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Panic Attacks & Generally Feeling Rubbish

kokobrown 13 1.9k Scotland
10 Sep 2009 12:05AM
Probably not the best site for posting your feelings on, but been a member for a while, and feel relatively safe within the EPZ online community!

Just moved to London from Edinburgh and really not having a very good time!! Never been one to suffer from any form of anxiety or panic but recently have been feeling quite bad! Dont know if its just adjusting to a completley new area or if one is "prone" to anxiety. A lot of my family have suffered it at some point and a few of my friends. Always thought I was generally okay at handling situations.

Ive handled pretty stressful things in my life, lot more stressful (or so I thought) than a move to London.

Moved to the New Cross area and have started to find out that its not the best area..in fact its on a lot of "where not to live areas in London" Yeah probably should have done a bit more research on the area but we were so desperate to find somewhere to move into.

Never experienced a panic attack before, but recently have felt dizzy, sick, light headed and somewhat detatched from reality.. and its really not a nice feeling. Feel like someones just dumped me in a warzone and im waiting to get collected again.

Been here over a month now and I still cant settle.. were in a small flat..no garden which Im not used to..our cats cant get out..which breaks my heart.. I wonder that if we move further out to somewhere more residential will I feel better and bit more safe.

Really dont know why I decided to pour my heart out on here, no one probably cares or either thinks Im a fruit loop but its good to get things of your chest once in a while!!

Anyone know where Im coming from?


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strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2009 12:49AM
Partially yes.

I suggest you focus on what has been achieved in moving to London, is it what you planned and can you see yourself getting to what you planned in 6 months. Is the photography career moving?

Also a good time to reflect on whether it is best to head back to Edinburgh. Better areas and conditions in London cost a lot, and I mean a lot more. And you will have to go a long way out to get better.
thebigyin 13 84 6 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2009 2:19AM
I know where you are coming from.

As an 'ex pat' Scot myself, (from Glasgow originally), my family settled in Leicestershire, which is my father's ancestral home and almost 30 years later it is the place I consider home. However in saying that my grandmother moved from her scottish home to be with us at the time and she could never settle, and I don't think she ever did, but it was easier as her family was around her.

Moving on 15 - 20 years, I change jobs due to redundancy and in many ways is my dream job (not photography I hasten to add), with a very successful multinational company and are well respected in their field, only problem its based in Kent, 180 miles and 3 hours from my beloved home. I took the job but could just not settle in Kent. I covered an area of the south east and London and I hated driving in London, made me a nervous wreck, but I got used to it after a while, but I looked forward to each weekend when I could get back home. This went on for two and a half years and I managed to get a transfer to Cheshire, which is much better.

However, I am now in a situation where my partner cannot settle as she hates Cheshire even although its only one and a half hours from Leicestershire, I can take or leave it (preferably leave it if I'm honest), but I like my job and that is the only thing keeping us there. We have no family or other support network, and I think that has something to do with it.

I have total sympathy with you Koko, a move to London is indeed a brave thing to do from anywhere, nevermind from beautiful, historic and cultural Edinburgh, which has so much going for it. I am a big fan of Edinburgh and have made some friends from there through my job. Was walking down Princes St last night, the castle was all lit up, and was thinking 'if only I had my camera'

Dont get me wrong, I like London as a place to visit, but would never in a month of sundays consider living there, its just not as freindly or 'laid back' as many other parts of the country.

If you have family or friends in London it will be easier to settle, but at the end of the day if you are seriously not happy, it may not be worth staying, especially if it starts to affect your health.

Hope this is of help, best of luck.

StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
10 Sep 2009 4:47AM
We mean well, but you should see a doctor and discuss your reactions to the move. Life is too short to go through it full of stress and anxiety. 15 years ago we moved from the east coast of Canada to Alberta, 3200 miles, and it was very difficult for my wife, especially leaving all her friends and family for a place where we knew nobody, and my job took me away from home up to a week at a time. I commuted to and from work, 2000 miles, for 10 years, and then retired early, and haven't regretted it.

The symptoms you are describing are not good, and I don't have to tell you that, I'm certain. If you talk to a doctor, they can suggest alternatives for you, and everyone's different, therefore we can only give you our best wishes, and hope you get things under control soon.

And we do care, a lot.

User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2009 5:41AM
I agree with all that has been said here. Best get to see a GP sooner rather than later to get support & advice on your health.

I know this may not help you, but I hope my below comments will give you some ideas on what relocating, no matter what distance is involved, is about & problems involved with it.

I moved from Hastings, East Sussex to Scotland in July 2007. It took me virtually all my time to adjust with the move to Scotland, & at nearly 50, had never really lived away from the south-east of England region as such (apart from a couple of months in Wiltshire in 2006 when I first met & initially lived with, my new wife to be). I was just starting to settle when a further relocation followed.

