This forum is for questions and support pertaining to mental health issues such as: Anger, Dementia, Depression, Family Problems, Memory Problems, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Schizophrenia, Transitions and Work Problems.
Hi, my name is Cori, I am 19 years old and I live with my parents because I have extreme panic attacks and agoraphobia. I was on Valium for a year, most of that year I spent tapering it, and I have little to no memory of that year. For that reason, I am searching for alternative therapies to conquer this anxiety and agoraphobia that is greatly affecting my life.
I have panic attacks centered around the idea of having an anyeurism, even though I have had a CT scan, MRI, and advice from two doctors who have both diagnosed me with migraine headaches, and no symptoms of an anyeurism. The panic attacks become unbearable during the course of the migraines. I also have fears of fainting, loud snap-like sounds occurring in my head (only a fear, not an occurrance), and death during these panics as well.
When I experience multiple panic attacks, I feel unable to drive or go anywhere outside my house with my parents, and it takes me a few weeks to get the courage to leave the house again.
I have an extreme fear of driving, as I have lost 4 friends to driving accidents.
I am currently searching for a psychologist who will help me work through these fears without the help of any medicines, though this is proving to be a difficult thing to find! I have applied for a bio-feedback program nearby where I live. Has anyone had experience with that type of therapy?
While I admit my life is largely disrupted by this panic disorder and agoraphobia, I am not suicidal or depressed, I am actually quite hopeful when I look back on myself 4 months ago, I have made progress and have been able to hold a job as a waitress. I am confident that with the right help, I can overcome this... So any advice you can offer me as to non-medicinal therapy, or personal experience, I will listen to with an open mind. Thank-you!
You are already on exactly the right pathway, finding a therapist to help you work this through. I would prefer you find a therapist who has a dynamic and cognitive approach rather than bio feedback alone. Get that therapist...that is your answer.
I'M 35YRS YOUNG; AND I TOO SUFFER FROM PANIC ATTACKS/AGORPHOBIA. I SAID "SUFFER"; BUT THAT IS HARDLY THE CASE ANYMORE...
I'LL TELL YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MY EXPERIENCES & WHAT HAS HELPED ME. MY FIRST MEMORIES OF THESE ATTACKS WERE IN 2ND GRADE. I REMEMBER IF I GOT CALLED TO GO UP TO THE TEACHERS DESK OR HAD TO SIT WHERE EVERYONE IN CLASS COULD SEE ME, I WOULD INSTANTLY GET VERY DIZZY AND FEEL AS THOUGH MY EAR WENT DEAF OR WAS POPPING, OR HEAR A LOUD SNAPPING NOISE IN MY NECK.. THEN I WOULD HANG ON TO SOMETHING OR THE TEACHERS DESK(CAUSE I'DE FEEL LIKE I WAS GOING TO PASS OUT)I WOULD GET SO AFRAID OF THAT HAPPENING AGAIN THAT I EVENTUALLY STARTED TO WITHDRAWL (withdrawal) FROM SOCIALIZING AND WOULD SIT IN BACK OF THE CLASS...TO LET YOU KNOW..I WAS A STRAIGHT A' STUDENT,AND AM NOT 'CRAZY' OR UNINTELLIGENT. I SAY THAT BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE ARE UNEDUCATED ABOUT THIS DISORDER;AND WANT TO PERCIEVE PEOPLE WITH IT, AS 'CRAZY' OR STUPID'.
FINALLY IN 6TH GRADE I WAS TAKEN TO THE DOCTORS BECAUSE MY PARENTS THOUGHT I WAS ON STREET DRUGS...THEY HAD NO CLUE WHAT PANIC ATTACKS WERE. THE DOCTOR GAVE ME A MILD TRANQUILIZER; AND SAID I WAS JUST A NERVOUS PERSON.
AS I BECAME AN ADULT I THOUGHT I WAS GOING CRAZY...I WOULD HAVE SUDDEN ATTACKS WITH MY HEART RACING, AND SWEATY HANDS AND HYPERVENTILATE, AND ALSWAYS STARTED CHOKING ON MY FOOD DURING A MEAL...WENT TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM ATLEAST A DOZEN TIMES; AND I WOULD SAY I WAS HAVING A HEART ATTACK!! WELL ...NEVER HAD A HEART ATTACK,AND NEVER QUIT BREATHING; AND NEVER PASSED OUT...JUST ALWAYS FEELS LIKE IT.
