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#333972 - 06/17/10 01:03 PM Showering, bathing, panic attacks
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
So,

I have panic attacks in the shower. I step into the water, I step into the shower, and I find it difficult to monitor my breathing, unconsciously, the automatic stuff, you know? Breathe in, breathe out?

I find, as soon as the water hits my head, or I soap up, I need to consciously breathe. I am not aware of any trauma associated with water in this way, but I am becoming more phobic about lakes, rivers and ponds, the only swimming I do, and there is a swimming pool outside my camper, is 2 or 3 times a year.

Any thoughts?

Sam

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#333973 - 06/17/10 01:09 PM Re: Showering, bathing, panic attacks [Re: SamV]
Obi Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1400
Loc: kansas
sam,

is it possible that you had a traumatic event happen to you that surrounds water that is repressed and is now making it's presence known?

todd

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#333975 - 06/17/10 01:16 PM Re: Showering, bathing, panic attacks [Re: SamV]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
I think this might be a stage of recovery thing, when dealing with your past stuff like this often crops up. When i started working on my past i was often actually sick in the shower, and having a bath as a test made me feel really ill afterwards.

I was abused in the bath and i still use the same bath in the same bathroom, so that pretty much explains it. I would just zone out completely, but now i can have showers okay.

You don't have to be abused in the bath to get triggered by it, it is a very vulnerable and naked position you are putting yourself in. Being wet can also remind you of things from abuse, or the fact that when submersed in water it is in contact with you everywhere and that can feel like an invasion perhaps? Fear of water may also be about issues of control and body ownership. Fear of drowning is about control, for example.

Lewis

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"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#333977 - 06/17/10 01:22 PM Re: Showering, bathing, panic attacks [Re: Obi]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Hey Todd,

Thanks for the quick reply.

Possible, absolutely. I have had this for a long time, any advice on how to center on the issue?

Sam

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#333979 - 06/17/10 01:33 PM Re: Showering, bathing, panic attacks [Re: king tut]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Lewis,

Thank you for your experience and for your advice.

I do believe you have come across the nature of your trigger, and I must say how wonderful it is to be able to go into the same bath, and know it is not a reason for fear or panic.
Quote:
You don't have to be abused in the bath to get triggered by it, it is a very vulnerable and naked position you are putting yourself in.

True, I still have fear and anger issues, though very minimized, when in situations that where I am feeling misunderstood or a course of action will lead to my children being compromised.

My dad almost drown once, and the lifeguard had to save him. i wonder if there is any collation there?

Quote:
Being wet can also remind you of things from abuse, or the fact that when submersed in water it is in contact with you everywhere and that can feel like an invasion perhaps?

Less able to move, to escape, to function, hmm. I am not sure, but I will meditate on those items.

Quote:
Fear of water may also be about issues of control and body ownership. Fear of drowning is about control, for example.
I do maintain a body "personal space" even with my wife. It is not reasonable, again, more homework, thank you. I do not fear drowning, or I have yet to realize the fear of it. My problem with large bodies of water tend to be the "Jaws" 'ism, what is coming up from the bottom, to attack me.
If I cannot see the bottom, no way I am going to swim in it.

Much appreciation, Lewis,

Sam

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#333980 - 06/17/10 01:42 PM Re: Showering, bathing, panic attacks [Re: SamV]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
I don't have much experience with recovered memories, on how to "focus" on them. Often i think they just come to you (unfortunately when you least expect it).

With memories you can't try to force yourself to remember things. Instead here is an example. If you can't remember somebodies face, it is no good trying hard to think about the details of their face, instead you think about a situation or time that you were with the person, and the face just fills itself in.

Many memories of specific things have come back to the front of my mind before. For me it has never been when i have been trying to think about it, but just that something triggers the memory back into the front of my mind. A recovered memory is a memory that was always there but just one that you haven't thought about for a while, something that you have pushed to the back of your mind (often because at the time you were unable to deal with it, or process it- perhaps because as a child you didn't have that ability).

When your memories start to come forward it is a sign that your mind is telling you that you are "ready" to start to deal with these things, and that shows great progress.

Maybe you should write about times in your childhood, not your abuse experiences, but other times, like holidays. Taking your mind back to the time when the abuse happened may open you up to remembering other things. It wont come back "like that", but opening your mind to the situation may make you more open to having other memories triggered weeks or months down the line. Just an idea.

Lewis

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#335217 - 07/04/10 11:42 AM Re: Showering, bathing, panic attacks [Re: king tut]
KingFred Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/23/10
Posts: 57
Loc: West Coast, USA
Ya, I've got a hard time in the shower/bath too. Part of what I've been through was in the bath and in the shower, now I can't take a bath at all. And if I take a shower, I have to face the bathroom door to make sure nobody walks in. If I turn my back or have to close my eyes (like, to rinse my hair), I'm panicking the whole time. I have to force myself to stop, take a few deep breathes, and say that there's nobody there.
Idk...maybe that's just me though. Wanted to let you know that you're not the only one.

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#335238 - 07/04/10 02:19 PM Re: Showering, bathing, panic attacks [Re: KingFred]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I was abused by someone who was supposed to be giving me a bath in the hospital, the shower is the #1 trigger in my life right now. It definitely has something to do with the fact that the experience is directly related to the setting of the abuse, but also... I need to take a shower because I am dirty, and it's always in the shower where I feel dirty on the inside as well. There's always a feeling of hopelessless... no matter how hard I scrub, I'll always be dirty.

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#335300 - 07/04/10 10:49 PM Re: Showering, bathing, panic attacks [Re: king tut]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Terrifying thought, I do not have a childhood, KT.

I would not know where to begin. Hmm, maybe that is part of the problem.

Sam

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MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#335301 - 07/04/10 10:53 PM Re: Showering, bathing, panic attacks [Re: KingFred]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Thank you KFred,

Similar, very similar to my experience. Yeah, rinse the hair, GULP!

I am starting a breathing regiment when I go into the shower....

...I am calm, I am quiet.... I am really wanting to freak out. :-)

S

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