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 Post subject: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:00 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Romania
I've had quite a scare about two years ago and never recovered fully. I am terrified of someone dear to me dying, pets included. That kind of got into something worse so now I have anxiety episodes. If someone doesn't answer their phone I always assume the worst. Or if they are driving a long way. I get a really wierd feeling, kind of like a small panic attack when I think about it.
I also tend to obsess about stuff. My most recent obsession is the cat I have and I keep checking his pee and poo, his food intake and weight, almost obsesivlely. If I find something a little out of the ordinary, I panic. He doesn't display any distress sign but I'm so very afraid of him getting sick and me not noticing in time (I had a puppy that died last month in a stupid accident and that was very hard for me).
My most recent fear is getting our bengal. We're due to pick her up at the end of the month and I am so anxious! I keep thinking she won't get along with our current cat and I'll stress him and that maybe I'm not doing the right thing for him (the reason we want to get another cat is for him to have a playmate).
I really don't know how to get over this :(

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:36 am 
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If it's affecting your life that much I would look at getting some sort of professional help. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can assist with changing your thought patterns so you don't catastrophise so much, or you can learn to distract yourself. It's not a fun way to live and I would recommend doing something about it sooner rather than later.

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:27 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Thanks Fenstar. Unfortunately these are not yet seen as health problems in Romania so we don't really have specialists in this area. The only thing we have are doctors that pop you full of pills and I don't really want that, I don't think it will help me much.
I have read about the Linden Method that helped a lot of people, but no one really says much else about it and I keep thinking it's just marketing. It would really help to hear something from someone that has been through this.

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:45 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Anxiety and panic attacks are often caused by an underlying problem like depression or low mood. Don't rule out tablets (depending on what they are!), they tend to approach things a bit differently now with drugs that are non addictive etc, usually something that just lets you feel a bit more even, without the extremes you can feel that lead you into panic attacks etc. PM me if you want a bit more in depth of my own experience with this subject x

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:53 pm 
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I suffer from SEVERE anxiety as well as OCD. I have panic attacks that lead into seizures and I am on medication for the anxiety although I am trying to get my self off of it because over the years I have become addicited to it. I understand what you are saying with checking everything and if something is not right then you assume the worse thing you can think of. My anxiety stems from childhood abuse and abuse from my first marriage. I have had to deal with those problems in order to attack my panic instead of it attacking me! The thing with anxiety is what you assume you really have to retrain your way of thinking, its hard I cant lie but its possible! I have actually been able to drive within the last 4 months which is something I have not done in years!!! I though I would have a wreck and hurt my children or hurt someone else, I would have crazy things run through my head then have an anxiety attack! I would suggest the first thing you do is to stop with obessessing! That is where anxiety comes from, the cat has had stomach problems,so you think the worse thing and then end up with anxiety about it. You have to instead think Ok I cleaned the litter box things didnt look right so I will keep and eye on it,leave it at that! Dont think about it again until you clean the box again! Its really hard but that is just an example of having to push thoughts out of your head. I have been through thearpy for years and I have found a Dr. recently that has helped me . He says that I deal with things that do not exist like obsessing over something that really isnt there. Like assuming things will happen , when in reality there not. Yes you have the right to worry about things in a healthy way but the negative obessesive thoughts you HAVE to push them away. Its self control, the only way I can describe it is say an alcoholic is invited to a family party and they have drinks there that alcoholic has to say no to those drinks to beat their addiction. Think of you negative thoughts as the alcohol you have to push them an say no to your anxiety filled thoughts to kick your addiction(panic)! Its the same principle for both things people may not see it but they are both equally as hard! You can change it though with me thinking in that manor it took only a month for my seizures to go away , two months for most of the anxiety and its been about 8 months and I am still fighting with OCD but its getting better. Train yourself and allow your mind to be free! I am not sure if that helps or makes sense but if you need anything or have questions on how to deal with something let me know I will try to help. i have suffered from this since I was 14 and I am now 26 so I have probably faced many of the same things you have and I will be more than happy to help you along the way!

