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First panic attack at the age of 71!

(5 Posts)
seadragon Fri 24-Sep-21 15:53:44

In July this year I embarked on a trip from Orkney through Edinburgh to Southampton and then the Isle of Wight. From there a friend drove me to Teignmouth with a short stop to see a grandson in Weymouth. I returned to Orkney via a few days in Glasgow. This journey involved 'trains and boats and planes'... cars too, as well as 5 airports and several meals 'out'! It all went off without a hitch although I was pretty tired when I got back.. Today, however, I attended a local Open Day at a Mental Health charity I was familiar with through my former job. There was a queue to get in and a hold up at the desk. The foyer had people at tables having cake and coffee the corridor had people milling about and the cafe at the end was busy too... Fortunately, I was familiar with the layout and I was able to get out into the garden which was deserted. I had planned to stay for lunch but had lost my appetite. Long story short, I realised that I would have a panic attack if I stayed so I left. I drove home almost in tears. After a career in social work which often involved attending conferences and large scale training events as well as occasional confrontation/helping people in distress and chairing as well as minuting complex meetings, I was surprised by my reaction and wondered if anyone else had had a similar experience....

toscalily Fri 24-Sep-21 16:19:05

You did wonderfully well on your trip away so please don't be hard on yourself, the past 18 months has made us all feel more vunerable. I think isolation, the worry for ourselves, families & friends, the constant negativity in the media has had more impact than we realise. I have mainly driven locally with only a few hour long journeys since the first lockdown, yesterday I made a longish trip on the motorway (been before many times) and at one point I realised I was getting very tense, mainly on the very hilly bits I had to actively force myself to take deep breaths to calm myself. Previously I have driven miles and miles up & down the country, with the family and often on my own five or six hours at a time so like you not sure what it was that made me feel panicky.

luluaugust Fri 24-Sep-21 16:43:37

Yes seadragon what an epic journey you did do well. I think your near panic attack is down to what we have been through with covid. I have just returned from holiday involving rented house and two hotels at various points I felt really worried and panicky about how to deal with the changes of place, not me at all. Take care of yourself and go slowly for now.

Americanpie Fri 24-Sep-21 16:57:19

I agree with other posters re the Covid situation. I'm a born optimist but I'm totally fed up with being bombarded with negative messages, e.g. the planet's doomed, Covid is making a comeback, there'll be food shortages etc. I nearly had a panic attack the other day and burst out that "life was passing me by".
I've decided to stop watching negative news channels and am in the process of booking next year's holidays. Look after yourself, you've done really well, I've a friend who wont go out for a coffee in a local cafe for fear of catching Covid. It's so sad.

seadragon Mon 27-Sep-21 12:24:58

Thank you all. I think my defenses were down in what I expected would bed a familiar supportive environment and I had not realised how high they have been over the past couple of years....