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GeekInCloset
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29 Mar 2015, 7:35 pm

Three days ago was my first time in a big city with a flood of people around me in over two years. Before then I just avoided any chance of going to the city, I only went to the city the other day because I had a doctors appointment, that was the last time I go into a city of any kind ever again. The reason being - heading from the car to the doctors appointment I was fine, well lets just say until I entered an area with LOTS and I mean LOTS of people, I immediately entered what I call 'The Cloud' where I feel majorly spaced out and half with it, basically a major panic attack. I was ok when in the doctors, but when I left to go back to my car, I then nearly lost myself due to feeling so stressed out about being in a major city with lots of people as well as suffering from a big panic attack. I felt like running back to my car and just wishing I was home. I have an invitation to go to Brisbane Australia, but I mentally and physically cannot do it, I have travelled the world many times before, I could do that then, but now I just simply cannot.

When you think life will get easier and better the older you become, it is actually getting worse.

Does anyone else have such issues when out and about in major cities with lots of people? If so, how do you deal with it?



btbnnyr
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29 Mar 2015, 9:48 pm

Are you getting therapy or any kind of help for panic attacks?
Dealing with the issue of panic attacks is probably more beneficial in long-term than just avoiding big city places forever.


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dianthus
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29 Mar 2015, 10:08 pm

I rarely go any place that is crowded like that. But if I do, I would try not to get right out in the middle of the crowd. I would try to stay along the perimeter or along a wall, some place where I can retreat a bit if I need to.

If I get overwhelmed in a place like that? I would try to filter out what is happening around me and focus more on my own body. Because when I get sensory overwhelm, I feel like I can't tell where my body ends and where the rest of the world begins. When I stim, I tend to touch things or rub things between my fingers, and I've realized I do that because it helps me define the boundary of my own body. Sometimes what I do is to look through my handbag and just touch different things in it. It helps me ground myself, and to other people it just looks like I'm looking for my phone or something.

I can get very disoriented if there are a lot of people moving around me, or if I am driving in an area I'm not familiar with that has a lot of traffic. I've learned that it can sneak up on me and I really have to watch for the subtle signs that I'm getting overwhelmed and kind of pace myself. And sometimes I plan out ahead of time, okay I have to walk this far, and then I can duck into a restroom for a few minutes before I walk any further. If you can take it in sections like that it might help.



r2d2
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29 Mar 2015, 10:21 pm

I have lived in Boston, San Francisco and Wiesbaden, Germany. All fairly large cities. It is true that one can get over stimulated very easy in such a place. No doubt I did and didn't even realize it. But on the other hand there is a lot more anonymity in big cities. Their is a lot more weirdness and outrageousness in big cities. People in general in big cities are less likely to be judgmental about odd people and odd behavior. It has its advantages for those of us who are not quite normal.

Currently, I'm living on an Island up in the hills. This situation also has its advantages. One way or another one is going to experience advantages and disadvantages whether one is in a quiet rural or noisier urban situation.


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