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Help anxiety and graduation!

(28 Posts)
Singyourheartout Wed 11-Oct-17 02:18:16

I'm am graduation soon and I have started to realise I am now scared of having a retching panic attack in the middle of the pews during the ceremony.
It will be in a cathedral type place, very big and very packed.
I'm am half tempted not to go but my parents and partner are so excited to see me get the award.
I hate not being able to get out and excuse myself being trapped in a place for 90 minutes.
I have an appointment to go to the doctors the day before my graduation to get anti anxiety stuff.
I'm not sure what to do! I don't want to ruin anyone else day but I really want to be able to go as me and my family have spent a lot of money going.
I switch from thinking that I'll be okay to worrying my self silly

Birdsgottafly Wed 11-Oct-17 02:20:57

What do you normally do, do you have breathing exercises or visualisation techniques?

As well as the stuff from your GP, they would help.

Be honest with your BF and Parents so they can support you, as well.

Singyourheartout Wed 11-Oct-17 02:23:16

I try to keep myself busy but I'm not sure I can do that in the pew. I know I need to focus on something but I don't know what.

MyKingdomForBrie Wed 11-Oct-17 02:23:26

Ask to sit on the end of a row and explain why.

Singyourheartout Wed 11-Oct-17 02:38:26

I have emailed them earlier if there is anything they can do to help me but I feel like it might be a bit late with it being so close. I'm hoping the excitement of the day might distract me but I dunno ☹️
I'm trying to be positive about it and distract my self from it but the thought pops up every now and again.
I think I'm slightly agoraphobia but very very very mildly and do manage to push myself through most of it and it doesn't affect my general day to day life.

BitOfFun Wed 11-Oct-17 02:41:07

Ask the doctor for beta blockers, and you'll be grand.

LapinR0se Wed 11-Oct-17 02:42:04

You can get propranolol on prescription which is ideal for event-related anxiety like this. It totally blocks physical sensations of anxiety. I would do a trial run a week beforehand to check the dosage.
Congratulations on graduating

Singyourheartout Wed 11-Oct-17 02:46:03

Hi lapinR0se!
Would I be able to get propranolol over the counter as my appointment for the doctors is the day before my graduation as that was the only one avaible even though I called them well in advance.

PickleFish Wed 11-Oct-17 02:50:25

You can't get it over the counter, but if the doctor prescribes it, you could get the prescription filled the same day, and then try one that day. You could also try a telephone consultation with the doctor to see if they'd prescribe it in advance, so that you could try it before the appointment, perhaps.
I had no problems with 40mg I think it was, which was quite a high dose, but I barely noticed it.

Singyourheartout Wed 11-Oct-17 02:55:41

I will try that in the morning! My health care in the town I live in is not very good especially if your a student 😢 I've recently had to move doctor surgery back from my home doctors, they where good with phone consultation but not sure my new one offers it.

Theresamayscough Wed 11-Oct-17 06:52:28

It’s horrible isn’t it op.

My dh has propanalol tonstrady him for big work presentations and it’s brilliant. I take it for motorway journeys and it gets me there as a passenger.

Best of luck and the most important thing is you graduated not the ceremony so you could ajways sac off the presentation and have a nice meal out instead with your family.

Theresamayscough Wed 11-Oct-17 06:54:01

It’s horrible isn’t it op.

My dh has propanalol tonstrady him for big work presentations and it’s brilliant. I take it for motorway journeys and it gets me there as a passenger.

Best of luck and the most important thing is you graduated not the ceremony so you could ajways sac off the presentation and have a nice meal out instead with your family.

Singyourheartout Wed 11-Oct-17 07:19:07

It's literally terrifying and horrible!
But it's more disappointment in my self.
I don't know what worse having to sit there for 90min or bunking off and my family being disappointed.
We have spent a lot on hotel cost and travel and to come all this way for a meal if a bit of a disappointing for them.
I will ask the doctor about propranolol today when I call up for a telephone appointment if they will give me one. I'm would prefer to get the instant one that work when you having a bit or an attack then one you take all the time as I don't think I really need them day to day

Silvercatowner Wed 11-Oct-17 07:30:26

Talk to the organisers - you absolutely won't be the only one with this issue. They will be sympathetic and will accommodate you. Organising graduations, making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time, is very challenging and no-one wants a panicker!

Fintress Wed 11-Oct-17 07:33:23

Good luck, hope the doctor prescribes something for you. It is a daunting thought but there will be so much going on it will take your mind off it. I did it a few years ago as a mature student and was terrified but in the end I enjoyed it.

Congratulations flowers

KimmySchmidt1 Wed 11-Oct-17 07:59:43

You will just queue up, take your certificate, that's it. Can you try to break down like a scientist exactly what it is you are feeling anxious about? Sometimes rationalising rather than broadly catastrophising helps to bring some balance. Think about how many thousands upon thousands of people go through that type of ceremony and literally nothing interesting or scary happens. Why would ou be any different to everyone else? And remember, no one is remotely interested in you, looking at you, or thinking about you except your family. You are not the centre of anyone's toughts, they won't even notice you because they will be looking for their own family.

