Mom in Need of Help with Panic Disorder

Updated on February 04, 2008
K.T. asks from Cotuit, MA
30 answers

I am 32 married with two children (4 and 9 months). I have suffered from panic attacks and an anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember. I don't drink or have caffeine but nothing seems to help me. I am on some medication but I am still not feeling better. I hate feeling this way and I didn't know if anyone had any advice. I also get reiki and energy work done which seems to help but not so much that I feel that better. So if anyone has any suggestions I would much appreciate it. Thanks

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all the responses and feel free to send more.... It's nice to know there are so many of you out there that either feel like I do or have in the past. I am starting cognitive behavioral therapy on February 19th and I am really excited about it. I do take medication... St. Johns Wort did not work for me ... I tried it in the past. Hopefully someday I will be medication free. Also I have been exercising everyday which has really helped me and I've lowered my sugar intake. Thank you for all your advice and kind words... And feel free to send more messages!!!

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M.W.

answers from Boston on

Hi K....you have not mentioned what medication(s) you are on / have teried...it might not be the right one for you...you might also want to consider hypnosis therapy as well...~M.~

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K.B.

answers from Burlington on

I too suffered from anxiety. What worked for me was Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I do not take medication and this therapy helped me SO much. Even if you do need medication is only one part of treating anxiety/panic disorder. Therapy is also needed. I highly recommend finding someone who specialized in Cognitive Behavioral therapy and anxiety disorders. Good luck.

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R.H.

answers from Boston on

I would recommend getting help from a mental health clinician. Panic disorder can often be treated very effectively with behavior therapy. I can recommend two clinics in the Boston area that have special expertise in this area--one is the CARD clinic (Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders)at Boston University, and the other is the Behavioral Medicine program at Cambridge Health Alliance. Good luck!

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L.E.

answers from New London on

That's great that you are receiving Reiki! I would stay away from psychiatric meds. They don't help any, they just alter the mind by adding un-natural chemicals to the body. For temporary relief, it's okay. Since you've been suffering for a while, I wouldn't use the meds. You're right for trying Reiki. Try to find a homeopathic doctor. I have a great reference for you if you're interested. Let me know and I can send it to you. Good luck!

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A.B.

answers from Boston on

First, K., know you are not alone and there is no shame in asking for help! I recently suffered from panic attacks brought on by some of my own health issues. I got to the point I wouldn't leave my house and I was afraid to be alone. I'd say try a new medicine, see a therapist, continue withe they reiki and energy work. It's so important for you to feel well and take care of you so you can take care of your kids. I found some other women in my church who suffered the same way and we formed a little spiritual support group- praying for each other, talking each other down when we needed it. It was so helpful when I needed it most. God Bless!

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K.K.

answers from Boston on

Hi K.-

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing aniexty and panic attacks. As the others that have responded I have struggled for many years. When I feel an attack coming on I just try to relax and think about other things and remind myself that it WILL pass and I WILL be fine. I found that trying to control them before they get out of control helps. I am not sure if you are in therapy, however I was told years ago by a therapist that aniexty and panic attacks are our bodies way of releasing stress. She compared it to a balloon. A balloon can only hold so much air and then the air needs to get released any way it can. I hope this helps and remember you are not alone....you would be surprised how many people struggle with this....people just don't talk about.

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H.D.

answers from Barnstable on

Dear K. - Have you seen a therapist? Maybe you should talk to a professional. I have had panic attacks before, and the only thing that seems to work for me is to build my confidence, and challenge myself - do something out of your normal daily activities (this will help you realize there is so much more in life to be panicked about. It gives you perspective) like bunjee jumping or skydiving - skinny dipping - running in the rain. Get in touch with nature - or pick up running as a hobby. If you live near the ocean, you can be a polar bear and run in the water in January. These suggestions probably sound unnerving to you, but they will help you build your muscles, your brain, self confidence, and self control. Energy work is great, but it sounds like you need to release some energy and get your adrenaline pumping. Hope you try something different - H.

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K.V.

answers from Boston on

St John's Wort. It is natural and may help.

