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|05-11-2012, 11:55 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Any advice for panic attacks?
So I'm 36 days sober. I was on opiates for almost 7 years, and I abused other drugs too. I'm still having mild withdrawal. Before I got sober I had a panic attack in the form of muscle spasms and it was a really horrible experience, that's the only one I remember happening. I have social anxiety too.
Today I was playing a game and listening to music, everything was pretty good. I'm stressed out but I feel like I've managed it well. I hadn't had a cigarette in 4 days. The past week or so I've had discomfort in my stomach, and the feeling like I'm having a hard time breathing, and lightness in my chest. I assume this is just anxiety. Anyways today it suddenly felt amplified for no apparent reason. I also started shaking and sweating. I drove to the store and got some cigarettes and had one when I drove back home. It didn't help at all so I thought maybe my blood sugar is low or something, so I ate something, still no relief. I tried focusing on my breathing and listening to a meditation thing but that didn't help either.
So its been a good half an hour and I say screw it and I try to get a xanax from someone but they don't answer. So I have another smoke and then I go lay down and try to relax. I got some relief from that, or it just passed. So the worst of it lasted about an hour and I still don't feel well, and now I'm worried about it.
I don't have health insurance anymore so I can't really afford to see a doctor. I don't really know what to do about this. I hope its just a fluke and it doesn't happen again, but I have anxiety problems so I fear it will happen again.
Any advice about what works for you when you have a panic attack?
This post is kind of scatter brained, I apologize for that.
|05-12-2012, 09:11 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2012
So just to update. I ended up relapsing shortly after posting. I honestly think I knew I was going to use again at some point, and this panic attack was the perfect excuse. So I've been using and drinking again.
The panic attack had basically passed for the most part but as soon as I had the drugs available I was all for it. I thought I would use once and be cool like my last relapse, but as soon as I took them I wanted more. 1 day turned into 2 days, turned into 3 days. I've got all kinds of bad schemes in my head now and I'm hoping I'll wake up tomorrow and say and feel that I'm ready to stay sober again.
Anyways I just wanted to be honest about this experience and I hope to have some tools to deal with panic attacks in the future. The panic attack was very intense, I was shocked by it. I've had a muscle spasm panic attack that was so powerful and horribly painful, but this panic attack was so much different. It just took over my mind. I have to learn how to deal with them if I hope to stay sober.
I know this Anxiety Disorder forum isn't very active but if you have any tips, any tips at all about what you do when you have a panic attack I would greatly appreciate it. Anything I can try to do the next time it happens will help me, so if anyone has something to share please do. I know there are many things I can find by searching on google but I prefer first hand experience from former addicts/alcoholics.
|05-12-2012, 09:29 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North America
It is interesting that you were playing a video game before your panic attack. Some vid games are very realistic & can trigger memories that in turn can cause anxiety in terms of PTSD. It all depends of course.
There is also a beast called generalized anxiety that is (surprise) hard to pin down. It overlaps social anxiety oftentimes.
The thing to remember is that when experiencing inappropreate anxiety, we are by definition letting our mental states trigger what is otherwise a healthy and good biological responce system (fight or flight). Awairness of feelings and surroundings is an important component of dealing with the issue. If you can identify those things or situations that trigger the anxety responce, you can train yourself over time to have a reduced responce; for example by imagining a peace-inducing thing (calm blue ocean etc) when your heart rate speeds up, then imagining driving to the mall, going into the mall, etc. Each time your imagined trip to the mall causes anxiety, you reduce the anxiety with the peaceful imaging, then mentally start the trip to the mall again.
I think that is called cognitive systematic desensitization. Like most things in the psyc world it has many different names and has been around as long as the human race.
In terms of your acute anxiety (panic attacks), i wonder if you have considered trying yoga or, better yet, meditation. I'm reaching here but believe that these things involve feeling your breathing and slowing it, slowing your heart rate, etc. That might be just the trick to respond to a panic attack. It will take some time to practice and build those abilties, but as a coping method it beats the hell out of drinking for sure.
|06-04-2012, 08:09 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
read about drinking and anxiety / panic attacks. Its what led me to quit drinking i tried to quit smoking first thinking i cant breathe i feel like i'm having a heart attack it must be these cigarettes. Nope wasnt them. When you drink you are like throwing a hand grenade at your brain. Theres a lot going on with the neorological receptors and the alchohol. Yes we love it but it does thing liek deplete our GABA and hence the hangover i feel horrible feeling the next day that can also lead to withdrawel / panic attacks etc..
I posted in another thread what helped me. I tried a lot of things for starters raw apple cider vinegar 3 times a day or more helped get hte panic attacks in check. Quiting drinking helped and 5HTP helped with the depression or valerian root to relax. None of this will get you High Intoxicated or wtvr remember thats what your trying to get away from. But it will help them panic anxiety depression. Look at the effects of stomach bacteria and your mental health you'll read that a good pro-biotic might not be a bad idea. As i stated in the other thread 5htp is not something to take lightly read about serotonin syndrome before you go downing a bottle of it etc.. It is a pretty potent remedy and too much is a bad thing.
Google some of what i said. I hope it works for you if not its something more to try. I still get this electrical shock feeling from time to time. I still deal with anxiety and depression not so much panic and none of it is as intense as it once was.
|06-06-2012, 06:48 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2012
Blog Entries: 6
I wish I had better advice, but the only thing that helps me is to lay down and try to slow down my breathing and heart rate.
Drinking only makes anxiety worse in the long run. As I progressed further into my disease, I found that it stopped relaxing me at all. Instead, it started having this weird effect where I got even more agitated when I drank!
I exercise when I am feeling especially anxious. It really helps relax me.
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