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Anxious in public !

Community Member

Hi Everyone, this is my first post and I’m really hoping that someone is/has experienced what I am, and can suggest what they did to manage or overcome it. I’ve been suffering from anxiety and depression for the last 2 years. My anxiety is mainly related to being in unfamiliar places / large crowded areas and so I avoid them at all costs. I’m writing this today out of all days as I’ve just had a panic attack in front of my wife and daughter about having to go to my wife’s grandfathers funeral. She’s been dealing with me and my particular needs regarding my anxiety for 2 years now but because of my irrational fear, I haven’t been able to take her to the movies, or out to dinner, or even out for walks. I’m terrified that today may have been the last straw.

please someone help me, I’ve tried going to see a psychologist but honestly having to go out and see him triggered my anxiety so I had to stop that. I’ve tried mild calming lollies or chewing gum, breathing excercises, and although it helps for the smaller challenges, they do nothing for the big ones.

Any advice is greatly appreciated

6 Replies 6

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Ollie95,

Wellcome to our forums!

Im really sorry that this is happening to you I understand how hard it is to deal with.

I have a lived experience of severe anxiety OCD…… after receiving professional help I have now recovered and have been recovered for 4.5 years.

One thing I learned about anxiety was don’t do what your anxiety is telling you to do because it will only reinforce the anxiety.

I know it’s hard but you have to push yourself out there…… even when your anxiety is screaming at you … push through.. you are so much stronger than your anxiety.

Please go back to your gp and explain how your anxiety is affecting your life and yes please go back to your phycologist because a psychologist can give you many strategies for you to learn how to manage your anxiety.

You really can learn to manage it.

I understand how hard it is to have panic attacks but just practice deep breathing and try to put your attention on something in the present moment and not inside your head.

You can get through this you just need to seek the professional help.

Im here to chat

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hi Ollie,
I'll start with controversy for the sake of sensationalism - You don't have an irrational fear!
Thinking of all the permutations in a crowd of unknown (or even well known) people, and adding the various undiscovered nooks and crannies in unfamiliar places where any number of situations could present themselves... all this simply multiplies anxiety tenfold.
But here's a question: Where would all that anxiety go if you were trying to save someone's life or tend to some present calamity? Would such fears prevent your jumping into action?
Perhaps on such occasions your mind becomes honed on the singular purpose with no room for meandering or speculative thoughts. Adrenalin (influx of) kicks in and is put to good use ('consumed', as opposed to anxiety which cannot utilise the same rush of adrenalin on 'what if' scenarios and manifests itself with rapid heart rate, nausea, and tunnel vision).
Unfortunately, the 'unknown' is infinite and all you end up with is sensory overload trying to account for each and every possibility, leaving you in a mess of doubt - often unreasonably demeaning your own capacity to navigate through. What's worse, is you suddenly feel that all eyes are on you!
In this respect simply putting on the blinkers will not help as it is your mind that will race regardless.
Acknowledging the multitude, and even accepting possibility/risk can alleviate escalation which, in turn, can at least cross that off your list! Focusing on the task at hand will help even more - the funeral is about the grandfather and you are supporting your wife and daughter by attending. In some sense, you could be invisible to everyone else as long as you maintain your attention to purpose.
Essentially, be accepting that anxiety will start no matter what - that part is natural, but it's how you process/rationalise the early signs that makes the difference.

Community Member

Hey Petal,

4.5 years is so amazing ! im so happy for you.....i cant wait for the day that i'll be able to say that.

the scary thing about pushing through is that i unfortunately catastrophic think so when i think about pushing through i think to myself, what if i have a panic attack in public.....or feel sick to the point of throwing up in front of people.....its terrifying

i've booked to do a telehealth appointment with my GP who knows about my situation and im hoping that he'll be able to prescribe me something 😄

fingers crossed

Thanks Ollie95 😊 it was a long journey one with lots of ups and downs but I never gave up hope that I would recover.

If I had a bad day I’d tell myself tomorrow will be better.

On my journey I learned to develop a positive mindset, the mindset I originally had was a very negative one and I learned along my journey that it wasn’t doing me any favours and it was helping my anxiety to ignite.

I made a decision I decided that I needed to change my inner dialogue so I could see things with a more positive mindset.

Maybe this could help you?

I understand the catastrophic thinking because this is one of the things that I used to do…….. I became aware of when I was going to start doing this and instead of going down that path I learned to change direction…. Instead of catastrophic thinking I would instead focus on something in the present moment like if I was driving how did the steering wheel feel on my hands, what could I notice about the road? What could I hear……… maybe you could try this?

Another skill I learned was how to challenge my thoughts..

Ok what if you have a panic attack in public?

If you do have a panic attack you have one… it happens and if you vomit that’s ok….. people will be more concerned for you and wonder if your ok…….. vomit can be cleaned up…… everything will be ok…. If you have a panic attack it will pass…..

Goodluck with your gp, let us know how you go.

I was prescribed antidepressants for my anxiety……… I just wanted to let you know that they can take up to 6 weeks to work so hang in there and I strongly encourage you to also do therapy aswell as medication if this is the way you want to go….. in therapy you can be given many tools and skills so you can learn how to manage your anxiety.

I believe medication and therapy go hand in hand.

Here to chat

Community Member

Hi Ollie

I too suffer from anxiety, social anxiety. I cant stand crowds and feel very nervous when i have to go to Drs, or talk face to face with people. I did find however my anxiety has gotten a bit better lately since i have been doing breathe work, drinking green juices everyday, exercising. I see a holistic chiropractor and dr also. She gave me a supplement called Neurolift. It has ashwangda in it. I think this has really helped. If you have the funds to see a holistic Dr, i would recommend that. As they can help you in ways normal GPS dont. They check bloods for nutritional deficients and cant recommend supplements to take for this. I hope that helps you a little bit. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Community Member
Hi guys,
since my last post I have spoken to a GP and been prescribed medication. This didn’t have any side effects the first few days but I’m on my 5th day now and starting to really feel it now. My symptoms are sweating, nausea (mild), and I’m quite irritable. I already had a go at a colleague this morning.
I’m not having a great start to the week, with the side effects, my cars tyre popped this morning on the way to work, I’ve got clients breathing down my neck and I found out my grandfather was in a car accident over the weekend (he’s all good, a bit shaken up)
i also have had the last 4 days off of work due to tonsillitis. My questions for you all is should I feel guilty and step away from work for an hour if the day is just overwhelming. My employers understand what I’m going through but I still can’t help worrying that I’m complaining too much about my anxious/depressed feelings or that it’s always a burden to ask them for my own space.
would love some advice…..obviously I understand that health and mental health comes first, but those with anxiety I’m sure can sympathise by me feeling guilty to even ask for my own time/space