Claustrophobic feelings/ panic


Just wondering if anybody has any advice for managing what are evolving into episodes of gradually increasing panic related to Parkinson's? I think it's the realisation that it's not possible to get away from this - a sense of being utterly trapped, an almost claustrophobic feeling. It s ridiculous - my symptoms are pretty well controlled at the moment and I can do most things (albeit somewhat tremulously). 

The advice from healthcare professionals so far is that I will have to 'get on with it' and find strategies that work for me (though I have to be fair and admit that I tie myself in knots when I try to explain things like this so who knows what I've actually asked!) I figure that I'm unlikely to be alone in sometimes feeling like this so I'm just wondering if anybody has any suggestions to keep it all in check?

Thank You. J 


Hello Jackson

When things feel too much I borrow next door's cat if he is anywhere around, poor animal.

It's so patronising to say take up a new hobby, but it is about distracting yourself. I find the general election a good laugh at the moment, have a pile of soft things to throw at the screen.

I do miss being able to get lost in a book. Sometimes music helps, other times I irritate myself trying to find something.

If all else fails then do something stupid like spring cleaning the house, the relief when you decide that after all it doesn't matter...................

best wishes    if I've said nothing helpful then I hope I've said nothing offensive



Thank you. The idea of the election campaign as escapism alone helps, I ll give your other tips a try too - they sound better than my current approaches. Thanks again, take care, J



Not sure this is the same sort of thing but, i used too be  avid angler before i was ill, with time on my hands i still try and go, not only because i  have always liked angling, but too say too myself i can still do something on my own terms, achieve something technical with my hands that are at best of times clumsy, get out of the house and feel some measure of independence.

But, there always a but, whilst i'm there, beyond feeling worn out quickly, i find myself always looking for reasons in my mind why i shouldn't be there.

I'm not sure if that's the same feeling of panic??. that home is safer??. and PD controls me, when i want too control it.

While i'm out angling for a few short hours, when i used to do a week at a time, i take along a comfy chair, a mp3 player with 1200+ songs too occupy my mind and a camera too capture the world through the lens if it catches my eye. it helps a little,

I also get a panicky, claustrophobic feeling - it's evil. It comes from having no control over what's happening to you.

I got it first when I read about PD and realised I had all the symptoms - I felt so scared, I started having anxiety/panic attacks which made me even more frightened.

The only thing that's helped me so far is reading other people's experiences of how they manage. It's reassuring to know that I might be able to carry on leading a normal-ish life.

I also exercise quite a bit - weight training at the gym, and yoga - and this makes me feel as if I'm literally fighting my symptoms, which is good for me emotionally (but I realise it's not for everyone).


I guess you're both right: it is the whole lack of control over this, along with the constant uncertainty about the future, that's the issue. It's really good to know what other people do and I'm going to try the bits that might work for me - I can honestly say that cake and wine hasn't proved too good an approach - so thank you for the replies, genuinely appreciated.

Take care. J 

When you think about it, who really has control over their life anyway? It's an illusion.

Most people would go insane if they stopped to think about it!

i agree with that tabbycat  

stay strong x

Hi Jackson

I know exactly where you are coming from.  When this 'off' period happens I can't do anything easily.  It's a real effort  to get out of the chair just to go to the loo. It seems to take too long to come out of it (not the loo!!) and it certainly feels like you're on your own.  

What really helped were appointments seeing a Psychological Therapist (I saw her for about 25 sessions)and she told me that she wasn't going to be able to cure these attacks but she could help me deal with them.  I managed to get myself so tongue-tied trying to explain how I felt but she broke things down, dealing with one thing at a time.

If you are interested, you can get a referral from your Consultant or your GP.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you well



Thank you for sharing this, it helps. I'm trying exercise and distraction activities at the moment flat is actually tidy and I've even cleaned the car! I really recognise the whole tongue tied thing - I get in such a mess trying to explain things but I may try the Consultant or GP if I can't get on top of it, although there's a whole load of anxiety around talking to them too; still, they seem fairly fluent in garbled mumbling. 

Thanks again, take care,


My husband was offered 6 sessions of speech therapy to help his mumbling and stumbling!

It helped quite a bit.

Most areas run these regularly for PD patients.

The Parkinsons nurse suggested it and did the referring.

Worth exploring?




Your last sentence was just the point.  Everything I do causes me anxiety (including seeing the doctor or just going out with friends)  but I still have to do these things and then I get into a state after I've done it sometimes for no reason. 

You would think that when I know these things that the attacks would stop but it's not that simple.

I've really taken a bashing over the last year.   I've retired from work after 26 years working for the same people - including a lunch time get together; (about 40 people turned up) and I have had to give up driving which is a great deal to me.  I could bore you going on about this but I think you get the gist.

Hope you get the help you deserve.

Best wishes




A friend who i haven't seen for several years, but have in the last couple of weeks fishing  thought i have become a bit of a worrier about small things,when i knew him in the past i never used too be  i guess that is the anxiety part of this condition comming out in me.

He didn't know i had PD until i later told him, he also told me i keep repeating myself in conversation and that does worry me a little i wasn't aware i did it. he was telling me as a friend does, but in a situation with a stranger i suppose it would seem strange.

Hi Cassie,
It sounds like you've had a rough year and if there's any place to talk about it without having to worry about others' reactions, I think this is it. So thank you for your insights, they help and you're definitely not 'going on'. I think you're right about just having to do things; and I know my symptoms are manageable at the moment so I'm not always sure where the stress is coming from. Appointments, for example, are stressful because I know I have to go to the reception desk and I'm never sure of 'the rules'. I know this is ridiculous, I really do, but I still end up sweating my way through it. On the other hand, giving up driving and work are huge things to deal with,  I really hope you get a break from the knocks and jolts this year.
Take care,

Hi it's a horrible feeling isn't it.   Sometimes I feel like I am on a roller coaster and loose control.   Things then escalate, I become morbid etc very preoccupied with pd

i have recently taken up yoga and finding I really like it.   I find the breathing useful and I feel quite relaxed after

sometimes especially in the evenings I find stretching and de breathing helps

it may be worth a go

its horrible wondering what will happen, it's hard to predict how we feel from day to day

give it a try, let me know how you get on


Thank you to everyone for sharing their experiences and giving advice. I try to fight the anxiety but it s now making me have freezing episodes too. Find my other half struggles to understand and I end up even more anxious agh!


am determined to find a way through without anti anxiety drugs but wonder if I ll have to take them in the end

bw to all




Ive had panic long before I came down with PD and I can symathize well with you.One thing Im not sure if this might help is alot of PD sufferers have apnea.I use to get panic when i woke up and it was a result ofnot brething properly while sleeping.If I use the CPAC it cuts down alot on that prblem whic usually comes early at night.

Another might help is from Dr. abraham Low's are some of his "Spots"

objectivity ceases panic

symptoms are distressing but not dangerous(racing thoughwww.lowselfhelpsystems.orgts,,rapid heart pulse,etc.

many many spots  that might also help

PD can be tough,now Ive also got myoclonus and I'm still sane,lol

big grinbig grin