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  • [Other] Anxiety Issues

    Hi all,

    I am new here, but I've been stalking the forums for about a week now. This forum is a wealth of information!

    Anyways, my dad has a special connection and invited me to join him for lunch at Club 33 next weekend. I know this is a very special opportunity, but I am also dealing with a lot of anxiety regarding going to DisneyLand.

    The drive is about 2.5 hours from where I live right now. I am somewhat terrified of driving out of my comfort range (which can be as small as my neighborhood, to as large as the 1 hour drive to my mothers house). Driving down to LA is totally new to me. So there's a lot going on-- the drive to an unknown place, the possibility of traffic, then sorting out all the crazy and stimulating stuff at DisneyLand.

    Does anyone else here suffer from anxiety, or in particular agoraphobia and clautraphobia? I feel that the answer might be 'no', as most people on this forum love visiting DisneyLand..and most anxious people out there tend to stay at home all the time, like me.

    I'm wondering if anyone else completely avoids the rides and shows. I really want to explore the park, but being on small caged-in rides, not being able to leave easily, etc may be too much for me to handle.

    Normally going to DisneyLand isn't even in my budget! So I want to have fun. And buy some good treats. :P

    Anyways, I do have some questions:
    1- Proper attire for Club 33. How do I mix in the desire to walk around Disneyland, maybe have a backpack, and the need to dress appropriately for our lunch at the Club?
    2- Am I the only anxious little Mouse here?

  • #2
    Re: Anxiety Issues

    Originally posted by roxy72 View Post
    Anyways, I do have some questions:
    1- Proper attire for Club 33. How do I mix in the desire to walk around Disneyland, maybe have a backpack, and the need to dress appropriately for our lunch at the Club?
    2- Am I the only anxious little Mouse here?
    Welcome to MiceChat and congrats on Club 33!!

    Depends on if you are going to dinner or Lunch but I don't believe there is technically a dress code. To not look like a slob I'd wear a collared shirt and no sandals.

    It would probably be a good idea to go to city hall to tell them you are severely claustrophobic. My StepMom is like this and she waits at the exit until we are at teh front and joins us there. Subs are probably a No-no but City hall should have a list of ride that could cause a problem.

    Have a great time!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Anxiety Issues

      Welcome! I would say the best thing to do is put all your worries away and go to Disneyland feeling that you're going to have a VERY special day. Club 33 is a great place, and I hope you enjoy!
      "To all who come to this happy place - welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Thank you."

      —Walter E. Disney, July 17, 1955



      LONG LIVE Disneyland!!sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Anxiety Issues

        Yikes, that's tricky.

        My brother was dealing with a lot of anxiety a few years ago, and we convinced him to come with us to Disneyland in - *gasp!* - July! (We're bad sisters.) He had a pretty hard time, and spent a lot of time in the hotel room.

        You know yourself best. It is off-peak, and it's been rainy, so the crowds may be managable...? If somebody's treating you for this, talk to them about it this week.

        And if worse comes to worse, you can always chicken out, right? Have an 'escape plan' to somewhere quiet nearby (???) where you can sit and drink a soda, and calm down enough for the drive home.

        Good luck, I hope you can pull it off! What an opportunity!
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
        -Roald Dahl
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Anxiety Issues

          Welcome Roxy! I'm about 2.5 hours away from the park too, and I understand your driving anxiety! I hate traffic.... I hate driving on the freeway. Heck, I was in my 30's before I drove to Disneyland by myself the first time! I still get very apprehensive and freaked out when a big rig is driving next to me.

          Are you going on a weekday or a weekend. I find weekends if I leave really early the traffic is not so bad. And getting to the park super early will give you a chance to ease into the crowds, which can also be a bit disconcerting if crowds of people make you a bit claustrophobic.

          As others have said, I would avoid Nemo. If they were not paving Main Street, I'd recommend starting your day taking a ride on the Main Street transportations, like the double decker bus and the horse drawn trolly. But if not this time, then hopefully your next visit, because I'm thinking when you have a great time you will want to come back.

          Aashee had a great idea about going to City Hall. And if you get feeling to closed in, its always just as fun sometimes to find a bench either at the hub or the entrance to Main Street and just take a break. If you have tendencies to agoraphobia, sitting close to Main Street and taking in the sites is just open enough, but you have the buildings and structures around you just enough to provide some security.

          Above all, just take your time and relax, do what you feel comfortable doing, take breaks when you feel you need to, and don't feel like you have to do everything or anything for that matter!




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          Originally posted by AGhostFromThePast
          all you need to know about the mommy stick is.. out of all the bad things that could happen to you... it's right between wetting yourself and death.

