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What to do when another pannic attack occurs
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What to do when another pannic attack occurs

I experienced my first panic attack last week and I am scared to death that it will happen again.I think I'm driving myself crazy just thinking about it. Doctor put me on Paxil, could someone please give me some advice on how to handle the situation if it occurs again? If I feel like I did last week, I feel like I am dying and I know it scares my husband, what should he do? Thanks
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You might ask your doctor for some additional xanax that is quick acting and you can take if you feel an attack coming on. In the meantime, see a therapist and work out the underlying anxieties and pressures that build to become a panic attack.
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I have been suffering from Panic Disorder/agoraphobia for over a year...the only advice I can give you is to stick with your paxil and to go to psychotherapy.  The combination of medication and therapy are the only real solution.  I used to have several attacks per day, I now might get one per week.  Although it's not over yet, I am much better now and can only tell you that patience is a big part of this.  You & your husband should educate yourselves more on the disorder.  There is a great deal of info on the internet.  Yes it may feel like you're crazy or dying but believe me, you're neither.  If you feel an attack coming on, try breathing deeply & slowly or concentrating on something, like the second hand of a clock...pinch yourself, you'd be surprised how it snaps you back into reality!
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I suffered with panic disorder for a year.  Cognitive therapy (talk therapy), along with Xanax helped greatly.  You do need to find a therapist that is well-versed in panic disorder and will do talk therapy.  Simply taking a pill will not get to the root of the problem. I   also recommend a book called THE ANXIETY DISEASE by Dr. Sheehan.  Out of all the books I read on panic, and I read many of them, this book is THE BIBLE of Panic disorder.  It is even used by many mental health doctors...Good Luck
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New Statesman Special Report    Monday 11th March 2002
Drug companies, depression and antidepressants.  The rebranding of a disease.   Jerome Burne
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I've suffered from Anxiety Disorder for 17 years.  I was first on Paxil, but then was switched to Celexa and Buspar (to additionally treat depression).  I am a 30 year old female.

I only recently started cognitive therapy and treatment, because I felt embarrassed and ran the gamut of feeling I was the only one with this problem.  I never really knew there were medications and help...

For years I would panic at high school football games, social dances, dates, parties.  I never had a good time.  Getting through it and getting it over with was the "good time" for me.

I urge anyone who may be at the onset of anxiety disorders to seek help.  I may have gotten help "late" but not too late.  It's never too late to get rid of the anxiety and panic...It's a whole new life for me now!

Good luck.

DoubleMSenior
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I'm very glad to hear it works for you and all the best to you :)  But everyone is different and some people are going to find that the effects of the drugs are disabling and far worse than the reason they took them in the first place, but at least now they can make their own informed choice, rather than rely on one side of the picture (if they are lucky enough not to already be in that predicament).   A lot of hospitals are now having to deal with patients suspected of heart attacks, strokes, MS, brain tumours, etc who are actually suffering from side effects of drugs.  And its important that people learn the negative sides of what they are about to take IN ADDITION to hearing about the positives.  In some cases disclosure of facts can literally mean the difference between life and death.  

Hope you have an enjoyable weekend.
Paula

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Sorry I haven't been on computer much lately..I hope you are feeling a little better by now from you Panic Attacks..I know they can be horrible..I ended up at the ER almost 16yrs ago when I first started to get them, I actually thought I was dying..Since then I have come a long way with the panic disorder, I still get them now and then, but know better how to handle them..I also see a therapist monthly for anxiety/depression/panic disorder/agorphobia..I also take Xanax which has really helped with the panic problem..But it is good to read the books as mentioned above, it helped me know that I wasn't the only one experiencing them..I also learned how to control them better..I still go back and check my book now and then when I start to get too many too close together - it really does help..
Best of Luck to you....Please post and let us know how you are doing.........Take Care.........
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my father (58) years has been suffering from depression for the past 20 years. He was on anfranil for some time and for the past 4 years he has been on seroxat (paxil). He has panic attacks almost daily...he was put on ativan and valium in combination with seroxat. He is now trying to taper off seroxat by taking 10mg every other day.(he was initially on 20mg). we find him terribly irritable with a very bad temper. His panic attacks are also returning quite frequently. Is there anyway we could help him to make this tapering off period better for him? or does he really need medication? cuold someone help me advice him and guide him. The psychiatrists in this country aer opf no help.
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Just popped by to see how the board is doing LOL and so am answering you (LOL, I wasn't going to come here for a while yet and won't be back here often now).  I guess you're in the UK?  Cos you're calling it Seroxat.  I'm from the UK too.  Here's my site - it has an Information Site about UK stuff on Seroxat (Paxil) (as well as stuff on the American side).  
http://paxilsupport.homestead.com/Index.html  
Have a rummage round in there - there's the UK lawyers dealing with a group action, and references to David Healy are there - he's based in North Wales.  You can email me at   paula.***@****    
if you think I can help with anything (I'll try).   The anger and stuff are a very common withdrawal symptom.  The panic attacks MIGHT be what I call "wired up" feeling, and what I believe is termed AKATHISIA. Anyway, email me if I can help at all.

