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Shuting Down - Anxiety Is Overwhelming

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:wall: I have noticed this week that I, once again have started to shut down. My nightmares have come back. I hate that. they cause me to wake up in a panic, I spent 3 hours sitting out on my deck in the middle of the night on Monday. I couldn't be inside because I was afraid of going back to sleep and having any more.

I had a panic attack Monday morning at work, luckily, I work in a doctor's office, so I grabbed the oxygen, and caught it before I got too bad. I really feel like I am going crazy.

I don't want to shut down, I know it's more healthy to put it out there and be able to heal than to bottle it up to fester. How do I not shut down? I am open to any suggestions.
I can only suggest what I do when things are getting too much for me.

Maybe a big part is being organized?
I'm not saying you aren't.
But I know when I get overwhelmed just sorting out a physcial mess sometimes makes me feel a whole lot better
(ex: appointments/meetings written on one main calender/schedule, going through piled up mail, dumping my messy purse and organizing it)
Or writing out a To-Do list, that way I can stop thinking about what has to be done, and just try and get that "me time" when I'm entitled to.
I know I sleep alot better after I get one section of my life organized/cleaned up.

Also... It may sound silly... but I play any simple mind/strategy game
For example Soduko... (I usually play the easy rated games)
When I find myself just sitting in my living room/kitchen/bedroom/basement dazed and too overwhelmed to just function... I either go online or grab the pen and paper version.

It distracts me... and sometimes thats all I need right then.
Just to get away from all the thoughts/worries/nightmares/fears for a little while.
And 10-20 min later when/if I finish the puzzle,
my self esteem is a little higher
My mind had a mini break (even though it was thinking hard... it was thinking about something productive!)

Or try to find a hobby/activity that you can do when you can't sleep.
I've played games/weeded my lawn/cleaned the house/painted/redecorated/walked my dog at times when I couldn't sleep.
LOL, it didn't matter if it was 3:00 in the morning or not.

Just try to take it easy,
don't be too hard on yourself, you're not going crazy.
I'm not saying that because I don't believe you feel crazy at times... because I was convinced I was a nut job until I realized I wasn't alone with my thoughts and fears.

My best advice?
Share your thoughts on here.
Babble if you need to.

Fear of sleep really really really sucks
I've been there, and I understand what you're talking about.

Take care of yourelf Anna
My mind had a mini break (even though it was thinking hard... it was thinking about something productive!)

I think you've got it right there YA. Do something that keeps you engaged (sorry -teaching term creeping in!), it will stop you dwelling on things. A strategy I use whe things are really going pear shaped is writing out everything that's bothering me, then going for a walk. Reading it back afterwards is often an eye-opener and I usually manage to form some plan of action from it.

Even getting on here and ranting might help....

Take care of yourself.
Have you ever sat back to let the attack have you? Not get through it or ride it out, but let it just have you and say do your worst? Let the fear go rampant if it wants? Knowing you are safe, and key is knowing you are even though so much fear is happening at the same time, you have to convince yourself you are OK. It is very hard to understand and harder to employ. Practice practice is needed. But I got to a point that I can normally do this. And normally, not always, it makes it easier to get through and quicker to get through.

I am just so sick of this one cartoon the kids are obsessed with that it grinds my nerves as they play it over and over... and I want to throw the TV out a window. Seriously I do. But instead I bite my tounge it triggers an attack, go figure I am still working on anger, still don't get why the littlest thing makes me want to blow. Instead I go lay in a hot tub and was hit with a huge one, I decide OK take me, (I am at a friends house at the time as my well is still out and needed a bath) I swear I had a curve ball, I never understood "unreality" "things not real" I froze in fear as this was a new symptom I had been fortunate not to have, until tonight, I could not even explain the bizarre sensations to my husband as I did not even get it. Scared me so damn bad it wasn't funny as I thought I had lost it for real this time. I never felt that sensation which of course triggered another attack. I did the same thing and it help subside. It is hard to do but once you get there once it makes it a lot easier to repeat.

And wouldn't oxygen make you pass out during an attack? I hypervenilate and when they put that on me my world is turned upside down! Head spins damn near off my shoulders, I could not rip that off fast enough, but everyone does not have the same symptoms during attacks though... I wish you the best of luck, it is a rough road and people are here for you.
I would be an avid supporter of riding it out myself also veiled... well said. But that is only one of the many options, and not always suitable to all.

Panic attacks are a cause of anxiety. So... what is making you anxious to begin with? Anxiety is very much the mental side of PTSD, and very much a mind over matter event, though one must learn to identify, then control their mind once again, so that anxiety no longer exists to the level of panic.

