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argghhhhh i cant stand it anymore! bloody anxiety!


Guest anxy

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Hellloo, just a bit of a vent here... would love anyone to relate or comment

Me: confident, outgoing,funny, loves orgainising/planning stuff, love social occasions, studying to be a teacher so i guess u could say i like to be in a sense of control in most parts of my life. 2 months ago after some heavy stressful uni work i began feeling 'faint' all the time... this faint feeling eventually led me into a massive panik attack before a public speaking thingy at uni - freaked out, heart racing, unreality state, diarooreah, nausea.. GOTTA GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE! type state, after experiecing this intense horrible disguisting feeling, i have now developed a panic disorder in where i cannot do daily things as well as am shit nervous to leave the house as i fear having another panic attack as I have now experienced them out for dinner, at the gym and even in the supermarket. It has driven me into a constant sense of anxiety and i am so frustrated i can no longer live my normal life.

I am seeing a CBT therapist who tells me people in control offen go through panic disorder, if you have had panic disorder how long did it last for? How did u deal with it or get over it? Are there any medications that do not make u feel even worse??

It is the worst feeling in the world, and no one so far I have talked to understands the intensity of when a panik attack hits, but the unreality of your constsant state of mind. I have not felt 'normal' since, i feel like im always dizzy and on drugs, and im trying not to be on constant 'alert' but its bloody hard not to be when u have experienced the sheir terror of a pannik attack.

I lead a pretty full on life and I just want it to go away, will it go away?? The busier I keep myself somtimes the better it is, but now im developing new phobias and stuff because of it ahhhhhhhhh

Any one who wants to share anything go ahead... p.s sorry about spelling mistakes, ive just been typing really fast!!

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If you are on CBT and it's not helping much, you may want to consider a benzo. I had the same kind of panic attacks that you did for many years, but did not seek treatment because it never occurred to me that there was another way of life. My first benzo. was Xanax. I loved and hated Xanax, and fortunately got off it in 3 wks., because I very quickly developed a tolerance and even had withdrawals after 4-5 hrs. YMMV. Then, I went on Klonopin. It has a much longer half-life. It works so well, I have only mild anxiety- rarely have panic attacks. Of course, I'm also on Prozac, Seroquel, and Lamictal. But the first med I was on was a benzo.

You cannot imagine the difference between being on a benzo. and not being on one. The klonopin doesn't have any se's- the only way I know I'm taking it is when I swallow the pill.

You're lucky, because anxiety seems to be a new thing for you, possibly stress-induced due to your lifestyle. (which is very impressive!) You could probably get away with taking a small dose prn. Combined with the CBT, you could probably knock your anxiety out for the most part, if not totally. Of course, this is something to discuss w/ your dr.

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Hey! I have been dealing with the same experiences for two years. My experiences are EXACTLY as you describe yours. At first a benzo (kolonopin) was helping, then the panic attacks got much worse. They put me on 300 mg at night, and it seemed to get better. But it didn't go away. So now i'm taking seroquel in the morning afternoon and at night. And i'm not experiencing the depression and anxiety like I was before. It has pretty much gone away completely. I would definitely talk to your doctor about some kind of atypical antipsychotic. That is the only thing that helped me.

Best Wishes

~Brenagirl

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Anxa, I politely disagree w/ Brenagirl. Antipsychotics are serious meds. Not that benzos aren't, but it doesn't sound like you need to start w/ that. In situations such as yours, a benzo when you need it could be just what you need. I doubt there are any pdocs who would put you on an AP w/out trying a benzo. go seee the pdoc! Even a general doc. can treat transitory anxiety and panic. And if you get worse, then go to the pdoc.

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Anxa, I politely disagree w/ Brenagirl. Antipsychotics are serious meds. Not that benzos aren't, but it doesn't sound like you need to start w/ that. In situations such as yours, a benzo when you need it could be just what you need. I doubt there are any pdocs who would put you on an AP w/out trying a benzo. go seee the pdoc! Even a general doc. can treat transitory anxiety and panic. And if you get worse, then go to the pdoc.

