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Old 10-29-2007, 03:17 PM   #1
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Luvmydog HB User
Unhappy Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

Does anyone experience panic or anxiety while grocery shopping? This is a HUGE trigger for my panic. Altho it is better now (I used to have to leave the store and let my husband finish up at the checkout!) I have read about this but continue to find it so odd and was just wondering if anyone KNOWS WHY people with anxiety disorder freak out in grocery stores????

Old 10-29-2007, 03:55 PM   #2
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Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

I DO!!!!!! Not sure why either.

Today, as part of my CBT, was my forst excercise and it was to go food shopping by myself. Well...... I did it. It was like I was walking around in a dream. And I never fiid shopped so fast in my life. But... I did it.

I'm not sure why but it is big trigger for alot of people. Maybe because it is such an awful chore!! HA HA

I am curious how many people this effects on this board.

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Old 10-29-2007, 05:22 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Arrow Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

COUNT ME IN!!I also feel creeped out when I go shopping. It feels as if things are not real and when I get to the checkout I get very fidgety. It's a strange thing to explain, but anyone else with the same problem would understand. I'm sure there's heaps of others experienceing the same thing.

Old 10-29-2007, 05:39 PM   #4
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Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

Oh yeah, and Im a guy. I always have this problem when Im in the grocery store. I have left almost full carts of food and things in the isle and left the store only to go to my car and feel ok in a few minutes. Happens every time only sometimes I tuff it out and sometimes I just cant. Best was to beat this is just do it and know that your going to be ok. And you know what? You will be. Best of luck. I also have problems with other large stores, not the smaller ones. I also dont like getting haircuts be cause I feel trapped. Again every time but I a always ok no matter what. It just sucks.

Old 10-29-2007, 08:35 PM   #5
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Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

Hi there. Shopping for groceries is bad enough, especially when you are never hungry, like I am. I get very annoyed (esp at the deli counter) and fly up and down the isles. I'm always cold and I all but run thru the frozen foods. LOL
As for anxiety attacks, they happen to me a Wal....t. OMG, everytime I go, it's a mob scene. You can hardely pass someone in an isle without banging carts. I start to feel faint, break out in a sweat, and feel like ramming people with my cart LOL
I always try for a quick escape. If I had a tranquilzer I'd take it prior to shopping.

Old 10-30-2007, 03:02 AM   #6
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jete23 HB User
Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

For some, its a social anxiety. They just don't like to be in crowds.

For others, me included although I dont have this problem anymore since im on meds, its the fear that you are going to freak out/pass out/look like an idiot etc. in front of a bunch of people.

Ask your dr for some ativan/xanax and take one before you go out. It will help you relax and then hopefully you can enjoy your shopping.

Old 10-30-2007, 08:41 AM   #7
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Pri Lily HB User
Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

Anxiety can result from anything.....

I had a small accident, and over time became afraid of driving.

I love to shop....I live for it....I can spend two or three hours just window shopping...I love to look at "stuff".

Suddenly, I was afraid, when I was in the Mall. This was one of my favourite passtimes, and I was afraid to be there.

The fear wasn't really of the Mall, I hadn't developed "social anxiety"...I was really afraid of driving home.

Anxieties can trick you...

If they start piling up...look at the original anxiety....does it explain all the other anxieties?


Old 10-30-2007, 11:03 AM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Angel31 HB User
Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores


Just wanted to mention that I have this at times also! Sometimes I go in, actually in the mood to do a little shopping, but end up cutting a leisurely trip short because I just get so frustrated. Too many people, choices, loud noises, can't get to what you want... all in all, just too hectic.

This is so common, even people without anxiety complain about it. I guess all you can do is try and plan trips during a time when the store is unlikely to be busy.

Old 10-30-2007, 12:54 PM   #9
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Luvmydog HB User
Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

Thanks everyone for the input. My therapist told me it was a fear of being trapped, in the checkout you have to complete the task, you have no choice, there are people behinds you. Anyway, I think that is just a theory. Altho before I was put on heart med for my palpitations, my heart would race when I looked at the moving conveyor belt and I would feel like I was going to do a Marie Osmond right there! However, when I am shopping in the store, I just race thru the aisles wanting to get everything fast and GET OUT. I am much better now, this was couple years ago when I couldn't go thru the checkout at's such a weird phenomena, I am not claustrophobic, never had social anxiety.......I think someone could write an entire book about this subject alone. And, by the way, if I do freak out in the grocery store, I always have Ativan in my purse. Thanks again for sharing experiences!

Old 10-31-2007, 10:37 AM   #10
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Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

Its all about where you have your first trigger attack, and it darn well stays with you.

I have had one in my car on the Motorway, now i hate driving

Old 11-01-2007, 08:12 AM   #11
Join Date: Nov 2007
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SophieDoe HB User
Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

I had a terrible panic attack at the store yesterday. I felt like I was going to collapse in line. My heart was racing. When I finally got to the car, I threw up in the parking lot. It was awful. i just found this site. what happened yesterday scared me...I want to call a counselor--but I'm so nervous around doctors even that is hard.

Old 11-01-2007, 11:55 AM   #12
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Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores


Dont suffer. Go speak to a Doc and see if you can get a councelor. With the right help you will be ok again. That incident yesterday must have been horrible for you. Just dont keep suffering that, there is help out there for you, be brave and go find it. Good luck

Old 11-01-2007, 12:48 PM   #13
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Re: Anxiety/panic in grocery stores

I get panic stricken sometimes in grocery stores and other large stores. I think mine is triggered by the lighting and the high ceilings. It also happened to me in a gymnasium. I'm afraid of fainting or acting stupid and embarrassing myself. My first panic attack was when I was driving and I still have a hard time on highways and other fast paced roads. I've been doing really well until last weekend and my anxiety has come back almost full force. I'm just so afraid of dieing or getting an awful disease. It might have to do with the 1st anniversary of my husband's death coming up in a couple weeks. I sure hope it goes away again. I hate this feeling

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