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E.B.

answers from Louisville on

Hi K.,
I feel your pain..I have dealt with major panic attacks and anxiety my whole life. I will be driving in the car with my kiddos and all of a sudden feel like I can't breath...it's horrible and I have found the only thing that really helps when this happens is to get fresh air and drink a bottle of eater. I have taken classes on panic disorder and have come up with plans when these happen, but all that seems to fly out the window when they happen. I have been told it's all in my head...well yea I know...lol..although it's not funny I do know that I can control them. I usually call my hubby and he helps talk me down and relax my mind as well. I have found any distractions are good. Hope this helps somewhat. If you ever need to talk I am here :)

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E.N.

answers from Boston on

my husband has a really bad panic disorder as well (he was the stay at home dad) and he had to use a congitive therapist who helped him develop behavioral strategies for dealing with the anxiety attacks - it was the only thing that worked. Drugs had too many side effects and did not really work. Check it out.

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R.B.

answers from Boston on

Hi K.,
I am a Reiki Master but I am also a hypnotherapist who teaches HypnoBirthing. You should look into hypnosis and ask your doctor if he/she feels it would be beneficial to you. Hypnosis takes your trigger to whatever behavior you want to stop and removes the association with that behavior. So, lets say you have a list of things that typically can set you off, well a hypnotherapist will suggest to your subconcious mind that those things will not longer create feelings of panic or anxiety. Again, basically removing the trigger which leads to the emotion. Look into it. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer. But talk to your doctor as you are taking meds and it should be discussed with them.

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A.H.

answers from Providence on

Hi K..

You should try Rescue Remedy. It's an all natural remedy that works great for anxiety and other things. You can get it online and at health food stores. It is made from flower essences by a company called Bach. They also make a different essence for different problems that you may be encountering such as one to help if you have phobias etc. Visit the website http://www.bachflower.com/ to read about all of the different essences. It works awesome, and is even safe for pets! Please feel free to email if you have any questions.

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M.D.

answers from Boston on

I have been struggling with panic and anxiety off and on my whole life, too. Reiki is a HUGE help for me, too. Yoga has also been an absolute lifesaver. I also try not to avoid the things that make me anxious since then they take over instead of me having control. When I started to view my anxiety as a thing just to be dealt with (like headaches or reflux or some other ailment) and not WHO I am, it got better. Hope this helps - I know how awful it is. All the best.

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L.S.

answers from Providence on

Hi K.,
I think I know what you are going through. Three years ago, while pregnant with my third child, I had terrible panic attacks. I could not sleep because I'd wake up with the attacks.(Of course, since I was pregnant, they poked and prodded me like never before, sure that my symptoms had something to do with the pregnancy.) I saw all kinds of specialists and finally a psychiatrist who diagnosed it properly. She prescribed Klonopin (klonazepam, I think), but I was too scared to take it, afraid it would hurt my baby. Anyway, she kept trying to uncover the source of my panic attacks, but I had no idea what was wrong. (She'd ask things like "Did you really want this baby?" and stuff, which was horrible.) So I stopped seeing her. Well, the attacks stopped after my baby was born, so I started to think it WAS something about the pregnancy. Until two months later, when my middle child was diagnosed with autism. Then it clicked. I had been super worried for a year that something was wrong with my son. No one believed me -- not his doctor, not my husband. He began early intervention a week before my baby was born. So the attacks stopping was really because I was finally relieved that a.) someone believed me there WAS something wrong with my son and b.)he was finally getting help.
So...I'd say your best bet is to get to the root of what is causing your anxiety/panic. It's really hard, because like I said, it took me until two months AFTER the attacks stopped. I hope you get the support you need (I really think my family/boss/friends thought I was going crazy during the worst of it). Good luck!
L.