If you get worse you can always wash down your doctor-shopped prescription with a bottle of Everclear.

Pull that stunt with Seroquel and it's far more likely that you'll be the one cleaning up the bathroom, not your surviving friends and family.

Benzodiazepines, like Internet advice, have their place in medicine. Either one mis-used can be deadly. For that reason, MY advice is for the poster to go to a psychiatrist and see what a professional has to say first.

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Mel, I agree with you, and I had to re-think what I wrote initially. Benzo's are a lot different from AP's. So definitely before you go taking my advice and jumping off the deep end into a pool of AP's, suggest something milder to your doc. I would definitely see a pdoc though. Thanks for correcting me Mel. Whew.

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Thanks for your replys guys...

Theres alot of talk around meds here, and im sorry im a bit new at all this stuff... are benzos like valium, xanax, diazepam and all that? i do not find they work they just make me feel weird and mabye a bit sleepy. I tried sum anti depressants/anti anxiety ones called lexpro they made me feel like i was coming down off hard drugs so they were thrown out in a couple of days, as i couldnt hack the side effect period...

If the temporary ones that are ment to calm u take half an hour to work how on earth does this help a panic attack, im a bit confussed about all the meds available... what are those APs u talk about!??

any other thoughts??

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Hi there, sounds like you are going thru the wringer.

- Uncontrolled anxiety can lead to panic attacks. * You already have that.

- Uncontrolled panic attacks can lead to avoidance of triggering places. * You already have that.

- Repeated panic attacks and avoidance can lead to phobias. * You DON"T want to let things continue to develop.

First thing you need to understand is that panic attacks are a physical reaction to mental stress. You have the ability to abort them with some training. Once you see that you can control them, they will no longer have the terror grip on you.

You need a three pronged approach for best results. I congratulate you on seeing a CBT therapist. Talk therapy is important for treating most MI's. Your therapist should before all else teach you how to control panic attacks. It is a simple technique that you can learn in one session. Ask him. There are tons of websites to help with panic attacks. Go to your library.

Next is meds. You are already at the third step into this. Don't let this develop into phobias, since they become even more difficult to treat. Benzos like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, have their place as short acting relief. And NO, short of having an IV in your arm, you aren't going to get one that will act in minutes to stop a panic attack. Again, that is why you need to learn to control them. Unfortunately benzos have no long term effect on anxiety. For long term relief and to treat the underlying condition, you can expect your doctor to rx either antidepressants or possibly antipsychotics. Don't get wrapped up over class names. The same med has multiple uses. The good news is that we know these meds actually help repair neurons in the brain.

Considering your self report, I strongly urge you to see a psychiatrist. Go to a brain pro. Don't mess around any longer with a general physician. Pdocs are highly experienced in dealing with anxiety and panic and know the best meds. Yes, most meds have some side effects that make you feel funny at first. Fortunately the side effects improve within a few weeks. Your pdoc can guide you thru this by adusting dosages, choosing the best meds for you.

Take control of your life again.

Good luck, a.m.

-Here is the behaviour modification part.

- Once you realize the anxiety is building stop what you are doing and get away from the triggering situation

- Realize that no matter how bad you feel, you aren't really going to die.

- You CAN learn to minimize the discomfort by not panicking about the panic attack.

- A full panic attack will generally last only about 10 - 20 minutes, so it isn't going to go on forever. By then your benzo should kick in.

- Sit down someplace comfortable. Get a drink of cool water.

- Control your breathing. Take Sloooow, Deeeep breathes. Purse your lips together and slowly force the air out under pressure. This back pressure may help counter the crushing chest pains.

- With practice you will have fewer panic attacks and be able to reduce or abort those that previously would have escalated

BTW, I'm sitting here doing my pursed mouth breathing, anticipating a meeting tonight.