All the best.
Paula
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Juli363,

Sorry to hear about the panic attack.  I remember my first and how frightening it was.  

I don't want to discuss drugs since it appears to be a minefield and I have no expertise in that area.  I can recommend some cognitive programs which I found really helpful however.  The best to my mind is Lucinda Basset's "Overcoming Anxiety and Depression" program.  It consists of about 20 cassettes and comes out of the MidWest center for Anxiety.  Its quite expensive (about 400 $ but is very powerful and worth every penny). Other books are "What to say when you talk to yourself" and "The Panic and Anxiety Workbook by Bourne"

From the therapy that I have had, the best methods I've learned of getting through or averting a panic attack are as follows:

1. Breathing: breathing from the diaphragm slowly as soon as the symptoms start.  There is a technique called square breathing you could check out (4 counts in, hold for 4 counts, 5 counts out and wait 4 counts) or variations on that theme.  I know it sounds hokey but it really helps.

2. Self-talk: when I feel one starting I have a choice: either to freak out further because I think I'm about to have a panic attack, or to calm myself down.  So obviously I choose the latter.  Nobody has died of a panic attack.  Its just an overdose of adrenalin in your body.  It will pass.  There are tools to control it.  You are not going to die (I know it feels that way).  You could write out on a card the negative thoughts you have when it starts and counter them with rational positive thinking.  This is not telling yourself stories.  Its the negative thinking and feat that are irrational. You can't die from a panic attack!

3. Certain lifestyle choices can help or hinder your progress. Alcohol and refined sugars are not good for panic or anxiety. Caffeine is an absolute no-no. Exercise and relaxation/mediation are good.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can do for yourself, other subjects to research are positive thinking, managing expectations and positive visualisation.

Your meds should help you short term but I know I wanted to get a better handle on why this was happening and how to modify my behavior so that I felt in control. These methods along with therapy helped.  I am also part of a support group which has been so great.

I felt like such a freak when it first started - like I was failing and that I had to hide and be embarassed about what was going on.  Now I know that everybody has anxiety and its just a question of degree.  Mine seems to be very easy to trigger so I have put in some safety valves.  The other people I have met in the support group are all particularly caring, sensitive and intelligent people and many are extremely successful so don't beat up on yourself.

Its not an easy path but I celebrate every improvement and appear to have changed for the better.

These are my opinions and I have no professional knowledge but I hope this helps and encourages you.  







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10 years ago I had my first panic attack. In my case it came because of an MRI test in which I was enclosed in a plastic tube. I just freaked and cursed at them to let me out.

Since then I have learned as much as possible about them. I always carry xanax for emergencies. In my case it is the fear of having another one which causes me the most problems. Whenever I am in a situation where I can not easily escape I start feeling the beginings of a panic attack. I could not even take an elevator and in moving my company I chose low floors in the buildings so that I could take the stairs. I drive even though it is much cheaper, faster and more convenient to take an express bus because I can not be on a bus or train or plane.

What I have learned is that panic attacks can not hurt you. I do deep breathing when I feel an attack coming on. By understanding what is happening to you it is much easier to bear. I had my second panic attack on an airplane before I had xanax. As soon as they shut those doors I wanted to bolt from my seat, push the attendant out of the way, open the door and jump to freedom. My thought process went something like this:

If I give in to my attack I will look like such a fool and crazy person in front of all these people. If I just sit here nothing will happen at all. I will just feel weird. I then took my mind off of it by reading and it worked. It still works for me when I am in elevators and have even been stuck in them 3 times (which is why I carry xanax with me). Luckily I single handedly was able to push my way to the front and open the doors and get everyone out. I have never been stuck for longer than 15 minutes. I thought that I was bad in that situation but others in the elevator were screaming and crying. I looked around and I was the calmest person in the elevator and I was the one with the fear of them.