And sometimes, anxiety comes from a childhood where one or other parent micro criticises and constantly mithers and bothers you. That trains your brain to think of all your faults all the time, and to expect you to do something worth noting or laughing at. If you have a parent like that, start telling them to shut up and snapping at them every time they get on at you. Turn the bullying around and get them to back off. The action of pushing back on them out loud will help you to train your brain to push back on your own internal worry and criticism voice.

Does that help?

Ionarocks Wed 11-Oct-17 08:05:46

I have agoraphobia although have never been diagnosed or taken anything for it. I have developed some coping strategies and so it is loads better than it used to be. Things like this still terrify me but I don't like anxiety ruling my life so push myself to do them. Things which help me is knowing I have an escape if I do feel I am getting a panic attack. Can you be on the end of the row/close to the exit? If you don't want to explain why you could just say you're feeling ill and may need to run to the toilet? I find focusing on breathing helps as well or having something to doodle on. Also the build up before always seems far worse than the actual event. Hope it goes well!

Singyourheartout Wed 11-Oct-17 08:21:48

I'm not really worried about anything bad happening. I know we be listening to the ceremony and speechs and going up and getting the awards but its the idea of being trapped and not being able to leave if I need to. I know it sounds stupid. Anxiety plays a very minor role in my life but at big events like being in unfamiliar surrounds or being in crowds I panic.
I don't think it stems from my parents they are amazing and lovely and supportive. They sort of understand it and give me tough love when needed which I think is important as it gets me going. My dad however doesn't like crowds either, for example he won't be coming into them cermoney as he has a medical condition and doesn't like being surrounded. I'm not sure it effected me growing up and I'm pretty sure I didn't learn the behaviour from my dad but it's a result of bullying and childhood event surrounds school.

Singyourheartout Wed 11-Oct-17 08:29:19

Those are great coping strategies! My event is actually in a cathedral so it's not like I could open a door and leave, I'm pretty sure when they close the door it stays closed. I have email the graduate team and ask if I could be put somewhere close to where I can go if I need to leave. Being put at the end of the row is the next best thing but I'm gonna see what they say. I'm pretty sure once I the ceremony starts going it will distract me but I'm not sure at this point. I have always run my life around avoiding being trapped in places.
I went to a conference last week and started to get a bit panicky but they left the door open And a friend let me sit on the end of the aisle so I felt loads better. But that was only a fraction of what it will be like in the cathedral as it will be packed

Ionarocks Wed 11-Oct-17 08:42:46

I tell myself that no-one will care if I have to get up and walk out for a minute in fact, I have had to do this once or twice.

I know in a cathedral it will be different but sometimes just knowing there is a door/escape even if I can't really use it is enough to calm me down.

I actually had a door unlocked at the front of the church when I got married as I was sure I would have a panic attack, being watched by so many people and having nowhere to go. I don't even know where it led to, think it was just a small room but it made me feel so much better knowing it was there. Fortunately I was completely fine!!

I think you should definitely do it. Tell yourself , the worst thing that could happen is you need to leave and that's quite unlikely anyway.

Theresamayscough Wed 11-Oct-17 09:14:09

And op it’s not stupid at all. It can happen to the most confident people and to anytime at any time. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or to hide from. Guarantee you won’t be the only person feeling this way. flowers

RoboticSealpup Wed 11-Oct-17 09:43:41

Ask your GP for propranolol. I take it for presentations and big meetings and it works perfectly every time. I take 40 mg about 40 minutes before the event, but your doctor will have to tell you your dose.

I know many people who do this. It's just not talked about much! wink

RoboticSealpup Wed 11-Oct-17 09:46:35

It won't really make you feel any different, it just blocks the effect of adrenaline and physically stops you from having a panic attack, racing heart, etc. You might still have nervous thoughts, so don't assume it's not working just because you're still a bit nervous.

Wellandtrulyoutnumbered Wed 11-Oct-17 09:53:56

Graduated in a cathedral absolutely could have left if necessary.

Make contact with your graduation team. Arrange to meet the ushers ahead of graduation - earlier in day - to discuss an exit plan, where to go, walk through arrangements. Rough timings etc.

MsFortunaMajor Wed 11-Oct-17 12:21:47

Definitely speak to the organisers, they were part of the Registry department at my uni. It is a different situation, but I am disabled and needed some special arrangements put in place for my graduation. I was also very anxious about it. The person in charge of organising the ceremony called me and talked me through what would happen on the day. I also had someone sit with me during the ceremony, and they were able to assist me up the steps to the stage as stairs are difficult for me due to my disabilities. Please speak to the graduation team, they will be able to help you.

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