Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Upcoming Fall Workshops

I know it's the beginning of July and crazy hot (over 100 degrees here today!), but let's look forward to two wonderful workshops available this Fall.

For those of you who live in/around the mid-west, Dave Carbonell is holding a weekend workshop for people with panic attacks. It will be held in Chicago, IL on October 23rd - 24th, 2010. For more information, check out this link. I've never met Dave, but his writing style is so appealing to me and I love his sense of humor. I think this would be well worth your time and money.

If you live close to North Carolina, Reid Wilson is also holding a weekend workshop and it's excellent. His workshop is for people with panic attacks and social anxiety. It will be held in Durham, N.C. on September 11th - 12th, 2010. Reid Wilson has more dates listed at this site.

These guys are both excellent clinicians. I attended Dr. Wilson's workshop almost two years ago and got so much out of it. What would have been even more helpful was to have a group of people working toward their goals to jump into when I got back home. Although, I think that's possible to do online. You can expect to jump right in and work on some of your fears while you're at the workshop. If you're considering attending, you can read a little about my experience here.

Stay cool and I'll check back in with a post on chapter 3 this weekend!


amy said...

Oh man, these look AWESOME! I wish I could do one of them. Since I'm in CBT right now, it's kinda pricey so I couldn't imagine paying more right now! Is anyone else going??

One of my fears is hyperventilating...I saw that one of the therapists will speak about it. It's never really happened (like Ashley's fear of fainting), but I feel close to it sometimes. My breathing gets a little shallow and I just see myself breaking out in this huge attack of trying to catch my breath! Maybe my shallow breathing is what hyperventilating means...that would be great, I can handle that for the most part! Anyone experienced hyperventilating??

Thanks guys :)

Ashley said...

I would LOVE to go to either workshop but I don't think I could afford it right now. I've read both of their books and have really learned a lot.

I am a hyperventilator. Sometimes I do it when I'm just at home (shallow, rapid breathing). I have horrible breathing habits. I think this is what causes my faintness and dizziness. I have to sit in my room alone in order to practice belly breathing. I try to do this everyday but usually get busy with life. When I try to put the belly breathing into practice during an attack it makes me feel worse. I think I’m still breathing too fast.

Meredith- I have gone for several months without much anxiety and without any panic attacks and then when one hits out of the blue it devastates me. It puts me back to square one. I think this book is helpful in that regard. Having one at home while cooking dinner would be hard but it's still just uncomfortable feelings. Have you been under any stress?

Out of curiosity what does everyone’s panic attack feel like?
I start to feel tense all over(my chest, neck, head and shoulders), then I hyperventilate and feel like I can't stand up any longer. The strange sensation (like I might pass out)in my head is the most disturbing part. It usually last a couple of minutes and then I'm left with tons of tension (a tight band around my head) for days.
I was just wondering. I find myself reading these books and thinking, "you wouldn't be saying this (face it head on, float through it) if you knew what I experienced."

I have never taken anything other than xanax (2 times) and a beta blocker for 3 days. I have thought about medication a lot but I am afraid of the side effects. The xanax helped a lot.

I've tried to take the kids somewhere everyday this week. I feel horrible every time! For those of you that have had this for a many exposures before you felt different, before your brain registered the stimulus as nonthreatening? Everything seems threatening to me right now (the grocery store, the library, the bank, pet store and even the swimming pool). I have been in a long period of avoidance and I am trying to emerge from it.
Kristin: I agree with you about the acceptance part in this book. I felt like after reading the Panic Attack workbook and doing the homework I’d be cured. This is more about living with it and eventually it will decrease because it won’t be your soul focus anymore. I would love that. I feel like I am consumed by it right now. I have been able to identify that I definitely live in a state of avoidance and that will not get me anywhere in the long run. I love your suggestion about Target. I sat in the parking lot today. I even got out and stood by my car for a while (the kids didn’t like that, they wanted to go in). I’ll be at my sisters house tomorrow and I think I’m going to see if she’ll go in with us and have a starbucks (my favorite- decalf of coarse). I would love to do a thirty day challenge with you. It would be great accountability for me and I love to discuss it with someone.
Thank you for letting me share my successes and struggles here. It has been a great support.
Hope everyone has a peaceful, anxiety free evening. You all are such a wonderful support.

amy said...

I hate the shallow breathing's really just us focusing so intently on it, as with anything we focus so much on. Breathing exercises are great!

Good job Ashley on your first moves towards Target :) Going with someone would be a good first step. For me, I have "safe" people that I like to try stuff with. Unfortunately, my hubs isn't my most favorite "safe" person. He doesn't understand my "issues" and furthermore he gets kinda irritated with me! A couple months ago he asked if I was doing all of this for attention!! I was sooo upset over that, I said trust me, I don't want this or any attention over it. He's a wonderful guy, I just think he doesn't know what to do or how to help! A couple of my girlfriends are awesome and both have experienced anxiety, so I love going out to dinner with them...and when I do, I'm totally calm! Anywho, try stuff with your safe person at first, if that's what helps you.

