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  1. What causes these attacks?

    Hi,
    Firstly i want to say that im good in most social situations, i have many friends and i get on great at work also. Very rarely of late (but more common a while back) i would get these strange "attacks", i use the word attack because i cant think of anything better, ill describe them below:

    these "attacks" seem to happen when im talking one on one with people, i'll become uncomfortable. Most of the time when talking to someone im looking at the person but most of my noticing is subconcious and im concentrating more on the conversation. The usual precurser to these attacks happens when i stop noticing subconciously and start actually looking at the person... i cant describe it exactly but i will begin to focus my attention on the person instead of what there saying, i become very aware of myself and my facial expressions aswell as thiers and i suddenly find it uncomfortable to look the person in the eyes for more than a few seconds at a time. This in itself is quite bad because i will then tend to look away randomly giving the impression that im not interested in the conversation when i am.

    If this situation continues without me getting control of it in someway it can then develop into this attack i speak of. Its a very intense feeling where my lips will tingle ill get a sickening feeling, i find it hard to access memory (mind blank) and i find it hard to maintain my facial expressions (as im trying to fight through it i may try to smile but its a struggle too).
    By far the worst thing is the mind blank, ill usually get the attack just as im telling a story of something that happened to me etc. I suddenly cant access memory, i completely forget the events in the story for the length of the attack (usually no longer than 5 - 10 seconds). Having many eyes on you when your in the middle of a story, and suddenly having no access to memory or thought processes is quite scary, ill find myself just looking at people, unable to get past whats happening in that exact situation to access memory. During this time im left to try and dig my way out of the situation, usually by looking at a group of people or into the distance at someone walking until the attack ends, then ill say something along the lines of "sorry, thought i recognised that person for a second." Then ill continue speaking again or get someone else involved so the attention isnt on me.

    I feel ive coped well with this through the fact that i dont dwell on it. When i first started having the attacks a year or two ago i became frightened and on edge that they would happen... I would get them with family and close friends occasionly. I very rarely get them now (just the odd one here and there, such as one i had a few weeks back) and I never get them with close friends or family anymore. I still find it uncomfortable speaking to people i dont know very well in a one on one situations however, unless that conversation doesnt require me to maintain alot of eye contact for an extended period of time. Im kinda worried that it may happen in a job interview sometime although ive been fine in interviews so far.

    I suppose im posting here because firstly ive never spoken to anyone about this and secondly i was wondering if anyone here knew what this was. After reading the forum id imagine it was some kind of social issue, but i will happily joke and be the center of attention at work and I generally have a good social life, ive also never had any kind of stress and am very layed back.

    Any input is greatly appreciated, thanks for taking the time to read.

    Roo

  2. #2

    What causes these attacks?

    Often, this sort of thing occurs as a result of a disturbing or distressing experience of a similar nature which then sets up a (perhaps background level) worry that it will recur... worrying about whether it will happen again increases the likelihood that you will get distracted and repeat the worrisome behavior.

    Much like it is with panic attacks: having one sets up the triggers for subsequent ones.

    Can you recall any of the circumstances around the time this first happened?

  3. What causes these attacks?

    The first time it happened i was talking to a friend at her house, i was about to leave. There's nothing i can really put my finger on that was a cause, the first just came out of nowhere.
    She could instantly tell there was something wrong and being completely confused at what was happening, i told her id suddenly came over feeling ill and needed air. We took the conversation outside and i felt completely fine.

    "worrying about whether it will happen again increases the likelihood that you will get distracted and repeat the worrisome behavior. "

    Yeah, i definitely agree with you on that... but aslong as my memory of it is intact ill likely get the occasional one anyway. Since it happened Its almost guaranteed that ill get one of these attacks when im with the friend who it originaly happened with. I dont see her as much as i used to anyway but its annoying to think how much better our friendship would be if i didnt get them.

    Thanks

    >Roo

  4. What causes these attacks?

    The first time it happened i was talking to a friend at her house, i was about to leave. There's nothing i can really put my finger on that was a cause, the first just came out of nowhere.
    She could instantly tell there was something wrong and being completely confused at what was happening, i told her id suddenly came over feeling ill and needed air. We took the conversation outside and i felt completely fine.

    "worrying about whether it will happen again increases the likelihood that you will get distracted and repeat the worrisome behavior. "

    Yeah, i definitely agree with you on that... but aslong as my memory of it is intact ill likely get the occasional one anyway. Since it happened Its almost guaranteed that ill get one of these attacks when im with the friend who it originaly happened with. I dont see her as much as i used to anyway but its annoying to think how much better our friendship would be if i didnt get them.

    Thanks

    >Roo

  5. #5

    What causes these attacks?

    No it's not inevitable... there are things a therapist can help you learn to do to prevent or manage the "attacks".

    I would also suggest that you ask your family doctor to schedule you for some tests to rule out a physical basis (including EEG) -- not because these possible causes are all that likely but because it's better to be safe.

  6. #6

    What causes these attacks?

    No it's not inevitable... there are things a therapist can help you learn to do to prevent or manage the "attacks".

    I would also suggest that you ask your family doctor to schedule you for some tests to rule out a physical basis (including EEG) -- not because these possible causes are all that likely but because it's better to be safe.

  7. What causes these attacks?

    Thanks for the reply and suggestions David, really appreciate it. The thought of going to the doctor about it kind of worries me, but its likely something i'll have to do just to ease my mind.
    I think i may have some mental anchor that fires off when im speaking to people one on one for a while, that suddenly makes me think of the attacks.

    I must rush out now, but once again thanks for the help.

    >Roo

  8. What causes these attacks?

    Thanks for the reply and suggestions David, really appreciate it. The thought of going to the doctor about it kind of worries me, but its likely something i'll have to do just to ease my mind.
    I think i may have some mental anchor that fires off when im speaking to people one on one for a while, that suddenly makes me think of the attacks.

    I must rush out now, but once again thanks for the help.

    >Roo

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