Anxiety ,Panic Attacks or Depression???

Updated on February 18, 2011
K.G. asks from Commerce, OK
20 answers

For about 6 years i have suffered what i think may be panic attacks or maybe anxiety some have told me possibly may be depression.i am 37 years old and a few yars ago i had what i think to be a major panic attack for no possible reason.i was driving to pick up my kids from a friends and i was in a hurry while driving i all of a sudden got very dizzy and felt strange like i was extremley intoxicated i couldnt work for 2 months not long after that me and my husband at the time divorced they stopped for quite some time now i feel nervous alot i get dizzy, i tremble.even at night sometimes my head just feels funny and it takes me a while to get to sleep its like i cant relax.i have done this while i'm driving recently i start shaking so hard and i feel lke i'm going to pass out or go crazy.i am terrified to drive but i have no choice i have 3 kids to take to 3 different schools and then take myself to work.sometimes i call my husband on his cell phone and he talks to me until i get to work.i am very tired alot.when i first starting having these attacks my doctor put me on paxil but it made it worse.i went to the hospital several times but they could find nothing wrong with me.i am very happy in my life i have a great husband and kids.i broke down earlier taking a shower and cryed where my family couldnt see me i want to feel normal again.i have good days but i am afraid everyday when i wake up if its gonna be a bad day or not can anyone tell me what these attacks sound like?someone also suggested maybe pre-menopause.sometimes i feel like i'm having hot flashes my face just gets really hot i hate to feel stupid but i'm not even sure those are hot flashes somebody help! thank you.

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So What Happened?

hello,i finally went to another doctor about my attacks.he is doing some testing on me now to see what are causing these attacks.he took blood on thurs to check my thyroid,and i have to do 24hr urine test starting sun.for something called catholamines dont have a clue what this is.he also gace me 0.25mg of xanax which i am terrified to take due to side effects.but he assured me he will help me thank you all for the advice.and i also have joined 2 other sites with people who also these attacks.

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answers from Springfield on

Hello and Good Morning. Yes, you are having some anxiety attacks. I have them too. And Paxil didn't fix it for me either. My doctor finally put me on celexa, and it really helped me.I really don't understand why I am having the attacks either,because I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. But, I do know that the celexa does help me. I hope you get to feeling better. I do understand what you are going through.
C. Dawson

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi K.,

I just posted a couple days ago that I am interested in starting a local support group for women dealing with depression and/or anxiety. It sounds like you probably have no time for such, but I was also hoping to set up some kind of phone support system too, for people to have a buddy to call if they need to. Any way, I've had panic attacks for many years and I know how tough it is! Mine stems from traumatic loss (on 9/11 at the World Trade Center and the suicide of my best friend last year). If you need someone to email, feel free to do so... my main account is [email protected] I live in NW OKC by the way and am a mom to three teens, full time college student and also work.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

This has happened to me for about 3 years. My situation is much like yours I had no reason to be nervous or have problems. It just hits me sometimes and I don't know why. The best advice I ever got was from a psychiatrist who told me don't let it scare you just acknowledge it and go on. I had anxiety attacks and they tried me on all those ssri medications. They just made me even more crazy. Now if I feel the need to I just take half of a valium and go on. Don't feel bad about it. Just do what you need to do (cry, step outside, or whatever it is that makes you fell better) and go on. Eventually you will be able to recognize sometimes that it is coming on and you may eventually be able to get through it without any medication but don't feel bad about it if you need it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Joseph on

I have suffered from all three in my short life, and yes anxiety attacks are extremely debilitating.Unfortunately getting any substantial help is going to require help from a psychiatristwho can find a good medication, especially if they are affecting your ability to drive. But there is also a medical condition that is has very similar symptoms. Have your doctors done a glucose screening on you? Extremes in blood sugar can also cause shaking, blurry vision, dizziness, and flushed face. It could be anything from hyper/hypo-glycemia to early diabetes. Many times a check of your sugars at the time of the visit can not show any irregularities. It's worth checking out. If this is the case a shift in your diet can work wonders. Good luck and hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Hey K. I have had some of the same experiences over the past 3 years. I was extremely depressed and had panic attacks at different times. Sometimes it seems they are over nothing. My doc put me on Zoloft and it seemed to help for a while then he up't it becasue it was not working that helped for a while. I started going to couseling and that really helped. But the Behavioral health program was discontinued and I was left out in the cold. As I have no insurance and therefore can't afford to pay for counseling. I was going to the tribe since I am native american. This past year and a half has been rough and i even talk to my doc about a different medicine and he didn't want to change it. So I continued with this one and still feeling bad. If I have an axiety attack I have Adivan to take in December I had a really bad attack and finally broke down and started trying to go through another tribal clinic to get couseling. Since I have been in Counseling my therapist has discussed with me the possiblity of my being Bi polar and feels like I personally should have been on a mood stabalizer as well as the antidepressant. It has been a long hard road but I do feel like couseling is a big help. I do feel like you might consider couseling to help get you through these struggles. It is nice to be able to since a nd talk about my fears, frustrations etc. and even cry if I need to without feeling like I am hurting someones feelings or being judged. Anyway I wish you well in your serch for what helps you to feel better. T. in Tecumseh, Ok

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Hi K. G,

Have you considered seeking advice and assistance from a psychiatrist? A psychiatrist works strictly in diagnosing mental disorders and prescribing appropriate medications.

