I had panic attacks years ago and wonder if this would be a good place to share your story and share answers you have found.
I suffer from panic attacks ever since my first husband killed himself, and let me tell you it isn't any fun. They are horrible. My last panic attack almost cost me my life. I was in line at a grocery store when it hit. My blood pressure dropped to 80/50, loss consciousness, my body temperature dipped drastically and my skintone reflected the cyanosis state I was in, due to my loss blood pressure. However, I now take high power medications to control my anxiety and rarely do I suffer from one. For me they were life threatening reality that I lived with everyday, up until 3 years after my husbands death.
Your life becomes crippled from the condition. I highly recommend that if you suffer from panic attacks, or have ever survive one as severe as mine- go see a doctor and get the medical attention you need. It could have a very positive outcome for you and your family. They suffer if not more than you do.
Thank you for sharing! You have faced a HUGE tragedy and I can't imagine what kind of pain that brought into your life. I am glad you got medical attention. I hope you are also getting some coping mechanism help to assit you in addressing and working through this assult to your life. I give a couple of really, really helpful resources on my hub about panic attacks and anxiety. Dan Carter also has a GREAT hub with resources. The medication controls the attacks or the physical response BUT there are underlying issues to address for you to be totally whole and healthy again. Keep in touch - I care!
Yes, you are absolutely correct in all matters. However, it wasn't until after a year or two that I realized what was going on. Some people are not even aware that they are suffering until it's too late...
I think with the overwhelming stress levels that people endure, on a daily basis in America needs to be addressed before this condition gets out of hand here in this country. I'm glad to read that hubs are being written about this condition. The more information provided, and the more people are aware of the signs and symptoms, the better they are to take care. Great subject matter. I was happy to share.
So, so sorry you've had to go through any of this. But I'm so glad we live in an age where in crises, medicine and medical knowledge does save lives, and I'm glad yours was spared as a result. Everyone is different, and therefore, there is no cure-all for these things. I hope that you don't ever have to go through any such attack again. Sending best wishes.
I have had them, very infrequently I still do get them. Bizzarely they are often triggered by something fairly mundane, which brings something back, which continues a chain reaction... I find I get them more easily when I'm alone, having other people around can snap me out very quickly
That's the weird thing about panic attacks - some people - like me have gotten hit with them out of the blue... no trigger at all and WHAM there it is taking control of your body, thoughts and emotions. If I am hearing you correctly, it sounds like yours are brought on by some past pain in your life... which is causing your chain reaction.
As Dan stated above the answers for each of us are multi-faceted. For me treatment began with medication to control the episodes so I could think straight. From there I did a ton of research to learn more about panic attacks and anxiety. A very dear friend sent me a program from the Midwest Center called "Attacking Anxiety and Depression" This program helped me to change my thinking and to gain control over the panic attacks. Eventually I was able to wean off most medications. I am still on a journey to find natural resources to replace the medication - I do nothing in haste. I've come a long ways baby, and you will too as you learn how to manage and gain control over panic attacks and anxiety. Bless YOU!
I have suffered from panic attcks/flashbacks,and have found the following things helpful:
Having a very soft,cozy bed with alot of pillows,afgans,etc.
A heating pad,sleeping with a pet.
Staying on an ayervedic diet for my dosha and the herbal medication Ashwaghanda.
Stay in the present,do a mental room inventory.
No sad music,in fact if it's severe,no music or movies at all.
Informative news shows with current events sometimes is helpful to help distract you.
Stay busy, but only with things extremely interesting to you.
Forget one day at a time,you'll sometimes need one hour at a time,sometimes 5 minutes at a time.
Pray and focus on God as you see Him.
This is a good place to share about panic attacks I have a lot and think it may be my environment i.e. i live in new york and really want to get the hell out of here and really have to focus and decide what i really wnat to do with the rest of my life
I take really deep breaths now when I feel anxious..But I've had some bad ones. Do you think you might have an anxiety disorder?
Bredavies, I had a panic disorder that was related to a hormonal imbalance. I wrote a hub about my experience and listed a couple of resources that really helped me. I also went on some anti anxiety meds until I could gain some insight into what was the cause ... and get some skills in knowing how to react to these violent uninvited visitors. There is help - learn - grow and be free.
