34 answers

Panic Attacks

Hello Moms,

Everytime I have posted a request on this page I feel very good with all the anwers I receive. This community has become part of my support system, and believe me even though I have not met anyone in person, knowing there is people going through the same issues or fighting to save a marriage or to potty train a kid, just makes me feel less lonely.
About 4 years ago, I was in a friend's house and out of nowhere I started feeling bad, I felt dizzy, cold, with shivers, I though it was a low blood pressure but it started to get worse, I had trouble breathing and felt a pressure in my chest, so I called my sister and asked her to take me to the hospital, I really though for a moment that I was dying, having a heart attack, but nope, I got there they did some tests and NOTHING was wrong with me, I was perfectly healthy and fine, so they diagnose a "panic attack"
I really could not understand how could I feel physical symptoms if the problem was in my mind, anyway I started reaserching on the web, and found that what happendned to me was not unheard of, as a matter of fact it was something pretty common nowdays, I started seeing a psycologist and then a psyquiatric who put me on medications to correct the "balance of my chemistry" I did not wanted to go there but I did want to feel better.
That day set up a before and after in my life, all the things I took for granted were gone, I could not take a bath alone, I was afraid of eating alone, I became agoraphobic and did not want to leave my room, my mom had to travel from Venezuela to NYC to stay with me, she would go to school with me and sat outside my classroom, I was really scared, afraid as I never been and did not know why.
After a month I was feeling better and starting to rebuild my self confidence, later that year I became pregnant and had to stop the medication very sudden. I felt the withdrawal symptoms and was scared again and not able to be by myself and even less to take care of a child.
Then the baby came and I felt better, so about 4 months ago I stop the meds again because I was feeling pretty good.
Last thursday I had another panic attack, a strong one, I could not handle it, and felt terrible for going back to that position.
I live alone with my 2 year old, and she relays in me, and I am not confident right now, I feel sad, worried and tired.
Well this is too long, thannks for taking the time to read it, and any advise will help!!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well I must say that I am very touched by ALL the replies that I have received, you mom's are the best, when I posted my request as a desperate measure I had no idea that I was going to get so many good responses.
Let me tell you I am doing better, I have my days, ups and downs, I am trying to take it one day at the time, and make little progress each day.
I am going to the gym, taking me medications and spending a lot of time with my daughter, trying not to worry too much about doing the laundry, or vacuuming or etc, etc,
I feel more confident that I will overcome this, and in the future I plan on seeking for solutions that will attack the root of my issues.
Thank you all for sharing your stories, for taking the time to write some lines to help me, to simpathize with me, or just to say that you will pray for me.
I will really like to express how happy I am to be part of this community!
Thanks again....

Featured Answers

Hi,
All the responses show how normal this issue is, thank you for bringing it up. I have had anxiety/panic all my life. It got really bad after highschool, i couldn't leave the house either, i followed my mom around like a puppy, etc. When i started Paxil, i became myself again. I took a job as a flight attendant, moved to boston, and had a normal life until i found out i was pregnant and stopped my meds. I was fine until i had my son and then... BOOM, it was back full blown. I waited it out because i wanted to breastfeed. it was horrible, but it eventually went away after a couple months. Now, it is managable but i am afraid to get pregnant again because it was so severe. One technique that has helped alittle is EFT. Here are my favorite websites about it:
www.emofree.com
and
http://www.celebrationhealing.com/custom/index.cfm?id=140319
good luck!

More Answers

wow! I cannot believe I got this message. I just went to the doctors today to get help for my panic attacks. They are horrible to the point where I don't want to drive my kids around because I get so dizzy and shaky I feel like I will die or get in a car accident. I got these when I was pregnant with my daughter 6 years ago and all of the sudden the other day I got a real bad one and 3 weeks later I feel them every day. I am scared to leave my house too and find I can;t function the way I used to and yet I have 2 kids who need me to take them to school and out. I am scared all the time I will get so dizzy I will pass out. THe doctor gave me meds but I can't take them while driving so that defeats the purpose. I really hope this passes soon or I am in big trouble. Single mom and need to function no matter what. Good luck and wish me luck. Nice to know there is someone else out there.