I was diagnosed as bipolar 5 years ago...symptoms included anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Prior to my diagnosis I was seeing my family doctor and he prescribed anti-depression medications. When I tried to commit suicide my GP realized that he wasn't qualified as much a psychiatrist would be and referred me to the appropriate doctor. My diagnosis was changed from depression to bipolar and my meds were changed. I could notice a difference within a week.

My advise is to get a referral to see a psychiatrist from your doctor as soon as possible.

Since being diagnosed I have had 3 bouts with depression and a simple medication change got me back to normal. My husband and children could notice changes and were glad to have a happy mom.

Good luck and God bless,

W. Q

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I'm a mom, have anxiety, as well as work in mental health. A great book to check out to help you feel empowered in this mood disorder experience in 'Mind Over Mood'. They sell it at most book stores, it will help you manage your thoughts and emotions and learn more about what situations or thoughts trigger the emotional responses your having. Good luck! A good DBT therapist is also helpful.



answers from Kansas City on

My ex husband also has what Michelle described. It took years of seeing different doctors to finally diagnose it! He is on beta blockers now and hasn't had any of the episodes. I'd check it out with a cardiologist for sure. Things like that may be hard to diagnose unless you specifically have them check for it. My ex had seen 2 different cardiologists previously!

Yes, it could be anxiety attacks but I'd rule out everything medically first especially if Paxil seemed to make it worse.



answers from Springfield on

I went through years of this and you need a hug!!! I used to take cymbalta, it helped so much more than paxil, it has two drugs to help with your depression. This was the only one I felt normal on. I would also suggest counseling, if you had someone to talk to without feeling guilty about crying to it would help.
I had to snap myself out of mine and made lots of lists. The topics varied. There would be one on "what am I afraid of", then "how do I overcome this". Then a list of "What triggers my attacks?" then "What can I do to prevent these triggers or deall with them alternativley?" The list that motivated me most was "What do I want out of life and what steps do I need to take?" I threw my hubby out the next week...and within 6 months I was off of all my meds and panic attack free!!!! I found what depressed me and got rid of it! I see that you are in a happy marriage, so that is not the problem, just an example. Time to look inside of you and pull the wonderful vibrant woman that lives somewhere inside of you out again! Let her make you shine and you will feel so much better!!! I think most depression is cured when you are so sick of it controlling your life that you start taking over it. Dont get me wrong, it is not something you choose, it happens to alot of people. But life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you handle it.

I hope this helps and of to your hubby and doctor, nobody wants you to feel like this, they want you back!!!

You are in my thoughts,




answers from St. Louis on

Best thing to do is see a psychologist and a doctor. There are medications other than Paxil that can help, and it's possible that Paxil just didn't agree with your body chemistry but something else will work. It sounds like even though things are goign well now, you've been through some rough stuff, and that can have an impact on stuff like anxiety now. I have anxiety that has gotten pretty bad at times, but with the help of a psychologist, I'm now able to control it without meds. Every person's different; find someone who you can trust to work with you.



answers from Oklahoma City on

It sounds like you have anxiety disorder which comes with the package of panic attacks. I have the same thing and my sister has it worse. If you'd like to contact me to discuss more or would like me to give you a way to contact my sister who experiences what you go through daily, I would be glad to try and help you.



answers from Lawton on

You said you went to the doctor....did he ever do an echocardiogram? I was dianosed with depression and panic attacks for 12 years and took medicine prescriped by my doctor only to become depressed an still have the symptoms that you describe. Just recently I ran into a friend that told me she had to change her medicine for her heart problem. I asked her about what symptoms she had and to my surprise they were the same as mine. I went to the doctor and it turns out that it was "mitral valve prolapse" that was causing my anxiety, fatigue, faintess, dizziness,and out of sorts feeling. Usually it is treated with a mild beta-blocker. You can get more info on webmd. Let me know what happens.



answers from Kansas City on

Dear K.:
You sound like a very busy wife, mom, and working woman. Did your doctor give you a complete medical evaluation and screening for depression before he put you on medication? Is this your family doctor, your OB, or a psychiatrist that is treating you? That might make a difference, because a psychiatrist would be more up-to-date on what medication would be best for you. Whether your anxiety and/or depression is caused by premenopause is something only a doctor can diagnose. I'm 50 years old with four kids, and I have personally gotten a lot of help at the Wyandotte Center out at 78th and State (in Kansas City, KS, ###-###-####) They have psychiatrists on staff there, and also counselors. The center charges their fees on a sliding scale, so it's a lot more affordable than a doctor in private practice. There is also a self-help group for people with nervous symptoms called Recovery, Inc. that has helped me a lot, also. There is a meeting in Prairie Village, Kansas every Monday evening, and another meeting north of the river (on the Missouri side) at (I think) St. Patrick's Church. It meets on Tuesday evenings.
Good Luck,
J. H.



answers from Topeka on

Well i suffer from major anxiety attacks. I also suffer from a little bit of depression. When my attacks start, i tend to get shaky, i can't seem to stay still to save my life, next comes the choking feeling. It feels like basically someone is standing on my neck. So the hypervenilation starts, often times when i am at this point it gets to the point to where i have no control over my self, or what i say. My panic attacks often last sometimes over an hour, and as little as a min or two, depending on the situation.

