View Full Version : OT Anxiety and or panic disorder

06-09-2006, 09:25 AM
Does anyone here suffer from either of these?I have been having a hard time sleeping lately and I think this may be my problem I am tired when I go to bed but I just can't fall asleep I feel anxious and sweaty and just can't relax and go to sleep does any one else ever have this problem?I have never had trouble sleeping before.

06-09-2006, 10:16 AM
I have panic disorder, but never had any problem going to sleep. My problem (besides the panic attacks) was waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning and not being able to sleep any longer. I'd wake up with my heart pounding, and my mind racing.

The best advice I can give you is to see a doctor, rule out anything like thyroid, etc. which can also hype you up; then, if it turns out to be anxiety or panic disorder see a doc who is experienced in treating these things. There is definitely a chemical imbalance that contributes to this, so a psychiatrist that is up on that type of information is absolutely necessary.

My attacks started over 30 years ago, and nobody knew what they were then. At times they got so bad I could literally not leave the house. Fortunately, times have changed, and docs are aware of this. See somebody NOW. I basically lost 15 years of my life by being controlled by this disease, don't let it do that to you. Life is much too precious to miss out on it when treatment is readily available.

06-09-2006, 10:20 AM
I used to have a lot of anxiety and experienced a few panic attacks. My therapist put me on antidepressants for a while, and they helped a lot.

My biggest help for getting to sleep was to play "atmosphere" cds, like "Thunder Storm" or "Ocean Surf" or "Gentle Rain". I would also take a nice bath at night, with only a few candles for lighting in the bathroom. Hot tea (chamomile or "Sleepytime" by Celestial Seasonings) right before bed helped too, and staying away from caffeine after 5 p.m.

I also kept a small notebook by the bed. If I had things on my mind for work, I would write them down quickly. Sometimes, I would just call my voicemail at work and leave myself a message about things I didn't want to forget. That way, I could stop worrying about it until I got to work the next day. I was able to rest better that way.

Jan in CA
06-09-2006, 10:24 AM
I was also going to suggest seeing a doctor. If this is a new occurance you need to tell him/her that and what other things are going on in your life that might be the source of your problems. If it's not new then they still need to be aware of any changes. Beware of self diagnosis. :heart:

06-09-2006, 10:29 AM
I suffer a range of things from depression, anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia.

The insomnia is the worst of them all IMO. The more tired I am the less I am able to cope with the other things and insomnia drives me crazy.

So in January, I took a lifestyle change and totally altered my diet. No caffiene at all, no fizzy soda drinks (especially NOT diet soda drinks or anything with nutra sweet / aspartame in it - when heated it turns to formaldehyde and you ingest this - its rather dangerous!). Lots of fresh green leafy veg, no potatos, no tomatos, no fruit except bananas, no bread or products with wheat / gluten in them.

The difference has been vast. I've been sleeping much better, I have more energy and I feel better in myself. The panic attacks have reduced and the insomnia is highly reduced.

I stayed recently with my mother, I found it hard to sleep there, the bed was not comfortable and it was unusal surroundings - I'm still trying to catch back up on those few nights of "lost" sleep so I'm feeling it a lot, and have been sleepy in the afternoons at work.

Before the change of diet I'd be sleepy every single day at around 3pm. I could set my watch by it.

A couple of suggestions - make sure you do not eat for 4 hours before you go to bed. Do not drink any caffiene at all for a week, but drink plenty of water instead (aim for 2 litres a day) to flush out your system. Try switching meals around - so you use the old adage "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper" - this will give your body a big boost in the morning, a further boost at lunctime and then just something small to see you through the evening until breakfast the next day.

I found this has helped enormously and my insomnia has been vasty reduced for the first time in years.

06-09-2006, 10:30 AM
Thanks guys I have a physical set up for July 10th so hopefully I will get answers my problem is I am extremely hypersensitive to perscription drugs and have taken a couple for panick attacks in the past with the results being the opposite of what I was looking for.

06-09-2006, 10:31 AM
another thing you could try is a supplement called 5-HTP - I found this to help give a calmer feeling overall. I highly recommend it too.

06-09-2006, 11:15 AM
My pshrink wants me to incorporate more Omega-3 fatty acids into my diet, but I haven't. I drink red wine before I go to bed, and that helps me sleep because the chemicals in the wine have the same effect as the tranquilizers that he gives me to take for when I can't deal anymore.

I've been having a panic attack for about a week now. It is no fun at ALL. Hopefully you'll get your stuff figured out.

