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Unexplained blackouts
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Unexplained blackouts

I blacked out 3 months ago and was unconcious for 1 hour following this. I was finding it difficult to breath and my body went into spasm. I woke up in hospital 1 hour later! Since then I have been feeling unwell. I now suffer with a constant headache which at times can be severe, nausea, dizziness, weakness especially in my legs, palpitations, blurred vision, tunnel vision, sensitivity to light and noise and a number of other symptoms. Last week I again blacked out but only for a few seconds whilst driving my car. This panicked me and I exdperienced a severe panic attack which resulted in me phoning the ambulance. Mr blood tests are normal and so were the 2 ECGS. I am awaiting an MRI scan, any ideas what could be causing this?
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Hi, Thank you for your question. Most likely possibility in your case could be a panic or anxiety disorder that you have faced during last event and currently experiencing. Cause of such panic disorder mostly remain unknown but in this disorder you may feel symptoms like shortness of breath, feeling of choking, pain in the chest, nausea, stomach ache, feeling dizzy, tingling or numbness, chills /hot flashes, bounding heartbeat or fast heart rate, sweating, shaking etc. even without any underlying disorder. This disorder needs to be thoroughly assessed by a psychiatrist first since this can occur repeatedly and without warning.  Treatments may include psychological and drug treatments, and depend upon extent of severity of symptoms. Most commonly psychological treatment tried is counseling, relaxation techniques and sometimes cognitive behavior therapy. ************** depends upon treating the underlying depressive illness through anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medicines.  In addition, try to rest in a dark & quiet room, meditate, have a balanced diet, regularly exercise and avoid taking unnecessary non prescription drugs to avoid recurrence of symptoms. Hope this helps!!

Your symptoms and experiences do not appear to me to be in any way related to a panic attack. I would suggest that the possibility of your problems being due to depressive illness are as remote as you having been abducted by space aliens.

Loss of consciousness is not a problem to be addressed by Freud. As far as I'm concerned, if you believe in Freud you start with a "D" and work your way down.

Sensitivity to light and noise is often (NOT always) a hallmark of a bleed within the brain. Not a problem with potty training.

And MRI scan is indicated, as well as a dye contrast MRA. The MRA emphasizes blood flow patterns. These two scans will rule out structural issues.

As much as I dislike CT's, if both MRI and MRA are negative I would get a CT. Plus a spinal fluid sample. But that will be up to your physicians.

A "panic attack" is sometimes brought on when the body senses there is something life-threatening going on. This event could be actual (robbers in the apartment) or a failure of primary life support systems. You know, like on the Starship Enterprise when the Borg show up. The panic is secondary to the life-threatening event.

There is often a genetic componant, as well as a co-factor.

Loss of consciousness is very serious.

Parts of the brain are shutting down. This could be due to an electrical storm, which happens with epilepsy, or an intermittant interuption of the blood supply causing momentary ischemia. In the case of an electrical storm scenario medications and certain food additives (notoriously the sweetener Aspartame) have been known to induce these irregularities. The problem is generally not non-prescription drugs, but prescription drugs.

Make a list of every medication you have been taking and look up side effects in the PDR (Physician's desk reference).

A diet free from additives, daily exposure to sunlight, and avoidance of antigens (chemicals) would be a good start. Then a period of watchful waiting.

If there is another loss of consciousness you must immediately go to an ER because EEG irregularities may only take place within a short window of time.

Your driving days are over until you have had at least a year of siezure free activity.

A visit to a psychiatrist does not seem to me to be indicated.

I would seek a good teaching hospital with a program in neurology.
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