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Old 06-13-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
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Question I need some advice, any tips?

Since my panic attacks went full blown a few weeks ago, I haven't left the house. Tomorrow and Tuesday I have some appointments, and I HAVE to leave the house. My brother agreed to drive me, so that makes it a little better, but I'm still so scared. Today was my 11th day of Celexa, it hasn't fully kicked in yet. I have 3 days left of the back-up Xanax, which I've had to take every day. Any tips for getting through the next two days? Thanks in advance.

 
Old 06-13-2010, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: I need some advice, any tips?

Hi there, so sorry to hear you are having these troubles. I myself used to have them, so I understand where you're coming from. you're probably pretty stressed about having to leave the house, aren't you? worrying about all the preparation it will take, how long you will have to be out.. I know how it goes.

Try your best to breathe deeply. Deep breathing exercises helped me tremendously, and I think they will be of help to you too. (Try starting to do them at night when you're relaxed and attempting sleep.) Breathe in deep, as deeply as you can through your nose, and let the air out as slowly as you can out of your mouth. Do this as many times as you need to so you can relax.

Having your brother drive you will make you feel at least a little more comforted when you go. I've found having someone you know with you makes it all so much easier.

As for Celexa, don't give up on it just get. Some medicines take a while to kick in, and they work differently in everyone. Give the medicine a month or two to start affecting you more strongly.

To get through the next few days and beyond: Find your safe place. Create a place for yourself, maybe your room, where you can go to relax and feel comforted. Fill it with things that make you feel good and make you happy (pictures, movies, books, anything). Consider this your safe haven when you need to escape from the anxiety. Over time, slowly start to incorporate pieces of your safe place into other rooms, into your life outside the house. You need to make a transition and having these memories of comfort will make it easier on you.

Best of luck-- really rooting for you,
Bright
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:41 PM   #3
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Re: I need some advice, any tips?

I actually just posted something the other day on the Panic Disorder boards about developing agoraphobia, the "fear of the market." It sounds somewhat similar for what you are going through! Although I do leave the house for work, I have developed a crippling fear of strangers and certain places. I force myself to go, but then I feel awful and scared! I absolutely can't stand going to the grocery store. Anytime a person tells hello or looks at me, I get very, very anxious. I usually try to guard myself with my shopping cart so people will leave me alone, and I feel so safe when I get back to my car in my own personal space. I honestly think I developed this because it's been a very stressful year, and I've also been bothered by a handful of men while I was alone outside, walking to a gym. After being bothered with inappropriate looks and comments, I get so nervous and don't want to deal with that.

I can tell you from experience, it helps a LOT to go places with others, so this is great that you won't be going alone! In fact, when I'm places with a group, I can relax and feel like myself! It will help you a lot to be with a person you trust.

For now, try your best to not think about the appointment and instead, try to just relax at home. Do normal things at home and when the topic comes up about leaving, don't think about it too hard. I can't let myself THINK about being anxious or it just gets worse and worse. This might be silly, but it helps me to try to distract myself with playing on my phone (if I'm not the driver) or listening to fun music if I'm going someplace I'm anxious about. Try to make it as comfortable an experience as possible. Also, set aside a reward for going afterwards. Sometimes something simple and free, like a nice nap or a bubble bath, is something for me to look forward to.

I like the idea of gradual changes. I try to do this as well, although I will probably look into seeing a therapist for more help. I like to go along with a friend or my husband to a place I usually don't like. I feel like it's a big step if I can go and feel okay, even if I'm not alone. Sometimes I try to smile or say hello to strangers in my work buildling to push myself. I don't like talking to strangers, but I feel like the people in my work building aren't complete strangers since we're all here with the same company. It's like a middle ground.

Also, definitely breathe slowly... as suggested above! I like yoga and pilates to clear my mind, and sometimes I do just have to take a breather!

Best of luck to you!

 
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