ONE OF MY LAST 'BIG ATTACKS' WAS IN CALIFORNIA AT THE DR. PHIL SHOW..I WAS A GUEST AND SITTING IN THE 2ND ROW WITH THE AUDIENCE;SUDDENLY THE SHORTNESS OF BREATH AND SWEATY HANDS CAME..THEN THE AUDIENCE(AND MYSELF) WERE ASKED TO STAND UP AND CLAP OUR HANDS AS DR. PHIL CAME ON STAGE. I JUST WAS FROZEN IN FEAR OF PASSING OUT AND THOUGHT I WAS DYING OF A HEART ATTACK. THE CAMERA MAN WAS SIGNALING FOR ME TO STAND UP AND I COULDN'T. I WAS FREAKING OUT AND WENT 'RACING' OUT OF THE AUDIENCE WHILE HANGING ON TO CHAIRS AND PEOPLE BECAUSE I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO FALL OVER AND PASS OUT..THEN I WAS SEEING 'TUNNEL' VISION AND IT SEEMED LIKE IT WAS GETTING DARK...THAT WAS IT...I GRABBED A SECURITY OFFICER IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM AND YELPED FOR AN AMBULANCE AND TOLD HIM I WAS DYING...THEY PUT ME IN THE 'GREEN ROOM'(THIS IS WHERE DR.PHIL AND HIS GUEST SIT BEFORE THE SHOW BEGINS TAPING)THE LOS ANGELOS FIRE DEPT. WAS THERE IN MINUTES AND A 'STUDIO' NURSE WAS AVAILABLE IMMEDIATLY...THANK GOD FOR THE NURSE!! SHE IMMEDIATLY GRABBED MY HANDS AND TOLD ME TO LOOK AT HER IN THE EYES AND BREATHE WITH HER...SO NEXT THING WE DID WAS BREATHE VERY SLOW FOR A FEW MINUTES...AS I REGAINED MY COMPOSURE, THE NURSE AND PARAMEDIC ASKED ME MY MEDICAL HISTORY. I TOLD THEM THE PRESCRIPTIONS I WAS TAKING(NONE FOR THE PANIC ATTACKS AT THE TIME)..THEY TOOK MY PULSE AND BP. BLOOD PRESSURE WAS VERY HIGH...WITH IN 20 MINUTES I WAS BACK TO 'NORMAL', AND VERY EMBARASSED TO SAY THE LEAST. THE NURSE TOLD ME AFTERWARDS THAT SHE KNEW IMMEDIATLY THAT I WAS HAVING A PANIC ATTACK. THAT IS WHY SHE KNEW TO 'DISTRACT' ME WITH HER BREATHING TECHNIQUE; AND TREATED ME WITH VERY MUCH COMPASSION...THAT IN ITS SELF HELPED ME RECOVER QUICKLY...
SO NOW I WILL SAY THIS MUCH HAS HELPED ME IN MY LIFE TODAY...1)EDUCATING MYSELF ON THE DISORDER; SO I UNDERSTAND WHAT MY BODY IS GOING THROUGH..WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR BODY; IT HELPS YOUR MIND...IF YOU HAVE CONTROL OF YOUR MIND...YOU THEN CAN CONTROL YOUR BODY. 2)I TAKE A VERY LOW DOSAGE OF XANAX EXTENDED RELIEF. IT SEEMS TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF OF MY NERVES AND HAVE BARELY HAD A PANIC ATTACK IN 2 YEARS. I KNOW XANAX IS ADDICTING AND NOT A PERMANENT SOLUTION, BUT FOR NOW....IT'S A LIFE SAVER. 3)REGULAR THERAPY AND THE THERAPIST HAS TOUGHT ME TO RELAX MY MIND WHEN I FEEL THE ATTACKS COMING. HE ALSO SHOWED ME A LITTLE TECNIQUE THAT SOUNDS CRAZY BUT ACTUALLY WORKS...WHEN YOU FEEL THE ATTACK COMING; YOU CAN PINCH YOUR FINGER TIPS OR PRESS YOUR FINGER NAIL INTO THE TIP OF YOUR FINGER. JUST DO IT HARD ENOUGH TO DISTRACT YOURSELF FROM THE ATTACK. THE PINCHING OR THE NAIL IN THE FINGER TIPS WILL GIVE YOU A 'PAIN' SIGNAL TO YOUR BRAIN(THIS IS NOT TO HURT YOURSELF IN NO WAY), AND THEN THAT WILL DISTRACT THE PANIC ATTACK FROM COMING ON AS STRONG. 4) LIFT WEIGHTS OR RUN...SOMETHING AS VIGOROUS AS POSSIBLE FOR 10 MINUTES 2XDAILY..IT REALLY HELPS..5) A 'SAFE' PLACE OR SAFE PERSON...I HAVE A FRIEND FOR 10YRS,AND HE GREW UP WITH A YOUNGER BROTHER WITH PANIC DISORDER THAT WAS CRIPPLING FOR HIM. JUST FOR ME TO KNOW THAT MY 'SAFE' FRIEND UNDERSTANDS ME WITH NO JUDGEMENT; MAKES ME FEEL SAFE AND AT EASE TO CALL HIM WHEN I'VE HAD ATTACKS. HE KNOWS WHAT TO SAY AND DO TO HELP CALM ME...
