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HELP - Panic Attack in the Hairdressers!! Warning: Long - please bear with me!!

(15 Posts)
AnxiousAngie Wed 15-Jul-09 13:37:00

I mean FFS why?

I was looking forward to getting my hair done (colour & cut) and it is a vvv rare treat. It should have been a relaxing experience but while I was waiting for the colour to develop, I started feeling out of breath, heart pounding, felt hot and like I was going to faint. Really felt that I needed to get out of there and was just about to get up and run outside (with foils still in my hair!) but managed to calm myself because it would have been so embarrassing. Was really willing the hairdresser to hurry up and finish and still feel a bit breathless and panicky now 3 hours later even though my hair looks great!

This is my 2nd panic attack this week, the other one was on Saturday when I was driving the kids to a farm for the day out (DH at work), got the breathlessness and panicky feeling and had to pull over 10 mins from home. Tried to calm down but could'nt so had to drive slowly back home and the kids missed a fun day out because of me and had to eat their picnic at home angry.

So far had 3 panic attacks altogether (1st ever one in November last year). Do not understand where they come from as when they happen I am not particularly stressed! Am really pissed off because I have tried really hard to change myself - I have lost a lot of weight, go the gym most days and am slowly building my self confidence up again so I can go back to work.

I have suffered from stress related symptons for the last 4 years triggered by a disastrous move abroad which ended up with us losing all our money and coming back to the UK with nothing but our clothes in suitcases. Have had to rent since then which has been a major strain cos we have had to keep moving.

I have always been a worry wort probably due to my parents divorce when I was a kid (saw my Dad beating up my Mum), had a stillbirth with my 2nd DD 8 years ago where I had to carry her with the knowledge that she was going to die at birth in pain with possible broken bones due to coming down the birth canal for a week before it happened, had a termination at 6 weeks when we were abroad because at the time I thought that there was no way we could cope with another child in our situation then that I now bitterly regret and feel a lot of guilt about and have been blessed with DCs that I adore and worry about a lot but who are very much a handful, AND (final one) was bullied at work by my boss so had to take voluntary redundancy 5 months ago so all this has contributed to me coming to my breaking point now.

I have tried hypnotheraphy but that did'nt help at all (basically he tried to bring up stuff from my childhood but I have dealt with all that) and have been prescribed various drugs by my GP who is at his wits end with me because I have'nt taken them as I am scared of the side effects and don't want to feel any worse than I am now! They are clitopropram, fluoxillin and propranolol. I am prepared to take some now so can anyone advise which is the best one and which works the quickest, I so want to able to enjoy the 1st summer that am not working in years with my poor DH and kids sad??

AnxiousAngie Wed 15-Jul-09 13:39:37

Have probably misspelt the drugs but can't be bothered to get off my arse and check the spellings!

AnxiousAngie Wed 15-Jul-09 13:54:36

Oops not fluoxillin, FLUOXETINE.

YommyMommy Wed 15-Jul-09 14:18:58

Hi Anxious angel,

Soory to hear about you bad experience at the hair dresses!

I don;t have mch time to post just now, but I will be back on shortly and will post again!

Keep ur chin up til then, your not alone in your suffering if anxiety! Have a read on the 'anyone else struggling with anxiety'! I post quite a lot on there!

Speak soon x x x

craftynclothy Wed 15-Jul-09 14:28:55


I've had panic attacks too and know how afwul it can be.

I was given propanolol at one point but found it didn't make any difference to me. I also didn't get on with Fluoxetine. Citalopram though was wonderful - it made me sleepy at first and I had to change the time of day I took it but once I'd got the timing and dosage right it worked wonders. I think though it's a case of trying them and seeing what works for you.

FWIW I went from hardly leaving the house on my own to taking refresher driving lessons within a couple of weeks. I was soon driving regularly, going to baby groups and within 3 months of starting the tablets I set up my own business.

I still get nervous abut things and it can be hard but I'm no longer on the Citalopram. I also found this book helpful (my gp lent it to me)

badmammajamma Wed 15-Jul-09 14:40:52

I can totally relate to the panic attack thing,
I tend to get this thought- it would be really embarrasing to have a panic attack now- and there I go, shaking and stuttering.So annoying!
I think it does have alot to do with your past being unstable, it leaves you anxious and jittery.
I too am in the horrible renting cycle, I have moved twice in two years and am not sure about my future at current address as I cant afford it having lost job in Feb.
my parents split when I was 7, my dad being a severe manic depressive and my life has been pretty rocky since- homelessness, termination, miscarriage. I think it leaves you feeling you cant trust the world not to throw more sh*t at you again.
I took anti anxiety pills for a few years, seroxat, which I think is similar to the Fluoxitine you have been perscribed. I found that it was bad news in the end as I felt it stopped me from caring about anyone or anything, good or bad. I couldnt feel joy cuddling my daughter or feel empathy for my friends. It did stop me from feeling anxious and occasionally suicidal but I think I became callous. Now not on them and the panic attacks are back. Probably as Im totally broke and isolated in my new house.
I do find that the more busy I am and the more day to day interaction with others there is, the less I get panicky, maybe being at the hair dressers was just too wierd and unfamiliar for you. But dont stop pushing yourself to do stuff or it just gets worse and you might find even going to the shops impossible.