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          • #6
            Re: Anxiety Issues

            I get pretty anxious when I'm shoulder to shoulder with people trying to exit someplace. So I avoid Main Street like the plague when the fireworks are going on because I know that area is going to be packed and everyone seems to leave the park afterwards.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Anxiety Issues

              Hmm, I also suffer from anxiety, but it doesn't really involve places/spaces. For me it's mostly self-consciousness.

              I recommend just trying to relax as much as you can once you get there. That's what I do. I stress a lot less once I'm there.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Anxiety Issues

                Welcome to the forum and good luck...
                Music is my LIFE!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Anxiety Issues

                  You're definitely not alone here with the anxiety thing.

                  The thing about anxiety is that the number one way to conquer it is to be exposed to the thing that makes you anxious. To not avoid it. Provided it's not something dangerous, that is - and confined spaces or crowds are most definitely not dangerous under normal circumstances. They feel dangerous to you, and I know that feeling can be overwhelmingly real, but the rational part of your brain can always be comforted knowing that you're not actually in any danger when you get into one of the subs, for instance.

                  To that end, I would encourage you to do things that do provoke some anxiety in you while you're in the park. That may sound harsh, stupid, or pointless, but trust me when I say that this is what helps the most in the long term, despite the short-term downside. Ideally, you would work your way up to the experiences of Disneyland with exposures to slightly less anxiety-provoking circumstances in the months beforehand, but that's not really an option if you've got less than a week.

                  Obviously, pushing yourself to the point of constant panic attacks is not the best way to have fun at Disneyland, so try to find some balance. But don't avoid every single thing that seems like it might make you a little worrisome.

                  If you find yourself thinking about this stuff while you're on an attraction, accept that you are NOT in control. There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop the attraction or make the experience cease. (At least, nothing that isn't way more dangerous than a panic attack.) That may seem like an anxiety-provoking thought, but it's crucial that you simply accept it and allow it to be there in your head. Live in the moment - can you handle what you're experiencing right now?

                  And if you do start to feel panicky or anxious...welcome it. That is the hardest advice to hear, I know, but take it from someone who's made enormous strides because of that advice. When you look your anxiety in the face and tell it that you'll simply deal with it if it decides to attack, it tends to lose some steam. A big part of the anxiety for many people is simply the anxiety about the anxiety. Once you decide not to fear or resist the anxiety anymore, it has a curious tendency to shrink away like a bored bully.

                  If you are finding that you really desperately need a getaway during the day to collect yourself and relax, I have a couple of suggestions of places to go:

                  * Big Thunder Trail. This is a very calm, quiet, non-busy pathway outside near Thunder Mountain. If you're looking at the entrance to the line for the ride, go off to your left, following the path up past a little pond and trees and so forth. Find a bench, close your eyes, listen to the sounds of nature. Breathe. You'll be okay.
                  * For even more seclusion, go over by the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square. If you're looking at the entrance to the line, again, go off to the left. If you follow the planters a little ways, you'll find the FastPass area, which won't be in use. There'll probably be a closed gate, but if you keep going, you'll find the exit, which is usually open. Just walk right in and take a seat or stand. It's a quiet, isolated gazebo with lots of plants and statues and stuff. If you're feeling claustrophobic, it might feel a little enclosed, but if you're feeling agorophobic, it's usually one of the most empty places in the park, at least during this time of year.

                  Good luck, have fun, and remember...accept the anxiety, no matter how ridiculous that seems!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Anxiety Issues

                    I would recommend NOT bringing a backpack planning to wear it all day. You'll get very tired very quickly (unless you're used to wearing it all day every day), and it will be difficult to wrangle on attractions. Bring as little stuff as possible. And if you must bring a backpack full of stuff, consider getting a locker and visiting it when you need it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Anxiety Issues

                      Originally posted by roxy72 View Post
                      Hi all,

                      Anyways, my dad has a special connection and invited me to join him for lunch at Club 33 next weekend. I know this is a very special opportunity, but I am also dealing with a lot of anxiety regarding going to DisneyLand.

                      Anyways, I do have some questions:
                      1- Proper attire for Club 33. How do I mix in the desire to walk around Disneyland, maybe have a backpack, and the need to dress appropriately for our lunch at the Club?
                      2- Am I the only anxious little Mouse here?









                      Lunch will be less formal than dinner so no jacket necessary (unless of course, that is YOUR preference).

                      Polo shirts and Dockers are acceptable, but button shirts and slacks are preferred.

                      Of course, you can always rent a locker on Main St and keep a change of clothes and the backpack in it. That's what we do when we will be enjoying the Club and the Park for the whole day (when we're not staying at the hotel).

