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Cerebral Palsy and Issues with "open areas" help??
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Cerebral Palsy and Issues with "open areas" help??

Hi, I was born with Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy which affects my right side of the body. Very mild. I find very little issues when it comes to doing day to day things, just maybe be a little clumsy at times! My biggest issue is when I am in open areas. I have a very hard time staying calm, and collective when in "open areas" (such as, open fields, wide open grocerry aisles, the distance between a hotel, to the ocean etc) I get what I call panic attacks, but that wouldn't be the correct medical term. when I get this feeling from being in open areas it is not a phobia but it produces the same bodily sensation. When I am in an open space my body will tense up, my shoulders will rise too my neck and tighten up, I have a hard time swallowing, and breathing & I will clutch on to whatever is in my hand at the moment or just my hands in general. When this happens my inital reaction is to "get out" of the open area as quickly as possible, so I start to walk quicker. whether it be moving closer to the tree 20 feet ahead or just coming closer to something solid and physical to make the space, not so open i guess? once i for say get to the tree and its only 5 feet or so far from me, close in my view, I almost look at that to shield the view of the open-ness of the area I am in, and the "panicking" than is stopped, unless faced with another wide open area after, after passing the tree. if that makes any sense...Something in me thinks it has something to do with my vision and how i see things(though i am no doctor i could be wrong) as I have a lazy eye in my right eye. When this panic feeling is going on my eyes squint, and I try not to look with my right eye (the eye affected by the cp) I almost feel dizzy, but dizzy isn't the right word for this feeling. for example, when I'm in a groccery store if theres just one straight shot long aisle I get the tenseness or the panic when walking it alone, but when I walk with my father and the cart on one side of me, I'm completely fine. I walk faster when this is happening, I don't twitch or have trouble walking, but I find if I get into this panic feeling, and I start to walk faster and can't get out of the open area the tenseness keeps worsen, trying to get my body into a calm matter. if it gets this bad, I tend to feel like i am going to fall backwards, or faint but have never done either when this is happening. Has anyone heard of something of this nature with cerebral palsy? I can't find anything that's related to this, so im sorry my question is miles long but I'm really stuck in a rut here. and would just like to find a name that matches these symptoms, thank you so much for taking the time to read. any answer with ideas of what it could be would be appericated greatly.
5 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi! To me, it sounds as if it's a form of anxiety..social phobia perhaps? With the open space, I believe that it's something similar to the idea of "lacking control" over the situation...in narrow areas, you have better "control" for example, as opposed to a vast panoramic view.

Have you considered going to a psychologist? I know that with CP, controlling tension is not easy. Taking deep breaths is all you can do sometimes to help you have better control over the situation...
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Avatar_m_tn
I understand what your saying but i don't think it has anything to do with my mental thinking, I think it's more so a vision and nerve issue. you know what i mean?
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Avatar_f_tn
But didn't you say that you're with someone you're fine? I think nerves play a huge role, but more with tension and maybe the lack of "control" over them. When you feel tense, your nerves will be tense, and maybe hard to control.

Do you get "nervous" if you're being "watched?" Is that an issue as well? When I meant seeing a psychologist, I meant just to talk to someone, not anything else.

I still think it might be a phobia issue - that brings dizziness and tense feelings as well....just a thought. I believe it can be overcome.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes I see what you mean. but, just having someone next to me doesn't always stop the issue. for example, when I am on vacation and have to get from the hotel to the actual ocean area walking the distance, person next to me or not does not stop the tenseness of my body and vision. When my fathers next to me in the groccery store, he almost like elimates (to me in my body) most of the open space to where i can feel comfortable, but if the space is more widely open, or outside a person next to me or not doesn't stop these symptoms...
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Avatar_m_tn
I do not get nervous being watched either.
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