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Panic attacks are killing me and is ending my life


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I have been suffering panic attacks since march of this year till today. It starts with the difficulty breathing, hyperventilation, tingling hands and feet, next my hands curl up and no movement at all as well as my tongue where I cann't talk at all. I've been to the hospital 15 times, called the ambulance 10 times. I been to the doctor and was prescribed klonopin and lexapro which did nothing for me but made me worst than before. The klonopin is helping but is very addictive, I 've been on it for 50 days already on daily basis.

I cann't go out anywhere, I'm bound home scared to go out anywhere, cann't drive my car, cann't work or go to school.

I stopped every activity I used to do. I have children and they need me to serve them and take care of them and I'm basically unable to do anything for them.

When I get the attacks I feel like I'm choking and there's no air and my chest feels very heavy and tight. It also feels like there is something stuck in my throat.

I feel like I'm dying, it's the most suffering thing I ever been through and wish to get out of it but I'm unable to, it's beyond my control.

I feel hopeless and helpless, don't know what to do anymore. I'm really tired and sick of it.

I want to be normal again, I tried but I could not do anything, I feel like I'm trapped.

Any advice or ideas please............

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Go back to the doctor, tell him/her that the therapy you're on isn't working.

Get a referral to a psych.

I've had good luck with Cymbalta for anxiety, but as with every other med of this type, what works for me may not work for you. My emergency go-to drug is Xanax; others have luck with Atavan.

 

The biggest things tho are the first two - get back to your MD, and get a referral to a psych. Not because you're crazy but because they have experience in this kind of thing.

 

Plus, google breathing exercises that you can do during the panic attacks that help alleviate the feeling of suffocation.

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I concur with Pam. Get to a doctor, explain your situation, and ask for a psych specifically...STAT and get your life back!

 

I've been there. Adivan works WONDERS for me for break through attacks. Thankfully, I don't get them as much anymore (knocks on wood) but they can be extremely debilitating.

 

Good luck!

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I had panic attacks about 10 years ago - they're extremely debilitating. The worst one I had was on a road trip from VA to NJ. I swore I was going to die because I couldn't breathe, my hands were tingling, my left arm was going numb, I was having chest pains, and I was blacking out. (hubby was driving) I told my husband and kids that I loved them so very much as I laid my seat back thinking those would be my last words to them. My poor husband had to stop and ask a mailman where the hospital was and took me to the ER. They gave me paxil and sent me on my merry way. Unfortunately, there's no "cure" for anxiety. My mother, grandmother, aunts, and cousins have all had bouts with it in the past so I think it's hereditary. Try going to a psychologist who can help you learn how to calm yourself down before the anxiety really hits and teach you some coping skills for when you can't "talk" yourself out of one. It's been quite a while since I've had one or was on medication for it, so there IS light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck to you!

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Hi. I understand. I have them too. They are extremely debilitating and it can make you lose hope. But please, follow Pams advice. Get back to the doctor and ask for something else, as what you are taking either isn't enough or not right for you. You are not alone in this. I know what it's like to be unable to function. Yes, it will be hard to get yourself back to the doctor, but you MUST. Your children need you. Please make that call. Hugs.

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((antomax))

This is temporary. This too shall pass.

 

The first thing you need to do is get back to your MD. Get a referral to a psychiatrist who deals with PTSD and anxiety disorders, and has a proven track record with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).

They'll give you some sort of fast-acting medication to kill the attacks- might be Ativan, or Xanax, or one of several others.

If the first one doesn't work, or doesn't give you complete relief- try the next. Everyone's chemistry is slightly different and it will take some trial and error. But there IS relief out there for you. If Klonopin/Lexapro isn't doing it- try the next combination.

 

Incidentally one rather effective medication for long-term control appears to be plain old Imipramine, one of the oldest, safest and least expensive anti depressants out there. If the thought of trying new medications scares you (common with anxiety), ask your MD about this one. The worst of the side effects is a temporary dry mouth. That's it.

