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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This feels like the very worst thing that could've happened. Last night at work, I was ringing through a customer and it hit. It was the most severe and scariest thing I have EVER experienced. There was no reason, my IBS was fine, just all of a sudden my heart starting pounding out of my chest, I felt all hot and shaky and worst of all I couldn't breath. As soon as the customer left I locked the door and went into the bathroom to calm down. When I looked in the mirror I could see my entire body shaking, needless to say I phoned the boss and told him I wasn't feeling well and asked if I could close up early. Thankfully there was only half an hour left and he said that would be okay. Anyways, I'm terrified. I had to work today and I couldn't go near the till. They sent me home after four hours, I told them I wasn't feeling well and that I was really dizzy which was the truth, I was dizzy from being so nervous! I'm scheduled to work tomorrow with two of my coworkers (one of them being my Mom) and then Monday by myself. I can't do it, I can't go back. Today I had to take an order over the phone and I could feel the panic starting although thankfully it didn't get out of control. This is a busy weekend where I work, and unfortunately there's only four of us who work there including myself. I've only told my sister and Mom about what happened.. I'm scared of telling anyone else, including my boyfriend in fear that he'll think I'm a nutcase. I'm so terrified and feel SO depressed about what happened. Just when I thought I had my anxiety under control it struck and in the worst way possible. I've had what I THOUGHT were panic attacks but they were nothing in comparison to this. My sister suggested I go for counselling, which I'll do.. I'll even go on anti-anxiety meds if need be but I don't know how to get out of the next two days. This is one of the worst weekends to be calling in sick and I'm scared to tell my bosses about WHY I can't go to work, I'm torn between telling them the truth or just saying I'm 'sick'. I absolutely will not tell my 2 other coworkers because I know they won't take it seriously and probably talk about me behind my back. I feel so lost.. I'm scared to even leave the house now because of this. I'm scared of having it happen to me somewhere else. Apart from my Mom and sister I didn't know anywhere else to turn but here. I don't know what I'm asking for by writing this. Just feeling desperate and scared. I don't know how or if I'll make it through the next two days. There's no one else to work on Monday because it's a holiday and I'm scared of losing my job.. but on the other hand I'm more scared of going back and having that happen again. Today I could only associate work with panic, and the more I thought about panic the more nervous I would get about having another panic attack.. it's such a vicious circle, and unfortunately I don't know how to break this one. I've been able to keep my general anxiety under control over the last few months.. so much to the point that I was planning on going on another trip this month but now I'm a wreck. I don't feel like seeing anyone or talking to anyone or going anywhere. Anyways, for anyone reading I appreciate you listening.
 

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Hi Shyra. I have the same problems. I had them under control for many months. It was a mind game to get better. You have to tell yourself that if it happens it happens. That if you indeed have an accident, it will be okay. That your not the only person with this problem, and accidents do happen.Take deep breathes when you find your starting to have a panic attack. Try to think of something else, but don't try too hard. In other words get busy in something else. Carry Immodium with you. Sometimes just having it on me will make me relax. Take it if you really start to panic. Go in the bathroom and throw water on your face, continually tell yourself it's okay. That your making an attack come on, and if you relax you will be fine. You must FORCE yourself to go to work. Don't let it win, don't let it control you.This won't work over night. It took me many months really to believe in what I was telling myself. I'm in a bad rut right now, and I'm having the same panic attacks as soon as I get in the car. Good luck, and let us know how you are! I know you can do it, if I could do it!Jennifer[This message has been edited by Homebound (edited 10-07-2000).]
 

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You need to calm down. Believe me, things are always worse in our minds. What is exactly happening, are you thinking about it happening and then you have to go? I know it's hard because we have no control over things...but you have to take control. Start thinking about something else, take deep breaths and try to relax. Sounds like you're working yourself into a frenzy which will only make it worse. Sometimes I can be fine but if I'm in line somewhere, etc I might start thinking about it and then get crampy when I know normally I wouldn't. If I try to relax it passes..but this is proof to me that my mind is feeding off of my colon..so you have to try and control your mind. Try relaxation techniques and some herbal teas to help calm your nerves. B complex is also good for that. Good Luck..go back Monday and face your fears...YOU WIll BE FINE!
 