                      We'll be there for dinner this saturday, so we'll miss you, but have a great time! Relax, enjoy and be sure and take a few special pictures. They won't mind! If you have any questions at all, just ask any of the staff. They'll be happy to answer them for you. Don't forget to hang out on the balcony and check out NOS below. The views can't be beat!

                      I'm not much help with the anxiety issue, other than to say that you can always sit down on a bench to catch your breath and just relax.

                      Have a wonderful time!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Anxiety Issues

                        Originally posted by aashee View Post
                        Welcome to MiceChat and congrats on Club 33!!

                        Depends on if you are going to dinner or Lunch but I don't believe there is technically a dress code. To not look like a slob I'd wear a collared shirt and no sandals.


                        Have a great time!!
                        When Club 33 calls to confirm reservations the day prior to the date, they tell you the dress code. No sweats, no tank tops, no bare midriffs, no cut offs, no beach attire, (flip flops, sandals). Jeans are acceptable as long as they are not ripped and torn. Have fun at Club 33!

                        I am claustrophobic and do not ride Nemo. There is a room next to Nemo, where you can watch it, in an air conditioned room, on a screen. You can walk out of the room anytime you like. You are not stuck in there. (This was a big issue for me.) Hope you can enjoy your visit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Anxiety Issues

                          Welcome!

                          A few things:

                          1) Take Data's advice - he has EXCELLENT points!

                          2) The driving thing bothers me too - it didn't start until I was in a wreck last year; I thought I was over it but the L.A. traffic brought it up again. But I stuck with it and took LOTS of deep breaths; play some soothing music if you can (a little Death Cab for Cutie is great ... despite the name!)

                          3) Plot escape areas if you need to get away for just a few moments. The areas that Data mentioned are great! A couple others:

                          -Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country - go to the entrance (right up against the Rivers, a bit past Splash Mountain) and go to the lower level. Go ALL the way back. There's a VERY quiet and secluded little pathway back there where you can sit, probably alone, watch the water and the ducks, and just chill! I go here when I need to step away!

                          -The Court of Angels in NOS is near Club 33 - it's a little courtyard with a staircase and a fountain - very serene!

                          -In Fantasyland, across from the entrance to the Matterhorn, there is a little pink pier known as Fantasia Gardens. It's the designated smoking area, but it still has nice calm water and is away from the crowds. And if you're like me and smoke, it's even better!

                          -In Tomorrowland, go to the side of the Space Mountain entrance and walk up the ramp (like you're going on the ride). You'll come to a large open 2nd-story area where you can hang for a few minutes ... it's not secluded but it's away (above) the crowds.

                          -Also in Tomorrowland, go to Innoventions, go to the second story, and exit. The sparsely-populated second story balcony is a great place to take a breather away from the hustle and bustle!

                          These things help me a ton! But most of all, have fun! You'll have a great time; let us know how everything went (including Club 33) when you get back!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Anxiety Issues

                            I forgot to comment on the car anxiety specifically. While that hasn't been a HUGE part of my life, I have experienced it on occasion, mostly due to ties with other anxieties. Again, the trick is to accept that you are not in control. If your brain is just worrying without any physical symptoms, just remind yourself that you are (presumably) in the hands of a safe and experienced driver, and that if it's absolutely necessary, you can probably stop somewhere.

                            If your body starts pumping itself full of adrenaline, though, it's gonna take a little more than rational thought. Keep thinking rationally, yes! But also remember to breathe. It's enormously important. Many, many physical symptoms of anxiety can be reduced or even eliminated by not hyperventilating. To keep your blood's carbon dioxide levels high enough, breathe in slowly and evenly and somewhat deeply, and then breathe out, taking at LEAST as long to do so. Make sure you're breathing from your belly, not your chest.

                            Breathing will help calm you down and reduce the physical symptoms, but at the same time, mentally encourage yourself to have a complete breakdown. Like, a full-on panic attack, worse than any anxiety you've ever had. Try to tell your heart to race. Try to tell yourself to feel jittery and like you have to escape. Whatever symptoms or thoughts you fear, try to bring those on. Be sincere about it. Tell yourself that while the sensations and feelings aren't pleasant, you CAN survive them, and you'd rather just get them over with and move on. Makes sense, right?

                            Except 90% of the time, that'll just stop them in their tracks instead. Which is even better.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Anxiety Issues

                              Would it help if you got a hotel room? Drive down the day before when traffic is low, relax in your hotel room. Then go into the parks when its time for Club 33.

                              I hope you are able to go, Club 33 is really nice. Good luck.
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