I'm sorry I dont really have anything usefull to suggest but thought you'd like to hear my experience.

YommyMommy Wed 15-Jul-09 15:42:16

Hello Again Anxious anngie!

Hope you are feeling better as ur day is going on?

U sound like you have had it pretty rough over the past few years so its no wonder you are feeling the way you are at the moment!
I have no experience of AD's as I was so scared to go on them incase I got addicted! Sometimes wonder if I am making the correct choices, but I have beaten this once and I know I can do it again! Has anyone sugested CBT therapy? Its different in that it doesn;t go inot your past only focuces on present time and how you are feeling now. I have my first session tomorrow so I will let you know how it goes! grin

Just know that you won't always feel this bad! Next time you are having a panic attack think i can;t harm me the worst that will happen is that you will be embarassed and no one ever died of embaressment grin My therapist told me that and I actually laughed out load as its so true!

Hope ur okay x x x

AnxiousAngie Wed 15-Jul-09 15:44:02

Thanks Ladies for your replies. It does help posting it on here - need to get it out of my system - and knowing others have had similar experiences and I'm not really going to die grin. It is so embarrassing though. Am worried I will have one when picking up the DCs from school as that makes me panicky as well for some very strange reason - thank god they finish school in two more days so we can relax a little! We also go on holiday next week and am really looking forward to it - just hope my panic button is not pushed.

Am still not sure about the meds though.

AnxiousAngie Wed 15-Jul-09 15:45:52

Cross posts Yommy. I would like CBT and GP suggested it but said the waiting list is so long it's not worth putting me on it hmm.

YommyMommy Wed 15-Jul-09 16:06:41

Hi Anxious,

Ur GP sounds like bit of a tosser hmm. If the waiting list is so long then it just goes to show how popular it is???!!! I would demand to be put in the waiting list! After all the panic attacks are not going to go away over night! As for the meds I hope you get something that suits you soon!

Where are you going on holiday? Thats def something to look forward too!

x x x

AnxiousAngie Wed 15-Jul-09 16:39:21

Yep after today I think I will have to grit my teeth and go back to my GP again! I don't think he wanted to put me on it tbh, probably makes more money dishing out pills!

We are going on a driving holiday through Europe to Croatia staying at campsites along the way (can't deal with getting on a plane anymore grin, makes me kinda anxious!!

AnxiousAngie Wed 15-Jul-09 16:43:17

One thing that clicked for me today was that these last two attacks happened on days that I had not been able to get to the gym (usually go in the morning) - bloody hell that means I am going to have to go to the gym everyday for the rest of my life! I do like going but not that much.

poshtottie Wed 15-Jul-09 16:46:36

I had a very bad panic attack about 3 weeks ago when driving on the motorway. It was awful. Thank God ds wasn't in the car with me. I have had anxiety for years but never like this.

I have taken propanolol aswell but have stopped as the slow release one seemed to make me worse. It is not an AD it is a beta blocker.

I think it is fuelled by adrenal fatigue as I also have chronic fatigue syndrome so I am trying lots of alternative stuff. I am also starting CBT tomorrow. A friend of mine also told me about the "lightening process" which was very helpful for her.

If you experience it again when driving get some rescue remedy and try an affirmation such as "I am calm, relaxed and happy" keep repeating it over and over again out loud. It seems to work for me.

I hope you can get some more help from your GP. Good luck.

LaLoose Wed 15-Jul-09 16:47:28

Dear AA,

You poor thing - I had a bit of a cry when I read your OP. I am sending you loads of love. I get panic attacks too, and can totally relate to the one you had in the car. In fact I was hyperventilating this morning.

You are doing all the right things by being proactive and looking to solve it. I still haven't found a reliable way except for sex! DON'T be embarrassed - far more people suffer than you would think and probably everyone can recognise it and sympathise.

Right, better get back to my screaming twins now shock

Lots of love


AnxiousAngie Wed 15-Jul-09 19:14:07

Thanks muchly Posh & Laloose - it really does help knowing there are others like me out there and I am not totally abnormal grin. I have twins too but thank god they are past the screaming phase - now it's yelling and fighting.

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