ANXIETY

Panic Disorder – asking for help

The panicking about having another panic attack continued. I felt low about myself and angry at myself for succumbing to the panic and missing my friends hen party and now her wedding. Another of my friends was getting married in a few weeks and I knew I needed help to be able to go. So I went back to the doctors and asked for help. I explained what had been happening since the last time I saw him and my symptoms of a panic attack. He agreed with the doctor at the hospital who said it was panic disorder. He offered me tablets but after my experience of taking propranolol, I never wanted to take tablets again. I asked if I had could have another course of CBT.

In the meantime, while waiting for my CBT to start I tried my own techniques and my husband helped me. Every time I felt a panic attack coming on I would try to distract myself or if that didn’t work I would lie in a quiet room with a YouTube calm down video on.

During this time, it was my other friends wedding. Me and my husband were going and we were staying in a hotel very close to the venue with a group of my friends (including my friend whose wedding I had missed and her husband). I was nervous about seeing her as I felt so bad about missing her wedding, I had wanted to be there so much. I managed this wedding ok. We set off in plenty of time to ensure we had time for me to stop and use a toilet if needed. I had my water, diarrhoea tablets and listened to music to distract me. For the actual wedding I made sure to sit on an aisle seat so that I could leave quickly if I needed too, but I was determined not to miss another friends wedding. I wouldn’t say I was relaxed during the service, but I was able to enjoy seeing my friends get married. I also knew that they knew all about my panic attacks and they would understand if I had to run out, which made me feel more at ease. The party bit of the wedding was great and I ate my delicious three course meal and even enjoyed a dance. But later through the night, the music suddenly got to me. The loud bass suddenly made me feel very panicky, and I told my husband we needed to go back to the hotel as I could feel a panic attack coming on. All our friends tried to get us to stay but I knew I couldn’t. Walking back to the hotel my husband had to basically carry me. I was shaking so much and just couldn’t hold my own weight. We got back to the room and led on the bed, my husband was trying to distract me and he put a YouTube video on his phone but it wasn’t really helping. My breathing was getting faster, he decided to get me in the shower to try and cool me and calm me. This worked a bit and after he distracted me with playing cards. But the thought of staying in a hotel overnight was frightening, as the last time I had done that I had ended up in hospital with a panic attack and I had thought I was going to die.

I did try and stay but my mind wasn’t having it. So we decided it was best to drive home. I hadn’t been drinking (as it makes my panic worse, so I was able to drive home).

 

Even though I hadn’t managed to stay out overnight I hadn’t missed my friends wedding so I was proud of myself for that and I had had a good time at the wedding.

ANXIETY

My Graduation nerves

Tomorrow is my graduation from my Foundation Degree. Three years ago when I first started my degree I did not think I would ever attend a graduation. Even the first day of uni was hard. I remember feeling very anxious about starting, especially thinking about whether I will need the toilet during a lesson. I was worried that I would have a panic attack. As soon as I arrived and was sat in the class waiting for the lesson to start, I started panicking. So I got up to leave, but the tutor (the best tutor iv ever had who has supported me so much throughout my degree) stopped me and asked me if I was ok. We went into a private area and I explained about my anxiety and panic attacks and also my IBS. She said I was not to worry and if I needed to leave the classroom at any point then that was fine and to just come back when I was ready. This made me feel so much better and I was able to get through my first day without having to leave the classroom.

Now three years later and my anxiety is a lot more under control due to my Sertraline and also the tips I have learnt from counselling and making sure I explain to people how I feel, which always makes me feel better as I know if I have to leave they understand why. I am looking forward to my graduation tomorrow. I am still nervous as I do not like being in rooms that are hot and packed full of people and I am also very nervous about walking across the stage. What if I fall? (which is quite likely for me as I am pretty clumsy) What if I laugh at a bad time? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I don’t hear my name being called? What is going to happen?

But I am pretty sure that all these thoughts are normal for anyone about to graduate. Surely no one feels completely calm and happy in these situations. I know I have my uni friends to support me and I will support them and hopefully we will all be able to celebrate our success.