Anxiety Community
After reading a post on here....
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to generalized anxiety, anxiety and eating, anxiety and sleeping, mood swings, panic attacks and panic disorders.

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After reading a post on here....

I am now starting to wonder if I have dealt with anxiety for longer than I thought. I was reading that someone felt dizzy and plugged up ears, ect. I had suffered from vertigo back in 2004 and then never had it again. About 4 months ago, I had felt vertigo feelings again and then a blocked right ear for 5 days with ringing and dizziness. Last month, I went into a panic attack while driving feeling like I couldn't breathe. I went to the ER. They said it was caused by anxiety and hyperventilation. After reading that post...I now wonder if I have been suffering longer than a month?? Anyone that can help me? I also take Buspar and it was working for a while and now this week, I have had more panic attacks and anxiety. I also have Xanax when needed...but I am trying yoga and also trying to do alternative activities to keep my mind off of it so I won't have to take Xanax. I am also having trouble at night falling asleep sometimes. Either that, or I will wake up in a panic! If I take Xanax for a couple days in a row, and not take it for a while will that cause me to have anxiety or withdraw? Or is it withdraw only if you are on it for a long time?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello,

In your particular case it would be a good idea to go to your doctors and they can get you an appointment with a counsillor or therapist. That's the best cure for anxiety.

I'm not sure about the drugs though, I take differen't one's so you'll have to wait for someone else to reply to that.

Thanks

- John -
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510814_tn?1213268575
Yes, I have an appointment scheduled with a a therapist on the 18th. I am just trying to figure out if this is normal for the medicine to not be effective anymore. Just so confused at all of this!
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Avatar_m_tn
Taking Xanax on an as-needed basis should not result in addiction/withdrawls.  If you take it once a day for two days, and then not the next day, you really should have nothing to worry about.

Yes it's possible you have had anxiety for longer than you think, but it wasn't diagnosed until the panic attack, I think that's what happened with me.

Yoga and therapy are all good.  Probably nothing that gets your heart rate up TOO much because that can trigger panic in some people ("Why is my heart racing?  Am I having another panic attack?").  You can also look online for books to read, I have read several books dealing with anxiety and panic attacks and I feel better with each one I read.  

RE: Trouble falling asleep, maybe you can get a relaxation CD (or MP3) to listen to while you are in bed winding down for the night.  I have an MP3 of the ocean that I listen to on repeat (with headphones so it doesn't disturb my GF) while I am falling asleep.  It's very relaxing and keeps my mind from focusing on any anxious thoughts about the day or future events.

Good luck!
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510814_tn?1213268575
Thank you so much for your comment amish1979. I will look into reading a book online...that would be good for me since I am barely starting to learn about anxiety. It's scary when you don't know what is happening to you. My first attack was while driving and raining. Things that never bothered me before and now, I am scared to drive or be out when it's raining....I don't want to become a hermit and shield myself from the world...just finding it hard to get through a single day!
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Avatar_m_tn
My first was while driving too, well I was sitting in traffic on a bridge downtown, and had no way to escape!

You are right, you don't want to shield yourself from the world.  Your mind is probably telling you to shield yourself because that is the only way to keep the panic from happening.  That's what we all tell ourselves.  BUT...that is the completely wrong thing to do!  Once you give your panic that kind of power, it will find other situations to make you panic, and then you'll avoid those situations, and then it will move onto something else, and then you'll avoid that thing.   And this will continue until you pretty much ARE a hermit.

Hell, my PA's (panic attacks) had me convinced that I'd have one just from sitting on the toilet. (okay this is the first time I have ever mentioned that!)  Can you imagine the discomfort of letting THAT take over your thoughts.  I mean, there's not really any way to avoid THAT situation.  So I dealt with it.  The first few times, yes I did get into a panic whilst doing my business.  But after a while I realized that despite the panic attacks, I wasn't being hurt, I wasn't in danger, and eventually I won that battle and no longer felt and anxiety going into that situation.  That's how we have to treat each of our panic triggers.  

And now I'm completely embarrassed having put that out there.
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510814_tn?1213268575
don't be embarrassed! I had a panic attack Sunday night while playing mario kart on Nintendo Wii. Holding that steering wheel controller made me feel like I was actually in a car and I freaked out! Now that is something! At least we can find humor in this all and exactly what I need...to laugh! So were you scared to drive after that? Any help would be appreciated as my husband just bought me a new car last week and I haven't even driven it around town yet! *****!
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Avatar_m_tn
Soon after that PA I went out and got myself a new car and that helped a bit.  Yes I am still terrified of driving in traffic because I haven't addressed that fear.  I drive to work every day, have no problems driving really.  But if I end up in traffic....oh GOD my heart starts pounding and I get the tunnel-vision, hands get sweaty, etc. and I just have to get off at the next exit.  