I have learned there are two types of panic/anxiety attacks:
1. emotionally based attacks, triggered by thoughts of fear
2. biochemical attacks that are triggered purely by an imbalance of the body's chemicals, etc.
The two work synergistically. If biochemical starts first, it's easy to start panicking and wondering what's going on. If fear starts it, then your body usually gets the adrenaline rush, and all the other responses.
I have learned that Cognitive Behavior Therapy can work very well for emotionally triggered bouts. You can google it to learn more.
I have also learned there are natural substances which are powerful enough to stop and even prevent such attacks from happening. They include choline and inositol.
Basically, any imbalance, whether mental/emotional, or biochemical, can trigger these attacks, and in most cases these imbalances can be corrected with persistence and consistency.
I've experienced them as well, and I know how devastating they are to the sufferer.
I've written extensively about this in a hub, if any are interested.
Daniel - share the name of your Hub here - we will pool our resources.
Daniel, Interesting post. My middle daughter (22 years old) is a type 1 diabetic. She started suffering from occasional but severe panic attacks a few years ago. I mean literally, she has trouble breathing, eating and swallowing when they happen. I never did think about it in terms of biochemical issues though.
I recommend you read Daniel's Hub called: How to Control Anxiety and Panic attacks. I also wrote a Hub and listed some great resources for your daughter. Living with Panic Attacks is Horrible - I hope you will help your daughter find the help she needs. My Hub is called Panic Attacks and Anxiety.
Im interested. your insights are invaluable, Daniel. thank you.
This may be kind of off the wall, but i had panic attacks when i was pregnant with my second daughter. They were not extreme, but they did raise my blood pressure and my doctor strongly warned me that i could put myself and baby in danger if I didn't learn to calm down. but the reason i had those attacks i think were because i had had such a horrible and painful birthing experience with my first child and I could't imagine going through it again. The only way I actually calmed down was when my doctor promised me a hospital with epidurals and that I would not feel any pain. It was a good remedy, but when I went into labour, the epidural didn't take and I had another horrific and painful delivery. anyways, panic attacks are scary things and I don't want to experience them, OR med-free deliveries EVER AGAIN!
Thank God you were able to put the attacks to rest when your Doc. provided a solution for you. Some people, like me, get hit with them out of the blue and there seems to be no reason for them and no good solution. After dealing with them for a very long time I found mine were connected to caffeine and a hormonal change in my body ..
I hesitate to post the link because of the rule about self promotion, but the hub I wrote does talk about remedies that are natural, as well as how to deal with the emotional side of a panic attack. I highly recommend CBT. The links are in the hub, and you can google additional info.
Yes, they are absolutely petrifying and debilitating. Mine, oddly, were almost ALWAYS a result of side effects from prescrip meds that were supposed to CONTROL them! The reason why they caused them is also in the hub.
It's a very delicate balance between the emotional and biochemical side. When one is triggered, the other is right behind, and it doesn't matter which is first, except, if you know which is first, then you have better clues about how to handle controlling them, because you want to address the problem at the root, not hack away at the leaves.
Debilitating pain can definitely be an emotional trigger for anxiety/panic, so it's very real. However, one of the methods to deal with that is also listed in the hub, for those interested.
The main thing to me is that I've been through so much bad stuff in my life, that when I have been able to manage/overcome things, I learned to feel a great deal of compassion for those who have also suffered. One of the reasons I decided to write here at HP was to try to pay it forward for the help, education and information that I generously received.
Thanks Daniel - I did not mean to ask you to list something you shouldn't .. somehow I missed that rule. Folks Dan does have some very good information you'll want to check out.
One of my children has had panic attacks, described as terrifying. I will be reading your hub to inform myself. Thank you much for this.
Yes I've had panic attacks.
If it weren't for my Faith, I'd probably be a raving lunatic.
I give credit for healing where it's due---to my Lord.
But neither do I dismiss the possibility of medicines and counseling, etc. as help for those who experience panic attacks/depression, etc.
