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Day 1 Anxiety/Panic + more fun

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Buckeye, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. Buckeye

    Buckeye Peer Supporter

    This is my day 1. I don't have the book yet. Am using the wiki pages and have watched youtube videos. I have some all over body pain, but not a lot and I've always had really high pain tolerance (like I take care of my own broken toe and am back in normal shoes on day 3).

    What I have is strong anxiety and sometimes panic attacks. I've gone from being able to travel to consult with very large clients to pretty much house bound because leaving amps my anxiety and keeps me at the edge of panic attack. At one point, a public panic attack caused me to be kidnapped by an ambulance that wouldn't listen to me and landed me in ER. So, now avoiding public panic attacks is more than avoiding embarrassment, it's actually avoiding being taken hostage against my will (or so my body tells me). For me, panic attacks are real pain though. It's like having a bunch of knives stuck into my chest and abdomen.

    Another fun feature is that my 'how to jog' sub-routine has been disabled and I found out one day when I tried to run from a parking lot because of rain. My mind said run, my shoulders leaned into it, and my legs just didn't do it. There's no physical reason, they just don't seem to do it any more and I went right down on my face.

    I've been through a year of the medical industry testing and a year of drugs that have few if any positive effects. Been through three psychologists and one psychiatrist. They were all pretty much just seat warming for the pay check.

    I know that all of this is in my head. I completely understand that on an intellectual level. A friend suggested TMS when I described what I'm going through to him. So, that's why I'm here. I've read the week 0 and first days stuff. Wrote my response to the video. But, I'm not at all sure how you connect to emotions. That seems completely foreign to me at this point. I'm not a psychopath, just not a very emotional person.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Buckeye. I read your post with special interest because it looks like you may be agoraphobic.
    I was, for some time years ago. Had a panic attack and thought it was a heart attack.
    I went to the hospital emergency room and a medic said my heart was fine and I "just" had an anxiety attack.
    He said he got them when he was in medical school.

    I figured I got mine from overwork... two jobs... then quit both and I was "underworked" and no money coming in.
    My roommate at the time played amateur psychiatrist and kept coming up with more reasons why he thought I
    was anxious and depressed. I saw a shrink and he did what yours did, just listened to me talk about one of my former jobs,
    as a newspaper reporter. He put me on Librium and took my money, $80 per one-hour visit that didn't help me at all.
    I finally got another job. I hated it, but it kept me going for 3 years, then I quit and have been a freelance writer ever since.
    I love it, although the income is uncertain each month. But hey, lots of people get laid off in this lousy economy.
    I can't get laid off, I'm self-employed.

    I recommend you keep with the Structured Educational Program because I do think your anxiety and panic attacks
    are from TMS. The SEP will help you to discover repressed emotions that probably go back to your childhood.
    That helped me to better understand my parents and older brother who were causing me trauma. That led to
    forgiving them and myself. That healed my back pain and anxiety. No more panic attacks.

    Also, I suggest you read Dr. Claire Weekes' two books: HOPE AND HELP FOR YOUR NERVES
    and SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE TREATMENT OF AGORAPHOBIA. They are really helpful.

    And try not to "catastrophize" that when you are anxious or having a panic attack or fearing you will have one,
    tell yourself you survived before and you will again. Tell your mind you know the worst you can imagine is not going to happen.

    Another thing, try deep breathing and laughing (not at the same time).
    Inhale through your nose to the count of 3, hold the breath for 3, then exhale through your mouth to the count of 6.
    It's profoundly relaxing and sends oxygen to parts of the body and mind that is healthy and relaxing.

    Also laugh as much as you can. If nothing is worth laughing at, I laugh anyway. It seems to fool my mind and relaxes me.

    I know you're not a pssychopath. Anxiety attacks often come to people like you (and me) who are very emotional people.
    We care very much about others, probably too much. These are called "goodists," those who want everyone to like everything
    we do and say. We can overdo that and not be good enough to ourselves.

    You're know alone. Know that people all over the world, of all ages, color, etc., have problems with anxiety.
    It comes with being alive.

    Be assured you have come to the right place to talk about yourself. We are all here to help each other.

    You ask how to connect to your emotions. You think about them, journal about them, and accept them.
    Dr. Sarno calls healing from psychological problems "TMS penicillin." The knowledge of our repressed emotions
    helps to heal us.

    Welcome to the club and have a great day and weekend.
    Dahlia, Ellen and Zumbafan like this.
  3. Buckeye

    Buckeye Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the reply. I don't have any formal diagnosis... mostly because I rejected their drugs as not effective (and, aside from being perfectly fine with killing myself, they really did little else).

    What is SEP?

    This is one of my sticky points. I know intellectually stuff isn't going to happen, I now have a card I made that asserts my rights so I can't be hauled away again as long as I'm conscious (it's expensive and I don't have any insurance). They said because I couldn't talk they were within their rights.

