Disneyland for someone with severe anxiety?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Pounder, May 24, 2014.

  1. Pounder

    Pounder Earning My Ears

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    I went to DL a few times as a kid and teenager but as an adult, over the past 10 years I've developed horrible anxiety. It's not JUST panic/anxiety attacks either, this strange thing happens to me where if I've had some kind of anxiety attack it feels like a "drug" is released into my body where as I feel antsy, tense, nauseous and sick for almost the entire day until it magically vanishes as if it wore off/left my blood stream. I don't know if that's the actual thing that's happening in my body but that's what it feels like.

    Usually the worst episodes happen from the simplest triggers (people being rude for example) but just being around people and crowded without a feeling like I can go out and breathe and come back really do it to me too. As an example, being in line at the movie theater I am constantly checking and paranoid that someone is going to cut in front of me and get a better seat than me. I make no excuses I am pure nuts. I've read all about the DAS so I'm specifically wondering if they would give me one so I can at least go hide somewhere while waiting for a ride. Or would they laugh at me since I'm a grown man?
     
  2. Yoshiandi

    Yoshiandi Just working for my next Disney fix..

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    A) Have you talked to your doctor about meds and therapy to control that? That's not a way to live if you can help it :D

    B) You may end up "hiding" in a room off to the side other people.. you won't be alone most of the time. Whenever they had my kids and I off to a quieter area, there were always other families waiting.
     
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  4. Pounder

    Pounder Earning My Ears

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    I am finally coming to terms that I have actual mental health issues. It's weird admitting it to myself and to people. I've actually just realized that while for years I would say I have OCD in a light hearted manner, as many do, I actually do have it and that's been a crippling factor in my life. Imagine spending 6 hours trying to get a single lens clean. Or other embarrassing things going on in my life. So it's a slow process but it's nice to have a place to talk about it where people realize that these are real issues and not just first world problems.
     
  5. Michigan

    Michigan Mom of the Rolling Crew

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    I have a 24 year old daughter that also is in a wheelchair due to spina bifida birth defect that suffered anxiety attacks. 2 weeks ago she agreed to let her doctor give her a prescription for Xanax when her dr told her that her teenage daughter has been taking it for a few years and the difference it has made in her life. Let me tell you it has made a big difference in just 2 weeks and she was even able to go into a store in the mall by herself and went to the movie section at Walmart alone too. While that may not sound like much it is.
     
  6. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

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    1) DisneyLAND or DisneyWORLD?
    2) The DAS is slightly different between the two.
    3) At DisneyWORLD
    . . . you can get pre-determined Fast Pass return times
    . . . however, you still stand in the FP line
    . . . this could take 5-20 minutes to get "into" the attraction
    . . . sometimes longer
    . . . with only a few exceptions, wheelchairs and ECV's go though the normal lines and FP lines
    . . . the DAS is not a front-of-the-line pass
    4) DisneyLAND
    . . . they sometimes do give front-of-the-line
    . . . for wheelchair & ECV's, there is a different line at *most* rides
     
  7. SMD

    SMD DIS Veteran

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    Ask yourself how you'd deal with these scenarios, because they will happen:

    -You are walking towards a kiosk (to get a DAS return time) when someone comes into your peripheral vision and jams their stroller between you and the kiosk. The CM helps them first.

    -You wait in line behind 3 parties for a Dole whip. With one person in front, 2 of their friends come over they pay separately while you wait.

    -You are walking through an empty switchback to get an FP, a family walks through the exit and they all use an FP machine, forcing you to wait. The FP return time moves up 5 minutes during this time.

    -You are walking down Main St, an ECV clips your heals from behind. You turn around to look, the driver yells at you and bumps you again (this happened to me yesterday, usually they don't bumps you again.)

    -You are browsing in a store and stop in front of a display to check a price. Someone texting on their phone bumps into you, you start to say "excuse me," they cut you off and yell at you for being in the way.

    If any of this, or many other potential guest rudeness is going to be a trigger, I'd reconsider a Disney trip at this time. If you can afford it, a VIP tour will help bypass a lot of the waiting, but most of the interaction with other guests isn't in lines, it's walking between attractions.
     
  8. Gracie09

    Gracie09 DIS Veteran

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    Just to add:
    If you are taking the transportation, you are waiting for your bus for ten minutes and a family with an ecv or wheelchair pulls up just as the bus does. They are allowed on first and now you don't get a seat.

    You are in line at a qs counter and the cashier is alternating who pay from left to righ of the register. A family who was on the other side of the register pays before you even though you were in line first.

    I don't want to tell you you shouldn't go but I would speak to a mental health professional and discuss options to allow you to enjoy your time.
     
  9. DCDisney

    DCDisney On my way...