Don't let the "addictive" thing on the benzo's scare you either- you can taper off of them very, very slowly when the time comes and won't have a problem. "addictive" is only a problem when you stop too quickly. Don't let that worry add to your anxiety.

 

Secondly, get yourself enrolled in CBT.

Panic attacks feed on themselves, once you get that initial twinge or tightness in the chest- they snowball into a full blown attack. Often just the fear of getting an attack is enough to bring on an attack.

The light at the end of the tunnel here is that this snowballing is a process your mind has secretly taught itself- and just as it was learned, it can be unlearned.

CBT will help you undo that process and learn to stop them in their tracks. It really does work, and for most folks is a permanent, medication-free solution.

 

Finally- this should go without saying, but did they check you over for the usual suspects- thyroid, mitral valve prolapse, blood sugar issues, etc? None of these things are life threatening, all can be controlled- and all can trigger panic attacks.

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My mother, grandmother, aunts, and cousins have all had bouts with it in the past so I think it's hereditary.

 

It is. It runs like a streak through my family as well, including one of my sons.

It is also more common in those with above-average intelligence and those who tend to do a lot of "what if" thinking.

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There are many other drugs that can help, Klopin is very addictive, At least it should be only as needed.

 

As pan said see a psych doc. ASAP. I hope you get to feeling better soon.

 

My panic attacks make me feel helpless.

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I had Panic Attacks 10 years ago,I know the feeling o' too well !!!! I was originally put on Xanax,which works but made me zombie like.I didn't care for the zombie feeling,so I went to a different doctor,and he ran many tests,and found i had Mitrol Valve Prolapse (leaky valve of the heart ),and this has been known to cause panic attacks.The dr. gave me a drug for the heart (anetanol) .I haven't had a panic attack in 10 years,of course that may not be your situation,but its worth looking into....Just to show how powerful a panic attack is on the mind, I had my worse panic attack on a road going to work 10 years ago,to this day i go out of my way not to drive on this road.So get some help,don't give up until you find what will make the panic attacks subside.

 

Jim

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My mother, grandmother, aunts, and cousins have all had bouts with it in the past so I think it's hereditary.

 

It is. It runs like a streak through my family as well, including one of my sons.

It is also more common in those with above-average intelligence and those who tend to do a lot of "what if" thinking.

 

 

I had a shrink tell me that my depression was 'existential.'

Klonopin is helping me with the panic attacks, Welbutrin used to help more with the depression than it does now but I just found out I'm hypothyroid, so maybe treating that will help.

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Go back to the doctor, tell him/her that the therapy you're on isn't working.

Get a referral to a psych.

I've had good luck with Cymbalta for anxiety, but as with every other med of this type, what works for me may not work for you. My emergency go-to drug is Xanax; others have luck with Atavan.

 

The biggest things tho are the first two - get back to your MD, and get a referral to a psych. Not because you're crazy but because they have experience in this kind of thing.

 

Plus, google breathing exercises that you can do during the panic attacks that help alleviate the feeling of suffocation.

 

I went back to the doctor and he prescribed Paxil 20 mg for me and said that it should be better for anxiety, but I read horrible stories about this medicine so I'm afraid to take it.

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I had Panic Attacks 10 years ago,I know the feeling o' too well !!!! I was originally put on Xanax,which works but made me zombie like.I didn't care for the zombie feeling,so I went to a different doctor,and he ran many tests,and found i had Mitrol Valve Prolapse (leaky valve of the heart ),and this has been known to cause panic attacks.The dr. gave me a drug for the heart (anetanol) .I haven't had a panic attack in 10 years,of course that may not be your situation,but its worth looking into....Just to show how powerful a panic attack is on the mind, I had my worse panic attack on a road going to work 10 years ago,to this day i go out of my way not to drive on this road.So get some help,don't give up until you find what will make the panic attacks subside.

 

Jim

 

 

Jim,

 

Can I know what tests showed that you have mitrol valve of the heart? I had an echogram done and it showed nothing wrong with the heart.

