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Panic Attacks in Open Areas? Help??
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Panic Attacks in 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.
Tags: cerebral palsy, vision, vision impairments, distance, wide open spaces, Panic attacks, tenseness
3 Comments Post a Comment
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi!
I can understand your apprehensions and fears and while they may not go away fully, you can do a lot to take control of these ‘panic attacks’.
Take up yoga, deep breathing exercise, walking and remain strong and determined in your effort to do away with this habit. Music and aerobics are also good stress busters. The other method is to go for cognitive behavioral therapy. This helps you to analyze the cause of your anxiety and teaches you to alter your thinking process. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is another option that helps of unconscious mental conflicts raging in you.
You need to discuss this with your doctor and get help from a psychiatrist/counselor to overcome anxiety. Take care!
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Avatar_m_tn
I understand what you are saying and how it could be anxiety related, although you stated it is a fear. But, I am not fearful of open areas. When I am in open areas my body reacts as if it is scared, but I am mental not fearful. Doctornee, does this match an medical vision impairments or a type of eye disablity? like I said in my post, I almost fully know it has something to do with my eyes.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have CP, spastic diplegic. Like you I have similar "panic attacks"and need to establish some kind of "visual buffer " to cope. I also know they stem from 2 scary falls I had a few years ago and people had to help get up and to safer location.

When the episodes occur I know I'm not being rational and try to talk myself out of it and push through it. Nonetheless it has made me much more cautious, which my husband finds aggravating.

Good luck with this.
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