Post # 1
The panic attacks are working their way back into my life. Fiance got to witness one for the first time today, and he didn’t handle it properly, at all. He got mad at me, instead. We were in Best Buy to pay our credit card bill. The worst time for my panic attacks is when I’m waiting in a line somewhere. Well, there was only one person in front of us and nobody behind us. But, I just lost it. The customer service lady was rude and didn’t acknowledge us. At first, she was talking on a phone trying to solve an issue for the customer in front of us. He was having something taken care of, but not one of those in and out type deals. It was a long, drawn out process. I was already worked up from other things today. So, I started to feel dizzy and panicky. Several other employees of the store were just standing around like lazy ass bumps on a log. They saw us waiting and didn’t bother to come help. The store that I normally visit to handle business and pay my bill is a lot faster paced/friendlier, but we just so happened to be near this one…
Anyway, I started getting really snappy to Fiance. Which is just what I do when I’m panicking. I start snapping and being a bitch. I told him I needed to get out of the store and he just kept saying, “That’s stupid, just stay here and pay this bill!” I kept telling him I’d rather go home and pay it online, but he kept getting frustrated with me. I repeatedly said I felt like I was having a panic attack and needed to remove myself before it became full blown. He wouldn’t budge. Finally, I high tailed it out the door and he came following me telling me how stupid it was that I just didn’t stay in there and wait until the customer service lady was ready to help us. He just didn’t understand. He doesn’t understand.
I plan on having a talk with him about this tomorrow. Honestly, I’m less concerned about how he handled it, moreso with the fact that I’m having panic attacks again when I thought I had this beat. I guess you never really do. I’ve been trying not to cave and get on medication, but if my situation slopes back down into the horrors that it once was, I will have no choice. I can’t keep hitting these debilitating mental lows every couple years or so. How will I ever survive like that?
Post # 3
Does the medication give you any negative side effects?
I have had panic attacks a few times, but only ever alone with Fiance. For me they get pretty scary, mostly hyperventilating, almost sobbing, heart racing, etc. I can’t imagine having that happen out in public and having to deal with that.
Post # 4
I stuggle with panic attacks too, but therapy and medication have worked well for me.
Post # 5
Sounds like you’ve handled it before, so you’ll survive by handling it again. If you have to go on medication to help, do it. And you’ll get through it.
When you’re calm have a talk with Fiance and explain to him how to best handle when you are having a panic attack. If he’s never had one, he probably doesn’t have any idea what they feel like and may just think you were over-reacting or something. I think it would help him (and you) if you clearly spell out how he should properly handle the situation.
I have panic attacks too, but not severe ones and almost always in the middle of the night. I’ve been having terrible problems with anxiety lately and recently went back on meds myself until I can get through this horribly stressful time. We all need a little help with something or another sometimes – but it will get better.
Post # 6
I hear you, I have panic attacks when I shop, when I wear bras (so I don’t anymore), in lots of situations…my husband generally understands–every once in a while he actually has them too, but they are much less frequent. Sorry you have to deal with this. I got my husband to understand by basically just explaining (pretty much every time, after I had calmed down) why I was getting upset, and even if it the reason makes no sense that it is a known trigger for me so at least it is predictable, and sorry in advance for if it happens again. At one point, I even made a list of my triggers for him and it helped a lot. I am still frequently finding new triggers and having to explain myself again and again, so that is fun, but I am also getting better at avoiding and talking myself through the known ones.