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Hi Shyra:I'm sorry about your panic attack, but I think you're doing the right thing by going in for counseling. Can you see a doctor sooner to get some meds prescribed? Panic attacks can be horrible, I know.Do you have any idea what brings them on? I think I've heard there is a trigger. A friend of mine had them going over bridges. You mentioned ringing up a customer. Do they seem to happen at those particular times?I really think you should talk to your boss and tell him that you are going to be going to a doctor. Maybe there is something you can do there, instead of operating the cash register, that would make you feel less panicy. Do you think?I'm just trying to come up with ideas. Hopefully others can also.JeanG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow.. that was quick! I just wanted to clairify that this is NOT IBS related. I wasn't even having an IBS attack or even thinking of my bowels when this happened. I've been working retail for ten years now and have NEVER felt uncomfortable in front of customers! Jean- I can't think for the life of me what triggered it, all of a sudden it just came on and it hit so fast I had no time to assess the situation and get it under control. I can control my IBS related anxiety, like going places and what not. But this panic attack thing is all new to me and I don't ever want to go through that again! Obviously my solution is just to not go to work, but that's not a very good solution. I've been working there for almost two years and even though it's not the best paying job in the world, I like it and it will get me through until I'm done school because of the flexible hours. I'll be at the doctor's first thing Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, being a long weekend I won't be able to get to one until then. I'm scared of even going to the doctors.. how sad is that?
 

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Shyra,I've been there, and I can help you. There is a website to go to, www.attackinganxiety.com I did their tape course many years ago, and it was how I learned not to be afraid of the panic.A couple of things to know. Fear is not real. What does that mean? Think about it, you are afraid of your thoughts. There is nothing real to be afraid of, nothing is going to happen to you. These symptoms you are feeling are typical of panic attacks. But they are not going to harm you. You need to allow the feelings to pass. They will pass, and you will feel very tired afterwards. These feelings are a result of an adrenaline rush. They will not hurt you, and once you decide not to fear them, they will pass more quickly, or not get so strong.I know it is hard to do. It may feel like you are going to die or pass out. But you won't. You have to feel the feelings and let them pass. You have to feel the feelings, and learn that they will not harm you. They do not last long, they can't sustain themselves for a long time. You are going to have to go to work. Know that you are safe, and you cannot be harmed by a panic attack. Remember, it is your thoughts that are bringing the panicky feelings on. Thoughts cannot harm you. Do not allow them to affect you. Just let them pass.You can do it.AZ[This message has been edited by AZmom1 (edited 10-08-2000).]
 

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I suffered from the same thing when I was at a college I hated...(I transferred to a different school, thankfully!), but I had a terrible first year...I didn't know anybody and found it very hard to make new friends. It's always took me a long time to meet people and open up...my friends in high school were my closest ones and those relationships took time to grow. So there I was sitting in class, looking at people around me, and wondering why I couldn't make friends...I kept thinking that maybe it was something about me, maybe there was something wrong with me...well, to say the least things spun from there...I experienced my first panic attack in class and that experience scared me s**tless....but I transferred, saw a counselor and have gotten better. I now look at things more realistically. Consider talking to someone, a therapist or even a friend. Your boyfriend should understand, but if you don't want to tell him, there are so many other people who can listen and understand and tell you that things are ok.
 