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mini aubre

 

Thanks for asking, I'm the same. I just don't go out and if I feel a light panic is coming then I would pop one Klonopin and wash my face with cold water and try to relax my self. I'm still trapped at home and it feels really bad, I feel like a paralyzed person.

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((antomax))

This is temporary. This too shall pass.

 

The first thing you need to do is get back to your MD. Get a referral to a psychiatrist who deals with PTSD and anxiety disorders, and has a proven track record with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).

They'll give you some sort of fast-acting medication to kill the attacks- might be Ativan, or Xanax, or one of several others.

If the first one doesn't work, or doesn't give you complete relief- try the next. Everyone's chemistry is slightly different and it will take some trial and error. But there IS relief out there for you. If Klonopin/Lexapro isn't doing it- try the next combination.

 

Incidentally one rather effective medication for long-term control appears to be plain old Imipramine, one of the oldest, safest and least expensive anti depressants out there. If the thought of trying new medications scares you (common with anxiety), ask your MD about this one. The worst of the side effects is a temporary dry mouth. That's it.

Don't let the "addictive" thing on the benzo's scare you either- you can taper off of them very, very slowly when the time comes and won't have a problem. "addictive" is only a problem when you stop too quickly. Don't let that worry add to your anxiety.

 

Secondly, get yourself enrolled in CBT.

Panic attacks feed on themselves, once you get that initial twinge or tightness in the chest- they snowball into a full blown attack. Often just the fear of getting an attack is enough to bring on an attack.

The light at the end of the tunnel here is that this snowballing is a process your mind has secretly taught itself- and just as it was learned, it can be unlearned.

CBT will help you undo that process and learn to stop them in their tracks. It really does work, and for most folks is a permanent, medication-free solution.

 

Finally- this should go without saying, but did they check you over for the usual suspects- thyroid, mitral valve prolapse, blood sugar issues, etc? None of these things are life threatening, all can be controlled- and all can trigger panic attacks.

 

 

I was admitted in the hospital, had complete blood work done including thyroid etc.. I also had an echogram done and stress test which showed nothing wrong. Chest xray and EKG, the only tests that were not done was an MRI .

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you should take it an see if it helps.

 

mind you, these medicines take a few weeks to be effective; you shouldn't switch anything around,

 

and you willhave to be patient; which is doubly hard, I know because of your anxiety.

 

and don't go back to taking an old one becasue this new one isn't immediately effective.

 

 

mixing psychoactive medicines, or any medicines without a doctors permission could make things worse.

 

have you tried metal exercises,deep breathing relaxation and meditation?

 

whenever i am really stressed, i take a mental or virtual vacation.

 

are there places in the world you would like to travel to ?

 

or did you have a favorite vacation spot?

 

have you ever been on google earth?

 

download it, and there are pictures that others have uploaded of most anyplace you would like to go.

 

it's like looking a vacation photos, without the annoying commentary of your rich auntie.

 

take a break.

Edited by ICANHASMUNY?
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Antomax:

 

If you are afraid to take the Paxil, please consult with your doctor about one of the other meds. He/she needs to know you are afraid to take it because of the side effects. Ask if you can get something else with less side effects. Some folks here have recommended Xanax. I don't medicate, but I understand panic attacks and that feeling of being unable to breathe or function.

 

Our minds are interesting creatures. What happens is that your mind tells you to avoid situations that are causing your panic attacks, leading to your reluctance to go out. It happened with me when I was much younger. Started with avoiding particular places. Then traveling out anywhere. I saw it happen with my mom when she started to get so sick and was falling a lot. She just got to where she wouldn't get out of her chair except to go to the bathroom or get food. And then that started to cause fear/anxiety.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I believe that Radi8 suggested it. I concur.

 

Get thee to a qualified professional immediately. Ask your doc for a referral. You will learn how to turn off the little (or big) negative voices that feed your fears. You will learn how to cope with those feelings so you don't get overwhelmed and have panic attacks.

 

While your doc may decide you need medication to help you get some immediate relief, the CBT will give you long-term coping and fear management skills that should help you throughout your life.

