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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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Bluesbreaker

Not sure if I am having Panic attacks or not.

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Hi all, (yes I return... but that's another story!)

 

I know it's late but I need to type this up before I forget.

 

About two years ago I had the Onset of Mild/severe depression, and at the same time I was having a s*** relationship with this girl. I don't know how it happens or why but I seem to have these weird panic attack type things when I am in the shower, and recently they have resurfaced.

 

Over the last week I have had three of these episodes and on one occasion woke up the whole house at 1.30am when I had a shower after my bar job.

 

I don't know how to describe it other than an onset which causes me to shut my eyes cover my ears and start shouting, IDK what I shout, but I know I shout 'No stop it' repeatedly.

 

I don't get why I shout but I have horrid upsetting feelings when I do, and just before, I know when it happens or when it will strike which is also quite odd. (And I mean I know as in 5 seconds beforehand etc).

 

I get terrified feelings about getting older, when I close my eyes sometimes i just see numbers scrolling right by. It really upsets me, then I start thinking what will happen when my parents are no longer here and what if I'm still single etc. the episodes can happen for upto 2 mins sometimes and its horrid. I'm teary just typing it up, I had a very big massive 'episode' (the one which woke up mum, dad and probably half a mile radius...) which I am still trying to get over.

 

I was very upset for hours after the episode and couldn't get to sleep until 3.30am. luckily mum had got up when I left the bathroom and we had a quick chat and a nice hug which helped, but its a horrid feeling and it keeps coming back to attack me but I don't know why it is in just the shower at the moment? I am also terrified that It will happen at other times which could lead to embarrassment in public. ***EDIT*** I was also not keen on eating the morning after either which for me is unusual as I eat like a horse.

 

Idk if it is a panic attack or what it is, I have depression still, but I can't see it being related to that when I have been on medication on a nice level playing field for 6 months or more.

 

it's really distressing and I wondered If anyone else has any views on whether they thing this is a panic attack or something of that ilk. either way a trip to the doctors seems necessary ASAP.

 

thanks for reading it if you do! x

 

cheers,

B

Edited by Bluesbreaker

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I get terrified feelings about getting older, when I close my eyes sometimes i just see numbers scrolling right by. It really upsets me, then I start thinking what will happen when my parents are no longer here

Panic attacks suck big time :(

 

I sometimes wonder if I have a phobia of growing up/getting old, and because I don't love many people I get overwhelmed by the thought of them not being there any more, I can't even handle the idea let alone face up to the fact that one day there's a high chance it will be a reality.

 

When my depression was really bad I used to have (I called them episodes - but panic attack will do as the effects are sorta similar) where I'd get this feeling that quickly built up and overpowered me, and made me feel so out of control, and then I'd end up screaming incoherently on the floor. I am told I shouted stop, leave me alone. I don't fully remember because I sort of lost the world while it happened - or the world temporarily lost me... What you describe sounds similar.

 

I try not to think about people dying as it makes things worse and its something we can't do anything about - other than to try to enjoy the people we care about while we have the time. But I still have a highly irrational fear of getting old, it paralyses me sometimes. I don't handle the unknown very well either.

 

I guess if someone piles enough pressure on themselves then its hard not to buckle under the weight of it all.

 

I would recommend looking at dealing with your depression as this will ease things for you. Depression sets up the perfect circumstances for this type of thing to happen - I've found that now my depression is less severe, I don't get so severe effects from it (mostly :rolleyes: there are of course exceptions) but its definitely less bad in general (compared to previous bouts).

 

Hope you don't have to go through this for much longer :thumbs: dealing with it head on is probably a good thing right now

 

Best Wishes

 

Darkshine

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before can i ask did something happen when you were in the shower that seems to trigger of a panic attack. i have a few things cos of my flashbacks trigger me and then i panic wondered if it were the same for u

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LancsLad   

I think this might be a panic attack, or at least the early signs of one starting to take place where you have regained control.

 

I would like to point out a few things around the initial event. You have been at work in noisy and very social environment, its late and I suspect you are pretty tired, you have possibly been out in the cold and have come into another environment. The point I am making is that there have been a lot of things happening over the past few hours which are for me difficult things to deal with and I know BluesBreaker that I would be at the end of my limits going through this scenario. If you add onto that general background stresses and anxiety due to other daily events, things you have been thinking of etc... Then I suspect you might be in the sort of place where you could get close to the edge.

 

I think what is interesting is that by then taking a shower you could be adding the final ingredient to overload, noise, water sensations on your body and probably heat of the water raising your blood circulation and blood pressure slightly, which I suspect was the trigger. Once you have been through this scenario once with a negative response you then have to deal with factors such as association with previous bad experiences whilst carrying on providing the same trigger points.

 

Firstly I don't know if it was a panic attack or not, I suspect they were. I have had attacks throughout my life and at times I have ended up on an ECG machine either in A&E or at the doctors to be checked out. Whilst they can reassure me I have not had a heart attack all the doctors have agreed that I have been through a pretty serious episode and put a lot of stress on my body. I say this because panic attacks should not be taken lightly.