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The problem with taking someone with you is that they become your "safe person." You can go out, as long as you're with your safe person. This is how people end up trapped in their home, they tell themselves that they are safe at home. And they are safe at home because they tell themselves it is their safe place.Some of the others had good ideas. Distraction is helpful. If you feel the thoughts coming on, try to distract yourself. You are going to start thinking, "Oh no, I hope I don't get another one of those attacks." This is precisely what will bring them on. Try not to dwell on your fearful thoughts. Change any negative thoughts into positive ones.The trigger for these attacks is your thoughts. AZ
 
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Shyra: AZMom has the right idea. I've had periods in my life when I would have been completely home bound from panic attacks if I had not had a child to support.I found that the best thing to do is just let the feelings wash over you and then go on past you. It sounds strange, but it can be done. And, yes, you will feel very weak afterwards, but that will pass also. The very worst thing you can do is stay home and let it concur you. If necessary, can you have your mom pick you up for work and stay there with you. Ask her to keep an eye on you--I'm sure she will notice that you are not feeling well and can maybe come stand by you until the feelings pass. Be sure to get to a doctor as soon as possible and get help. It's out there, but you also must help yourself by not giving in!
 

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I've suffered panic attacks on and off for years. I had a slight one at the supermarket this morning as I've recently badly hurt my neck and almost passed out with the pain. Now as soon as the pain starts the body remembers and begins to panic-sweating, going dizzy etc. I've tried to learn to breath steadily and if I'm somewhere I'm not comfortable with I think "I'll stay for five more minutes" by the end of which time I'm usually okay. Do this as often as necessary. Tapes certainly are a big help if you can imagine yourself in your "safe place". Try not to strive too hard to relax and you'll be okay. Thinking about you tomorrow.
 
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There is a book that I have just finished that would be sooo helpful to you- It is "Hope and Help for your Nerves" by Dr. Claire Weekes- you can get it at amazon, costs something like $8.95- GET THIS BOOK- SHE SHOWS U HOW TO CONTROL THIS-I had attacks so badly out of the blue in March of 99 that I thougth I was dying- dizzy,water D , sweating, feeling like I couldn't stand up, had to lie down to feel calm- it was awful-lasted for almost 6 straight weeks- it was fear of the attacks that was making this last so long- - I read that unconscious "overbreathing" or hyperventilation will precipitate an attack- What this means is that you breathe too often and too shallow, then the blood chemistry gets out of whack and can give u a whole spectrum of very scary symptoms- the key is to NOT panic and consciously slow your breathing and know that it will pass- this is very hard to do,as the physical symptoms are very frightening, as you already know- there are many books to help with panic attacks and are very helpful-Dr. Weekes book explains the whole problem and she was an expert in dealing with this- hope this info helps you.-donnamaria
 

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Shyra,I'm so sorry to hear about your panic and anxiety, but I can totally relate! Reading all these posts brings back memories of a couple years ago when I suffered my worst panic and anxiety. Shyra, I totally agree with all the replies on how to cope, and I especially agree with Donnamaria about the book by Dr. Claire Weeks. I read that book too, plus her follow-up book, "More Hope and Help for Your Nerves" and found them to be a lifesaver. I felt better just reading them. You will get through this and be able to work again. I never thought I would, but I did. Hang in there and here's a
and a {{hug}} for you! dg
 
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This is really a good thing. I wish I would have had something like this back in 1984. My panic attacks were horrible and I had no one to talk to. You never seen commercials on tv advertising antianxiety meds or panic or social disorders. I really felt all alone. It took a long time to realize that you have to get angry and want to live again. I mean do what you need to do--grocery shop, work, drive (now that was a biggy!!) I would cry when the doctors told me that there was NOTHING wrong with me. I wanted a pill to fix me and quick. I still to this day can't decide if it is inherited or a learned behavior. My mother is afraid of EVERYTHING! Right now I am taking Buspar (but for a long time now I haven't taken anything). Taking Buspar and trying to get the IBS demon tamed down some to go on a trip this month and a very looooong trip in Nov. I almost want to cry when the word trip is mentioned! The panic will come when you least expect it and then you avoid the place it happens. But if you keep going to this place it will eventually get better. And that is really hard to do, I know. The self-esteem is really an issue also. I felt so weak and stupid. With every panic attack I felt less like a "normal" person. And when I finally started driving a few places alone it was like Christmas. What a good feeling and everyone would just say - hey you just drove to the store, what's the big deal? I'm writing too much but I also wanted to tell you to find a support group in your town. There should be some. What really got me to driving again was I enrolled in a college course at 44 yrs old, twice a week. Had to drive there and found out I wasn't as stupid as I thought I was. I felt better about myself and the panic attacks were gone.
 
