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Was it a panic attack?


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Monday morning I was sitting at my desk, not particularly stressed out about anything, when my field of vision suddenly turned into a perfect circle.  In a matter of seconds, the circle turned black from the outside in, and I couldn't see a thing.  That lasted for a short period of time, and when my vision came back I found that I couldn't breathe, my heart was fluttering and I felt like there was a weight in the center of my chest.  When it was all over, I was very light-headed and sort of dazed and confused for a while.  I decided to go to the doctor because nothing like that has EVER happened to me before. 

She took the whole thing very seriously and did all sorts of tests--EKG, blood work, chest x-ray, blood pressure about five different times.  Then I remembered to tell her I had a little nagging headache, and it was off to the hospital for a CT scan--right then.

All the tests turned out fine, which is great, but I still have no idea why that  happened.  I called my pdoc to see if she thought it might be med related (300 mg Wellbutrin XL and a wimpy little 2.5 mg Lexapro), and she immediately said it was a panic attack.

Does that sound right to anyone?  Like I said, I didn't *feel* stressed or panicky, so it just didn't strike me as the right answer.  Maybe I was repressing all those pesky childhood memories again...I dunno.

Thoughts?  Anyone?

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Does that sound right to anyone?  Like I said, I didn't *feel* stressed or panicky, so it just didn't strike me as the right answer.  Maybe I was repressing all those pesky childhood memories again...I dunno.

Thoughts?  Anyone?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, this sounds like the panic attacks I've heard people describe.

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, a panic attack is:

defined as the abrupt onset of an episode of intense fear or discomfort, which peaks in approximately 10 minutes, and includes at least four of the following symptoms:
  • a feeling of imminent danger or doom;














  • the need to escape;














  • palpitations;














  • sweating;














  • trembling;














  • shortness of breath or a smothering feeling;














  • a feeling of choking;














  • chest pain or discomfort;














  • nausea or abdominal discomfort;














  • dizziness or lightheadedness;














  • a sense of things being unreal, depersonalization;














  • a fear of losing control or "going crazy";














  • a fear of dying;














  • tingling sensations;














  • chills or hot flushes.

There are three types of Panic Attacks:

1. Unexpected - the attack "comes out of the blue" without warning and for no discernable reason.

2. Situational - situations in which an individual always has an attack, for example, upon entering a tunnel.

3. Situationally Predisoposed - situations in which an individual is likely to have a Panic Attack, but does not always have one. An example of this would be an individual who sometimes has attacks while driving.

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Thanks for the input, friends!  Sounds like I had your basic "unexpected" panic attack.  Of course, now my last bastion of sanity--not having panic attacks--has been infiltrated.  Oh hell, somebody hand me another pill, would ya?!!! ;)

Ruby

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