I have so called, "panic attacks" whenever i try and drive somewhere, if i feel trapped, or if i feel alone.. I dont know why but they started happening about a month or two ago, shortly after graduating. I quit working out because it was not required of me anymore, as I was graduating and wasnt going to play sports anymore.. I've lost alot of muscle and weight.. My eating is not too bad but could eat a little more i think.. Whenever these attacks occur my heart rate and blood pressure shoots through the roof! I try and tell myself to calm down and nothin is wrong but 8 out of 10 times it doesn't work.. the .25mg of Alprazolam the doc has given me isn't working anymore either, it used to slow my heart rate down and now it does nothing.. I have paxil but i took it once and II woke up having one of these attacks with an added symptom that my arms and legs and jaw were all shaking uncontrollably (which i was wondering if it could be the medicine.) The doc said its not a normal symptom. But I'm afraid that my family doesn't understand why I am panicking, nor do I either, except im scared of having the attacks, and afraid of the "attack" the paxil gave me.. I feel as if no one understands me or why or how or anything. I know i cannot be the only one who has panic attacks. Is there anyone else? Why is it happening to me? I don't know how to communicate to my family what it is like. I am only 19 years old and not able to live my life. And i desperately want to.. :( I feel like a burden to my family and friends. I do not want to be. I was never like this until i graduated. And the attack happened out of no where for no reason one night. I'm just curious if anyone else is out there, and if anyone else has any luck with family members understanding or any way i can try and explain this to them. Thanks for reading this if you do.
Also i have hypoglycemia as well, and the not eating or working out throws that off.. Which could add to any of this crap im guessing.. Also i only went to the doctor once for this and i had an ekg and chest xray and everything done because my pulse was a standard 114 all the time.. He said it was anxiety or panic attacks as i explained it to him but, I want a doctor with more experience with it or one who doesn't just hand out pills, actually talks and listens to me.. A therapist I am guessing? What is that like? has anyone gone to one before?
I have found it a bit of a mission trying to get the right help for anxiety, most doctors listen to your symptoms and want just give you medication to fix the problem, then others dont really listen.. At first i never wanted to take meds but got to a point recently where i thought i needed it, as it might make coping a little easier but the medication actually gave me a frightning and severe panic attack that lasted on and off for three days, i think trying different medication can be a bit of a risk (though it does work for some) i think its good to get to the root of the problem. Maybe there had been an event in your life either revently or a while ago which may have caused this to happen or like it might be caused by something your un aware of such as a build up of stress over a period of time after a recent event are worry about future events
I find it hard to talk about it to people also as i think they will think im overeacting Nd would say im silly as "ive got nothing to worry about" so i know what you mean about trying to explain it to your family and friends. But if ur at a point where its affecting your life i think its really important to try your best to open up to family or someone close to you who cares and supports you, or try a therapist to begin with if your not comfortable with telling your family just yet. that can be really helpfull, try to find someone who specialises in anxiety disorders =) but if your panicking alot and expiriancing alot of anxiety, having family and support around is really helpful even if its hard to open up at first its worth it, Trying to deal on your own creates more anxiety, thats what i have learnt anyways =)
A therapist wont judge u and you can find out what had happened and what has caused your anxiety then also how to deal and overcome it. There are also hePs of natural things you can do. Im really not a fan of meds but thats just because they havnt worked for me, everyone is different
You will find loads of people here who understand, you came to the right place!
What you describe is textbook panic attacks, and as a result, you have begun to "fear the fear", which is common with panic attacks. You're actually right around the age most anxiety disorders are identified.
Unless you've had some kind of massive trauma or abuse, there probably isn't a real simple "reason" behind it, other than you're just "wired" differently. Sometimes, life changes (like graduating HS and becoming an adult, for example) will trigger the panic, but that isn't a "cause" per se.
The whole scared of "feeling trapped" thing is also very typical among folks with panic disorder. Soon, if you don't address this, you will begin avoiding anything you associate with the sensation of panic.
For instance, if you had a panic attack in the library, you would likely start fearing the library. Certainly, the panic has nothing to do with the library, but you associate the two in your mind. Same with the Paxil, it was probably very poor timing, or it could have been a side effect, either way, now you fear having that kind of reaction.
How long have you been on the Xanax, and how often do you take it? Sounds like you've built up a tolerance to it, which means, after time, your body requires more and more to obtain the same level of effectiveness. That's common with benzos, like Xanax, Ativan, etc. These kinds of meds are best used as a "rescue" med, when they are taken "as needed". That means you wouldn't be taking it every day. The medication works better that way, and tolerance and dependency don't become an issue either.
What you need to do is ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. He/she will be able to properly assess you and diagnose you. My guess is, you would be Dx'ed with panic disorder, with possibly a mild agoraphobia (avoidant behavior). You will need to try some different treatment options. The most common approach is with a combination of meds and therapy, preferrably CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). You have to try to go into this with an open mind. Your experience with Paxil probably had NOTHING to do with the Paxil at all. Even if it did, that doesn't mean other meds wouldn't help you tremendously, without that same kind of reaction. It will be hard, just the nature of this kind of anxiety will have you filled with worry about taking another med, but a therapist can help you work through that.
