More threads by sunset


Is there a difference?

A few yrs ago, I had an episode while out with my sister in NYC, and we just got on a bus. I had this feeling like I was going to die that moment and needed to get off the bus right away. I told my sister something was wrong, as I was sweating and my heart was pounding. She said I was having a panic attack (she felt the same when she had one) and calmed me down. I was able to stay on the bus, and when I got off, I was sweating and shaking and just didnt feel right. I felt better by the time I got home..

Now I am experiencing a sense of doom, my hands going numb, nausea, and weakness... Someone told me this is anxiety. I had to cancel plans out to eat friday night with some friends because of it.
I am doing ok right now. Should I see a Dr?

Any and all opinions are welcome!
Thank you!

p.s. Since June of 2000, my life has been very stressful!!!! Still is.


In my opinion, when you're feeling so badly that it begins to impact your life in a negative way, it's time to see a professional. You had plans to go out and have a good time, but had to cancel those plans because you felt so badly you couldn't go. I'd say you could probably benefit from seeing someone, hon. There are medications that can help with things like that, as well as therapy, if the doctor decides you could benefit from it. :)


I am and have been in therapy. Lately its been on the phone instead of face to face, and that could be adding to it. I am not liking that my therapist is in town about 5 days a month.


I wonder if, perhaps, your therapist could suggest someone for you to talk to when he/she is away. That might be helpful to you. If that's not possible, perhaps your family doctor could be of help.


Thank you thatlady...

I dont really want to see anyone else but him. Yep, I am dependant on him and its him I want to discuss things with. It is exhausting to even think about talking to another therapist who dosent know me, and having to start at the beginning...

I will probably see a MD for some tranquilzers or something to get me over the worst of it.

But, is there a difference between anxiety and panic attacks? If so, what is the difference. I am confused about that. If there is a Dr out there, maybe they can answer this part.


Thanks Thatlady.. That site was very informative and at least I know that was a panic attack I had in NYC that time..
From what I understand from reading the article is, panic attack and anxiety are pretty much the same, only panic attack is the extreme form of it. Sure felt that way to me at the time, and the way they described it, fit me that day.
I appreciate you taking the time to post that for me!!
Hello there.
I have recently came back to the fold after being a way for a while. I'm a uk registered stress therapist and life coach and was saddened to read your post and the affects that your recent "crisis" has had on you. I hope my ramblings below will go someway to helping alleviate some of them. I'm was also pleased that there are some helpful people who are able to give common sense advice on this site and i hope that will continue.....

Further to the comments already made and the web site suggested. I suspect that your present anxieties maybe due to your stress at work (sorry if i am stating the obvious but please bear with me). These issues that you are now experiencing can be due to a feeling of a lack of control or of feeling overwhelmed and i would view your anxieties and Pa's as a sympton of that.

I can only base that insight on what you have already volunteered if you think it would help (and i do) please provide more information about what is causing you the stress at work, assuming it is at work?

I hope that we can be of more help to you and others and please feel free to contact me direct if you wish

Seamus Madden M.A.S.C.


Hi Dr Madden and thank you for writing. I just replied to you and lost the whole darn thing so here I go again.

There are many things in my life that are stressful, but let me start with the many losses I have had since June of 2000, when I lost my favorite aunt. I was devastated and still miss her like crazy. 10 months later my father died. I was not close to him and this didnt effect me like my aunts death did. Then I lost another aunt and uncle, 2 friends from the 9/11 attacks, had a total hysterectomy (I have no kids and wanted them badly!), and lost my job of 18 yrs, while home recouping from my surgery!. My co-workers were a very close knit group and were like family and many of us were devasted by this and are still hurting 2 yrs later.
I was attached to my boss ( a father figure to me) and it hurts like hell, even now at 2 yrs later, that he is not in my life. I have abandonment issues and am in therapy, although I am fearing my therapist, (whom I am also attached too) is not going to be around. He is only in the state 5 days a month and if I am lucky, I get to see him twice a month, and talk on the phone the other 2 weeks. I hate that. His wife moved to florida (dont like cold weather) and he travels back and forth because he likes his work. He assured me he isnt leaving me and not to worry. But, when he went from being here all the time, then here 2 weeks out of the month, and now 5 days a month, what am I supposed to think?
I am in a low paying job now and have been looking for a better job all along, but times are tough! I want to get some new skills (mine are outsourced now) but am afraid I wont be smart enough to pass, and even if I do, no guarantee to find a job. Then I am in debt and in the same boat... Dont know what to do and therefore I procrastinate.

There are other things also, but I have gone on long enough on here.

I probably gave you way more infor than you wanted... Anyway, thanks for listening. Am I alone in what I feel?
Hello Sunset.
I have a couple more questions to get a bigger picture of you and your life up til now but they can wait for just a moment.