I don't know if you have had panic attacks before, but it is possible to reduce their effect. Learning that they are not going to hurt you and that you can keep them from escalating is important.

First, disengage from what is upsetting you, mentally and physically. Break your train of thought, bring yourself back to the here and now. Change your location, go to another room, or outside.

Next, focus on your body. Unclench your muscles; legs, hands, jaw. Let the tension go. Take control of your breathing. Slow it down. Feel the air flowing in and out. Breath from the diaphram, slowly, slowly.

After two or three minutes you may feel your body relax and the anxiety ease. If you start thinking again about the stressor and the anxiety rises again, repeat the process.

Hope that helps. a.m.

Ten Commandments to Remember During a Panic Attack

Adapted from Fensterheim, H. and Doer, J. "Stop Running Scared!"

1. It does not matter if you feel frightened, bewildered, unreal, unsteady. These feelings are nothing more than an exaggeration of the normal bodily reactions to stress.

2. Just because you have these sensations doesn't mean you are very sick. These feelings are just unpleasant and frightening, not dangerous. Nothing worse will happen to you.

3. Let your feelings come. They've been in charge of you. You've been pumping them up and making them more acute. Stop pumping. Don't run away from panic. When you feel the panic mount, take a deep breath and, as you breathe out, let go. Keep trying. Stay there almost as if you were floating in space. Don't fight the feeling of panic. Accept it. You can do it.

4. Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible without escaping. If you're on a street, lean against a post or stone wall. If you're at the cosmetics department of the department store, find a quieter counter or corner. If you're in a boutique, tell the salesperson you don't feel well and want to sit for a while. Do not jump into a cab and go home in fear.

5. Stop adding to your panic with frightening thoughts about what is happening and where it might lead. Don't indulge in self-pity and think, "Why can't I be like all the other normal people? Why do I have to go through all this?" Just accept what is happening to you. If you do this, what you fear most will not happen.

6. Think about what is really happening to your body at this moment. Do not think, "Something terrible is going to happen. I must get out." Repeat to yourself, "I will not fall, faint, die, or lose control."

7. Now wait and give the fear time to pass. Do not run away. Others have found the strength. You will too. Notice that as you stop adding the frightening thoughts to your panic, the fear starts to fade away by itself.

8. This is your opportunity to practice. Think of it that way. Even if you feel isolated in space, one of these days you will not feel that way. Sometime soon you will be able to go through the panic and say, "I did it." Once you say this, you will have gone a long way toward conquering fear. Think about the progress you have already made. You are in the situation.

9. Try to distract yourself from what is going on inside you. Look at your surroundings. See the other people on the street, on the bus. They are with you, not against you

10. When the panic subsides, let your body go loose, take a deep breath, and go on with your day. Remember, each time you cope with a panic, you reduce your fear.

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Thanks for your replys guys...

Theres alot of talk around meds here, and im sorry im a bit new at all this stuff... are benzos like valium, xanax, diazepam and all that? i do not find they work they just make me feel weird and mabye a bit sleepy. I tried sum anti depressants/anti anxiety ones called lexpro they made me feel like i was coming down off hard drugs so they were thrown out in a couple of days, as i couldnt hack the side effect period...

If the temporary ones that are ment to calm u take half an hour to work how on earth does this help a panic attack, im a bit confussed about all the meds available... what are those APs u talk about!??

any other thoughts??

OK, we really need to get our wiki up for this stuff.

Xanax (alprozalom) is the only benzodiazapine specifically formulated for panic, IIRC. It's also one of the most addictive.

Because of the potential for addiction and tolerance, benzos are seldom commonly used for long-term term prevention but are instead taken to abort a panic attack.

APs are anti-psychotics aka neuroleptics. In smaller doses they are frequently effective for anxiety disorders.

Breathing into a paper bag until you hyperventilate is supposed to help.

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