Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Do You Experience Feelings Of Dread In Your Basement Or Attic?

Sometimes I get awful blogger's block, because there's only one thing I want to write about, and yet I have no earthly wish to write about that one thing. And yet I can't write about anything else until I've written about that one thing. And so on.

(NB This is how you got treated to the 'synaesthetic orgasms' post a few months back, for which I am sure you are all profoundly grateful, especially my dad.)

So for a few days I've been thinking that I *must* write a post about my terrible panic attacks, because having terrible panic attacks is taking up an inordinate amount of my time at the moment, and I thought maybe I could exorcise them by writing about them on my blog, and then I wouldn't have to go back on the medication.

I think the panic attacks are there to make up for the fact that by some idiosyncrasy of nature, I am never physically ill. I haven't been ill - not really ill - for almost as long as I can remember. I last had a day off work sick in 1995. This worries me, because it surely means that Fate has some terrible Dorian Gray-esque physical affliction in store for me which may strike me at any time, if I'm not super-vigilant.

But anyway. The panic attacks. It would be nice if just for once, just for one day, I could go out, go on the bus, go on the tube, go for a walk, go into a meeting, go to the pub, go anywhere where there are other people and no immediately obvious escape route, without panicking. Without getting tenser and tenser and more and more frightened until I think I'm going to collapse, or somehow melt, or throw up, or all my limbs are going to fly off if I don't get out of there really, really quickly.

I don't want to go back on the medication, but sometimes it seems inevitable.

Sigh.

Anyway. This post doesn't have a point, other than that now I've written it I can write about other things again. Like Ghostbusters. I'll probably write about Ghostbusters next. That'll be better.

Phew.

27 comments:

Dave said...

Obvioulsy I'd like to write something sypathetic, being a bit of a panicker myself, but being a man I am contractually obliged not to, so I'll just say: isn't Ghostbusters fun/scary/sexy* ?


*Delete as innapropraite.

Dave said...

Regrets for typos. I'm on tablets and keep missing the right keys.

james henry said...

It's because I'm coming back Thursday, isn't it?

Billy said...

I was convinced there were people living in my loft when I grew up (until a disturbingly late time). They even had names.

Oh and 2 additional things about the loft used to give me the shits (and still are just thinking about it) the fluffy insulation stuff I was convinced I was going to stand on and fall through the floor and the fact our stepladder was too short so you had to stand on the top of it to get up there.

That was cathartic. Thank you.

patroclus said...

Dave: Ghostbusters is the greatest film ever.

James: Apart from Hero Trip.

Billy: What were their names? We had a colony of bats in the loft, but I didn't mind this, except when they chose to drown in the hot water tank and bits of dead bat used to come out of the taps.

Ooh, that makes my upbringing sound a bit like The Lost Boys, the greatest film ever.

100 Words said...

I don't get ill either. No doubt there is a quid pro quo arrangement with regards to panic attacks, but I rather cleverly sidestepped it by projecting them onto my other half.

How generous of me.

I really sympathise - panic attacks are fucking awful. Thankfully, the other half doesn't get them anymore. If it's any consolation, they just stopped overnight, so there is hope ...

First Nations said...

i was a brave little soldier about 'em right up until i had one DRIVING DOWN THE FREEWAY. sometimes drugs are good.

not scared of the loft but refuse to go under the house. there are people buried there. just like there are under every house. everywhere. there are.
it's convenient.

cello said...

They are horrid, so much sympathy. I have them very occasionally. It's because you think too much, so I think it's just one of the prices you pay for having an over-active brain and all the rewards that brings.

Presumably you know about paper bags, - and ping-pong of course, according to GW. Or was that the hokey-cokey?

Tim Footman said...

I sometimes suffer something like a panic attack in crowded places, especially large, crowded department stores or shopping malls. But that might just be a manifestation of my pathological misanthropy.

Small Boo thinks it's just to get out of shopping.

Annie said...

Aww. (I had one once on the tube, and it was v scary.) Just out of curiousity, what medication can you get for panic attacks? And would hypnotherapy maybe help?

Annie said...

er. That's curiosity.

*crawls away, shamed*

patroclus said...

Ahh, thank you everyone, I wasn't really after sympathy.

