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Always-onguard

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Hi all.

Just signed up to this forum for support and possibly answers. 

 

A little about myself.

I'm 37, married, 2 young kids and I'm suffering from a relapse of panic and anxiety.

 

I first started having panic attacks back in 1998 or 1999. I was living with my uncle who had raised me since I was 11.  I was watching t.v. when I started to feel "funny". I was feeling short of breath and my heart started to race. I stood up and went to the door for some fresh air.  When I got to the door my heart did like a weird three hard quick beats that really freaked me out more.  I told my uncle something was wrong and that I didn't feel well. He drove me to the Albertsons nearby where I checked my blood pressure at the pharmacy, and it was around 165/100.  That freaked me out even more being so young and not understanding what was going on.  We immediately went to the ER where I was taken in right away.  I was wheeled to a bed and nurses and staff started hooking me up to wires and tubes.  I began to weep and wanted to yell out, "I don't want to die!", but I didn't.  Minute seemed like eternity.  Finally after all the hustle around me calmed down the doctor came in to talk to me.  I don't remember word for word what she said but basically it was that I was having a panic attack and that there's no reason to worry.  All the tests are normal.  She told me to cut down on the coffee and sodas then ordered the nurse to give me a sedative.  I calmed down then was released.  Oddly enough my second attack was worse but basically the same scenario, except I was at work and I was sent to the hospital in an ambulance.  Since then I've been able to feel every heart beat, left arm has gone numb, I feel short of breath every day, brain fog, light headedness, etc., etc.  After a few doctors telling me to relax and countless panic attacks, I  finally found one that prescribed me Zoloft which was very effective.  I was on it for about 4 years before it started again due to a pre-op EKG that show a previous heart attack which was later debunked by  my cardiologist.  He switched me to paxil and a Xanax once every morning.  Fast forward to about a month ago and the cycle begins again.  One Friday morning I was getting ready for work when, boom!  My heart starts hauling ass and feeling like its going to stop.  Dizziness, shortness of breath, same old stuff.  I immediately run for my meds and crunch down on an aspirin(yuk) thinking I was having a heart attack.  I crunch on a Xanax(yuk as well).  About 10 minutes and two kids scared to death later I thought I was coming down. But no, it ramped right back up and worse. I yelled at my wife to call 911, I crunched down on another Xanax and aspirin. I took my shirt off knowing the medics would need it off to hook me up and laid down on my couch,  I called my 8 year old over an hugged her, told her I loved her and be good for her mommy. This was going to be it.  The medics came, hooked me up, took blood pressure and pulse, asked the standard questions for heart attack patients and rolled me to the ambulance.  Away we went sirens on.  Well to cut to the chase, it was a panic attack.  Since then I have had stomach discomfort with lost of appetite, anxiety constantly.  Attending my brother-in-laws wedding was hell, but luckily no attacks just anxiety and upset stomach.  I was at the city where the wedding was to be for a week.  Came back home and the same.  I had seen my GP before leaving and he told me to take some pepsid and to see a psychiatrist.  I made it back home from a 7 hour drive alive.  Another trip to the ER for another panic attack while I was working.  All day that day I was having bad anxety.  I would take a Xanax and once ir wore off the anxiety would come back.  Finally I couldn't handle it.  I left the job I was working on and raced home, my heart beating hard, dodging cars and freaking out.  I made it home.  Still panicking, still dying.  Another trip to the ER, another attack. Needless to say I'm about 7 pounds lighter from not eating, I've seen a psych who upped my paxil to to 30mg from 20 about 3 days ago, and I'm taking about .75 to 1mg of Xanax a day.  Every morning I get panicky, depressed and feel so much despair it hurts.  I have an appointment with an endocrinologist on Thursday and a follow up with the psych.  I really hope I feel better soon or get some answers.  Work is going to be hell this week considering it requires lots of driving throughout the day all day.