Anyways, just having the xanax available helps and I strongely suggest that you learn what causes them and what is going on with your body. If you can convince yourself that nothing bad will happen from a panic attack that will go a long way to making your feel better and reducing or eliminating the attacks. As a testiment to what I say I have a huge backlog of xanax sitting in my medicine cabinet because I have gotten so much better that I rarely need a pill anymore.
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Living with panic attacks is hell on earth. The fore going are just some things that I observed about the reason and control of them. First, came the subconscious feeling of "abandonment" underlying my attacks. I fainted in school during my parents divorce and all that entailed, and refused to go back for months for fear of fainting again.  And there started the "fainting in public" syndrome. And when I found myself alone or even with people in a crowded place, my mind would start taking me where I dreaded going. I'd start worrying about it and I would begin to feel the sweat popping out, heart galloping and all the other symptoms.

There's no point in going into my life as a panic-ee. At 35 with 6 children, I went thru a stage where I couldn't grocery shop - good old agraphobia and some nights I would be in bed and feel an attack coming and my husband would have to sit up with me for hours until I could feel it passing.  In the meantime,I would sit there practically comotose rocking.

ONe night we were going out to a dance and I was spending the afternoon getting the kids ready for the sitter etc when I felt it coming on again.  I had had it!!!  I threw myself on the bed and yelled, "Come on, come and get me!  You *%@#* come on and make me faint or lose it, I don't give a damn! I know it won't make me die so come on and do your thing!!!  I just laid there and suddenly felt it all going away.  I'd beat the monster down!

My take on the panic attack is that when you're somewhere and  start consciously or subconsciously getting the thought, it  just takes over and the ADRENALIN starts pumping and gushing. That is the culprit.  Next time you feel an attack coming on, say to yourself "it's just me making myself pump adrenalin.  I know the cause and so I'm not scared and the attack will go away" You just have to throw up your hands and say "come and get me, but I know who you are and I'm not going to help you pump!" Lie or sit quietly and look it in the face and don't fight.

I was able to stop my 25 years of disabling panic attacks, but I'm not saying you are me or all panic attacks are alike.  In my life, I've found that it's pills side effects that have caused me problems.  I still have a chemical imbalance and bouts of cyclic depression every month and would love to feel joy with life always, but ALL the Prozak and Zoloft and every sample in her closet made me get more depressed so that cross I have to bear, but if I still had panic attacks, too.......