I KNOW I'VE WRITTEN A NOVEL HERE...I TRULY HOPE I'VE GIVEN YOU AND ANYONE ELSE 'SUFFERING' A BIT OF HOPE AND ALSO A GIGGLE(I LAUGH AT MY DR. PHIL STORY).....JUST KNOW THAT YOUR MIND IS THE MOST POWERFUL THING. YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR THOUGHTS. I KNOW IT FEELS AS IF THE ATTACKS ARE REAL(AND WE DO EXPERIENCE THE FEELINGS), BUT TRY AND CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS....YOUR THOUGHTS WILL CONTROL YOUR BODY. ALWAYS TELL YOURSELF THAT YOUR HEALTHY AND ALIVE AND YOUR NOT GOING TO DIE FROM A PANIC ATTACK...JUST RIDE THEM OUT AND 'SELF TALK' WITH POWERFUL ,STRONG MESSAGES TO YOURSELF...IT WORKS!!!! GOOD LUCK!
SORRY...I FORGOT TO MENTION ABOUT THE BIO-FEEDBACK. IT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME AT ALL; NOR DID ANTI-DEPRESSANTS. SEVERAL DOCS HAVE TRIED TO GET ME TO TAKE THEM...I DON'T DO WELL WITH THOSE. FOR YOU...I WOULD LEAVE NO STONE UN TURNED...TRY AND DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN; OFCOURSE WHATEVER YOUR DR. SAYS TO DO..i'VE NOT HAD ALOT OF GREAT LUCK WITH 'MY' HEALTHCARE DOCTORS(AND I HAVE REALLY GOOD INSURANCE), SO I TAKE IT UPON MYSELF TO EDUCATE MYSELF THE BEST I CAN...AND IT SEEMS THAT IS WHY YOU ARE HERE TOO..GOOD LUCK!!
You can make it! Find a good psychologist and get started on some medication, anti-depressents that work for panic (Paxil or one of the older tricyclics). Don't use valium. Xanex will block panic attacks short term. Find someone who does cognitive behavioral therapy. Find out everything you can about anxiety disorders--sounds like you also have some obsessive thoughts which the meds will also help with. Read "The Anxiety Disease" by Dr. Sheehan and anything you can find by Claire Weeks. Find a support group of fellow panic disorder people. Start exercising.
You are not alone. You are not dying. You are not going crazy. You can get better.
I know you said you wanted to do it without medication, but why? It is a chemical imbalance in the brain which medication can fix. If you were diabetic, wouldn't you take medication? If you had strep throat, wouldn't you take anti-biotics? Same difference.
In response to why I would rather not take medication: I have tried 4 different anti-depressants prescribed to me for anxiety, and unfortunately I had more adverse effects from all of them than I was willing to handle. The psychiatrist thought this was a bit unusual in a patient, and stopped trying more medications for me. Aside from other personal reservations against the medications at this point, I don't see them the same way that you do - I feel that diabetes or step throat can be potentially fatal, but that anxiety is not, as disruptive as it is, it's not going to kill me. Of course I will keep my mind open, as I don't want this anxiety to progress to any worse level, but before I go popping pills to solve the problem, I would rather exhaust every other method first.
I can definitely relate with your feelings.Panic attacks are a physical nightmare.I have been experiencing them for about 5 years now.Mine started when I began a regimen for another illness.Now,I have a very hard time getting in crowds and in small places with low ventilation.I was a commercial pilot and I was in the Army before.so this can happen to anybody.The thing that helps me the most is diet and exercise.I also take xanax,but I would not recommend this.i am definitely addicteed to xanax.I know sometimes it is impossible to exercise because the panic attacks leave you totally exhausted.You feel as though you just came off a full combat assault.It kind of leaves you with PTSD.You are so young I really hope you can find a resolve this because you have so much life to live.
