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Fireandshadows

Panic Attacks

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Eliza
1 hour ago, Paul said:

House is concrete block and roof has reinforcing straps to the wall.

Awesome news. (Thank you for the entire reply by the way) I would give you a 'like' but I already used up my daily likes, lol. :unsure:

1 hour ago, Paul said:

Thanks. It took a year wheat free to realize I was lactose intolerant also.

Several aspies have both problems, wheat/dairy. I am lucky to get away with 1 slice of bread a day. Before I knew about it, I used to eat a diet around wheat bread, cereal, sweets, and could hardly function. Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Dairy has not been a problem for me (in moderation) In the past I went dairy-free for a month to see if it would help. I love soy products, so taste wasn't a problem. Unfortunately, my blood-sugar levels were dropping dangerously low, so I went back to dairy with no problems.

My doctor was telling me that the science of individual mapping is right around the corner.  Imagine one blood test to tell each person everything their body needs. I can't wait!

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Paul
21 minutes ago, Aspergian said:

Imagine one blood test to tell each person everything

That will be great.

Even spellcheck is telling me that I am repeating myself so I've procrastinated enough. I going out to close up the shutters. Now they are predicting definite tropical storm winds with 80 to 100 mph gusting.

TV weather just said I am expecting the outer edge of the eye to touch here.

Edited by Paul
add weather update

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Athkaraye

I get this all the time. It's so confusing. 

So what would be the difference between a panic attack and meltdown?

im so glad you posted this. I knew nothing about ASD when I experienced this at its worse, and I had no idea if it was an aspie thing or a trauma thing or anything! So thanks for sharing this experience :)

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DC1346
On 2/19/2013 at 1:12 PM, Fireandshadows said:

I guess I was just wondering if any of you have had similar experiences during panic attacks, or just what they're like for you in general.

Panic attacks? Yes and no. I have them ... but not nearly as frequently as I did many years ago. I'm 57 and as I've aged, I've continued to accumulate life experiences. These life experiences have largely helped me avoid panic attacks because I've developed a great many contingency plans that anticipate and sometimes prevent these attacks. 

Have any of you seen the movie, "Temple Grandin"? It's a great movie and features the early life of Dr. Temple Grandin. a woman who helped revolutionize the way the meat processing industry works. Dr. Grandin is also autistic and since she's mathematically inclined, she sees the world in diagrams with plotted angles and measurements. There are a great many YouTube films about Dr. Grandin both in her professional capacity as a Ph.D. in Animal Science and as an outspoken advocate for the autistic community. 

Unlike Dr. Gradin, I do not have a mathematical mind. Instead of seeing the world in diagrams, I react to the world as though the unfolding experience was a flow chart. Flow charts are linear and progress from one condition to another. Inputs (which on a written flowchart would look like a diamond) lead to multiple lines depending upon the choices you make. Each line then leads to different outcomes. 

For example, if someone were to say hello to me, my life experience has taught me that an input is required. The input gives me choices on how to react.

My thought processes go something like this:

  • Interrogative: Who is this person? Is he a friend or colleague? If he is not a friend or colleague, proceed to the next line. If he is a friend, proceed to the casual greeting subroutine which involves greetings and friendly banter.
  • Interrogative: Is this the parent of a student? If he is not a parent, proceed to the next line. If he is a parent, engage the talk to parent subroutine. 
  • Interrogative: Is this person a neighbor? If he is not a neighbor, proceed to the next line. If he is a neighbor, engage the casual talk to neighbor subroutine. 
  • Default response:  Say "hello" in response to any casual greeting. Ascertain whether any further response is expected.

I have a great many subroutines that help me interact with others and/or allow me to react to changing situations.

Some of theses (such as the thoughts I outlined for how to react if someone greets me) are quite ordinary. Others are bit more unusual. 

For example, my life experiences have taught me how to:

  • React to a fire. I was a volunteer fire fighter for three years.
  • Survive in a terrorist environment. I was a teacher at an American school in Saudi Arabia. After the bombing of our military base at Khobar Towers (where I worked as a volunteer baker), the U.S. State Department (office for Counter-Terrorism), sent some agents to train Americans in our local community in basic security precautions that included counter surveillance techniques, how to react if you're being followed, and how to evade potential terrorists. NOTE: I actually used these principles while on vacation in the Netherlands to avoid being mugged by a group of Dutch skinheads in Amsterdam. If anyone is interested, ask me and I'll tell you what happened.
  • Survive an in-coming missile strike. I was in Saudi Arabia during the 1st Gulf War when Iraqi scud missiles were being targeted at my community in Dhahran. When the civil defense sirens began wailing, the students and I would duck and cover under our desks with our poison gas masks at hand. The gas masks weren't put on unless a separate civil defense siren was sounded to warn of a chemical attack. 
  • What to do if your home has been burglarized. I learned this the hard way. My home was burglarized after I returned stateside in 1999. The good news is that although my home was literally cleaned out with all of my possessions removed, I only lost what I had brought with me. Since the movers had not yet arrived, the bulk of my belongings were safe ... though I did lose my laptop, my photo albums with irreplaceable momentos, and some valuable keepsakes that I hadn't wanted to trust to the movers. 
  • What to do if you're stuck in the middle of a desert. This happened in Saudi Arabia on a rural highway in the middle of nowhere between the communities of Dhahran and Ras Tanura. The good news here was that I had already contingency planned the possibility of a breakdown. I had a big floppy hat, bottles of water, a blanket, and suntan lotion in an emergency kit. If anyone wants to know what happened, please ask and I'll tell you the rest of this story.

This is not to say that I'm immune from panic attacks. Despite my life experiences, no amount of contingency planning can ever serve to keep this from happening. 

A few years ago, two colleagues at work yelled at me over what later turned out to be a misunderstanding. I fled from them, ran to my kitchen, unlocked the door, relocked it, ran inside, and squatted in a dark corner where I clutched myself and rocked back and forth while crying. I'm lucky that I have a 1st period prep because I didn't snap out of this until the bell rang for 2nd period and I heard students knocking at the adjoining classroom door which was locked. I wiped my eyes, tugged my culinary uniform into place, and proceeded with the workday shaken but able to function. 

 

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