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    The DAS would probably be really frustrating for you because frequently they have you return through the exit of the ride so you are having to kind of push through people who think you are going the wrong way. Then you end up waiting in a cramped exit area and it's kind of hit and miss how they handle loading you into the ride meshing the regular line, DAS with no physical issues, and various physical issues. Though the regular line is usually longer it is more straightforward. DL is pretty crowded and loud feeling too. Going on a really slow time of year only on weekdays and avoiding evenings helps.
     
  10. Pounder

    Pounder Earning My Ears

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    It's weird talking about this even anonymously but my doctor did give me xanax to try last year and even a small dose, it did strange things. The best way to describe it is it turned me into a 2 year old complete with a breakdown and tears and a temper tantrum. It felt so weird being an adult male acting like a spoiled 2 year old. Add depression to the list btw.
     
  11. Pounder

    Pounder Earning My Ears

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    Hi I'll be going to Disneyland.
    Specifically the 30th which happens to be a grad night.
     
  12. Hannathy

    Hannathy <font color=darkorchid>When I stop laughing I will

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    Ok I'll say it , You should not go.

    There is no way you should go to Disneyland on a Grad night if your symptoms are as severe as you say and are triggered by crowds, or real or perceived acts of "rudeness" or pushing, etc. There are going to be masses of young people intent on celebrating and having fun. They will be rambunctious, loud, and moving quickly in groups. They will cut in front of you either by accident or some may be on purpose. There will not be any quiet areas of the park to "hide" in.

    I question whether you would be able to handle the park on a quiet day right now but definitely don't see it on a Grad night. Why would you want to set yourself up for disappointment and issues?
     
  13. Coonhound

    Coonhound DIS Veteran

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    I agree that you should not go. You CAN do Disney, but you'd have to be proactive and savvy, for example going during a slower time of year, not summer vacation, and making sure there isn't any special event going on that will make the place more crowded, having a good touring plan and a friend/family along that can create a buffer between you and others and can kind of watch you for signs of stress and step in to help when needed, knowing where ally he first aid stations are for a rest break, having something with you that calms you, etc. I think you can do it but you'll have to plan a little more than a guest with no anxiety would have to.
     
  14. Jessica14

    Jessica14 DIS Veteran

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    I have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. It took me years to get diagnosed as I fought against it to the detriment of all around me. Disney World was difficult. The Dumbo queue very difficult as was the holding area for The Laugh Floor. Way too many people; no means of "escape" if you will. We had a good time but, I did think at times I was going to pass out or be sick.

    Eventually a psychiatrist put me on Lexapro and my next trip was anxiety free.

    You may wish to investigate a diagnosis and possible medication before tackling DL.

    Jessica
     
  15. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    OK pounder, welcome to the grown man with anxiety club. Its a tough spot to be in, in a world that stigmatizes any sort of mental health issue and doubles down on that for men (society craps on women way more and in many different ways, but I stand by this. Men get the stink eye bad when it comes to this).

    Anyway...

    Your doctor gave you xanax 2 years ago? What you describe sounds a lot more like an unprepared reaction to a large dose of Zoloft. Zoloft is a first line Rx for anxiety and drs love that stuff if it means not prescribing benzos. Benzos include xanax, klonopin, Valium, and a bunch more.

    Zoloft works more like Prozac. What happens is you eat a Zoloft, and all of a sudden it doesn't hurt to think all those thoughts you never let yourself think. If you're wound tight there can be quite an outpouring.

    Benzos are tranquilizers, if you really did get xanax, your reaction to them is surprising. Not impossible, I wasn't there. But its worth revisiting this with a Dr,and a therapist, and a psychiatrist. What you describe sounds like a wicked case of social anxiety. Work with the pros, they will get you dialed in and you will be amazed at how much better life feels.

    I'm a big fan of going meds-first. Get something in you to make you feel better then tackle therapy couple times a month. We've been raised to roll our eyes at this, like seeing a shrink means are manhood fell off or something. Makes me sad to think about it now, but my anxiety progressed to the point (yes it can begin to get worse) where I was literally hiding under the bed. I credit my shrink for getting me through it and I credit pharmaceuticals for getting me to the shrink.

    Find something that works. Don't try to go it alone. If someone doesn't take you seriously, threaten them with violence (amazing results).
     
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  16. bopper

    bopper <font color=green>Which way to the Hundred Acre Wo

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    My DD is on zoloft for anxiety and it has made a world of difference.
    She loves to sing...before zoloft she wouldn't sing in front of her whole school at a pep rally with the choir. After zoloft she volunteered to sing over the intercom by herself to the whole school.

    There are many meds...many people have to try more than one to find one that 1) works and 2)has acceptable side effects.

    Anyway, when you do go, then day with not a ton of people will be better.
     
  17. Yoshiandi

    Yoshiandi Just working for my next Disney fix..

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    YEs!! I nearly forgot about Lexapro.. and a combo drug for anti-anxiety AND depression. I was put on it when my son was going through chemo (he was 3 at the time). It's a WONDERFUL drug :) Made dealing with things much much easier.
    Please go back to your doctor and try it :)
     

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