not good to take old meds.

Can you call your dr and have him/her call in the scripts so you can go get it.

Xanax does help with public speaking.
Moderator - Anxiety-panic forum
where we take it one panic attack at a time
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/20/2008 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   


Welcome to HealingWell. I worked with a OB/GYN Doctor who always got nervous before a speech he had to present.  He used beta blockers, Inderal, for speaking.

Beta Blockers, an old blood pressure drug - they can take the edge off Anxiety in Public Speaking. Beta blockers aren't habit forming, they are inexpensive and teeny doses right before a speech can stop the huge flow of adrenaline that occurs with anxiety. Discuss with your doctor the possibility of trying a “test dose” prior to presentation day to make sure you have no negative side-effects.

Hope you can get to the Doctors before you leave.

Take care and good luck.



Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
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