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anyone else's anxiety worse when sick..

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i've got a cold/fever/flu something or other and my anxiety is through the roof. since i can't attribute this heightened anxiety to anything else, i'm guessing it's because i'm sick. this happen to anyone else?

and as i take my klonopin prn, do i need to worry about it interacting with your standard cold remedies (dayquil, nyquil, things like that)?

thanks all.


I definitely get more anxious when I'm sick. For me this is largely because I start to feel (even more than usual) like I'm not being productive enough, etc. And like others here most cold medications shoot my baseline/heightened anxiety through the roof.


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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest FrannyNZooey

I say big yes!  I am asthmatic, and when I start to get that feeling of tightness in chest, no way can I lay down and sleep. My meds do not help either, the asthma ones, but no way around them.

I have seen same look on my son when he had first attack at 3 years old, thank God his was developmental, if grow out by age 10, have good chance will be that, he was pretty much over it by 8 years.

I asked specialist, not in front of son, but if they ever did study of correlation of asthma and anxiety panic attacks, he just looked at me.  Well makes sense to me, if you can't breath, and have had that feeling, and fear of it coming back.

I always stayed very calm in front of son,very important while anyone is having an asthma attack, shows what a Mom can do, he is 17 so far no sign of panic.

Stay away as others said here from Sudafed, it is very known trigger, by medical field.

In time it will lessen, it has for me, even during asthma attacks. I know can not lay down, force self to stop feeling, so go post, read book, till it pasts. Find distractions, ones you like find peaceful, won't be miracle at first, but it does begin to work, and each time faster.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hippolyta, i wish i had advice, but you have some important questions for a doc, and i wish you well.

Everyone, i guess i missed this thread earlier, glad it was bumped. two general things:

1. agreement about sudafed, it is amphetaminish so not surprising it makes anxiety worse.

2. being sick usually limits one's physical abilities (and often breathing). as physical activity (especially deep breathing) is a primary way to relieve anxiety, it makes sense that being sick will often increase anxiety.

i was recently laid up for a few months and it drove me crazy(er). i just did what i could, even if it was only wiggling my toes, and kept telling myself that it wouldn't be like this forever. i didn't really believe it at the time but now i'm swimming and riding my bike again. oh and meticulously compulsing over the garden, heh.

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My question to you is, how do you know when to really panic (I know this doesn't make sense; bear with me.)  In other words, sometimes when I have a panic attack, I feel like I can't breath.  Then I think "am i having a panic attack, or an asthma attack?  Should i use the inhaler [which unfortunately makes me shake--albuterol] or should i take a klonopin?"  My asthma is so mild (most I seem to experience is mild wheezing)  that sometimes I'm not sure what is what.  And at times I think "am I doing the right thing by not going to the hospital?"

first off, i'm glad you finally found a doctor that figured out your asthma.

as far as the panic vs. asthma... that's a hard one.  i try and see if i can, in fact, take a nice deep breath.  but sometimes i hyperventilate when i panic, so that test doesn't always work.  does anything else happen to you when you panic other than breathing? (stomach flutters, headache, dizzy, etc?) that you could use as a marker to distinguish the two things? 

as a side note, albuterol used occassionaly cause me to have panic attacks, so i switched off of it.

have you talked to your alergist about your panic issues?  perhaps he can help you find a way to distinguish the two?  perhaps there are other physical symptoms of athsma that he can help you learn to notice?

sorry i don't have something more concrete to offer than "ask your doctor"...

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