100 Words: that sounds hopeful.

FN: Ooh lord, that's awful. I have had them while driving, but usually there's been someone else there who can take over (and then have me squeaking at them from the passenger seat about how I'm about to die and by the way they're TOO CLOSE TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD).

Cello: Hm, thank you. I know about the paper bags, but neither they nor the hokey-cokey would probably go down well in meetings...but actually having said that, it might be good for client bonding...

Tim: Large, crowded shops are an abomination and it is right and proper to run away from them screaming. Also there's something about the lighting in shops that freaks me out. I don't like places with bright lights and lots of people, which is why I was doomed in my old job.

Annie: I think it varies from person to person, but they gave me an anti-depressant called Cipramil (Celexa in the US). Which was fine, and all that, except that I didn't feel a single emotion for three years, and all I wanted to do was work. I really don't want to go back to that. I don't fancy hypnotherapy because I'm scared of hypnotists, although it might work for some people.

Anyway, I don't like talking about this much, so shall move on quickly to something else.

Kirses said...

I had a panic attack on the way to work last Thursday, unfortunately it was also my birthday (not the reason for the panic). Had to sit down on a park bench and try to breathe, but every time i thought about going into the office couldnt breathe again..horrible.

patroclus said...

It's rubbish, isn't it, Kirses? And there's never any rhyme or reason for it. I get panic attacks in the most banal situations, like watching TV, or walking down Falmouth high street. For some reason I've developed a massive phobia of Falmouth high street, oh yes.

Marsha Klein said...

What cello said. I'm quite sure that panic and its physical manifestations are linked to introspective and (overly) self-critical personality types. If one is never troubled by self-doubt, I'm guessing that panic is also an unknown phenomenon.
Which must be nice.

patroclus said...

Marsha: Oh god yes. As far as I'm concerned, nothing I ever do has ever been or will ever be good enough. It's a habit I really wish I could get out of - it's not helpful lying awake for hours at night telling myself I am the worst/most worthless person on this earth. I presume you get the same?

Marsha Klein said...

P: Same here. Same here and, oh God, yes!

Miserable, innit?

Fidel said...

Er...Looking forward to the Ghostbusters ....

patroclus said...

Me too, Fidel.

GreatSheElephant said...

umm - hope I didn't cause you to have one on Saturday.

I get them too, especially on the tube.

I have to say though that the idea of no emotions for 3 years AND a burning desire to work sounds just what I need at present.

patroclus said...

Not at all GSE, it was lovely to see you!

I liked the no emotions thing at the time, it was a huge relief. But when I came round from the drugs four years later, I suddenly realised how much I'd been missing - as documented here.

ScroobiousScrivener said...

Hang on, in "as documented here" you claim that medication is unnecessary since the problem can be made to go away by avoiding bread, cheese and hot chocolate...

No, I see the problem.

Anyway, sympathies and that. I've never suffered the panics, but the self-doubt and midnight miseries are having a bit of a mid-season special with me at the moment. So, we'll all bleh together when we bleh. Preferably with a large supply of hot chocolate and cheese...

GreatSheElephant said...

I had a phase before I went on the drugs when the only thing I could listen to was Alanis Morrisette VERY LOUD. Oh and Kelis. You can see what a relief the drugs were.

Arabella said...

The paper bag-thing is often seen on American telly, but I've not seen it used in real life so far. Is anyone ever tempted to pop the bag and give anyone else present a panic attack?
Do hope you find some improvement.
And, Billy and his loft? That's just awful!

Sylvia said...

P, so sorry to hear about your plight re panic attacks. Drugs only mask the problem - obviously ensuring that day to day functioning is possible - but are not the cure, she says, stating the bleeding obvious.
Would you consider something alternative?

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

You know, it's probably not that unusual to have panic attacks on Falmouth high street. The sheer variety and quantity of pasties on offer at any one time can be quite dizzying.


p.s. Sorry, I know panic attacks are horrible. And I'm sure if I ever had to take the Tube more regularly than a few times a year... well, it doesn't bear thinking about.

Kirses said...

the paper bag method works, well i assume it does because a large empty crisp packet certainly works - as tested by me a number of years ago. it just makes you concentrate on something else for a while