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Last night was awful & I had a panic attack outside :(

(7 Posts)
sadandanxious Sat 19-Nov-16 10:08:33

I had a fantastic day yesterday with DP wandering around one of the Christmas markets, seeing all the Christmas nights and had a wonderful dinner in one of our favourite pubs. After dinner I started to feel anxious and started shaking. We were going to a concert in the evening and had a bit of time to kill so went to a cafe for a cup of tea to try and calm down. I wasn't too bad in the cafe so thought I'd be okay at the concert. We joined the queue to get into the venue and I started shaking again and then when we sat down inside and got surrounded by people I started panicking. DP convinced me to move further back where there was more space. Then when the concert started I totally panicked and ended up in a full blow panic attack. It was horrible, I couldn't breathe, my face started tingling and I started crying my eyes out. Somehow DP managed to get me into the foyer and by the time I'd calmed down we'd missed half of the concert. I don't remember much of it, just DP talking to me the whole time (though I couldn't really hear what he was saying) and sitting in front of me holding my hand. By the time I calmed down I just wanted to hug him and be at home. We did then leave but I felt so bad and like I'd ruined his evening. We were both so looking forward to going to the concert and we barely got to see any of it.

I haven't been that bad in so long and I've never had a panic attack in public before. I'm frustrated with myself for missing the concert and scared it'll happen again next time I go out. On the way home I had to close my eyes because looking at all the motorway traffic started to make me feel panicky again. DP was absolutely amazing and I really appreciate the way he handled it, for calming me down and for being genuinely okay with going home early. I feel really conflicted this morning. I feel glad to have such a lovely DP which is a reassuring thought but then there's the part of me that's panicking about going shopping. I feel my thoughts are all over the place and often when I have a panic attack at home it causes my mental health to spiral as I'm so scared of having another one. But this time is even worse as it happened in front of so many people and it's so embarrassing!

sadandanxious Sat 19-Nov-16 10:09:32

Christmas lights not nights.

Sorry for all the typos, I'm on my phone

AnxiousCarer Mon 21-Nov-16 11:20:11

Huge hugs, its such a horrible feeling. Have you got any support inplace from MH proffessionals to help you with this? My councellor taught me something called emotional freedom techneque which has been very useful. Its horrible when it happens in public, but just think, you will probably never see any of those people again.

griffinsss Mon 21-Nov-16 12:14:55

Oh, OP, I'm so sorry this happened to you flowersflowers

As someone who has suffered with anxiety long term, and had many panic attacks on lovely evenings out with lovely people, I completely understand how you're feeling. Having a panic attack at all is terrifying, but it's even worse when you're out of the house as you have nowhere safe to go/be. You're so lucky to have such an understanding DP.

I had a panic attack on a really busy train once (I live in central London, I've done the journey hundreds of times and been fine), I'd had a bad nights sleep the night before and made up for it with a lot of coffee during the day stupid decision and was so on edge. I was alone with my 2 year old daughters. I just started silently crying (absolutely pouring) and shaking and hyperventilating and eventually managed to pull us all onto the platform before blacking out (I didn't pass out I just don't remember anything). It was so terrifying, and I feel so guilty that my daughters witnessed it. My sister had to come over from Paris to help me that night as I didn't have anyone else. It was when I realised that I needed more therapy and that I was really sensitive to caffeine and sleep deprivation. I'd been fine for months before that, and like you, had only had panic attacks at home/where I could call family/friends before that (apart from as a teenager before I had cbt).

I really feel for you, OP. Perhaps look into getting a little (more?) therapy if you haven't already. Or potentially ask your GP if anxiety reducing mediation that you take sporadically when you feel anxious, not daily, would be suitable for you?

Werkzallhourz Mon 21-Nov-16 13:34:11

I have a tip you could try.

When you feel the panic attack coming, eat something. Your body cannot process the combination of you eating something and the panic attack mechanism at the same time. In its evolutionary parameters, it see it as you facing a threatening lion and opening a bag of crisps to munch as a response ... therefore the lion must not be so much of a threat.

I used to suck on a minstrel when I felt the panic come on, but I wouldn't suggest that now because I suspect sugar is problematic when it comes to anxiety problems. Maybe some sort of low-sugar snack bar or something?

Try it. See if it works for you.

DearMrDilkington Mon 21-Nov-16 13:38:25

hourz has a good point regarding the eating, I wonder if chewing gum would have the same effect? Easier to always have with you than food.

griffinsss Mon 21-Nov-16 14:05:20

The food thing doesn't work for me (I throw it back up, TMI sorry). But I have known it work for friends. Gum might be a good call though.

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