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Got trapped on a tube in London and had a huge panic attack

(60 Posts)
Drupie Mon 19-Jun-17 20:13:48

I'm feeling so embarrassed and upset by what's happened. I've come to London for work and I'm not used to the tube. It stopped in a tunnel and I hate that as have a fear of being tapped in and don't know why. I tried to stay calm but was trapped for about 40 minutes and if was so hot. I stared to feel as though I was going to pass out and had a big panic attack and other commuters had to give me water and try and calm me down. I am now so ashamed and embarrassed and need to know how to stop this fear ruining my life. sad

KittyandTeal Mon 19-Jun-17 20:15:47

I'm really sorry you had such a bad experience. Tbh people having a panic attack being stuck on the tube for a long time isn't unusual. You have no reason to feel embarrassed.

sakura06 Mon 19-Jun-17 20:17:28

You poor thing! That sounds scary. Can you use the bus or walk in future? There is a tube walking map which tells you how many steps between stations. Using overground trains might also be an option. Sorry it doesn't help with conquering your fear, but hopefully it helps to know you don't always need to use the tube.

caffeinequick Mon 19-Jun-17 20:17:53

I'm sorry this happened to you, please don't feel embarrassed x

ooohahhh Mon 19-Jun-17 20:18:30

This is one of my biggest London fears too. You wouldn't have been the only one freaking out. So sorry that happened to you!

Maudlinmaud Mon 19-Jun-17 20:18:42

Panic attacks are horrible. You poor thing. I'm glad your fellow commuters helped you. That was kind. Don't feel embarrassed at all flowers

Aquamarine1029 Mon 19-Jun-17 20:19:30

You have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. If you think about it, your body was doing what comes naturally - it kicked up your cortisone levels to prepare you for fight or flight because you were scared. Unfortunately, you just had to sit there and deal with this rush of hormones. There is nothing wrong with you and you can learn to handle this more productively.

CheeseAtFourpence Mon 19-Jun-17 20:20:47

I wouldn't feel embarrassed at all. I get panicky stuck in traffic jams never mind in a tunnel.

If it does happen I do the following: Look around you. Find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. It takes the focus off my panic.

Reading up on panic attacks also helped - I've an analytical mind and the info behind them was interesting. I hope you are okay.

Estherdove Mon 19-Jun-17 20:20:51

This happened to me in the year 2000 and until last September I never went on one again, so for 16 year's!!
It's a horrible feeling I utterly sympathise x

Fortheloveofscience Mon 19-Jun-17 20:21:17

The tube this evening was absolutely awful - boiling hot, rammed full and really slow on most lines as there were so many delays. I'm a regular commuter and found it extremely uncomfortable, I felt so sorry for people who weren't used to it. Don't feel embarrassed or ashamed flowers.

AnUtterIdiot Mon 19-Jun-17 20:21:48

Being stuck on the Tube IS horrible, especially when it's hot and crowded, and you should not be ashamed of yourself. It's a good idea to learn strategies to cope (CBT?) but don't be ashamed or embarrassed flowers

Lules Mon 19-Jun-17 20:21:54

Being stuck for ages in a tunnel when it's boiling would be enough to push lots of people over the edge and I go on the tube most days. It was a horrible experience but def don't be embarrassed.

allthecheese Mon 19-Jun-17 20:24:23

I've lived in London for years, spend 2 hours a day on the tube, and I would have been so scared in that situation. Please don't be embarrassed.

DMCWelshCakes Mon 19-Jun-17 20:25:53

Don't be embarrassed. You weren't the first and you won't be the last to have a panic attack on the Tube.

I'd advise going on the Tube again, even if it's only one stop, so that it doesn't build up into a big thing.

I say that as someone who dealt with severe anxiety for over a decade before I finally managed to get it sorted out. Now I can go in lifts, the tube, trains (even in the rush hour & when they randomly stop) and I've done 8 flights in the last 12 months.

This doesn't define you - the tube is shit in hot weather.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Mon 19-Jun-17 20:26:04

This honestly happens all the time, especially in this weather, and it's not just limited to tourists and commuters, either.

My best friend is born and raised in central London, been taking the tube at least twice a day on her own since she was going to school aged 7 (er, different times I guess) and she is still to this day a habitual Tube fainter.

By all means try CBT or something for the claustrophobia, it can't hurt and could make your life much easier. But please don't feel a like a freak or like you've got a massive problem - this is VERY common, there is nothing odd about panicking in that heat, stationary for so long. It's the worst!

Want2beme Mon 19-Jun-17 20:45:10

Ah, don't feel that way. You were worried and it's only natural to react. Londoners are very good people all in all. I fainted on the tube once and a lovely lady made someone get up to give me their seat. I was well impressed.

Embarrassedatsoftplay Mon 19-Jun-17 20:51:12

Nothing to be ashamed of. I've seen this quite a lot, especially in women and have had panic attacks on the tube many times myself. It was really hot today and you've done really well. Give yourself a pat on the back. You done fantastically well, even if you don't feel like it. flowers

SleightOfHand Mon 19-Jun-17 20:52:56

Totally understandable OP, that was a long time to wait in that heat. Nice that people came to your aid. If it's an option maybe give the tube a miss for a few days, well, at least until the really hot weather calms down.

Floggingmolly Mon 19-Jun-17 20:53:22

40 minutes? Jesus, on a day like today that must have been hotter than Hell. You poor thing flowers

Pengggwn Mon 19-Jun-17 20:59:27

I got trapped for about an hour once, middle of summer and a packed carriage. I felt faint and sweaty and it was really quite horrible. I don't blame you in the slightest.

jay55 Mon 19-Jun-17 21:18:42

I bet most the people were just glad it wasn't then, as that would have pushed anyone to the limit. Focusing on you probably distracted people from their own anxiety.

Evewasinnocent Mon 19-Jun-17 22:23:31

Hey like most have already said nothing to be embarrassed about - happens a lot - nobody (reasonable) minds at all - probably helped distract everyone else. Today was an absolute nightmare on London transport - I love the tube (though couldn't even get on one tonight due to signalling failure and a power cut at London Bridge!) - but even I hate it when they stop for ages in a tunnel and feel a real sense of relief when the we finally move!

Evewasinnocent Mon 19-Jun-17 22:26:45

Sorry I see you were looking for tips - try the tfl website and plan your route avoiding the tube? It is usually possible if its not too far - DLR/Bus/mainline/overground (though this does go underground - but usually bit more 'air' I always think?)

ALoveWorthKeeping Mon 19-Jun-17 22:30:25

As others have said, don't feel embarrassed.
Take the opportunity while it is still fresh to seek counselling, CBT or similar as these things can become entrenched quite quickly. I say that as someone who is now agoraphobic following a similar incident.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Mon 19-Jun-17 22:32:37

I have panic attacks when I go in a tube station, and they only get worse as I get closer to the platform. The way I have managed to cope is to become acquainted with the bus system in London, although my therapist isn't too sure and thinks that my strategy of avoidance is as unhelpful as the panic attacks. But it helps me arrive at work in a calm, composed state even if it adds ages on to my commute.

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