Panic / Anxiety Attacks

Updated on April 29, 2009
J.S. asks from Portage, MI
21 answers

I was wanting a little input on panic/anxiety attacks... I believe I am having them.. I looked up some information about some symptoms I have been having and thats what it pointed to .. such as .. right as I am about to fall asleep I get this "rushing " feeling kinda like adrenaline or as if my blood is rushing through my body. as soon as i open my eyes it dies down but i still have the rapid heartbeat the sweating. I have been under stress but These kind of came out of no where and they only happen when i go to bed.. not sure if i am thinking about too much stuff or what. I also get this feeling as if there is pressure on my neck kinda like I am being choked.. I do have headaches quite often with the occassional tension headache.. I am tired often .. and this all leads to panic attacks.. I am gonna go to the DR. as soon as my insurance kicks in here shortly but if anyone else deals with panic/anxiety attacks.. how do you help relieve this...and really how serious is it ? Thanks in advance
J.

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So What Happened?

Thak you to EVERYONE for all the advice.. I am going to be going to the doctor soon when insurance kicks in . and I think I might try the natural sleep medicine.. I do need to find time for myself and see if that helps out a little before i go and get all drugged up lol.. Thanks again I will let you know if it is anything else

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi J.,

Sounds like me also. I am a very axious person who worries about everything to the fullest. I started taking prozac, which is one of the most milder anxiety meds, but it works very well. Once it kicked in I started to have more of a laid back attitude, focusing on the more important things to really worry about. Just a quick note, if you can avoid the xanx please do. It is one of the most addiciting meds, and one of the Hardest to come off of. I know a couple of people that actually had to go to an inpatient rehab to come off of them and the withdraws they said made them feel like they could die. Trust me don't take that one. Anyway at night about a yr. ago, due to stress, I started having a lot of racing thoughts at night and would be up all night. The dr. put me on Abilify along with the prozac and I am doing great. Until you get in to see the Dr. try to relax and take deep breaths and maybe take two Benedryl at night about 1/2 to 1 hr. before bed, beleive me it works. I tried this and it did wonders. Good luck and take care. If you have any questions please feel free and email me.

S.

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A.M.

answers from Detroit on

Are you on any birth control? The Mirena has been known to cause panic attacks and depression. My friend had them bad, made the connection with the Mirena, got off the Mirena and they went away. Otherwise, my best friend had them and she found relief from following the advice of a little short book called "Panic Attacks" (I think that's the name)

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A.H.

answers from Grand Rapids on

About 10 years ago I suffered from them. My dr put me on paxil, and then xanax for when I was actually having an attack. This worked, but I went off the paxil because I felt better after about 5 months...which apparantly you aren't supposed to do. You are supposed to take those kind of things for 9 months to a year. But anyway, I started having the attacks again, but only occasionally, and not wanting to get back on the paxil, I went to the bookstore. I purchased a book called The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. With the aid of that and the xanax, I was able to totally wipe them out. For a couple of years I would have one or two a year, and then they were gone. I haven't had one in about 7 years!!!! And mine were like yours, I would have an attack when I slowed down. And having them under control, I didn't even have them when pregnant...although I did have post partum depression with my 2nd child, which was treatable with a very low dose of zoloft (I was breastfeeding and worried about the baby). With my 3rd and 4th preg, I started taking the zoloft at the hospital, and didn't shed a tear, or have any anxiety whatsoever. If your Dr. puts you on some kind of drug, remember 3 things: 1)It can take up to a month for the drug to be totally effective.
2)Just because they go away, don't stop taking the drug.
3)I have found with the anti-depressents, that you have to play around with when you take them, to get them to be most effective for you. (ie When on paxil, taking it t 11am worked best, with the zoloft, 1pm works best for me)
And if you are thinking of gettng pregnant in the near future, let the dr. know, cause some of the drugs are not fetal friendly...like paxil. Sorry, this really ran on! I just know what it is like to be where you are. If you have any specific questions, send me a note, and I'd be happy to share from my experiences. Otherwise, good luck to you!

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M.P.

answers from Detroit on

You know the saying we are what we eat? It is true. My suggestion is to look at what you are eating and drinking. Did you know that by eating certain foods and drinking alcohol and/or caffeinated drinks will fuel the stress and headaches? Eating healthy will help. Foods with B vitamins really help. B vitamins have a calming affect. A natural food based B Complex vitamin is always great!

Exercise. Maybe take a bike rid or walk with the boys.

Also, reading a book before bedtime provides a calming affect.

So you don't overwhelm yourself make 1-2 changes per month. Just think in a year you would have made 12-24 changes that become routine.

Good luck!