He can heal through medicine and doctors' knowledge as well.
and through reprogramming the mind with ... whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report .. think on these things. Our subconscious mind often dictates our self defeating behaviors.. ALSO there are some great natural remedies available.
all components mentioned are contributing factors...I also healed from anxiety through faith, as well as biochemical and using brain gym (google it). for me it was a fear of being in my body to the full extent...my soul never learned to cope with the stresses of day to day life in particular circumstances...once I understood what was going on it was a gradual process to balance biochemically and deal with the psychology
I googled brain gym - interesting information. I found there is an instructor locally. The key word is gradual. Each of us who have taken a journey toward health has done it step by step and piece by piece. I am glad you are doing well today and that your soul has come to rest! Bless you!
Thanks Mekenzie, for your Amen!
It's funny, but I posted my second post before seeing yours.
I know other Christians who've been on, or are on, anti-depressants, etc., and that's why I said I believe God heals through doctors' hands too. I also have family members who've been helped via medication.
I used to have severe panic attacks. I wrote a hub or two about them. Mine started right after my dad shot himself. They were extremely scary and disabling. The first time I had one, I was sure I was having a heart attack and was about to die. I was at work, and our school police officer rushed me to the emergency room. After numerous tests, the dr. told me he thought it was an anxiety/panic attack. I told him he was crazy - I wasn't the type of person to have panic attacks. I refused to take the drug he prescribed and continued to have the attacks. At one point, I was having them every day. Finally, out of desperation, I started taking an SSRI, and the attacks abated.
When I started having the attacks, I simply had "too much on my plate." In addition to Dad's death, my daughter had gotten into trouble with drugs, and my Mom was showing the beginnings of Alzheimer's. The doctors assured me that my problem was physical and not "all in my head." They said all the stress had depleted my seratonin levels.
Thanks for sharing - you definately had some MAJOR stresses and tragedies to deal with ... I am glad your panic attacks have stopped with the SSRI. I believe medicene is so helpful to stop the attacks - but the underlying issues must be worked through as well for long term health. I don't know very many people who could face all that you have faced without some type of reaction.. I have a dear dear counselor and wise friend who has helped me work through alot of my pain. I pray you find someone who can listen and help you work through yours as well. Bless you dear one.
i hav a panic attack whenever i get to see a INDIA-PAk cricket match!
I've had them on occasion since I lost my daughter.
I've been to the hospital as a result two different times. The disturbing thing (for me) is, during the attacks, I was completely calm emotionally. I was not upset in the least. My body simply went ahead and did it's fake-stroke/maybe-a-heart-attack thing.
Once it happened in the middle of the night. I woke up, wondered for a minute why I woke up, and then off to the races.
I don't bother going to the doctor with it anymore. The stress from the bill is worse than the stress of being sick.
Oh my - bless your dear heart - the loss of a child is incomprehensible. It will take very hard work to be able to come to grips with a loss of this magnitude. I hope you have some therapy in place. A wise and well qualified counselor can help you take steps to see the light of day once again... I'm here if you need a good listener - send me a note
Thanks for your kindness.
I see a therapist when I can afford to
All I need to know is that I'm not dying from it. From there, I just tough it out. The meds they have given me in the past for it are horrible. I find I'm better off to get through it and back on my feet on my own.
---I want to comment on that. There is nothing worse than loosing your child, nothing. I almost lost mine when he tried to kill himself. I guess I was lucky, it did not happen. The stress we endure, if it has not any vent out, will accumulate in our system, like it or not. You could be calm like a sphinx and suffer inside, it's more damaging than we realize. I periodically suffer from some sort of panic attacks, that forces me out of my bed in the middle of my sleep and follows by terrible heart palpitations-fibrillations, that can last for 2 - 5 hours. As if you are running a marathon,though you are not.I think it's some sort of hormonal thing, but stress, lack of rest, emotions sure trigger that. I do not have a doctor whom I could trust unfortunately, and I had very bad experience with doctors so I am stuck with my problem. But emotional and biochemical are indeed very much interconnected. We are human beings and we are suffer when it hurts! Mind and body.