You need to analyze to repair. You need to document to analyze. When you have a panic attack, you need to write it down, and try and find what you perceive to be the reason for the anxiety, as lets face it, its not panic in real terms, its an anxiety attack. Panic attack is just a shortened, more common term.

For anxiety to raise to an immediate level to attack, something needs to trigger it. What is the trigger, or cause? Did you actually trigger the attack yourself by merely over analyzing what you where doing? Have you over analyzed having to attend something? Are you trying to analyze why you dreamt about "x" last night? The list goes on and on.

Whilst the trauma is the cause of some of these reactions of ours, the mere fact that PTSD is now prevalent, means that our anxiety levels are raised above that a person without PTSD.

Even if you take your mind off panic attacks as such for the time being, ride them out as you are, and concentrate on your trauma aspects, you will find that your anxiety will automatically decrease as your fear from trauma diminishes, thus you just realize one day, "crap, I haven't had a panic attack in weeks." Why? Because your overall anxiety and stress levels are decreasing from the trauma therapy.

You can concentrate on all symptoms at once, or go hit the main player, then when the storm settles after a month or six, see what's left to tackle individually as smaller issues.
veiled said:
Have you ever sat back to let the attack have you? Not get through it or ride it out, but let it just have you and say do your worst? Let the fear go rampant if it wants?
That sounds like the scariest thing I have ever thought about. I have issues about not being in control of my own body. So I feel like I have to not let myself freak out. I may try it one of these days, I'll let you know.

I am confused about someething, I have fits of rage that feel every bit out of control of my actions as I am in an anxiety attack. I scream and yell very irrationally. Nothing anyone says or does makes it better, and I feel like everything is a joke on me. I feel positively stupid when I finally stop. I trash entire days for my family when this happens, but I can't seem to stop it when it's happening.

What I am asking is are these forms of anxiety attacks? I am tired of the roller coaster.

Yes I am trying to find a therapist that will work with my financial situation, I can't do this anymore without one.
Anna, are you tkaing any medication? Im not saying it to use as a mask I was wondering because its helped the physical symptoms for me for the most part. I wonder here lately if my dosage needs to increase as the shoulder and chest pain have started again. I have been stressed out and I yelled at my kids atleast once for the past 3 days. I tried talking nicely at first a few times and they arent listening lately as mom has not been as functioning as she use to be. I understand they are dealing with me too.

For me, the anxiety is already building up when I have outbursts. I held so much in for so long, its all coming out now. My patience and tolerance is nil for any BS.

My kids are gone for a littel over a week. Im nervous. This is the first time since I dont know when I have not been without a kid for this amount of time ...cuz I always took care of my younger borther before I left home at 16 years old and babysat other kids, then had my first son right after i turned 17. I have 4 children now. 2 have left home and 2 still at home which are the ones gone for the 8 or 9 days. I have had 3 days without kids but usually was going somewhere with other people and/or a BF or husband and I have had an occasional couple weekends for a few years without anyone with me which was at a time when I was rather content with myself after being sober for about 3 years. THIS is a bit scary and exciting at the same time. If I didnt have to work, i would be at the shore with a good book soaking up as much sun, waves and ocean aroma as I would be able to handle. I am off Sunday and Monday BUT the funds arent really there for me to blow either.

Its time to go to work now. I hope everyone has a wonderful day/evening according to wherever you are located.


PS Anna: Find a therapist....I found one who is sliding scale since I lost my insurance....pray about it, God will put the one in your path....maybe not right away but it will happen.
That sounds like the scariest thing I have ever thought about. I have issues about not being in control of my own body. So I feel like I have to not let myself freak out. I may try it one of these days, I'll let you know

I think we all have that honestly. I am agree it isn't something suitable for all, sometimes you need a helping hand to get there. But the way I did it and was very scared when I finally decided to, but I felt I had no choice because the more I paniced it would just trigger another and another and would have them all day or to the point I was in ER getting shot up with dope on top of meds already on. Mine was 9-10 mg xanax a day with and still did not work, and I am down for 2 days now to 4 mg a day!

My major fear showed up on my porch and since I can't shoot him... Well my husband was there and he is too big a pussy to act like he does or threaten me when a man such as my husband is next to me. I told him where to get off and he left, with my big husband standing next to me with his arms crossed I am certain wishing he would try something with him there.

I started to stumble, dizzy, slurring, could not stand without help once he was gone, and shortly after a friend showed up to take all my kids as I decided this was the mother load of panic coming since he was a major component to my PTSD, talk about a trigger, my attacker who kidnapped, raped and almost killed me in my face. That always makes a womans day now doesn't it?

