Author Topic: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?  (Read 534 times)

deeindiana

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Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« on: September 16, 2020, 02:03:34 PM »
I've battled panic attacks my whole life (and I'm 62!) but they were usually short episodes and manageable. Typical attack: it hits, I breath deep, do relaxation techniques, and it's gone within 30 minutes. I take a beta blocker for high blood pressure and Zoloft daily. I also have xanax I can take as needed (but I rarely take it).

Lately though, the panic attacks are so bad -- and so different from my typical episode -- that it feels like I'm having a heart attack. The first bad one was a couple weeks ago and it scared me so much I went to the ER. They checked me all out, no evidence of a heart attack and sent me home. It lasts for hours: blood pressure very high (190/90), heart racing, horrible pressure headache, neck pain, mouth burning, repeated need to pee, sweating, arm pain, etc.  I followed up with my family doctor and she simply encouraged me to take the xanax more often.

I had a second one this morning about 8am and had to call in sick to work. I listened to a relaxation audio and took the xanax but it didn't let up until 11am. Now here it is 4pm and the bad headache still lingers and I'm shaken. It felt identical to the first bad attack so I just keep telling myself it couldn't have been my heart.

darn it! I don't need anything else on my plate!! My husband has stage 4 kidney cancer and is so ill. Covid has us isolated but I still have to go out into it for my part time job. I'm so depressed and discouraged. I did not need this on top of everything else!

If you have panic attacks too I'd appreciate hearing how you cope and what you do to get them to pass. I can't keep missing work while I wait it out for hours.
Thanks.
Diagnosed June 2010.
Rheumy at University of Michigan Med Center. Age 62
Difficulty swallowing, fibromyalgia, burning mouth, GERD, anxiety, dry, dry, dry!
Medications: Atenolol, Dexilant, Plaquenil
I am my own worst enemy...

meirish

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2020, 10:48:58 PM »
I am so sorry that you are going through this. Panic attacks were my middle name for years til I got put on zoloft. I am wondering how much zoloft you take and if you talked to anyone about the panic who thought it would help to increase your dose.

The other thing I wonder about is seeing cardio, neuro someone who could help figure out what the cause is. The bad headaches never were a problem for me and it makes me wonder if you have something else going on. I guess I would advise you to start with someone and maybe your cardiologist would be the place to start. There could be some strange rhythm going on in your heart that triggers these events and needs to be treated. I am selfish cause I would feel a lot better about your health status if you would check this out. Being you have high blood pressure also tends to make me think a cardio would be the best place to start.

You can't go on this way and I would hate to see you have a stroke or something. Please let us know what you find out. meirish

The autonomic system can also play some weird tricks on us also ...couldf also be some strange seizure activity. The sjogrens sets us up for so many things. I know.... we never get over things to see the doctor for. it just rains or pours for us off and on all the time.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 10:51:02 PM by meirish »

Maria3667

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 05:14:58 PM »
Sorry to hear what you are going through!

I've noticed my panic attacks are aggravated by menopause. I never used to feel my heart thumping, but now... Also disturbed, short sleep & hot flashes don't help.

However, I've noticed a marked improvement since I started using estriol (NOT estradiol !) vaginal cream. I only use a tad but after 10 days I feel this very pleasant calmness & happiness descent on me...

Maybe it could help you too?

Good luck!
52. DES-daughter ('67), Lyme's ('98), GAD ('98), Sjogren's ('02), hypothyroid ('04), endometriosis ('14), osteoarthritis ('16), blepharitis ('18), frozen shoulder ('19). Pilocarpine, thyroid meds, 25mg quetiapine, 5% testosterone. Allergies: sodium hydroxide, nickle, methylisothiazolinone, latex

araminta

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 06:15:21 AM »
So sorry to hear you are having these attacks, Dee.

Reading your post, it struck me how much stress you must be under, with your husband so ill, and you still having to work through all that.   Of course the Sjogrens is always an added stress.