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L.L.

answers from Boston on

Hi K.- I'm so sorry to hear you are struggling. I have dealt with differing levels of anxiety/panic attacks for several years and know how hard, scary and overwhelming it can be at times. When I first started having panic attacks a friend of mine suggested the midwest center for anxiety- it is an organization started by a woman who suffered from panic/anxiety for years. You can go to their website www.midwestcenter.com- they have a whole series of CD's that you can purchase along w/ workbooks, etc. I would highly recommend it- There is also a book called "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook" by Edmund Bourne- you can pick it up at Barnes and Noble- it's pretty helpful as well...

I'd also recommend finding a therapist- I did after mine got really intense and it has really helped to have someone explain things to me from a more scientific point of view...there are meds you can take- things like Zoloft help w/ anxiety- I'm not a big drug person, but they can help. Best of luck-

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C.H.

answers from Boston on

I also suffer from a panic disorder which started after i had stopped breastfeeding my dgtr.I have tried energy work and it worked temporarily, but they came back in a few weeks. lately mine have gotten worse. I tried meds but they made mine worse-really made them more intense. so now i am trying st johns wort....no change yet. i have also tried stress drops. they work a little. you can find a lot in the herbal shop. also maybe try chestnut extract. they also make supplements such as tranquility. maybe talk to a herbalist about some options. and i found that yoga helps.

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G.H.

answers from Boston on

Have you had your thyroid checked? I had anxiety attacks back in 1999-2000 and it was all related to my previously unknown hypothyroid condition. Worth checking out! But definitely try Yoga too--very calming. Deep breathing, while it sounds so simple, is something that most people don't do. Also, good to talk, like you are!

Good luck K.!!

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R.A.

answers from Providence on

I am a 29year old mother of a happy 4 year old child..I have suffered from a social anxiety disorder for about 10 years now. I took paxil for 2 years, but have not been on any meds thereafter. I would love to do research if their is any out their about anxiety linked with stay at home mothers, because everyone I know that is a stay at home mom either has some form of anxiety, depression, or panic episodes..For me it has always been anxiety, but since I had my son ( via emergency C-section) I have developed quite into the hypochondriac..I have episodes of the extreme usually right before I have a period..and then they go away. This drives my husband nuts, and becomes a self-perpetuating problem thereafter..So, I have begun to program myself to use the elliptical machine whenever I begin to have an attack..And within 10 minutes, i start feeling better and more energized...Although this may not work for everyone..I find that exercize usually relieves most episodes of anxiety, depression, and obsessions of our own physical well-being..

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J.H.

answers from Boston on

Hi K.,
I can totally relate. I had panic attacks and anxiety long before I even knew what it was. I am currently on medication and find life much better. My advice would be to find a medication that works for you. Not everything works the same for everyone. I do advise against Paxil. I have many family members who have been on it and it has horrible side effects and is addictive. Though I was told that anxiety usually subsides during pregnancy....mine did....I was medication free all through my pregnancy and through 8 months of nursing. But talk to your doctor and see what works for you.

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G.T.

answers from Boston on

Boston University has an EXCELLENT prgram for people with panic disorders. MY best friend did it, and no more medicine, and no panic attacks for 5 years now!

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H.W.

answers from Providence on

K.,
To your knowledge, has your panic and anxiety disorders been associated with any other underlying conditions/issues? My advice to you, for what its worth, is for you to seek a professional in the area of mental health. In my own experiences, I have found that social workers in the mental health field are always looking for something to be wrong; whereas psychologists are looking at the whole picture. So that's my advice to you.

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G.G.

answers from Boston on

Well I've been there and done that! Do you want to know what FINALLY helped me? Meeting women who loved and encouraged me. It's a self-esteem issue. If you would like, I can share with you how I did it.

G.

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J.A.

answers from Boston on

Hi K.,

I also suffer from panic disorder and anxiety and it can be a very frustrating disorder. It definately has biological origins, so similar to diabetes or heart disease it is a chronic ailment which we will have to learn to live with.

I will say that I believe my symptoms became worse after the births of my children and they abated some when they became school age. So have hope that if your symptoms are recently worse, they may improve when your children get older.

Nonetheless, these disorders can control our lives in very serious ways. I know myself that when my children were very little I couldn't even walk on the second floor of the mall without having a panic attack. For me heights triggered panic attacks but they were not the only things that could trigger them. In fact, they can simply come out of the blue.