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Hi Always.  Admin will welcome you later but may I say welcome and that you have come to the right place. We all have been there and understand how you feel. First of all, and it may surprise you, but ALL your symptoms are typical of acute anxiety. If you look at the info on this site you will see that many have suffered the way you do and have recovered or are recovering so take heart. Many years ago I had an attack of palpitations while at work and had to rush home in panic. This led to full blown GAD and in those days there were no sites like this to turn to. I suffered for many years before knowledge and experience taught me lessons. I still get palpitations but just accept them for what they are, an upset in the electrical impulse system in the heart. May be anything but I no longer bother to enquire. Over the years I have worn out so many ECG machines that I know it is not important! Losing weight, depression, despair, yes all typical anxiety symptoms. May I suggest you look up the 100 symptoms of anxiety on the site. ALL your symptoms are listed. Short term tranquilisation is fine but you can help yourself a lot by ACCEPTING how you feel for the moment. Can you see that you are frightening yourself? The more you fight and struggle the more adrenaline flows the more you feel panic. This is a perfectly natural responce of your body to danger. You feel the symptoms; you panic; then the viscious circle begins. Panic-fear-adrenaline-panic. ALL natural in the circumstances you create by the way you think. If you feel panic sit down if you can. Stop the car and pull over. Take deep breaths, let them out slowly and let the panic come. YES, honest. Don't fight or struggle or try to get rid of it. If you allow it to pass over you without adding fear then it will gradually pass and you can carry on. Adrenaline has a limited life. By the time you panic it has done about as much as it can for that episode but the adding of 'second fear', which you do, perpetuates the effect the adrenaline had in the first place. Your post is full of 'second fear'. You may think it a strange thing to say but you panic because you panic. What is a perfectly natural response to  apparent but non existent danger turns into a nighmare. I don't know if any of this helps but the answer lies with you and the way you think.Your body is only doing what is perfectly natural in the circumstances you create for it."Work is going to be hell this week". Can you see that you have already laid the groundwork for panic by anxious anticipation? Think; "OK, I may panic but I will ACCEPT the panic for what it is no more than an electrical discharge brought on by fear." Don't add fear to fear. Knowledge and understanding are the keys to recovery. With the right help and some medication you can recover and you will. Good luck.    Jon.

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Hi Jon,

Thank you for the welcome.  Yes I have looked at the symptoms of anxiety post and I do see my symptoms there.  Oddly enough with this relapse, I have been more acceptable of my anxiety without ever reading your posts.  I have gotten tired of fighting it and just want to let it run it's course.  Only sometimes it gets very debilitating and I need my Xanax to help me out.  I hope to learn a lot from this forum and provide support as well as receive it.

 

Erik

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H again Erik.  That's it! You have it. ACCEPTABLE. It will run it's course anyway and you have to be prepared to go on accepting until it no longer matters. With acceptance you can panic all you like but the thought is always there. "I will ACCEPT this because I know that if I do it will gradually subside and eventually go". Now this is not easy and if anyone tells you otherwise they have not been there The old 'pull yourself together' brigade are always with us so ignore them.  If it were that easy we would not need websites like this.If you have got tired of fighting it then that can only be for the good. Go on being tired of struggling and fighting. Strangely, you will find that less tiring than fighting. I feel you have the right attitude after all the frights you have been through. There is no substitute for experience provided we learn from it. Take the meds for as long as you feel it necessary, with advice from your GP of course, but you will find that you will forget to take them and that's good.   Regards.   Jon.

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Hi erik, welcome to AC :) How long have you been taking xanax? And how often? I ask because some people after taking it for too long can suffer tolerance withdrawal, basically your body is too used to it that it doesn't work anymore and the symptoms you first took it for can return. Bring that up with your doctor the next time you see them. 

 

 I have been more acceptable of my anxiety without ever reading your posts.  I have gotten tired of fighting it and just want to let it run it's course.  Only sometimes it gets very debilitating and I need my Xanax to help me out

 

Ok I have just seen this bit lol You only take the xanax when needed. You have got it right 'let it runs its course' yes! Acceptance and let it run it's course. Accepting it as an illness like any other, that we will suffer flare ups of symptoms, understanding and acceptance is the way to go and you are doing great :) Again erik, welcome to AC, I hope we can offer some support and comfort to help you on the road to recovery.

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Hi Gilli,

Thanks for the welcome too. I have been taking the xanax for about 3 years once every morning. I did try to taper off of it about 2 months ago but that's when things got bad again.

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Ah that makes perfect sense, hopefully things will settle down again soon. I know its difficult but hang in there, things will get better. We all totally understand you're in good company here, feel free to pop on chat or ask questions we will try our best to help.

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