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Topic: Anxiety Related Involuntary Shaking/Spasms

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. On the Low Down
    On the Low Down avatar
    1 posts
    27 May 2021
    I had my first panic attack in my early 20’s right as I walked into a job interview, it was mortifying as I couldn’t stop my entire body from shaking and could barely speak because my heart was racing so much. I’m now in my early 40’s and rely on beta blockers to cope with job interviews, work meetings (when I had a job) and all manner of social situations. If I don’t take these I feel unbearably self conscious and get these embarrassing involuntary neck/head spasms as if I have some form of Tourette’s, but it isn’t Tourette’s...it’s just the physiological symptoms of my anxiety and low self esteem coming out. These spasms/anxiety attacks are the bain of my existence so I have to always have beta blockers or sometimes, Benzos on hand so I don’t make a complete idiot out of myself. Basically, if I feel like people are looking at me when I’m speaking and I can’t have my hand up near my face (depending on where/how I’m standing or sitting) then my head and neck jerk around terribly. I’ve been dealing with this for so long now, that I usually know when it’s going to happen so I either avoid the situation, take beta blockers in preparation or if the attack hits me when I’m not expecting it then I find an excuse to get the hell out of there...I know this all stems from a complete lack of confidence but understanding it and it’s triggers doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Does anyone reading this have a similar issue? Do you think it’s completely curable with therapy? I’m so tired of living like this.
  2. Giraffe
    Giraffe avatar
    44 posts
    28 May 2021 in reply to On the Low Down
    I’m so sorry you are experiencing this, it sounds really debilitating. I absolutely think it can be managed. I would go to your GP and get a mental health plan and then google psychologists in your area that specialise in anxiety. I wish you the best.
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10343 posts
    28 May 2021 in reply to On the Low Down

    Dear On the Low Down~

    Welcome here to the Support Forum, a good place to come to. While it might have been difficult to write down these facts about yourself I'm sure you will benefit. There are so many of us here who have been though something somewhat similar and wish to help. To answer your question, yes, if you are like me, you can recover to the point you can handle these occasions.

    I have an anxiety conditon (plus other matters) and have had it for a long time. Like you I started off with panic attacks, feeling much the same a you did, unable to communicate, frightened, seemingly powerless and an object for others to gaze at.

    I also had physical symptoms, from trembling, quite violent at times, to stomach problems to ... well a long list would serve no purpose. I still take medications both to treat specific symptoms, and also for the anxiety itself. I've undergone various therapies but have now reached the stage where my meds suit me, my therapy does good and I'm able to lead a very normal and enjoyable life, giving and receiving support and love, and working and gaining satisfaction from it.

    If you are on meds then you already have medical support, that was crucial to me, however there is a fair bit one can do for oneself to meet difficult circumstances and hasten the recovery process.

    A supportive person in your life too greatly helps.

    As part of a very large amout of information on this web-site about anxiety are some ideas you might follow -if you are not already

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/staying-well

     

    In addition the methods others here have used

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/anxiety/self-help-tips-for-managing-anxiety

    This thread is LONG, but I've gleaned a lot from it.

    When faced with an event I'm sure will cause me heightened stress (like an interview) there are a couple of things I try to do, the first is preparation so thorough you can talk almost automatically, and the second is the use of a free smartphone app

    https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app

    Which - after practice - I found excellent, breaking my chain of thoughts away from whatever I was anxious about and leaving me in a calmer state.

    I'm sure you are thinking this is all very well however it is the unexpected that can blind-side you. The good news is that as you improve your reactions do become less anyway, that is what recovery is all about. Not instant but there.

    Would you like to come back and discuss this more?

    Croix

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