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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,I usually arrive early to classes (I'm a college senior), and just catch up on work before class starts. Other people do the same, and often end up chatting with each other about classes, what�s going on in the world, etc. Since the number of students in my major is relatively small, most of us generally know each other since we have or have had classes together.Sometimes, I try to avoid engaging in conversation with classmates out of fear of having an anxiety attack, not being able to escape to a restroom if I have a problem, or worry about what people will think of me for randomly leaving in the middle of discussion all of the time. I'm somewhat concerned that others perceive me as being impersonal, arrogant, and unfriendly because of this.Anyone have the same kind of problem? How do you handle yourself in these types of situations? I know that I should not be so concerned about this, but I will be working with many of the very same people in my profession throughout the rest of my life.Thanks.
 

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Hi City Slicker,I'm new to the bb, but not to issues like anxiety! I had panic disorder for a number of yrs. and although I generally don't get panic attacks anymore, I still deal with some generalized anxiety. For me the biggest help came through therapy when my therapist introduced me to hypno. I think there is a forum for this topic on the bb, although I haven't checked it out yet. When I know I'm going to be around a lot of people, or simply in a situation I find anxiety producing, I use imagary and mental rehearsing to get me through. If I take some time before the situation and just relax & see myself as confident and successful in my interactions with others, and allow myself to feel calm and relaxed about things, then when I am actually with those people, I feel all the positive things I thought about in advance, and believe it or not, it has really helped me through some anxious times! I'm sure the hypnotherapy forum will have lots of guidence for you. Good luck!
 

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CitySlicker,I hear you on that one. I'm a college sophomore (actually, at UD in Dayton if you know where it is-- I noticed you said you're from Cleveland) and probably the most embarrassing thing is having to excuse yourself from talking to someone or leaving in the middle of class-- especially because you're gone for enough time so that it's noticeable that you weren't going to get a drink or anything. I don't have issues with anxiety attacks, but I can certainly understand the fear of having to leave in the middle of a conversation to make a mad dash to the restroom. The best way I've found to dealing with that is finding a way to graciously excuse yourself. If you can feel that you might need to make a run for it, try to wait until a break in the conversation and excuse yourself for a minute. If you're gone for awhile and come back and feel the need to explain why you were gone for a little bit (which I always do-- I don't know why), you can always lie and say you ran into a professor or student and just jump right back into conversation with something like, "Now, what were you saying?" I don't think others will see you as arrogant and unfriendly if you can somehow make a panicky situation seem calm (if at all possible...this isn't easy...). I think just handling it with grace as opposed to just dashing out of the room (which so often is exactly what you feel like doing, probably, because I know I do...). I wish there were a better solution to this problem besides trying to pretend that nothing was wrong
Sorry I couldn't help more! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all of the advice.I've been on Paxil for the last few weeks, which has helped me profoundly when I encounter situations like I've described. Unfortunately, while my syptoms have temporarily vanished (and hopefully they'll stay that way!), others' perception of you remains. Again, it isn't something I dwell on all of the time, but I do like to be viewed favorably by people who will in some way play a role in my life.I'll share an instance that I thought sucked. My class was given ten minutes to complete some kind of assignment that was to be shared. We had to work with partners, which really made me anxious since I would be noticed if I left. For the few two minutes, my mind was so focused on my gut that I got nothing done. I excused myself quickly and went to the restroom for about 5 minutes. I came back and threw something together with my partner. Luckily, we got our assignment done satisfacorily.Erin...yes, I do know where Dayton is, but I've never been there before. You ever been up to Cleveland?
 

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CitySlicker,I'm glad your symptoms have temporarily vanished! It makes life a lot easier, but whenever I go into what seems to be temporary remission, I spend all this time waiting for things to flare back up, which really sucks. And then worrying just makes things worse! Awful. Yeah, I've been up to Cleveland, some of my Dayton friends live up there and I've got a cousin at Baldwin-Wallace. Nice area near there!!!
 
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