I’m wondering if anyone else has hideous panic attacks when they go shopping? Like so much so they become exhausted from the symptoms of remaining in fight or flight mode the entire time they’re in stores and sweat profusely and have to take a map after grocery shopping? And if so, what are some tips to alleviate some of this? I’m so tired of this battle. 🙁
Melissa – That is one of my big triggers, getting into the store, everyone with their eyes on you, I have even forgotten items I had on my list because someone was blocking the area I needed to be in to get it. The only advice I can offer is be organized and know what you need and where it is, go during “off” times instead of peak times when there are so many other people in the store, reward yourself with a little something afterward. I found, for myself at least, when I have one of my kids with me it shifts my attention to them, and less on what faces other people are making in my direction.
Martha – Me. I only go when I have to,and I go to the smaller,quieter (and sadly more expensive) grocery when I can. Ugh.
Tammy – I had this same problem to the point to where I would have to just leave my things in the shopping cart whereever I was and go get in my car and leave. I was put on Buspar a anxiety medacation the last time I went to the doctor. It took nearly two months to get in my system but it works. I haven’t had another panic attack in three weeks. That’s excellent compared to the three or four a day I was having.
Margaret – I am the same and when I start to sweat, I panick more and sweat more. so now I just make sure I’m dressed comfy and wear a hair band or scarf over my hair and it help me to be less embarrassed.
Jennifer – Something I put together for my ADHD hubby is a laminated list of ALL the things we buy organized by aisle for a specific store. We then use a grease pencil to mark our current needs grocery list. That way we aren’t having to go back and forth across the store for each item. You could make use of this as a ‘mindful’ technique, maybe? I HATE to grocery shop even though I am 3rd generation grocer.
Sandy – If I go to walmart to get groceries, as long as I can get through the entrance im fine, But I start shaking really bad before I have to go in, and when Im there its like im on high alert , I dont want anybody to bump me with their cart or come up behind me.
Patty – I call it a sensory overload. Too much going on all around… if the store or mall is large or rather busy it can trigger panic…opt to go when its not as busy and you don’t feel rushed…and also when panic and anxiety isn’t so high.
Jenni – I do! It’s hell! I have to talk myself into shopping and then I still am anxious the entire time. I do profusely sweat too and it’s so annoying! If I go to a store and they are totally packed I will go home. If its a high anxiety day and I NEED something I will go to Walgreens or cvs.
Terri – Same here…..don’t go shopping very much. Sometimes I have sat in the parking lot, watching the people trying to convince myself I am no different than they are…wishing I could be so carefree as they are. Then other times I have made it into the store…gotten what few things I can get before the monster appears get close to the check out see that its a long line and have to ditch the cart and get out of there. And yes, I too am so very tired of the battles.
Racheal – Avoid Walmart or if you have to go, go very early hours or very late. Like everyone has said, write a list of what you need, hopefully, in order of where they put things. Not sure how common it is there, but on-line grocery shopping would be ideal.
Psy – I use the grocery at very late hours. Even then when it’s time to come to the checkout line the panic begins to peak. Bringing my roommate along often allows me to “run get the car pulled up” for her as she checks out. We both know I often Decompensate when trapped in line, but she never mentions it.
Karen – Awww, best of luck to you! The grocery store remains a place I go to only if I have a desperate desire for something. I have been married for over 30 years and my sweet husband picked up this household chore about 25 years ago. Public outings are always triggersand the grocery store is more so due to the scents. I have identified safe zones IE I always go to the same movie theater, restaurant, or store. I know each place intimately and can tell you exactly where the exits are and where the restrooms are. Never-the-less, when the flight instinct wins–I am outa’ there!!
Maria – I used to be the same but I managed to sort myself out but not too sure how tbh. I used to run through the shop getting all my food stuff as quickly as possible, and when I got to the tills it was even worse. I was told to slow down and take my time, this was so hard to do but I did it. It does help in a strange way. It gives you time to concentrate and calm down. I used to make a small list and not do a big shop. I did lots of little shops and pushed myself to go more often. But I never ever go on a Saturday even now far to busy. So please if you have problems stick with it and make yourself go. Once you can do food shopping you can then move on to other things. Best of luck xxx
Lisa – I’m the exact same way I can only go to familiar places and also my husband has been doing much of the out side shopping for our family for the past 5 years which I’m so thankful for!!!
Cristal – This also happens to me sometimes I cant even remember what I went in the store for, I feel like a deer in headlights!!!!
Meli – Yes, I get them and I used to have panick attack 4 times a day, which is pretty damn exhausting. I try to breathe slowly, clonezepam is always nice to have nearby, stopping my brain from being a tornado and focussing on one thought that is positive like the last time I went to the beach and felt peaceful… Taliking to someone, stomping your feet grounds you and helps bring me back to now. It helps but it is not 100 %. Calling someone helps, crying over the phone, saying how you feel to someone even a stranger. I feel dizzy, I think I’m going to faint, that kind of thing will get their attention and you will feel supported. You’re the one who counts andforget about what anybody may think!
Julie – Totally. 100%. What is it about stores? Grocery stores and malls are the worst. I wish I had an answer for you Jennifer! I go and get just a few items, sometimes only one! And going at off hours helps, and smaller grocery stores.
Nancy – I would like these tips too as this is me to a tee. I have been working on this and find the lights, the noise, the music, waiting in lines and the crowds are the biggest triggers….which is pretty much most of what shopping is. I “try” to focus on the merchandise or go down a “quieter” aisle if I find it rising more than usual or I try to go down and around the back aisles to get to where I need instead of the “main” traffic aisles. This is my worst thing as well as any public outing.
Trisha – Yes this is difficult for me I cant stand shiny floors, fluro lighting, busy stores and so much sensory overload of big malls and large department stores. Smaller ones are fine, with easy exits and windows! I have to make sure I have my glasses on or else the blurriness makes my dizzy sensation worse, have a trolley (cart) even when I may be only browsing and ensure I have eaten properly before leaving. I keep attempting the big stores, some days no good, some I stay longer. Its awful, but I am not going to let IT take over my life again. The worst but hardest thing is to avoid shopping. Baby steps
Crystal – OH boy, crowds, especially when shopping.I can go from being fine in the car to breaking out in sweat and just saying to heck with shopping.I always take a list with me and i never ever go alone.Feels like everyone in the store is looking at me. knows what is happening , bythe time i reach the cash, i am ready to throw up.I get home, i run into the house and let everyone else bring what i have bought into the house.And i know 3 or 4 people that have this same happen to them when shopping.