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J.L.

answers from Detroit on

I will just reitterate what everyone else is saying. However, I do have one more suggestion...when was the last time your blood pressure was checked? Just a thought. However, I have been going to therapy for over a year now. I have an anxiety disorder, along with a form of ocd as well as depression. I started like you just when i was in bed at night and then the panic/anxiety attacks started happening all of the time. I was a mess. with therapy i have been doing much much better. she taught me how to cope. But with recent issues going on in my life they are getting a little worse again. I am trying though. See a therapist if you can afford it or your insurance covers it. Its amazing what it can do for you. i feel as though i am becoming a posterchild. lol

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H.P.

answers from Kalamazoo on

I having been dealing with panic/anxiety attacks for about a year, also depression. I am medicated, but I still have them every so often. It honestly feels like you could be having a heart attack and can be very scary. I never got a feeling like blood rushing through my veins, though. I have pain in my chest, very rapid heartbeat, sweaty. A lot of my anxiety comes from stress, but I also have a very huge fear of death and sometimes something will trigger that fear and I'll have one. Deep breathing is a very good therapy. Just clear your mind and take slow deep breaths holding for 5 seconds and releasing very slowly. If they get worse or do not improve talk with your doctor about Klonopin. It works great and I have noticed no side effects and as far as I can tell they are not addictive. I don't take them all the time, only when necessary. You may also find that talking with a counselor helps, getting things off your chest and venting helps. Good luck to you.

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L.T.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Jamie,
I have had panic/anxiety disorder and have had it for 20 something years now. The symptoms you describe could be panic/anxiety. You said it just came out of the blue? Nothing has happened that has been traumatic in your life? The reason I ask is because I have had some very tragic events happen and that is when I started having them and even though now my life is so much different I still will get them. Sometimes if I'm driving in the car alone I will get them, sometimes they just come out of the blue and I have to take a step back and try to see what may have brought it on. They are not as frequent as they use to be, but it is scary when they happen. I get rapid heart beat and I feel as if I'm in some kind of impending danger. I will get shaky, my mouth will get dry and I will sweat. sometimes I feel like I can't catch my breath. When I am by myself I have learned to first control my breathing and basicly tell my self that I am okay and usually it will start to disipate (sp) within a couple of minutes. Sometimes I just have to call my husband and talk to him for a few minutes until I feel okay again. It is good that you have a doctors appointment to discuss this with him or her. Hopefully they will be able to help you discover why these are happening now and possibly give you medication for them depending how serious the doc might feel it it. Also at some point you might want to see a counselor if they continue. As far as how serious is panic/anxiety I guess depends on you and how often you are having them, but for some people they are pretty serious, myself included. I hope some of this has helped. Good luck to you.
L.

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L.G.

answers from Detroit on

When i start having panic attacks i start to to deep breathing. in threw your nose out threw your mouth. try also to picture yourself somewhere you feel relaxed such as by the pool , beach etc. I also so to a tanning booth with keeps me relaxed through out the day. Hiope I could help. L.

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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

I take medication for anxiety and I admit I was a little apprehensive at first. I didn't want to feel anxious, but I also didn't want to depend on medication. Well it turns out that the feeling of the anxiety going away is worth the resolve to be on medication. However, if the natural approach works for you, go for it. Don't be disappointed, though if it doesn't. It didn't for me. Also, ask your doctor about an adrenaline disorder. This can be easily treated and cause the exact symptoms you are noticing.

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C.J.

answers from Lansing on

Jamie,

I don't know a whole lot about anxiety attacks, but I do know about adult onset asthma due to allergies. So, here's the question - is your mattress encased in a dustmite barrier? What about your pillow? When was the last time your pillow was washed? Do you have carpeting in your bedroom and when was the last time you vacuumed under your bed?

You might want to try an over-the-counter anti-histamine for a few days and see if your symptoms clear up. It sounds to me like you have some type of inhaled allergy (soil mold, dust mites, pollen, etc.) and this is causing the tightness in your chest, headaches due to oxygen deprivation, tiredness because your body is always fighting a battle against invaders (allergens) and because you are not sleeping well, etc.

I suggest you visit an allergist when your insurance takes effect and get tested for inhaled allergies. Also, keep track of what happens when your symptoms occur - where you are, what you are wearing (even perfume), what helps to alleviate the symptoms, and what the weather is like on that day.

For example - I have seasonal allergies and take Allegra 180 in the spring, summer, and fall. I know for certain that when the sycamore trees start pollinating I need to close up the house and turn on my air filters because I am severely allergic. After the trees are done pollinating and it has rained I can open the house again and enjoy the season. I have many allergies to trees, grasses, flowers, and molds, but by being aware of the season and checking the daily pollen counts I can keep my home clean - a place where my body won't over-react and trigger an asthma attack.

I hope you are feeling better, and let us know what happens when you see your doctor.

-C..

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L.W.

answers from Detroit on

Have your thyroid checked while you are at the doctor...

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S.C.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Jamie -

I too have had my fair share of panic/anxiety attacks. I'm on meds for them just as others have suggested but when I was pregnant I couldn't take the meds so I started keeping a journal. The ability to write things down helped me relax. I didn't have to try to "remember" everything because it was already written down and I could figuratively "let it go". It was also something I could take in to my doctor for his review to map out my symptoms. Making lists of things I needed to do the following day and keeping a calendar with dates and such of things that needed to be done (ie: doctors appt's, kids field trips, etc.) also helped. You need to find an outlet for your busy life events. Also, another mom on here mentioned taking Melatonin to help you fall asleep. This definitely will help. Melatonin is a natural by-product produced in the body. I give it to my boys to help them with falling asleep, too. However, I have found that the Melatonin with B-6 works much much better than the straight Melatonin. The B-6 helps you absorb the Melatonin and helps it to work faster.

