Author Topic: Advice needed  (Read 1358 times)

Offline cognitive

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Advice needed
« on: February 24, 2014, 03:24:54 am »
Hello there, I'm in need of some advice as I have been encountering a very difficult problem regarding my meditation. I'm someone who has dabbled in meditation for a while but only recently took it up consistently. All seemed to be going well until I found my anxiety levels increasing after I meditated. During the meditation it would be ok, but after, during the day, I could feel as if I was not far off a panic attack. I have made many mistakes in meditation practise and I found that in the past I would force the meditation which would create this anxiety. However, I am not making this mistake now and believe that it is not down to faulty technique. I confess I have had to stop meditating because I am afraid of how it will effect me after and am sad to do this as it is something I would like to continue with. Has anyone suffered similar experiences? I theorise that it may be to do with brain chemistry or areas of the brain being activated etc, but I don't really know and lack the wisdom to know. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.


Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 03:53:07 am »
In an article several years ago, Susan Piver mentioned that she also struggled with panic attacks:

http://susanpiver.com/2011/04/05/can-meditation-help-with-panic-attacks-no-and-yes/

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 05:57:28 am »
Has anyone suffered similar experiences? I theorise that it may be to do with brain chemistry or areas of the brain being activated etc, but I don't really know and lack the wisdom to know. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

While I have no personal experience with panic attacks, my now deceased wife used to.  Her's were brought on by situations like finding herself in large crowds, sometimes extraordinary heights, and often when she found herself in confined spaces.

The reason I mention this is because you noted that your attacks came on later, after meditation.  So, as the statisticians often point out:  " correlation does not equal cause", ...  Look for other correlates that are in common with your onset.  And, by all means, consult someone in the medical field who has experience diagnosing and treating such conditions. :twocents:

Good luck.  And, keep up with the meditation, but try not to control or react to your thoughts, feelings and emotions.  Just observe them and let them pass away, which they always do.  A feeling of loss of  the delusion of control can make us feel anxious, which is just another feeling. :hug:

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Xo12

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 03:22:02 pm »
   I have experienced a fear, or terror after meditation. It is much less present now-so. During meditation, when all sensations are focused on their passing, there is no feeling but clarity or a wide emptiness in which I exist in reality. That is not what frightens me. When troubling thoughts or headaches come, they leave in the same way. But, when I end my meditation, I have to exit this mind-frame slowly. I do this by, instead of a six count in-hold-out-hold meditative breathing, proceeding to a four count, which I have observed in myself as regular breathing. And, I will rub by thumb and index finger slowly in a circular pattern for the sensation of physical awareness. (The finger-thumb rubbing came from a technique I learned to break out of sleep paralysis from night terrors in my youth)

   Before I did these action of slowly exiting my meditation, I would feel a deep tension within myself. I likened it to flinching before being struck, and just waiting for it to happen. I could say it was shame, or confusion, or anything just to label this experience, but this feeling did eventually pass. As an old friend said often, "like all things, this too shall pass."

   I am not an expert (in anything), and cannot guarantee these can help. The hand motion could just be a security blanket of sorts, and the breathing could just be cementing the point that I sometimes observe how I am breathing in certain situations as a practice in mindfulness--thus relaxing, or leading to an ultimate goal. I can only suggest what I know, and all I can know is myself as to how sensations lead me to behave. I still get that feeling, too... but I know it will pass and I will feel more relief by letting it go.

Good luck. :hug:

Offline cognitive

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 03:39:59 am »
Thankyou for your advice Ron and a very interesting article Dharamara. I confess I am not blessed with a particularly contented mind and suffer from unhappiness and other things. I think the meditation starts to illuminate that and perhaps I find it hard to look upon them in the harsh light. But still, i'm working on it, meditation has taught me a sort of patience and acceptance of my flaws and difficulties that is half the battle. Xo12, I suffered from a similar tension to yourself at the end of meditation practise, I shall take your advice and slow the transition between meditation and leaving meditation, my thanks for your kind words.