1 mom found this helpful

I totally understand you . I started feeling that last summer . Mine was pretty bad where my mouth started to turn a little bit . The doctor also put me on meds .But I decided
to solve the problem on my own . I kept my self busy and told myself that everything was going to be ok . I am a mom of to little girls . One is going to be 7 years and the other one is going to be 4 . I sometimes feel over whelmed just because life is so busy . I work full time and care for the children . My husband help out alot with the girls but still its alot . I know it hards but stay positive and god will get you through all these hard times .Just remember you beautiful little girl needs her mommy . Yoga is also a very good these to do for these kind of situations . Always have faith ....

Take care

Hi, V.,

You've gotten some really great advice here (except the person that "arm-chair diagnosed" you with Bipolar Disorder, which based on the symptoms you described couldn't be more off-base!). I want to strongly reinforce for you the explanation of needing meds given by Irene. Some people may need the medication to maintain for the rest of their lives...some may not....those who do are no less stronger than those who don't...they simply have a different body chemistry! You wouldn't think any less of someone who needed a thyroid medication for the rest of their lives to help maintain their hormonal and emotional balance, so the SAME concept applies here. Our bodies and brains are more entertwined than people typically accept! That is why you experience such strong physical reactions to a mental health diagnosis! Most mental health diagnoses have expressions of physical symptoms, also!

Secondly, I strongly suggest you go back to counseling to learn tools to help you cope and get through those intense emotional and physical symptoms you describe and to learn to not be afraid when they come on. They are most certainly uncomfortable to deal with, but you will NOT die from a panic attack and they WILL pass....ALWAYS! Reassure yourself of that thought when they occur.

Therapy with your medication together will help you get back to a place of feeling more like "yourself" again and it's ok to continue to need both to maintain that gain! Isn't it better to feel ok again with medication than to feel so overwhelmed with these symptoms trying to "tough it out" without? I think it takes MORE courage to admit when you need help than to buy into the BOGUS idea put forth in our culture that needing help from a mental health specialist and needing psychotropic medication means you are "weak"!

I wish you well!
Sincerely,
S. M. Wolf, M.A.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Anaheim, CA

Dear V.,

I read your request and feel compassion for your situation. It is difficult to be the best mom you can be when you are sad, tired and worried. I was a single mom for many years. Now I am a natural health practitioner in Oakland. I know for a fact that "panic attacks" can be cured with homeopathic remedies, because the remedies treat the whole person - mind, body and spirit - all at the same time. While the drug you were on may have helped, it obviously didn't really cure you. It just masked the imbalance. Homeopathy addresses the underlying issue, whether physical or emotional. There are lots of people who had health problems who no longer have them, without controlling them with conventional drugs. They got better naturally with homeopathy. If you are interested in how to do that, let me know, and we can discuss it.

Hi V., i can relate, i have been having panic attacks for as long as i can remember. There were times i remember when i was a teenager that just walking up some stairs would be very tiring, my chest always felt heavy, like a ton of bricks had been laid upon it. In 2006, i was out shopping with my kids and i started to have one, i took the kids to my mothers and went to see my doctor. She told me that i should go to the emergency room, reluctunatly i went. They wanted to perscribe me all kinds of meds. they said i was stressed and depressed and tired and so forth. They gave me medication, but my doctor would not release me till i had a CT scan done on my whole chest. What they found was a tumor on my lungs, it was actually my Thymus Gland, it is something that we are all born with, but it should fall off by age 13. Mine never fell off. I needed surgery to remove it, that was what was causing my panic attacks and the pressure on my chest. I really didnt want to remove it, cause it meant going through Thorassic Surgery, the opening of your chest. After so much reaserch, i decided to take it out. Im glad i did, what had shown up in my Scan was just the size of a pea. In actuallity it had been a tumor that had grown the size of my fist, but we couldnt see it cause it was starting to make its way around the back of my heart. The surgery was much longer then expected. They ended up cutting the whole chest open, so therefore, they had basically performed open heart surgery, and the scar is alot bigger then i was told would be, but i feel much better now. Going through all this, i found out that this was typically common, for some people, but they never catch it. For me now the panic attacks are done, my breathing is much much better. But my kids still drive me to insantity once in a great while. Im not sure if you have had one, but maybe you need to have a CT scan done. If you need any info. or need to talk, email me.
Good Luck, A.!

