Moodscope's blog



Panic Attacks. Thursday August 17, 2017

I suffered my first panic attack when I was coming up for 21 years old. This was my worst one I think, because I didn't know what the hell was happening to me.

I was in a night club. I remember standing on the edge of the dance floor watching everyone enjoying themselves. There were a lot of flashing lights and I felt peculiar.

All of a sudden, I knew I had to get out of there. I was so scared. I asked a girl standing next to me if she would come outside with me as I felt unwell. I did not even know her, but she was the first person I could see.

She helped me down the stairs, as I felt like I was going to collapse and I very nearly asked the staff to call an ambulance. However, I managed to get outside and sit on a wall. I felt sick and I started to shake and to cry.

Then it passed, I felt better, but shaken and shocked. I thanked my helper and got myself home. I was so upset, I remember telling the cab driver what had happened to me.

I was lucky enough not to experience another panic attack again for many years... I mean, yes, I had times of feeling anxious and nervous, even to the extent where (for example) I could not hold a drink in my hand (rather annoying when you want a sip of your tea or a sip of wine).

Then in my forties, they came back with a vengeance.

I found myself questioning why, but I cannot see much logic in it. I went through enough stress in those twenty years whilst I was free of a panic attack.

Shops became the worst culprit. I had to leave them very quickly and once I literally collapsed in a supermarket. I have experienced one on a plane (after which I actually wrote most of this blog), in a car, in a theatre, at a funeral service (I had to leave in the middle of it, slightly embarrassing) but I once even had one at home.

Thankfully, they seem to have left me again now and it has been a while since my last one. Hopefully another twenty years...

Has anyone else experienced full blown panic attacks?

The only way I can describe them is the feeling that I was going to die. They actually only last a few minutes and I had to learn to breathe, by taking small sharp breaths and by sipping water. If I have to leave the house now (rare) I always take water.

I'm not saying this is the answer (far from it), but I read a book called 'Making friends with Anxiety' and the last time I thought I was going to have a panic attack, I told myself "it is ok, this beast is not going to harm you, it is just popping by to say hello".

It actually helped and the feeling passed...

A doctor once questioned me on whether I knew what a panic attack was. I went rather blank. He liked to maintain that he knew a lot about mental health but he didn't know much at all. He went on to tell me that a panic attack was something that happened when being confronted with a lion or a tiger. Silly man!

He has retired now and I sometimes wonder if it was on his bucket list to visit a zoo.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Jane SG Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 1:13am

Good morning dear Molly. I'm first! Yes panics attacks. I too can go years in between. Last one was a few months ago at work and I had to go and sit on the floor in a toilet cubicle. Not nice. The last part of your blog made me laugh. I wonder if zoo animals have panic attacks! Have a fab day Molly xxxx

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 1:16am

Oh Jane, you were the one that prompted me to send this blog in! I am so glad you understand. You really did give me a smile about the zoo animals, I expect they do experience panic attacks when they have all the human faces looking at them ! Thank you Jane xxxx

Jane SG Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 1:24am

Oh that's so nice. I'm so glad you did send it in. As much as I would not want you to experience panic attacks it helps to know someone who knows how it feels. Fingers crossed neither of us have another one, at least not for a long time!!! I think the zoo elephants have them when they see a mouse....!!! Xxx

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 2:49am

:-) those poor elephants :-) xx

Debbie Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 6:50am

Sounds like your doctor was pretty clumsy in his approach but he did have a point. When we have a panic attack our body is preparing us to either run away or fight, a very primitive response that probably was very useful to us in an age gone by but not very useful in a more modern age when the perceived threats are less physical. There may be something that you are aware of that sets off this physical response or equally you may not be conscious of it. Whatever it is your body has stored that reaction to a set of circumstances, its almost like there is a disconnect between your concious reasoning mind & your bodies primati e response. No answers I'm afraid but for me being able to understand what is happening to me and why helps. I hope it helps you.