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You must learn not to let IBS control you! You must control it. Go back to work and talk to your coworkers. The will understand, believe me!
 
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I have had the same problems as you with working and anxiety attacks. I have been dealing with them and IBS for 6 years now. If you need info on a panic and anxiety support group i am in my email address in EMERALDSNOWS###aol.comhope this helps.
 
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hello, I wanted to respond to your message. You had your first panic attack at your work. I am sorry to hear that this happened to you. I have had panic disorder for over 22 years. In fact when it first came into my life doctors did not know what it was. I wanted to respond to your message especially after reading some of the terrible advice that you received via replies. First of all telling you to just "relax" is ridiculous. The next thing is that you will probably find that panic disorder and IBS, although not directly linked, have a lot in common. Stress can bring on or make either condition worse. I would not recommend going on a medication right away. Some of the drugs that are prescribed for panic are very addictive. ie. benzodiazapenes...Xanax, Klonapin, Ativan etc. Busporine may work, but from my understanding works with very few people, and was originally indicated for people with GAD or depression. It also takes some time for it to start working because one needs to build up the proper theraputic blood level as with other antidepressants. You mentioned in your message that you looked in the mirror and could not breathe. Well, perhaps that was the thought you had. If you could not breathe for an extended period of time . . well you understand. If you were experiencing tingling sensations about your appendages....fingers and toes during the "I can't breathe" episode. Perhaps you were hyperventalating. I read some other replies and understand your fear of not going back to the place where you experienced this intense fear. This phobic reaction can lead further to develop agoraphobia. You def. don't want to go there. However, there are many options for you to choose. Going to a psychiatrist to get the "magic" pill is not the answer. Some therapy and understanding that going back to the place you fear, either systematically in steps or all at once is important. This helps to eliminate the stimulus of work, phone, chair, or whatever stimulus that was associated with the panic attack. People who move next to railroads dont sleep so well for a while....after they never hear the train and sleep right through. Contact me by e-mail if I can be of any further assistance.------------------moi!
 

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Shyra, you said in your post you didn't know what triggered your panic attack. By any chance had you had a lot of coffee to drink that day? Coffee, sugar or anything that could hyper you up may have been the cause.AZ Mom has given you great advice. Also the 2 books recommended by Dr. Claire Weeks are well worth reading.Frenchman, the only way to rid yourself of panic attacks is by facing them head on. If you don't, then you will end up Agoraphobic. Shyra, please let us know if you got back to work.
 

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Human beings are logical, inquisitive creatures. We have a need to to figure out why something happened. When you had a panic attack at work, it was only natural that you would associate it whatever you were doing at the time, i.e, work. Unfortunately, this is the way phobias develop that may lead to agoraphobia. If the next panic attack hits in the car, you may start to avoid driving. I knew a woman whose "safe" world narrowed down to just her bed. IMO, the physical symptoms of a panic attack are probably caused by a number of things such as those mentioned here like too much caffeine. There's also hyperventilation, hormonal fluctuations, allergies or mitral valve prolapse. The problem isn't so much the attack as our reaction to it and subsequent fear that it will reoccur. I think when people here say to get the PAs under control, they don't mean in the sense of forcing yourself to ignore or "conquer" them through sheer force of will. They are just advising you not to let them go untreated, for the above reasons. There's lots of medications, relaxation techniques, desensitization, etc. that can help, but you don't have to do it alone--talk to a medical professional. I'd also look into physical causes for the PA symptoms. (People with IBS are more likely to experience anxiety disorders.) Believe me, this is a subject I can relate to firsthand.
 
