R.F. asks from Plano, TX on December 08, 2011
Anxiety Attacks? - Plano,TX
Since about Friday, on and off, it feels like my heart is going to flutter straight out of my chest. I took a Xanac on Sunday, and that helped, but it's still happening. I didn't know if a panic/anxiety attack could last several days! Needless to say, I'm freaking out, which feeds the symptoms even more. I do think I have high blood pressure, and, again, when I get my blood pressure checked, it spikes even more because I am stressed when it's checked! I am not overweight and I work out for at least 1/2 to 45 minutes at least 5 days a week. I have a doctor appointment today, but I just need some reassurance that I'm not going crazy. Any suggestions to CALM DOWN???? I'm trying not to look at any web med sites - I'll just diagnose myself with something unreasonable.
EDIT - I am 36, and just started my period today, so age and hormones can definitely factor in here! I do NOT sleep well, either. I tend to pile a lot on myself inbetween work and home as well. I made my appointment for 2 hours earlier, and an grateful that my boss understands!!
So What Happened?™
Thank you all - my BP was 140/92, pulse 120 - YIKES. They did an EKG and bloodwork, a 24 hour monitor can be prescribed to a day next week to see any patterns.
If I need BP meds, so be it. I know some lifestyle changes I need to make, but not quite ready to post those quite yet.... :( I bought a blood pressure cuff for home to check myself when I'm not stressed out about the doctor (my oh so considerate husband said I was feeding into my Munchausen's, but I know it's pretty darn hard to fake blood pressure - grrr - see a reason for high BP, anyone?)
T.K. answers from Dallas on December 08, 2011
My dr prescribes a mild antihistamine for anxiety. Try half a benadryl and see if it doesn't calm you down a little until you go to the dr.
G.B. answers from Oklahoma City on December 08, 2011
I understand exactly how you feel! My doc once told me to "PLEASE STOP WATCHING THOSE MEDICAL TV SHOWS, YOU DO NOT HAVE ALL THOSE ILLNESSES".
It was so funny at that time because I just knew I had all the symptoms of each and every thing they were diagnosing on House, ER, all of them.
I developed generalized anxiety and that lead to panic attacks. I lived in Hell for several years. It was a slow journey to be sort of back where I was before. I did all the meds and all sorts of counseling. I found that relaxation, done every day, helped the most. I got to the point where I would recognize I was very stressed out and could instantly take a moment to do some quick relaxation stretches and take a few deep breaths. It really helped me to understand what my body was telling me.
Each person is different. My opinions on medication are this:
If it is a chronic disease like Diabetes, Depression, Schizophrenia, Heart Disease, etc....these diseases are imbalances in the body that will require medications every day for the rest of that persons life.
With some illnesses medication can treat acute symptoms, like an infection. Antibiotics treat that and then we don't take them anymore. With medications like anti-anxiety drugs they help a person get over the hump. You can start to function again without the anticipation of each and every thing triggering a panic attack. Then as you find what the root of the issue is and start to deal with it you find that panic is lessened and eventually it will feel back to normal, functioning but with the memory of what can happen if you don't take care of yourself.
So, take a daily med for anxiety for a while, maybe even a year. See someone to help you find the root of the anxiety and the triggers causing the panic, learn what works with your body to help alleviate the stress, and take a breath, learn to let stuff go, be kind to yourself.
3 moms found this helpful
L.R. answers from Washington DC on December 08, 2011
R., please post again or update this post after you see the doctor, so we know how you are doing!
First, you are very wise not to look at web medical sites. Be assured that your'e doing the right thing there -- it would only make you more anxious.
Remember too that after you see your doctor (if by doctor your mean your general practitioner) that you may also need to see a therapist if you do indeed have panic attacks (if you're not seeing a therapist already). There are ways a therapist can teach you that will help you learn self-calming techniques. Be open to the idea of getting therapy for anxiety as well as using medication.
2 moms found this helpful
L.C. answers from Houston on December 08, 2011
One technique i saw online that helps me is to sit still and focus on an object then let your eyes un-focus. Your breathing should slow down.
You sound just like me. I think us moms are all so stressed is because we try to be All Things To All People. Ask your Dr. About Buspar. I take it for anxiety and it has helped so much.
I was having blood pressure spikes as well and my optometrist commented on it when I had an eye appointment a couple months ago. They can tell by the blood vessels in the eye. When I told my regular dr., he started me on low dose blood pressure meds (he was on the fence about it for a while anyway).