I do everything I can to avoid traffic, and I especially avoid that section of the freeway where my first PA happened.

THIS IS UNHEALTHY BEHAVIOR!  I do realize that, but the feeling of no escape I get sitting in traffic is making it hard for me to work through that fear of driving in traffic.  Eventually I will need to spend a lot of time in traffic if I want to get over this source of anxiety.  It has also spiraled into a fear of flying because "What if I have a panic attack on the plane and can't escape?"  Ugh, it's all so frustrating.

So I can do the day-to-day driving, that's not a source of anxiety for me.  It's the traffic that kills me.

For you, you get panicky driving period?  That would be a tough one!  You can't go anywhere!

It starts with baby steps, just a trip around the block in your new ride.  Then maybe a couple blocks.  And every day you go a little further, despite your head telling you that something terrible is going to happen if you drive!  That's really the only way to get through the driving fear.
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396099_tn?1216258586
Hi,  I spend more time in sub-abuse-recovery forum but the anxiety phase of my recovery is starting to take over as my main concern.  Just out of curiosity, what is it about driving a car?  I've had 2 significant panic attacks since getting clean and both were while driving.  The usual.  Thought I was having a heart attack and drove myself right to the ER on the first one.  No heart probem  just anxiety.  I'll have anxiety in lots of situations but it's only ever really gone over the topwhile I was driving.  This seems to happen to a lot of folks.  Is it that you're over stimulated with the task at hand ?

Just curious.  Thanks.
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531684_tn?1216749584
Hi, I'm new. I also suffer from frequent panic attacks. Actually, I get them all day. Mine are normally from breathing... I have lots of nasal problems. But, cars get me going. I think it's the feeling that you are not in control.

Read "A New Earth". I think it really helps. The message is about how to slip into the now. Panic is pervasive if we are living in the past or future. A simple way to slip into the now while driving is to pay attention to how your hands feel on the wheel. "Feel" it. Not look at it, obviously,.,. don't want to get into an accident. Sit up straight and concentrate on posture. It's funny, but panicy drivers are also very good drivers despite what you may think. Just try to lighten up and think about feeling, seeing, smelling, breathing, ect. May help you out.
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510814_tn?1213268575
Thank you to all who responded. I hope to get over my fear of driving. I can handle driving around the corner by myself to the store or gas station, but I have a hard time thinking I can just get in the car and go! It's not just that, either....I had a panic attack the day we bought a new car and I was in the passenger seat while my husband was driving. So, being in a car in general scares me. I am dreading August when my family moves back to the west coast and we will be driving across country! That should be interesting!! Or at least a test to see how strong I am! I don't care what any doctor says...when you are driving and having a panic attack or having one in your home or where ever....when someone tells you to "just breathe"...that makes no sense to anyone suffering!

Hoping to have a better day tomorrow...I guess it really can't get any worse!
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah it doesn't really matter who's driving for me, in fact I think I do a better job when it's me driving.  At least that way I feel somewhat in control.  But wow you are going to be driving cross-country?  I used to LOVE doing road trips across the country with my brothers, I hope I get that passion for driving back again.

I'm sure once you get past the initial anxiety (mainly the anticipatory anxiety) you will do fine on your cross-country drive.  Maybe get a prescription for some as-needed medication from your doc just in case?
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Avatar_f_tn
I haven't driven since 2003. Drove 33 years, no accidents, no tickets. I went blind in one eye due to a stroke and my world has been on a downhill slide since that year. (A lot went on that year and still is)

Anyway, even sitting in the passenger seat (on the 'have-to' trips to the dr's), I have to have a paperbag in one hand and my Ativan in the other. I am agoraphobic because of anxiety (and everything else) so, please drive! Losing that one little bit of independence is just the beginning. And it happens in a New York second making that decision of not doing something that causes (or maybe won't) anxiety. It will take months that turn into years before you realize it. You look back on it and think "it can't be that long since I've gone someplace".

Please get a very compassionate person in your life to hear what you go through (REALLY hear you) and get the help you need now, please.

Don't turn out like me, please?
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510814_tn?1213268575
Good news you guys...I actually got in the car and drove myself to the store yesterday. I know it might sound like a minor accomplishment...but I have not driven by myself in a long time! I am proud of myself for what I did and I brought the Xanax with me, but didn't need it. I am going to continue to stay positive and hopefully drive a little more each day! Thank you to all who has read my thoughts on here! I was also a good driver, never an accident or ticket...I have been driving far too long to be scared to now. Now that is the exact thinking I need to tell myself! Feeling better today! I hope this positive energy lasts through the whole day!
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Avatar_m_tn
Put earplugs in your ears while driving....you may be suprised.
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