I actually had to increase my anti-anxiety meds a little over a year ago and was sooo reluctant to do it, but things just got too out of hand. If you feel like you are losing control, it’s not your fault, and you will know when/if it is time to take something. Some of us just have different balances of these chemicals, and it is ok to do something to even it out. Best to you two~
Post # 7
I’m sorry panic attacks are horrible! I have had bouts of panic attacks on and off for the last several years. I will be fine for a while, but then in times of extreme stress or lack of sleep I start to have panic attacks and they continue to worsen. Is there something that may be causing stress for you such as the wedding, job issues, etc? Helping to identify the meaning behind the attacks can help. I was told by a therapist (during my last bout) that when you are mentally stressed your body doesn’t know how to cope, so instead reacts with different physical symptoms. Have you thought about going to talk to a therapist about learning about cognitive behavioral therapy? This seemed to help me for a while, until recently. I just made an appt w/ my PCP to talk to her about my anxiety issues. I’m actually doing well now, but trying to trouble shoot as we get closer to the wedding b/c I know I will start having anxiety once the wedding nears with all of the stress with last minute planning! I’m hoping my PCP can recommend a good therapist and also discuss my options natural vs. conventional medication since she’s a DO as well. I hope you find a cope and get better!
Post # 8
In defense of Best Buy employees (I am one!) only a select number of employees, those who work the customer service counter, are trained to take bill payments. You don’t want an untrained person attempting it and having the money not actually credited towards your account. I’ve experienced customers caling me lazy and other names because I’m not trained to do what they need (we have about 10 different computer programs and very few people are trained on all), and it’s mean. I’ve never had a panic attack so I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but why not go on medication? It certainly seems necessary if having one person in front of you in line who isn’t done super quickly causes such a reaction.
Post # 9
Don’t be hard on yourself if you do start taking medications! Having anxiety and panic attacks is a medical condition just like diabetes. It’s certainly not a sign of weakness to start taking drugs to fix chemical imbalances in either of those conditions. Definitely talk to a doctor! Most people don’t have to take drugs for anxiety for the rest of thier life. Some people will take meds for a while and work with thier doctors to find other ways to manage anxiety so the drugs can be tapered and stopped.
Post # 10
Sorry Courtney, I didn’t mean to imply that EVERY Best Buy employee is lazy. I definitely don’t think that at all and used to really wish I worked there because I love electronics. The particular store I visited today has HORRIBLE customer service, and those few employees at work there were being lazy. I know that not everyone working can do the customer service jobs, but there was another customer serivce lady who completely by-passed Fiance and I to go help someone do a return. We were there a few minutes before he was. The store near my house that I normally always go to is a whole different world. The people there are helpful and they get you in and out so quickly.
I guess I should give everyone a little back story. First of all, I’d like to say that anyone who has never dealt with panic attacks cannot possibly understand the affliction. They ALWAYS think you’re being ridiculous/dramatic/crazy/etc. Because of this uninformed mentality, they are very unhelpful in situations of stress. It’s not something that I can control or explain, otherwise I wouldn’t be dealing with this.
Panic disorder in my family is hereditary. Almost EVERY single person on my paternal grandmother’s side of the family suffers. I’ve been coping with this demon since 2007. Longer, really, but in late 2007, things got severe. I became an agoraphobic and could not even leave my house. For two years, I went through spells where I would be able to go out and do normal things, then one day I’d have another attack and go back into seclusion and depression. I had a really bad and scary attack on Christmas day, 2009. After that, it seems my situation was relieved. The panic was gone, for the most part, and if I felt a little anxious, I’d cope with breathing techniques and herbals. Since then, I’ve lived a very normal and happy life. No panic attacks, at all. I’ve gone places that two years ago I would’ve never gone, like street festivals and the very crowded circus. With the stress of this wedding and other things going on in my life, I’ve been starting to feel like the panic is creeping back up on me, slowly. Today I had my first real panic experience in two years. I am definitely chalking this up to stress in my life that’s been going on. I am hoping that this will subside if I am persistent with non-medicinal coping mechanisms. I don’t have insurance, so getting a diagnosis and prescription is kinda hard for me right now.
Post # 11
That sounds awful =( Maybe a break from wedding planning is in order, just a week or so where you don’t worry about it. I wish you luck with the coping mechanisms.
Post # 12
I get panic attacks too… waiting in line gets me agitated too! I avoid going on meds too.. I tried SSRIs years ago to no avail and the idea of benzos makes me anxious. I heard some over the counter items can help for panic attacks (rescue remedy spray and teas with valerian root), but haven’t tried them out. Feel better soon