New thing panic attacks

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OSUJH

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New thing panic attacks
« on: August 26, 2019, 10:46:34 PM »
So, a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with CPTSD from 4 years of consistent rape and molestation from ages of 8-12.    When I initially told “my story” to the therapist it was like I was telling someone else’s story.   I was triggered by a “friend” telling me of her daughters molestation that she didn’t report.   You better believe I called the Sheriffs office, CPS, went down with the school counselor (school wasn’t in session yet, but all the staff was there), everything I could do to fight for this 10 year old since it was evident her mom was not.   My whole body reaction to that situation made me realize it is time to see a therapist.    I went to one who was an intern, it was obvious he was ill equipped and he mentioned seeing someone that does EMDR.   So I did just that, after our second session he said he was afraid to do EMDR on me because I am so disassociated that I would just road block it.   Our last session was Thursday, I go back on Wednesday but I am having feelings flooding back, not memories, but feelings.    Until recently I have never had a panic attack and I have had now had 2 in the last week.  * is happening?    I am so completely lost, alone and scared to death.    I have a supportive husband with whom I am afraid to share.    Has anyone else experienced once they start therapy it gets worse, and then hopefully can tell me it gets better?   Thanks
« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 01:21:38 PM by OSUJH »

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Three Roses

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019, 02:43:08 AM »
Yes, totally. I think it's pretty normal to feel overwhelmed, scared, nervous, anxious - whatever you're feeling about entering therapy, it's normal. It's daunting to know you're going to be facing things, but it's been my experience that it gets easier as you go.

I'd also like to thank you for going to bat for that 10 year old. It's so good you did that! So brave. She's lucky to have had you there for her.

Your therapist sounds well informed and sensitive to your needs, so that's also a plus.

Panic attacks are your body's response to what you're going thru. They can be frightening but there are ways to deal with them. What are yours like? Do you hyperventilate? Are you filled with dread, do you feel like you're in imminent danger? Could anyone else notice you're having one? Sorry to ask you these personal questions but details help with getting the answers that will help you.

Breathing exercises are what I use when I feel like one's coming on. I breathe in slowly through my nose to a count of, say, 4, hold momentarily, and exhale through pursed lips to a count of like 6. The numbers aren't important, just that the exhalation is longer.

I'm sure others will also have input for you. I'm glad you're here.  :hug:

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Three Roses

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019, 02:46:58 AM »

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OSUJH

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 01:30:08 PM »
Three Roses.  Sorry for not replying fully yesterday.  When they happen I can’t breath, I am in a complete fog, my arms and legs lose feeling, I have complete feeling of absolute dread, my stomach hurts.   Afterwards I have a headache.   I have tried everything to stop it but that doesn’t seem to work yet.    I have only had a few in the past few weeks, never before this.   When I feel it coming on I isolate myself, I am embarasssed by them.   I had one yesterday morning and again last night.   The one yesterday morning I was sitting in my office at work and an important phone call from my graphic designer came through.    I had to answer it because we are on a deadline.   I have been using her for years so we know each other pretty well and she could hear it in my voice I guess because she asked me what was wrong.    The first thing that popped in my head was to say “I’m fine, my allergies are acting up and you just caught me at the end of a sneezing fit”.   This is all new for me, I am trying to find a way to soothe myself but haven’t been successful yet.    I don’t know if I can do this.   I have lived life in avoidance and it worked.   This is too much, I don’t know how many more I can take, not sure what to do, but I know me and I will just keep plowing forward.  Just looking forward to the time when these don’t happen.   It is the most awful and scariest feeling.   

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Kizzie

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 04:53:46 PM »
EMDR may be too much right now OSUJH given you have just learned you have CPTSD (big shock) and had a recent event trigger you (overwhelming for you but like TR I think it's awesome that you did step up for that child  :thumbup:). 

IME reaching out to professionals, family and others can help to feel less alone and to understand what is happening and why. You may need to talk with your T about going slowly and focusing in on ways of grounding/ calming/ soothing yourself before you get into your trauma too much. And I don't know what your GP is like but you may want to let them know what's going on - anxiety attacks can be debilitating and medication may be an option to discuss. 

Finally, does your H know about your past? It's hard to reveal what you're going through I know but it's can be so helpful to not have to hide what you're going through and to have some loving support.

Just some thoughts about what may help that you can take or leave.  Coming here and talking with others who have Complex PTSD and get what you're saying is a great step so  :applause:  and   :grouphug:



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Three Roses

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2019, 04:56:05 PM »
Hi again - just wanted to let you know I sent you a pm.  :)

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OSUJH

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2019, 06:32:42 PM »
Hi Kizzie-

Thanks for the reply.   Yes, we are not doing the EMDR route, he said that I am so disassociated it will not work.    He asked that I email him if I ever need anything during the time between the sessions, so I did email him last night in the midst of the panic attack and apologized for bothering him.  He replied almost immediately and told me "to keep the emails coming"  I also emailed him this morning because I had another one this morning so he is very aware of what is going on.   

I am hoping to be able to learn some tools from him to control these things, never in my life has this ever happened.    I am trying all of the techniques, breathing, etc. but nothing seems to work, I guess I need "more practice"   I am deathly afraid of going on any medication.   About 20 years ago I was not feeling all that great so I went to my doctor.   He said what is wrong I said "I am tired"   his reply was I was only 22 you are too young to feel that way, gave me a depression test, told me I was mildly depressed and threw me on Celexa.   About 3 weeks later I came home took all of my Celexa and all of my prescription strength Ibuprofen ended up in ICU for 3 days and then the psych ward for a couple more days.    I am not sure what happened but was told one of the side effects of Celexa is suicidal thoughts or actual suicide. 

I am not comfortable asking people for help, I am the one that everyone goes to.  It was a big step to go to a therapist and to post on here.    I am thankful for this anonymous community.   I told my husband but he pretends like it didn't happen, we don't talk about it.  The only reason I told him is because I do not like sex and felt like I had to give him an explanation for my lack of sex drive.    He has an allergy to any feelings other than happiness and he HATES that I am seeing a therapist, he thinks people should be able to handle themselves.    So it is hard to turn to him about this.   I have not told him about my panic attacks, and probably won't.     He is supportive in every other way, just not when it comes to negative emotions.   

I plan on taking this very slow AFTER I figure out how to calm myself.   I think I have a great therapist (going for the third session tomorrow) and I trauma is one of his specialties.   

Thank you, I appreciate the advice and the support.   

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Kizzie

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2019, 03:29:57 PM »
Quote
I plan on taking this very slow AFTER I figure out how to calm myself.
 

 :grouphug:

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notalone

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2019, 10:52:29 PM »
I wasn't able to read your initial post at the moment (too triggering for me), but I read the other things you wrote. Learning to bring calm to my triggered body (my therapist says that often) has been and continues to be a long, slow road. I do see growth, however. Give yourself a lot of grace.

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OSUJH

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2019, 07:20:41 PM »
notalone, thanks for the reply.  Earlier this week we worked on a calm space, I was able to easily get there with my therapist there in the room asking me what I heard, what I felt, what I smelled, etc.   Not so easily when trying to do it my self later, but I am going to keep practicing.   I wish you success as you continue to also bring calm to your triggered body.   Lots of support from me.   

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notalone

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Re: New thing panic attacks
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2019, 03:18:30 AM »
Thank you for your support. That is an encouragement to me. I do think that practice is key.