Last December, after five months of hassle going through the visa process, my wife & I moved to her home area of Virginia, USA, to be closer to her aging & infirm mother. I left my kids (well young adults actually), aging parents, & my life back in the UK. I knew it was going to be hard, but I found it harder. Ill health, emotional difficulties, even mental health issues ensued. At times I was so bad I was even prepared to give up my marriage (which is usually excellent ) in order to return to the UK. I went to my GP here, she 'put me' on medications, & suggested counseling.

I sought out a counselor, who over a period of 3 months, has enabled me (& still is enabling me) to come to terms with my issues (plus sorting out other ongoing problems). Currently, I am slowly but surely settling down here. I still have times of severe homesickness, but these are slowly lessening as time goes on, and I am managing to bounce back quicker each time.

It takes a lot of 'guts', emotions, & physical issues to move out of the comfort zones of our standard lives, & that includes relocating. In moving to London, a large city even by world standards, you've proved that you initially can do it, the problem now is to seek advice, gather a support network, & even seek emotional/psychological help to support you further. If you decide to return to Edinburgh, don't take it as a 'failure', see it as an investment in your future well being.

Good luck for the future, what ever happens.

stolzy 12 3.8k 7
10 Sep 2009 6:32AM
I can imagine you feel grim, uprooted and finding yourself in a strange, seemingly hostile unfriendly environment. Personally, I would advise against medicalising the problem unnecessarily. It doesn't sound like you are having panic attacks, just a normal reaction to a dramtic change in your circumstances.

I would try and focus on what you can do change things rather than try and get someone else to make you feel better.

I've never lived in NewCross, but I can imagine that, if you're not used to it, inner city London can feel fairly threatening. Much of the reputation for crime in these areas comes from gangs and, for the most part shouldn't concern you overly. There are some much nicer areas around there (Greenwich, Blackheath) - is anything keeping you in New Cross? or even London for that matter.

Focus on the things you can change and make a plan as to where you want to be in in 3 months, 6 months and a year and put your energy into doing that.

You're not ill, you're unhappy.
Henchard 13 2.7k 1 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2009 7:37AM

Focus on the things you can change and make a plan as to where you want to be in in 3 months, 6 months and a year and put your energy into doing that.

You're not ill, you're unhappy.

Excellent advice.

I'm afraid the advice to see a doctor (other than in an extreme crisis) is erroneous. Quite why a doctor is expected to be able to wave a magic wand and resolve issues of situational unhappiness remains a mystery to my wife who is a GP.

Clinical depression is a treatable illness, situational unhappiness is not. The key to resolving the latter is to remove or alter the situation causing the unhappiness not to try to mask it with drugs or therapy.
jondf 11 2.7k
10 Sep 2009 7:44AM
Remember the old adage - "nothing's ever as good as it seems...or as bad" Try Googling New Cross and I'm sure you'll find a lot of good things about the place. Keep a happy, outgoing and positive demeanour and all will be well Smile
mark_delta 10 1.3k
10 Sep 2009 8:20AM

Quote:Anyone know where Im coming from?

Exactly !
I live in the country near Leeds, having been born and bred in the country side.
We once had a flat in a inner city estate crammed in on all sides, with nightly crime and grime, i became quite ill and anxious all of the time, the locals put around rumours we were drugs squad police eying up on them i felt like a joint of meat amongst a angry pack of dogs.
Eventually it dawned on me... i don't belong here, We had a fire sale to raise cash and got the hell out back to the country.
Within 24 hours my health was on the mend.
Listen to your head, get out and stay out, move away from the stress
Sus 13 3.2k 9 England
10 Sep 2009 8:34AM
I can very much sympathise with you. I've recently moved myself from an area I was very happy and settled in, to one which I know less about and heard both good and bad things. I wasn't sure about this at all, and then although my impression of the place so far is very good, I am still not comfortable in the house yet. My last thread about the spiders expresses just some of the awfulness of the first week. Partly it was the whole culmination of everything. After a ghastly week I decided I had to take control and we have been working to make everything better, all the relatively minor things that just culminated to make me feel totally lost and at sea! Things are still not great, but 'manageable'. I did indeed start going through some physical symptoms which I think were exacerbated, if not caused, by the levels of stress I felt.

I'd just say that a) moving is one of the most stressful events in life, I didn't fully realise that before, and it is perfectly normal to feel like this for the first month b) I had to keep cats in, they were fed up, and their grumpiness and cat litter everywhere was not a help. However, I definately recommend Feliway, the pheromone diffuser - I am a complete convert. But if you do decide to use it, do plug it in in a room and let it warm up for an hour or so before letting the cats near it, as some alcohol vapour burns off the first time you plug a new one in, which is unpleasant for the cats.