Hello V.:

I went through almost the same thing as you and I have been on medication(Prozac) for about 4 years now and I am finally at a stage where I am able to skip a dosage every other day. What I noticed with me is that it tends to get worth when I have luck of sleep, as soon as I have a better night of sleep, I feel much better.
I have two children and my youngest just started Preschool and her sleeping through the night (almost every night) and I think that is the main key for this condition, good amount of hours of sleep.
I really would recommend to go back on to medication, as much as I hate the fact but I see the light now with me and with the help of Prozac I was able to live a "normal" life and take care of my children and myself and I know that one day I will not need it anymore! So, don't give up I am sure you can manage as well!

Take care for now,

A.

I understand how you are feeling and you are not alone. Many people suffer from anxiety. You may need to talk to your Dr. again, but you can also try to make sure you are taking care of yourself, nutrition being a big one, exercise helps and so does talking to other people who understand. Have you had your thyroid checked? that is what the problem seemed to come from for me. Also coffee /caffeine also seems to trigger it.Good luck

Being off and on medication myself, it is really important to not stop taking your medication suddenly or just because you feel better. You've got to wean yourself off the medication. Continue to see a therapist. Get back on medication, and in that time, teach yourself coping skills. Identify your triggers. Keep a daily mood chart. Work with your therapist and be on the same page next time you want to get off medication.

Don't give fear power. It helps me to reject negative thoughts as soon as they pop in my head. You have the power to not dwell on things. Fear is a real thing, and comes from a real source. I don't know what your faith is, but we have this power because of what Christ has done for us.

Please don't feel alone - unfortunately I found out that alot of women struggle with this! I definitely have too - been on Paxil and Xanax at 2 different points in my life. And guess what - it is OKAY to be on meds for this. Granted, I think one benefits best from both meds AND therapy. But I have been drug free for awhile now and I am trying to think of things that help me - so you can be helped too. Honestly, I have to say that the first thing that helps me is my faith in God. I hope I am not offending you by saying this, but I can truly say that the ONLY way I have gotten through some of the stuff that has happened to me in my life (and not lost my sanity or become a bitter person) is through the protection and strenth of God. Whenever I am really struggling I read the Psalms. And I hang onto the verse 2Tim 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and self-discipline." I remember from this that God is with me and that he will help me power through it. The second thing that helped me was drugs (Paxil/Xanx) and seeing a therapist. Something she told me was - think, Okay, What if I have a panic attack? Will I die? NO! I need to let it come and let it go. Relax and let it happen if it needs to. I'm going to be okay. Also, I have a book called "The Anxiety Cure" and I think it is good, but honestly I haven't finished it yet. Lastly, you are a single mom (as I once was) and that means I KNOW you have strength inside you and you will definitely get through this okay. You can do it!

You may want to see your doctor about switching to a different medication. Pregnancy and childbirth can change a lot of things in our bodies, including hormones and chemicals. I had to switch medications a few times before I found one that worked.

Until then, when you feel an attack coming on, find a place to sit down and try to take long, deep breaths. Sometimes you may need to either lie down or put your head between your knees to change the blood flow. If your daughter gets upset, tell her that mommy is OK and just needed to 'cool down'. My son was really sweet and would rub my head and back when I had them. Maybe doing that will make your daughter feel like she's helping. It actually did for me.

I noticed that I also tended to have more attacks when I was tired or hadn't been eating well, so be sure to take care of yourself, and take time to relax each day.
Hope that helps!

I can completely understand how you feel. I started having panic attacks when i was in high school. I would sometimes hide in the bathroom when i was having them, and a lot of times i would just leave class without asking. I got through it even though it was harder than hell. I did it. I thought everyone knew that something was wrong with me, and that made my attacks worse. But then Later i talked to a guy i went to school with and he mentioned that he had panic attacks and i told him that i had them since high school, and he was shocked. He told me he always thought of me as outgoing and always around a lot of friends and not afraid of much. I couldn't believe it! I thought of myself as the complete opposite, afraid of everything afraid of the world because of the attacks. No one knew i had this problem. All the stares that i thought i was getting were probably in my mind. All the time i wasted worrying about having an attack while around people was just a waste because i would have them if i worried about it or not. I got on medication (paxil) and i've been on it for about 5-7 years now. I've tried to get off but the withdrawals are 10 times worse than the panic attacks i had before the medication. I see a therapist, and she has really helped me, and i think having my daughter has helped me too. My mind is focused more an her now when before it was all on me and my attacks. I am going to school again and that is stressful and just walking into a class room brings back all the panic. BUT! I know i made it this far, and so have you. No its not easy at all. It is horrible and i wouldn't wish it on anyone. Just think how strong you are and be proud of yourself for raising a daughter and going through all of this. You should be proud of yourself. If you don't have to get off the medication all the way i would suggest staying on it, it has helped me sooo much. I really wish i wasn't on it at all but it helps me, so i can put up with taking a pill everyday as long as i don't have to have so many panic attacks. You aren't alone with this... most of my family suffers from them. It is actually pretty common. It is nice though to hear someone else is going through the same thing. I wish you didn't have to go through this but when i'm out somewhere or in school i think, you could be the woman sitting next to me just as panicked as i am, and for some reason it helps me.