Good luck! You'll get it under control soon :)
2 moms found this helpful
A.L. answers from Las Vegas on December 08, 2011
I would ask your age?? if between 35 and 40s... it's been my experience that even if you never felt intense anxiety before, you can begin to feel it now due to hormonal shifts.. it's something worth checking out and keeping track of .. and even if younger, it's still worth looking into..
I track my monthly cycle and after a time, it became clear to me that I felt one way during the estrogenic phase of my cycle and differently during the luteal phase.. for example, about 1 1/2 week prior to menstruation, I begin to feel a lot more jittery and unfocused.. I tend to obsess more and don't feel at my best.. this is when I know I NEED to really keep my exercise up and also change it up a bit... as the body/mind get used to the same old thing. I used to think only in terms of PMS and therefore would only track how I was right before my period and then nothing afterward as I often felt better.. but then, as my anxiety grew.... I knew I needed to take a closer look at a complete month/cycle and by doing this, it's when I really got a better gauge of my hormones and moreover, how to help myself manage them... I do this now with exercise and diet and positive self-talk... Thing about charting your cycle and writing down your observations, you begin to know what to expect and that will also allow you to make changes where needed... definitely give it a try. .I think you will find that your anxiety is probably worse at different times of the month..
my best to you
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M.J. answers from Minneapolis on December 08, 2011
first off, always have these issues looked at by a doctor. I also get palpitations. Which is the medical term for heart flutters. Comes from many things. Too much caffeine, diet, stress, and heart problems. I get what they call PVC. Premature Ventricular Contractions. I was told more than 14 a minute is bad. It may require a pace maker. I am 36. I am over weight, but have no history of any medical issues other than obesity. I get these with anxiety and stress and if I ate way too much sugar. They come and go but they do last a few days straight. Till I relieve the cause of whats stressing or bothering me.Can be as small as reading inflammatory replies to my posts here LOL. Thank god I am not a teacher (just off a post of mine). Sometimes taking a long, hot bath or a nice walk to clear my mind helps. Cutting back on caffeine and sugar also relieves it. Though I have gone in several times for a stress test done on my heart and the assure me its not my heart but more my head.
1 mom found this helpful
E.B. answers from Seattle on December 08, 2011
Have you been eating anything different lately? I am asking because new food can sometimes trigger things that feel like panic attacks.
I have PTSD and suffer from daily attacks. What you describe sounds pretty by the book for an attack.
What I do when I realize a bad one is coming on...I start breathing. My heart rate shoots up and that can make feel feel like throwing up...So I have to try and control my breathing. Deep breathes in and out. I also stop, everything. If I am driving I have to pull over. Trying to move through them can make them last longer. If I stop close my eyes and mediate for a few minutes on getting my focus I am more easily able to continue on with what I am doing.
I have to avoid ALL caffeine....even chocolate can trigger an attack.
Is there a new stress or something in your life that could be causing environmental anxiety? Holidays, family event? That type of thing. All of that can cause underlying stress you may not even recognize.
Hopefully your doctor's appt goes well! Good Luck!
1 mom found this helpful
S.T. answers from New York on December 08, 2011
I'm assuming you're in between 25 and 40 - which is young to have electrical issues with your heart - but not unheard of. You can have a super strong heart that will work until you're 100 - but it can have electrical impulse problems. The problems can come from lack of sleep, stress, too much caffeine, medication, allergic reactions, etc. My neice who is only 15 has an electrical heart issue that can cause her heart to beat really really fast. She stays under her doctor's watchful eye and doesn't need medication now but may need it in the future. My mom needed a pacemaker at age 60 (she's 81 now) but many people can have irregular heart rates corrected with medication - and some only happen once in a while so they don't medicate. My sister and I also have irregular cardiac rythms once in a while - but not so much that medication is required. I know that when I don't get enough sleep or am under a lot of stress I feel the palpitaions.
All that being said - you should still have it looked at and evaluated by a cardiologist. Women are very underserved for cardiac conditions becase their symptoms are different than men's. It's probably benign (like mine, my sister's and my neice's) but it's worth looking into. You are not crazy!
1 mom found this helpful
J.W. answers from St. Louis on December 08, 2011
You need to check this out with a doctor but it sounds like heart palpitations. They are actually harmless but what causes them are not always harmless. I got them really bad during my divorce and they lasted more than two years after that. Pretty much once my life wasn't driven by extreme stress they went away.