 

My heart really goes out to you, and I hope you find the help you need quickly so that you can learn to enjoy life again.

 

Gems

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Go back to the doctor, tell him/her that the therapy you're on isn't working.

Get a referral to a psych.

I've had good luck with Cymbalta for anxiety, but as with every other med of this type, what works for me may not work for you. My emergency go-to drug is Xanax; others have luck with Atavan.

 

The biggest things tho are the first two - get back to your MD, and get a referral to a psych. Not because you're crazy but because they have experience in this kind of thing.

 

Plus, google breathing exercises that you can do during the panic attacks that help alleviate the feeling of suffocation.

 

I went back to the doctor and he prescribed Paxil 20 mg for me and said that it should be better for anxiety, but I read horrible stories about this medicine so I'm afraid to take it.

 

 

You went back to the doctor and he didn't give you a referral to see a psychiatrist...?? He should have done so while he scripted you Paxil. Maybe you can call him for a phone referral, if that's allowed?

 

although I had very few mild panic attacks, I can relate.

 

good luck on your recovery! ;)

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Go back to the doctor, tell him/her that the therapy you're on isn't working.

Get a referral to a psych.

I've had good luck with Cymbalta for anxiety, but as with every other med of this type, what works for me may not work for you. My emergency go-to drug is Xanax; others have luck with Atavan.

 

The biggest things tho are the first two - get back to your MD, and get a referral to a psych. Not because you're crazy but because they have experience in this kind of thing.

 

Plus, google breathing exercises that you can do during the panic attacks that help alleviate the feeling of suffocation.

 

I went back to the doctor and he prescribed Paxil 20 mg for me and said that it should be better for anxiety, but I read horrible stories about this medicine so I'm afraid to take it.

 

Paxil is an SSRI, (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) It is an OK drug but you cannot stop taking it cold turkey, it will make you feel like your brain is in a blender. As long as you are not taking it when your are pregnant, and do not stop and start the med, you SHOULD be fine. When I was taking it I went from a pill to the liquid form to come off of it. Not sure why your doctor will not send you to a psych doctor But I would really will push for one.

 

Some people have panic attacks for no reason, I had a real bad one last night; felt like I was having a stroke or heart attack. I will PM you a link to a site about meds like paxil and others. It tells you side affects, in a way that is very easy to understand.

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I went back to the doctor and he prescribed Paxil 20 mg for me and said that it should be better for anxiety, but I read horrible stories about this medicine so I'm afraid to take it.

 

Being afraid of new medicines goes hand in hand with anxiety disorder. Best advice I have is to take what you read online regarding medicines with a big grain of salt.

The folks with negative experiences tend to tell everyone, those with positive experiences tend to move on with life and not post their successes online. What you read is incredibly lopsided. There are online sites with horror stores about Aspirin. :(

 

Good luck- and don't give up. If this doesn't work for you there are plenty of alternatives.

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I went back to the doctor and he prescribed Paxil 20 mg for me and said that it should be better for anxiety, but I read horrible stories about this medicine so I'm afraid to take it.

 

Being afraid of new medicines goes hand in hand with anxiety disorder. Best advice I have is to take what you read online regarding medicines with a big grain of salt.

The folks with negative experiences tend to tell everyone, those with positive experiences tend to move on with life and not post their successes online. What you read is incredibly lopsided. There are online sites with horror stores about Aspirin. :(

 

Good luck- and don't give up. If this doesn't work for you there are plenty of alternatives.

I agree 100%. People do tend to give negative reviews over positive ones.

 

Each medication affects each person differently. For some it will work wonders, for others it can cause side effects, or just doesn't help.

 

It is important for you to know what the possible side effects are, but don't get over worried about them unless your start experiencing them. If you do experience any, contact your doctor.

 

Also, as with any medication that deals with your emotional state.....if you start to feel "hopeless" or have a desire to hurt yourself or anyone else, call for help immediately, do not wait thinking that the feeling will pass. I am not talking just about Paxil, but any type of anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication or any medication that interacts with the chemicals in your brain.

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