Panic attacks and agoraphobia you can overcome

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Marta608, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I'm reposting this by special request: mine. This behavior cured my panic attacks and the accompanying agoraphobia-like symptoms. I sometimes have to take a refresher course because it's so much easier to stay home. I posted this on a thread but others who are tired do what I often do, and post without reading the other posts. I can only hope it helps even one person as much as it helped me. Here we go, with only a few changes:

    Panic attacks and agoraphobia - yes, you can overcome them 07/12/08 07:20 AM

    First of all, you're making perfect sense. Our brains aren't dumb. They resist the very thought of going through anything they've experienced as unpleasant. In fact, that's the way they're made. It used to keep folks from trying to make friends with wild lions and bears - and it taught them that putting body parts in the cooking fire hurts! You're brain is resisting doing anything that made it uncomfortable (in this case, panicky) before.

    I can only tell you what helped me with this situation but I know many others that it's helped too.

    First of all, panic attacks are moments of extreme anxiety - no more, no less. Anyone who's had one would say they're horrid and they are, but they aren't fatal and they do go away. Remember, they're "only" feelings and feelings do change, especially when we work on them.

    If you're very sure intellectually that what you're going to do is relatively safe (like driving to the store or going out to eat), do it. DO IT. Tell your brain that, as its friend, you appreciate the warning [anxiety] but that you happen to know better in this case. Then DO IT.

    Don't begin with a trip to Europe; start with things that are simple and quick, like going to get a newspaper or picking up something from a small store. Go, do, and return.

    Every time you do this successfully, you are retraining your brain in these areas. At first you may feel a sense of anxiety coming on, so breathe deeply and tell yourself "I CAN Do This."

    And you can, you know. Very seldom are we less intellectually able to drive than we were before we got sick. When we experience discomfort now, it's only our brain dutifully trying to avoid being uncomfortable. Keep your mind in the moment. Control your thoughts. Don't let them wander into OMG territory. You're the boss of you!

    (Of course, I have to add that if someone hasn't driven in a very long time, they might want to practice in a school parking lot for awhile or take a refresher course. Use your good sense about it. This also doesn't apply to driving while very tired.)

    Do what you fear to do, starting small, and in time the fear will go away. I know this for sure from my own experience with no exceptions. I also know that the longer you wait, the harder it is.

    I know you can.


  2. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    This makes perfect sense. I've had numerous panic attacks over the years but I have never been on meds for them.

    I related a panic attack I had just yesterday in the other post about panic attacks.

    Just remembering that I know I'll be fine helps but I agree we must take small steps to overcome our fear. The fear can be so overwhelming at times and is so real in my mind.

    thanks for reposting your thoughts.

    Gentle hugs, Susan
  3. lsaxton65

    lsaxton65 New Member

    I don't have panic attacks, but I do have anxiety attacks...severe ones!What you said does make sense. You just have to take it slow and a little at atime. Thanks for the input

  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Thanks. I hope you can use my experience to help yourself gain confidence again.

    You can do it!!!! Baby steps but always forward.