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Anxiety/Panic Disorders

 
 
Rae
 
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2003 10:34 pm
Hi fellow A2K'rs!

My subject line would be the reason that I haven't been around as much as usual. Coming here used to be a great relief, but because of my anxiety, it's become a source of agitation and fear.

Long story short, I've always suffered from public anxiety ~ the biggest of those fears was walking by myself into any public place. But, because I was working full-time and living a pretty good life, the anxiety wasn't as acute. (I'm fine when not alone, by the way.)

I was laid off in July 2003, and because of previous plans, decided to hold off looking for work until I had more time to devote to it. Only problem is that I've never had to look for a job in the normal sense ~ being in the hotel industry for over twenty years, as well as temporary agencies, I've created a wide network so that I've always been offered or tipped off on jobs.

This time, I'm on my own and it's terrifying. The longer I'm home, the worse it gets.

I began counseling two months ago and it's going well. My counselor suggested a medical consultation in addition to therapy and I went to that appointment three days ago. I was given Paxil (daily) for anxiety and depression, an extremely mild sedative (as needed) for when anxiety/panic attacks surface and something to help me sleep.

I know the meds take a while to get into my system, but I already feel much better ~ even if it's just from knowing that I'm getting the help I need to get back to the happy-go-lucky person I was.

I would like to hear from others who have experienced anxiety and or panic disorders ~ would like to even start an A2K on-line group therapy message board or chat room schedule.

In the mean-time, I'd like to apologize to everyone that I have not written to ~ please don't take it personally. Talking on the phone is not something I'm too fond of, and ya'll live so gosh darn far away for me to show up every night for dinner.

Again, without disrespect ~ I need human, face-to-face contact right now. Otherwise, my condition will only worsen and I don't want that to happen.

Hope this is received with the honesty it was written.

Be good ya'll ~ know that I'm always nearby watching.

Love,

Rae
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2003 10:39 pm
There you are, Rae.

Have been worried about you and thinking about you.

I have experienced a version of this, but it had a different enough twist that I doubt anything I would say would be useful. (When I first became deaf.) I have teetered close to it many times, though, and "the longer I have been home, the worse it gets" definitely resonates.

I'm sure others will show up with more pertinent advice/ experiences, but wanted to say hi.
0 Replies
 
Rae
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2003 10:43 pm
Thank you, sozobe. You and the sozlet are always in my thoughts.

Hope this thread keeps going because I'm ready for sleep.

G'night my friend.

Rae
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2003 10:47 pm
Good night!
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2003 11:17 pm
Rae - I'm sorry you're going through this! My family has a history of varied mild and not-so-mild depressions and anxieties, but I don't have a lot of first hand knowledge about them myself. I do know that drugs like Paxil work and that if one is not the right one for you, there are many others to try.

Why can't you still rely on the connections you have in the hotel industry?
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2003 11:53 pm
Hey Rae! I've missed you - well if stress attacks count I've had 2 major ones - which is like major anxiety attack. The first one I ever had bout killed me. But anyway - well no depression that I can recognize or acknowledge..
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:11 am
I'm sure, Rae, you'll find with the help of your consultant(s) your way to a nice and shiny future!

I'd had to do quite a lot -both privately and by profession- with very similar expressions of what you describe, however, don't think, these experiences could be much help for you.
(Completely different background, and we aren't working so much with pills here in Germany.)

Great that you are back here!
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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:59 am
Geez Rae, I think I could have written the same post. I don't suffer from anxiety attacks per se, but I am extremely shy. I worked in the hotel industry most of my working life and I chose not to do it anymore and I was all alone finding a job. I've finally found one, I start January 5th. But.... I completely understand the reticence in looking for a job. It's not easy.
I wish you only good luck and happiness in the coming year. Please remember you are not alone.
All of us charming people need assistance and love once in a while. If you need the meds, take them. It's bound to make life easier.
Your in my thoughts, Ceili.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 01:31 am
Rae - sorry to hear you have been suffering.

