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Having really bad panic attacks

Old 04-16-2008, 07:52 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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I asked her and she answered yes to both questions. She also said she heard in AA meetings it's a part of alcohol detox. She attended AA meetings in rehab but opiates are her thing not alcohol.

She said she feels your pain because having anxiety and panic disorder in addition to w/d makes life absolute hell.

Hang in there, least. Somethings gotta give soon but don't let it be you.
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:32 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Hey Least

This is my first post here so please don’t feel like I am butting in!

I suffered from brutal panic attacks a few years back and I know exactly what you are going through. There is nothing quite like them!
I managed to suppress them without medication, and although that may not be for everyone, I did learn a few tricks that really helped, and help now if ever one of the buggers comes a calling.

The turning point in being able to handle them for me was when I completely understood what was happening to my body and inside my head.
Although it sure doesn’t feel like it at the time, you are in no physical danger. You are not about to have a heart attack. You are not going blind. You are still perfectly capable of breathing normally, and you are not about to stop being able to breath.
Your body is feeling all of these horrible sensations for a reason, and studying each individual sensation (pain in left arm ect) and learning why it is happening can, in time, help you to rationalize the problem when it is occurring. This can help divert the feeling of panic that you are suffering.
You know the feeling you get if you have sat on your legs awkwardly and for to long? You try to stand up and your legs are totally dead and cannot feel a thing.
People experience that from such an early age that it is never cause for concern, and it is just regarded as a temporary state that will pass in a little while.
Imagine if you had never experienced that feeling and it happened to you, or anybody, today. You try to get up but you cant. Your damn legs have stopped working. Pretty scary when you don’t know the reasons why, isn’t it?

You are not going crazy or loosing your mind.

Your brain is having a horrible reaction to what is going on with your body because it thinks you are in danger and have no control or understanding over what is happening.

Knowledge is power. Try to learn as much as you can about the physical side of the attacks and why you body is doing all the nasty little (or big!) things it is doing during an attack.
Soon you will be saying – ‘Ha! Left arm! I know why you are doing that and you don’t scare me!’

It’s a long, hard road and I wish you all the best and hope you can, by whatever means you overcome them, do just that.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:27 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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THanks all for your kind and useful replies. I'm trying the breathing and telling myself it's not going to kill me. Sometimes it's possible to lessen the effects of such total panic, sometimes it's not. I'm frustrated so badly cause this is the longest sober time I've had in the last year (19 days) yet I feel like total shi* and can't relax and enjoy being sober. I talk about this with my counselor and she's emphasizing the breathing/relaxation techniques. I just can't always make them work for me. I'm having some real life problems, not the least of which is unemployment. I'm having such a hard time relaxing and trying to enjoy life/my sober self when I can't pay my bills and such. I get so depressed and anxious I'm afraid to leave the house. I'm looking for work and not finding any.

I appreciate all your help and advice. Thank you all so very much for sticking with me.:ghug3
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:35 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Wow. Least,

I’d go see another doctor immediately. I was diagnosed with panic disorder and ever since being put on the proper medication (Klonopin for me) I have not had a single panic attack except during those times I’ve tried to taper, usually AMA.

I talked to a couple of so-called addiction specialists. One of these idiots told me that I wasn’t sober if I was taking Klonopin. I told him that I was an alcoholic and not a drug addict and that in AA I was considered sober. He disagreed and said that AA doesn’t say that. I then pointed out the relevant AA literature that proved I was right. His ego consumed him, he said he’d read all the AA literature, and maintained his position like a jackass.

My view on these so-called addiction specialists, is that the term is an oxymoron, at least when it comes to alcoholism. These guys just don’t know much about it at all. They believe alcoholism and drug addiction are the same thing. I don’t believe this and neither does AA. Example: they say you must remain free of all mind altering chemicals, yet they will prescribe mind altering anti-depressants. If pushed they say these aren’t addicting and not likely to be abused. Then I ask them about caffeine and they are either speechless or they start spouting pure non-sense. My point is that not everyone abuses all drugs.

