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Old 02-18-2014, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Group Panic Attack


I need some anxiety advice. I was in my outpatient group yesterday and started having a panic attack and had to walk out. I'm a recovering alcoholic and benzo addict and have been clean 44 days. My group is 3 hours long but the idea of me getting called on made me leave after just 15 minutes. I was wondering if anyone else has this problem and how they deal with it. I'm really trying to get help but this is making it incredibly hard and is the reason why I used. I've been going to this group three days a week for three weeks now.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Can you be excused from speaking?

What are you afraid of? If it's tears, anger, upset maybe you need to let it off (within reason)

Leaving the room is avoiding something for you. You need to work out what it is.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've experienced high group anxiety like that - I once got off a bus in the middle of nowhere on a 4-hour trip through Central America. I could not handle being with so many people in a group setting with no way out.

I think that the build-up is something you need to work on. For example, if you were to just be walking down the street and you were asked to give some feedback to a group, you'd be fine. However, you know these meetings are coming...you know how long they will be...you feel there will be something expected of you....and you have a few days to get worked up about it.

I've been an "actor" while sober for most of my life. The one thing that allowed me to feel at ease about being myself was alcohol. I could drink, and then I didn't care about being honest and forthright.

Maybe there's something to just saying "Screw it" and not worrying about how you sound to these people? This is NOT the end of the world. There is no meteor coming down from outer space. If you stammer or stumble, people will help you, and life will go on. The kid outside will still throw a snowball at the bus when it goes by. He doesn't care what you said in group therapy and neither does 99.9999% of the universe. The only person who cares is YOU, and if YOU give yourself a break, then you'll be all in the clear!
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have had this many times before but less since I quit drinking. There is nothing wrong with walking out and helping yourself calm down. Just go back in again afterwards Don't let it stop you from getting help. Maybe get a good book on panic attacks and try and find something that works for you. I found just trying to reassure myself that I wasn't dying or going to pass out was all I could do in some situations, but friends of mine have used things like EFT to help with panic attacks x
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Can you ask in advance not to be called upon? I wish group leaders wouldn't do that. They aren't usually ones to have public speaking issues and don't understand people who do.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I had to speak in front of a packed room.
I made out a planned speach in my head and went with it, because I was so nervous.
I normally dont like to plan a speach when I know I am going to share in a meeting.
I listen to whats been said, and when its my time I pause for a minute after I introduce myself and I say a little prayer in my head. I then proceed to talk about the steps and how I have recovered.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If it's a chronic situation, see a psychiatrist. I did.
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