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View Full Version : Anyone here have anxiety or panic attacks?


figaro
07-23-2008, 06:26 PM
I am pretty sure that I am in one of those groups. And whatever it is, it is linked to severe thunderstorms. It started since we moved to the east coast, my husband was gone and we had a real bad storm come through that turned into a tornado warning. It never materialized where I was thankfully. Now whenever we have a sever storm, I start shaking, my chest starts to hurt some, and I think I am gonna go crazy. My husband does not understand it, he thinks I can just stop thinking about it and it is gone. This last one started a while ago and I am just now starting to feel a little more normal.

Who do you see if you think you are suffering from this? A psychiatrist or a psychologist? Or do I start with my regular Dr.? I just know that I need to talk to someone who understands and can help me work thru this. I am absolutely miserable.

Who ever reads this, thanks for listening!

miccisue
07-23-2008, 06:43 PM
I am pretty sure that I am in one of those groups. And whatever it is, it is linked to severe thunderstorms. It started since we moved to the east coast, my husband was gone and we had a real bad storm come through that turned into a tornado warning. It never materialized where I was thankfully. Now whenever we have a sever storm, I start shaking, my chest starts to hurt some, and I think I am gonna go crazy. My husband does not understand it, he thinks I can just stop thinking about it and it is gone. This last one started a while ago and I am just now starting to feel a little more normal.

Who do you see if you think you are suffering from this? A psychiatrist or a psychologist? Or do I start with my regular Dr.? I just know that I need to talk to someone who understands and can help me work thru this. I am absolutely miserable.

Who ever reads this, thanks for listening!
I have panic attacks....or to be more precise, Panic Disorder. Mine started when I was 14 (I'm in my 50's now), and no one had any clue as to what the heck was going on back then. Mine aren't linked to any particular thing......I can remember clear as day when they started. I'd be sitting in class, and all of a sudden I'd start feeling like I wasn't really there (derealization or depersonalization is a HUGE clue that someone has Panic Disorder) and get really scared. I'd pinch myself (like you read about people saying "pinch me, I must be dreaming"), but it never worked - mainly 'cause I wasn't dreaming, I'd fidget, it was all I could do to keep from running out of the class screaming. And, it had nothing to do with any particular class - it happened in ones I wasn't crazy about, but it also happened in ones I loved. It just hit out of the blue like lightning. I went to every doctor there was, but back then they had NO clue.
I'd go to a psychiatrist if I were you. I'm one of the "odd" ones who takes meds everyday, and doesn't mind it. Most people want to be med-free, but I existed for 14 years in a living hell until I found out what my problem was (believe it or not, I read an article in Cosmo that described the same symptoms I had had for 14 years). When I read the article I went to my MD, but that didn't help much. I found a clinical trial for people with PD and went to it, got on meds, and got my life back. I figure nobody tells people with diabetes to do without insulin, or to just "tough it out", and this is a chemical imbalance that I need medication to get it fine tuned. Anyway, a psychiatrist can give you meds AND use other forms of therapy. It may be that you can use meds temporarily, and rely on other treatments for the long haul (if that's what you want). An MD can prescribe meds, but doesn't always have the tools necessary for other treatment, a psychologist can use therapy but can't prescribe meds. That's why I think until you get things under control, a doc who can do both is the best.
Hope this helps. Believe me, I know where you're coming from - it's not something I'd wish on my worst enemy. Just remember you're not the only one who has this illness, that helps a lot!

figaro
07-23-2008, 07:11 PM
Do you know if there are meds for it that you do not have to take daily for it? Mine are from the storms so I don't think that I need to take something on a daily basis. Also you mentioned feeling like you are not there, I can remember feeling like I was not holding on to the steering wheel years ago. I never did let go (and never would) but I could understand the feeling of that, it is weird that someone else felt something similar to that. I have always felt that I was not normal, not in a bad way just in a different way. It is nice to know that someone else is kinda feeling the same thing.

I am going to make a appointment with a psychiatrist tomorrow. I am tired of feeling like there is a storm in my head while there is a storm outside. Thank you for your post and I am happy that you are better with the meds. I have no problem with them, hubby is a T2 Diabetic so if that is what is needed, so be it!

DianaM
07-23-2008, 07:17 PM
One of the main thing to do when dealing with anxiety/panic attacks is recognizing what triggers them. You already know one of the things that trigger yours: thunderstorms.

Talk to your psychiatrist about this.

