reader’s guide to

It’s not always the case, but, generally speaking, when you get here in the morning and there’s nothing new it has something to do with panic attacks.

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  1. Mike
    Posted September 13, 2005 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Have you tried dancing?

  2. mark
    Posted September 13, 2005 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if you’ve ever had a really bad panic attack, but you don’t exactly feel like leaping up and throwing your hands into the air. Thanks for trying though.

  3. chris
    Posted September 13, 2005 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Mark, Did you have one, or a near miss? I have been having near miss/attacks. I went to my friendly upper east side psychopharmacologist last week. He asked how I was doing and I said had he asked two weeks ago I weeks ago I’d have been fine now I was freaking out.

    Needless to say, I walked out of there w/ a 30 count script for valium. I haven’t filled it yet as I feel as if that won’t even deal w/ my ongoing anxiety over New Orleans.

    So I have started smoking again. My biggest fear has yet to be realized…that being my own Sophie’s Choice. But I feel that it is possibly right around the corner.

    Is it naive to assume that at best we will all come out of this merely jaded?

  4. mark
    Posted September 13, 2005 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been at a constant 3 for the past few weeks (on a scale from 1 to 10). Last night, however, I hit a spike that sent me shooting up to about 8.25, which is just a bit above unbearable… I can’t blame it all on the current state of the world though. I’ve been dealing with this stuff since W was a drunk.

  5. Posted September 13, 2005 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I think I have had a few panic attacks when I was in crowded places with too much noise and input from every angle. Briarwood Mall got me. Too much shit was going on. Shoppers were herding around with Christmas music playing. Lights were flashing. I freaked out and headed for the nearest exit. No matter how much I felt I needed to get presents for my family, I could not convince myself to go back in.

    I’m no expert on panic attacks. But it seems that limiting the overwhelming input is one thing that might help you avoid them. Your blog would suffer, though.

    Have you tried meditation?

    Are panic attacks a natural reaction to the crazy mess we make? I read a quote from a suicide note in one of those quotation books that read, “All this buttoning and unbuttoning.” That was all that was in the note. Too often, I feel the same way–with the politicians, with my bosses, with the meddling State Board of Education, with social plans, with shopping lists, and so on.

    Yah, meditation helps. Run away from your senses now and then, if only for ten minutes or whatever. Just breathe.

  6. kez
    Posted September 14, 2005 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    please define “something to do” with panic attacks…

    i’d like to know that i’m not the only one lately.

  7. john galt
    Posted September 14, 2005 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Just wondering Mark and Chris if you’ve tried excercising more. I’ve found that a good 30 minute jog can do wonders for helping you cope with stress and depression. I also find saunas helpful (helps you sweat out those toxic compounds).

  8. mark
    Posted September 14, 2005 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    A few years ago, when things got really bad, I started meditating and it really helped. In spite of that, however, I stopped doing it, and refuse to take it back up. You see, I have this problem with time, and the thought that I’m wasting it. I can’t make myself sit still for even five minutes without feeling terrible guilt for wasting time. So, even though it makes me feel better, I don’t do it. It’s fucked up… As for excercise, I used to go to the gym and/or jog three times a week, after work, but all that had to stop after the baby came. Maybe I should get a stationary bike for the house or something.

  9. ChelseaL
    Posted September 14, 2005 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Neuro feedback’s supposed to be good for anxiety. Anyone here tried it?

  10. mark
    Posted September 14, 2005 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Hey, Chelsea, I wanted to let you know that Linette tried your cake recipe today. It was very good… It didn’t cure the anxiety, but it made it a bit more bearable.

  11. Posted September 14, 2005 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I have a friend (A2 area) who may be looking for test subjects for neuro feedback as he has started his training about 6 months ago…..

  12. chris
    Posted September 14, 2005 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks John, I have been exercising (hardcore step aerobics w/ weights) but still the anxiety. I saw a picture in the Times today of a man being carried out of his home barely alive and it just threw me right back to rapid breathing and dizziness.

    However, I am grateful that George has taken the blame, even though I do not feel all the blame lies with him. That he could do that offered me some relief.

    Mark, rather than the stationary bike, might I suggest an eliptical trainer. The bikes can do serious damage to the knees, whereas the elliptical trainer relieves that impact and allows you to stand which gives a better cardiovscular workout.

    Yeah, I can’t meditate. My mind strays to parts of my brain that are on lockdown.

    I did find the Japanese release of “My Neighbor Totoro”…of course I had to purchase a region free dvd player to watch it.

  13. mark
    Posted September 14, 2005 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    The idea of neuro feedback for some reason scares me, Stella, but if you want to have your friend send me an e-mail, I’d be happy to learn more about the process… Thanks.

    And thanks to everyone else too. Your suggestions are very much appreciated.

  14. ChelseaL
    Posted September 15, 2005 at 12:59 pm | Permalink


    Thanks for the laugh. Anxiety attacks are one of those things you sort of have to see the humor in.

    FWIW, I’ve tried n.f. It involeves no pain whatever. More than anything else, it’s like a video game. Honestly, if you could get yourself tattooed, you can definitely handle neurofeedback.

    That said, I stopped–at least temporarily–bc I felt the technology–or least, that application–was too new. But then, I’m nuts. It’s been around for about 30 years, I think, which would be enough for most people.

    Anyway, good luck, Mark. And try to stay away from sugar.

  15. Posted September 15, 2005 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m on the list for when he starts doing that part of his training, when it starts I’ll send him your email

  16. mark
    Posted September 15, 2005 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Like many things having to do with OCD, it’s complicated – too complicated to get into here – but my fear concerning neuro feedback doesn’t have anything to do with pain. Pain, I can deal with. It’s other stuff… But, even with that, I may still try it out. You never know.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2005 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    F..k LEO Club
    And I’m sorry so sorry I’m sorry it’s like this I’m sorry so sorry I’m sorry we do this

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