Offline dhammaseeker51

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 08:03:54 am »
And don't forget you are not alone in having panic attacks. Millions suffer from them daily, and millions have overcome them.
One thing which used to bring on mine was being in a public place with a lot of noise, esp. lots of traffic noise.
Being relaxed and in a friendly mood is the best antidote to them. As you said, just talking to someone can stop them immediately.
They're a kind of overreaction by our nervous system to some perceived threat which sometimes just isn't immediately apparent... 
Metta meditation could well help.

with Metta

Offline cognitive

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 01:53:02 am »
Many thanks dhammaseeker51, your antidote is what I find helps best too, I've never heard of the Metta meditation, will give it a look.

Offline Ananda10

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2014, 07:21:51 am »
Hello there, I'm in need of some advice as I have been encountering a very difficult problem regarding my meditation. I'm someone who has dabbled in meditation for a while but only recently took it up consistently. All seemed to be going well until I found my anxiety levels increasing after I meditated. During the meditation it would be ok, but after, during the day, I could feel as if I was not far off a panic attack. I have made many mistakes in meditation practise and I found that in the past I would force the meditation which would create this anxiety. However, I am not making this mistake now and believe that it is not down to faulty technique. I confess I have had to stop meditating because I am afraid of how it will effect me after and am sad to do this as it is something I would like to continue with. Has anyone suffered similar experiences? I theorise that it may be to do with brain chemistry or areas of the brain being activated etc, but I don't really know and lack the wisdom to know. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

Buddha on numerous occasions encouraged Ananda and the monks to meditate. I would say the same about a good meditation practice with you.

A group with meditation activities such as a "sitting group" can encourage one to maintain a regular meditation practice.

One could do a google.com search to help find such activities in one's area.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2014, 10:44:49 am »
HI,  cognitive.

Just wondering how you were doing?

Hope you are well and making progress. :hug:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline cognitive

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 03:31:02 am »
Hi Ron, thankyou, I am doing quite well at the present. I am meditating each day now without the anxiety attacks I had been experiencing. I think the meditation was just exposing some painful things in the mind that I can now accept, or at least, begin to accept. I feel as if my self-understanding has improved as a result. Much of this has been facilitated by joining a local meditation group. Its good to be with like-minded people. How are you? Is your meditation practise going well?

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2014, 05:25:47 am »
Thank you for the response, cognitive, and also for the mutual concern.

Unlike yourself, I have not been visiting our local meditation group for the last few months, mostly due to my inability to tolerate the bitter cold weather here in the north-east, probably due to some health issues that have been lingering.

I do take every opportunity to "sit" or "walk" alone when facilitating conditions converge.  I try to spend at least an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening meditating.  My big problem recently has been a sore buttocks.  My favorite time is when collecting our dogs contributions to the back yard in thanks for her daily meals.  I label these my "poopy" focus meditation sessions.   :wink1:

Again, thanks for asking. 
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 09:36:43 am »
I've been agitated and uncomfortable before while meditating. The advice is to keep trying and work on the breathing method and body posture. (Very similiar to Yoga practice)  :)



« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 09:38:45 am by NepalianBuddhist »

Offline Madelyn

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2014, 03:31:39 am »
This probably won't help you find a solution, but I can share and validate your experiences. My rare panic attacks generally come on in calm, pleasant circumstances. Panic attacks can, it seems, be almost purely chemical. Mine are often at my favourite cafe, a place that is in some ways even more psychologically comfortable than my own home.


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Offline cognitive

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Re: Advice needed
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2014, 04:10:56 am »
Haha, interesting meditation sessions regarding the dog, I imagine they are quite....powerful! Yeah, I get a sore back most of the time, posture is certainly something I need to work on, I'm thinking I may try use a cushion in the future in order to do this. Thanks for the advice Nepalian, I must look into yoga sometime, I have a friend who does it and says it complements their meditation, not sure about the whole hot yoga thing though! Yes, that's a good point Madelyn, sometimes I found that my attacks would be brought on simply by the fear that they could come on, the mind can be very sensitive. However, I think my problem was that I was trying to defend against them, this only made it worse.

 


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