c) as jondf says, google new cross, look for the good things going on - London is a GREAT place, I love it, I spend some of my time around Vauxhall and Southwell, supposedly also a bed reputation, but its buzzing and you have so many great places at your doorstep. If you do feel uncomfortable where you are because of what you have directly observed, not internet rumours, then move, but I think your immediate neighbours and route to and from the tube station are important wherever you live.
SGIBBONS 9 56 1 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2009 10:46AM
I know where you are coming from. Im an expat living in Holland for the past 4 years, originally from the northwest of England. Ive been homesick really bad for the last 12 months. Ive had periods of feeling really down and demotivated being here. My boyfriend is Dutch which you think would make it easier living here with the language and intergration, but it doesnt.
I live in the centre of The Hague and like you im living in the city in an area that i find too busy and busseling for me. I miss my family, friends, the scouse sense of humour and good old British food. I have a good life here, a career and a happy home but for me i still feel depressed and down at times as i never felt settled in Holland.
Ive thought of going to the Doctors about feeling like this, but to be honest and like Henchard says a Doctors not going to fix the way you are feeling its you that needs to fix things.
Im trying to fix things for myself by having a goal, ive decided to come home next year (hopefully the jobs market is more buoyant then). This has lifted me and enabled me to focus on something positive instead of feeling down and depressed. Granted i still get these feelings popping up from time to time, but its not as bad now and i concentrate on my goal of coming home.

All im saying is just focus if you can on something that takes your mind a little away from what is getting you down and as somebody had already said your not ill your just unhappy.
SteveCharles 15 2.3k 18 England
10 Sep 2009 11:13AM
Sorry to hear you feel this way Laura. I grew up in South East London, and know New Cross fairly well, having spent a reasonable amount of my late teens & early twenties going out and gigging in places like The Venue and Amersham Arms. I would agree that it's certainly an 'edgy' place, and probably seems quite threatening to someone unfamiliar (and at times to those more familiar...).

Stolzy makes a very valid point that violence and crime is mostly gang related and shouldn't affect you. keep your wits and common sense about you, keep your home secure, you'll be fine. There is a dark underbelly in any city, but places like New Cross, Deptford, Brockley, Camberwell etc., are also very popular with those who can't afford to live in nicer or more central areas and can be very cosmopolitan and bohemian in places - you need to seek out the right bars & pubs, make friends. For all the negative things people say about living in London, it's equally a stimulating and lively place to live, something I quite miss since moving outside the M25. There is no reason not to make it enjoyable if you are young and creative.

If you want to move somewhere less gritty & urban, I agree that Greenwich and Blackheath (where I'm from originally) are very nice, but much pricier because of it. Have a look at some of the slightly more suburban areas adjacent, like Hither Green, Lee, etc.

Why don't you come along to the EPZ Architecture meet on 1st November? architectural photography may not be your thing, but the important thing is that you'll spend a pleasant day out in London with your camera, and meet some new people who live in and around London - and EPZ members at that!
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
10 Sep 2009 11:13AM
New Cross..! Thats a brave move.

I used to live in London on the north side of the Thames, Occasionaly we ventured across to the South side....Smile

But only when we had a police escort....Wink Or where team handed.

So many never returned from the south side....Sad Probably still wandering the streets of New Cross, Or darkest Deptford.....!!!

ON the bright side, If you can (a) Make the move, (b) Survive life on the South side, Everything else you have to deal with, Will seem easier....Smile
crookymonsta Plus
10 837 10 England
10 Sep 2009 12:16PM
It's always difficult moving a long way from home and it does take time to get used to it. Did it myself years ago and found I hated both the job and where I lived, had to change both before I felt any better. My brother moved out to Hong Kong and had exactly the same experience, he wanted to come home after a couple of weeks, still lives there 15 years later and loves it. My son has lived in Camberwell (also on the 'don't live there' list) for three years without any problems at all.

Try to concentrate on the positive aspects, I'm sure there are some, and at the same time face and deal with those things which are the main root of the problem. If you feel moving to a different area could help start looking for somewhere new to live. Either way, find out what's going on in your local area and see if you fancy joining in anything.

It does take a while to settle somewhere new, hopefully you will start to enjoy your new life soon.

SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
10 Sep 2009 2:17PM
Koko I'm not going to repeat what is excellent advice - but I'm sorry you're feeling so awful. It's a huge step you've taken and took a lot of guts - and sometimes it's not the actual move but the final location. New Cross ain't no picnic.

I've moved about a huge amount in my life and I know that it takes a while to integrate fully into a neighbourhood and to make new friends, and if you don't feel safe or happy there it will make it more difficult.

I take it you haven't bought but are renting? In which case presumably you have a six month shorthold lease. Plan ahead, as others have said. Take this initial time to look around at various other places in London - if you HAVE to stay in London - and work towards finding a nicer place for when the lease is up. Break the six months down into manageable chunks, like a week at a time, and recce the place. See the six months as a short term thing - not the way the future is going to be - and you will manage to get a handle on it.

As John says, you're unhappy. Knowing what it is that makes you unhappy and unsafe where you are is half the battle to planning on getting happy and safe again. You need a garden for your pussycats, you need a safe place to live, and you need an active and interesting social life. You've got a base for now, so you can use that base as a springboard to find a really nice place you can afford without the stress of desperation to find somewhere.

Hang on in there. You'll get through this Smile XX

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