# Panic Attack?

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I work in a mall, where it can get extremely noisy sometimes.

A few days ago I tried listening to the white noise created by all the random happenings around the mall, shutting off all the immediately definable noises.

Right at that instant I felt extremely scared, got tunnel vision and couldn't really focus on anything. It's what I would imagine sensory overload feeling like, with my whole body starting to tingle, especially my head and spinal area, and a very strange 'electrical' sensation in my head.

I realised something really odd was happening and just focused hard on what was in front of me for a second and I snapped out of it instantly. I know that if I didn't, I would probably have freaked out then and there.

--

To anyone who has had panic attacks, does that sound like the making of one? And to anyone with any knowledge of the subject, what actually happenned there? Could it really have been sensory overload?

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Low Blood sugar can also have a similar effect (I used to experience and still do on occasion, that exact same thing).

Panic Attacks are NOT Funny! esp on a bus or a train, and crowds do make it worse for some reason (that part I still dont understand).

maybe you should get your blood sugars checked out?

Just a thought

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"crowds do make it worse for some reason"

Some stage of agoraphobia perhaps?

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I wouldnt have said so personaly.

the fear of wide open spaces is not an issue with me (nor has it ever been), but crowds do my head in badly! even with normal Sugar levs.

Im not Anti-Social (quite the opposite), but AWAY time is essential for my mental health! even if its just a few hours on a Saturday (normaly the case).

difference is, ones a Psych thing the other is BioChemical

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Yes. it sounds very much like the beginnings of a panic attack.

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I think it would be a good idea to have your blood sugar checked too. I have had hypoglycemia also and the symptoms are very similar. Just feeling that way can bring on an anxiety attack.

One of the things that can really promote low blood sugar is snacking on sweets - especially high test soft drinks. The sugar is already in solution and goes into your blood stream right away. This can cause your pancreas to secrete too much insulin. It handles the sugar that you ingested and then goes to work on the normal sugar in your blood.

You get the shakes and find that eating something sweet is the only thing that remedies the problem, but it is a short term fix and soon you are back in the same cycle.

Avoid refined sugar and starch - eat fresh fruits, low fat cheeses and lean meats and see if you don't improve. Also - 5 small meals spread through out the day is better than 3 big ones.

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Some stage of agoraphobia perhaps?

I wouldnt have said so personaly.

the fear of wide open spaces is not an issue with me (nor has it ever been)' date=' but crowds do my head in badly! even with normal Sugar levs.

[/quote']

On the agoraphobia thing...i belive that most people that are suseptable to panic attacks have at least some sort of agorophobia. I had a loved one a while ago that had severe panic attacks and they went and saw a psycologist. He said that agorophobia is not nessesarily just the fear of wide open spaces (though that is the literal translation) but rather the fear of being in unfamiliar or "unsafe" places. That is, places where the person feels that they have no means of escape -- should they need it. This is why it is termed agoraphobia, because in a wide open space there is really no where to run in order to be safe.

This is why people with agorophobia are often afraid of riding in long car rides, buses, airplanes, driving on the freeway, going to strange places, crowds, and stuff like that.

Now, i am not a psycologist, so i could be wrong. This is just what i remember from those years ago.

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I've also heard agoraphobia being sometimes used in the "being in the middle of a crowd" situation. Is it more of "sociophobia" or something?

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...just focused hard on what was in front of me for a second and I snapped out of it instantly.
This makes it less likely to have been hypoglycaemia.

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I've also heard agoraphobia being sometimes used in the "being in the middle of a crowd" situation. Is it more of "sociophobia" or something?

no, i don't think it is a sociophobia or anything like that. Agrophobia is simply the fear that you cannot get to somewhere "safe." At least as I understand it. Thus, large crowds can trigger it, because it would most difficult to find a place away from the crowd. It is not nessesarily that you are afriad of the individuals in it, per se, but rather that there is no way to get away from the crowd and to somewhere safe.

I think that crowds in general trigger lots of phobias. Social ones, agrophobia, claustrophobia, and people with illness/germ phobias as well.

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Im not agoraphobic nor socipathic claustrophobic or what ever, I dont like crowds though.

I cant think straight with that many people around and I want OUT! and I want out NOW! but Im torn between that and ability to escape without hurting anyone, and hurting people is bad.

lock me in a little box (with air!) and Im fine

put me in the middle of a flat land and Im cool too

I love parties as well! just not densely packed

I recon it was just a System overload if not a Low Blood sugar thing.

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YT: I am like that when Christmas shopping. Sometimes the shops are just so busy that I have to run out of the store just to get away from the people.

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Im glad ya said that! I dont feel so bad about it, no one I know actualy understands this either (

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I'm with glider on this. It was all in my head, as I forced myself out of it when I realised what was going on.

Any clue as to why trying to distinguish backround noise from all the plainly discernable sounds could bring something like that on? At least that's what seemed to cause it. My last thought seemed to be "why can't I do this," then everything went wierd.

Also, is this common to many people? Should it happen again or might it have been an isolated incident?

