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Panic Attack In Shopping Centre

Discussion in 'Anxiety, Panic & Hypervigilance' started by sheree71, Apr 1, 2007.

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  1. sheree71

    sheree71 Member

    I was at a familiar shopping centre. It wasn't crowded or overly noisy, which are my two triggers. Yet after about an hour and a half the whole place started spinning. I felt like I was going to throw up and pass out. I blacked out on the way home and slept for about an hour when I got home. My agrophobia has got worse lately, that's why I haven't posted. My meds have increased. I am so tired all the time. I'm not allowed to drink due to the increase in medication. It's not even a week but I miss it. All my crutches have been taken and I'm cowering in the corner. If I had private health cover, I would check myself in for a little break. Hubby has been wonderful. Plus this is going to be the first mother's day where I have done absolutely nothing for her. I was going to send a blank card, but don't even want to acknowledge her. I am spinning.
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  3. willing

    willing Active Member

    Just breathe. Seriously, Breathe. My therapist said is I breathe deeply during my anxiety attacks it won't get really bad. Gosh I feel for you. Do you have to go away to do the internet? I so you might want to journal. Journalling for me helps slow my spinning head. Sometimes I just have to do the points as they hit because they come too fast and once they are all down then I can try and focus on the ones that are really eating at me. Sound like you mom is not good for you? Just wish her the best day. That is a good one I used many times. As far as spinning keep one foot firmly planted on the ground and know that I am sending you calming thoughts.
    Take care,
  4. slhlilbit

    slhlilbit Active Member

    I dont know if everyone that has Ptsd has this problem but i do. When i go any where at one point i get the panic attack's. i dont know what triggers it but it happens and when i start to feel it i have to go. i get out of the situation as fast as i can. Breathing and concentrating on just breathing helps. hang in there learning to deal with it is hard, but can be done.
  5. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Crowds are things that I have liked less and less the older I've gotten...now there something that if I'm not prepared for, can really blow me away with anxiety attacks.

    Like Patty and slhlilbit, I've learned when I feel an attack coming on to get away (even if it's just for a moment) from what's triggering me and breath my way through it. I've found if you fight it, it just makes it worse as it triggers more of the 'flight or fight' response.

    Just this weekend there was a big airshow in town (I grew up going to airshows and really enjoy them) and I even thought about going until I heard the prediction of more than 50,000 people there. OK...not yet, not this year, but maybe next year. One good thing about the word 'yet'...there's a world of possibilities in it.
  6. PTSDd_Off

    PTSDd_Off Member

    Yeah - I get this too - my psychiastrist has diagnosed it as Panic Disorder (which isn't so much a direct link to PSTD - rather an additional condition - ie: I have PTSD overlaid with Panic Disorder). I don't suffer from claustrophobia but it feels that this comes pretty close when in a shopping centre, place with a tightly grouped large gathering.
  7. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    I have troubles with crowds and shopping centres as well. I pretty much avoid shopping centres at this point, too many triggers and too much stimulation. I would get an anxiety attack definitely, I've had them in the past from being in crowds. In my case however I don't believe it's panic disorder, rather just one of the symptoms of my PTSD, as I never had trouble with crowded areas before my trauma occurred.
  8. Sabira

    Sabira New Member

    Firstly, I'd like you to be patient and tolerant, because my English isn't very good ;-) I didn't have diagnosed PTSD, but because of too much sense of danger, I was in a very strange state. For about 2-3 months I felt anxious when I go out anywhere. My anxiety increased in a crowded places, like some streets, shoping centers, in every place, where was too many people and too close to me. I've never had a typical panic attack, but once I was in a shopinc center. It was when my anxiety was very much (short time after those stressfull incidents), but in that time I feel almost good and everything was OK. I was going in a corridor and a security guard, who was staying there, was called by somebody and he suddenly turned back in my direction. I don't know how to explain it, but my organism produced so much adrenaline that my heart started beating very fast. I was gradually getting over and tried to calm down myself.
  9. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    Welcome to the forum Sabira. :)
  10. PTSDd_Off

    PTSDd_Off Member

    Hi and welcome.

    I had this same response and couldn't associate it on my own - I didn't know what was happening to me. A very helpful introduction to PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and the 'fight or flight' response is available on www.wikepedia.com

    It's true that PTSD isn't necessarily associated with Panic Disorder (at least under the definitions provided by DSM IV and are conditions in their own right but when you think about it - they've all got to originate from some traumatic event otherwise you wouldn't react the way you do in certain situations. Something in your life has affected you sufficiently enough to cause you to respond in this way. The problem now is that that event is now being triggered.

    Breathing through it does help but, as you know, the need to run to safety is strong. I find that if I head to a quiet corner or the toilet and just breath through it it helps. Above all - try to control the processing of the brain through all this - by this I mean:

    1. Acknowledge that this feeling has switched on.
    2. Acknowldege that it's your brain has switched on this feeling and that the brain is controlling this process.
    3. Acknowledge that the response being activated is the 'fight or flight' response.
    4. Acknowledge that the adreneline pumping through your system takes appproximately 3 seconds for the 'round trip'.
    5. Acknowledge that you will need to balance out the rush of adrenaline with an increase in oxygen to the brain by controlled breathing.
    6. Tell your brain throughout this process that there is nothing to fear and that this is the result of an old experience.
    7. Be kind to yourself - do not berate yourself for experiencing this response - it's all part of being a special human being.
    8. Reward yourself for successfully dealing with the situation.

    Y'know - on that last point, I used to punish myself for this experience until I suddenly realised that this experience is actually quite beautiful in that we are learning so much about ourselves, we have an opportunity to grow and develop at a far deeper level than those who don't experience this.

    I guess there's two ways to look at the same thing and, as the old saying goes "every cloud has a silver lining".
  11. moki

    moki Guest

    As I've gotten older, I have more and more anxiety in crowded places, esp. symphonys, concert hall type places where I have to be seated with hundreds of other people. (but not movie theaters, love them!) I also have trouble at crowded parties and always go to the place of the house where hardly anyone is. Just can't stand the anxiety.

    My husband said he used to envy my ability to 'work the room' at a party, but this is a thing of the past. Just the thought of going to a big party is no fun at all. I just go to be there with him, but he doesn't usually hang out with me anyway, why should he? He's there to talk to people and socialize.

    When the olympics were here, I had a hard time going to the downtown main area, soooo crowded, but exciting right? Only for about 15 min. for me.
  12. porkyrees

    porkyrees Member

    Sheree,I get to a point in supermarkets where I even feel like assaulting old ladies.To combat this I usually drop my groceries and leave.My counsellor has told me to go to the nearest park and sit and relax then go back and give it another go.What I am doing now is I buy minimal items and instead of going to the fast lane I wait in the normal checkout and try to hold my patience it does work and you get respect from the checkout women.Porky Rees
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