Maybe panic won't kill you like diabetes or strep left untreated, but it's just as painful! Sometimes drugs don't work for people, but they do for me, and I couldn't do without them! I don't think I would be better by sheer force of will. I know that panic disorder is classified as a "mental illness", but I am actually very mentally not-ill, and I truly believe the panic disorder is almost all physical/biological.
I respect your decision not to want to use medication, but I would just like to ask you to keep an open mind on the situation, don't be close minded to either option because it may work for you or it may not. Also, realize that not all doctors would recommend someone at your young age to have been on so many different antidepressents, have you seen more than just the one doctor? Another thing, is that if you are overprescribed or put on an antidepressant that doesn't work for you, it can sometimes feel like you are numbed emotionally or that the pills themselves are causing the panic attacks. If this is the case, you should definitely switch medications, but under a doctor's supervision, or wean yourself off slowly and under a doctor's care.
Also, about finding a doctor that will treat you without medication - ANY of them SHOULD be willing to do that, you just have to be firm in your decision and insist they not HARASS you about it. However, even though it is possible, also realize that the doctor is very likely still going to recommend some drug(s), because it is proven to be more successful in treating patients than with therapy alone. Just be open to what they have to say and sincerely make an effort to research the drug and possible side effects and withdrawal symptoms and ask any questions you may have about it BEFORE making a decision. Your doctor should respect your decision, and if he/she doesn't than you should find someone that will - remember it's your body and it's your mind. If you're not feeling like you're being taken seriously, it is only going to hinder you recovery.
I was able to manage my anxiety attacks without medication and you can too, but only if you are willing to work at it. Realize that now that you're off the medication, it might make it harder but only temporarily. You can take control of your body when you are having a panic attack, and know that it will not kill you. Tell yourself that over and over again, and eventually you will believe it (after probably the 1000th time, but it helps anyway before you truly believe it too). Try to find ways to calm yourself, by practicing breathing excercises or meditation or yoga, something that will help your mental ability to cope with the physical discomfort. Realize that the physical aspect of it isn't really that bad, that most of the problem is in your head (stop thinking so much about how fast your heart is beating and instead concentrate on breathing and imagining your somewhere safe and where you are happy). Avoid caffeine, sugar, and try to eat properly and work out if/when you can. These things over time will ensure that you are less likely to experience a panic attack, which is just as important as learning how to deal with one.
Stressing yourself out about your migraines is a problem for you that you should work on with a therapist or in a journal. Find out why you are so scared that you are going to die, and maybe that will help you figure out how to overcome that fear. Remember, fears are all in your head...they come from your brain and your brain is capable of overcoming it as well. It's just going to take some time. I hope I can offer some encouragement to you. I was able to eliminate panic attacks that occurred at least daily since I was 18 to about 20, to less than maybe once or twice per year today. It's all in the way you deal with them in your head - know what they are and realize that it's not going to hurt you, and that you can overcome it with breathing techniques and by getting yourself out of the situation that may have caused it also helps. However, with your agorophobia, I recommend tackling that problem AFTER you accomplish controlling your panic attacks. If you can successfully begin to control your panic attacks, then you will be able to successfully deal with your agorophobia. Just remember, to take it slow, and deal with one thing at a time - I wouldn't try to get over your biggest fears until you definitely have a good grip on your panic attacks.
Remember, the key is not to FEAR them (I know, it's easier said than done, but just tell yourself over and over that noone has ever died from a panic attack). After you realize it is simply a reaction your body is having, you can rationally think and breathe yourself out of one with practice. Good luck!