There are a lot of treatments for this disorder, so if your symptoms are really disabling, you should get a thorough workup including a psychiatric, psychological evaluation. Diet changes are important but also medications have come a long way. Some of the recent SSRI's specifically help with panic disorder. Also certain cardiac medications used under your physicians supervision can prevent the pounding, racing, heart symptoms which accompany panic attacks. Your should except during extreme stress avoid benzodiazipines (ativan, xanax, klonopin etc.) Adding regular excercise (without the kids in tow) also helps significantly so if you can join a gym or the YMCA that provides childcare that would be great.

All of these suggestions can help but I also think psychotherapy with a therapist who specializes in panic disorder is essential. It can help you gain insight and perspective into the physical and pyschological factors that contribute to increasing symptoms of panic disorder. Group therapy can also be very helpful.

Whatever you decide I wish you good luck don't let symptoms of panic disorder gradually make your world smaller and smaller!

J. L.

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L.A.

answers from Boston on

HI K..
It sounds as though you are already doing good things for yourself. I suffer from anxiety as well. Medication didn't work out for me - the side effects were awful. The only thing that settles me is exercise. I'm 32, have a 4 year old and am 5 months pregnant. I stopped running and swimming with this pregnancy until recently, when I realized that it was making me crazy. Even walking regularly makes a difference in my mental health. Hope that helps.
L. A

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S.O.

answers from Boston on

K.- I can sympathize- I have always had issues with anxiety, but postpartum they hit me HARD. I had to go WAY up on my medication and also am taking a drug called Klonopin. Are you seeing a Psychiatrist? He/She can really manage your meds better than your primary care doctor. There are SO many options for anxiety drugs that they'll play around with them to find the best one for you. The Klonopin is also a major relaxation drug and I find has helped me so much. It is addictive though, so used only until your anxiety is under control.

I would suggest you also see a therapist in tandem with the psychiatrist. They help you talk through what you're feeling to recognize what it is that is making you so anxious.

Let me know if you want to talk privately.

:)

S.

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R.H.

answers from Boston on

Hi K.,
I've had some similar issues for the past 10 years (I'm now 37 years old w/ an 11-week old). I noticed my symptoms got worse as I got older; over the years, my doctor had to make some modifications to my meds in order for me to better deal with my anxiety. I strongly suggest that you make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible to discuss the way you're feeling & work towards a resultion. You owe it to your self & to your children. You'll be a better mother & wife as a result. Best of luck!
-R.

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A.G.

answers from Bangor on

Hi K.-

K.,

I am sorry that you are having trouble with panic attacks- it is very smart of you to get help though- medication, reiki, etc.

Here are some other ideas to look into along the alternative medicine path- have you thought about acupuncture or seeing a homeopathic doctor? It never hurts just to try it out and see what they have to say. Also, have you heard of Back Flower Remedies? I used 2 different ones after a death in the family, which just helped to open and heal my heart. I also take one now that helped with irritability. For me, they work wonders. Just another idea- do you get regular exercise? Endorphins can be a great pick me up. Or what about yoga.

Just throwing some ideas out there. I hope you find the support you need. Keep trying!

Be Well,
A.

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J.C.

answers from Boston on

Hi K.,
I tried to write to you the other day but for what ever reason sprit didn't think it was time yet .Maybe you surrendering and asking for help for your self was it. Congratulation this was not an easy thing to do I have been there my self. I don't know if you know what a shaman healer is but this is what I do as well as a reiki and Also I'm A ligharian Master amongst other things.Which means I do have the abilities to teach both. I work with energy and am guided by Spirit to have these abilities to work and do my healing work.I have realized there are only to things in life Unconditional Love & Fear!!!!!So I often ask myself when I am in a state of mind when I have these panic attacks what is going through my mind.....Is it not being in control of a situation, in my relationship, did I just get of the phone with my mom or dad....What memories of feelings is this bring back up into your subconscious mind.Because if your not loving the situation with unconditional love it must be fear and what is this fear.The fear of the unknown.