Hi!
I so understand what you are going through. I have suffered from panic disorder for the last 10 years, and it was only after having my first baby 4 years ago that i got help. I took medication and saw a therapist, and when i started to feel better i came off the meds, but the withdrawal symptoms were really horrible. i still had the fear of getting panic attacks constantly, but i could still pretty much do everything as normal. Then i got pregnant again, and after the birth of my second child the panic attacks came back. I went on the meds again and got more therapy. Right now, after a year on the meds, i'm starting to come off them as i am working with a great counsellor and i think i can handle a panic attack even if i get one. For me an important turning point was realizing that i was in control of the panic, it was not controlling me. I do a lot of breathing techniques and visualizations, and over the years have come to understand what the root cause of the panic for me is. Understanding panic attacks is the key to beating them, and the main thing for me has been to be less and less scared of them-this is how they loose their power! Its not as easy as it sounds though, and i'm still a work in progress. For now i'm trying to see if I'll be ok without the meds, but if i have to take them again, so be it. I accept that panic attacks is something life has dealt me, and it has made me stronger. What you are going through is not easy, but you are doing the best you can, and as you know, you are not alone. Millions of people, especially women, are going through the same thing. Hang in there and well done for reaching out and sharing your problems, i know thats something i wasn't ready for. Thanks for your posting, you are one strong mama! My best wishes to you, Good luck!
mom of 2, 29 years old

Hi V. - First, do you have any spiritual practice? If you don't, I would suggest you find one. Meditation, a church, a 12-step program if that is something that applies to you. Being a single mom takes a tremendous amount of strength and bravery, and you need to be filling back up what you are putting out to help your little girl have a happy, healthy life. Second, if you have ANY time to read at all, I would suggest getting Ann Lamott's book, Operating Instructions. I think you may see some of yourself in her, and it may alleviate any feelings of being alone in this struggle, and also help you see how someone else got through a tough time.

I had these both times when pregnant & they continued after my second child was born. They are under control now, but they are so terrifying - I feel so awful for you & everyone who is going through them. Things that helped (in no particular order):

*Make your doctor do a complete range of blood tests - I can't remember all the tests, but sometimes panic attacks can be a result of thyroid problems.
-Reaching out to other people - several moms in my mothers' group had gone through PPD & panic attacks & were just willing to talk about it & share their suggestions & just hanging out with other moms, even if they didn't know what was up
-Paying for whatever help I could afford & need - a babysitter in the evenings really helped for the pre-bedtime crazies
-Reading very light chick-lit
-Seeing a therapist & working through a abbreviated online version of Reid Wilson's book on Panic Attacks - you can do this without buying anything. http://www.anxieties.com/ The breathing & calming exercises work.
-Listening to a CD in bed - Letting Go of Stress, Miller & Halpern (sp?). With this, I never got to listen to the 2nd track since I just went right to sleep
-Also, avoid anything with caffeine in it & try to eat well, exercise & sleep (so easy with babies!)
-Check your local library for books about panic attacks - reading more about them & realising how many of us suffer from them takes the sting out of them a bit. Also, another online resource is: http://www.adaa.org/
Whatever you do, don't feel bad or blame yourself for this. You have beaten it before & can do it again. You are doing one of the hardest jobs there is - being a mom. I hope things get easier for you soon. I'm thinking of you & sending you hugs.

Hi.
Most people stop taking their meds because they feel better. That is what the medication is suppose to do. So, when you stop taking it you will go back to feeling lousy.
If the doc gave you meds to correct the chemical imbalance, this means, I think, that you have a bi-polar disorder. My daughter, soon to be 13, has this disorder and before she was on her medication it was bad. Now that she has been on it for a few months she is much happier and is able to focus.
Please don't stop taking your meds!
C..

