Panic Disorders/Attacks/Major anxiety/panic problem
Hello Ms. Tilmouth,
I have just completed another year of college, which I'm glad to be done with. The last few weeks were extremely stressful with exams and essays, and then a close relative of mine died. Now I've moved back to my house, and unpacking everything from my apartment is proving difficult because I have sinus infection/stress from everything else.
I write this because once one thing irks me, it turns into a bit of a snowball effect. You see, in about a month I am travelling to the Middle East because I was asked to speak at a conference. With my stress/anxiety, this makes the looming trip particularly daunting. I actually love to travel, and I love flying. I've done it probably more times than most people my age. However my brain tells me that I ought to be terrified and so as a result whenever I have anxiety, I get this constant sensation of nausea. Usually once I get this feeling it's guaranteed I'll throw up.
This vomiting symptom I get is awful, and it prevents me from doing the things I want to do in life, and I don't know what to do anymore. I have a month till the trip, but for a few weeks now my brain races at night thinking of all these bad things that could happen on the trip, and then I get panic attacks, and then I get nauseous.
Do you know what causes this? I've talked to many people with anxiety, but never anyone who throws up every time they have a panic attack. I wish I knew what it was that caused this problem, because if I did know- maybe I could start to get some answers.
I am really excited to visit the Middle East, and it's only for about a week. But I'm horrified at the same time at the prospect of travelling there even when I love flying. This is ridiculous. What should I do?
PS I have had a history of anxiety since I was ten- I'm twenty now. The anxiety probably stems from the nearly-terminal illness I had when I was a child.
As with any medical condition there is never a quick simple answer and so it is impossible for me to provide you with all the answers you require via the internet.
what i can say is that i suffered from panic attacks for many years when I was in my late teens and I know just how awful it can be. i never threw up instead i just thought i was was going to pass out everytime.
There are several things going on here causing your anxiety.
Firstly during your teen years etc your body is going through major changes and this includes your brain. Chemicals surging around often creating highs and lows and for some people these highs can feel like anxiety. the chemicals involved increase your heart rate, breathing etc and these are what causes panic attacks. understanding what panic attacks actually are is your first step to beating them, once you realise it is just a chemical reaction and one that is very temporary (your body cannot keep up the chemical flow for long) you will find that this knowledge in itself will start to help you over come them. Please read my page here for more on this
One of the main things you need to do is to take control of your breathing when you are having a panic attack. this in itself will help to stop the attack, a relaxed body cannot also be panicky it is impossible. You need to practice these breathing exercises even when you are not having an attack, the better you become at them the more effective and quicker they will work for your. Please see her for how to do this
It sounds to me like you need to build into your life some me time. This is so important and one that most of us forget to do. your body needs to recharge to remain strong and more bale to cope with life stresses, this includes your mind too. So yes i know people go on about relaxation etc but believe me your body and mind need it, just like it needs to eat food.
My site is full of stress relief techniques which help people to manage stress and lead a more relaxed life, may I suggest that you spend some time looking through it and put into place some form of relaxation into your own daily life, it is important especially when life becomes a bit of a challenged.
perhaps start with these pages
Panic attacks start in the mind and unfortunately we as you know can be our own worst enemy for triggering them. But please do not worry, when I thought my life would always be filled will panic i could see no light at the end of the tunnel. But there is and i haven't had an attack for over 20 years now.
best wishes and enjoy your trip, it sounds very exciting. Perhaps think of your feelings of anxiety as excitement instead, it can put a whole new perspective on things.
best wishes Kate