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 4:28pm

Thanks Debbie, you have got me thinking with this. I guess mainly they occur for me when I am either in a busy place or I get the feeling I cannot 'get out' but not always. The one I had at home I cannot explain although I was quite unwell at the time. I usually know if I am in the frame of mind for one to possibly occur and will therefore try to avoid the situation but this is not always possible and can be very restricting and frustrating! Molly xx

Mary Wednesday Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 7:51am

Do I have them? Well - sort of, but much milder. The last one was at a zoo! (The sea life centre in Torquay actually, but near enough). For me it is crowds milling in enclosed spaces. I have to get out, but I don't feel as if I will die. You have my sympathy, Molly.

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 4:37pm

Hi Mary, thank you for giving me a smile! I can totally understand having one at a sea life centre because those places are very claustrophobic and have a strange atmosphere to them. I'm sure alot must depend on the mood we are in, because sometimes I wouldn't even give them a second thought (which is good, because even thinking about it, can trigger it!) Molly xx

Anonymous Sun, Aug 27th 2017 @ 4:16pm

hah! And here was me thinking everyone enjoyed aquariums! Sorry to hear they give you panic attacks - was thre a previous problem with an aquarium or is it just your irrational fear of sharks? At least the one I've been to people seemed content.

Molly Sun, Aug 27th 2017 @ 5:15pm

Just when I was thinking we had so much in common!! - if that is you S ? This is a silly comment that you have made about sharks. It was either a joke or you didn't read my blog properly!! My fear of going into a large shop, (which I actually managed this week) does not consist of sharks, lions, tigers, rats, or snakes. However, it is good to know that you don't suffer panic attacks.

Lacey Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:50am

Know that feeling too Molly,having had them on a regular basis for last thirty years
Very scary,totally debilitating but I think I may have the answer..for me at least. If I can share my progress I will however I am still a work in progress
Poor old doc of yours,not a clue sadly. Thank goodness I have a very understanding GP who seems to totally 'get' me and my illness. Most off all ,she knows how vulnerable I am when unwell
I'm so thankful to have her to look after/out for me when my husband is away in the land of sans for months

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 5:37pm

Hi Lacey. It is so nice when others understand. If you have found the answer, please so let us know. You have me intrigued! You are lucky to have a good GP, I never get to see the same one, and that is even if I can get an appointment! My surgery try to do everything over the phone now and so I tend not to bother. Thank you for your response xx

Orangeblossom Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:53am

Thanks for this blog Molly. I am very happy to read that you haven't recently had a panic attack. Sounds rather scary. You have painted a very evocative picture of your experiences with a bag full of humour. I enjoyed reading the blog very much.

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 5:42pm

Hi Orangeblossom, thank you so much, you are too kind! I am so relieved that I might be able to get my life back a little. Having to think twice about everything and scared to arrange anything etc... I am glad you appreciate my humour :-) Molly xx

Charlotte Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:53am

Hi Molly
I fully sympathise, especially when the GP failed to really help you. I suffer from panic attacks and was told that instead of fighting or fleeing when confronted with the lion or tiger that I simply freeze. I struggle to breath each time and can feel quite exhausted from them. But I don't think I'm going to die. I know what I'm dealing with. I can control them to a point and have learnt to just to walk quickly to a safe place before they take hold.
Symptoms... a throb in my chest, speeding of my heart rate and struggling to breath and getting upset. But, and this is a big but, they are linked to stress and follow say a row with boyfriend, the opening of a rather unpleasant letter, extreme bad news ( ... I want a divorce..) and therefore it is linked to anxiety and dread of what is to come.
Interestingly I'd been a dog owner and never had one in the whole time I had my dogs, they say animals , other then lions and tigers, have therapeutic powers. Maybe I need to get a new pup!!
Good luck. Charlotte

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 6:49pm

Hi Charlotte, I agree with you, I definitely think panic attacks are related to stress and and how we generally feel. I think there are different types of stress, that react to our bodies in different ways. A whole new blog there ! I love dogs and they are great companions but they can be stressful too (especially pups!) but it is great that dogs have helped you. Thank you for your lovely response xx

Anonymous Sun, Aug 27th 2017 @ 4:17pm

There's a litter due in 2 days here!

Lacey Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:58am

Land of Sand,typo....Riyadh,Saudi Arabia
Might be going out there for a break in the autumn
Do I want to go? No actually-have to wear an abaya,can't go out alone even to the shopping mall plus its so hot.
But wifely duty beckons....if I do go maybe I'll write a blog on my visit.

The Gardener Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 11:42am

Best of luck, Lacey - a daughter was cabin crew on the Emir's flight in Qatar - son lives in Abu Dhabi. Were worried about daughter if she should have to go to Saudi, she's not the most tolerant of creatures - but has to fly very eminent people in private jets. She had 3 weeks in Saudi - forbidden gym or pool, and had to wear an Abaya if she left her room - awful for her, because with the amount of flying she does keeping healthy is vital. One lives in the Malls because of the A/C, and freezes in hotels because it is so cold - you end up huddling under the duvet when its 40 degrees outside.At least you won't encounter Ramadan.

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 7:00pm

Hi Lacey, thank you for sharing with this us. I cannot imagine how hot it must be to wear an abaya and being hot does not help at all if you feel anxious. I often have to put a cold towel on my forehead to cool down. I would love to read a blog about your visit. I hope the trip goes okay for you. Love Molly xx

Salt Water Mum Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:59am

Hi Molly,

I have had a few very bad ones like you. I can identify mine though exactly - they were connected to fears of mine (interesting what Debbie said). A deep fear that triggered the attack. My first time was on a very small plane and, like you, I didn't know what was happening to me. It was terrifying. I was travelling alone to a work gig and the people around were not nice to me at all. They didn't know what was going on either I suppose. I remember shaking and sweating and being terrified and so so thirsty. And feeling dreadfully sick and exhausted afterwards. Horrible feeling.

Yes each panic attack for me is associated with a fear and a feeling of dread. I never linked them with my low mood or high anxiety however - which, as I write it, seems very foolish. Of course they are linked to anxiety and to very sensitive people perhaps?

Thanks, Molly, Hope your old doctor is off feeding the giraffes on safari !!


Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 7:25pm

Hi there SWM, your last sentence made me laugh :-) let's hope he is having a lovely time on safari :-) I think my panic attacks are more random than yours. My collapse in the supermarket was because I was not able to decide what sauce to buy! Obviously more deep rooted than that! To be honest I won't go into a supermarket ever again. I buy on line and get it delivered! Thank god for the internet. Thank you so much for relating to my blog. Molly xx

Another Sally Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 9:04am

Morning Molly et al, I can only remember one panic attack and, like Mary, I did not feel I was going to die. I had taken 2daughters and a friend to Bluewater, my first visit, not long after it opened but I think in the Easter hols. I was with my little one - other two able to shop without me, and went to try and get a burger for lunch. The food court was rammed with people and I got really panicky and needed to get out quickly.
Later, on leaving in the car, I did not understand the sign posting. The signs said A2 Canterbury or M25 London. I did not want either and drove round and round the roundabout in floods of tears until I noticed a little sign for Bean. I drove to a park in Bean and looked at my map. Went home across country.
Makes me feel anxious just thinking about it.
Hugs to all who need them.
Another Sally

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 7:44pm

Hi Another Sally, I hope you are okay xx I guess there are different types of panic attacks, some mild, some more severe. I think the first was the worst for me, as I didn't understand what was happening and there was no reason for it. When I started to understand them better they were less frightening. I realise things make us panic such as the circumstances you describe, but I see that as a different scenario - which is why I felt a bit annoyed with the doctor. They seem to be something that takes over the brain when not actually being in a panicky situation, if you know what I mean? Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sending massive hugs back to you. Molly xx

Leah Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 9:17am

Thanks for this blog that has shown how scary panic attacks are.
I feel ashamed to say that when I was not very supportive.when my ex husband had panic attacks (this was over 30 years ago), I had no idea of how upsetting it was.
Your honesty and openness will help many people.

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:16pm

Hi Leah, I guess it is hard for anyone to understand and to be honest if I had not experienced it, I would have probably have thought "pull yourself together" so please do not beat yourself up about your experiences with your ex. Life is always a learning curve and there are many things in the past that I can say "why did I not do this and that". I hope I have not upset you. Love Molly xx

The Gardener Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 11:57am

Hello Molly - very though and experience provoking post (oh no, I hear you cry). I've had several 'panic attacks' (what the docs said afterwards). Many people suffer them in shops. Won't go near London, or any complex now. If you dissect the symptoms, you go into a department in street clothes, they are stupidly over heated. If you remove your coat you have to lug it about. Heat exhaustion is a VERY real occurence. You panic, start to breathe quickly, and want to get out. You rush for the elevator or lift sign, to get out ASAP. You get the wrong one, up, not down, or vice versa. Panic mounts as you try to get out. I'm not being flippant. When I went to London regularly only Harvey Nicolls, I believe, had A/C. In Debenhams china and glass department all the staff wore the lightest clothes possible. Lighting was overwhelming, of course - and the central heating took no account of the heating units of the lights. The staff said that they went home exhausted and with blinding headaches at the end of each day. I fetched up 4 times in hospital with 'panic' attacks. they were always scary - fast breathing, fast pulse, feelings literally of going to 'blow up'. Endless Vallium, blowing into a paper bag, breathing exercises (all very well if you CAN breathe). Eventually it was discovered that my lifelong intolerance of dairy products provoked a magnesium lack, showed itself in panic attacks, turning blue and collapse. We are farmers, we SHOULD have known. In the past cows were turned out in the spring into lush grass which did not have all the nutrients. They had the 'staggers' would reel around, and often die unless administered a massive dose of magnesium. I have scientifically balanced calcium and magnesium supplements, no more staggers. There is so much 'hype' about diet, allergies etc now that nobody thinks to go back to basic chemistry. I'm the lucky one, light dawned, no more problems. At the moment I am scared, even terrified, of the future, but no panic attacks about it. If anybody thinks my case applies, make sure you get help from a fully trained nutritionalist, there are an incredible number of charlatans.

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:31pm

Hi Gardener, I agree, shops are hard, and London, I cannot bear it ! May not necessarily trigger a full panic attack, but I have always found it hard to be in a busy place, worse as I have got older I think? Things we would not really think about when younger or in a good state of mind. As I say my first was at 21 but it was years before I had another. Hormones maybe? Menopause? but also the make up of oneself. Us sensitive souls just seem to suffer. Diets probably help yes and I try to take my vitamins. I am also terrified about my future, thank you for your response G xx

Mary Wednesday Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 11:24pm

Oh indeed, Gardener. Yesterday my family and I went to one of those Retail Outlet shopping villages. Horrible. My husband thought it "might be fun". Hah! A man who likes shopping more than his wife? I needed a summer waterproof coat. I walked into the first outdoor shop; there was a waterproof coat in the right colour, in the right size at the right price. There: job done. Can we go home now? Nope.... my girls had to try on every pair of jeans in the whole damn place and not buy anything! I tell you, there were mefieval tortures more benign than that. And - magnesium for staggers... Oh yes. I have a scene in my current novel where the cattle have been maliciously let out too early and my hero and heroine have the impossible task of trying to herd them back into their winter quarters. My hero is a "townie" who is mystified by the heroine's lament that she has not increased their magnesium lick! But then he's too busy falling down into freshly delivered cow-pats and chasing after twenty high-tailing bullocks to worry about it. One of my favourite scenes, I have to confess...

Molly Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:23am

I'm like you Mary, in and out of the shop for me, I don't do browsing! Well, I do browse on the internet and get everything delivered. Sorted! xx

Valerie Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 11:58am

Yes,I had them for the first time in my mid-20's.Crushing pain in the chest,palpitations etc.I thought I was dying of heart attack.I was sent urgently to hospital by my G.P.Loads of tests showed nothing wrong,diagnosis of tachycardia-extremely fast heartbeat.I asked if it could be "nerves",because I was building up to leaving my violent husband.They agreed this was very likely.

I still get them,but never so severe again.Knowing I had that check-up is reassuring.I try to control my breathing.I am more prone to feeling lightheaded as an anxiety reaction now.It does all stem from the cortisol hormone,because we are animals too!

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:47pm

Hi Valerie, I am getting a bit concerned about this animal thing! I guess I should have been a monkey :-) But yes from what you describe, I think nerves and stress cause all sorts of things. I wonder if it is better 'out than 'in'. Thank you for your reply xx

Claire Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 12:12pm

I've not been on hear for a while but when I saw this blog about panic attacks in my emails I just had to reply. I too suffer with anxiety and wanted to let you know about Dare.l
Defuse Accept Run towards Engage. If you go on amazon and Google it it is by Barry McDonagh. It teaches you how to live with and accept anxiety like you briefly talked about in your blog about a book you've read. It's about retraining your brain to think differently. The book comes with audios and once you have read the book there are groups on Facebook to inspire you and help you through. Dare really is a life changer and I highly recommend it. I hope this helps. It's really helped me and changed my life xxx

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:52pm

Hi Claire, thank you for this tip, I will order the book and let you know how it goes. I am not very good at self helping and still have other books I haven't read but I will try this one, thank you xx

Geoff Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 3:50pm

Hi Molly, Thank you for sharing about your panic attacks. They are awful, aren't they? My first came when I was 17. I thought that I was having a heart attack. Sweating, palpitations, headaches etc. Now 59, they've been part of my life, off and on, ever since. From 2012 to the beginning of this year, they were pretty frequent, and stopped me from doing all sorts of things, and going to various places. I read loads of books, and watched numerous self-help videos, but none made sense until January this year. A lovely counsellor, who'd previously suffered similarly, began to make a breakthrough with me, but it was seeing the difference in a good friend who'd been for a hypnotherapy session that helped me. Instead of not being able to shop in the city centre, amongst crowds, she was wandering and browsing with the best of them. Her whole demeanour was completely opposite to the person I had known before. To cut an even longer story short, I went to see the same hypnotherapist and by the end of the session, I felt as if a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Suddenly, I could actually think differently, and what I had learnt in CBT and Mindfulness groups DID actually make sense. This has led to a slow, but positive, improvement in both my mental and physical health. In the last 7 months, I have had just 1 panic attack. Even that didn't throw me. It was "okay, it's happening, but I know that it doesn't last." This time last year, I would have crumbled under the pressure. Now, I'm actually coping with and finally understanding my mental health.

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:57pm

Hi Geoff, this is very interesting because I had considered going to a hypnotherapist for depression in general and I think you have given me the push to do so. Thank you so much for your detailed response. Sometimes we need a little push in the right direction and to hear other people's experiences is encouraging xx

Geoff Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 3:01pm

Dear Molly, I was really sceptical about using hypnotherapy until I witnessed the change in my friend. I was also worried about being pout "into a trance", but that wasn't the case. Even though my eyes werev closed, I was aware of everything and every movement the hypnotherapist said and did. It was just like being in a very relaxed environment. At first, I wasn't sure that anything had really happened, then, there was a sudden feeling of my head emptying itself of all the worries, fears and other rubbish that I'd been carrying around for years. Now, instead of reacting autmoatically to situations as I'd always done, my mind is clear enough to make different choices, and no longer be trapped by what has gone before. If you wish to ask me any other questions Molly, I'd be only to pleased to do so.

Molly Sat, Aug 19th 2017 @ 3:48pm

Hi Geoff, thank you for the further response. You have totally convinced me that this is worth a try. I think I will go ahead and book an appointment today as I tend to put things off such as this (I am a 'doer' usually) but anything that involves helping myself on a personal level gets put on the back burner! Are you saying it only took one session for it to be of benefit? Or did you go several times? Thank you again for the encouragement, sometimes I think I need someone to literally pick me up and plonk me somewhere! Molly xx

Molly Sat, Aug 19th 2017 @ 4:48pm

Back again, I have emailed a hynotherapist quite close to where I live (there were three and I couldn't decide which one to go for) I couldn't see much difference really apart from gender, then couldn't decide if I wanted a man or a woman! Don't think I mind much so I chose the cheapest option! Knowing my luck, she won't respond. Here is hoping. It was down to you that made me do this, even my husband just grunted, carried on checking the football scores and told me what he fancies for his tea! If I pick him up on this, he will refuse to eat and sulk for the rest of the evening :-) M xx

Geoff Sun, Aug 20th 2017 @ 11:37pm

Hi Molly, I'm so glad that you've decided to give hypnotherapy a try. I only had the one session and, 7 months on, I still feel good. My friend has had a top up session, but its's all down to the individual. Be to tally honest with the hypnotherapist about your problems and what you;d like to achieve. I think that's very important. And, when they instruct you to relax, just go with the flow. I hope it works for you as well as it has for me. xx

Molly Sun, Aug 20th 2017 @ 11:49pm

Thank you Geoff xx

Jeff Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 4:10pm

I too suffered hugely, for many, many years, from serious anxiety, panic attacks and depression.

In my search to 'be a better man' I have more-or-less resolved these very challenging emotional states. 'You make me want to be a better man' is a great line from a Jack Nicholson Film, where he beautifully portrays a guy with ADHD, that still brings tears to my eyes)

I believe that it's useful to begin by acknowledging that such emotions are often so emotionally charged that 'being logical' about them, especially in the moment of anxiety/panic/depression, is near-on impossible.

However, there are many tools and techniques that can help and alleviate and even overcome such challenging and destructive emotional states and the key ones I've used mostly derive from NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). One of the tenets/beliefs of NLP is that 'Underpinning every Behaviour is a Positive Intention' - and, certainly for me, identifying positive intentions for my own panic attacks, anxiety and depression has both helped my understanding and, thankfully, over time, helped me achieve a far more serene and stable state of mind.

Several years ago, I used some of these tenets, tools and techniques to coach my daughter's boyfriend when he was about 17 years old. On a number of occasions, he was so panicked he literally thought he was going to die - eg he was in his mum's car, gasping for air, and she rushed him to hospital! He's now almost free of such attacks, certainly in their severity, and is enjoying his time at University!

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 9:09pm

Hi Jeff, it took me a couple of reads to take all this in and I will look up these methods that you suggest. As I say, I seem to be rid of them now but I am interested about preventative techniques, thank you xx

Jeff Mon, Aug 21st 2017 @ 3:30pm

Hi again, Molly My experience has been - 1: finding a person that I either do or can learn to trust - as much and as deeply as possible! I believe that there's the possibility of something like a miracle happening with the intimate support and understanding of someone else - almost like a placebo effect (which I know can work). 2: find a process/set of techniques that work for me NLP has taught me many factors - eg 1: we use nouns (naming words) to describe what is actually a process - eg depression is a noun but depressing/'how we depress ourselves' relates to a process - most likely to be an unconscious process. Similarly, panic or a panic attack are nouns - where as panicking/'how we panic ourselves' is a process.... etc 2: When people first come across this idea/possibility, up comes an (obvious) question - you mean I do this to myself..? - associated with something like 'You mean I'm to blame for this?.... 3: No blame whatsoever - it's a matter of recognising and acknowledging a totally unconscious process and, in 'my NLP world', as previously related, one that is based on 'every behaviour has a positive intention'. 4: Anyone following this idea/possibility will, with some support, identify their own possible 'Positive intention' so I don't really like providing an example - however, I'm going to break my own rule to provide one(!) - a possible positive intention underpinning panicking could be the need to feeling safe and secure. If this were the positive intention, a follow-up question could be something like - 'OK, I need to feel safe and secure - so what do I need right now to feel safe and secure? Could be a hug, close the door, take a deep breath, begin to recognise that I am actually quite safe.... 5: OK, what I've described above are mental processes, thoughts, ideas, so-called logic. However, very often, the 'states' we are discussing are so strong and overwhelming that, when 'embraced' by any of them, logic is of limited, perhaps even no use whatsoever! This is where I suggest associated processes and techniques can be of great benefit - be it hypnosis, tapping... there are so many - and the associated challenge is to find those that work for us!! I know this is all very wordy, but trust it makes sense. Discussing and/or actually going through some of these ideas, tools, techniques is so much preferable than writing about them!! I wish you - and all readers/members of Moodscope - very best wishes.

Jeff Mon, Aug 21st 2017 @ 3:32pm

Just seen how condensed that 'stuff' I've just written has been presented - so would suggest copying it into a word processor and making it easier to read - eg each numbered point starts a new paragraph (as originally intended!

Molly Mon, Aug 21st 2017 @ 4:47pm

Hi Jeff, thank you very much for taking the time to write all of this. Funnily enough, as I was reading it, I thought I must copy it, so I can absorb it properly later, then you suggested I do so ! I will split it into paragraphs like you say and then read it again. Thank you. Molly xx

Lexi Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 8:25pm

Hi Molly! I'm trying to post - haven't been able to for the last few days do to computer glitches. I too suffer from them. Mostly in crowds. I usually feel the need to flee but sometimes I fragment - go to different places in my head. They are scary, and I am glad to hear that you have found something - water - to help you. Your Gp was a buffoon!

Molly Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 9:22pm

:-) Hi Lexi - it doesn't restore your faith really with the GPs but to be honest I am not sure what they can do to help! Definitely going elsewhere in your head can help, I have practised that, think think think, about something else. I am still confused as to why I can sometimes not get the feeling at all and other times it has been so awful to deal with. A bottle of water seems to be a kind of safety net (maybe I need to fill it with vodka) thank you Lexi - hope you get your computer sorted xx

Mary Wednesday Thu, Aug 17th 2017 @ 11:27pm

I would choose gin rather than vodka, but that sounds pretty good to me!

Molly Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:25am


Rachel Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:24am

Thank you Molly for sharing. I can really relate having suffered my first panic attack two weeks ago. I was begging my GP to dart me with some sort of injection! It was so overwhelming. It is hard to describe but I felt like I was falling into a dark hole and desaprately scrabbling to stay out away from the edge. There was no particular incident that I can see sparked this episode. I do get tired and a bit flat so I do try and make sure I rest and eat well. I often say I am the most sensible person I know so being in this state is very alien!

I was prescribed diazepam and advised to start taking anti depressants again after being off them for a good six months. The irony to this is these drugs can exacerbate feelings of intense anxiety! I have really struggled to maintain normal life waiting for some sort of relief. My body is in a constant state of emergency and I can't switch off this 'flight or flight' mechanism. A younger doctor asked me if I had considered taking Pregabilin which is supposed to help switch off this mechanism also.

So thank you again for sharing. All the comments I have read are very interesting. I would rather not rely on drugs. Your blog was very timely and I am going to investigate further.

Thanks all for sharing your experiences.

Molly Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:38am

Hi Rachel, I was just thinking about tiredness and how it can affect us so that is a good point. I definitely think this could be a contributory factor. I also have diazepam that I keep for emergencies and I take a beta blocker called Propranolol which certainly helps if I am jittery/shakey. Like you I don't like taking drugs. I am glad that my blog came at the right time for you and you have found the comments helpful. Thank you for responding xx

Anonymous Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 3:04pm

I ran a group and recently a lie was told about my husband and myself. Some of our very closest friends believed it and stirred things up which eventually caused the group to break up. It has been one of the most painful experiences which I have ever gone through, and along with my depression it has left me suicidal. I just don't know how to get over the betrayal of friends which I have had for up to 20 years and the fact they could believe the lie over knowing who we are. I miss them so much and wish I could explain it to them and make it right, but it has gone too far now.

Nicco Mon, Aug 28th 2017 @ 11:47pm

Anonymous - I just came across Molly's blog & found your post. I really feel for you because I know from experience that betrayal by friends, esp long term ones, is so painful. I have found that sometimes an opportunity does arise where you can tell your side of things but, as Molly says, if it doesn't then I hope you can find a way to come to terms with the change in the relationship. I have had to do this a few times so have now realised that preserving my own emotional, psychological & physical well-being is of paramount importance to me so I adopt the attitude that if they decide to believe the lies about me then perhaps they are not actually worth having as friends - I need to preserve my precious psychological energy & not allow it to ebb away or waste it. I know this is hard, and I'm not sure if any of this helps, but I'm sending you an understanding hug. x Nicco x

Alexandra Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 3:13pm

I was diagnosed diazepam for my panic attacks, but I try not to take them because along with calming me down, which is fine, they leave me feeling emotionless and I find I can get really unkind with my family and I feel I change as a person until they wear off.

Molly Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 3:26pm

Hello there Anonymous, I wondered if you meant to send that on today's blog, relating to friends etc, but I wanted to say that I can understand how you feel because some lies were told about me once and friends turned against me and did not believe me when I tried to tell them the truth. It was so hurtful and I did distance myself with them because they would not hear me and has made their minds up that what was being said was true. I am concerned to hear you are feeling suicidal over it, please don't. The best way to look at it - is that it is their loss if they cannot trust you and I also believe that the truth comes out in the end and I hope for your sake, that your friends see sense. If they don't, then it is time for new friends. Hope you are ok. Molly xxxx

Molly Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 3:33pm

Hi Alexandra, the same happens to me on diazepam, I turn into a horrible person and it can defeat the whole object. It does put me off taking them. I have had this on some anti depressants before and actually became slightly aggressive at one stage so soon came off them. Thank you for sharing your experience xx

Anonymous Tue, Aug 22nd 2017 @ 12:10pm

yes yes and yes. been there done that, panic attacks were a big part of my life for years. had them everywhere, at home, in the super market in the car etc. they are horrible and can make you do silly things and embarrass you. not easy to tell your tough mates you are having a panic attack. they ruled my life stopping me doing things i wanted as all i could think about was having one, as well as all the unnecessary worry i would put myself through. i've slowly got a grip on them and my worry. i still worry myself though, most recently on a trip abroad, a long drive through the mountains, my stomach pains were bad. then on the hike i could feel the worry bubbling away, if that spills over then you're in panic attack mode and it's not good. destination reach and time to go back, worry gone feeling good. always the same story. i'm 41 now and think i'll worry the rest of my days to some degree unfortunately but i'll fight on.

Molly Tue, Aug 22nd 2017 @ 7:16pm

Hi Anonymous. Thank you for your response. You explain it very well. They have stopped me doing so many things too. I have to think before I arrange anything, can I cope? etc. Funerals are the worst as I want to attend and am determined to be there and letting the panic attacks beat me in that respect is not an option (well of course it is an option, but I would hate myself for it). I hope you have read some of the previous comments which are helpful, especially from Geoff and Jeff. Very interesting that you felt anxious on the way to your destination and not on the way back. I can relate to that. Often it is getting from A to B for me, which can prevent me even walking out of the front door. You will know how very frustrating it is, when yourself you just want to get on as normal and can't. Really appreciate your comment. I did wonder when I submitted the blog, if there would be much response, but there seems to be alot of understanding on this issue which is comforting for me and stops me feeling like an outcast xx

Nicco Mon, Aug 28th 2017 @ 11:38pm

Hi Molly, I've only just seen this. Yes, I have panic attacks - they started many years ago when I was at school during a time when I was suffering from emotional & physical abuse both at home and at school so my body & emotions seemed to be on constant high alert. I went on to develop M.E. which, some experts think is when the 'fight/flight/freeze' mechanism gets stuck or becomes the body's default mode. The attacks were/are so frightening that I would get frightened of having one - a sort of 'fearful of the fear' situation. Even thinking about them can bring it on. Also, I would sometimes be so ill with the M.E. that I'd have a panic attack just worrying about when I'd get the next bout or relapse. I find diaphragm breathing & a technique called 'soften & flow' helps...

1) Breathe in counting to 3 and naming in your head what ever it is that is hurting/bothering/worrying you.

2) Then breathe out counting to 4 & saying at the same time in your head the words, 'soften & flow'.

3) Repeat this as often as necessary until relief is felt - you may need to do it for several minutes.

The idea is that as you relax by breathing out, you are asking your body to soften and allow what ever the feeling/problem etc is to flow out of the body. It can be argued that if you have to do this for several minutes, the panic attack itself would have subsided naturally, but either way it's at least a distraction if nothing else.
Before I came across this technique I was prescribed Diazepam & propranalol which did help a bit but I didn't want to have to rely on them. I'm not sure if any of this helps. I've gained a lot of insight from reading people's posts here, esp from Jeff & Geoff, & can identify with a lot of what people say are triggers for the attacks, including having to go somewhere new (I'd never attempt that alone), or worrying about getting to somewhere on my own even if it's somewhere I know well. One thing that can trigger mine is if/when I hear a child crying, esp in a shopping mall - I feel I need to escape but doing the technique helps. Thank you, Molly for, writing your blog. x Nicco x

Molly Tue, Aug 29th 2017 @ 12:22am

Thank you Nicco - I do try similar to this, but often do not know why I am bothered - it generally feels that my body takes over - when it feels like it - but I do appreciate your suggestions - breathing exercises certainly help. M.E. must be tough to live with. Thank you for taking the time to reply with your experiences, it really is helpful xx

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