November 19, 2007,
V.C. asks from Los Angeles, CA on November 08, 2007
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
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!
S.D. answers from Sacramento on November 09, 2007
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:
A.D. answers from Los Angeles on November 09, 2007
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
D.C. answers from Los Angeles on November 11, 2007
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 ....
S.W. answers from Los Angeles on November 09, 2007
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!
S. M. Wolf, M.A.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
M.R. answers from San Francisco on November 15, 2007
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.
A.K. answers from Los Angeles on November 09, 2007
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.!
A.W. answers from San Francisco on November 09, 2007
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,
J.A. answers from San Francisco on November 09, 2007
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
C.A. answers from San Francisco on November 09, 2007
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.