I know a lot about TREATING anxiety and panic - and I have suffered a little from it - not sure if treating it info is what you want, since you already have a counsellor?????

I assume your therapist is including cognitive/behavioural techniques in the work you are doing together?

Sounds like it, since you are speaking of needing to be face to face with people, not so much online....


Love and good health to you!!!!
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 06:57 am
Rae!!!!!!!!!!! (((Hug))) :-D

You wouldn't believe mow much I can relate to what you're saying. In my case, I don't have a problem with going out and being around people, but work is a totally different thing. As you know, my job right now is home schooling my son and obviously that job is home based, so I don't have that daily anxiety of going to work every day, but that time is going to come soon enough when I have to go back out in the work place and it's going to be scary for me. The worst part for me is going to that interview and the first week at whatever job, but after awhile when I get to know the people I'm working with I start to relax for the most part. Now if you're stuck working with someone that you just don't like, then that's enough to make the workplace stressful at all times, but that's a whole other thread. I've had many jobs where half of those jobs consisted of working with the public and the other half was not and I personally preferred the ones where I wasn't working with the public because I didn't have to constantly force that smile on my face even when I didn't feel like smiling. Not that I don't smile a lot, but when I do, I like it to be real. The other thing I like is being able to dress pretty much the way I want. I would be happy either working alone or in a large area with a group of people. I miss the friendship and family atmosphere I had with my co-workers. I truly understand the work anxiety you feel and was wondering if maybe trying a job where you're working with people, but not with the public would help you as it did me. Working tucked away from the public helped me because it made my job so much less damanding on me emotionally.
Just something you might want to ponder. Some people are most comfortable working where all the action is and the more action the better, but then there are people like me who are far more comfortable with much less action. I use to think something was wrong with me until someone told me that there's not a darn thing wrong with me and that "I am simply who I am, so why fight it". I thought about that for a long time and will never forget it because I then learned to accept myself just as I am flaws and all. The crazy thing with me is how stressed I always get looking for a job and thinking about that interview and then when it's all over I can't believe I worried so much because it was actually a cake walk. It happens every time, but once that interview is over the relief is unreal, lol! I wonder if this may be part of what your
feeling.

It's always a pleasure seeing you Rae and don't sweat the little stuff. You'd be surprised how not alone you are ;-)
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 08:11 am
Rae- I have experienced anxiety attacks from time to time. The thing that you need to remember, is that even though your heart is racing, and you feel that you are going to die...............you won't. If you feel yourself panicing, breathe, slowly and deliberately. Concentrate on your breathing.

Start small. Take a short walk in your area. Each day, go a little farther. While you are out, think of something pleasurable. Notice the palm trees swaying, check out the white, puffy clouds.

Set yourself a small goal. Maybe you need to buy something for the house. Go to a small store, and buy it. Then go home and relax.

Rae, I know that you can do it. You are a lot stronger than you think that you are. You know that we are all here for you, and we will help you get through this. (((((HUGS)))))
0 Replies
 
K VEE SHANKER
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 08:43 am
Dear Rae, though I don't know about you I could still understand your difficulties as I was also suffering similarly in the past.I know that YOU"RE GREATER THAN YOUR DIFFICULTIES AND YOU CAN OVERCOME THEM ONE DAY.My best wishes for your future.
0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 11:47 am
0 Replies
 
Rae
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:12 pm
Thanks so much for the advice everyone.

To answer littlek's question ~ I don't want to work in the hotel industry anymore. Twenty-two years is long enough. The people I still keep in touch with (through previous jobs) are trying to help with leads, but the job market is SO slow right now. Everyone keeps telling me to wait until after the first of the year. Which, I understand, is typical throughout history for the job market to boom a little.

In my last couseling session, I was given good information to read in regard to panic attacks and the symptoms. I know that I won't die from them, but that thought doesn't make them any easier to get through.