I had the kids removed as I did not want them to see what I thought lay ahead for me, they had seen so many attacks and this time I was hell bent on not ending up in ER no matter how bad. I layed down after looking at my chart of the sympathetic nervous system which give you all those sensations during fight or flight panic. (can give you a pic that was sent to me if it would help) Reassured myself this is a "normal" response and let it pass. I faced the fears, the thoughts, welcomed the panic did not fight it in any form or try to control it. Every time I fought it I lost so I welcomed it, said come on do your worst, I am ready to do this all night because I know I am safe, I know I would not die. I faced it and faced it down. THIS IS THE COOL PART!

Much to my amazement it did not worsen, did not spiral out of control like usual. It did the opposite of what I thought was in store. It started melting and was gone. I sat there in amazement, tired but amazed. I sat there thinking this it? That was all? The fear of doing it is what makes that step hard, once you do it you see it for what it is and easier to control, because you stop trying to control it. And this was while going through withdrawals to boot. This was a major turning point in my recovery, I could not believe my fear of losing it was what made it worse. You have to do your best to let the fear come and consume and it won't stay for long. It may not happen the first time and is helpful for me at first to have "coach" saying you know it only goes so far, let it have you, you know you are not dying.

Now I can be sitting somewhere have an attack and just need to be left alone for a few minutes for a break to let it have me and it goes... I still get many attacks daily but I use this and it works for me. I don't lose control 99% of the time. We had to average how many panic atacks I get for threapy a month, I get no less than 120 - 200 a month. And do not be surprised at a curve ball. My body said oh these symptoms are not working... try this one, and get something totally new a few times. I just had my first "unreality" symptom the other day, scared the hell out of me and lost it and triggered another attack until my husband said it is just another curve ball, let it have you and I did. Again it passed. I was tired as every time a new symptom shows. But then again attacks do give you a bit of a work out.

If I am sitting somewhere others are totally oblivious to my attacks now if they can't see my hands shaking, I have to tell my husband I need a few minutes, he looks at me and sees my pupils all huge and says oh your having an attack, OK. Like today, as always, I woke in an attack from a bad dream. Normally I don't remember dreams, just always wake up in an attack. I don't even know the last time I woke without my body in an attack. My 2 year old was bouncing on the bed this time while I slept and I called my husband, he looked at me and scooped her up saying my you got a good one your pupils are huge, we will leave you alone, my head was just pounding.

Only kickback I have from it is tension, my headaches have gotten worse so I am trying to learn relaxation, which is hard for me to do. A lot bottled up I am trying to share as my CBT guy told me to do.

As far as out bursts I can't say from my experience it is from an attack but mounting anxiety, but that is in my case as not every one is the same, from bottling up my thoughts. I am supposed to be telling my husband my intrusive thoughts now. Not pleasant... to say the least. Especially when I told him for the first time as we almost never have sex and it triggers an attack because when I normally do my mind goes to the rape, he loved hearing that! NOT. But I expolde at times, it isn't an attack though. From what I am being taught I hold too much in until I just erupt and it does not matter who is in my path. So that is my "home work" this week. My CBT guy told me when you share happy news with a loved one you double your happiness, when you share your grief and fears, you get it out and cut it in half.

I know, very long winded but I hope it can help you. Not everyone is in threapy, but no reason we cannot pass on what we who are in it are being told and learning, it may help others! I hope it helps you! Hugs!
annafennutchi said:
What I am asking is are these forms of anxiety attacks?

I answered this in the post directly above yours, but will say again to make sure you didn't miss it. Yes, panic attacks are anxiety. Call them what you will, but they are caused from anxiety.

Refer my previous post in this thread which asks all the questions and provides some answers.
The thing is that these don't feel at all like "panic attacks" I can only describe them as fits of rage. I guess what I am asking is, can anxiety attacks/panic attacks present differently or is this something else?

Thank you everyone for all your responses.
What your now asking is about anger I think. I think you may be looking at this the wrong way, between what a panic attack is vs. anger outbursts!

Give me an example of a time/s when you have a panic attack, and also anger / rage outbursts please.
Now that you say it, I think you are right...

When my panic attacks come on, it's like after a nightmare, or when I am alone and have a flashback, smell a related scent, I am startled. Sometimes they come on for no reason that I can conciously think of.

The anger outbursts happen in situations when I feel like I am being taken advantage of,being blamed for something I feel is not my fault, not being listened to, being patronized, or belittled. Keep in mind that these don't actually have to be the message being sent-it's only how I percieve it. I feel it comming, but somehow I can't stop it. Then after it starts there is no talking me down I have to let it run its corse.

These make me feel especially crazy because I see it happening but am unable to stop it.

This week I WILL find and make an appointment with a therapist!!!!!
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