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Shyra,My grand daughter is visiting so I have been off the board mostly for two days. I am so sorry that you had a panic attack at work. I too have had then for 25 years about. They would come and go, too often at times, and the Xanax used to help but the side effects are not always best so my pharmacist suggested Prozac. I switched about 8 yrs ago. Then I seemed to not do to well on that in my opinion so started taking natural St John's Wort. That helped some but later went off of it later after seeking help from a therapist.I had lived the last8 terrible years luckily traveling in a lovely van . We had two of them over about 15 years. Later when my IBS and panic attacks got worse, my husband bought a porta pot at Sears and I was ever so much more comfortable.But the main thing I found that I LET disturb me was crowds and busy and noisy places like restaurants. We have eaten out for years and a noisy one would often set me off into an attack and followed by D before or right after leaving the restaurant. I finally decided not choose less loud restaurants and those that I could eat most foods there without getting sick. Also, being familiar with the staff helped. But that was not my only problem. Just standing in a grocery store line or movie line was hard as I was always afraid I would have D and have to go. Usually this fear if I did not breathe right and try to relax(OFTEN impossible), would throw me into a panic attack. The buggy got parked, and off the their restroom I went. These are just a few. Others are never shopping or going in the car with anyone but myself or with my husband. He is my safeguard and I have tried to stop that of late . Even to the extend of even keeping different hours to convince myself that I can do without him if I had too. I mean like if he died or something.As someone said above, THOUGHTS can make you sick. In most instances I told you about above, it was thoughts and fear that caused my IBS or the panic attacks. I did let the thoughts get the best of me. What if?? What IF??I finally got to the point that I went to church and that was it. I do go to dinner quite often. Many times I either got sick there or later. Then fearing an accident, had a panic attack many times. Just thinking about a trip even to the store made me sick.In 1998 FEB, I decided that something had to be done about this. I was tired of my life and wanted it back. I was depressed, had a terrible case of insomnia and stayed sick so much. But not enough to lose the weight I had gained. Just a few pounds thank goodness. My husband retired early and I was bored out of my mind. I missed my friend and children. My relatives but his Dad and sister were not nearby, so never saw them very often. I visited my Mother maybe once a year. He had a hold on me and I did not realize it either. I could have gone anytime alone all of those years and I was too dependent to know it and also had children and sick family too tie me down. And, I plan to from now on he is tied up or does not want to go. He worries so will just have to worry about me taking a trip alone. Or he can go for as many days as I care to do so. I should have realized and had therapy years ago. Did hypno 2 yrs and it as good and then quite as I as working and had no time. It helped a lot but I took lomotil and Librax prior to each 30 minute trip to that therapist. No one want to talk about themselves but it is a must.The Gestault therapist helped me so much. I had to pay as my BCAL did not pay for it. But I knew that he could help me. He helped me work out my fears and undertand them and why I had them and what to do about it.He insisted on me taking a part time job or volunteering but there are many reasons that has not occured yet. But I did begin art lessons this Feb and still go almost once weekly. Rubber stamp art and it is so much fun. My therapist sent me to a psychiatrist and he put me on medication. Actually, he did that when I was going on vacation the first year. Then after the driving panic and anxiety, the doctor doubled my Buspar that I was taking for anxiety. I was able to finish driving hubby the rest of that year. It took a lot out of me too and I told him that never again would I drive him for a year. I have done in three years, different times, but was the roughest this time .But that does not get you fixed by this long story is of interest. Tonight we took our grand daughter to the restaurant that she loves . I over heard our waitress, a very good and lovely lady, telling the next table about her being gone from work a week as she had been very sick.Said that she thought she was having a heart attack with all of the symptoms you explained as well. She as taken to the er and he wanted her to sit down. She said no way could she. They gave her medicaton and ran some lab and she was fine. She had anxiety and a full blown panic attack. I just smiled to myself and felt so sorry for her. One would never have known. She said she was rx'd Paxil and Xanax and is doing just fine now. She was surprised that she was under stress but she supposed that her FOUR jobs could be the stessor! She said now she only works THREE!! Can you believe that? Her hours are not real long at