Hereís my problem. Iíve never been really scared of anything until of course the anxiety took over my life. I just got an INCREDIBLE job offer and Iím scared to take it. Why you ask. Well because it is on the 36th Floor. I donít like the idea that I canít get outside very quick. I am also terrified that an elevator is going to drop or get stuck and Iím going to have a huge panic attack. The job is making almost twice what I make now. So you would think with the money Iíd be making who cares about the damn elevator but that is my only concern. It will really take a toll on me if I had to walk up 36 flights of stairs 4 times a day. If anyone has any breathing techniques or something to get me through this I will be happy to hear it. Because this anxiety has gotten so bad I have finally gotten to the point to where I know I need medication. I will be starting Lexapro in 2 weeks. So any advice on that would be helpful as well.
Last edited by princesscol; 08-24-2005 at 01:33 PM.
Oh princess, I know your feeling ALL too well. One of my worst panic triggers is if I am stuck in a place that I can't escape from quickly. I only work on the second floor, but there are no doors that are very close...and since I work on a college campus, I still have to wade through 40 billion people to get to the door. It sucks. I swear if I could live my life carrying around a door to an outside portal with no one on the other side i would be great.
BUT, are you familiar with this building at all? I'm just wondering if that 36th floor has a "safe place" you could retreat to when you are in a panic emergency? Like for me, if I have nowhere else to go, I will go up to the third floor where there is never anyone, and there is a door to an outside balcony. That balcony has been my saving grace some days. I don't know if your issue is being around other people or just needing to get outside...for me its both but getting away from people is #1.
I would suggest scoping out that floor before you have to start work and seeing where all the exits are, etc. And even though I'm sure you will never have to do this, remember that there is always the stairwell, that probably has plenty of outside exits to a fire escape. Just knowing that makes me feel better, even though i will never likely use it.
But on the bright side, CONGRATS on the new job!! I am jealous!
Hi I have the same problem, I worked on the 6th floor, ( i know hardly high up ) but hated the fact that I couldnt see an exit, I used to get in the elevator ( lift ) and not breathe at all to the top, and the same going down, thought If I get stuck in here I will rip the steel doors open with my bare hands ! On some days I took the stairs both ways if I was at all anxious.I smoke , so that meant alot of up and down , had great legs tho ! After awhile you will get used to it, mjewell is right, go there first and check out exits, practice in the lift, maybe do a few floors at a time...remember to breathe nice and calmly, you dont want to not take the job, coz then the fear beat you.
Good luck and let us know how you go.
I know a breathing technique that you can use on the ride up and down. First you have to lay your hands flat on something solid like the rails or the wall and breath in through your nose for the count of five and then exhale through your mouth to the count of five, do this five times. This gives you the secure feeling by touching something solid and the breathing will help relax you and give your body the oxegen it needs through anxiety. Try it. Good luck. If you can not move past this then you'll have no choice but to find another job, your health comes first.
I had a job on the 16th flooor of an older building with 2 elevators that were known to get frequently stuck. After taking the stairs for a couple of months (I know not applicable in your case) and getting sore knees, I made a little care package to carry in my bag. Had a few old valium, pepto-bismal, advil, and the most important of all...an EMERGENCY BEER! I figured if the worst happened and the elevator did get stuck one of these (or a combo) I would be able to calm myself down. It really helped knowing I had these things in my tote and I never needed them for the 2 years I worked there! My friends you to laugh at me about it, but it helped me cope.
I think MJ has really good advice! You might find some empty space on your floor, or place on another floor that you can "escape" to. And the breathing exercises are really effective. Good luck and congrats on the job offer!
I too had valium on hand, once I forgot them and almost panicked knowing I had forgotten them . Once some office was having a party and I was in the lift with the Booze delivery,, 20 odd bottles of wine, beer, spirits. and party food . darn the lift went as smooth as.
its good to see people in the same boat as me. i recently interviewed for a job in NYC on the 54th floor of the Chrysler Building. I was freaking out. In addition to the elevator, just being in the interview and being able to look out the windows was killing me. Knowing I couldnt just leave if i had to, knowing i would have to wait for the elevator, take it down and run outside, i felt so trapped. i didnt get the job, but i sat there wondering "could i do this everyday!?" but nothing lasts forever. you adjust.
my fear of elevators isnt that they will fall, its simply being stuck. same thing happens to me on long bridges (my ex lived in queens, im in albany, so i had to take the tappan zee bridge to see her). it gets difficult for me to swallow and im afraid im going to pass out. so i obsess on the swallowing. its good stuff.
in a weird way im "glad" to see these stories because i know im not alone. even though i wouldnt wish this on my worst enemy.
kingham, I wouldnt even make it to the 54th floor, so well done, your like me, its the stuck thing, Dentist's are a bit of problem, ,hairdressers, once the put the color on , I just like to go where I know I can leave anytime. I never get the "Bridge thing" tho , do you think you will get stuck in traffic ? Or is the height ?
its not the height because the tappan zee is a low bridge, but its 2 miles long... so its claustraphobic to me.
the 54th floor was tough. on the interview i had to take the elevator down to the ground level with the woman interviewing me, i had to have my hand on my bottle of water the whole time. it was ridiculous.
one thing ill give myself is i never NOT do something, on saturday night i went to a mets game and thank GOD there was no one blocking me in in our row... we were way up in the upper deck, two rows from the back... it would have killed me...
getting my haircut is also a disaster... i have trouble swallowing and everything... as soon as they put the bib thingy on me, i start getting nervous, like i just need to get it over with and leave...
its so weird... like why would we possibly need to leave... its because panic is essentially our fight or flight defense mechanism... when we get afraid we have the urge to either defend ourselves or move... its adrenaline...
i know all this, yet i still get it. so go figure.
yeah, I know all the coping skills, the fight flight, breathing, relaxing, the repeating positives, I go everywhere too, well within reason, submarines would kill me!! and I mean that !! havent been flying for awhile, but I want to,I know its alright, but its not like you can have a short practice run, and if you didnt feel good ie; I WANT out now, that they would turn the plane around and let me out. I need a partner with his own lear jet !!!
The comment of the bib thing setting off symptoms....I haven't had my hair done in a year! It is all about the escape. Flying and bridges and freeways: it is not about something happening externally , rather that I will FREAK OUT! And all my breathing exercises and cognitive behaviour training does not touch the core of this!
I suppose in caveman time, we would be valuable to the tribe to alert everyone to danger, real or imagined! Take care!
I live close to Chicago. Whenever we make a trip there DH wants to go up in the Sears Tower or the John Hancock. I have yet to do this. When I was a kid I went into the Sears but was too young to be that scared. Now, there is no way I am going up there. For me it's just the elevator falling. I did make my fear of elevators better by forcing myslef to take every elevator I could. Instead of the escalator I would take the elevator ect.. Eventually, I was not as afraid of them. I can do most of them, except - Old rickety ones and really tall buildings. I don't want to go up more than 4 floors.
I would take the job. I think eventually your fears would get a little better from doing it over and over. I went for psych evaluation for my anxiety. Doc told me that they have people conquer their fears by facing them. Slowing doing it over and over until you are not afraid anymore.
That would not get me on a plane, but works with day to day things.
LOL- I am so glad I'm not the only one who needs to have an escape route everywhere I go. Actually i know this is common for panic and anxiety sufferers, but it is still comforting to know others go through it. I hate when i go somewhere and someone else I am meeting picks out the seats first - they ALWAYS pick the middle of the room or aisle. ERGH!!!