 

My advice would be to change the routine and let things settle down a bit sitting down for a few minutes and relaxing. Might even think about leaving the shower till the morning if you can deal with that. I would not be too concerned about waking up the house if this happens again. When i have a panic attack I would want someone there in talking to me and reasuring me. I know in my own experiences that I have lost emotional control over what is happening through being in a state of overload and for someone to take that responsibility is a good thing. What works for me is lying down wherever this happens, getting fresh air, removing any constrictive clothing, cool compress to my head, and at times I can simply fall into sleep where I lie through real exhaustion. With experience I have also been able to tell my partner just before I go over the edge to get things started. These might be a few suggestions to talk through with to your family and friends.

 

The hardest bit in this is how do you move on from this. The answer is time. Like I said try to break the behavioural pattern as that might reduced associated trigger points, then you simply have to get on with living your life. I hope for you this is a one off series of three events but it might not be. Your biggest weapon against this happening is self awareness and really monitoring you well being and learning to back of a little or a lot if needed when you are under levels of stress which are bordeline in relation to your coping mechanisms. Be very aware that this stress can come in two forms psychological and physical, and often it is a physical thing which acts as a trigger but the main factor is an underlying mental state which needs carefull monitoring.

 

In my own experience looking back through the events that preceeded the attack I can nearly always see why it happened in hindsight, in other words with insight they can be anticipated and nipped in the bud by changing environmental stimuli and thinking, find a quiet cool place and try and relax through breathing exercises. My last major atack came in a university bar, very loud, lots of music and flashing lights, I was tired and had a couple of drinks. A drunk student started arguing with me and that was the trigger. Though I don't remeber doing it I managed to get into the dark cellar of the bar and was curled up next to some beer kegs when the door men found me, think I was doing ok at that point, what followed was not a good experience being man handled and thrown out of the building where things went a lot worse. In hindsight if going into such situations again I think I would carry a card on me explaining I have panic attacks giving a few pointers. If I had carried one and had handed it to the doormen, I couldn't speak at the time, things might have been different. When i went out again with the same social group I asked a couple of the more sensible mebers to keep an eye on me if that was ok.

 

In my experience because panic attacks do not come out of the blue in normal circumstances then I don't need to worry about them. If things are starting to build up then I know I have to take remedial action, last event for me was getting caught in a motorway traffic jam, simply put my car onto the hard shoulder and walked up the embankment into some woods for a 20min break to calm down have a pee and relax then rejoined the car again as an example. The important thing is not to be embarassed about this sort of thing. There are a lot of people out there who suffer from panic attacks.

 

If these events do carry on and you think that mentally you are in a good place then I would see your GP as there might be an underlying physical component in this low blood pressure for example, you might feel you want to do that anyway which is not a bad idea. Hope I have offered a few ideas and a bit of reassurance,

 

best wishes.

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Hi all,

 

Thanks for the replies, it is both reassuring and interesting to read about the experiences.

 

I also seem to think that another contributing factor could well be the fact that 8 months ago we lost a really close friend, guy was old enough to be like a grand dad to me, great bloke, and i have got over that etc, but it's just over the last year I have known friends who have lost close family etc, yet all mine are still breathing. (Which IS a good thing!!!! lol) and it doesn't help wondering on the fact of when will it happen to the eldest in the family???

 

Darkshine, I am going for it head on... well I think I am!!!!! but yeah, it's not easy and i hate it. still got the heavy stomach feeling again which is the depression kicking in for the day.. thanks for the words mate :)

 

 

 

before can i ask did something happen when you were in the shower that seems to trigger of a panic attack. i have a few things cos of my flashbacks trigger me and then i panic wondered if it were the same for u

 

Not particularly, not that I notice it can happen at whatever point it feels like coming on.

 

Lancs lad, Yes, I think you could be right. I am 6' 2' tall and often have hypotension issues when standing up after kneeling down etc. with this being a common thing at work perhaps the blood pressure and heat change element could be the trigger. I am tempted to experiment with my routine and see how it goes. it may just work having showers in the morning, but then I have to overcome the feeling i'm going bed dirty!!! LOL so out of one hurdle and head over heels into the next one... lol.

 

anyways thanks for the replies, means a lot to me :) keep them coming by all means if you have any other ideas/theories.

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Darkshine, I am going for it head on... well I think I am!!!!! but yeah, it's not easy and i hate it. still got the heavy stomach feeling again which is the depression kicking in for the day.. thanks for the words mate :)

Good luck with it :thumbs: just remember that you can regain control.. your body might be the ship, and it might go wrong sometimes or break down, but you still get to be captain :D

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Good luck with it :thumbs: just remember that you can regain control.. your body might be the ship, and it might go wrong sometimes or break down, but you still get to be captain :D

 

Aye, Aye, Admiral ;)

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