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Old 03-18-2017, 08:46 AM
Sigene is offline
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getting faint during public speaking (after 30years of doing it)


I've been a teacher; I've given scientific talks; I've been in front of crowds talking for a 30 years. (not everyday now, but about once a month or two). A year ago I interviewed for a job and had to give a presentation about myself. BAM! it hit me, two minutes into the talk. I was confused, nervous, sweaty, and faint. I had to sit down and apologize to continue. THis had never happened before.

Over the last year, it happened the next 2 or 3 times again....where I had to sit down, and even had to stop once completely. I thought I had it licked, a few months ago when I was able to get through my talks with little problem.

Then, it happened again....yesterday. It pisses me off to no end. I'm a professional. I've done this for decades. I know what I'm talking about.

I'm grasping at straws, maybe its the recent increase in my Simvastatin medication,..no....maybe?...probably not. Maybe my workout regimen is taking its toll, but that doesn't seem any different than previous years

More importantly.....any advice on how I can control these events?
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:01 AM
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No advice but I feel for you. Just the fact that you have done this for years successfully and now suddenly you are struggling I find worthy of investigation. Are you having self doubts about yourself or your program? Are you feeling the strain of young new professionals nipping at your heels? These might be some emotional aspects you could look at. I know I have suffered from this but I never have been a professional speaker.
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:34 PM
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After 30 years, you now get faint and confused when standing stationary for more than a couple of minutes?

Yes, statins may lower blood pressure. Or you may have some other problem.

Last edited by Melbourne; 03-18-2017 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:44 PM
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Definitely rule out the physical. A few other thoughts.

Did anything particularly traumatic happen during a talk? Was any particular talk more high stakes than usual or more grueling? (Job interview could certainly fit the bill.)

For example, I flew for years without any qualms. I scoffed at those who quivered at turbulence. Then I had a very bad experience and now I can't fly without Xanax. I still fly a lot, but the experience just completely changed my ability to get on an airplane without help.

I wonder if certain circumstances trigger a stress reaction for you. You mention the job interview. You might not be consciously even thinking of it, just like I'm not consciously flashing back on almost crashing and dying in a fireball, but your lizard brain is having a moment. Maybe it would be worth seeking out a trauma counselor for a few short sessions on working through triggers.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:05 PM
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Did it feel panicky, like your heart was beating fast and you felt like you had to get the hell out of there?
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:25 PM
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Sounds like Vasovagal Syncope to me. Your trigger could either be a drop in blood pressure from standing for a long time, or from just the fear of it happening again. Do some reading and see if it fits your symptoms.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:34 PM
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I think its the fear of it happening again, which causes it to happen again.

THe trauma of the job interview was what started it. It was the first time I had to talk about how good I was to a knowledgeable crowd. I don't talk about how good I am....I talk about facts and programs I'm responsible for.

It was a different talk altogether.

Now I work myself up into thinking its going to happen again, so getting worked up and worried about it causes it to happen.

PISSES ME OFF TO NO END!!!

can I swear here?

GOD Dammit!!!



Now, how do I best deal with it? I'm reaching the conclusion that its just going to happen and its part of who I am now. I'll just always have to have a chair and desk on stage with me.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
Did it feel panicky, like your heart was beating fast and you felt like you had to get the hell out of there?
Panicky and fast heart rate yes. Having to get out of there, no. Just embarrassed that I'm having trouble.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:48 PM
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Two options. I think you should follow up on both.

Talk to your doctor about a med called propranolol. It's a mild anti-anxiety med that's used for a wide variety of things like public speaking, high blood pressure, and even migraines. It shouldn't make you feel high or woozy but may help you with this situation without going to stronger classes of meds while you look into option 2.

Find a counselor that can help you with stress response/managing fear triggers. Work with that person to get this under control. They should help you learn how to manage your fear/panic attack and get past this. If you don't want to go straight to a counselor, look for books on managing fear or stress on Amazon. Your situation is specific to you but lots and lots of people have stress and fear triggers and learn to work through them.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:59 PM
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100% medical. Id talk to a doctor about this, pronto.

I am a very experienced public speaker and never ever get stage fright.

Last year I was giving a presentation. 5 minutes in I got dizzy and started sweating and had to excuse myself and run outside and puke my guts out. I slept for 17 hours and when I went back for day 2 was told other people got sick.

Turns out it was during move in day of a trade show and I may have gotten carbon monoxide poisoning from all the trucks pulling in the arena!


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Old 03-18-2017, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphinboy View Post
Sounds like Vasovagal Syncope to me. Your trigger could either be a drop in blood pressure from standing for a long time, or from just the fear of it happening again. Do some reading and see if it fits your symptoms.
My wife is susceptible to this after standing for a long time, or if she gets dehydrated, or if she hasn't eaten well. Drinking a lot of coffee seems to be a good way to trigger it. She's passed out and cracked her noggin a couple times due to it.

Anyway, another vote for "go to a doctor posthaste."
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:55 AM
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Stop locking your knees.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:50 PM
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Did this ever get any better for you? I am experiencing the same issues. I have given numerous speeches in meetings over the years without a problem, but now have the feeling of passing out come over me in waves during a speech.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
Two options. I think you should follow up on both.

Talk to your doctor about a med called propranolol. It's a mild anti-anxiety med that's used for a wide variety of things like public speaking, high blood pressure, and even migraines. It shouldn't make you feel high or woozy but may help you with this situation without going to stronger classes of meds while you look into option 2.

Find a counselor that can help you with stress response/managing fear triggers. Work with that person to get this under control. They should help you learn how to manage your fear/panic attack and get past this. If you don't want to go straight to a counselor, look for books on managing fear or stress on Amazon. Your situation is specific to you but lots and lots of people have stress and fear triggers and learn to work through them.
I used propranolol for years for public speaking, though eventually I weaned off it. Frankly it worked miracles for my career.

My caution here os that it lowers blood pressure, which may already be an issue for the OP.

Really it sounds like a generic visit to a doctor would be best.
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