Hi V.,

I just want to say make sure you maintain a strong support system. Raising a little one is a lot of work especially by yourself...and it's OK to admit we need help. There are lots of things you can get involved in...whether it be Church or a support group (I am sure your doctor can give you some suggestions for groups that are geared towards your specific issue).

Life is hard and sometimes we get depressed. But when you have people to lean on...it makes it not feel as lonely and not to mention we build great relationships in the process which helps provide more meaning.

I hope this helps...take care and great job on raising your little one!!!! That is a true accomplishment that you should be very proud of!

Acupuncture and herbal medicine whether chinese herbs or homeopathy really works extremely well for anxiety and panic attacks. Plus magnesium is a great natural sedative, also a good B vitamen. No caffeine is a must and some exercise- even if its just a shiort walk with your babe.
Good luck- I would always go the natural route with this stuff!!
I am an acupuncturist and got into it b/c I didnt want to take meds for my panic attacks. It works so well b/c we identify your bodies imbalance and heal it rather than the med bandade approach. When I got pregnant I used homeopathy and its mild and great

Congratulations on reaching out for help. It shows that you are brave and willing to explore different solutions. I too take some medication to balance out my chemistry and it really has changed my life for the better. I wouldn't worry about the meds so much because people take meds for all sorts of things like blood pressure, diabetes or even headaches and they don't feel the least bit guilty about it. I say if it helps you enjoy life more, enjoy being a mom more, be a better mom -then go for it-there's nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, imagine if you didn't get the help you need-then wouldn't that be more sad for everyone?
Also, keep up with the therapy if you can because that will help as well. Be patient with yourself as you heal and get better. Things will improve and you are probably placing a lot of pressure on yourself to make everything better right now. Take things little by little and then it won't feel so big. Good luck. I know what it's like to be in your situation but I also know there is another side and you will get to it eventually. Blessings. S.

Hi, I just got done reading your story and I can relate. I also have this. My advise is to get back on your meds. With all the challenges of early motherhod you will need the support of the meds to keep you even. I have found that I cannot get off the meds. I have now been on them for 4 years. I will go back to having accute panic attacks if I do not have them. I feel that there is nothing wrong with being on them. It makes me such a even person and a better mom and wife. It is so bad to have the attacks. If this is a chemical imbalance then it seems to reason this is a medical condition and not in you "head". There is nothing wrong with needing help. I think since you are on your own and do not get a break that you will need the meds to help out with the constent stress of motherhood. I hope this helps a littlel.

S.

Hi,
All the responses show how normal this issue is, thank you for bringing it up. I have had anxiety/panic all my life. It got really bad after highschool, i couldn't leave the house either, i followed my mom around like a puppy, etc. When i started Paxil, i became myself again. I took a job as a flight attendant, moved to boston, and had a normal life until i found out i was pregnant and stopped my meds. I was fine until i had my son and then... BOOM, it was back full blown. I waited it out because i wanted to breastfeed. it was horrible, but it eventually went away after a couple months. Now, it is managable but i am afraid to get pregnant again because it was so severe. One technique that has helped alittle is EFT. Here are my favorite websites about it:
www.emofree.com
and
http://www.celebrationhealing.com/custom/index.cfm?id=140319
good luck!

Hi,
I have had panic attacks throughout my life and they were really bad after my son, Zachary, was born. I have gotten them under control. I tried Zoloft for a while, but it wasn't a good long-term solution. I use a variety of supplements. If you want to discuss this in greater detail let me know. The following really helps, but you have to take the right amount - B vitamins, magnesium and natural progesterone cream.

It sounds to me like you stopped the medication without guidance from your psychiatrist and this was probably not wise, though I see it was necessary since you became pregnant. However, if you have not done so please go see your psychiatrist and find out if there are any alternatives to your medication that are safe to take during pregnancy. You can also speak with your OBGYN about this. You need to manage your health and take care of yourself so that you can take care of your children. Good luck and take care.

If you were a diabetic who was complaining of physical problems -- and oh, by the way, stopped using insulin -- most folks would tell you that you needed to be back on the medication.

If you had an kidney infection and started having problems passing urine -- and oh, by the way, was not taking her antibiotics -- most folks would tell you again to get back on your medication.