I am 45 years old and had my first panic attack at 19. I spent the next 21 years fighting against many symptons. It changed the entire path I was set on in my life. I lived with my parents until I was 25. I want to assure you that I have gone through all the same symptoms as others here. I know that realizing others have the same things, makes one realize that you are not crazy or will die from this. I used to plan every second of my day, every move I would make etc. Now, I live a fearfree life and can be spontaneous and I no longer plan my driving routes, shop late at night, fear falling asleep,thinking I am having a heart attack, becoming a ' regular' at the ER..we all know the symptoms and how awful they are. The majority of people who suffer from panic/agoraphobia are intelligent and kind souls. We are extra aware of our surroundings. I went through the gammit of treatments. I would like to share the one thing that finally put me on my path to recovery. That was a wonderful doctor who spent weeks with a group of panic suffers explaing how our bodies work. It is the single thing that ended my downward slope into despair. I learned what excess oxygen does to the body. We hyper-ventilate and that results in us having too much oxygen in our body. Our muscles need oxygen to work but too much and our muscles try to correct the problem. So, the stomach muscles start to cramp in an attempt to burn off that excess oxygen. We get nausceous. That's a good thing and means our bodies are doing exactly as they were designed to do. We may get shaky legs. The muscles in our legs notice extra oxygen and want to burn it off so they shake to bring the levels back to normal..a good and healthy sign the body is working as it should. Chest pain, the heart is a muscle. Too much oxygen? The heart says " whoa, let me pump this extra oxygen off here for my owner :-)..completely normal and exactly as it is designed to do. So many things to share. I learned about deep breathing and the need to breathe deeply by ensuring my tummy rises and not my chest. We need that because our bodies need the chemicals that are in the bottom portion of the lungs. Ever watched a baby sleep? Their little tummies go up and down and not their chests. It took me awhile to understand so many things our perfectly designed bodies do. I began by the proper breathing. I remember one day, sitting at a traffic light, I began to feel a panic attack coming . I began tapping my hands on the wheel with the radio blarring, I tapped my foot and bounced my legs, began bopping my head to the music....the panic never came. It was then that i knew I was onto something. At home, when panic reared it's ugly head, i would do jumping jacks or run on the spot. My muscles were happy and so was I. The panic never came. I also knew that if I was having a heart attack, I would not have been able to run or do jumping jacks. If in public,where running was not an option, I bounced my legs. That is what my body wanted and needed. Sorry for the long post. The reason i came across this site is this. I was at my desk at work today and my eyesight went weird on me. Those old feelings of " here we go again" came. I instantly began to deep breathe and waited for a few minutes and watched as colored lights flashed my vision. I went to the doctor and have been told it was an ophthalmic migraine..no pain associated with it. Years ago, that would have sent me into total panic/fear. I read up on it, accepted that it may happen again and instead of panic, i will enjoy the light show :-)I apologize for the long post. Please know, I am happy to share anything that will help someone else. My recovery is something I am most proud of in my life. I take it one day at a time. I did not get better over night. It was a slow process of learning how my body works and accepting how it helps us although we see the symptoms as cruel.
fearfree - thank you for this reply, reading it helped me a bunch. I am so happy to hear that you battled these panic attacks and are now less panicky, it gives me lots of hope. For the past year, my panick attacks have been centered around having an anyeurism, for no good reason. I am a migraine sufferer, and the migraines make the pain feel more real. I often thought that going to the doctor to get reassurance that I do not have an anyeurism would allay my panic, but this was not the case, as I have had a CT scan, an MRI with dye injection and the advice of two doctors, and I sit here now afraid that the feeling of weakness in my right side is indicative of an anyeurism yet to blow. What you are saying makes a lot of sense to me, that knowing how your body works can help you understand why you and I panic. I have found a program that worked for my cousin, that also explains these things, and I am going to start it in a couple of weeks, so hopefully this will help. Thanks again for your reply. :)
I have anxiety but not panic disorder or agoraphobia. I have social anxiety disorder, ptsd, and ocd. I have been also told by my last psychologist he couldn't give me anything for anxiety. Side effects, and my history of drug/ alcohol abuse. But as part of his treatment i did dialectical behavior therapy which is for ppl with bpd and alot of it focused on breath work and exposure therapy and as part of the therapy i was told i had to volunteer because i was not leaving the house and now i volunteer 2 days a week and i love it. I'm looking for a support group for anxiety when my eating disorder group ends and i get more freed up. My current therapist is teaching me breathing and awareness techiques. I guess i'm just trying to say that maybe your like won't be perfect if you don't take meds but i feel happy and busy and it's what drives me to want to get better medication free!
I started having panic atacks a year ago after my kids dad died. I was a victim of domestic violence and he was my abuser. I have been in therapy for over a year. I have fear of driving in my car, going to church, going to the doctor etc., but I go anyway and panic. My biggest downfall is I think to much about anxiety and what it can do to me. I'm scared of the panicing and embarassed I can't get control of it. Do you or anyone else have advice for me.
I hope you have a good therapist. Reading and researching as much as you can about anxiety disorders and depression is essential! The more you know, the better off you are. If you can find a support group of others with the same issues, it can be very helpful. It's awful to feel like you're the only one dealing with panic! Knowing that others have been where you are really is comforting. Make sure it's not just a "trading symptoms" group but one that really works on techniques for making you better and giving you support. Personally, I think medication is important, but to each his own. Believe me, you can get better. And, in some ways, you'll be better for having suffered. I know that sounds weird and way too "positive thinking" but, for me, it's true. Good luck!
