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I'd rather die than go through my panic attacks again, any advice?

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Hey everyone! I'm new here...so be patient. I have many disorders, two of them being severe agoraphobia and panic disorder. I take 13 meds a day and am on disability.

I am also on medicaid (state run). I got my disability last year while I was hospitalized and had absolutely NO IDEA I was suppose to report it to medicaid. The thought never crossed my mind. I just figured: disability-medicaid-food stamps, etc. fell hand in hand. They have all my documents, SS# etc. I thought they were basically one entity.

But I got a letter from medicaid a few weeks ago and they said I didn't report the disability I was getting and they cut my benefits big time. I barely get by on my disability with medicaid covering everything anyway. I don't have cable, I don't have a car, I don't have a phone, etc. but they slapped me with a $300 monthly spend down before they will pay for anything. As it is, I end up with maybe $25 or so at the end of the month, but as of next month, instead of a $3 copay for all my meds...$36 total monthly, I have to pay the first $300. And me being on 13 meds, all I pretty much need, and some being major narcotics I've been on most of my life, I won't be able to afford two of the thirteen, let alone $300 worth. I'm screwed.

I can handle the schizoaffective for a period of time as well as other things, but what I CANNOT deal with are my panic attacks! They finally put me on a cocktail of meds that have considerably cut my attacks to maybe a couple a day for maybe an hour at most...before, anything triggered an attack, and sometimes they would literally last 24-36 hours non-stop! I would pace back and fourth the hole time to the point of exhaustion. I tried drinking myself silly to stop them and nothing helped. Finally, one night (and I am not at all suicidal), I was in the basement pacing as fast as I could and could no longer take it.

I grabbed a knife, went into my roomates bedroom and said 'Jack, I can't take it anymore' and I was going to just put the knife through my chest they were so bad. He got up and immediately took me to the hospital and I was put in the psychiatric ward.

They gave me a shot of something major to calm me down and started me on a cocktail of: Prozac 80 mgs a day; Neurontin 1200 mgs a day; and Clonazepam 6 mgs a day. And after a week I felt better, and after a month or so, they were tolerable.

If medicaid doesn't rethink that spend down and I can't afford my meds, it's just a matter of time. Like I said, the other disorders will take a little time to get worse without meds, but I CANNOT take those kinds of panic attacks again. I'm starting to get worse panic attacks since they told me that a couple/few weeks ago.

I CANNOT live like that again. I've tried everything for meds with no luck...any suggestions? I've tried everything including each drug company, etc.

I promise you, and it won't be voluntary or premeditated, but when those attacks come back and last a day or two, I WILL end up doing away with myself. I also suffer from Cluster headaches annually...I would rather have chronic cluster headaches year around than deal with the extremity of those panic attacks!!!

I have 30 days of meds left, then I won't be able to afford them. I can either a.) quit taking all of them and have a roof over my head and in a short period of time, go crazy again without them, or b.) leave the apartment, live on the street and be able to pay the $300 per month (and that won't last long because of my agoraphobia, social/sociophobia, and the fact I'm not street smart and don't know anyone)...or take the fast way out and just commit suicide and get it over with quickly.

Any suggestions? They would be much appreciated. Those of you who have had severe panic attacks like that know what I'm talking about.

Thank you in advance.

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Thanks Indigo. On top of everything else, since I'm having such a hard time finding a shrink and need a part time provider to take care of me or move to an assisted living facility, Friday I began looking up therapists and social workers/case managers to help me. I've never tried therapy for panic attacks. As you know, many people never experience one or if they do, not to the extent some panic disorder sufferers do. So they don't understand the hell we go through.

I'm going to bring that up when I find a local psychologist/therapist. I'm also hoping starting from there, I might get further in finding a psychiatrist. Luckily, my primary physician is prescribing my mental meds until I can find a psychiatrist.

Thanks for the advise.

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Just throwing an idea out there.....Maybe your primary physician can refer you to a psychiatrist and a good therapist?? It's a worth a shot to ask them. You might also want to try and call your local hospital and ask them if they can send you a list of local pdoc's and therapists that take your insurance. When I was in the hospital last May, they gave me a packet of places I could go with my state's insurance. Just a thought.....

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Therapy has a good reputation for dealing with panic attacks. But, I have had 23 sessions of CBT with a renowned clinical psychologist, and even following this wonderful therapy I still need benzos for panic & agitation. Valium is what they give me here. THey won't give me xanax or clonazepam here in Australia. Valium works ok i guess.

I also find anti-depressants to help - for me, prozac was good (but awful sexual side effects) and now Im on mirtazapine which is better, but i still need my diazepam.

Definitely get some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and find a way to keep getting your prozac and clonazepam. THere has to be a way. Maybe revisit medicaid?

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One thing you have to keep in mind when you are having a panic attack is that you are not dying, even though it really, really feels as if you are. It sucks, but the truth is, they aren't going to hurt you, they are just going to make you feel like shit. CBT really does help a great deal, but realistically, you are likely to have a panic attack again in your life, especially now that you have had a first one.

It sounds like I am being a bitch when I tell you to tough it out, but I am serious. Definitely, lie down, get away from others, take care of yourself. But you are going to be okay. I still get panic attacks (especially these days, DH has brain surgery in a week), but I ride them out. I usually have to go lie down, though.

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