Panic: Teetering On The Precipice Of Hysteria

This morning I had a panic attack.

I'm not talking about mildly freaking out here; I mean full on anxiety which immobilised my body, compressed my lungs to the size of peas, tilted my entire stomach contents upside down and dropped my body temperature so that I was freezing cold and shaking. I was only just managing to hold back tears, and that was because there was a child in the room whom I didn't want to frighten, but his father's worried glances showed that he had spotted my mood.

What had happened and where was I?

In the dentist's waiting room.

I knew this appointment was going to happen and I knew the course of treatment that I needed; the potential of a root canal surgery that I could feel happening (due to my inability to have adrenalin) meant that I was visualising all sorts of negative outcomes. All rationality of needing to have treatment to prevent pain had vacated my body because for those ten minutes I couldn't breathe properly and I couldn't stop shaking.

Luckily I had sufficient 3G reception on my phone to load up twitter and call on Dawn for help. The angel that she is talked me down from the precipice of the black-hole of hysteria that I was teetering into, and back into safety, with her relaxation and calming techniques.

I managed to regain enough control to stand when called, and walk out into the corridor down to the room. Unfortunately when the dentist looked at me, I burst into tears. He handed me a glass of water, which I could just about drink, and calmly and kindly told me to just breathe for a few minutes. I closed my eyes, remembered the breathing and colour technique that Dawn had talked me through and was able to get into the chair for him to check my teeth weren't going to disintegrate before I left without any treatment having been performed.

Now imagine that reaction standing on a tube station platform in London ninety minutes before you need to go and meet 499 other bloggers for a conference?

That time I had no wifi, no 3G reception and no Dawn. I dissolved into a sobbing heap on my husband who was struggling to carry suitcases and control the pushchair. The cause that time was the unknown: the people, the place, how to get to the hotel, The Boy's safety, you name it and it was beating me down into a whimpering mess who couldn't even breathe.

I don't like feeling like this. It's not me. Always a practical person who finds a solution and 'just deals with it', I struggle to cope with this overwhelming sense to run and hide. I need a solution to conquer this irrational behaviour and for me it seems to be someone talking me through it in a calm manner giving me the ability to manage the influx of emotions and adrenalin.

Meet Dawn…

Yes, it's an MP3 player

That little silver box which measures approximately 1 inch² contains Dawn's voice and two tracks. One provides you with a few techniques to listen to and follow which can help you regain your composure and ability to function during an anxiety attack. The other track is a seven minute relaxation track which can be listened to if the pressure is getting too much.

I've had this MP3 player for a few weeks now and stupidly didn't grab it from my other handbag when I was rushing out the door this morning. I should have done, because with that I'd have been able to have my dental treatment. It's helped me out with other anxious moments, even when I've had The Boy with me.

Dawn is one of the first people I followed on twitter two years ago, and I have followed her journey as she has become a cognitive hypnotherapist. Aside from having always been an incredibly supportive person, she's also clever. Clever people realise the way in which the world is run nowadays, and as such she has adapted her therapy style to overcome geographical difficulties. She lives in Scotland, I live in south Wales. Yet through the use of the Pocket Panic Buster I can hear her voice and be brought back to normality in an instant.

Following our session on twitter earlier we decided that I'll need some actual real-time therapy, and as I'm not about to hop onto a plane to Dundee anytime soon, we're going to be using Facetime or Skype to talk through the specific issues that I have surrounding the dentist, and come up with a way to combat the inability to function.

The Panic Pocket Buster MP3 player is available from Think It, Change It for the bargain price of £10 (for a limited time) and as it fits into a jeans' pocket or handbag, there's no reason to not have it with you all the time. Dawn also offers personalised online therapy sessions via Skype or Facetime.

There are two reasons why I recommend Think It, Change ItOne is the remote therapy, but the biggest for me is Dawn herself; her compassion, understanding and most importantly her voice.

I was sent the MP3 player for review. My opinions are honest and unbiased. My anxiety attacks are real. They are not something I would normally share as it's something personal to me, but I do believe in this product and wanted to share my real-life experience to help others, not just to sell a product.

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  1. says

    Gosh, that sounds like a scary experience for you. I'm unable to use relaxing techniques because it affects my epilepsy but for people who can use these types of calming solutions, it sounds fantastic.

    Great post by the way.
    CJ x

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Thank you. It's not the normal type of thing I'd post because I like to keep my blog quite fluffy and light-hearted, however I can't be the only person who gets this and Dawn was a godsend this morning.

  2. says

    Omg that sounds so sudden and scary. Are you ok now? You must be drained after the long day you've had. Hope it's a rare thing for you as it sounds like it must take hold strongly when it happens. The calming mp3 player sounds excellent though!

  3. says

    Very good post and thankyou for sharing. I have had very real issues like you with panic attacks on and off for 17 years, though have been clear now for nearly three. It can be such an uphill battle sometimes. I have also live in London for the last 17 years and struggled with daily tube commutes into work more times than I want to remember. Glad that Dawn is helping you and I hope your FaceTime sessions help you much more. It has taken me years to learn to cope with mine properly but (touch wood) I got in there in the end. The very best of luck to you x

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I'm lucky that it does seem to be isolated to an unknown location or just the dentist. I think it comes from more of an awareness of the harm that can happen in the world? I'm glad you've managed to get some help and remain clear for three years. Thank you for commenting.

  4. says

    well done for writing this all down for the world to read. that is a big step. secondly well done for tweeting for help this morning.
    Dawn has a very soothing voice and i think she is amazing and can and will help so many people through her cognitive therapy.
    great post x x

  5. Steven Spencer says

    It's amazing what the mind can do to you. I bought my Panic Pocket Buster from the website (I told Dawn it was for use when travelling and to help control my pain) but I really needed something to help the constant feeling of panic (I'm at risk of losing my home thanks to the government's changes to housing benefit).
    Once it had arrived I listened to it (well half of it as the power ran out on it and it needed to be recharged). So I wasn't sitting or lying correctly when listening, but boy did it work.
    I have added a few relaxing albums (Enigma, Mike Oldfield etc) and after listening to Dawn's relaxation track and I have one of mine on I can still hear Dawn's voice helping me.
    I have known Dawn for over 20 years and I think her life experiences will make her a brilliant therapist.

  6. says

    Yes I hate the unknown and admire you for going to thinks like the bloggers conference. I could not do it cos I worry Im on wrong train, or will end up in wrong place lost and alone. Went to glasgow last night, I get on at the first stop with train stopped in station for 10 mins before it goes and get off on the last stop but still panic I am wrong or will end up lost.
    Hope you and Dawn continue to get on

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