I have had severe allergies and asthma all of my life. I'll be 41 on 5/12. I've had them under control unitl I moved to Austin, Texas (allergy capitol of the world) 4 years ago. I developed panic attacks and agoraphobia in my 30s, but seem to have them under control with diet, breathing and supplements.
I had to take Prednisone two to three times a year since my move. Three weeks ago I took it for 8 days starting with 80mg decreasing 10mg per day. My body reacted completely opposite of the way it usually does when I take it. I'm suffering from insomnia, lost weight, I'm anxious, having headaches (first migraine in 6 years), and worst of all I'm having panic attacks daily (especially if I go out in the heat-even momentarily). My doctor gave me Xanax. I don't like it, never have. I can't sleep well with it. I'm only taking 1/8mg and it puts me out. Has anyone heard of Prednisone causing anxiety and panic? How long does it take to get out of your system? What can you do? I'm at wits end and have to leave work everyday because I'm using Benadryl to calm me down. Help!
Okay, just a request for other's opinions on panic disorders. Please feel free to agree or disagree, as I will not be offended and can often have my mind changed. I am only stating what I am thinking, not necessarily what I believe 100%.
My Opinion of Anxiety Today:
In one way, it seems like it would be much easier for people today who have just begun to suffer from anxiety attacks to overcome them since there is so much publicity and talk about it, that nearly everyone will be able to know what they actually experienced, probably not the first time, but soon thereafter. Just ask a few friends, look up information on the internet, listen to the anxiety ads on the radio or tv. And since fear is the biggest proponent of overcoming anxiety attacks, defining the disorder and learning that it is not harmful, but merely uncomfortable (I do know, it can be extremely unconformtable, but really it's not the worst thing in the world you will ever feel physically). The real problem with anxiety attacks is not the physical, but the mental aspect of it. The more you give into the scary feelings, the more you end up feeling scared, and the worse the panic attack gets, as well as lasting much longer and happening more often since you also become fearful of having another one. Thus, you're constantly in a state of stress which is promoting additional attacks. But today, the cure seems to be automatically to push drugs and not relaxation techniques. That is why I think it is actually harder for people to overcome it now days because the drugs only mask the problem, or create a bigger problem. It's not a true solution. On the other hand, when I first started getting panic attacks in 1993, in a small town where every new development seemed to take an extra 5-10 years to catch up to us, panic attacks were not only unheard of, but there wasn't even the term panic attack. I wasn't offered medication for my problem because I didn't even know what my problem was. That was the scariest thing for me. To have an anxiety attack hit me was horrifying because I didn't know what it was, nor could I tell anyone because they would think I was crazy or just being dramatic. I really thought something physical was wrong with me and that I might die, which made for truly awful attacks on a nearly daily basis for approximately 1-2 years. As a result, I ended up self medicating with alcohol or drugs. But my answer didn't finally come until a few years later when a major campaign began on panic attacks that I overheard on the radio or tv. I finally understood what I was experiencing and I recognized that now I could take control of it because I was no longer fearful of my life, but wanting instead to reclaim my life. It took several years of work, but I ended up fixing myself in a way that no medicine can. So, in that sense, I think it may have been easier to deal with the disease when there was no other quick fix but to deal with it mentally.
hey you i came apone this web site through google and your letter was the first thing i read,,,, oh my god i have the same thing you do im 26 i had this foever but just got bad in my 20s im now on effexor and im doing much better i still dont travel but i would pretty much not leave my house my comfort zone beacsue i thought i was ganna have a anyursym cant spell..lol i would not think of anything else but that like i was just ganna drop dean from one i had a older brother whom died from one when i was the age of 4 he died suddenly from one with no headaches no nothing,,,, then i guess its always been in my mind that that was going to happen to me,,, now as im on meds i dont think about it at all before i couldnt even talk about it with out having an attack thinking ok whens it going to happen to me its really ruined my life i also feel like what if i pass out very strange to explaine but you sounded alot like me, nice to see were not alone i guess,,, im also a waitress and i ahve 2 great kids and a husban but i still cant travel far or go in to the bush camping as i think something bad well happen and then what? if u care to caht my email is ***@****
Hello..I am 23 years old and female.I am of healthy weight, and always had a normal social life.Then,I got a new jow when I was 19, and after the training driving back home (2 hour drive in heavy traffic)I felt like I couldnt breathe,and was going to faint or have a heart attack.Luckily,my friend was traveling with me and drove the rest of the way home..and I went to the emergency room.They checked me for everything and I went home undiagnosed!!They had no clue as to what was going on with me.They done an EKG and said my heart was GREAT!