Medication is medication. You might need it to balance your blood sugar; nobody blames the diabetic for using insulin. You might need it to fight an infection; nobody thinks someone using antibiotics to cure infections is weak. And if you have to use antibiotics again, nobody blames you for having to go "back to that position."

So, okay, you need medication to balance the chemicals in your brain. How is that different from needing insulin or antibiotics?

I'm not saying that medication is the answer to every problem all the time. But it is the answer to some problems some of the time. It sounds like you're a good candidate to use medication to keep things stable.

If you don't want to stay on the meds forever, at least use them to stablize you and to help you function FOR YOUR DAUGHTER'S SAKE. Then, once you are confident, happy, worry-free and more energetic, you can explore other options to deal with this.

For years I said that parents who medicated their children were lazy. I said that if they just stepped up and did what was right, their kids wouldn't need ritalin or antipsychotics. A mis-behaving child was the sign of a poor parent.

So when my youngest son was diagnosed with autism, I knew that medication was NOT the way to go. I tried tons of non-medical interventions but made very little headway. His psychiatrist kept pushing me to try medication but I resisted.

Finally one day I caved in. I was so tired and bruised (literally), covered in bite marks. I decided that I did need for him to take medication, if only to let me sleep through the night. Yes, I needed him medicated. Yup, I was a poor parent.

We started medication. The next day, my son (age 6, with a ten-word vocabulary), the VERY NEXT DAY, my son put two words together to make a sentence for the first time ever! Within a week, he had over 100 words in his vocabulary and he was able to follow simple commands (Like "come" or "sit"). His occupational therapist, speech therapist, physical therapist, behavior management therapist, special education teacher and his 1:1 aide were floored. Medication had changed my son from a raging maniac into a child with behavior issues who was ready -- AND ABLE -- to learn.

Without medicaiton, my son could not participate in his therapies. Without his therapies, he couldn't make use of his medication. They go hand in hand -- and nobody really blames me/us for using either one.

Get back on your meds.

Dear V.,

Try this website, it worked for me.
www.MidwestCenter.com
you may have seen her commercials. I was seeing psychologist for the same thing and she suggested the tapes and they worked for me, they might work for you to help get off the meds. You are in my prayers.

Dear V.,
I wish you well. I hope you will see a doctor to adjust your meds as soon as possible, then the doctor might take you off the meds when you are better.

Get baby sitting for your baby and have time for yourself at least 2 times a week. Make sure you get enough sleep and drink enough water at least 8 cups a day...

Perhaps going to church, talking to a pastor or priest. Asking for help at church.

Also, exercise is very helpful. For me exercise is a key to help me with my mood swings...

I suggest connecting with other Moms through Las Madres, so your child will have playmates and time at a park,playgroups etc. and you can connect with other moms. For me Las Madres was a life saver.

You can find the phone number in the phone book and then they will connect you in a local, neighborhood group.

Take your child to a libray for story times... Go to a mall often they have some free climbing areas for a child... take your child to gymboree...

visit your friends, ask your friends to babysit ...
call someone today.
Best wishes.

Hi V.,
That sounds so stressful and upsetting! I am so sorry that you are dealing with it. Parenting is hard enough when you are feeing well and happy!

First, I want to say that there is no shame in using medication when you need it. I also want to let you know that there is certainly a biochemical issue that is causing you to have panic attacks, and that you can often use nutrition and other natural methods to address it. In my nutrition practice, I have definitely seen people with anxiety and depression get better from using a combination of dietary change and nutritional supplementation, with amino acids in particular. You can also make many of the changes while still taking medication, so you don't end up in a crisis situation. There are a number of wonderful nutrition consultants here in Marin County who do this kind of work, myself included. You might also want to check out the book , "The Mood Cure" by Julia Ross. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to talk further. You can find me through my website www.nutritionforthewholefamily.com.

Good Luck!
E.

