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Avatar universal

Paranoia and Panic Attacks

I have been having paranoia attacks a week before my period for 12 years and have learned to deal with them.  However, these attacks have become full blown panic attacks for the past year.  I have not been able to talk myself out of these attacks like the paranoia.  My gynecologist does not believe that these attacks could be hormonal but I am not convienced.  I only have these attacks right before my period.

I'm not sure what kind of doctor I should try and see or what I should say when asked why I need to see the doctor.  Is this even covered by insurances?
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Danielle,

The symptoms you are discribing may be Premenstrual Dysphoric
Disorder (PMDD).  PMDD is the name given to the widely varying group of symptoms that affect some women in the week or two prior to their menstrual cycle. These symptoms afflict 2-9% ofwomen at least some of the time, generally occurring one week to several days before menstruation. Symptoms must include a mood symptom (depression, irritability, nervous tension)and may include: fatigue, changes in sleep or appetite, breast tenderness, headache, water retention, bloating, cramps, backache, crying spells, and others.
It is only recently that PMDD has been respected as a physical and psychological reality. The exact cause of PMDD, and what causes different symptoms in different women, is unknown. There are different theories, but most seem to agree that the
rising and falling levels of various hormones may be the root of or at least part of  the problem.
The symptoms you describe, paranoia and panic are atypical of the
normal range of symptoms for PMDD, but considering the timing of the symptoms you may have PMDD.
A panic attack is an episode characterized by some of the following symptoms; shortness of breath, dizziness palpitations, trembling, sweating, choking, nausea, chest pain, and possibly a fear of going crazy. A person may suffer a number of these attacks in a short period.
Derealization, a feeling that you are in a strange or unfamilar place, may make one feel "paranoid".
Fortunately treatment is available. Medications, specificall certain types of antidepressants (the SSRI) may  reduce
or alleviate your symptoms.
Certain dietary changes, like avoiding salt, caffeine, and sugar,and regular exercise may also be beneficial, although the antidepressants remain the treatment of choice for PMDD..
I recommend you contact a psychiatrist to start treatment. Most
insurance companies will cover this condition. Contact them to make sure.
If your are in the Detroit area you may contact 248-689-7476 for an evaluation.


Avatar universal
There is a clear difference between paranoia and panick attacs. Paranoia is not a panic but a form of a delusion, i.e. the belief ( usually a very strong one and long lasting) that someone is "out to get you". Moreover, the person that is paranoic usually is not aware of the fact he is paranoic and is sure that his paranoya is a reflection of the reality. He surely can't "talk himself out of it". To understand this better you can read my posting from 10/10/99 - "Schizophrenia or an organic disorder?".

As for the panic attacks, I don't know if it could be hormonal but I am sure that blood tests such as TL1, TL2 and TSH could detect hormonal imbalances.

I think you should try an endocrinologyst which is a doctor that speacializes on the hormonal system. You should describe the symptoms you have and do some tests too.

Good Luck
Avatar universal
Here's one more: You should read a posting by Jami, posted on Monday, October 04, 1999 in this forum and is called "Panic attacks". It looks as if she is suffering from symptoms close to yours.

Avatar universal
Hi I dont know if my experience is of any help, but I to believe that panic attacks are hereditary as well as hormonal, today I started having one and im on my period. I start feeling real weird mood swings that bring on attacks right before my period too. So I believe panick attacks can be from a change in hormones especially for women.
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