This went on for about another year or so, and I still had no idea what was going on. All I knew is #1.I didn't want to go out to eat anymore. #2.I felt dizzy alot at work especially when we had busy moments (I was working 2 jobs 65 hours a week,7 days a week&planning my wedding all)...Well,the day of my wedding, instead of enjoying it,I wanted to hurry and leave and get it over with,because the whole time I just wanted to pass out!I also quit a job, and was working 5 days a week 40 hours a week,and having the same symptoms.
I hadn't really discussed my symptoms with anyone, but me and a different friend got to discussing my issues.She too, had the EXACT SAME SYMPTOMS AS I DID..and she informed me it was probably a panic attack!I looked it up,and done months of online research and found the answer was just that!panic attacks.This would explain of the night time feling antsy,heart palpitations,quivering leg,ancd the feeling I may die soon (which could also be cause because my mom died at age 22)
I called a local doctor and told them my symptoms, and they told me that yes,it was panic attacks and they pulled up my chart and wanted me to come get some samples of anxiety/depression meds. I never went and got the samples..as I am scared of meds.and I know 2 people who was on the same med and killed theirselves!
So,after 4 years I am still having the attacks and would love to just stay at home all the time..but I force myself to go places (other than work) but, I still don't go out to eat..and walking into Wal-Mart through the doors, I always feel anxious..but I am trying to deal with it in my own way....with out the help of meds..or a shrink...
I with everyone here good luck with their attacks...as I know exactally what your going through.If anyone wants to be my "panic partner" you may message me on yahoo or msn my name is kiwidew69 on yahoo and ***@**** on msn... or you can email me at that address...Thanks for listening guys.
I've had agorophobia for going on ten years(i'm 31 )
just some thoughts that occured to of late:
if anything ever scares me again in my life (most common one is being chased by a particularly angry dog) all the same chemicals and the emotions that come with fear will surge through my body.i cannot protect my self from this as it is a natural reaction.
this in its self should terrify me as i spend a good part of my day dreading these same symptons, but it doesn't???
so why do i spend every waking hour avoiding things that could trigger some thing that is destined to come any how.
understanding that it is a reaction is relavent too,at the height of anxiety i would never be able to say the exact second the sinking feeling and need to flee will strike like an electric flash.the reason for this is it is a reaction and it happens without our control.we tell our brain we are in danger over and over untill it eventually believes it and presses the turbo button.but we don't have our finger on the button.in my opinion beathing exercises only trick us into thinking we are actually having to fight something inorder for it to not occur.
if we feel so weakened and defenseless against future attacks surely this means we are deffinately going to experience a few more before any cure arrives.so why not decide to experience the next without trying to fight for control of it .or atleast be willing to go through the first 30 seconds of it without any defense stratergy.who knows it could help ???
i felt the other day that the anxiety i feel for hours prior to any panicing episode is far worse than the episode could ever be.
previously i've been tempted to go to a ER with symptons but i know even with reassurance i'll go on experiencing these episodes.and also my going there may
prevent help getting to someone who is not scared of living and is having a real threat to their life.when they get out they will go on living every day to the full and what right does someone with a phobia(look up definition of phobia)have to interfere with this.
homophobics fear homosexuality
personally homosexuals don't raise my adrenaline unless they are waving a gun and i doubt then i would be thinking much about who they prefer kissing.
zenophobics fear outsiders
outsiders invented pasta,they make my sneakers,they pick pick my coffee,they invented words i use .so i hold no fear of them
agorphobics fear things that are outside thier control without knowing they don't need to control it.
every agorophobic imagines what may come to be far worse than it ever can be
imagination is a powerful tool and a lot better put to other uses other than imagining a time when one can no longer use it.it's like walking through a dark haunted forrest to get to a cinema where they are showing scary films.
I just got out of the hospital yesterday because I swore up and down I was dying. For the past 5 months I have had stuffy ears, ringing in the ears, tingling and numbness in my arms and back and head. I read a lot of med website, and this all started around Feb. when the big Swiss report about overuse of cellphones causing tumors came out. I am a serious cell user! I mean serious, and I began to think that I had talked my ear off and sealed my fate. I just had a baby 10 months ago, so that doesn't help. I also just got married 9 months ago, just moved into a new home 9 months ago, and am a full-time college student and the daughter of a hyper critical Harvard grad.
