0 votes
by (120 points)
I sometimes experience a change in my perception or reality, and then I panic. This has manifested itself more recently as a particular place I go.

I am fearful of donating blood because I have had some bad experiences doing so. I would pass out and wake up with ice packs on my head, sweating and the nurses have turned me upside down to fix my blood pressure.

However, I know how important it is that I donate blood because of my blood type. So I refuse to stop. Instead, I plan to overcome this through meditation and come to see it just like any other experience.

Most recently, I showed up to the blood donation center and almost automatically my perception began to change. I entered into what I can only describe as a "dream state" and as a result, I began to panic, and felt like I was going to die. It started almost directly after I finished filling out the paperwork and right when the nurse began taking my vitals. I became hypersensitive to everything that was going on, and lost my ability to remain mindful. I was able to remain calm enough to make it through, but it made the experience particularly painful. No one knew what was going on inside of my head, but I just wanted out of there and I wanted so badly to return to feeling normal.

I know that it is an experience like any other. I am to focus on how I am feeling. But, since my perception has changed, and I enter this sort of dream like state, focusing on how I am feeling is in fact the exact thing that is making me panic. Because my reality has been altered and I am amidst a panic attack, it is very difficult to understand it is just an experience, and that I am not going to die from giving blood. I may just not know how to approach this situation because it is particularly traumatic, and it's so much more simple than this.

I have spent the past couple of weeks meditating on the issue. I have watched the whole thing in my mind. I think I have narrowed it down to be that, unlike most things, it is the feeling or the state I enter that makes me afraid. Or, the probability that I will enter this state once I go back there. This feeling of losing control of my perception or reality (having a panic attack) and it being altered in front of me and not in my control.

How can I better overcome this. I know that I am missing something and there is a disconnect. This one is particularly hard for me to break down to its more simple, core elements. To me, though, it's kind of strange because this is my reality or perception that is being taken over. So I lose control over my mind during this panic attack.

Thank you. May peace be with you.
by (18.3k points)
What type of meditation you practice?
by (120 points)
Vipassana for approximately 6 years. Thanks to YouTube, Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu has been my guru even though he doesn't know it. So all my meditation teachings come from him.
by (18.3k points)
So when you feel afraid, do you meditate like fear... fear... fear... ?
by (120 points)
Thank you. May peace be with you.
by (8.5k points)
If you haven't done the online course with Bhante please consider it. There is more to the technique than what is discussed in the videos and booklet.
by (120 points)
I would like to say that I greatly appreciate how humble this man is. It may be a large part of what makes him such a great teacher.

Secondly, he explains exactly what I was saying about it. How meditation would not help him! Just like me, it made it worse for him.  It's so relieving to know I am not alone and it wasn't a technical issue with what I have been doing.

And, so the solution that I take from him is that, albeit paradoxically, it "was" actually working, but I missed the next stage. The difference is that although my mind state will change from one that is anxiety ridden (when the panic attack starts) to one that is mindful, I need to understand that the physical manifestations will remain, and then i need to deal with those as a separate issue.

Thanks again so much for sending me this. It answered my question exactly.
by (120 points)
I have not, but have watched many of his videos. I did sign up because I plan to.

Regardless, the answer that Austin provided below was exactly the answer I was searching for.

Thank you.

1 Answer

+2 votes
by (1.2k points)
Have a look at this video , Bhante makes many good points that I think would help in your case ...
by (120 points)
Thank you. May peace be with you.
by (120 points)
I would like to say that I greatly appreciate how humble this man is. It may be a large part of what makes him such a great teacher.

Secondly, he explains exactly what I was saying about it. How meditation would not help him! Just like me, it made it worse for him.  It's so relieving to know I am not alone and it wasn't a technical issue with what I have been doing.

And, so the solution that I take from him is that, albeit paradoxically, it "was" actually working, but I missed the next stage. The difference is that although my mind state will change from one that is anxiety ridden (when the panic attack starts) to one that is mindful, I need to understand that the physical manifestations will remain, and then i need to deal with those as a separate issue.

Thanks again so much for sending me this. It answered my question exactly.
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