Thanks for your comments and I agree loosing a child would be the WORST stress ever... If you feel your panic attack stems from hormonal issues - I want to share a website and connection with you. The women's international pharmacy creates bio identical hormones for the treatment of 'wacked out' hormones. LOL I actually had severe postpartum and pms - went to the mayo clinic and learned about this natural (yams & soybeans) treatment. This pharmacy also has a list of physicians who use natural agents to treat the malady. I have also hosted and taught classes etc. on hormonal imbalances - if you have questions specifically related to hormones - I'd be happy to correspond. Here is the website for Womens International: http://www.womensinternational.com
Thanks, Mekenzie. I wonder if I could do without meds now. All the bad stuff happened in 2001. Mom died last summer, and my daughter is doing great now. My dr. now has me on cymbalta for nerve pain, and I stopped taking paxil.
Before you try to get off medication - I recommend that you have a plan in place. I would surely recommend the resources I have listed on my hubpage and also reading Dan Carter's hub on panic attacks with his recommendations and resources. If you are considering stopping medication .. please don't ever just stop. There are side affects that will throw your life into a terrible tailspin. Cymbalta or any of this type medications must be tappered off very, very slowly under your physicians supervision. Blessings to you habee!
I have had many experiences with panic. I dropped out of university twice because I couldn't sit in class. At one point I could not even go out socially, I would be pacing all the time. At its worst, I could not lay in my own bed without shaking. I was treated with various medications that did help but then led to complications.
I am not taking any medications now and I do not have any panic attacks or any other mental health problems.
For what it's worth, I've learned that the path to healing is very multi-faceted. Everyone's experience can be very different from another's experience. And as a result, what works, just works. For some, medical intervention *is* their life-saver. For others, faith, for others still, more natural means. But the conclusion is rather startling, isn't it?
There is more than one way to handle these things because we are all different people. What I've learned is to be supportive of those things that work, and allow people the dignity to improving their lives as they see they need to. Why not support such a wonderful thing? I like that idea.
So even though I've written this hub about natural remedies, it certainly isn't for everyone, since many of you have also written hubs on this subject, sharing important info with others about what works for you. That is really cool. That gives people options that are real, and important.
Support is so extremely valuable. I'm always very grateful for the support I get from good people.
I was shocked when I started having panic attacks because I am the person who can and has had to deal with a lot. I thought I could handle anything and I used to have the get over it attitude towards anxiety. I have much more understanding and compassion now. For me medication was useful in the beginning but had a difficult time functioning on it. Also, I did not want to be dependent on medication. Exercise, communication and finding a source of personal peace worked for me. I would sit in the back of a church quietly on my own to stop the world and listen to a mellow voice. Having two small children at the time, I also recognized that I needed to get away for awhile to get myself together in order to be a better mom. I was at the point where the words "mom" felt like a demand that was too much to handle. I was able to visit a friend, went for walks and talked. My husband was very supportive in taking care of the kids during this time and I was a much more functional and happy mom when I got home. Sorry this is so long, I could go on and on. Never thought of doing a hub on this. I didn't realize it was so common. Kind of sad that so many have so much stresses in life. I am back to "normal" now and able to deal with the new stresses in my life.
Thanks for sharing! I have found, as have you, that going through these dark times can make us better, more compassionate people. Blessings!
I quit once. I actually said..I quit. I cant take this job anymore. Of course, I begged for my position back again in 20 minutes.
12 years and still no raise...
There is another possible cause for panic attacks that is neither chemical imbalance nor emotional instability. Sometimes it's a moral crisis. Sometimes we feel that we MUST do something because our survival seems to depend on it, but we also simultaneously feel that we MUST NOT do it, because it is wrong. The contradictory signals cause a panic attack. The way to resolve it is neither with drugs nor with therapy. You have to just work through the problem and arrive at a solution you can live with.
Sometimes quitting your job is the right thing. Sometimes walking out of a commitment is the right thing. Sometimes panic is the way our body tells us that our mind is trying to avoid a crisis that is unavoidable.
I have panic attacks quite frequently! They're scary and obviously have different effects on different people. I have mine because I'm under a lot of stress at the moment. What happens to me is I suddenly feel really scared and then start to panic about that and then my heart thumps, I shake and sweat, breathe faster etc. And these come at random times. I've read a lot of books about panic attacks and have taught myself breathing exercizes to deal with them. Taking your mind off it is also helpful however difficult it may seem at the time. Distraction techniques are useful.
Nope, never had one, you just take it as it comes and deal with it no need to panic
I have suffered for years with an anxiety and panic disorder which has needed to be medicated or I suffer from violent panic attacks.
I was in Targt one afternoon and I was reading the label of a shampoo bottle...I looked up and a woman pushing a cart was coming towards me, she wasn't looking at me, she was doing nothing. Suddenly my heart started racing, I broke out in a sweat and it took all my might not to chuck that bottle at her. I ran out of the store...was on Xanax that afternoon. I have had other episodes, however since having removal of estrogen driven hormones, I've been anxiety free...weird, but I was exstatic to prove it wasn't in my head.
from a more spiritual perspective...panic/anxiety attacks are the opening of the heart chakra...there are things we need to deal with that have been put on the shelf, or are things that we need to learn to deal with to move us along our spiritual path.
energies from others affect us because we need to learn to protect our selves, our auras. this energy field around us needs to become a commonly known, accepted and dealt with part of our being
ask angels to interceed...archangel Michael or Gabriel or Raphael
I have very bad ones and frequent..I have been diagnosed 4 times with PTSD, from childhood severe abuse and other happenings...
I suppose I may hub it all for you in the soon to be future, if I told you the entire start til now, I would use at least 10 pages...
Writing is great therapy. Abuse and PTSD is definately a trigger for panic attacks. Working through pain and regaining control from those who robbed and abused you is crucial to your healing. Are you getting helpful counsel? I recommend some resources on my hub about Panic Attacks. I used the Midwest Center ... It was a life saver for me. Keep in touch - I care.
The episode was sudden in oneset, lasts for a few minutes and is characterized by very severe anxiety. I think may be the exposure of some phobic stmuli can be the precipitant.
Because of certain incidents that have happened in my life yes I do get anxiety attacks pretty bad. I have been on Lexapro for about a year now and it has helped although crowds really get to me especially crowded elevators and I cannot sit in a middle table at a restaurant, I feel like everyone is looking at me. I have to sit as close to the front door as possible. I cannot go to church because I laugh at the most inappropriate times. Its a nervous condition. I get it from my mother.
ladyjane, I experienced the same type of panic reactions. I remember sitting close to the doors wherever I went and I felt claustraphobic (sp?) in crowds. Lexapro is mostly for depression - if it's not targeting your anxiety .. there are meds out there that specifically take the anxiety away.. I needed both for a while. With some great resources available today I have gained insight into my panic disorders and learned some skills to work through them.. I've listed a couple of the resources on my hub about panic disorders... there are also some other great hubs on this topic. Thanks for stopping by and get the help you need ... life is too short to be stifled by panic .... Blessings!
Yes. I feel like my throat is closing up and someone is pushing down on my chest. I struggle to breathe then pass out - or I did until I got some help. As it turns out my brain isn't wired up properly and they can't fix it but they can teach me to control it. Psychosommatic symptoms are a bit of a struggle in everyday life; nobody believes you are sick until they witness it first hand. I find it hard to leave the house without freezing up or going numb all over. Sometimes I will walk to the nearby shop for milk then come home and be sick from the stress of it on my nerves. When I am nervous I am on edge all day and you just know when you wake up in the morning whether you are well enough to leave the house that day or not. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful support base around me in my friends, family and partner which makes it much easier for me than for those that may have to go through it alone. The only piece of advice I can really give is that I know it feels like your heart will stop and you must surely die at the time - but you always get over it and most of the time it's alright. My problem is that even though I know this I have no control over the feelings.
Dear Happy, Oh my, I know your story so well.. so very well. I hope you will stop and read my Hub on Panic Attacks and Anxiety. I share my story and provide some resources - the resources are excellent and really help! A life saver for me was when my physician prescribed an anti-anxiety medication .. it stopped the anxiety so I could work with the tools I've included on my hub.. I think I understand what you are saying about your brain. Anyone who experiences panic disorders or depression is not producing the chemicals that the brain needs... It is one of the reasons a physician will put you on a medication that will replace the chemicals our own brains are not producing... Please feel free to contact me if you have more questions. Blessing from one who knows...
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