I also recommend learning good relaxation techniques. Meditation and yoga help a lot. If you know the triggers for your attacks, and have the means to get yourself in a meditative state it'll be easier to deal with them. This has helped a lot of people who suffer from asthma attacks. In some instances it has managed to prevent the attacks themselves.

miccisue
07-23-2008, 07:32 PM
Do you know if there are meds for it that you do not have to take daily for it? Mine are from the storms so I don't think that I need to take something on a daily basis. Also you mentioned feeling like you are not there, I can remember feeling like I was not holding on to the steering wheel years ago. I never did let go (and never would) but I could understand the feeling of that, it is weird that someone else felt something similar to that. I have always felt that I was not normal, not in a bad way just in a different way. It is nice to know that someone else is kinda feeling the same thing.

I am going to make a appointment with a psychiatrist tomorrow. I am tired of feeling like there is a storm in my head while there is a storm outside. Thank you for your post and I am happy that you are better with the meds. I have no problem with them, hubby is a T2 Diabetic so if that is what is needed, so be it!
Oh, absolutely there are meds you don't have to take everyday. I just have to because of the illness I have. If it was anxiety due to flying, or something like that, there is stuff you can take just when you need it. Also, and this is why I suggested a psychiatrist, since yours is "specific" to storms, they may have you start off using meds during storms, but work really hard on behavioral therapy like breathing, positive thinking, etc. so that eventually you will be able to get past the storms without meds. My problem is that my PD would slam me out of the blue - no predicting when it would happen, and no emotional cause for it (well, until it got to the point years ago that I was afraid to go anywhere for fear of having a panic attack - that's what I meant by a living hell. I did get to the point where I was housebound out of fear of the attacks. But, as I say that was years and years ago before anyone had a clue as to what Panic Disorder is). I was a happy, well adjusted teenager who just got blindsided for no reason (other than my brain chemistry is just a bit off). Thus, I do need the meds regularly. It is the only thing that has worked for me, and believe me, I've been through every type of treatment possible over the years. When it first started, talk and behavioral therapy was all that was available...and they didn't do squat for me. But, like I said, I could be sitting at a movie laughing my head off at a comedy and it would smack me down. It's a crummy thing to have happen.
Good luck. It's rough now, but you will get better. I know. I've been in the pit and got out.

Mulderknitter
07-23-2008, 08:03 PM
Wow, what a great topic to post. I think I ran across another question like this a few years back in this forum, it always seems to crop up every now and again.
Like Miccisue, I have to take meds everyday. Mine started in my early 20's where I thought I was having a heart attack. Painful stabbing pains in my chest. Long story short, after numerous ER and dr visits, my primary md prescribed a whole slew of ASTHMA meds, which never worked. She just kept adding more and more.
After 2 years of this I was on the verge of suicide because of the attacks. But thankfully, I work in the mental health field and made myself an appt with a therapist. He immediately diagnosed me with panic disorder, and called that same doctor to have her put me on meds. She didn't want to but she agreed to a 1 month supply. (I still want to sue the bejeekers out of her!)
It took about 4 med changes to get everything right, and I've been on meds for about 5 years and my psychiatrist (the one's the give the meds) is fantastic. I did have to go through about 2 years of intensive therapy, but it was well worth it.
I can now usually talk myself out of a panic attack, and the meds keep me on an even keel for the most part. Continuing to see my psychiatrist has helped me to remember and utilize the things I learned in therapy.
I would really start with a therapist first. Find a Phd that your insurance covers and tell them what is going on. I have worked in mental health for over 10 years, and I really think that's the best way to go. Therapists can call your primary md and request a prescription to get you started, and then refer you to a psychiatrist to continue the prescription. They can advise you as to whether you should continue to see the therapist or just continue on the meds. Out of all of the mental health professionals out there, PhD's are my faves.
Be mindful though, just like a friend or confindant, the first therapist or psychiatrist may not be a good fit. Not your fault. Just request a new referal. Some people like to talk to women, others men. others like a certain wit, others want straight talk.
I sOOOOOO hope that this helps. :muah:

figaro
07-23-2008, 08:21 PM
I so wish I would have figured this out, well the seeing a Dr. part, earlier than 5:30 tonight. There is another storm (and maybe more) that is hitting getting ready to hit right now. My husband thinks that my checking the weather channel website (it has up to date radar) is keeping me upset but actually I am able to be a little more prepared and am able to watch the storms not hit like predicted. Does that make sense? I just hate storms and how they make me feel.

The girls are downstairs for a while too, watching cartoons in the basement where they do not hear it as much and don't see me getting upset.

Thank you everyone for talking about this, makes me feel not so alone.

