Anticipatory anxiety and panic attacks

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Hi everyone, I've been working hard to deal with another setback mixed in with bereavement stuff. My general anxiety is under control so I'm not struggling at work. However I'm getting frustrated with memory and association where my panic attacks are concerned. I'm pretty agoraphobic but I m usually fine in my local area and getting to work its only a 15 min walk. Going to work is fine, though I'm finding going home especially in the dark a daily battle of anticipatory anxiety before I leave and usually panic attack on the walk home. Very bad tonight. I try and not rush, call anyone, doing the breathing, etc but I can't shift the sensitization to the memory and association of panicking on the way home, that causes the panic to perpetuate. It's so crazy that we do this to ourselves and buy into the memory and association that drives the anxiety. Anyone else feel similarly and struggle with this sort of situation? Maybe that's a silly question , but I guess I just need some reassurance. Thank you. Francesca x

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. Where did you have your first panic attack? As it might be that you get anxiety about thinking of going home. Maybe you could re decorate, move around furniture etc, just so it feels fresh and new and this will also make you feel good and maybe make you rush to get home. X
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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying Vikki. It's because I started having panic attacks walking home when it was dark so I can't shift the association of walking home and panicking. I often get wound up before I even leave work so that doesn't help. I'm ok at being at home on my own generally..... Grrr it's all so frustrating for us anxiety sufferers
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  • Posted

    Hi Francesca! I know the feeling! I have been diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks! For the most part they have been under control but just recently I was sick with a bad stomach virus, and it stemmed up all the bad memories and stuff that I hd when I was having anxiety so bad and panic! It is crazy how you know your gonna be ok but it's like you just want to freak out! My doc told me that when something changes in your life is when it can make anxiety and panic stem back up! Basically things that would never bother you start to bother you! I thought I was gonna have a heart attack then I thought something was gonna get me then I was freskinf out over ghosts and things that aren't real, but my doc said that's what happens with anxiety! It brings up all these bad thoughts and you just dwell in them! I can say what helps me is prayer and just rememberinf that I'm not alone with these issues! I have family and friends and I know everything will be ok😊 I know you will def be ok girl😊
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    • Posted

      Awww thanks for being so positive and encouraging. Yes you are right when something difficult happens the anxiety and panic definitely worsens. I've been worse since my dad died. It's hard to retrain your thinking and garner that confidence/self - belief. Also not buying into the memory and association.

      Thanks again.

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  • Posted

    Hi Francesca, 

    I just wanted to contribute because I too lost my Dad recently. A few months earlier I lost my fiancee (to breakup) and a few months before that I lost my Grandpa and my dream job. I have had similar issues in dealing with the aftermath. It's a tough go. I am an artist and writer and I have tendancy to reflect a lot to begin with, so you can imagine the bad habits this creates when all you reflect on is the negative from the not so distant past. I am also a stubborn dude who doesn't feel comfortable getting help. About the worse panic attack I had was when I took off to Paris after my Dad died, to isolate myself and write in the cafes (awesome idea that turned into a challenge). it was my birthday, halway through my trip, and my ex and a bunch of my friends decided to get in touch with me while I was alone in Paris and ask about my Dad and so on. Absolutely helpless. I remember the tube (subway) was horrific. and even the sites along the Seine were horid and lonely and frightening. But, somehow, I pulled through. I find the meditation helps. I use limited meds -- and I even quite smoking pot to help it and limit alcohol. I focus on future goals and focus on breathing. When I get real bad I just try to find someone I can relate to. It's strange how it creeps up. Anyway, I just felt close to your story and wanted to wish you the best. You'll do great! Everyone in these discussions really amaze me with their courage through the battle. Once you get a taste of panic and anxiety, or depression, you realise it's a mountain to climb. I guess we better just keep going. Chin up! 

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    • Posted

      Aww Robert thank you for such a lovely message and sharing your experiences with me. You did well negotiating Paris in the midst of high anxiety. Bereavement causes such a mix of emotion I didn't think my anxiety would be so prevalent as it has been. I just keep moving forward and seeing through the moment. I realise a lot of it is a physical manifestation of adrenaline. Anxiety is like throwing petrol on a fire. I do need to focus on my self more. A writer and an artist sounds wonderful and you are obviously doing a lot of good and beneficial things to help you recover.
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