You definitely want to start addressing this. The quicker you do, the quicker you will get your life back. Also, try VERY hard to push yourself to do things that make you uncomfortable. Driving is a big trigger of anxiety for those of us with PD. Nothing worse than imagining being stuck in traffic, or in a tunnel. That's the agoraphobia. It literally means "fear of open spaces", but it has morer to do with the fact that we don't like to EVER feel like we wouldn't be able to easily and quickly escape a situation or place. I've been battling PD since I was 18 (I'm 40 now), and there are STILL places I have problems with, placesd with very large crowds, like concerts, amusement parks.
You have to push yourself, to an extent. If you start avoiding everything, or every place you are worrying about, that reinforces to your brain that there is something to worry about. If you face those places, and things, even a little at first, it sends an opposite message to your brain, that there is nothing to fear. It sort of takes the power away from the panic. You will gradually work up to facing more and more, but like I said, for now, try hard not to avoid things that are causing anxiety for you.
Please try to get back to your work-outs. Exercise is VERY beneficial in reducing panic and anxiety, plus, you'll feel better about yourself.
Please come back and update us when you can. With professional help, you can learn to manage panic/anxiety. You're far from alone, MANY people have anxiety issues. Actually, almost 20% of the US population is diagnosed with some kind of anxiety disorder. Those are only the people who have been diagnosed, there are MANY more who haven't been officially diagnosed yet. So, that should put into perspective just how common this kind of thing is.
When you get a chance, browse the site, there are MANY great tools you can use to help yourself. There is a journal feature where you can write down your thoughts, and what your day to day life is like. That can paint a very clear picture of what is going on for you. Journals can be private, or they can be public. Public journals are kind of nice, because you will get input from other people. If you want your journals to be private, you'll have to edit that setting in your profile.
Also, there are trackers, there is a mood tracker, an anxiety tracker, there's a "moody me" app you can download. Also, there are health pages with lots of info about panic. I've written several journal entries about panic...when you get some time, read over them, I think you'll find them comforting, you'll feel not so alone in this. It's hard for family members who have never experienced anxiety to understand why we can't just get a hold of ourselves. They're not being mean, or uncaring, it's just very hard to know what to do or say to someone with anxiety, when they have no idea what it is like.
Thanks for the reply! It means so much to me that I know im not alone with it.. My family was like that as well, they just told me to get over it and it is all in my head.. It's not as easy as they make it sound though :/ I wish it was and I believe it is but it always keeps happening.. Recently my mom has been helping me with driving, I will drive with her or I will drive my car while she follows behind or in front of me, which helps a lot. Today I drove to twon and back without an attack! although I know every time I need to go out she can not do this for me.. It is hard and im just now trying to realize why, and how this is happening. Just knowing it is somewhat kind of common is a relief as well.. About a month now it seems its just me, and only me, and I'll never get over it. Thanks for your reply. :) If there is anything I can do for you please let me know!
thanks for the comment, I know I have got to push myself to do things, and I have tried to.. I live about 20mins from the nearest town, and I find the driving is the hardest thing for me to do,, And it ***** cause everyone I know lives in town.. Driving is not to bad, until I start thinking about it. Then it all hits me and I turn around and go home fast.. Today My mom followed behind me in her car and it was not bad at all, I actually enjoyed it for once :') slowed down to let her get a bit ahead of me to see how Id feel.. not too bad.. The only other things I have is when im left alone at my house.. I will work on that for sure. As far as my workouts go I am walking and jogging for now.. I've been to laid up to do anything heavy I think. As far as the paxil goes.. I dont know :( I did take it at night before I went to sleep, and the doc told me to take it in the morning.. I think I will try it tomorrow morning and see how it goes.. I know it could have been from me not being able to eat something as i was asleep.. but part of me thinks it is maybe to strong of a dose.. Think it is 25mg? yes 25mg of paxil.. the alprazolam I was supposed to take three times daily at .25mg but I have only taken it as needed, which has been about once a day sadly.. Working out relieves alot of my tress and helps alot i feel so much better after i do and eat better as well.. I will need to do it more..the attitude my parents have taken to it has gotten better, but only a little. I have no insurance right now so.. I dont know how a therapist will work out :( Thanks for the comment though it was helpful!!! I have already done journal and started the mood tracker. and everything.. they are not private as because any and all support helps.. :) Thank you so much!
Yeah my parents said the same at the start, but i opened up a little more and told them how it was really effecting me and they were great after that understanding and supportive! It sounds like your mum understands? Thats good that shes helping you, i almost had an attack whilst driving a few weeks back and didnt want to get back in the xar, so my mum drove down and i followed her, it jyst helped that she was there =) i know what u mesn about wantung to rush home wen u feel an attack coming in, to be honest ive been expiriancing the light headness and faint feeling whilst driving almost everyday lately, but i try to keep it together by thinking its okay, i know what this is and i can pull over wenever i need to, i think it helps to try to stay calm, distract yourself with something like rhe music in the radio, call some to chat too (if u have hNds free) and take deep breaths, might help =) it has helped me get by since the furst episode, i think you fear it after it happens so u feel like ur on edge really easily at random moments if that makes sense.
Its good to hear ypu have ur family support =)
And your welcome, it does make you feel better to know your not alone hope your feeling better,
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