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:46 pm 
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I also have some severe anxiety and OCD. Someone mentioned cognitive behavioral therapy earlier, which does tend to work. Personally, I wasn't ready for it and it was too dificult more me and I had to quit. But if you know can do some research into what it is, you might find that you can do parts of it yourself. The most basic form is resisiting your obsessions/compulsions for increasing increments. For instance, if you get the urge to check your cat's litter box hold out for one minute before you do (or however long is appropriate for where you are). After that feels more comfortable, move it to two minutes, and then maybe to five, or ten... until you can move it to a point that is reasonable.

Alternatively you could refuse to allow yourself to check for so long, driving yourself intentionally into a high anxiety state for as long as possible in an attempt to "burn the anxiety out." This works for some people but didn't for me, but, you never know.


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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Suki, if you can get some books to read that might be a start. There are some great CBT based books out there, let me rifle through my collection (I'm a counsellor) and see what might be useful for you. The thing with CBT is you have to put in the work to see results, otherwise there's no point. It can be difficult for people to stick with it.

One book that immediately springs to mind is "Change Your Thinking" by Sarah Edelman. It's good because it's written simply and it has exercises and things for you to do. You should be able to find that one online. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Change-Your-Thi ... 971&sr=8-1)

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Fenstar wrote:
Suki, if you can get some books to read that might be a start. There are some great CBT based books out there, let me rifle through my collection (I'm a counsellor) and see what might be useful for you. The thing with CBT is you have to put in the work to see results, otherwise there's no point. It can be difficult for people to stick with it.

One book that immediately springs to mind is "Change Your Thinking" by Sarah Edelman. It's good because it's written simply and it has exercises and things for you to do. You should be able to find that one online. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Change-Your-Thi ... 971&sr=8-1)

:)



I have to say that one is a good book! My doctor actually recommended that I read it and there are several other books that basically give you step by step directions ,really,on how to train youself. I know it sounds crazy but it works and there are several exercises that help as well. The biggest thing for me that I never paid attention to was my breathing! I never knew there was a proper way to breath, you think how could breathing change anything but trust me when you are dealing with anxiety it helps tremendously! The exercise I found most effective in teaching me the right way to breath was to lay on the bed with a book on my stomach, while you are breathing make the book move up and down with each inhale and exhale that teaches your body to breath through your stomach and not you cheast alone. That is what broke the seizure episodes I was having. I have been diagnosed with PNES and it happens from me not dealing with my anxiety. I would try to read the book and deal with the anxiety first and try to start working with OCD. I dont know that you have OCD but if you obsess over things that will lead to stress and anxiety, I have found it easier however to deal with the stress and anxiety than I have with the OCD. I have made progress but it has taken years. I have tried many methods and would give up,but now that it is effecting my life in a major way I am trying to deal more with that ,then I am anxiety! Its crazy and not an easy thing to do,but you have all of my support as I will be going through it with you!!! Let me know if you need anything!

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:37 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Thank you everyone for your support and advice. I really do appreciate you taking the time to speak about your personal issues. It makes me feel less like a wierdo (when I talk to my friends about this issue they just think it's crazy talk).
So here's the whole story: A few years ago (2-3, can't remember exactly) I had to leave early in the morning for a trip. I'm not usually a morning person but my mom is (wasn't living with my parents, just visiting), she gets up at 6, sometimes even 5. So I asked her to wake me up at around 8. So I wake up at 8:30 and the whole house is dead silent. I get up and go to my mother's bedroom and she's still in bed. I gently try to wake her...nothing. I start calling " Mom, mom!". Nothing. Then I notice she's rather rigid and cold and I almost puked (that's my reaction to extreme feelings). I put my had at her neck to feel her pulse, almost dreading the outcome. But no, she was very much alive, just deep asleep. My whole life my major fear has been the death of loved ones and this was coming very close to it. Since that episode I deal with anxiety. It was more severe at first, I used to wake up in the middle of the night and look at my husband to check if he was still breathing. Sometimes I'd wake him, just to make sure. Same with the cat :| I've learned to deal with this and I rarely wake up now but I still have mild anxiety sometimes. I say mild because I can easily be distracted and think of something else most times.
Thank you very much for the link to the book, I was hoping to find it kindle edition but I'll just order it paperback, hope they ship here.
Later edit: fortunatley I don't suffer from OCD, it's just the anxiety.

