Does anyone here think or know if panic attacks could be associated with MS? Just wondering. I started having them for no apparent reason a little over two years ago and as mysteriously as they started.....they went away.
MS does effect the brain and make us more susceptable to depression and anxiety. I believe they say a panic attack is acute anxiety, so it can be a factor. Atleast thats what my MD told me. I had some very severe anxiety when diagnosed. And probably have GAD now. I take sertraline.
Thanks for the input Jon. I was having them before I ever new anything about having MS. About two years before and they seemed to have stopped about two months or so before my diagnosis. Do you think MS could be the cause of panic attacks?
Hi, I have to agree with Jon. Although it is possible that the panic attacks "could" have been an expression of MS, I have seen nothing that has ever listed them as a known part of MS. But, as Jon also said, MS is known to cause depression and anxiety. I can understand someone with a tendency toward anxiety developing panic attacks when they suddenly had quite frightening symptoms.
I think the answer to your question is "possibly," but without any real evidence to support it.
I was having what felt like panic attacks last year. They happened when I was in situations that didn't feel stressful. I was experiencing symptoms, but I'm experiencing symptoms right now, and I don't feel panicked. So I'm not sure.
So it's either that I was experiencing symptoms that resembled a panic attack (rapid heartrate, shortness of breath) or that i was having a panic attack. I suspect the panicky symptoms were a result of the MS, but I'm still not sure to this day if I was actually panicked. My shortness of breath has returned, but fortunately the heartrate is back to normal.
The original question was if panic attacks alone can be indicative of a neurological problem, and I think that Q has been well-addressed.
But on the topic of panic attacks, I wanted to share my experience, where my symptoms triggered panic in me.
For me, I have lots of weird and uncomfortable sympomts. Sometimes, my symtpoms flare up during the day. This can be because maybe I am sitting still in an uncomfy chair, or maybe I get too hot, or whatever.
I think my sx have set off panic attacks in me before. Note, I have no history of panic attachs, I have only had them when my symptoms start to get crazy! Lucklly, I have some dear friends with anxiety disorder who have told me before what it is like. So I knew what was happening, and was able to cope. I'll share a story, in case anyone can relate, or if it may help someone:
I was at a seminar and was in the middle of a full row of seats. The size of the chair mixed with my size and the occupied seats around me meant that I couldn't move much! When I'm still for too long, a lot of my paresthesias can get worse. On this day, I was also suffering from "hot head," where my head feels like it is heating up and building pressure. All of this got worse during the talk, but I couldn't leave or move without being very rude to those around me.
My heart started to beat faster, and the tingling in my feet and hands got really strong. I also felt like the room was getting darker. Thankfully, I recognized that my body was starting to panic!
I closed my eyes and concentrated on slow breathing. I also told myself that I would be OK, I was in a room full of people, so even if I did have an emergency, people were there to call for help.
I got my breathing and heart rate to slow down, and soon, my sx dropped down to their "normal" level. I kinda missed the point of the seminar, but all in all, I was glad to have controlled the situation.
I think it's important to keep in mind that when you body is doing "weird" things, you are at higher risk for a panic response. This doesn't mean anxiety is the root of your problem--instead, it is a normal, built-in human repsonse to stressful, potentially dangerous situations!
This PSA was brought to you by Wonko. I hope others don't ever get panic attacks from their symptoms, but if they do, I hope they too can recognize it and come through OK!
Mine appeared to start for no reason what so ever and just as mysteriously as they arrived.......they disappeared. I never felt afraid or nervous in the situations I was in when they started to happen. I thought the whole thing was weird.
You can use medication such as lorazopam along with therapy. They can teach you breathing techniques as well as guided imagery. Your brain can't think of two things at once so if you learn to think of something else you can calm your system down. It is not easy by any means. I do not have panic attacks. I do have painful diaphragm spasms which last two hours and are really painful I hurt and can't breath. I use mindfulness meditation, breathing, and distraction techniques.
It also helps to learn what triggers the panic attack. If you catch it before it is full blown it helps. Also learning to avoid situations that bring them on until you can deal with them better.
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