the one we ate at tonight so she must work several short hours here and there.Anyway, I would never have guessed that lovely lady had panic or anxiety at all.It chooses to rule us if we let it do it. I w as a prisioner to it for a long time. DO NOT! DO NOT!, let it rule you and tell you where and when you can go. Face it head on after you get on the meds for anxiety. You can do it. You can do it with counseling an dguidance and a lot of determination. Or you can be a POH(prisoner of house)like too many of use. Making yourself face places that are uncomfortableis called I think reality exposure I think. Someone jump in if that is the incorrect term. I know someone else knows the term. Go where you hate to go if at all possible until it is no longer a chore for you. Go to work. You might not stay but do not go with that attitude. Go with saying I will stay and I will try to have control of myself. It takes practice and the deep breathing goes a long way to help. I did self hypnosis for years before leaving the house and it did help.Now I am eating Ezekiel 4:9 bread and it has performed miracles. I no longer have the D and I do watch trigger foods . This is only in ONE months time too.
It is marvelous and if you are IBS C,D o G, it will help. Then when you have the confiedence that I almost have, you can do anything and panic will not be as much or maybe never.
You need counseling, relaxation like yoga , meditation or the tapes,, something to first control the IBS, medication for the panic and anxiety I would think. NIP this in the BUD. You can do it. Also the employees will understand and if you explain it to them as there are millions more like us. You boss will took if he or she is any kind of a human being. I am sure they know a similar case. We can let FEAR just rule and ruin or lives. TAke it from one who was so agarophobic that it was terrible. Everyone on here is or was afraid of the symptoms and results of IBS and even panic for many at some time. But most have done something or learned coping methods. That will be your goal in therapy and should be it now. You will overcome this trust me. Just take your time and take the paths you need to to do it.If you are a religious person, prayer never ever hurts anyone. You might not get immediate results, but I have done something right is time. It is about time as most will ECHO.Never be embarrased about telling us or anyone of your friend or employers as most do understand this.This has been too long but I shared private things with you to let you are not alone.I still have some problems but have made progress. I sold our van. Bought a darling PT Cruiser. Threw away the porta pota an during this thinking period of whether I could get rid of a van was rough on me mentally and I stayed sick a lot with D. After we had it, I knew it had no potty in there, I had to accept it. But my husband did buy a portable that is under the back seat just in case and this toilet top fits on a small lined bucket. Now that gives me the security in a car where before it was impossible to go far , on a trip or out to eat. I still have work to do, but with the E Bread, I am amost well and that is my goal. Then to do something about the panic. Even it that means taking meds for the rest of my life. But I doubt if I will. I hope not but for now, I feel they do help some so I take them as prescribed. The BB gave a lot of great advice . But never let anyone tell you it is in your head. Well, it is caused from something we fear. When I get to thinking about something that I am letting a panic attack build up, I finally say in my head, SHUT UP SHUT UP. Let it GO . Usually I can and that stops the panic or IBS. Also that is one time I can someone to shut up and get away with it!
I hope something I said will help you decide to return to work. I worked for 10 years before my huband retired but I would like to find a part time job now to keep me busy and we all can use the money.I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that you will have success riding of this demon Panic and anxiey before it gets the best of you. I have kicked it out of my life and it tried to return today. I just did deep breathing and repeated in my head to leave me alone.! I hope it will from now one.It might return all of my life but I hope not and if so I will know how to deal with it.Stress is a know killer so we have to stop it in its tracks. I relate panic to stress and fear.I quit my therapy after 2 yrs almost.I am better. The depression if fine if I can get around people. That is why I like to eat out but it used to be a battle as I got sick 9 out of 10 dinners.I control and watch for trigger foods. I have taken calcium for the IBS and it helps some. But not the panic. But the Ezekiel bread had stopped my D. I did have gas today as I was not drinking enough water and also had eaten pizza 2 days ago. I am fine tonight.May I suggest that you see if the doctor can give you a RX soon and let you start ridding of that anxiety. IT IS so bad I know.Hang in, Go on to work and let us know how things go. And buy some of that Ezekiel bread. It has honestly saved my life!
[This message has been edited by trishb (edited 10-10-2000).]
 
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