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Increase in panic/anxiety attacks

Over the past month or so I have experienced a recent increase in anxiety attacks - the first one resulted in me going to the emergency room after feeling dizzy and then having a full blown attack. I then had one on holiday (at a time when I was not stressed at all) and over the past 4 days I have had one a day. I am now getting scared to be out in public as they seem to happen at any time, regardless of whether or not I am in a stressful situation.

I have no idea what is triggering them, but I can tell when I am about to have one; tension in my neck, headaches, dehydration - this then causes me to panic more and I can't stop thinking about it.

Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with these? I am 25 years old and I'm scared that if I don't do something about it I will end up not wanting to ever leave the house.
3 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
I'm really sorry that this happens to you.  Panic attacks feel horrible and are scary!  I understand.  And then yes, you are afraid to go out and about for fear it is going to happen.  Hon, it's time to see a doctor.  For panic, a psychiatrist would be ideal (although often you do have to start with your primary care doctor who can give you recommendations or refer you and get you in faster).  Medication can work very well to control panic attacks.  Sometimes there does not need to be a trigger in life for a panic attack.  And statistics show if you have more than one, you'll likely keep having them.  So, please do follow up.  Therapy and medication is really the best combination for panic disorder.  Do not be afraid of going down this road.  You may hear a horror story or two (or three) but in general, medications used for panic have improved the lives of so many people.  They can live again and I want this for you!  To not live in fear of a panic attack.  You'll still have emotions and ups and downs but not as intense and hopefully without a full blown panic attack.  

Let me know if you contact a doctor or what your thoughts are. I'm here to help!
Avatar universal
First, it's not a fact that a combination of therapy and medication is the "best" way to deal with anxiety attacks.  Because nobody yet has figured out why these occur in the first place biologically -- we don't know what causes them -- and because medication can make therapy not desired by people who think the problem is "fixed" when medication works, which is only some of the time, and also can alter the brain to a point where it's unlikely anything but medication will work for some people, there is risk involved in taking medication.  This is true for all medication, and especially those affecting brain neurotransmitters.  The fact as we know it is, medication works about 30% of the time and so does therapy in the case of CBT, the only form of therapy that lends itself to double blind studies and the one most often recommended for anxiety treatment.  While Mom has benefitted most from this combination, others benefit most from therapy because when it works you're done with your problem.  Medication can't do that, at least not the ones we have now.  If the problem is bad enough, I agree that medication becomes necessary, but we do need to reassure people that there are many ways to skin a cat, not just one.  None have been proven "best."  Some are riskier than others.  But that's a different story than what's being reported here.  Anxiety attacks often seem to come from nowhere, but they are most often triggered by something your brain has decided is going to make you anxious.  If you're getting symptoms with nothing in your life facing you that's become hard for you to do, and it's happening every day, the first thing I'd do is see my doctor and get a very very thorough check-up to see if this is something physiological rather than anxiety attacks.  After all, if they're not anxiety attacks but something else, neither therapy nor medication for anxiety is going to help much.  Peace.
1 Comments
I should add, so as not to discourage people, that the 30% figure can be improved.  With therapy, it's improved by trying different therapists until you find one you click with.  With meds, it can be improved by adding meds, to about 50%.  Not great odds, but you'll be trying different forms of therapy and different meds, so that greatly increases the odds of finding something that does work.  
973741 tn?1342346373
Bottom line sweetie, you need help.  And that is most likely going to require a doctor specializing in mental health disorders, medication and therapy to overcome panic that is keeping you in your home.  Don't be afraid of that as while it is trial and error to find the best combination for you, it's the path to helping you have a better life.  I'm here if you need any help or an ear to talk to.  
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Arlington, VA
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