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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always had an intense fear of death, which isn't helped by the fact that I can't seem to make myself believe in a god or an afterlife. In my early 20's I started having severe panic attacks, complete with physical symptoms similar to the symptoms of a heart attack. Since that time I have been through agoraphobia, and am currently suffering from hypochondria. Every potentially fatal disease I hear about, I'm afraid I've got it. Every little physical symptom I have, I'm afraid it's an indication of something life-threatening. I have panic attacks triggered by both fear of imminent death and fear of eventual death. I recently lost my grandfather, who I was very close to, and I also recently had my 28th birthday (meaning I'm now closer to 30 than I am to 25 -- sounds stupid I know), so I unfortunately spend a great deal of time battling with my fear of death.<br><br>
Anyone else out there who doesn't want to go through anxiety disorder alone?
 

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I can relate. I used to have extreme fear of dying. I would just sit and cry sometimes, just thinking what if I got cancer or DH died in a car wreck? In a way, we had so much, it was also like we had so much to lose!<br><br>
Then, a few things happened, and I can say I am definitely cured. (So probably not the person you were looking for to answer.) But, we had a few very close calls with some serious problems- problems that would have literailly would have killed me if they had completely materialized.<br><br>
When dealing with that, I felt how wrong I had been to spend my time when nothing was wrong to worry so much, you know? Now that I had really intense problems, I wished I would have enjoyed the the better times in my past instead of what-if-ing myself into a panic.<br><br>
Then, I also became very religious. I kind of had a light bulb monent one night, and God became everything to me. Honestly with that happening, I really feel like I have no reason to worry about the big stuff anymore- and I don't. It is such a huge release! Now I just worry about little, normal things sometimes (will DD freak out on our upcoming flight?) because the biggies are just too big for me anyway.<br><br>
I hope you find a way to overcome your worry, too!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I had my first panic attack relating to the fact that I *will* die. It happened this afternoon and i am still shaky. I have had others so i knew right away that this was a panic attack but i'd never had one so related to death before.<br><br>
how have you been copingwith it? i do have meds which i take when i absolutely need them (like today) but i am trying to stay in the moment. 'is anything bad happening to me right here right now?' the answer is usually no and that is helping me a little. i am going to start reading some books tonite about how to live with peacefulness inside of you instead of fear. if you want i'll let you know how that goes.<br><br>
take care<br>
rose
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. I am taking herbs and homeopathic remedies, but it's still a huge problem. My mother also has panic disorder, and she keeps drugs handy for severe attacks.
 

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I had panic disorder with agoraphobia back in my college days. I did some very interesting and, I think, unique things to get over it. I'll share them with you if you're interested but I'm not sure they will work for everyone. it was sort of unique to me.<br><br>
But for now, I would highly recommend the book, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle (I think!). Even though I did not suffer any longer from panic disorder when I read the book, I was thinking the whole time I was reading it that if I had read this book when I did have panic disorder that it would have really helped me.
 

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I'll give the brief version here. But if anyone wants more details, just ask. I'm happy to discuss details.<br><br>
1. First I had to accept that I had panic disorder and stop trying to fight it. So I admitted to myself that I had a serious problem.<br><br>
2. Next I said to myself, "Okay, I'll give you 2 years to get over this. The first year you can do what you want. You don't even have to try to overcome it. Just panic if you want. just stay at home if you want. But the next year you're gonna have to take baby steps to overcome this."<br><br>
3. The pressure was off. I stopped trying to "overcome" the panic and just allowed it to happen if it was going to. But I kept myself safe, only doing things as experiments instead of as "have tos." With this mindset, I was able to attend my school classes, go to a restaurant, and sit in a movie theatre. All things I could not do before without panicking.<br><br>
4. It took me about a year to get to the point where I wasn't having panic attacks, merely having fear that I was going to have a panic attack.<br><br>
5. I went vegan. I don't know how or why, but this removed the last vestiges of fear I had. I think it had something to do with the fact that my body was no longer ailing. So many of my health problems cleared up by going vegan. I felt so much stronger and healthier inside so I stopped worrying about getting sick in public and things like that. I no longer felt I could "die at any moment."<br><br>
This was the quick version. It's 1:47 in the morning. Just finished nursing and waiting for junior to go back to sleep....<br><br>
It wasn't a simple process but I think the key was giving myself permission to panic. Took the pressure off.<br><br>
I also avoided medication like the plague. I decided taht if I got myself on meds of some kind that I would use them as a crutch. Instead, I used 7up as my "medicine." I would carry a can of 7up with me. When I would feel panic welling up, I would open that can up, take a few sips, it helped calm me. I would take another sip every 2 minutes and that would restore me to a state of calmness. Eventually I was able to go 5 minutes in between sips, then 10, etc. Until I got to the point where I didn't take a sip of 7up for an hour.<br><br>
Again, I know, this is sort of strange and unconventional. But it worked for me and so far I'm the only one I've met who has overcome it in such a fashion.
 

