bin_tenn

Wow! I haven't panicked that hard in a while!

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I went outside earlier and squatted down in a seated position, which I do regularly when I'm outside. As soon as I got all the way down, I had this sort of "pain" that shot from somewhere near my left shoulder to under my chin, also on the left side. It was an odd sensation.

It wasn't a radiating pain. If you can, imagine electricity flowing from one point to another - a current. That's basically how it felt. It was very quick, but I could somewhat distinguish the movement, as in I felt it in my shoulder, then I felt it very quickly travel up to my chin. And then it was gone!

No worries, it didn't hurt, and it didn't last long at all. I felt fine. Then I suddenly felt that rush of anxiety. I felt short of breath and my heart was pounding/racing.

I'm not asking for reassurance. I'm sharing to show others who struggle with this that this stuff just happens sometimes, and that you will be fine! I am stressed recently due to buying a house, and it's getting very real because we close in a week and four days (May 15), but otherwise I've not been notably anxious. I've not had a true, lasting panic attack since August 2018. Yet there I was today, instantly in a panic despite feeling fine and accepting what happened just moments prior.

How did I get out of it in a minute or so? I stopped what I was doing, I took some good deep breaths and I took time to "reset." It disappeared quickly, and I've been fine since.

It happens to all of us, no matter how well we may be doing. I also know what triggered it. My mind, having such anxiety about early heart disease, automatically associates any pain/numbness/tingling in my right hand, arm, shoulder, neck or jaw with heart attack. Even when I regularly practice acceptance related to my apparently very healthy heart (per my doc and cardiologist, and several tests over recent years) anxiety can still quickly and unexpectedly latch on to triggers like this.

I hope sharing this is helpful to you all. Let me know if you have any specific questions about how I got away from it, how I managed to calm myself, etc. I'll be glad to answer them. :)

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My goodness. Now there's a good example of acceptance. I love the word 'reset' in this context. To carry the analogy further, it is like a hard drive fragmentation. The computer is slow and sluggish, but when we 'reset' it it's back to its original condition. WE can reset if we do what bin did. STOP. Slow down. Let it pass over you, then carry on with your business. There was panic, but it was disregarded. He took time. It's so important not to try and rush it. Let it  come and realise that adrenaline has its limitations. There is just so much in a panic attack, but once used up and unless we stop adding fear to fear, it will subside.      Thanks bin.

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6 hours ago, jonathan123 said:

My goodness. Now there's a good example of acceptance. I love the word 'reset' in this context. To carry the analogy further, it is like a hard drive fragmentation. The computer is slow and sluggish, but when we 'reset' it it's back to its original condition. WE can reset if we do what bin did. STOP. Slow down. Let it pass over you, then carry on with your business. There was panic, but it was disregarded. He took time. It's so important not to try and rush it. Let it  come and realise that adrenaline has its limitations. There is just so much in a panic attack, but once used up and unless we stop adding fear to fear, it will subside.      Thanks bin.

Thanks, @jonathan123. I admit it felt difficult at first. But I remembered what others have told me, and what my therapist has told me, and what I've read many times that if I start feeling anxious/panicky, let it be. Welcome the panic, let it do its thing, and accept it for what it is - harmless little panic attack. 😛 It's difficult in the moment because your body focuses instantly on the fact that you suddenly feel as if you're in danger, but that's why slowing down is important. It gives you a chance to collect your thoughts and challenge those irrational thoughts.

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Yes, it's like a body blow. It's sudden and painful. But rolling with the punches is the answer. In the words of the Daleks, 'resistance is futile', and in the context of  anxiety it sure is. But the natural desire is to run or fight. These are powerful emotions and only by allowing the feelings pass over you will they die down. But sometimes there is a kind of 'after shock'. We may momentarily feel pleased we have succeeded in allowing it to happen, then the 'what ifs' begin. 'Oh dear I had it again, will it never stop' It will if we stop adding fear to fear. Stoking the fire of anxiety by all the OMG's and 'what ifs'.

None of this is easy as bin says. 'Welcome it'. I know, it sounds odd to welcome such an awful feeling, but the more we do that the less likely is it going to bother us. If you welcome someone you let them in, make friends with them. Yes, I am saying that. Make friends with 'IT'. Stop treating it as your enemy, more as your friend. It's there to teach you something about yourself; your life, you!! Listen to it. Thanks bin.

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4 hours ago, jonathan123 said:

Yes, it's like a body blow. It's sudden and painful. But rolling with the punches is the answer. In the words of the Daleks, 'resistance is futile', and in the context of  anxiety it sure is. But the natural desire is to run or fight. These are powerful emotions and only by allowing the feelings pass over you will they die down. But sometimes there is a kind of 'after shock'. We may momentarily feel pleased we have succeeded in allowing it to happen, then the 'what ifs' begin. 'Oh dear I had it again, will it never stop' It will if we stop adding fear to fear. Stoking the fire of anxiety by all the OMG's and 'what ifs'.

None of this is easy as bin says. 'Welcome it'. I know, it sounds odd to welcome such an awful feeling, but the more we do that the less likely is it going to bother us. If you welcome someone you let them in, make friends with them. Yes, I am saying that. Make friends with 'IT'. Stop treating it as your enemy, more as your friend. It's there to teach you something about yourself; your life, you!! Listen to it. Thanks bin.

