Anyone suffer from panic attacks / anxiety ?

i’ve never had a panic attack in my life. i’ve been nervous leading up to a big event, but usually fine once i’m 1 minute into it. actually, i lied, i get panic attack wondering what’s better: MBA or CFA?

Panic attacks suck. Exercising, yoga, breathing techniques and all that will help but it won’t solve the problem. The best (and hardest) thing to do is to talk about the issue with your close friends and family. Having been where you are myself, I felt a million times better once I shared my experiences with people I could trust. You really need to find out what’s causing the attacks, whether it’s stress from work, relationship issues, or other pressures you’re facing. That, coupled with educating myself on the nature and causes of anxiety in general solved the problem for me. I’d use meds as a last resort if you can, because like exercise they will most likely mask the problem rather than fix it. Good luck!

jbisback – I’ve only had a couple panic attacks before, and both of them occurred while skiing. As an adolescent, I had an intense and somewhat unjustified fear of traversing slopes. I was more comfortable skiing down bowls, doing mogul patches, and even jumping off small cliffs, but the thought of crossing a steep slope petrified me, almost to the point where my heart was racing, and I got nauseous and started sweating bullets. I just needed to lay against the slope of the mountain for several minutes to calm myself down. I kept fearing that my skis might hit something and slip, and I’d end up falling all the way down hill. In fact, the first time I ever did a double-black-diamond slope was completely unplanned – it was because I had a sudden onset of panic that prevented me from traversing a mountain slope along with the rest of my group of intermediate skiers, and I felt like I’d have a better chance just bombing down a mogul patch even though I had previously believed that the patch was too difficult for a skier of my caliber. As for the reasons why you might be experiencing panics, that’s only something that you and someone close to you can answer. Have you thought about what situations or circumstnaces may cause you to experience them? Perhaps you have something on your mind that you’ve kept to yourself for a while. I’ve had friends that experienced panic attacks and like LonghornBrian, they found someone they could speak with about it – whether it was friends, family, or medical personnel. Don’t be alarmed if they don’t always know the right words; you probably just need someone that can listen to you and just relate to whatever it is that’s stressing you out. Other things you can do are various relaxation activities like yoga that others have mentioned, or just picking up an activity that you know that you’re good at (like a sport, for example) just so you can experience some success and positive emotions again. Obviously there are many causes of panic attacks – could be physiological, phobias, stressful situations, chronic conditions, or even medications – so take the time to think about what may be causing your condition. But to the extent you’re not able to, you’d definitely be doing the right thing by speaking with someone credible and see if they pick up on things that you may not notice. Lastly, I’m glad you felt comfortable to share your situation on this forum. I think that some people might be self-conscious about their condition, but panic attacks in fact are quite common among people. Definitely don’t feel bad about sharing your experiences. People close to you will want to help you get better. Good luck!

Yeah, I always laugh when people around the office always brag about they “type A-ness”, I don’t think of it as a good thing. I’ve seen a number of breakdowns in finance. People go too far and it adds up, and then one day, with no apparent trigger, bam. Similarly, getting rid of that stuff takes time, you may be on the beach and get a panic attack, but it all that built up stuff from years of being type A. You can’t get better overnight. Life changes. Yoga, breathing, work outs, hot women, diet, lots of breaks, life is more important than work yo.

@jbisback How did you land your gig on the buyside in equity research? Were you on SS first? If so, with what firm? What do you cover? L/S? Long only? Mutual fund?

jb- just like mwvt9’er, i have actually been (and am in currently) in LT relationships w/ 2 people who have suffered extensively from panic attacks. you i think still have my work email, hit me up if you want to chat at all. or bannisja at gmail dot com my work email is the best one. you’ll be alright, but they are really hard at first. happy to chat anytime.