Plantgoddess+
07-23-2008, 08:30 PM
I used to have panic attacks when I had to drive in the winter. I had general anxiety about driving at all.
I went to my family doctor about it when it started spiraling during perimenopause. I went on an antidepressant for a while and it was fabulous. I became a fearless driver. Now even years after going off the drug I no longer suffer anxiety about driving except under severe winter conditions and I find that tolerable.
I would recommend your doctor first and then a mental health specialist if necessary. You may only need something to relax you during storms for a while or you may benefit from therapy, but I think your GP would be a good starting place.

Krystal
07-23-2008, 08:34 PM
I have minor, sometimes pretty bad, but I wouldn't call them severe anxiety attacks whenever I need to call somebody. The less I know someone the worse the panic/anxiety.

I have a pretty basic phone phobia. I can only call my mother without any anxiety, but that is only during certain hours of the day.

Whenever I need to call for a doctor's appointment, or a dentist appointment, call in sick to work, I spend a good 15 min to a good hour working myself up to the call. The entire time I keep trying to find reasons to not make the call, my chest gets tight, I breath heavier, stomach flips and almost get a claustrophobic feeling. Just over all freak out.

Usually when I do call someone I call during times when I know I can get the answering machine. If someone calls me I am ok. I don't like to be on the phone very long, but I don't mind being called. I just can't call other people.

I am fortunate to live in the day and age of the internet and email, as I am able to avoid the phone pretty easily. I found the officiant for my wedding online, and emailed him with my number so he could call me.

Now if only I could book appointments online. :teehee:


I haven't thought to mention this to my doctor at all... That would probably be a good idea. I would think mentioning this to your regular family doctor is a good place to start. They could then assess the situation and help figure out the course of action to take... therapy/meds/whatever.

I hope you can find a resolution to your anxiety. Thunderstorms happen alot more randomly/frequently than I call people, and you don't always get a chance to even try to prepare yourself.

Puddinpop
07-23-2008, 09:22 PM
Krystal, your experience sounds like some I used to have. I had Graves Desease and it made my thyroid big. That made me claustraphobic, plus they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I had to tell a repair person what was wrong with my car and I thought I would pass out just trying to tell her what was wrong and the more I struggled to talk, the worse I got. I was lucky to have a general doctor recognize the depression and he put me on Lexapro. If I had had a clue as to what my problem was, (the depression) I think I would have seen a physchiatrist.

Knitting_Guy
07-26-2008, 12:10 AM
I've found that Jack Daniels is cheaper than a doctor and works twice as well.

Jan in CA
07-26-2008, 01:03 AM
I've found that Jack Daniels is cheaper than a doctor and works twice as well.

:fingerwag: Now, Mason.. behave yourself.

:teehee:

tarrentella
07-26-2008, 05:48 AM
I suffer with panic attacks/anxiety and have done for about 9 years now.

Ithey are not triggered by anything in particular but i do seem to have a bit of a social anxiety going on too (being in busy places or places i percieve to be busy, so even a room with 4 people in know well)can sometimes set them off.
I also have asthma and anxiety attacks can set off my asthma and vice versa which can be a bit of a bugger. I tend to control mine with a combination of homeopathic treatments (i like back flower remedies and the rescue remedy), counselling when i am going through bad patches, my asthma inhalor and chocolate.


Funny story about anxiety episode:
some pain medication i occasionally have to take for my knees can make me feel a little nuseus and short of breath (not great of your an asthmatic). I took some about 15 mintues before getting ona long haul plain, when already stressed and tired. My breathing goes a bit funny, i feel hot and sick and so, i begin to get a little anxious and flustered with tears in my eyes as i am seating myself on the plain. consequently the lovely srilanken and indian woman sat across the isle from me decide that i a scared of flying and keep throwing anxious looks at me and comforting smile and saying in broken English' it is ok, you will be fine, you need help?' i am using my inhalor, and fanning myself to cool down and trying to tell them no no im fine im perfectly fine. I actually find flying very relaxing and soothing! Infact as we start to taxi and take off i get things under control and am fine again.
When it came time to land, i had them all looking over at me and asking if i was going to be ok. I had to reassure them that i was fine. bless them they were so sweet.

Puddinpop
07-27-2008, 10:13 PM
Oh, that's a sweet story. When I had Graves Decease we went to the beach and my husband wants to get in the water. I start feeling weak. With this decease your muscles just give way and I am standing in knee deep water and start to give out. My husband is saying come on. Then I am begging him to just let me sit down and he is trying to force me to stand up. People watching us are thinking that I am afraid of the water. It was awful and funny all at the same time.:teehee: