Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Posted by ainsleigh @ainsleigh, Apr 14, 2018

So many of us have suffered for anxiety and panic and I would like to share something that has helped me . In my Recovery group I learned that
nervous symptoms are ” distressing but not dangerous i.e.” NO DANGER.” If I ever feel myself getting anxious I repeat those in my mind-
it is a “secure thought ” and helps me to relax and avoids the escalation of symptoms. It takes a little practice but can make a big difference. I would love to hear if any of you find it helpful too.
Ainsleigh

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

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@mattie If talking is difficult have you ever tried keeping a journal and writing about your life, experiences and feelings? Teresa

@gailb

@parus

I'm so happy that you are going to give therapy a try despite your fears. Is this person a new therapist for you? If so, how did you locate the new therapist? My last therapist was the one I had after a long time of fear about seeing a therapist due to my mistreatment by one I completely trusted. I saw her for several years and learned a great deal of good things from her. But at a point where my husband and I were getting divorced, she crossed the line. I was extremely vulnerable and she said I could live with her for awhile. That was a huge mistake for her and devastating for me. She ended up threatening me with a lawsuit for $$ she said I "owed" for her "help." The change in her and her viciousness shocked me and shook my world to the core. I had totally believed in her and had accepted her "kindness" during a very bad time in my life. I nearly succumbed to a breakdown, but was determined not to let her control my life. I moved to California shortly after theses incidents (9 months), and began living again. I still felt paranoid and questioned my own judgement constantly. I didn't trust anyone in the mental health community at that time. It was the most frightening thing I've ever experienced.

About 5 years later, I was at a wedding in Marin County, California, and friends of the couple stood up one at a time and talked about their love for different aspects of their relationships with the couple. The man who participated in the wedding along with the priest, sat with me at the reception and as we talked, he revealed that he was a therapist, and he gave me a signed copy of a book he had written. I read the book, and there began wonderful therapy work and eventually my becoming a Support Group Network Full Facilitator after 7 years of working and training. I am so thankful that I didn't give up completely on talk therapy and support groups!

By the way, I found out from a friend that the unscrupulous therapist in Tucson was sued for malpractice by three of her former patients and lost her license a few years after my experience with her. I was too intimidated and messed up by her to sue her at the time. Plus, I thought it was MY fault that she was angry (PTSD kicked in).

I hope you find an excellent therapist who can help you regain some equilibrium in your life and emotions. You deserve to be loved and happy Parus. I'm holding you in my mind and heart as being healthy, happy and at peace.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

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Such a good observation, @contentandwell. Gail, @gailb gives a wonderful example of "keeping-on" and not stopping until you find the answers. Some problems are not easy to solve but there is usually an answer is we persist and don't give in to discouragement!

Teresa

@mattie

i called my dr and asked for help after having such horrible nervous and panic attacks can barely talk at times. He said I dont know how teo help you . Isnt this illegal or something?

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@mattie Have you considered looking for a geriatric psychiatrist? I understand that your depression started early-on in your life, but geriatric psychiatrists deal with all sorts of problems – even life-long. A large hospital system in your area might be able to help you find one and large hospital systems usually have doctors that accept Medicare which is important when you are over 65.

Teresa

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

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That is indeed a very relevant and valuable suggestion. I am a trained SMART RECOVERY facilitator and one of the key suggestions we give in our group sessions is journaling – it tells yourself when and what trigger anxiety evdnts and can help you much better understand – then if you have anxiety mecication like I do you do not need to take it 2 or 3 times a day my prescription “ take as needed”
– it gives me a personal feeling of control which my neurologist encourage but my former psychiatrist disagreed with – he wanted to keep me on anti depressants the rest of my life ( I am 68 ) and did not like that idea. But many doctors will not agree with this degree of patient power particularly in the US where it is so easy to sue your doctor – well I found the solution that is right for ME – out with the daily anti depressants and only use anti anxiety drugs when needed and I know now when I need to take a low dose Ativan and when my day will be fine with no medication. Good luck
Michael in Bangkok

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

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yes…did it years ago….cant concentrate now and can get depressing.

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

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@mattie You might try very small notes of journaling. Take a small index card and write a few sentences to yourself, your parents, etc. and just drop it in a shoe box. After a few months, take out the cards and see how you have changed in your writings. It might be very helpful. I wish you well.

Teresa

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

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Mamacita you are so right. Never have been huggedlike that always my fault and still is, no matter what. I say it to myself…make a mess, it is my fault…and so it is. I have kids…one doesnt bother with me…he lives close. Never see him or …his . Another out of state and wouldnt help …self cenetered. Another get angry all the time. she is under much stress and doesst know how bad i am…sorry cant type fingers arthritic.

@gailb

@parus

I'm so happy that you are going to give therapy a try despite your fears. Is this person a new therapist for you? If so, how did you locate the new therapist? My last therapist was the one I had after a long time of fear about seeing a therapist due to my mistreatment by one I completely trusted. I saw her for several years and learned a great deal of good things from her. But at a point where my husband and I were getting divorced, she crossed the line. I was extremely vulnerable and she said I could live with her for awhile. That was a huge mistake for her and devastating for me. She ended up threatening me with a lawsuit for $$ she said I "owed" for her "help." The change in her and her viciousness shocked me and shook my world to the core. I had totally believed in her and had accepted her "kindness" during a very bad time in my life. I nearly succumbed to a breakdown, but was determined not to let her control my life. I moved to California shortly after theses incidents (9 months), and began living again. I still felt paranoid and questioned my own judgement constantly. I didn't trust anyone in the mental health community at that time. It was the most frightening thing I've ever experienced.

About 5 years later, I was at a wedding in Marin County, California, and friends of the couple stood up one at a time and talked about their love for different aspects of their relationships with the couple. The man who participated in the wedding along with the priest, sat with me at the reception and as we talked, he revealed that he was a therapist, and he gave me a signed copy of a book he had written. I read the book, and there began wonderful therapy work and eventually my becoming a Support Group Network Full Facilitator after 7 years of working and training. I am so thankful that I didn't give up completely on talk therapy and support groups!

By the way, I found out from a friend that the unscrupulous therapist in Tucson was sued for malpractice by three of her former patients and lost her license a few years after my experience with her. I was too intimidated and messed up by her to sue her at the time. Plus, I thought it was MY fault that she was angry (PTSD kicked in).

I hope you find an excellent therapist who can help you regain some equilibrium in your life and emotions. You deserve to be loved and happy Parus. I'm holding you in my mind and heart as being healthy, happy and at peace.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

Jump to this post

@contentandwell

Thank you for your comments. Yes, it was horrible and my self confidence was already shakey. It took many years for me to trust my judgement again. But, it was a valuable experience because I eventually learned not to trust another person more than I trust myself. I learned how to listen to and heed my intuition when it speaks to me. I had a feeling that I shouldn't move to live with my old therapist, but I ignored my intuition. When I looked back I realized that every time I ignored my intuition, I ran into a problem later. Needless to say, I listen to others ideas and opinions now, and then I check those with my intuition. If they differ, I choose my intuition. A hard lesson to learn for me.

I appreciate your understanding.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

@parus

@gailb Thanks again for the encouragement. I had a horrific experience with a therapist that I trusted at first. I won't go into the details. I can say it was terrifying causing the PTSD to be worse. I did not sue or file charges, but did testify as a resident of the state. I was the only one that took action. I still have nightmares. She did get a 99 year suspension. A very disturbed person that continued to harass and stalk me. It has been nearly 2 years since she last appeared at my door. Odd how the villain can cause the victim to feel guilty. Perverse. Hoping to get some help with this nightmare as well.
My flowers help me. Marigold portrait.

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@parus

I said before that I relate to your experiences very strongly. We are different in many ways, but there is a core of recognition in me when I read your posts.

I wish I was able to paint and draw as you do; your artwork is masterful. I have put off doing my artwork and photography for decades, thinking I would do it when I retired. However now I realize my talent has been dormant so long that I'm very judgemental about anything I do. I am afraid to be disappointed in my own work. I think I just need to keep doing it and practicing, but I'm stuck right now. I just developed a huge "floater" in my left eye. I had it checked by my opthomologist and he thinks it's just normal aging, but he wants to see me again in 2 weeks. I am a little freaked out that I'm losing my sight and may never complete my dream of doing artwork. This has spurred me to start it now; today. Actually, I decided to try to draw what this floater looks like to me as a start.

Thank you for your comments and I'm glad you're back posting again.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250

What a great idea to use short notes and save them for review! Every once in a while I come across an old journal of mine and read it. I'm always amazed at how far I've come through the years. It's a very valuable process and allows for self reflection. Thanks.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

Jump to this post

@gailb Hi Gail:

Yes, I know what you mean. When we are depressed the idea of filling up a page with writing seems like too big of a chore. Small note cards work well, though and help us to see the progress we are making in our thinking! Teresa

@gailb

@parus

I'm so happy that you are going to give therapy a try despite your fears. Is this person a new therapist for you? If so, how did you locate the new therapist? My last therapist was the one I had after a long time of fear about seeing a therapist due to my mistreatment by one I completely trusted. I saw her for several years and learned a great deal of good things from her. But at a point where my husband and I were getting divorced, she crossed the line. I was extremely vulnerable and she said I could live with her for awhile. That was a huge mistake for her and devastating for me. She ended up threatening me with a lawsuit for $$ she said I "owed" for her "help." The change in her and her viciousness shocked me and shook my world to the core. I had totally believed in her and had accepted her "kindness" during a very bad time in my life. I nearly succumbed to a breakdown, but was determined not to let her control my life. I moved to California shortly after theses incidents (9 months), and began living again. I still felt paranoid and questioned my own judgement constantly. I didn't trust anyone in the mental health community at that time. It was the most frightening thing I've ever experienced.

About 5 years later, I was at a wedding in Marin County, California, and friends of the couple stood up one at a time and talked about their love for different aspects of their relationships with the couple. The man who participated in the wedding along with the priest, sat with me at the reception and as we talked, he revealed that he was a therapist, and he gave me a signed copy of a book he had written. I read the book, and there began wonderful therapy work and eventually my becoming a Support Group Network Full Facilitator after 7 years of working and training. I am so thankful that I didn't give up completely on talk therapy and support groups!

By the way, I found out from a friend that the unscrupulous therapist in Tucson was sued for malpractice by three of her former patients and lost her license a few years after my experience with her. I was too intimidated and messed up by her to sue her at the time. Plus, I thought it was MY fault that she was angry (PTSD kicked in).

I hope you find an excellent therapist who can help you regain some equilibrium in your life and emotions. You deserve to be loved and happy Parus. I'm holding you in my mind and heart as being healthy, happy and at peace.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

Jump to this post

My husband and I have traveled the US widely. We often go to places that could be dangerous if we hadn’t prepared. I’ve noticed lately that park rangers are talking about self recovery, the notion that by preparing, a person can rescue themselves. That brought me to think about my friends and the people here who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I realize that these problems are multifaceted and I have suffered from this myself.  But as one prong of the solution, I’m wondering if it would help to understand what happens in the body when we have a panic attack.  I have learned some about the physiology of anxiety by reading books. One of the best books I have read is entitled The Body Keeps Score.  When I have a panic attack, I recruit my parasympathetic nervous system by engaging in mental imagery. My goal is to rely on myself for taming the attacks. This is just part of the solution for me. Medication, exercise , good nutrition and a strong social network also work for me. My best thoughts and wishes to those who suffer these attacks. I’m sorry this is so long but I hope it helps someone.

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

Jump to this post

@mattie

I'm so sorry to see that you "hate" yourself. I believe that learning to accept all the parts of you and learning to appreciate how those different parts have protected you over the years of abuse you have suffered is a first step. You have posted about the level of emotional abuse you have been through and it has been intense.

One of the most helpful "meditations" I have used while healing my gaping wounds was imagining myself as the 4 year old Gail, in a beautiful swing in a flower filled garden. As a woman approaches me I realize that it's the adult me. Adult Gail sits down next to me, puts her arms around me and tells me gently and sweetly how much she loves me. I stay in this place as long as I need/want to. I am reminded of how much children need love and gentle touching in order to survive. I know now that I can give myself that missing love. I have also pictured in my mind gathering all the "Gails" at different ages around me, reaching out and putting extra long arms around "us" and hugging us all, repeating how much I appreciate these parts of me for helping me survive and eventually thrive in life. I give myself hugs too, just by putting my arms around me.

I have the impression that throughout your life you have smiled through your pain and tried to do what you hoped would allow others to love you. Is this true Mattie? I can relate to that as I tried to be a perfect, good girl but it didn't help. In fact, the more competent I was, the less attention I got from my mother. My sister got all the attention because she had temper tantrums and was a wild child. Now I realize that my sister really needed all the help with her emotions and never really recovered from her outbursts. She has been diagnosed with "borderline personality", with poor prognosis. I learned resilience and self sufficiency, but it took me years to appreciate that these experiences made me grow in positive and different ways.

I hope you can begin to see and appreciate how you have helped yourself survive all you have been through. Go slow. Perhaps use the short notes to write down 1 action a day where you helped yourself as a child, even if it was to "disappear." That is a survival technique for children. See if you can find small ways to love yourself. One way is that you are part of this community, sharing your desire to heal. I send you my love and gentle hugs, along with others from Mayo Connect.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

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Yes. I had a hideout in the field near my home when I was very young. I later would take rides. Read a booik. I was criticized for all. I went to college….they came and got nme said my mother was u[set that I wsas 9playing around in school…..Never in my life. I went back to school in my 30's. Grad top. Husband laughed said just stupid to get a ring or anytjomg/ was never hugged. my kids loved my husband and followed his lead for the most part. I have no one but 1 daughter ..she is a lot like here dad, so is her hubby. I will try the hugging…dont even know how anymore. Always told myself s I'll cry tomorrow" and it worked for years. Just that now I am so tirec.

@mattie

Also had an abusive mother ….a husband who showed no affection at all and I did try and try. My kids …oh I cant go on.

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@mattie, welcome to the group. I had a hideout, too. It was my safe place where I could cry. I miss it. Take care, @cognac

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