I wonder if these panic attacks could be a very natural stress reaction?   When you're having to look out for someone else who is so ill, it's easy to forget your own needs, or to see them as unimportant.   Could you talk to a counsellor?
Dry eyes (MGD), nose, mouth, labyrinthitis, rashes, dry skin (occasional eczeme), mouth ulcers, constant but fluctuating fatigue.  Blood tests and Schirmers negative,no Sjogrens dx yet.   Flax oil, multivitamins,  saline nasal spray, Hylo forte, Lacrilube, organic castor oil for eyes, moisturisers.

meirish

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2020, 06:35:00 PM »
Dee, I have to apologize to you. I had forgotten your hubby was ill. So, there is reason for stress, but I still hope you will see someone to get another input into your symptoms and see if there is something that can be done to help you.

Please take time for yourself if you can. I know how this goes with the sick husband and it is hard and fatiguing and stressful. Just letting you know I care. Hugs. meirish

jazzlover

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 08:41:42 PM »
Yes, I would see a cardiologist too. I'm very sorry about your husband. That must be a terrible amount of stress!!

I would also Google "POTS" and dysautonomia .. I wonder if you could have some form of either one of those?

My husband takes clonipin (clonopin??) for high blood pressure and says it makes him so much calmer.

I hope you can find what works for you. Also go to You Tube and look for videos on the "faster EFT" techniques. That helps some people.

God bless and take care.
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), Salicylate Sensitivity,  Interstitial Cystitis,  gluten intolerance, Raynaud's, Sjogren's, A-fib; cytomegalovirus, recovered from Lyme disease

finallyadx

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 02:46:07 AM »
Hello, so sorry to hear this. Panic attacks are a horrible, scary situation.  I have had them for over 10 years.  Although I am not a dr and I am not incinuating you have this by any means, when my panic attacks became worse I actually had renal tubular acidosis and ended up in the hospital for three days with IV potassium.  This is a rare occurence and they still are not certain what caused it for me, I had all the symptoms you were having (especially pain in the left arm and feeling as though I was having a heart attack), urinating allot, cramps and pain in the legs, etc.  Once I had the IV potassium overnight the symptoms eased up.  Unfortunately panic attack symptoms can mimic heart attack symptoms and so sometimes it is difficult to get to the bottom of medical issue if there is one.  I would agree with other posters in that it may be a good idea to see a cardiologist and/or neurologist to be certain there are no underlying medical conditions causing the exacerbation of symptoms.  I wish you well and hope you are able to get to the bottom of this and find some relief. 
 
Primary ss dx 2013, plaquenil, vitamin d, iron supplements, vitamin b12, d-mannose for chronic UTI's, magnesium for heart palpatations and Zinc

SabbraCadabra

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2020, 09:32:14 PM »
Stress could definitely be causing this, I was having similar issues a couple of summers ago. I kept having car troubles, and just the thought of breaking down and being trapped somewhere (agoraphobia?) I'm pretty sure was triggering my panic attacks.
One time on the way to work, I felt so bad that I turned back and started for home...but I started to feel better, so I turned around again. I can't remember if it was the same day or not, but another time, I was seriously contemplating taking the exit that the hospital was on and seeking treatment.

jazzlover

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2020, 07:46:28 PM »
Where's Dee? I hope she saw a cardiologist.
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), Salicylate Sensitivity,  Interstitial Cystitis,  gluten intolerance, Raynaud's, Sjogren's, A-fib; cytomegalovirus, recovered from Lyme disease

deeindiana

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2020, 06:04:47 PM »
Thanks for caring. It means a lot. My doctor is still adjusting my blood pressure meds. She says if it was my heart then it would've showed up when I was in the ER.  Although I've had a couple more episodes my BP is doing a little better with her changes, so...I try not to worry and relax. It's always something, isn't it.
Diagnosed June 2010.
Rheumy at University of Michigan Med Center. Age 62
Difficulty swallowing, fibromyalgia, burning mouth, GERD, anxiety, dry, dry, dry!
Medications: Atenolol, Dexilant, Plaquenil
I am my own worst enemy...

irish

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Re: Panic attacks? How do you fight them?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2020, 07:49:51 PM »
Glad that you are feeling some better. It is always slow to get the elevated BP fixed cause one doesn't want it to drop too much all at once. I hope things are a little less intense for you. You are right...it is always something. Such a stressful year for everyone with the Covid and then add in other healtissues and it is hard to keep up sometimes. Take care and rest when you can. Thinking of you a lot meirish