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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone could share some ideas about what to say to people when you are having a panic attack and they don't know what it is. How do people react? E.g. I panicked in a dance class and a girl I don't know well asked me 'what's wrong?' I replied 'I can't do it' which wasn't a very good answer. I think I could have said 'I'm just nervous about joining in' or something like that. I tend to find it quite hard to say anything in these situatons anyway. So do you tell people what's really going on? Experiences??
 

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Tony gave some good advice.

I've overcome my SA, so i'm highly confident in myself these days but have the odd relapse when major changes go on in my life.

I had a panic attack literally the other day so can give some good advice.

I've been training a team of people on tasks and projects i was involved with, involved in lots of meetings etc and was then being trained on a new job by some guy. Several days into the training i had a panic attack, totally overwhelmed by all the information and pressure. I was shaking, everything became blurry, i never expected it. So i had to tell the guy i wasn't feeling well and that he needed to take over. Things then settled after i excused myself for lunch.

Years ago i used to have panic attacks all the time but overcame my SA and have been living a far more inspiring life. The advice i used to give people all the time is actually quite powerful and is what i'm doing right now. It's based on not concealing anxiety (which is what most people with SA exert so much energy doing) they fear others seeing them with anxiety.

It's probably best not to imagine having further attacks since this usually creates them. So you have the option of concealing it, in fear of having one, OR you out it completly. What this means is that decide to tell people about it.

This can present further anxiety though depending on the situation, as you may become anxious about what people think about you etc. But this option does have it's benefits making people aware and so on. But i've found that what can work best is that you tell people without telling them:

You visualise/imagine telling them about it and your mind realises that they know, that it's alright for them to know and it's ok that you can have anxiety around these people. You see it clearly and they know. When in your mind it's ok for you to have anxiety around other people and not be embarrassed by it, it actually lessens. The energy in hiding it causes a lot of panic. "oh i cant be seen like this"

So you can choose to tell others directly or in your imagination, both methods work.

I've tried both methods and they work equally well, they both have benefits and disadvantages.

Telling others depends on who they are, if it's people you dont really know i'd say just let them know but if it's people you work with or need to remain some distance from then i'd just imagine telling them.

As for telling people in the middle of it, i've used excuses before like i was needing sugar and my body was having a reaction but if it does happen you don't have to say anything, you can just excuse yourself or you can bite the bullet and say you are having a panic attack or you are on medication and its making you feel unwell. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable, forget about the uncomfortable faces looking at you, they're doing fine.

Anyway, hope it goes well.

Aron
 

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I just wanted to share an example of imagining talking to people of your anxiety and panic:

There was a works party and it would be my first work party where i was attending and i didn't want to drink to feel confident.

The nights leading up to the party i imagined people at the party talking to me and they were telling me of how anxious they had been in the past and how they felt anxiety in their llives as i told of my own anxiety. As each person talked to me about their own anxiety the fear of going to the party quickly left me. With each one of them telling me that they also 'hide it' so people would think they were confident.

I attended the party relaxed and it was amazing because in my mind i knew the truth that everyone experiences anxiety and sometimes panic but we all try and hide it sometimes. From then on instead of worrying about my own anxiety, i felt a sense of compassion for other people who experience what i experience but i was never aware.

Using my imagination like this was a freeing experience to me.

Aron
 

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I've had a lot of this in the past. Its very embarrassing the more I try to cover it up, for instance if I walk away and pretend like i'm fine and leave the person looking at me. I used to do this to collect myself. Then i'd come back like everything is fine and its totally normal to just disappear during a conversation! lol. Most of the people I know now realize I have anxiety so I can be more open about whats happening and then they understand. Plus anxiety and depression are the number one mental illness, so more than likely the people around you have had some experience with it, so just say "i'm having a panic attack."
 

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Yeah I would do what the other posters have said I would just be honest with your instructor. Tell her about your disorder and that ocasionally you may have to leave class. It may be embarsing but it will make things a whole lot better.
 

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I can relate! I had a panic attack at dance class before. It was one of the worst ones I have ever had. I asked my instructor if I could take a breather. When my classmates asked me what was wrong, I simply told them truth; that I wasn't feeling well, I was dizzy, and I was having an anxiety attack. Much to my surprise, they were actually understanding. :)
 

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"I'm freaking out, man! :afr"

..At least, that's what this guy at work always does. :stu
 

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Just off the bat, I'd say I'm allergic to something I just ate, and having anaphalactic shock.
I'm in a weird mood and not being serious right now, but I still wouldnt admit to a panic attack, food allergy seems more reasonable. Peanut allergy, egg allergy anything but anxiety.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for your responses. There are some good ideas there. I'm not particularly concerned about 'hiding' my anxiety, but at the same time I do have a lot of trouble talking about it/bringing it up, and I don't want to make a fuss. Also, I think there is a possibility that if I tell people in advance I might be more likely to give in to panic. But, I can also definately see the potiential benefits of doing this. Thanks again for all the thoughts. I have some things to ponder, now!
 
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