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    Old 09-04-2006, 11:23 AM   #1
    kennyken
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    exercise induced panic

    I don't know if I belong here or the panic disorder board, I've been on paxil twice in my life, and I don't really know if I've had a specific diagnoses of GAD or what. Sometimes my anxiety can go away for up to a year, but it has recently come back with a vengence. Sometimes it never culminates into an attack, it just seems to loom over me, sometimes for up to a week. The attacks I can deal with(usually) but the chronic anxiety is the most frustrating thing.

    Ok, recently I've lost 45 lbs. I turned 30 in April and I started to get paranoid about my health. I've been losing about 2.5 lbs a week since. I eat very healthy. I've also recently quit snuff(like chewing tobacco),it's been 10 days. I'm trying to take care of my body, so I really want to excercise more. This is where my problem comes into play. Everytime I do any strenuous excercise, I get unbearable anxiety( the pace around the room shaking kind). I've been walking and I can do it fairly strenuously. I estimate a speed between 4-5 mph, so I'm moving, but if I do just ten push ups I turn into a complete disaster. I don't understand this at all and I hate this. With the weight loss I really need some sort of weight training. I'm just looking for some advice, some understanding(no one in my life understands at all, Some say"get over it"). How many people experience anxiety this way? I thought excercise is supposed to help. I don't want to go on meds again, I hated Paxil(both times).
    I just want to thank the people here for sharing their stories as I have come here in the midst of really bad axiety attacks and it has helped so much.

     
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    Old 09-04-2006, 11:56 AM   #2
    CircusSquirrel
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    Re: exercise induced panic

    Some people develop fear of exercise because they misinterpret normal bodily symptoms during exercise for a harmful symptom or a panic symptom (ex. increased heart rate, shortness of breath, muscle tightness, etc.). If you're ok with your walking (and that's a pretty fast pace! It takes me almost an hour to RUN 5 miles!) and it's just the strength training/push-up stuff, don't sweat it. Your body just has to adjust to it. Those exercises make everyone's body feel like jelly and that probably just causes you to feel even more shaky and nervous. It sounds like you're in pretty good health. As long as your doc gave you the all-clear at the beginning of this anxiety stuff, I wouldn't worry. Just make yourself keep doing the exercises and your body will grow more accustomed and you'll also be doing "exposure therapy" thereby desensitizing yourself to the feelings that make you anxious. JMHO. Take care.

     
    Old 09-04-2006, 12:06 PM   #3
    kennyken
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    Re: exercise induced panic

    Your so right, I've let this build up into a phobia. I know it makes no sense that I could walk like that(I'm 6'3, so I have a long stride) and not be able to do 10 push ups, but even though I know it is irrational, it always seems rational at the time. Hmm, you run 5 miles at a time? thats real good. Have you ever had trouble with anxiety while running? Like when you first started? I would love to run, but it's the same thing as with the push ups, something about walking is comforting to me, when I run, somehow I feel like I will have a heart attack.

     
    Old 09-04-2006, 12:53 PM   #4
    pinkeye
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    Re: exercise induced panic

    I had the same thing. The only to get rid of it is to overexpose yourself in order to defuse the anxious thoughts. Overexposure will actually build your confidence over time and your anxious thoughts will become white noise.

     
    Old 09-04-2006, 03:46 PM   #5
    Icy
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    Re: exercise induced panic

    Well, Truthfully the push ups may provoke anxiety due to not breathing correctly which can many you little headed and then you start to panic. When you go down inhale and when you push up exhale. Don't worry about even if you 'exagerate' the breathing it might seem a little weird but it is better for you and it might help.

    Mostly everything else has been covered..

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 08:36 AM   #6
    CircusSquirrel
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    Re: exercise induced panic

    I definitely have anxiety when I run sometimes, but overall, the running really helps. I haven't been running much lately, I've been suffering a separate health ailment. I was definitely very anxious to start running, especially because my main anxiety fear is having a heart attack or heart arrhythmia. I'm a 31 year old woman who's heart has been checked out, but I have strange symptoms like left arm/jaw pressure and skippy heart beats, but those have been coming and going for quite some time. Anyhow, I gradually built up my mileage, I'd have a few skipped heart beats along a run sometimes and sometimes I'd have a bodily sensation that made me wonder if I were just going to keel over, then it would pass and I'd feel normal again. Overall, though, I think vigorous exercise gives people like us more confidence in our bodies' abilities to function normally. There will be some fear and some scary moments, but if you're in good health (and it sounds as if you are), then keep at the exercise. If you want to start running, I'd recommend a good walk/jog combo to start. There's one called C25K or Couch to 5K. It's a 9 week (I think) program that can take a person from off the couch to running a 5K. You've already got a head start since you walk so much, you're definitely not starting from the couch, so that would be a good way to break into running. Take care, the more you keep at it the more your brain will realize anxiety is just trying to trick it.

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 06:33 PM   #7
    smurfy33
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    Re: exercise induced panic

    I have had the same problems. I recently joined the gym. I heard exercise was good for anxiety so my goal was to alleviate some anxiety but all the exercise did was cause a panic attack! It was horrible. I guess I pushed it too much. Now I just do a brisk walk for 20 minutes or so and it causes no anxiety. I plan on increasing my time and pace. Eventually I'd like to do some strenghth training but that will be a long way down the road. Good luck to you!

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 09:01 PM   #8
    bynobody
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    Re: exercise induced panic

    Well think of it this way. Anxiety is basically fight or flight response. When you run, or walk fast, or bike or whatever, you are ACTING on that response. So its no wonder your body responds in kind.

    Proper breathing is extremely important for all exercise. Take slow deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth while exercising. Try as hard as you can to keep a constant rhythm no matter how bad you want to let go and just gasp. Gasping will make you panic.

    Try this, or low key exercise like Tai-Chi for improved breathing techniques. It helps me EVERY time.

    I have to exercise 3-5 times a week to keep my anxiety in control. When I first started, I did the gasping thing, and I found afterward my anxiety was really high, but then it would just DIE, after like 10 minutes of calming my body down, and I felt great.

    Try it, Im sure it will work.

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 10:20 PM   #9
    M.G.
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    Re: exercise induced panic

    Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome (MVPS) is a common catalyst for anxiety/panic, and can be triggered by exertion.

    You may want to see if that's creating your anxiety. I think it's a relatively benign condition, and it may put your mind at ease if that's the root cause.

     
    Old 09-06-2006, 12:06 PM   #10
    SoccerDad
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    Re: exercise induced panic

    Definitely! I've had Anxiety Disorder for several months. I have lost about 40 pounds, cleaned up my diet (no stimulants, low fat, low sodium), and run about 15-20 miles a week. The running is great, but I have to be careful how I breathe or how hard I push it when I run or it will seem to induce a panic attack (not always, but sometimes). Also, if I run in the morning and then do some other strenuous work later in the day, that can do it as well. It's weird, and I don't think it's psychological. So I just try to walk the fine line of as much exercise as possible (but not too much).

     
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