Since the birth of my son, I have been to the ER numerous times for "heart attack", "shortness of breath", and before his birth "preterm labor". A few days ago things got really bad. I came home from a walk with my husband and son, and got on mehelp to read about, brain tumors of course. Suddenly, I began getting hot and panicky. I told my husband to take my son and I jumped in the shower. After that, I went to bed without eating. I woke up at 8am, I am also a stay at home mom, with severe weakness in my body. Isn't that a symptom of a tumor or lupus? That's all I could think about. I began shaking and had no choice but to crawl on the floor to get to the bathroom. I crawled back into my room, somehow managed to get my son, and we crawled on the floor together into the kitchen where I preceeded to try to eat some food. As soon as I touched the food, I began throwing up. I managed to crawl to the phone and call my husband to come home. By the time he arrived I was laying flat on my back, my son beside me, moaning. I thought I would die right on that floor. My husband had to carry me to the car I was so weak and sick.
When I got to the ER I was throwing up left and right, further dehydrating myself, not to mention, I hadn't eaten at this point in 1.5 days. I did the CT scan, MRI, blood test, EKG, all normal. As soon as I got my diagnosis, suddenly my 5 month long headache and earache went away. It is clear I have severe anxiety, and have been diagnosed every time I go to the doctor or ER, with anxiety. I now believe the doctors. When I got home yesterday from the hospital, I went to Whole Foods market and got some Bach's Rescue Remedy whichc can be used as needed. I have felt perfect all day long and have heard wonderful things about it. It is a botanical, not a medicine. I have had anxiety since I was little. I used to throw up every first day of school up to the 11th grade, and I was prom queen and student class president. Hang in there. I think this can happen to anyone. My husband also had severe anxiety attacks at around my age. I am 23, he is 28, and no longer has them and managed them by reading books about self-control and breathing exercises.
Good luck. Sounds like things are rough for you right now. I know "change" often precipitates panic for me--even good change. Keep reading all you can. Do you have a therapist? You could probably benefit from one. And/or a good support group. Keep in touch.
hi im 46 and i started having anxiety attacks about 1 1/2 years ago around the time of my moms passing, but after many dr. visits hes decided they are from pre-menopause i used to get them durning the day at work and more than once went to the hospital and urgent care thinking i was having a heart attack. but over the last 4 months or so i only get them at night,bad i get the chest pains and am sure im going to die i stay up all night. im on xanax for day attacks and adivan for pm but nothing works all the time im driving my husband crazy(this is just one of many pre-menopause symptons i have)ive heard you can control them with breathing, dose anyone know about this,? im scarred most of the time, this has become an obsession just waiting for the next attack. i feel like im afraid to live and this has taken over my life,do i need a shrink ? or anti-depressants? someone suggested yoga? i will try anything at this point i havent slept without pills for over 1 1/2 years. any advise would be great just knowing im not alone is helpful.
I am 50 years old and while i have had panic attacks on and off for over 34 years, I am in a pre-menopause state and experience hot flashes that brings on rapid heart rate. Now if I don't control it and understand what is going on, I will have a panic attack.
It seems that you are going through a similar situation. I was prescribed xanax several months ago, and after taking them for a few months, I stopped in Feb 2006. It was rough getting off of them but I did. I still have xanax and taken a few over the last 5 months (maybe 4 total) and I don't have withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms at all. I had a few family crisis and it made me so upset, I took a .25mg. Just didn't have the strength to focus on dealing with panic if it should arise at that time.
Xanax is great for that occassional crisis, but should never be taken regularly, it is addictive and is difficult (but definitely not impossible) to stop. When stopping it does cause 10 times the anxiety that you experienced when starting them. Hopefully while you are on them, you are getting help to overcome panic. You will need to apply the techniques you've learned when weaning off of them.
The best thing to do when you are experiencing panic is to deep breath through your stomach. Shallow breathing through your chest will cause hyperventalation. Tense and release your muscles will help you calm down as well. It is important to understand panic and what brings it on, then you can work to resolve and stop it.
Valium has a bad reputation, however it is helpful for panic attacks, and, outside of the fact it makes you mentally sluggish, it doesn't have any really bad side effects. Of all the psychoatric drugs, valium is probably the most inoffensive. Panic attacks are very real and terrifying, but they sometimes spontaneously disappear, so the fact you have this problem now does not mean you will necessarily have it for life.
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