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:55 pm 
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I think everyone experiences mild anxiety to some degree in their life time. This book wil help up without a doubt, when dealing with anxiety it all in your head its the "what ifs" that you tend to over worry about like the death of a loved one,I still to this day get up at night and check on my children to make sure they are breathing! I have two step daughter that are like my own ages 7 and 4 and two sons ages 4 and 21 months. That is something that I donnt think any therapy can take care of. My biggest fear is having a car wreck I lost my brother to a drunk driver when I was 13 and my sisters husband when I was 23. Both were from drunk drivers, I have just now over come my fear of driving but I still cant drive in busy towns or at night! Its something you have to take baby steps with, you cant go in head first or it can be over whelming before you get the book or while its being shipped I would do the exercise with the book on you stomach and breathing to make sure that you are breathing correctly believe it or not the way you breath can cause an anxiety feeling and its thoght in Japan that if you breath from your chest and not your stomach thats a sign of extreme illness.I hope everything works out for you it sounds like you already have the mind set to keep yourself from going into a full anxiety attack so you are already several steps ahead!

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Location: Hampshire
I very much hope that with the aid of books and some professional help you can become less panic-iky.
Its very easy to think the worst especially when you have gone through some bad times but you have to remember, worrying and constantly panicking with make you really ill, exhausted and thats something you dont need or want in your life.
Really think hard about the good times in your life, take moments to sit and enjoy what you have, the love of your animals and friends and family and dont let yourself think of what 'could' happen. I know its hard.

Be aware tho - that your behaviour - panicking around your cat especially a new one will alter their behaviour.
When mine first arrived home they were ill, eventually diagnosed with TF and Giardia.
I was watching them constantly especially when they went to the litter trays- being young kittens and will the awful diarrhoea they would tread in it so i would have to sit close and immediately start covering the poo so they didnt step in it. After a few times they would shout for me when going to the loo and never cover it up. it took a long time to get them back to using the litter trays like a 'normal' cat/kitten. And that was all down to my behaviour.

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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You mentioned the Linden method. My daughter suffered bad panic attacks over a number of years, and two years ago decided to try the Linden method. She found it very beneficial and has always recommended it to anyone who has panic attacks. She's recently come off meds. and still finds the Linden method helps her whenever she has issues. Hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:52 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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The simplest technique to halt a panic attack is to practice 4 x 4 breathing. Breathe in deeply to the count of 4, hold, then breathe out to the count of 4. It works in 2 ways. It distracts you as you're focussing on counting and breathing and it fills your body up with good oxygen, which cuts short an anxiety/panic attack. There are other methods such as putting an elastic band around your wrist and flicking it when you feel anxiety coming on, that is another distraction technique. Personally (I have suffered anxiety & panic attacks) I find the breathing method to be beneficial for me. You have to find whatever works for you as everyone is different and everyone reacts to things in different ways.

As a counsellor I've not heard of the Linden Method and just googled it. I personally would be wary of something that you have to shell out that sort of money for when there is a plethora of really really good CBT information out there that is very effective. CBT for Dummies is written by CBT therapists and is very good. The other book I was thinking of has gone out of my head just now!

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:59 pm 
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I am not by any means a Counseller , but I have to agree that simply breathing has been the best tool for me, but proper breathing! Its amazing at how well that works!!! I can even tell when I am going to have a seizure I get what the doctors have called and Aoura I think thats how its spelled and when I get that feeling if I isolate my self and simply breath through it , I will not have a seizure or panic attack!

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 Post subject: Re: Panic!!!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:31 am 
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The other book that is good, though it is huge, is "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David D Burns. It has exercises etc.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Feeling-Goo ... 622&sr=8-1

:)

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