Good luck - S.

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M.G.

answers from Jackson on

Dear J., You describe to a "T" how I felt over the last ,wow, 9 years now.

I felt the things you talk about. With some changes and strategies those feelings are gone. Medications did not help me.

May I ask some questions so I better understand? When did these start? Are there some big or scary changes in your life? Or, more what I was feeling...are you feeling trapped or not getting the changes you believe you must have?

Do you have someone to go to for venting?

There were several inside things I needed to work out but two made the most difference 1) choosing to trust and become grateful...in details with God and with others 2)learn to respect, particularly my husband. (which totally took God's help)

Can we talk about these and a couple of other things that made a HUGE difference...and worked?

Feel free to give me a call
###-###-####
warmly,
M.

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

Been there, done that! I used to have that problem. It was freaky. Thought I was going to loose it! I learned to breathe thru it. Slowly. In the nose, out the mouth. And pray. :) Now I take anti-stress/anxiety supplements that help. They have no side effects because they are natural. I can tell you all about them if you want. They work!

S.
[email protected]____.com

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K.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi J., Those anxiety attacks must be so scary for you.
I'm sorry you have to experience these things. There have been times in my life that situations are so overwhelming,
I can't see straight. There has been no peace or assurance
any where. Well, I have found the antidote for such times.
I gave my life over to Jesus Christ. He is now my Lord and Savior, I am His child. I have a personal releationship with Jesus. The Bible is such a source of
peace and joy, wisdom and peace. Reading the Psalms is
a "Balm of peace" and assurance. It is comforting to know
David, the author of the Psalms felt the very same way
you do. His (Jesus) word (the Bible) is everything
one needs. The more we seek Him, read the Bible, go
to Church the more He comes alive to us. Another
way I have gone to sleep peacefully is to put on Christian Worship CD's and leave it on. Before I know it I am sound
a sleep all worries are behind me. Of course, ask Jesus
to heal you of these attacks and give you sweet sleep.
Have you ever prayed to ask Jesus into your life and help you in this area of your life? I know for certain He will.
I pray that he shows Himself real to you. May the peace of the Lord be with you. K.

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

Or it could be something different at the source of these symptoms. Headaches, sweats,..they could be symptomatic for lyme. If you want to get to the root of the problem, don't settle for just any answer that hooks you up on meds you may not need. A doctor who tries to look for the principle cause makes a lot more sense. It would take some lab tests sure, but it's better to rule out than misdiagnose.

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K.P.

answers from Detroit on

My husband was experiencing the exact same symptoms as you. It would hit him when he would lie down in bed to go to sleep. He would feel as if he was having a heart attack. The doc said he was having classic panic attacks and that they most often hit you when you are lying down.
He prescribed him medication to deal with them. Go see your doctor as soon as you can.

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K.H.

answers from Detroit on

just a little note to add to the others advice. try taking melatonin to help fall asleep.

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J.L.

answers from Saginaw on

Hello Jamie,

I USED to have these same attacks. In fact as I was driving I had one and I pulled a biker over to drive me in to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack! This is what you do, when you are going through them breath through your core and think of things that make you feel good. Also, start taking Shaklee's stress tabs and more B-complex. It's because you are under stress and your body is letting you know that it's on a overload! My Son just went through this and he did what I told him too and now he is fine! I told him to enjoy life not let life take you! Here is where you can order these products:www.shaklee.net/northernnutrition
Don't Panic you'll be just fine......

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K.M.

answers from Detroit on

It sounds like you need some time to yourself. You need to go see a massage therapist. Take a couple hrs. See if that helps also try to breath do some deep breathing. Also If you and your husband are ok. Sex helps. Good luck and remember no one is going to be good with a mom or wife who is sick or can't function. You need to take care of you before anything else.

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S.R.

answers from Detroit on

Your rapid heartbeat in bed and throat pressure along with headaches sound a lot like me. I have neck tension that causes the pressure and headaches. I've talked to my Dr about the adreniline/rapid heart beat and she suspects perimenopause as I'm 49. You seem young for that, but I think there is a chance it has to do with the neck muscles. Do you have ear "ringing" like the ocean? I think you could look into neck stretches as a start. I saw a Physical Therapist that showed me great ones if you're interested I could describe them to you. Another important factor is quality breathing. Slowly fill your lungs starting with your abdomen and ending in your chest, then release in the same order, trying to keep the length of in and out the same. They call it belly breathing in my kids school, but I learned it as "Yoga Breath" and it should help you relax. That said, I have trouble with it! I tend to panic when I pay too much attention to my breathing, but the idea is to not "pant" and to get equal breath in and out. Also, try to relax your neck by lowering your shoulder blades down your back and opening your chest. Not pinching the shoulder blades together. Let me know if you want those stretches. If it is panic, you may be able to control it w/o meds. But if you need them, don't hesitate. The stress is worse for you than the pills!

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