06-09-2006, 04:05 PM
I totally sympathize with you!! I woke up this morning with the classic symptoms of an anxiety attack (sweaty, heart pounding, sick stomach). It's no fun at all! I've been able to stay off prescription drugs because I've learned how to calm myself down by telling myself it's an anxiety attack. Weird how it works for me... I hope you get everything straightened out!

Make sure you are keeping in touch with friends and family. That helps me a lot! Somehow it feels better when you have someone to talk to, even if it's not about your anxiety.

06-09-2006, 04:08 PM
Yeah I would like to stay off meds as well I don't do well with perscription drugs .

06-09-2006, 04:21 PM
Years ago out of the blue I started having panic attacks. It started after my first child was born. To make a long story it was horrible. The medication Xanax is what really helped me. It worked wonders for me. Good luck!

06-09-2006, 06:01 PM
I still suffer from depression & anxiety. And yes, sleep is a huge problem.

I can't take anything at the moment because of the pregnancy.

Valerian is a herbal calming supplement you can take about 40 minutes before you 'want' to go to bed. It doesn't put you to sleep, but it relaxes your body and mind so you CAN go to sleep. I found it helped me stay asleep, as I was always tired.

When I feel an anxiety attack coming on, I put my relaxation classical CD on (I can reccomend 4-5 pieces in particular), and close my eyes and breath deeply. After about 10 minutes, I feel much better.

Another way I've found to work is to go on a power walk for 5 minutes and really breathe out the anxiety.

06-09-2006, 06:15 PM
Good advice thanks! It helps just knowing I am not alone.

06-09-2006, 06:16 PM
Get some anti-depressants!!!!!! I can't stress this enuf.

When I think of all the years I suffered (until las August when I fianlly broke down and started on Lexapro) I get a little sad for me. I think I missed out on some peaceful living.

My daughter also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and we are, I would say, both pretty calm people. When I saw her skipping through the house whistling, I looked up and smiled. She stopped and said, "I skip a lot now that I am on anti-depressants." I ran to my doctor and am grateful everyday for the improved quality of life.

06-09-2006, 06:19 PM
Lexapro is your friend honey. On the day before my 40th birthday,I went to my doctor. I have been having lot's of trouble sleeping. I would wake up at 2-3 am with heart pounding and worrying about what ever ( mostly money or work) and I was very, very fuzzy headed and constantly on an emotional roller coaster.

He gently said "well, you know you are 40" So before I could throw the stirrup at him, he gave me a sample of lexapro. What a difference this has made in my life. My children and my husband notice a big difference.
My children call it my happy medicine and I sleep much better.


06-10-2006, 07:18 AM
:cheering: I slept soundly last night I took a bath about an hour before I went to bed and 30 minutes before I took 25mg of Benadryl (suggested by my doctor) and to my surprise it worked!!!

Denise in Michigan
06-10-2006, 11:34 AM
That is terrific news! Bet the sun looks brighter this morning! :sunny:

06-10-2006, 11:38 AM
Thats half the problem I think it has been raining here for a week!!!

06-10-2006, 04:47 PM
Glad the Benedryl worked as a short term solution. If it continues though, please, please go see your doc again and/or a psychologist. Professionals are worth the price- they will give you the safest, most effective treatment. I am in the psych field myself, though certainly not qualified to give you any recomendations apart from-go see a psychologist. if your anxiety persists, and is caused by things happening in your life (most always is, or is related to how you react to things happening in you life), there is likely a non pharmacological treatment that would be effective for you. If you decide to see a psychologist, ask your doc for a referral- please don't pick a name out of the phonebook. Unfortunately there are a lot of kooks out there- and make sure they have a doctorate- not just a masters, and that they are liscenced. Ok, there's my two cents.

06-10-2006, 04:51 PM
Thank you so much for your 2 cents I made a doctors appt for July 10th(earliest they could take me)and I plan on asking for a referral to a psychologist I figured I don't have anything to lose by getting my head checked so to speak I really want to avoid drugs if I can.

06-10-2006, 04:59 PM
Thank you so much for your 2 cents I made a doctors appt for July 10th(earliest they could take me)and I plan on asking for a referral to a psychologist I figured I don't have anything to lose by getting my head checked so to speak I really want to avoid drugs if I can.

Being on anti depressants isn't the worst thing in the world. And quite often a small dosage for a shorter amount of time (around 4-6 months) can help 'even your keel' so to speak, so the non drug methods of dealing with your anxiety work.

