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Panic disorder

Really struggling with this at the moment. I have been having daily panic attacks for weeks I had to give up my job because of them, several trips to the ER feeling like I was dying, it's effecting my life so much. I started medication 2 weeks ago and no improvement. I have been drinking to numb the pain and stop the racing thoughts but it only makes it worse the next day. I just wish I could believe the positive and that it will get better

10 REPLIES 10

Re: Panic disorder

@Goldie1980It is important that you had the courage to post on here. Panic IS overwhelming, but please give it time. Eventually you can learn how to draw on your strengths to understand help manage the attacks.  I have had them for periods and they usually signify I am at the end of my tether.  Keep your appointments and work with your mental health team.

  Good Luck.

I will tag some others so you can get to know people on the forum.

@soul @Former-Member @Sahara @Snowie  @Former-Member @Former-Member

Re: Panic disorder

Thanks @Appleblossom

Hi @Goldie1980, I can relate to panic attacks and how much they affect us. I have them too and find them scary and exhausting

Please don't feel like you have to answer the below questions.

Do you know what are causing the panic attacks? I know mine are brought on from trauma when I was younger.

What sort of support system do you have around you and what type of coping strategies if any do you use to help with the panic attacks?

Please keep talking on here, you will find people who can support you in your journey.

 

Former-Member
Not applicable

Re: Panic disorder

Hi @Goldie1980 - believe in the positive (all will be well) and they will ease and pass quicker with less frequency. That is the tricky part, believing that - changing the thinking at this time before they get bad and/or talking ourselves down to calm when they do. But it can work. CBT is particularly good in helping to control anxiety. Slow breathing can help and trying to stay distracted (keep busy). All helped me unless in immediate traumatic circumstances. Then I needed more.

I have/can suffer debilitating anxiety attacks and was agrophobic for some years - I have ended up in ER hyperventilating. Its a real nightmare -  I feel for you. I found there could be several triggers - catastrophe thinking (believing the worse will happen) being the main one together with mental scars from past hurts and traumas (fearing they will repeat); substance abuse, constant worry and excessive fear of some circumstance; and/or physical disorders (thyroid/hormonal/adrenaline imbalance etc) can trigger them.

Drinking will make the attacks worse keeping the cycle going as you have already guessed - especially when mixing with meds. They will stop the meds from working to their full benefit. If it's anti-depressants you have been on for 2 weeks?? - they can make the panic worse at first. I experience bad panic when first on them - but these side effects do pass. It will take anywhere from 6 weeks to see any improvement. If the attacks get too bad before that time as it sounds it has, discuss with your medical professional for something to take until the other meds have kicked in fully.

Hope these panic attacks diminish and get less and less in frequency for you very soon.

 

Former-Member
Not applicable

Re: Panic disorder

Thank you @Appleblossom Hi @Snowie 
Welcome to the forum @Goldie1980 Panic attacks are simply awful, for me, they can come in a variety of intensity, some with warning and some seemingly out of nowhere. Sometimes medication takes longer than we'd like to have enough of an effect on the chemistry of our body to make a noticeable difference, so it's important to stick with the dr's advice and the meds. 

As you know the effects of self medicating is compounding the situation, perhaps you could try some other options as you let the meds do their thing. 

I must admit, I have learned to take a practical step by step approach when it comes to ways of coping, so I apologise in advance if my suggestions aren't helpful. 

My panic attacks, and all the related emotional stuff that goes with them, stem from trauma situations starting in childhood and being added to as I grew older. 

I find I can manage reactions better these days because I know most of the situations that are likely to trigger an attack so I prepare ahead of time to head them off. 

Relaxation exercises, meditation exercises, crochet, sewing, craft and things of interest, activities that require focus and attention are good. Things not so much reading or tv viewing because they aren't totally consuming.

Is there something you do that helps? Have you been able to identify any thing that causes the anxiety? You don't need to say what those things are, just to work them out for yourself can be really usefull. 

I hope you find the forum a helpful and friendly place and look forward to seeing you around. Woman Very Happy

Re: Panic disorder

Thank you it does help knowing I'm not alone in this struggle and that there are others going through it. I hate anxiety and the physical symptoms that come with it. I was starting to lose hope that it can and will get better but I have to try remain positive that I can overcome this and give the medication time to fix the chemical imbalance as well as wait until I can see a mental health professional to learn cooing strategies.

Re: Panic disorder

I have few traumas also relating to my childhood my father was an alcoholic and a very abusive man. My mother loved me but she was not very affectionate in showing this so I believe I lacked that emotional bond growing up being cuddles and told I was loved. This I believe led me to look for love from the wrong people, my first love left me for another woman when my second child was 4 weeks old and this was when my depression started spiralling downhill. I eventually picked up the pieces and met another man who was very physically violent towards me and there where times I feared for my life. I found the strength to leave him and have good and bad periods with anxiety since. My biggest concern is that I'm going to be stuck dealing with these awful physical symptoms of these panic attacks and it's not going to get better. It's effecting my quality of life, I also had to give up my job I worked at for 4 years because I was having panic attacks so now I have more time on my hands for the racing thoughts.

Re: Panic disorder

Hey there my dear friend, Goldie1980, (golden was my birth hair color, and 1980 is my birth year,) so's we got that in common.  Sorry about the panic attacks.  I'm not going to dog you for drinken.  I used to do drugs because the euphoria provided by the drugs over-shawdowed the pain, distress, and or abuse I was currently enduring.  No one knows your pain, brother.  Pay those people no mind.  The ones that scold you with all the facts.  It may be true that you are just putting a bandaid on a massive wound and doing more damage than good.  But, atleast you are not entertaining distortions of drowning yourself in the lake you raised your daughter to feed the ducks at.  ..............  Sorry, back to you.  Man, you know drinking your pain away is a futile fantasy.  You'll do what you want to!  I think you will do fine.  You've got enough intellagence to hold down a job, use a computer, so you've got enough sense to know when enoughs enough.  Hang in there.  My prayers are for you my strong, and courageouse brother.

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Re: Panic disorder

My panic disorder friend, you pay those folks no mind that dog you for drinken.  When you learn better you'll do better.  Panic attacks can be scary.  Scarier than a heart attack, there is no end to a heart attack sometimes; but there are warning signs.  Does drinking alcohol encourage panic attacks?  

Here is some help for you:

10 Warning Signs Of A Panic Attack
Former-Member
Not applicable

Re: Panic disorder

@Goldie1980 do you have anything you like to do to help shift your focus from the troubling thoughts to something else, at least for a little while? Like a distraction, so you can get a bit of a rest from the thoughts.  Sure , they're not going to go away completely until the underlying issue is dealth with.

However, you can be kind to yourself and give yourself some time to find a solution by getting that break in the seemingly continuous flow of troublesome thoughts, if that makes sense. 

One of the tricksy things with panic attacks is not the panic attack itself, it is the worry about when and where we might end up having a panic attack begins to control our behaviours. 

Give yourself some time to mend a bit. Do you do crafty things? Read or watch engaging and uplifting television (negative stuff isn't helpful), or go walking, even just sit outside in the fresh air for a while? 

I hope your day is just the teensiest bit better than yesterday. Heart

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