Anxiety and panic on/off the road (1 Viewer)

Romanriff

Pilgrim
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
41
Location
Oakland
Sharing some personal info because I need advice:

I used to legitimately think anxiety was overrated, overplayed and an excuse people use but I learned my lesson. A couple years ago I starting using spice which is some nasty shit for being such a little talked about drug. I was smoking weed and drinking a normal amount but after spice my mental state got bad. To make a long story short, I started getting pretty bad, reoccurring panic attacks after a bad trip. Multiple times a day I would forget where I was (sober) , everything I'd see looked like a movie, I'd get dizzy and just trip for no reason. That was 3 years ago and since then it's gotten a little bit better but I developed anxiety and a panic disorder since then.

In a couple of days I'll be getting on the road again but this time by myself and I can't stop worrying about worrying.

I know I can't the only person with this so anyways I was wondering if anyone has any remedies, mental tricks of the sort you can share with me or anyone who wants to know. My panic attacks aren't debilitating but I don't want to have them in at the wrong place at the wrong time.
 
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Faceplant

Mmmm . . . Taste the Ballast!
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
474
Location
Boulder Creek Ca
Sharing some personal info because I need advice:

I used to legitimately think anxiety was overrated, overplayed and an excuse people use but I learned my lesson. A couple years ago I starting using spice which is some nasty shit for being such a little talked about drug. I was smoking weed and drinking a normal amount but after spice my mental state got bad. To make a long story short, I started getting pretty bad, reoccurring panic attacks after a bad trip. Multiple times a day I would forget where I was (sober) , everything I'd see looked like a movie, I'd get dizzy and just trip for no reason. That was 3 years ago and since then it's gotten a little bit better but I developed anxiety and a panic disorder since then.

In a couple of days I'll be getting on the road again but this time by myself and I can't stop worrying about worrying.

I know I can't the only person with this so anyways I was wondering if anyone has any remedies, mental tricks of the sort you can share with me or anyone who wants to know. My panic attacks aren't debilitating but I don't want to have them in at the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you’re still using spice, weed and alcohol - why not abstain for several years and see if things improve? At the very least, it will be better all around for your health.
 

roamingsnake

Pilgrim
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
27
Age
22
Location
New Jersey
Well, not as advice, but a personal anecdote to maybe provide some perspective:

For awhile I picked up vaping to deal with it, eventually going up to a high mg/mL of nicotine and it... didn't work long term, mostly because I got used to it and it became more about needing the next "smoke" break than a relief for anxiety. While it did work, that was probably one of the most effective things (non-synthetic weed was the best, but it's been impossible to find and anyway isn't an in-the-moment solution for me, just helps longer term).

In the moment, I've picked up a lot of small tricks that are mostly about making it through each moment. Deep breathing exercises, anything tactile like crocheting or playing with some beads or a fidget cube, vaping NON-nicotine or CBD just for the familiar motion, reminding myself this is temporary and I can make it through the moment.

Going for walks helps me, too, especially when there's a specific intention to escape from a different situation for a little while BY walking (read also: walking with a very specific goal in mind).

Affirmations work for some people, they can help a little if I repeat them a lot while I try to settle into something with my hands, so if I takes some time to disentangle my yarn or set up to sit somewhere to crochet then I just try to repeat things calmly and slowly to myself to avoid panicking more because it's taking long. I might just say what I'm doing ("I am taking out the yarn, and then I will crochet and it will be relaxing") or affirm that it will be okay, I can make it, this will work, etc.

As with many mental health issues, tactics are tailored to the person who uses them, and what works only a little might work a lot for you or not at all. Reading up on different tactics and doing some research might help you find something you hadn't thought of before and might help you feel a bit more prepared, but it can also be a bit overwhelming sometimes.

Reaching out on here is a great step and you're going in the right direction to address some of your concerns. Anxiety is really difficult, and it's good to see that you're working on trying to manage it. I wish you the best in finding some helpful coping skills! =)
 
OP
Romanriff

Romanriff

Pilgrim
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
41
Location
Oakland
Well, not as advice, but a personal anecdote to maybe provide some perspective:

For awhile I picked up vaping to deal with it, eventually going up to a high mg/mL of nicotine and it... didn't work long term, mostly because I got used to it and it became more about needing the next "smoke" break than a relief for anxiety. While it did work, that was probably one of the most effective things (non-synthetic weed was the best, but it's been impossible to find and anyway isn't an in-the-moment solution for me, just helps longer term).