The last one was a week ago ~ I needed to drive to the mainland, over a bridge. Normally not difficult, but it was dark and the bridge is undergoing a complete overhaul.....i.e., smaller lanes, concrete barricades and a few areas where the lanes came very close to the water on the flat sections. I was a basket-case. It didn't help either that I lost all the strength in my arms and legs. I kept telling myself that I'd be okay (out loud) and even recited the Lord's prayer a few dozen times. By the time I got over the bridge (with a speed of fifteen miles an hour), I had to pull over until the shaking subsided.

The trip back home was just as bad.

I have since gone over the same bridge (twice) with my son in the car and I was fine ~ well, just a little nervous, but not as bad as the first time.

As far as looking for a job goes, I'm totally not worried about being rejected. The hardest part for me is driving to the company, getting out of my car and entering the building on a cold call ~ just to inquire about a job.

Once I have an interview, those sypmtoms aren't that bad. I still get nervous, but at least I have one foot in the door because of the interview.

Also, I know the world doesn't revolve around me, but whenever I'm out in public I'm convinced that everyone is staring at me. My latest trick in combatting that is to try not to look at anyone else ~ at least until I've got a better handle on things. I also wear a rubberband on my wrist and pluck it when I get overwhelmed ~ it does help to snap me out of it.

I know this will get better. I also know that once I get a job, ninety percent of my symptoms will go away ~ even so, I'd like to make them go away for good.

Thanks again for listening. I think this thread is going to become my 'anxiety diary'.

Have a nice weekend all!

Love,

Rae
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:18 pm
Hey there!

I know from panic attacks; I used to have them in my job in Providence (1994) and also at some times in an insurance job in Mass. (probably mainly from 1997 - 1999. I had the job longer than that, but that's when the stress was at its highest). Couldn't breathe, pounding heart, very, very frightened.

Currently, I'm also looking for work, so I know from that, too. And there's a feeling sometimes, hey, it's nice being home and out there, there are scary and uncontrollable things. Plus, I'm in school right now, so there's stress there - e. g. I don't want to go to school, or the material feels too difficult or the like. One of the reasons I'm going to school, though, is to get myself out of the house. Never mind that it will help me in my job search (it will!) - the bottom line is, it's important to get out and do something. it almost doesn't matter what it is.

Perhaps you could do something far less stressful to start? I know you're in Florida - is the weather still decent? How 'bout walks? Just little walks, nothing big. Around the block, to the park, whatever. The ocean is lovely and can be very calming. Another idea is just to go out and drive - just be out, even if you don't get out of the car. Just give yourself different scenery. It does help. Eventually, you can work your way to other things.

We're with you.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:18 pm
Rae- The job market DOES open up in January and February. Most people don't want to leave around the holidays, and are waiting for Christmas bonuses. Then they leave, at the first of the year. Early in the year is one of the biggest times of job change (the other is after Labor Day).

I like the idea of the rubber band. Stuff like that can be very helpful.
0 Replies
 
Rae
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:31 pm
Thanks, jespah, for sharing your story and for your support. Mom has been a great help in going with me just to get out of the house. We started walking about a month ago, but that went downhill because we got a good scare from what we assumed to be a crazy guy. Santa brought us both headlights for our bikes and as soon as I can a new back tire, we'll continue with the exercising.

I am also going back to school.....sort of. My sister is a registered nurse and she came aross a correspondence class for medical billing (from an accredited school)......my wonderful Dad paid for it all. Even though I'm taking the class at home, at least I'm doing something to better my chances in the working world.

Thanks, Phoenix. The rubberband trick works ~ it hurts sometimes, but at least it makes me forget my anxiety for a bit!
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:32 pm
I love that rubber-band trick. Did you come up with that by yourself?
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Rae
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:35 pm
Actually, the rubberband trick came from my counselor. She also taught me about desensitization teqniques which are amazing. If I'm afraid to go somewhere, she asks that I at least go and sit in my car. Go again the next day and try to get out of my car, and so on. It works.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:39 pm
great!
 

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