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::big sigh::<br>
Oh, my husband just thinks I should get over it. I panic about death and fear there is nothig after death. I fear for the people who died, my family, especially my kids, and myself. I panic at thethought of no longer existing after death. I grew up catholic, then studies other faiths, including paganism, budhism, native american religions, etc. But I've lost my faith somewhere. So, I panic...heart palpatations, sweaty, crying, etc.<br>
I'm dealing with it by thinking of all there is to do and be thankful for right now. I try to focus on how to help others to make a better world no matter what after-death brings. I think about the people who will live in this world in the future and how to make things nice for them.<br>
That helps in the day when I'm busy doing things, but it does little to help at night when things calm down.<br>
I'll look into that book.<br>
I've gone back to being a vegatarian and am pushing my family toward veganism. I feel ill at the thought of causing anybody suffering. I know faith is supposed to make us into better people, but it seems lack of faith is doing that for me. I would like my faith back, though.<br>
I don't know if that was any help to any of you, but hearing your posts has helped me feel less alone in my feelings.<br>
~amanda
 

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Hi Amanda.<br><br>
I am glad that this has helped you feel less alone. I am thankful that my DH is sympathetic, but he doesnt really *get* the panic, if you know what I mean.<br><br>
I am reading "Old Path White Clouds" by Thich Nhat Hanh which is the story of Buddha's life that is really helping me these days. It is written as a simple beautiful novel that just includes lessons about non violence and the impermanence of life that are really working for me.<br><br>
Just thought I'd share. Its a good read and helping my panic.<br><br>
Take care<br><br>
Rose
 

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I have an anxiety disorder and an overwhelming fear of fire. When the two are feeding off one another, it's a baaaaaaad day. I have an acute sense of smell, bionic hearing, and I can feel the smallest amount of heat coming from ANYTHING. Nearly any smell, in my altered mind, can be construed as either "burning" or "melting". When I'm having a really bad day, I jump at every little noise and my heart goes into my throat at every whiff. Any weird noise or smell while driving the car, and I have to reallyreallyreally work to fight off an anxiety attack. I of course make a great effort to hide all of this from the kids, too. Ugh...so many days I feel like such a freak <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ...and I just want to be able to live without this danged monkey constantly on my back! It just sucks away all my energy, and dh doesn't understand it AT ALL. I can SO relate to that "my husband just thinks I should get over it" comment!<br><br>
A friend of mine uses this great term to describe himself..."hyper-vigilant". That's me. I stay up late, I sleep lightly, I'm always on alert, on guard. It's exhausting.<br><br>
I'm a Christian. I find that when I can truly, TRULY give all this stuff over to the Lord, I have incredible peace; and I no longer feel that need to be hyper-vigilant. The problem is that I can't seem to do it consistently. I'll have a few good weeks, and then some small, stupid thing triggers my anxiety; and I'm the crazed lady again. I've been to counseling, taken meds...and still the only way I find any true peace is to just give it all up to the Lord.<br><br>
It shouldn't have to be so hard.
 

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Oh, Devrock...you can't MAKE yourself have faith, or force yourself to believe in God. You have to allow your heart to be open, and simply let Him do the work. I know, because I have been there.<br><br>
I SO wish I had remembered that you are in Gloversville! I was in Auriesville (Shrine of the North American Martyrs) just last Saturday...the contemporary worship group I sing with was invited to sing at a special Mass, for the annual Boy Scout retreat. It would have been such a treat to meet a fellow MDC mama, and to share a little bit of my faith. (I promise I wouldn't shove it in your face...I'm not like that.)<br><br>
btw...We lived in Johnstown when I was a baby <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by skellbelle</i><br><b>You have to allow your heart to be open, and simply let Him do the work.</b></td>
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Trust me, I have tried! I have tried EVERYTHING. I have been so open, and so willing, and so welcoming, and I have prayed so hard for Him to come into my heart/mind and let me feel Him or just let me know in some way that He is there. I have been so open and receptive and needy and I have cried so hard and given myself up to whatever the Truth might be. I want to Know the Truth.
 

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Oh, I am so sorry...I have been in that same place. I honestly do understand your feelings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I didn't mean to sound preachy.
 
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