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YT: I am like that when Christmas shopping. Sometimes the shops are just so busy that I have to run out of the store just to get away from the people.
Severian sorry to hear that you feel like that sometime,an ex partner of mine used to have your experience a hundred fold,and it isnt nice.What started off as panic attacks led to agrophobia.I think it has something to do with false lighting combined with numbers of people moving around and chatter,too much information to take in brought on dizziness in her case.The dizziness frightened her,which led to more dizziness and more fear,before long she used to hyperventilate.

She is now perfectly okay, i remember that i took some credit for her improvement though on reflection i guess anybody in my position would have given the same help.I tried to teach her that the dizzy spells are a normal reaction which everybody has on occasion.Be it caused by blood pressure standing up too quick or whatever.The thing is not to analyse it,if you feel the adrenelin taking hold sit down and control your breathing slowly.Im stating things a little simple because it took around a year to get her back to the person i knew.And being on occasion incensative i bullied it out.No amount of anti-depressants were working,so i took control of her by talking,it seems cruel now but i actually took her to the city centre at the height of her agrophobia in the car,we never shopped just sat on a bench near Gregs with her breathing into a paper bag.Im not proud of the things i made her do .But as she said later ,she felt no embarrasment at the time. She was too busy sucking on the bag as i gave her the full counciling session.

The main thing is she overcame it herself,as i always say nobody's words can really help you,you have to strong and help yourself.However in our case she recovered so much that i couldnt keep her away from the nightclub and we seperated.

Sorry to rattle on and go off on a tangent,the subject just triggered a memory, to be honest i will have to read what ive typed as it all just came out in the mixer,im not sure im even coherent. goodluck

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(Quote is offline at the mo? so....)

Alt said:

"Any clue as to why trying to distinguish backround noise from all the plainly discernable sounds could bring something like that on? At least that's what seemed to cause it. My last thought seemed to be "why can't I do this," then everything went wierd.

Also, is this common to many people? Should it happen again or might it have been an isolated incident?"

its possibly a Stress related thing, many of our brain hormones and transmitters go a bit wacky esp when compounded with "NOISE" (of any sort), the "Why Cant I do This?" thought brought added stress upon yourself with Frustration at a guess, making yourself even "worse"

the Focus technique working for you is great though

can it happen again, sure it can, can you get rid of it again?... the answers the same, Sure

and yes, it`s alot more common than you think (esp this time of year), but rarely spoken of for some reason???

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When I am about to perform in Drama in a play or even a monologue (meaning with or without people, so all scenarios) and times such as the first day of school or the day of a big test I get uncontrolable and intolerable, excruciating pain in my stomach. It is not a gas problem or diarreah (but that is one possible symptom after an hour of the occuring pain) but it is something more dealing with my nerves. I have had these problems ever since I can remember, all the way back to the 5th grade and I am in the 11th now... But the pain feels as though it is acid reflux at first (which I also have) but then it becomes much worse and lasts ALOT longer. I have gone entire days through school, about seven hours, and the pain lasts the entire time... but once something big happens or once I GET HOME I feel fine... Is it that I have some sort of panic problem at school only? Or is it something more?

Thanks,

~Cubes

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It's stage fright. You get over that with practice.

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Have you ever tried self hypnosis??

I work nights and the daytime noises either physically increased or I just started noticing them a few months ago, I also suffer from tinnitus which got worse, leaving me thinking it was stress caused by my financial situation that's still not resolved. So I turned to self hypnosis and cured myself. I can now sleep for hours on end through the daytime and I can hardly hear my tinnitus.

I put myself in a mild trance and keep telling my sub conscious "That noise is background noise, there's nothing I can do about it, it's totally out of my control so I might as well ignore it and get on with the task at hand."

Think about when you were last at home or in a pub and you're involved in a deeply engrossing conversation with someone, don't notice what's being said on the TV or if you're in a pub you ignore the noise around you. It just becomes background noise that you ignore.

And to get into that trance here's a very simple exercise you can all do.

I'll assume there's some background noise in the room you're in right now, I've got the fans in my PC whirring away right now. Find a similar sound and listen to it for a while..

Now sit back, close your eyes and relax for a while, spend a minute or two thinking about a time when you were having an engrossing conversation with someone and there was a lot of noise around you but you ignored the noise and carried on...

Think about the last great film you watched or some other meaningful experience, rerun your memories of all that. When you come to the end of the memory you should notice you weren't paying any attention to the noise you were listening to at the start.

It isn't difficult once you realise just how easy it is because our brains are doing it all the time for us. The trick is to control when it does it for us.

It won't work for everyone because there may be other underlying reasons like a traumatic event from your past and your sub conscious is increasing the background events but it should work for a lot of people.

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Why, in the sweet name of zombie Jesus, do you think that random spewing of hippie trance theories will help someone with panic attacks?

At the very least don't sit there and smugly drool that you don't have a problem. Just because it dosn't effect you does not mean people should be more like you.

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Why' date=' in the sweet name of zombie Jesus, do you think that random spewing of hippie trance theories will help someone with [i']panic attacks[/i]?

At the very least don't sit there and smugly drool that you don't have a problem. Just because it dosn't effect you does not mean people should be more like you.

Nice articulate way of publicly debunking someones ideas.

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