I would like to point out to you now that you may not had time so far to fully digest: In your last post i counted 9 losses that you have experienced in the last 6 years that works out to be 1 every Eight months! To fully appreciate what i mean try and follow this little analogy. When people suffer an injury they tend to follow roughly the same pattern. They are shocked that its happened they then feel the pain then when that subsides they then assess what they need to do or needs to be done and when they have survived these initial stages they then go to the next ones. They may experience what if's and what maybe's they may also experience regret and guilt. Hopefully sooner rather than later the healing process starts and they will start to get their life back this can be anything from 10 minutes for a minor cut to 3 or so years for a more serious and far reaching loss. You have had 6-9 major losses in under 6 years! People like you totally amaze me how, how can someone still be in a job let alone survive the emotional rollercoaster that you have had to! Sunset i take my hat off to you and if i do nothing else than try and help you see the sunset better than i will stand proud.

Ok, sorry to have to ask you but what is your age?
You mentioned that your favourite Aunt died may i ask what happened to your Mum and the story behind your parents?
It came accross that your fab Aunt may have been a Mother figure the same as your boss was a Father one.

Whatever inner strength got you here please keep going now, dont be ashamed if you cry dont be ashamed if you feel vulnerable and insecure. You have every right to feel all these and more. Give yourself permission to but afterwards we can help you get back on track and re-enjoy your life again.

If you would like be to help further then please keep posting if you want to go private then we have a facility on this site (As i suspect you know) or as always you can contact me direct.

I'll leave you with a quote from an English Poet.
And this for comfort thou must know
Times that ill won't still be so;
Clouds will not be ever pour down rain;
A sullen day will clear again.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Take care hun.


Dr Madden... Your post has me crying!! Cant concentrate at the moment here at work, so I will email you when I get home in a couple of hrs!

Thank YOU!!
Hello Sunset.
Lets try again.

You introduced who you are and a little bit about yourself in a recent email and your own words will always mean more than mine so if i may i would like to use a section from your email.

"I am 47 yrs old (Female). I am single, have a twin sister, 2 older sisters and a younger brother. My mother is alive and doing ok. When my father died in 2001, I made the decision to move back with my mother for a couple of reasons. She has this house that is too big and needed help with maintaining it, so we turned it into a mother/daughter situation. She also needs someone around because she has epilepsy, and even though she hasnt had a seizure in yrs, she feels better having someone nearby. Since I am the only single one out of my siblings, it made sense for me to be the one to move back home with her. It has been ok, but it has been trying also. I am not totally free, but feel I cant bail on her now that she is getting older. Part of me wants to move and just start a new life elsewhere, but I cant right now.
My parents were very close and were married 53 yrs before he died. I never felt like my father was "my father", but just someone that lived in the same house with me. I was closer to my mother, although she has said some hurtful things to me like, "your too sensitive", but not in a nice way.(I was younger, but never forgot that and always thought I was defective because I was sensitive).. She has a habit of throwing my failures in my face and I get quite angry at her and wonder why the heck I stick around.... I guess "Guilt" is probably the reason."

We are born the way we, some of us are more detached and become lawyers and very rich, others are born sensitive and compassionate and stay poor in the financial sense but very rich because they help people, Nurses, Drs, Midwives etc.
Being born with certain predispositions to certain behaviours does not make us less worthy or less of a benefit to other people but being made to feel that way at an early age may make people feel insecure, and evolve a lack of self esteem and generaly feel worthless about themselves.

You give another window into how you felt about things with this:
"I have had a decent childhood, but always felt I was missing something, even at a very young age. I was looking for attention from guys, but never understood why the burning need at such a young age. Almost a desperation.. I remember the one time my parents had a fight, and my mother was looking out the window. My father took off in the car earlier. I was five yrs old, and remember talking to my mother and she said she didnt know if he was coming back. I said to her, " Thats all right, Just get a new one". (Meaning husband) It didnt bother me in the least if he didnt come back. I remember this like yesterday but dont know why I said that."

Children need to have a balanced relationship with their parents. If those relationships between Mother/Son and Father/Daughter are allowed to develop naturally then the children will take those experiences into adult life and they will have happy times and will hopefully settle down have a family and live happy ever after. Although if they dont it doesn't mean that there is a problem as long as they are happy overall with their lives. At the very least they will have fun finding out what the big wide world has to offer.
I get the feeling that this may not have been the case with you and your parents in general but not the case with your Father in particular. You hit the nail on the head with this section Sunset:

"I seem to have problems with relationships too... My last boyfriend of 10 yrs, ended up being a brainwashed moonie,(came out of the blue one day) and after 10 yrs, said he thought of me like a sister!! I was in shock, and was almost hit by a car when I was wandering in the street in the middle of the night... I feel like a total misfit and not good enough for anyone. I have not had a relationship since and its been about 14 yrs now."

I have used parts of your life to help anyone who felt the same way you did when you stumbled onto this site. You are normal, you can trace back the way you feel today to events from your past and you have accepted and forgiven those involved. You are on the road to seeing yourself as normal, as a useful and caring person. Which you are. Dont let other peoples jealousies or confusions let you think otherwise.

I hope that it maybe ok to continue this topic and i hope this has been of interest to yourself and others.
It wasn't clear in my last post whether or not i gained "Sunset's" permission to use excerpts from her email. At my first attempt which got lost i did clarify this point but in my haste to get a reply to Sunset i forgot to include it in my second attempt.

I would like to clarify it now. I received permission from Sunset via email BEFORE i used any of her personal information.

Regards :)
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