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Panic attacks during Mass - amasimp - 09-13-2010

I used to get panic attacks all the time, now I only get them during Mass.  Yesterday I had two.  I've tried prayer.  I've tried both Klopin and Xanax, all they do is make me sleepy.  I'm seriously bothered by this.  Why is it that the only time I'm before God who is supposed to love me, I feel like I'm dying? 

WTF?


Re: Panic attacks during Mass - Historian - 09-13-2010

(09-13-2010, 12:41 PM)amasimp Wrote: I used to get panic attacks all the time, now I only get them during Mass.  Yesterday I had two.  I've tried prayer.  I've tried both Klopin and Xanax, all they do is make me sleepy.  I'm seriously bothered by this.  Why is it that the only time I'm before God who is supposed to love me, I feel like I'm dying? 

WTF?

Could it be the crowd, sounds, prolonged positions, etc?

Mass usually has unique situations regardless of the purpose of Mass. Most of the time, we are not in such situations.

I would try to find out why you get them.

Go to the church when it is empty (or as close as you can). Do you feel anything (besides the anxiety about panic attacks itself)? How about sitting in the pews? Is sitting in the middle or end significant? How about the position in the church? How about being surrounded by people or not in the same situations?


Re: Panic attacks during Mass - amasimp - 09-13-2010

For a while, I thought it was the crowds and the incense, so I stopped going to High Mass.

I always sit on the end of the pew, because sitting in the middle triggers claustrophobia, which triggers a panic attack.  I always sit towards the back in case I have to make a quick exit.

I wish i knew why I get them.  It seems almost random.  I will have them a few weeks in a row, then none for a couple of months.  But ALWAYS at Mass. 

It is very disconcerting. 


Re: Panic attacks during Mass - SCG - 09-13-2010

(09-13-2010, 12:41 PM)amasimp Wrote: Why is it that the only time I'm before God who is supposed to love me, I feel like I'm dying? 

It's not God.. it's the crowds and the prolonged sitting, I bet. I used to get claustrophic and panicky at Mass too.. My mother has been skipping Sundays for personal reasons. As soon as she sits in the pew she starts to cry and cry until she becomes a distraction and has to exit the church. I know nothing about meds, so my only advice is to keep praying and ask God to help you relax. Learn to "rest in the Lord." One day (or Mass) at a time.




Re: Panic attacks during Mass - SCG - 09-13-2010

(09-13-2010, 02:34 PM)amasimp Wrote: I wish i knew why I get them.  It seems almost random.  I will have them a few weeks in a row, then none for a couple of months.  But ALWAYS at Mass. 

It is very disconcerting. 

It looks like you're AT Mass more than you're away from Mass. So that's good at least. Hopefully the attacks will happen less and less and this will become a thing of the past.


Re: Panic attacks during Mass - wallflower - 09-13-2010

This has been my life for 18 years. For you it could be the crowds but it could be a trial sent by or allowed by God as well. I'd prefer to PM because it's so personal to me, so I will do so shortly. :)


Re: Panic attacks during Mass - Historian - 09-13-2010

Is there a place you can be and still see the mass from outside? I am not sure how universal this design is.

Maybe you could sneak into the choir loft (if you have one) too? I would think being separate from the people might help. It is hard for me to believe that mass itself is causing it.


Re: Panic attacks during Mass - wallflower - 09-13-2010

(09-13-2010, 04:40 PM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: It is hard for me to believe that mass itself is causing it.
It wouldn't be the Mass itself, but just as there are dry spells with no emotion that assail our spiritual lives and force us out of our comfort zones and force our Faith into our wills, there are also negative emotions that do the same. Not everyone experiences it to the same degree or in the same form, but this is certainly one way that it can happen. It could be a trial sent directly by God or He could be allowing Satan to use that weakness to distract and discourage her prayer life. Either way, it is with the aim of deepening her Faith beyond the "fluffiness". Not that the fluffiness isn't good, but it can only take us so far.


Re: Panic attacks during Mass - Historian - 09-13-2010

(09-13-2010, 06:08 PM)wallflower Wrote:
(09-13-2010, 04:40 PM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: It is hard for me to believe that mass itself is causing it.
It wouldn't be the Mass itself, but just as there are dry spells with no emotion that assail our spiritual lives and force us out of our comfort zones and force our Faith into our wills, there are also negative emotions that do the same. Not everyone experiences it to the same degree or in the same form, but this is certainly one way that it can happen. It could be a trial sent directly by God or He could be allowing Satan to use that weakness to distract and discourage her prayer life. Either way, it is with the aim of deepening her Faith beyond the "fluffiness". Not that the fluffiness isn't good, but it can only take us so far.

I wrote that because mass typical has many other factors which are found only at mass.

Panic attacks normally have an event or thought process which triggers them. One of these triggers is the anxiety about panic attacks (so, in a strange twist, being in the place where having them would be least desirable can be the place where one has them the most). Finding this cause is very important for treating the actual disorder.


Re: Panic attacks during Mass - amasimp - 09-13-2010

(09-13-2010, 06:12 PM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote:
(09-13-2010, 06:08 PM)wallflower Wrote:
(09-13-2010, 04:40 PM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: It is hard for me to believe that mass itself is causing it.
It wouldn't be the Mass itself, but just as there are dry spells with no emotion that assail our spiritual lives and force us out of our comfort zones and force our Faith into our wills, there are also negative emotions that do the same. Not everyone experiences it to the same degree or in the same form, but this is certainly one way that it can happen. It could be a trial sent directly by God or He could be allowing Satan to use that weakness to distract and discourage her prayer life. Either way, it is with the aim of deepening her Faith beyond the "fluffiness". Not that the fluffiness isn't good, but it can only take us so far.

I wrote that because mass typical has many other factors which are found only at mass.

Panic attacks normally have an event or thought process which triggers them. One of these triggers is the anxiety about panic attacks (so, in a strange twist, being in the place where having them would be least desirable can be the place where one has them the most). Finding this cause is very important for treating the actual disorder.

I agree.  Thinking about having panic attacks often brings on panic attacks.  They are vicious things. 

This does have an effect on my faith.  Come to think of it, I'm more likely to have a panic attack when I'm not particularly keen on going to church that day.  Of course, the idea of having a panic attack contributes to that desire.  As for this being a cross God gave me, if that is the case I have to wonder what is God's obsession with giving me crappy things to deal with -- a dead fiancee, infertility, and panic attacks during Mass.  Seriously, if this is the way God "loves" me, than I don't want it any more.