Who knows, my solution might help one or two people.  The doctors won't agree with me as it's too simplistic, but I've wanted to tell people about this that might benefit and now I have.  I don't even know who will see this, but my thoughts are with all sufferers of full blown panic attacks.
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I HAD MY FIRST PANICK ATTACK WHEN I WAS ABOUT 16 OR 17 AFTER I HAD SOME EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS INVOLVING DEAD PEOPLE AND HUMAN BONES I SAW BUT I'M OVERCOMING ALL THAT WITHOUT MEDISINE COUSE I DISCOVERED THAT MEDICINE ONLY SLOW DOWN MY BRAIN NOT WORKING REAL GOOD INSTEAD WHEN I'M ABOUT TO HAVE A PANIC ATTACK I SAY TO MY SELF "DON'T BE SUCH A @#**@# FEEL LIKE DYING SO EVERY ELSE IS GOING TO DIE AND IF YOU KEEP DOING THIS YOU'LL JUST BE DEAD ALIVE SO GET F*** UP AND TAKE A COLD SHOWER" AND I DO THAT I STILL HAVE SOME PHOBIAS NOTHING REAL SERIOUS YOU SHOULD TRY THIS
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Dear panick people,  I have just had my first panick attack, which led me to hyperventelate, think i was dieing, say good bye to my husband and my children, and be taken away in an ambulance, left in hospital for three days, had an abdominal operation, pumped with pethadine and was told by one nurse that i was a mad cow, and the doctor told me to see a physco.  If that is any good for your nerves then the doctors and hosptial staff certainly overloaded me with extra anxiety, which kept me having more panick attacks, thinking i was dieing, and i seemed to snow ball into thinking i was going insane.  If it wasn't for the internet, i would have continued to think i was going insane, which would have led me to more panick attacks, and more anxiety.  I have been out of the hospital for two days now, and i am still getting cramping legs, dissyness, heart palpertations, and i feel like my head does'nt belong to me anymore.  However after just reading some of your stories, i am trying to rectify how i feel, and its great to know that i am not the only one that has been taken away in an ambulance, for these attacks.  My poor husband has certainly put up with it all now.  I still don't think i am up to looking after two kids on my own just yet, but i think i am starting to understand what is happening to me.  One thing that i read off the internet that has helped me to understand is saying that my brain has just injected 20 cups of coffee into my blood stream, and i will say to myself that i will pee it out later.  A also went and saw my Gp who, has put me on a simular drug to prozac, i have'nt taken it yet, as i feel that i am still coming down off the pethadine they gave me in hospital.  However i believe it is a chemical imbalance in my brain which sends out too much adrenaline into my blood stream.  This is not going to stop me doing anything i have already told myself that.  I have just purchased a lovely big house, have my horses at home with me, have a caring husband and two great kids, i am not going to let a little bit of adrenaline F---- my life now.  And even though i have never really been a person who likes going out much, i am going to face this head on.  Thanks for all of you out there who has written your thoughts down on the internet, you have helped me so much.  If i get panicky, i just hook up on the net, and keep reading, this is helping me for now.  As i am a horse trainer, i know alot about fight and flight responses in animals, and about training.  When i train my horses i have to repeat the same sequence of training and thought pattern in my training, to get the horse to over ride his own fight and flight mechanisum, and to listen and trust me.  It takes about 10,000 reps before the horse listens to me without thing of fleeing first.  I think this is the same for us to, except now i have to train my own brain to listen to my own brain, so i don't panick  and have another attack.  I will just keep on repeating that this is not going to kill me, its just an override of a natural response, and i must learn to control how i feel.  Now keep repeating that into your brain 10,000reps.  I have also read that vitamin c b and iron will also help rebalance the brains receptors.  I must admit before this event happened i was always thinking of looking after every body else, except myself.  Sorry now i am going to look after myself first, the family is going to come second for a while...........
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Dear panick people,  I have just had my first panick attack, which led me to hyperventelate, think i was dieing, say good bye to my husband and my children, and be taken away in an ambulance, left in hospital for three days, had an abdominal operation, pumped with pethadine and was told by one nurse that i was a mad cow, and the doctor told me to see a physco.  If that is any good for your nerves then the doctors and hosptial staff certainly overloaded me with extra anxiety, which kept me having more panick attacks, thinking i was dieing, and i seemed to snow ball into thinking i was going insane.  If it wasn't for the internet, i would have continued to think i was going insane, which would have led me to more panick attacks, and more anxiety.  I have been out of the hospital for two days now, and i am still getting cramping legs, dissyness, heart palpertations, and i feel like my head does'nt belong to me anymore.  However after just reading some of your stories, i am trying to rectify how i feel, and its great to know that i am not the only one that has been taken away in an ambulance, for these attacks.  My poor husband has certainly put up with it all now.  I still don't think i am up to looking after two kids on my own just yet, but i think i am starting to understand what is happening to me.  One thing that i read off the internet that has helped me to understand is saying that my brain has just injected 20 cups of coffee into my blood stream, and i will say to myself that i will pee it out later.  A also went and saw my Gp who, has put me on a simular drug to prozac, i have'nt taken it yet, as i feel that i am still coming down off the pethadine they gave me in hospital.  However i believe it is a chemical imbalance in my brain which sends out too much adrenaline into my blood stream.  This is not going to stop me doing anything i have already told myself that.  I have just purchased a lovely big house, have my horses at home with me, have a caring husband and two great kids, i am not going to let a little bit of adrenaline F---- my life now.  And even though i have never really been a person who likes going out much, i am going to face this head on.  Thanks for all of you out there who has written your thoughts down on the internet, you have helped me so much.  If i get panicky, i just hook up on the net, and keep reading, this is helping me for now.  As i am a horse trainer, i know alot about fight and flight responses in animals, and about training.  When i train my horses i have to repeat the same sequence of training and thought pattern in my training, to get the horse to over ride his own fight and flight mechanisum, and to listen and trust me.  It takes about 10,000 reps before the horse listens to me without thing of fleeing first.  I think this is the same for us to, except now i have to train my own brain to listen to my own brain, so i don't panick  and have another attack.  I will just keep on repeating that this is not going to kill me, its just an override of a natural response, and i must learn to control how i feel.  Now keep repeating that into your brain 10,000reps.  I have also read that vitamin c b and iron will also help rebalance the brains receptors.  I must admit before this event happened i was always thinking of looking after every body else, except myself.  Sorry now i am going to look after myself first, the family is going to come second for a while...........
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It is normal to suffer from panic attacks along with alucinations? (visual and sound ones). It has happened to me many times and I've told this to my doctor, but she hasn't said anything about it?. I was diagnosed of a bipolar disorder within other things, may be a wrong diagnosis, or an incomplete one?