My panic attack is usually preceded by a lot of anticipatory anxiety about something I'm not crazy about doing. I start to get dizzy, can't focus on what people are saying, get really hot (a little sweaty), and my heart beat gets super rapid. I feel like I need to run and get out of wherever I am. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I can't really get out, b/c it's usually at a restaurant with other people, gotta eat, pay the bill...yada yada. So, I ride it out and it always gets better :) For some crazy reason I don't notice my breathing much during an attack...only during high anxiety!

As far as not feeling threatened doing different things...I'm with you, I still feel bad doing those things you mentioned, I just do it anyways. I told my therapist today that I would give ANYTHING to be able to walk into a restaurant, mall, bank and not think twice (or four or five times) about it. My poor mind is just racked with all my physical symptoms while I'm doing these things...or racked with all the "what if's". I'm trying to just let those thoughts be, but it's still hard to not notice all the physical symptoms too. But, I'm still sooo incredibly hopeful about recovery and faithful to the process! We can do this :)

The reason I asked about Facebook was b/c there is a great page called "Power of Positivity". It gives uplifting and powerful quotes daily. If you're on FB, just search it and then "like" it.

Kristin-Btw, thank you for your sweet, encouraging words about being a "mama"!! It always helps to hear it.

amy said...

I just wanted to add a little something to my previous post. After reading your post about your weekend workshop...I saw where you said "choosing to have someone else join us or having an out is still avoidance and strengthens the anxiety as well". I feel silly now for saying to bring a "safe" person, b/c you are so right with what you said! So....scratch that, lol. I should really do more with the ones that make me more anxious. Like having dinner with new people and stuff, wow that's a tough one!

Anyways, I hope ya'll have a good weekend :)

harry said...

I am new to Anxiety Girl. I am interested in those workshops. I still have not fully accepted my panic disorder.

Anxiety Girl said...

Hi Amy & Ashley - I know, it does get expensive. Reid actually has you hyperventilate on purpose during the workshop to see that you won't pass out. Pretty crazy, but it works for people.

I don't hyperventilate, but every once in a while I notice myself getting obsess-y about breathing and when I try to do the deep breathing, it does make it worse. I think I'm just over-breathing when that happens. I don't always make time either, but when I do sit and meditate, it's cool to see what my normal breathing pattern is. Then, when I'm feeling anxious, it's easier to go to belly breathing without overdoing it. Does that make sense?

It doesn't have to be anything formal, you can even just "watch" your breath for a minute or so when you wake up in the morning, take a shower or when you're falling asleep. Let your mind just observe the breath without trying to change it in anyway. Yoga's a great way to practice breath work with movement, too.

What does it feel like? I usually feel waves of adrenaline - mostly in my chest - lots of anxious thinking & feelings of dread - when it gets really bad I tend to get shaky and I can feel the adrenaline coursing through my whole body. I always have to urge to flee/make it go away and that's what I'm trying to work on now - not struggling to make it go away. I agree - these authors are good, but you want to know that they've experienced panic & lived to tell. :) I do get the feeling that Eifert & Forsyth understand anxiety intimately (from the intro) and Steven Hayes, who started ACT, definitely talks about his struggle with panic disorder & how it got him interested in this practice.

Meredith - I remember having a panic attack while cooking dinner (when I was going through postpartum anxiety). It's a terrible feeling. I remember telling my counselor at the time and she asked if I stayed and made it through the meal and I said, "Of course, my family was there" and she put it in perspective that even though it felt awful & I felt crazy, I was able to finish cooking dinner, feed my family, have conversations at the table, get everyone to bed, and it eventually went away. When we fear that we're going crazy, it's a good reminder that all that angst was internal and I went on functioning quite normally.

Hi Harry - welcome to the site & we look forward to hearing about your experiences, too!

Anxiety Girl said...

Oh, forgot the meds question. I've tried a handful of ssri's and never felt like they did the trick. Lexapro was probably the most helpful and the one I gave a real fair trial. I've used small amounts of some of the benzo's to fly -- I find that they don't take away the anxiety, but they do make me sleepy and that helps. Again, I get nervous about taking meds, so I'm probably not taking enough to make a difference.

I keep meaning to post about meds, but have found myself not wanting to say the wrong thing. It's such a personal choice & I think if they work & they're used in conjunction with exposure work, it's great. If they're simply used to push away the anxiety, I feel like they might make the anxiety worse in the long run.

Anxiety Girl said...

Hey Amy - the safe person comment is no big deal at all. If someone needs the safe person to get into the anxiety provoking situation, then it's a place to start. Then, you work toward doing it on your own. When I started driving on the highway again, I first did it with my husband as passenger - then I followed him - then he followed farther behind me - and then I did it on my own.

Of course, if you can jump in and do it on your own, that's great, too.