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Jayboo

Panic attack last night while driving on the freeway

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Hello everyone, I have been having some issues with anxiety for the past couple of months and I have felt like I could have a panic attack but have managed to avoid them, until last night. I was driving home and it started to feel like my chest and stomach were cold, or hot I'm not even sure which it was just a strange sensation I have felt it a couple of times lately. Then my stomach started grumbling and my health anxiety kicked in and then my arms and hands started tingling several times I almost pulled over to the side of the road and I thought no just go just get home. I kept asking myself am I going to pass out,??? Well I made it home but as I stood at the door unlocking it I felt at any moment like I was just going to fall over my hands were still tingling and my thumb was tucked back behind my other fingers the muscles were sort of seizing up. As soon as I locked myself in and just started to Pace a little bit it went away. I suspected it would, I suspected I was having a panic attack but there's that other side of you, that side that keeps you from believing it completely and just getting through it quicker. This has me so exhausted today and my stomach isn't right. Well it hasn't been for a couple of months. I don't know what I'm looking for by writing this, maybe just to get it out there to people who understand.

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Hi Jayboo. Is it surprising that you feel better when home?  There's no more threat and so no more tension. You got home. You did not collapse or have to pull over. So you managed to get home unharmed. You always will. I have not heard of anyone collapsing from a panic attack. I know sometimes they are rushed to A&E, or the ER room but they never collapse. Every symptom you had is typical of panic and anxiety. As soon as a symptom occurs we begin the old 'what ifs' and this triggers all the other thoughts that are associated with it. If it happens take deep breaths and TRY and relax. Now I know how difficult I can be. I had a long spell of being anxious at traffic lights. I would almost panic every time I had to stop. I learned how to relax into it and not be so afraid of the feeling. If you can practise acceptance it would help. Accept how you feel without adding 'second fear'. The first fear always passes if you don't add 'second fear'.  Second fear is the response to that first flash of panic.  Say to yourself STOP! Take a deep breath and try and let your body go limp. Now you may have to pull over if you are driving, but so what! You are being sensible and not giving in to the feeling. If you allow it to take over it will, but quiet determination can do the trick. I am NOT minimising what it's like. I know only too well, but take heart. You won't always be like it but make the pain shorter by practising acceptance.

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