    I do do the breathing stuff to keep full blown attacks at bay.

    But, when I try to think about emotions, I see stuff in movies and I've seen stuff at work (like a kid died in a dramatic fashion and the nurses all had that war zone shell shocked look on their faces, then for weeks there was this counseling stuff) that stuff just completely eludes me. So, I feel like if I can't connect with these emotions, then this process isn't going to help me much.

    But, thanks for the response and you have a good weekend too.
  4. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    The SEP is the Structured Education Program on this the first page of this wiki under Highlights of the Wiki. It's sort of like a workbook to help process emotions and understand TMS. Emotions may elude you, but the SEP can help you work them out one by one.

    As far as anxiety goes, Claire Weekes is good to read and you can listen to her on youtube, here is one of her youtube audio clips:
    There are many more clips if you look them up on youtube.

    This will help get you going, good luck and welcome to the forum.

  5. Buckeye

    Buckeye Peer Supporter

    I was just looking. I found one of her books in electronic format and have it in the 'shopping cart' now. Thanks on he SEP, kind of a duh for me :)
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Buckeye,

    Another good book is Unlearn Your Anxiety and Depression by Dr. Howard Schubiner, who also wrote Unlearn Your Pain. He is one of our best TMS doctors in my opinion.

    You have lots of resources now.

    Welcome to the Forum. Wishing you the best. Keep us informed on how your are doing.
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here's another You Tube video that another Forum member who had panic attacks recommended:

  8. Buckeye

    Buckeye Peer Supporter

    @Ellen, added it to my wish list, so as I get some money, I can buy them. Thanks.

    Total mixed feelings on that video. Part of why my friend recommended TMS was that he thought the 'repressed emotions' were underlying to attacks and, if those were delt with, the attacks would go away. Or, at least that's the theory he had. The video seems to say just ride through the attacks w/out dealing with any of the repressed emotions. It also talks about a fear associated to them and I really don't have any more fear w/a panic attack than if I were having a calf muscle cramp. I don't fear a calf spasm... they just HURT like the dickens and that's the same way with my panic attacks.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    That is a very interesting point, @Buckeye. I don't know the answer, but I can say that over six years of reading the forum, I tend to see the most rapid gains from people who take more of what might be called a "present based" approach rather than working on digging up deeply repressed emotions. Usually, people work on both simultaneously, so it can be hard to suss out what is the most helpful factor. However, when people get stuck and then make progress, I often see them write about approaches that are more present based (getting out there and living life without worrying, a more meditative and balanced perspective, floating (Claire Weekes), or using the Keys to Healing or Monte Hueftle's book).

    By the way, please don't try to look up all of the things I mentioned in the last post. ;) You want to keep it simple, so I'd stick with doing the SEP and reading the Claire Weekes books you had in your shopping cart (Hope and Help For Your Nerves, presumably). Dr. Weekes understood something on an intuitive level (perhaps from personal experience) that modern psychology has yet to rediscover.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Claire Weekes gives great advice on how to overcome anxiety and panic attacks
    but if you want to know more about their causes, most likely they are from TMS
    so it can help a lot to work on them in the SEP.

    If it's stressful to journal or even just think about possible causes, wait until you feel success
    in easing or not having the attacks.

    Yes, Forest, Claire Weekes had anxiety and panic attacks and writes her books from her own traumatic experiences.
    Her theory of facing our fears one step at a time is right-on.

    However, some people sometimes need professional help and a psychiatrist can be consulted.
    A friend's wife needed psychiatric help and it was a long pull, but she got cured and became a normal person again.
    She did learn, though, from digging into her past, that her anxieties all began in her childhood when her mother
    rejected her in favor of her sister. Rejection and low self-esteem did a number on her in later years when she
    was married and had three children. But she came through it so well that she visited her mother and forgave her.

    So maybe follow Weekes' advice on overcoming your anxiety, then discover what causes it.
  11. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member


    Why is the Unlearn Your Anxiety and Depression book called Unlearn Your Anxiety and Depression The First Five Chapters do you think? Is it a complete workbook? I was just wondering if you have gone through it and could explain that? I assume you enjoyed it since you recommend it? I see it is on Kindle, am thinking about getting it.
  12. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    The Kindle version is only the first five chapters, which are the narrative part. It doesn't include the workbook section. The complete paperback version should be available soon. However, the workbook is the same as for Unlearn Your Pain, so if someone has that book, they don't need the full version. That was the case for me, so I was glad to be able to just buy the Kindle version with the first five chapters. If you don't have Unlearn Your Pain, then you may want to wait till you can obtain the full book in print version.

    Hope this makes sense. Both books are really good.
    Peggy likes this.

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