This happens to me specially when I'm alone or going to sleeping, but also sitting in front of the computer and walking in the center of my city, in both cases, being alone. Despite the last one seemed to be more of a paranoid feature of my personality, I felt everyone arround was planning to hurt me in some way, that everyone was looking at me, that a group of people that, when I turned back, weren't there, were following me...I couldn't move for arround 15 minutes, I wanted that feeling to stop.

For a while I have panic attacks nearly every day...I don't relate them to any particular fact along those days. Lately they have stopped...But, for how long?. I also suffer from angst crisis and because of them my doctor prescribed me clonazepam.
Unfortunately, I usually take it too late, when the crisis has already started, and I'm almost unable to move, breathe and sometimes even to cry.
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Even afer having an echo, stress test, and ekg done i still have daily quick chest pains that do not last more than 2 seconds. They usually happen when i make a sudden movements. I have suffered from panic attacks for about 1 year and once i had palpitations. Ever since then i have convinced myself that i have a heart problem even after all my tests came back normal. I continue to think like this because of these quick chest pains that do not last more than 2 seconds. HAS ANYBODY ELSE HAD THIS. PLEASE WRITE BACK
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I was just wondering if there is anyone out there that can tell me if zoloft has made you feel like your seeing double, really bad headaches, and also feel like your dying, I just started taking it not even a week ago and its like I am worse now than when I was on paxil, Paxil didnt help after being on it for 3 months, Now I am getting to the point every little thing gets to me,, Sitting in a resturant people behind me can be talking and its very irretable and just the slightest movement of paper or things like that bother me. I snap easy at my love ones, and it's just not like me to do this. I dont know what else to do, I have been dealing with anxiety attacks for over 3 years now and just finally started taking meds for it after it was getting to the point of no return, I also think more and more of suicide now than I did before I started taking the medicine is this normal?? Please someone help I dont know how much more I can take.
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I am not a Dr. but from experience, I felt irritable on zoloft too, I could have killed someone, I felt psychotic,  I read that alot of times ant-depressants can have that effect on people who suffer from manic depression, it take the depression part away but magnifies the manic part... you should be evaluated for manic depression....
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SOOOO HAPPY TO HAVE FOUND THIS SITE.  I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE MY
EFFEXOR STORY.  HAD FIRST PANIC ATTACK 2+ YEARS AGO.  STARTED EFFEXOR ABOUT 8 MONTHS ON.  AFTER 2 WEEKS AT 150MG ENDED UP PASSING OUT, HITTING MY HEAD, AND GOING TO THE ER.  I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY HEALTH PROBLEM AND HAVE ONLY VISITED THE HOSPITAL.  AFTER MANY TESTS INCLUDING AN MRT I WAS RELEASE AND TOLD IT WAS JUST AN EPISODE OF SYNCOPE.  JUST AN ATTACK OF DIZZINESS? I GUESS.  AND 3 MONTHS LATER UPON GETTING UP ON MORNING, I FOUND THE LEFT HALF OF MY FACE WAS PARALIZED.  TURNED OUT TO BE BELLS PALSY.  ALL OF THIS I FEEL TO BE EFFEXOR SIDE EFFECTS.  9 MONTHS LATER AND THE PALSY IS MOSTLY GONE.  HAVE STARTED TO GO OFF THE EFFEXOR VERY SLOWLY.  I UNDERSTAND THE HEADACHES AND ZAPPING FEELING WAY TOO WELL.  THANKS TO ALL OF YOU AND HANG IN THERE!!!
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