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Is it a crime against nature for an anxiety-prone person to try and function normally?


arrowbee

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Because it sure feels that way!

 

I'm a sound-and-lighting technician, and I usually work in small nightclubs. Last week I stumbled into the biggest gig of my life, doing sound at a club three times the size (and many times the complexity level) of the places where I usually work. The odds that I can handle this gig without making a huge mess are probably in the 70-80% range. My colleagues (the ones who know me best) are sure it'll work out fine.

 

Since I agreed to take the gig, I've been having multiple panic attacks a day. During these attacks, my heart rate skyrockets, I start sweating all over (not good when your job involves being very close to electronics for long periods of time), my reaction times get very slow, I fly off the handle at people that don't deserve it, and, most alarmingly, my short-term memory just kinda switches itself off.

 

Today while I was walking down the sidewalk, a panic attack struck me. I found a discarded beer bottle on the sidewalk, and I just gave it one swift furiously angry kick into a wall. It shattered, sending pieces everywhere. I felt a little better after that - just a little. A few hours later it occurred to me that if one of those shards had struck a little kid in the face, I would be sitting in a jail cell right now. Then I decided to check myself into the psych hospital. I was sent home four hours later with a prescription for Ativan, which seems, blessedly, to be working.

 

Over the last ten years I've grappled with various panic disorders, and through a combination of therapy, lifestyle changes, and (the most important part) building a support network around myself, I've slowly but steadily made progress in defeating them. Over the last week and a half, all of that progress has vanished. I feel like I have a fifteen-year-old brain again.

 

Is it possible that I'm in over my head, and should just give away this gig and not venture out of my comfort zone again for a while?

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Over the last ten years I've grappled with various panic disorders, and through a combination of therapy, lifestyle changes, and (the most important part) building a support network around myself, I've slowly but steadily made progress in defeating them. Over the last week and a half, all of that progress has vanished.

Did you stop using your medication during that time?

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Are you currently still seeing a therapist - one who is specially trained to work with people with panic disorder? It sounds like the job is pushing you past your ability to cope successfully. It might be time to go in for a few sessions to get yourself on track for the demands of the job. I think you should do whatever it takes to be successful at this job. You shouldn't have to be held back from your career due to an anxiety disorder.

 

Good luck!

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I also deal with anxiety, all those symptons you describe I deal with on a daily basis. When your having an attack, try and relax yourself. Take deep breathes, I also start to count slowly or picture something relaxing to you. This helps alot.

 

Take the job, dont let this anxiety rule you, you have to rule it. Learn calming techniques and use them when you feel the feeling come on. Good Luck

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I went through a period of severe panic attacks, so I can relate to what you're going through. My illness screwed up my life but not nearly as much as the DRUGS they gave me to deal with it!!!

 

I have found that therapy, meditation (NOT MEDICATION), yoga, and deep breathing techniques help me a lot more than those psych meds ever did. The problem is that psych meds are just a bandaid. They dont' help you get to the root of the problem of WHY you're panicking in the first place, and they're very addictive. Some people have a difficult time coming off of them-you have to taper off, and not a lot of doctors know how to help you do it.

 

When you panic, your flight or fight mode kicks in at times it's not supposed to...you just have to retrain it.

 

It's been 5 yrs for me since my last panic attack, and I don't take anything. I agree w/the person who said, find a therapist who specializes in this.

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How did you get that job? Im curious because I want one like that.

 

Live sound is one of those jobs where you're expected to take crap from everyone and work for artificially depressed wages because everyone assumes that you 'love what you do', at least in the abstract sense. It's like being a chef, or an actor. If you're not 100% dedicated to it, you may as well go home.

 

Do you live in Ontario? Would you like to inherit all my gigs once I finally figure out what my next move is?

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Is it possible that I'm in over my head, and should just give away this gig and not venture out of my comfort zone again for a while?

 

hell no!!!!! who knows what doors this might open...but if you give it away you'll be stuck with the regret......screw a comfort zone venture out take a walk on the wild side and be who you are on the inside....your better than this much better

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Nope. The Ativan that I got today is the only medication I've been on since 2006.

 

I've suffered from anxiety/panic before. Ativan is decent to handle sudden attacks, but the best way of addressing the underlying condition with medication is an anti-depressant. Cipralex (Lexapro in the U.S.) does that extremely well. I would ask your doctor.

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