What your child is going through is very simple she is a crystal child YOu ask what is a crystal child ? She is Phycic She is seeing things this is what is scaring here and causing some of your panicing. you have the same abilities but have not come to gpip with it. and that's OK nothing to be scared of If you give it power it has power .So give it none.What she see's could be her guideds. Your guideds we are all born with at lease 2 and you could have more. She could be seeing Arce Angel Micheal ask here what she is seeing instead if fearing it and remember she feels your fear.Micheal is the Angel of protection.Tell her to ask Arce Angel Micheal to put his blur bubble around her and the house this may help with this sleeping thing she has going on .He very tall and Blue there are others Arce Angels they all have different colors and different meanings like I said get some books because all these angels soround us I work with these children it's amazing what they are doing in there sleep time and what they see.There are books out there on crystal children and your baby is a rainbow child there is not a whole lot on the rainbow children yet. All these children are amazing. There is not a pill that is going to fix this your going to have to do your work these children of today are here to teach us. They are going to fix this mess that has been created. The world is falling appart.And it needs to be fixed mother earth is not happy. You would be amazed at what these children see .They seem scared because no one has explained to them what they are seeing. So we need to educate our selfs.This is why the kids are bored in school the kids are way smarter than what they are teaching. They don't have ADD,ADHD,AUTSIM...These children don't need to speak .theses moms understand there children just fine theses kids are speaking telepathically .Look at your kids understand your kids Moms your kids let you know when someone just isn't right that is in your space. Not to compare them to a dog but if you have a dog and you bring someone that is not right into your home the dog will let you know. The kids have the same intuition. We have the same gifts. BUT because our life have been rule with everyday hectic bull we are not using our intuition .Watch your children learn from them.Get books yourselves learn about energy because this is what there all about. these children are working with the Angelic Realm they are working with colors. I'm sorry if I got off the subject a I just get a bit excited I have so much info the children are tired of not being heard as you know they don't speak your language. Let me retract they do speak some of choose not to listen to them. SO they do crazy things like hurt them selfs.Or scream of hours ,or not poop,or poop,But one starts to understand that pooping is a release of negative energy and if they are using bath time to release water is and emotion you put it together and this child is very frustrated. A child hitting its head on the floor he or she is tiring to be heard and is very angry about not being listen to. As a parent it is hard to detach from the situation being so rapped up in that momment. But sometimes you just need to put the child in the bedroom stand back and evaluate the situation (DETACH) is the key word DETACH) from that emotion for a second..and say OK what is he or she trying to say put the pieces of the puzzle together.from the beginning don't leave anything out. It is very important you don't leave anything out.
You know the saying sometimes when your in the forest sometime you can't see beyond the trees!!!!
anyone feel free to contact me this is my life purpose
to free these children
____@____.com

OH one more thing BREATH in the WHITE LIGHT & BLOW OUT NEG ENERGY Always other wise it causes D-I-S-E-A-S-E

May The Light Alway Shine Upon You & Your Family
Peace,Love& Joy
J.

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D.L.

answers from Hartford on

Hi K., exercise might help you with panic attacks. My mother-in-law has them frequently and unfortunetly meds don't agree with her. When she feels one starting, she jogs in place for a few minutes. She swears it helps! Good luck

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J.R.

answers from Lewiston on

Not sure if I can offer too much advice, but I can certainly relate if nothing else. I have suffered panic attacks for a little over 10 years ~ they were at their worst following the birth of baby 2 (now 20 mths old). I was scared to death of everything - even driving down the road for groceries would send me into a panic attack. I have tried a number of different meds, finally found one that takes the edge off (Lexapro) but while I was nursing and couldn't take anything I read a lot of books on relaxation and teaching your mind to calm itself when you feel an attack coming on. The one I found the most helpful was The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson & Miriam Klipper. I also tell myself many times a day that my anxious feelings are unreasonable (even if I'm not feeling anxious at that moment)--- it just helps to remind me that I can help myself feel better by calming my thoughts as often as possible.

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