Yes, absolutely! The "aftershocks" have been one of the hardest things for me, historically. None of that this time, fortunately, but I've been aware of the possibility. Not to the point of "oh geez, it's going to come back", but reasonably enough that I'm prepared. As Kevin on Home Alone said: "when those guys come back, I'll be ready." 😂

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Yeah!!!! Those guys. !!!!' Fear, anxiety, OMG's, what if's, negative thoughts, panics, etc'. All lined up like a firing squad ready for someone to say 'fire' and we get the lot. Oh no, you don't have to fall for that, not at all. All those things are mirages, illusions, implanted in our minds by years of brainwashing in this so called enlightened society. Why is anxiety on the increase? Because of the Western lifestyle, the ridiculous way we live with all the hurry hurry which creates so much stress. 'I must close three deals today or my boss will not like me'. Imagine the pressure that puts on a person if they can't do three deals!! A sensitive person may react alarmingly. Some seem to tolerate it, others can't cope and feel anxious and upset. But cope or not it is still going to have a negative effect. If we all slowed down and stopped the feeling of urgency in what we do a lot of pain could be avoided.

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Something I have learned over my years, is that anxiety doesn't even need a conscious reason to show up. I have had panic attacks for no reason at all. I think it treads into the realm of the "disorder" part of Anxiety Disorder. I went into a panic attack that lasted 4 months relentlessly about 15 years ago for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I still cannot think of a trigger, it was like a switch flipped on and stayed on day and night for just over 120 days. I am not going to lie, while I never thought about actually taking my own life, I understood why you might. It was a bottom that sent me to help, and to a life change that is wonderful. 

And the other thing I have learned is that anxiety does cause plentiful cardiac symptoms. We are dumping adrenaline into our system when the anxiety kicks in, and when this happens, we are gifted with the adrenaline's effect on the heart. I learned long ago to recognize these symptoms and push them aside, to just accept them as anxiety.

But then in 2017 I got this aortic aneurysm diagnosis, and it brought a whole new level of sensitivity to the cardiac symptoms. Every twinge, pinch, spasm, palpitation and sensation in my back, chest, left arm, or jaw, leaves me wondering if this is a dissection and if I should be going to the ER. So far, I have had two trips to the ER, both very legitimate (I was told to go to the ER if I have ANY doubts at all, or if the sensation is new, because aortic dissection has a wide variety of symptoms in differing severity, from very minor to absolutely crippling and the first hour is vital in treatment), but neither was a dissection. 

The point of sharing that last part, is it gave me a forced reintroduction to anxiety. I had gone for years without any fear of cardiac anxiety symptoms, right back to my early days of Health anxiety when everything set me off. Regardless if it is justified or not, or even warranted, it is still frustrating. This is never a war we win with certainty or finality. Take it a day at a time, and know that we are just wired differently. We have an anxiety disorder. We may force it into remission, but it will always be there. The best we can learn is to give ourselves a reprieve from it, and do that for the moment, the day, the month, and really live in that life of acceptance.

Right now, this very moment, I feel great. When that is enough, I know I have some genuine acceptance going on, and I am going to relish it.

That is not to say anxiety isn't just around the corner, but I'll be damned if I am going to be anxious about getting anxiety. 😉 

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1 hour ago, lofwyr said:

Something I have learned over my years, is that anxiety doesn't even need a conscious reason to show up. I have had panic attacks for no reason at all. I think it treads into the realm of the "disorder" part of Anxiety Disorder. I went into a panic attack that lasted 4 months relentlessly about 15 years ago for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I still cannot think of a trigger, it was like a switch flipped on and stayed on day and night for just over 120 days. I am not going to lie, while I never thought about actually taking my own life, I understood why you might. It was a bottom that sent me to help, and to a life change that is wonderful. 

And the other thing I have learned is that anxiety does cause plentiful cardiac symptoms. We are dumping adrenaline into our system when the anxiety kicks in, and when this happens, we are gifted with the adrenaline's effect on the heart. I learned long ago to recognize these symptoms and push them aside, to just accept them as anxiety.

But then in 2017 I got this aortic aneurysm diagnosis, and it brought a whole new level of sensitivity to the cardiac symptoms. Every twinge, pinch, spasm, palpitation and sensation in my back, chest, left arm, or jaw, leaves me wondering if this is a dissection and if I should be going to the ER. So far, I have had two trips to the ER, both very legitimate (I was told to go to the ER if I have ANY doubts at all, or if the sensation is new, because aortic dissection has a wide variety of symptoms in differing severity, from very minor to absolutely crippling and the first hour is vital in treatment), but neither was a dissection. 

The point of sharing that last part, is it gave me a forced reintroduction to anxiety. I had gone for years without any fear of cardiac anxiety symptoms, right back to my early days of Health anxiety when everything set me off. Regardless if it is justified or not, or even warranted, it is still frustrating. This is never a war we win with certainty or finality. Take it a day at a time, and know that we are just wired differently. We have an anxiety disorder. We may force it into remission, but it will always be there. The best we can learn is to give ourselves a reprieve from it, and do that for the moment, the day, the month, and really live in that life of acceptance.

Right now, this very moment, I feel great. When that is enough, I know I have some genuine acceptance going on, and I am going to relish it.

That is not to say anxiety isn't just around the corner, but I'll be damned if I am going to be anxious about getting anxiety. 😉 

That's what panic disorder primarily consists of: panic attacks with no apparent trigger/reason, other than we have a disorder. Why else would it be called a disorder, right? 😛 I'd say at least 95% of the time, historically speaking, my panic attacks have been completely unwarranted. That's just the nature of it, and it took me a while to accept that.

I don't have to "live with it", as there are steps I can take to reduce the frequency and/or severity, but I accept that I ultimately do have a panic/anxiety disorder and that I will inevitably experience it from time to time. It's up to me to dictate how I will respond to such events.

Thanks for sharing!

 

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