In the moment, I've picked up a lot of small tricks that are mostly about making it through each moment. Deep breathing exercises, anything tactile like crocheting or playing with some beads or a fidget cube, vaping NON-nicotine or CBD just for the familiar motion, reminding myself this is temporary and I can make it through the moment.

Going for walks helps me, too, especially when there's a specific intention to escape from a different situation for a little while BY walking (read also: walking with a very specific goal in mind).

Affirmations work for some people, they can help a little if I repeat them a lot while I try to settle into something with my hands, so if I takes some time to disentangle my yarn or set up to sit somewhere to crochet then I just try to repeat things calmly and slowly to myself to avoid panicking more because it's taking long. I might just say what I'm doing ("I am taking out the yarn, and then I will crochet and it will be relaxing") or affirm that it will be okay, I can make it, this will work, etc.

As with many mental health issues, tactics are tailored to the person who uses them, and what works only a little might work a lot for you or not at all. Reading up on different tactics and doing some research might help you find something you hadn't thought of before and might help you feel a bit more prepared, but it can also be a bit overwhelming sometimes.

Reaching out on here is a great step and you're going in the right direction to address some of your concerns. Anxiety is really difficult, and it's good to see that you're working on trying to manage it. I wish you the best in finding some helpful coping skills! =)

That's hella helpful thanks so much. Yeah something I can tell myself to keep myself grounded seems like a good tactic.
 
OP
Romanriff

Romanriff

Pilgrim
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
41
Location
Oakland
If you’re still using spice, weed and alcohol - why not abstain for several years and see if things improve? At the very least, it will be better all around for your health.
I stopped using it a lil while ago and feeling better but it definitely made a dent in my health.
 

roamingsnake

Pilgrim
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
27
Age
22
Location
New Jersey
@Romanriff No problem! Something I WOULD recommend is looking into other grounding techniques. I just remembered one that's been awesome for me during some pretty intense moments, a mindfulness technique with food.

Basically, you use all of your senses to perceive some food (can work with other objects, but food is best because you can taste it). It really puts you in the moment and focuses on something very specific. Here's an example.

Take a piece of gum, since that's simple.

  1. Sight: First, look at the gum. What size and color is it? Does it have any markings, any particular shape? Is anything about it visually interesting?
  2. Sound: Next, listen to it. Rub your fingers over it next to your ear; is there a gritty sound? If it's hard gum, do your nails clack against it?
  3. Feel: Now, think about how it feels. What is the texture? Is it smooth or gritty, and how would you describe it? Does it compare to anything?
  4. Smell: What does it smell like? If it's fruit, does it smell fruity. Is it like the kind it's supposed to be, or does it smell like something else?
  5. Taste: Lastly, taste. Put it in your mouth (you can also do this for texture and move smell to step 3). Is the flavor what you were expecting? Is it comforting, plain, or kind of yucky? Why? Do you notice anything else particular about the flavor that stands out?
This can be applied to pretty much any food or drink, even water! If just trying to think is hard, you can always try writing it down, too, making little categories with descriptions that are as long or as short as you like, if it's something you decide to do. Just thought it might be something worth sharing. =)
 

superphoenix

Burrito fund contributor
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Messages
132
Location
NY
Hey, I've randomly had a spell of vertigo and anxiety for a period of time and didn't even take drugs haha.

The accompanying anxiety could be lessened by
1. Wearing glasses
I never used to, but being able to see clearly while looking at a distance is super helpful
2. Eating more healthfully
Often, some accompanying anxiety was on top of some stomach issue or even iron deficiency, and eventually I could "crap out" my anxiety
3. Looking at my phone
Weird advice, but there's something comforting about focusing on a small box that you have total control over.

Deep breaths and affirmations too. Worrying about an issue is often worse than the issue itself, so I tell myself that. Usually, keeping busy in some way distracts me and helps me regain a sense of normalcy.

