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Need support for panic attacks.

I've been having severe episodes of panic ever since I've been experiencing sinus tachycardia for the past 13 months or so.  Initially the rapid heartrate came on perhaps twice a month and then got worse.  I've been thoroughly checked out by several cardiologists.  I've had an echo done, been twice on halter monitors for 30 days each time, had blood work done and everything came out normal.  The heart monitor showed that I had inappropriate sinus tachycardia, meaning that i would get the rapid heartrate out of the blue while resting.  I was told that it isn't dangerous and that they don't know what causes it.  I was told that it could be unconscious stress. Ever since i've been having these rapid heart beat episodes, i've developed high anxiety and panic attacks and having catastrophysing thoughts such as I'm going to have a heart attack, i'm going to faint, i'm going to die, my heart is going to stop on me.  I get tingly sensations in my arms and legs, I feel like I can't breathe.  I'm especially panicky with driving since the rapid heartrate has happened several times while driving.  I am starting to avoid going places because i'm scared something is going to happen to me.  I just want my normal life back.  I recently switched from paxil to lexapro and i guess i need to give lexapro some time to adjust to my system.  I'm wondering if there are others who are or have experienced what i'm going through.  It's so hard for those who don't experience it to even understand me.  I sometimes feel like I'm going crazy, like I'm losing it.  Please let me know if  you have experienced panic attacks, then how have you learned to cope with them, and if anyone has experienced rapid heart rate and if anxiety could be the cause for it.  I really need support.  thanks.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
The tingly feeling is DEFINITELY from stress, I get this all the time. I, too, also have hypochondriac thoughts. I find that having hypochondria also makes us more in tune with our body. Seriously, if I get an itch I freak out. I think the best thing to do is talk to a close friend or relative. I do this often and then I realize how ridiculous I sound worrying about things. Once you say it out loud and you realize you're going to be okay, it makes the coping easier.
Avatar universal
Panic attacks will make you feel and think you are dying.  I know because I had them so bad I became housbound for the most part, and only after I started getting them at home did I seek help.  They are very frightening.  You know your heart is fine, so this you can relax about.  What happens with a panic attack is the same thing that happens if you are in a very serious situation where you feel the need to fight or run.  For some reason the brain senses we are in a "fight or flight mode" and rushes adrenaline throughout our bodies to give us the energy to do what we need to do.  Since we are not in this mode the adrenaline has nothing to work on and it causes these panic attacks, with the pounding heart, nervousness, sweating, etc.  It's a very normal thing coming at the wrong time. The best thing you can do is start doing something physical to give the adrenaline something to work on, and keep talking yourself down by saying "I'm okay, this is a normal response coming at the wrong time, and will pass."  I had to go on medication for mine with great success.  Try therapy to learn how to cope with this, as I'm sure your very anxious over your tachycadia.  Also, pay close attention to your breathing.  When we're anxious we tend to breathe more shallow, so breathe slowly in thru your nose, and slowly out of your mouth 8-10 times. Your anxiety will make your heart beat faster, so getting this under control will help immensely.  Take care....
Avatar universal
Hi Mammo and NervousChick90,

I want to thank you very much for your support.  My God, i felt the worst panic attacks today.  I don't know if it's due to the fact that I have recently changed from Paxil to Lexapro as an antidepressant since my physciatrist thought that the Paxil could be causing the sinus tachycardia.  I've been on Lexapro and off the Paxil for 10 days now.  So today, I was talking to a co-worker feeling fine and she was giving me support so had a nice lunch time with her.  And then after eating lunch with her for no reason at all, my heart starts accelerating again.  It got up to 124.  So then, I tried to calm down, went to my staff meeting, I had to walk out of the meeting since I still wasn't feeling well.  Then heartrate went down, then went back into the meeting.  Then, while back in mtg. the heartrate went up again, then felt weakness on my face and right arm and felt like I would pass out and i couldn't concentrate.  so i started to freak out and freak out those around me and they called an ambulance for me.  So i went to the hospital and everything came out normal.  so i was discharged and went home.  well i live with my parents at the moment.  so went home, while going home felt the funny sensation on my face again and felt like i couldn't concentrate.  so i started to panic while home.  like really panic, feeling like i had to go back to a hospital.  worst thing is that my parents don't understand the panic i'm going through so they get angry and make things worse.  I finally took some Klonopin and that really has calmed me down.  I'm wondering if either of you have experienced like a weakness sensation or sensation where you feel like you will pass out ; like you are losing control; and then the reality of it i think is extreme panic.  it's soooo hard to deal with.  thank you so much for your support.  tomorrow, i go see the arrythmia doctors and hope to get some type of answer.  i know i'm not crazy but i feel crazy with the intense panic i've been feeling lately and i have no one to talk to who has gone through the same thing.  i greatly appreciate your support.  
Avatar universal
The other thing i want to mention is now I feel embarassed going back to work.  I mean I've been taken to the hospital several times from the office and from home because of these rapid heartrates and the panic.  Especially after today and then it coming out normal, i feel like what will i tell my co-workers.  I shouldn't care though since health is number 1.  do either of you ever have these types of feelings? like feel guilty because of your symptoms and feel like it's your fault but it really isn't but just the illness.  I mean i know it's my genetic makeup and there's nothing i can do for it and the medicine does seem to help except I think that the change is resulting very hard for my body to adjust.  Please let me know how you cope with these feelings.  Thanks again and you have my support as well.
Avatar universal
What medicine did you find helped?  As i wrote, I'm on Lexapro at the moment.  thanks again! Klonopin helps me too.
Avatar universal
Hello,

2 months ago, I started experiencing panic attacks. It started when I thought I was having a heart attack because my heart was beating very fast. For the next weeks after that I had some panic attacks, with fast heart rate, sweating, and difficulty breathing. And almost all day everyday I would fell lightheaded and scared I was going to pass out at any moment. I went to the doctor twice: blood work, ekg...everything normal. I felt like I was going to go crazy and I would never get back to normal.

I'll give you some tips I used to overcome them. Sometimes I still feel lightheaded and I'm still a pulse checker, but the life is pretty much back to normal. Medicine isn't needed. It's probably best to stay way from it actually.
-Deep breath to deal with your heart racing and just tell yourself it will be okay. I mean if it's an everyday occurrence. One day it will probably hit you that nothing bad is going to happen.
-I kept up exercising(even though I would check my heartrate on the treadmill the whole time I was running) after many days of dealing with this I just stopped becoming concerned because the same thing happened everytime. Stay healthy-take a multivitamin.
-Find people who support you. Friends or family or maybe even a phone line. They can also tell you you'll be fine, it helps. Also just CRY if you feel the need to. I was becoming so upset with my anxiety I bawled in front of my parents and it felt alot better.
-Keep your mind off of it. Run around, talk to people anything like that. Find things to look foward to concerts, vacations, etc.
-These sites can be really good for support, but sometimes it's just better to stay away from them. I was always on here constantly searching for answers and ways to get better. I finally backed away from that and it actually helped.
-Get out and do stuff...don't let the panic keep you reclusive. If you face it, you'll overcome it.

Good Luck!! You can do it!
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