Anxiety Attacks, PTSD? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-14-2014, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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Anxiety Attacks, PTSD?

I'm not sure this is the correct area of the forum, but here goes naught.

I've recently been experiencing anxiety attacks while at work. It's been a few years since I've had any, but I am certain it is the same issue- it's not exactly a feeling you forget.
Anyways, after I very unprofessionally and expediently vacated my till during a rush due to a total breakdown, a very lovely coworker sat down to talk with me outside. I'm still not quite sure how she had noticed me leaving but I am glad it was her who did. After I relaxed a bit and got my breathing under control and could handle myself again, I was able to talk to my coworker and tell her what was going on and what spurred it and the like. An aside, I work in a very supportive atmosphere and deep conversation isn't far from the norm.
She listened to what I needed to say at the time then made a suggestion that I'd never considered before- she said what I was describing sounded like PTSD. I probably looked like one of those poor dogs with its head cocked to the side while I mulled that over. I set that consideration aside, pulled myself together after a bit and went to finish my shift.
When my shift was over, I pulled up good ol' Dr. Google and did a bit of reading. That made me realize that there were definitely substantial similarities between what I've been experiencing and what PTSD is defined as.
Long story short, I want to get this looked in to.
With that, I encounter a bit of an issue though; my preferred counselor (who I saw for years) has moved away as of about a year ago (though she and I are still in touch). The counselor that I started seeing after my former moved away has since lost my trust entirely since rudely not showing to a meeting then subsequently ignoring all communications, and offering no explanation. She had pretty much already written me off as autonomous regardless, but now I don't know where to turn.
I'm also feeling very isolated right now. Truthfully, all my close friends have moved away, and I'm not wanting to bother forging new friendships knowing that I myself am moving in a couple months. That said, knowing that I'm leaving isn't easing my feelings, just stagnating them.
I suppose I'm just looking for suggestions on where to turn to get myself figured out. I appreciate anyone who read my whole somber rant!

...you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
–Mark Twain
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-14-2014, 07:49 AM
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Is there a community health centre where you can go and ask for a referral? They might know the counselors in your area. Or just search online!

I'm sorry you are feeling like this. I, when things get tough, get anxiety attacks. Lately things have been bad for me too. I have found myself more or less homeless with nowhere to go, no friends or family, and running out of money. I'm just saying it's not abnormal or anything to feel isolated or alone or scared. I wish I could offer some advice, but I don't really have any! I just focus on the little things, the next step, the next task the next hour. I don't know if it's similar for you, but if I don't think about the big picture I don't panic about it! I have my methods for dealing with this, and I hope you can work out some things too!

For what it's worth, you have people here too :)
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-14-2014, 08:52 AM
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"Dr. Google." I love it! I really, really hope you find someone who can help and life gets better for you.

One of my daughters had/has a medical condition that really impacted her emotional well-being and she benefited from counseling. When she could get it.

Counselors moved. A counselor passed away. Caseloads get re-assigned. Some are quite awful. She felt like it was impossible to get help, at times.

But, she persevered. She looks at it like everyone has a challenge area in their life and her emotional health, influenced by physical reasons, is hers. I told her once that if she had a car that needed repeated repair she wouldn't stop trying to get it fixed just because another problem turned up, or because one mechanic didn't know how to fix it.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-14-2014, 06:22 PM
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PM dbarabians as he's our resident counselor. I'm sure he'll have a better idea than most.
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-14-2014, 07:16 PM
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Second that^^^ db has ALOT of knowledge and experience with this

*Insert something witty*
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-14-2014, 10:29 PM
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:) It WILL get better. I promise. I have lived with anxiety for much of my life, and there are downs - but also ups!

I would find another counselor in your area. I know it really isn't fun to start over, but sometimes the counselor will have a different perspective that you will appreciate. I've switched counselors three times - one was awful, the one that I liked got a different job, and now I'm at my current one. I thought the second one was the best and it was going to be horrible without her, but my current counselor is even better!

Ask mental health professionals who they recommend in the area for counseling. It helps weed out some of the options.

When you are feeling anxious, it is best to actually admit to yourself that you are anxious. Fighting anxiety just causes more of it. Take some deep breaths, and tell yourself that you are safe. Avert your attention to anything and make non-judgmental statements - the ceiling is white, that one dollar bill is wrinkled, that customer has red hair...anything to get your mind thinking about other things.

I know that lonely feels scary and like a bottomless pit. I've been there. Can you get involved in a community activity that would also soothe some of your anxiety, like horseback riding (wink, wink!), knitting, book club, etc.? Meeting new people and making connections always makes me feel better. Keep in touch with your friends through Skype, email, text, phone call, snail mail, etc. That will also make you feel better.

Lastly, make sure you are exercising and getting plenty of rest. That definitely helps.

Rusty - a miracle horse Knight - my golden oldie
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-15-2014, 01:11 AM
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I got into an environment that caused me to have anxiety (humidity and dense trees), and left. I feel for anyone that can't simply "change" their location and make it stop - it is a horrid feeling. I did not initially realize what "it" (that feeling) was, which I think made the whole experience worse. I think the reason I had no idea what the problem was, was b/c no one talks about it. So, I was surprised to find out that it is common. But, talking to someone that had experienced it really helped me put it into "perspective", if that makes any sense.


What a poster above suggested really does help ....which is to "interrupt" the fear by concentrating on something. When I did not know anything about it or what the heck was wrong with me, I would notice that while I was engaged in doing something technical it would vanish. After I figured out what the problem was, I figured out how to interrupt it by concentrating on different things - with intent, and it really helped, a lot.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-15-2014, 09:24 AM
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Missy May,

That is what I felt like when I moved out and into an apartment. That particular apartment, for some reason, just made me super anxious. Not exactly refreshing as a home with two fighting roommates. So I moved out and back home. Not my favorite thing to admit, but my mental health is much better.

Rusty - a miracle horse Knight - my golden oldie
Vlogging about Midwest trail riding here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_u...tIjwnOxjKzOfjA
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-15-2014, 10:15 PM
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all I can tell you is anxiety attacks SUCK and they are different for everyone with a few similarities like not being able to breathe or breathing being difficult. For me it's feeling like I can't breathe, my vision goes blurry and I can't focus on anything and standing usually isn't an option. I get away from people cause that usually makes it worse and so does being touched. So I'll jerk away from anyone who tries to touch me.

Equestrianism; 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember you're absolutely insane to be riding a beast that big.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-15-2014, 11:00 PM
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That is an interesting point, samstead, I guess it is different for everyone. It is easy to think everyone's definition is the same. I never had trouble breathing. I just felt "fear" for no apparent reason and my evaluation of the difficulty that every day challenges presented was exaggerated. I'd rather face a mad bull than ever experience that again, at least then I would be able to identify the source of the fear - and the duration would be short lived. :)

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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