I was on a very low dosage of AD's for 4 months, then weaned off at 1/2 strength for 2 weeks. This was so we could try for a baby.

I have managed to use the tools that the psychologist gave me effectively since. But as I am prone to PND due to having both a personal and family history of depression & anxiety, I will return to the "happy pills" if they're needed.

Much luck to you!

06-10-2006, 05:05 PM
I will definately take something if I have to but my problem is that I am so sensitive to that stuff that most I have tried make me totally out of it I recently had such a bad case of the flu that my doctor gave me some ambien to help me sleep the lowest dose they have and I cut it in half but I still was totally comatosed the first night and loopy for the next whole day!And I have had the same expierience with a couple of anti depressants so I am going to try extra hard to avoid them if possible.

06-10-2006, 05:44 PM
One thing that helps my insomnia is falling asleep to the tv. (Luckily, DH doesn't mind.) It not only distracts me from my tinnitus (ringing in the ears), but it really helps keep my mind off of whatever I may worry about when I'm left alone with my thoughts. A lot of times I will wake up again in the middle of the night, but I just turn the tv on again. (The turn-off timer comes in very useful here.) CNN and documentaries seem to work the best. It still takes a while to fall asleep sometimes, but at least I'm learning about something rather than stewing over not being able to fall asleep, which I'm sure only compounds the problem.

I do sometimes take Benadryl if I'm having a real problem, and that usually but not always works for me. When I worked in a hospital (15 years ago), a lot of patients were prescribed Benadryl for sleep so I think it might actually be okay for long-term use -- unlike some other medications that are made specifically for insomnia. (As you probably know, Benadryl is really an antihistamine -- anti-allergy medication -- that has a side effect of drowsiness. It's also great for nausea so you can use it instead of dramamine for sea-sickness -- just remember that it'll probably make you sleepy! I personally prefer ginger capsules for nausea, but if you're in a pinch...)

Another recommendation I have is taking vitamins. I know it sounds weird, but I've been taking them for the last few months and my previously chronic headaches (and even the insomnia) seem to have lessened. Maybe it's coincidence, but it can't hurt. I prefer the Viactiv chews because I have a really hard time swallowing those yucky pills. The chews are almost like candy, though the multi-vitamin one does have a teensy bit of vitamin taste -- not any worse than the taste of say, a clif or luna bar, though. I'm sure they are better absorbed than highly compacted tablets too.

I'm glad you plan to ask your physician for a referral to a pdoc -- I, like many others, spent many miserable years not-very-successfully coping with major depression because I didn't want to "resort" to ADs. There is less of a stigma now, but some people still think that willpower alone can cure any psychological problem. Depression, anxiety, and related disorders can be reactive (situational) but they can also just be plain biologically-based and some of us just have a chemical imbalance that will be much more receptive to meds than any amount of cognitive therapy. One thing I do suggest is to research any meds before you take them, if you elect to go that route. (There are a couple I would stay away from just because they have shorter half-lives and make you more susceptible to unpleasant withdrawal syptoms if you stop taking them, or even just miss a dose or two.) Let your doc know that you are sensitive to drugs so you can start extra slowly.

Good luck w/ your appt and let us know what happens. We are rooting for you! :thumbsup:

06-10-2006, 06:44 PM
Thank you I will keep you posted.

06-11-2006, 12:21 AM
The symptoms you have may be related to depression and anxiety. But one very often over looked thing is peri-menopause. The 10-15 years before menopause can have sleep disturbances, anxiety, many physical changes that seem like seperate disorders. When treated seperately the underlying problem isn't adressed. Read up on it on line and see if any of it sounds like you. Talk to the doctor about it. It may not be depression/anxiety alone, that just may be a symptom. I have no idea how old youare but these symptoms can begin in the 30's.

Good luck.

06-11-2006, 05:37 AM
I will definately take something if I have to but my problem is that I am so sensitive to that stuff that most I have tried make me totally out of it I recently had such a bad case of the flu that my doctor gave me some ambien to help me sleep the lowest dose they have and I cut it in half but I still was totally comatosed the first night and loopy for the next whole day!And I have had the same expierience with a couple of anti depressants so I am going to try extra hard to avoid them if possible.

Fair enough. But just so you know, you can get dosages as small as 35mg in brand like Effexor-XR. This is what I used to "come off" my dosage of 75mg.

If you go down the path of pills, then make sure you get all the information that you can about possible side effects (one of which will be nausea)..