Now, the intresting thing about anxiety/panic attacks is there are many differnt forms and can be triggered by differnt things. So my best suggestion would be to research it. See if the symptoms are what you suffer from. There are several quizes online that can give you a good idea, if you do and of what kind of anxiety you suffer from.

With out knowing more of your story, and a bit more details of your symptoms it is a bit hard to tell you which you have.
But i wish you all the best.



answers from Bakersfield on

sorry to hear the way u are feeling but ive been feeling the same way its horrible it happend to me suddenly also.i was supposed to take a trip to wisconsin to go see my daughter and grankids and i had to cancel,i deal wiyh it every day,onkly god knows how i make through the day,i also get in the shower and cry so noone sees me,,i know i should be a very happy person to but dont know whats happening,,my name is S. casares flores look me up on facebook,just let me knpw your the one with the same promblems so we could talk more it would really help both of us,not to many people undertstand what this feels like,,thy think were crazy..



answers from St. Louis on

If you haven't done it already - you could have your dr. do blood work, just to make sure there is nothing there. My doc does this every 6 months or so checking my thyroid because of hotflashes at 31. I used to have panic attacks with stress and now take effexor for it. I am living in a better state of mind now than I ever have been. A psychiatrist is you handles my meds. Worth a try.



answers from Lawrence on

I am with your friend, that peri-menopause is the culprit. It can start as early as 30. Your hormones are fluctuating, sometimes wildly now. Talk to your GYN Dr. Let that Dr. what is going on.

I am peri-menopausal. Some days, I want to scream so everyone can hear, "I want drugs!!!" It is challenging.

Do a search on peri-menopause.

Valarian root, can help relax you. You can find it in grocery and healthfood stores. I take one capsule for concentration and focus, two caps for relaxation during the day, and three caps to get me to sleep, which only works for about 4 hours, and then I am awake again.

There are days when I, aged 46, am perfectly relaxed and happy, and suddenly a tension sneaks up on me, with no cause, my arms get tight, my back tenses, my jaw locks, and I am uncomfortable, irritable.

You are in a nursing home. Those ladies would maybe like to help you thru this. They all know about it, and it may increase bonding between you and those glorious ladies. They need to be needed, and you need them now.

Might make a good book, how each lady you come across tells a story of how she dealt with peri-menopause (sometimes 15 years before menopause) and menopause. Feel like writing anything?

I suggest you make some money of this common horror we all go thru.

I read this book. Nice to have the information but it doesn't make it go away.
One used to have more access to the site than one does today.

After reading the other posts, I do think you should have your blood sugar checked. You may well have low blood sugar. Note how you feel when you eat versus when you know you should eat and have not for a while.

Lay off the caffeine, because it wires you and makes your female hormones go more crazy than they already are.

I bought an blood sugar monitor, because they are so cheap, because they are so handy at preventing blood sugar problems, because I have diabetes in the family.

You might assess your family's history on this issue as well. Most moms and aunts want to be helpful on this issue.



answers from Kansas City on

Awwww K. ((((HUGS))))) I know how you feel. Mine started about 6 months ago out of the blue for no reason at all. It is now starting to control my life, and what I do. The anxiety can make you feel very tired, and give you the hot flashes in your face. I have started on Herbal and natural treatments and they seem to be helping. I am on Vitamin B-6, and St. John's Wart. (ask your doc though before you start any of these). And, yes Paxil and Zoloft made it worse for me. I am just hoping mine is just a change in my life, meaning that they will eventually go away. I too am very very happy and don't know why they are happening. The only thing I can think of is horomones? Someone has also mentioned to me that it could be a thryroid issue, so you may check into that. Good luck sweety, and don't feel like you are the only one experiencing this... And you will NOT lose your mind (I use to think that also) This is a common thing with MANY people... :)



answers from Oklahoma City on

hi my name is T. and im a 22yr old sahm w/2 kids a boy 3 and girl 19months the same things happen to me i have my good days and bad mine are panic attacks sometimes anxiety mine have recently started about 6mths ago my doctor said it was from too much stress because i worry about everything.....but when i quit stressing over everything im fine which is really hard for me but it takes time take a day for yourself sometime and relax i hope this helps any gl



answers from Wichita on

You have 3 kids and a full time job, it is no wonder you have these I went through the same problems tried a few medications that did not work and finally tried Paxil and it worked for me. Talk with your Dr. there are other meds that you can try. Or maybe go see a counselor, I did! It does not mean you are crazy!! If you want someone to talk to please feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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