This is just stuff I've found that works for me, but maybe you can apply similar to your situation.
 

MetalBryan

Vagabond
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
176
Location
Washington, DC
Good stuff here about grounding and affirmations - I personally just say "I'm going to be okay" or "everything's going to be okay" sometimes once is enough. The most important technique is to identify what you are feeling as soon as you feel it - these steps are easy and/or cheap so don't just let your anxiety sit there to go away on its own. Here's my routine, more or less in order, if one utterance of "I'm going to be okay" doesn't calm the panic attack.

2. Take a good breath through your nose. Doesn't have to be a full breath just a deep one. Breathe out through your mouth pretending you're blowing out a candle that's a few feet away. This helps expand the diaphragm which may contact during panic attacks. That's the "am I having a heart attack?!?" feeling in your chest.

3. "I'm going to be okay."

The rest of the steps require physical objects...

3. Smell some lavender. I have dried flowers but essential oil works okay too. You could carry an Altoids tin amount of the flowers or the smallest bottle of oils.

4. As an alternative to lavender, orange peel or orange EO works too. Peel an orange and smell the skin as you rub it with your fingers. It's fucking weird but then you can smell your fingers for a while.

5. "I'm going to be okay."

6. Just like for hyperventilating, breathe into a paper bag. When you get that 40 of Old E or something from the Mogen David winery, you can ask the liquor store for a few extra since anything larger is impractical. I still drink but fyi drinking isn't going to stop your panic attack. I used to get them more often when I was hungover. Same goes for weed - smoke less or educate yourself about the various strains and become selective.

7. I don't treat it as a "step" anymore but I did when I first started having anxiety. I'm always conscientious of staying hydrated. Just like rebooting a computer fixes 95% of software problems, drinking a glass of water serves the same purpose.

8. I don't recommend this step, but it's something I did in the beginning because it's what the rest of society does. I had some benzos I would break/cut into quarters and dissolve under my tongue. Don't do this for three reasons - first, expensive and if you don't have a prescription it's illegal. Second, combining them with alcohol could stop your breathing when you sleep. Third, they can become a crutch and then if you run out that may cause anxiety. Don't be a sheep - huff that lavender like a freak.

Good luck!
 

Solfinger

Newbie
Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
14
Location
VA
I completely agree about the hydration thing. Great analogy of water rebooting a body. Anxiety is real. Keep your head up.
 
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The place beyond the sun
I'm not a panic attack/anxiety kind of guy. I just don't get them. Or maybe I do but I am really quick to distract myself with something else. That's not to say that I don't believe they exist. Seen many people struggle with them. As such, my advice comes from a place where I can not walk in your shoes but never the less, I have found it to be very effective advice when dealing with stressors of any kind. You may want to write this down as many people seem to overlook it.

Good work, good food, good orgasm, good sleep.

That's not some neanderthal level advice either. A hard day of productivity, a series of healthy meals, some excellent toe curling and several nights worth of oh lawd do I need my pillow uninterrupted sleep will cure what ails ya. You may even see god. My take home point is not to forgo or forget the simple things.

And for fucks sake if you are going to get blitzed, don't use spice, be a man about it and slam your head against a wall three or four times. You WILL catch a buzz. I promise.
 

Snot Rocket

Newbie
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
19
Location
United States
Cut out any bullshit you put into your body. Seriously. It took me far to long to figure this out. Im not going to say this will cure your anxiety 100 percent but it will help so much.

No sugar, no bad oils (basically avocado, olive, and mct oil and nothing else) and no shitty processed grains. No smoking. No drinking. Diet is a very complicated thing that you will need to fine tune yourself. In short, dont eat anything with more than one ingredient and youll be good.

Excercise every single day. Doesnt matter what kind.

Limit screens of any kind to a minimum. This is a huge trigger for anxiety to constantly be glued to your phone.

Sleep!!!!! When I dont sleep well Im anxious all day the next day.

Tons of water. Drink a glass every hour if you can.
 

superphoenix

Burrito fund contributor
StP Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
132
Location
NY
I have to recommend sleep as well. Sometimes a lack of sleep gives me the fun dizzy feeling while other times it's just straight anxiety.
 
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