Hi, V.. I can totally relate to you. My name is M., and I started having panic attacks when my second child was about 7 months old. My symptoms were unusual (dizziness & nausea), so it took a long time to get a diagnosis (during much of that time I was unable to care for my kids), but when I did, medication and therapy helped me to recover. I got pregnant again, and since my breakdown was so recent, I was advised to stay on medication throughout the pregnancy and postpartum, and she and I were both fine. I was doing very well and went off it last year, and did fine for a while, but I am now under a lot of stress with a pending divorce, and have started having the same symptoms, so right away I went back on medication, and I am beginning to feel a lot better. It has been very hard for me to accept that anxiety and panic disorder are a chronic disease. Even if I "get better," there will be times when, chemically or because of life situations, I will relapse. Then I just need to take the medication as much and as long as I need to get better so that I can take care of my children, and not beat myself up for something that is out of my control. Therapy has helped me a lot to accept my situation, and hopefully will help future episodes be less frequent... Make sure you ask for help with your child until you are able to feel confident again. You deserve whatever care you need to get back to feeling like yourself again!

I am so sorry for what you are going through. Please contact your doctor right away. Even if you do start feeling better, you have to go off these types of meds slowly. Doing so quickly can make your situation more problematic.
I wish you the best of luck!
S.

Hi V.,

I just want to let you know that you are brave and smart for sharing your need. Many people suffer from panic attacks and yet they are embarassed to talk about them. I was asked to speak to a group of women about 15 years ago and as I prayed about the topic I would speak on I felt clear that I should share about the panic attacks that I had suffered in silence over the years. I was nervous because I had never known anyone at the time that had experienced a panic attack. Despite my fears I spoke about my experiences and was overwhelmed at the response of the women--many of whom had suffered with various degrees of panic attacks at one time or another. My point in sharing this with you this morning is to remind you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Some specific things that helped me were:
1. Talking to a WELL TRAINED psychologist. (They can not prescribe medicine--that is another issue) but my doctor walked me through what was at the root of my panic attacks.
2. Exercise--I usually hate to exercise but my doctor said that it actually helps to release endorphins in our brain which are a natural pain killer. While walking I was able to pray or think about scriptures like Joshua 1:5 "I will never leave you nor forsake you" and that would calm me down.
3. A great friend helped me through many days and nights during my panic attacks. She was someone who remained calm, encouraged me, loved me, and basically was by my side either over the phone or in person during the panic attacks.

I of course do not know what is best for you but I can hear in your letter that you are in pain. I am praying for you.

Blessings,

L.

My husband used to have panic attacks and he would recommend seeing a therapist. Not a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Just a regular licensed marriage and family therapist. They have many ways of helping that don't involve drugs. Good luck!

I have wonderful success with acupuncture and homeopathy for my panic attacks.
They also seem to be hormonally related.....

Hi V.,

Before I got pregnant this time, I miscarried a year ago...and that put me in a bad deep depression. I suffered anxiety attacks along with my depression and thought seriously I was going crazy. My son would walk around the house saying "whats wrong with me" because he saw me do that. I felt horrible, and I needed help. I went to get help at a behavioral health place and that helped me alot. They put me on meds for both my anxiety and depression. I took these for almost 7 months before they lowered my doses. I was fine and felt pretty good. And then I decided I was strong enough to not be on meds anymore. Boy was I wrong. I started getting my anxiety attacks again and just didnt feel right. I tried to tough it out, but my mind was stronger than I was at the time. I talked to my doctor and he put me on the lowest dose again and I was ok with it. Maybe you should try to stay on it as long as you feel comfortable, find ways to ease your attacks so you dont think about them. I remember going to my class and panicking and I ran out crying, I thought I was crazy and knew something was wrong. I pulled out of that whole thing with the help of meds and doing things that took those weird feelings away. I stopped my meds when we were trying for baby #2 and I was fine until I got put on bed rest. Now I struggle with my anxiety at night when I cant sleep. Its rough but somehow I get through it. I really hope that you do well on coping with your panic attacks, need someone to talk to I am here...take care and best wishes!!

The proper homeopathic medicine, determined for you by a professional homeopath, will absolutely address your symptoms. You might want to ask around among your friends or check the local telephone book to locate someone with whom you'd feel comfortable working. You can also call the National Center for Homeopathy to receive a local reference. Their number: 1-877-624-0613
The best to you,
C. Springer

It is very important to surround yourself with a circle of friends and family. They are a resource to your happiness. Everyone is willing to help in some small way. If you need to make more time for yourself, so you're not feeling overwhelmed, set up a babysitting circle. You watch a friend's child one day a week while she goes out for alone time and then the next time she'll watch your child so that you can get some alone time to relax, reflect and rejuvenate.

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