I have been sober for over twenty years and I have been taking Klonopin for a few of those years (the past few) and I have not had to have my dose increased above 3 mg (at my worst). Now I am okay on 1 mg. daily as long as I do not drink any caffeine – no tea, no caffeinated soda, no chocolate, etc. I have to watch headache meds too, as many contain caffeine. Simple carbs are no good for me either. There is one caveat about caffeine. During withdrawal from it, which has lasted up to a few weeks or more for me (depending on how long I had been drinking it prior to stopping), there has been increased anxiety. After withdrawal, it has been relatively easy for me to cut down and stabilize on Klonopin. I still have to go relatively slowly, but caffeine not only puts the brakes on tapering, it makes me increase my medication significantly.

I hope this helps, and, more importantly, I hope you find some healthy relief.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:41 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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This is interesting to me.

I know my anxiety and panic just about disappeared when I stopped drinking. (If you read my old posts here, I always sound like I'm about to have a heart attack.) I think this was because I had a pretty comfortable life and so nearly all of my anxiety was based on getting caught drinking at inappropriate times and losing that life. (It was a kind of a circle I got caught in. The more I drank the more likely I was to get caught so I worried about it and then drank because I was worried and then was even MORE likely to get caught which made me really more worried.)

I don't really get panic now as much as a vague worry about my future. Did I make too much damage? Will I have to change locations? Things like that.

I think my problem now is more anger.

Now it sounds like you and I have the some problem because I too try to "will it away". That never works for me. In fact, it's like the drinking circle. I get angry at myself for being angry when I don't have to be. Then I'm twice as angry!

Like you I have a lot of time on my hands. I'm on sabbatical from my work and I'm living in a sober house, but it means that I have to keep busy. I'm a person who likes a schedule. Without one I have a lot of time to find things to be angry about.

These are times when I have to remember God (my higher power). So I try to remember him several times a day with prayer. And even so, if I find I am so caught up with something that I simply cannot sit down, I go out and walk and pray the rosary. (Or sometimes, now that it is nicer out, I change and have a run. I haven't run for years. There's no way to be angry when you can't breathe I have discovered.)

I know my solution perhaps involves a lot of thinking about God (and is maybe too Catholic!) but it works for me. Even in the cold I went out and walked. I am telling you, there is no way to stay angry when you are trying to pray the rosary while walking in a Minnesota snow storm!

Some people have suggested that perhaps there is a psychiatric problem. That I wouldn't know, but for me I know it is too difficult to trying NOT to feel something, it is about my state of mind always. If I am in a good state of mind I find I am angry less and when I am, it is easier for me to trust God to help me make a change. So I don't know about drugs and teas and things, but I do know that the more I seek God, the better things seem.

Pax,
Dietrich
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:28 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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I am very sorry for the suffering this is causing you. I suffer from PTSD and social anxiety disorder so me and panic go way back. I find one of the best tools I have to combat it is regular exercise of some type. I personallly go to the rec center and swim laps in the pool. Different people have different levles of phisical activity they can do, but something as simple as a brisk walk can help greatly. Try it sometime if you are able to do so and see if it helps. I hope you get to feeling better soon.
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:05 PM
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Vitamin B supplements helped me to get over my panic attacks. I suffered from them very badly for about a year, and even fainted a couple of times from them.

The only good answer I've ever found to anxiety is getting some aerobic excercise during the day.
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by least View Post
He knows about the alcohol problem. He just won't give me any tranquilizer-type drugs cause they can be addicting. But I don't care, I just want these panic attacks to stop. I can't do anything when I'm in a panic.
Get a different doctor, if you are having panic attacks you need anti-anxiety meds.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:00 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Hi least,

I'm sorry your having such a tough time.

One thing i found helpful is taking some mild exercise preferable out of the house.
Even getting out the house is helpful, if your able to do that.

I think built up tension makes people much more anxious, and some exercise helps get rid of that,and can help to make you feel a bit calmer.
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:25 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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It's been a month and the anxiety is just getting worse. I wake up most mornings in a complete panic and feeling so sick to my stomach. feel too hot then too cold. Want to go back to sleep but can't relax long enough to do that. Just feeling completely out of control and helpless.

I've relapsed several times since starting this thread, but am now on day eight being sober. The physical withdrawal is over but the mental problems are getting worse. I feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm afraid to do anything and afraid to NOT do anything. I'm trapped and feel horrible.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:14 PM
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I'm sorry it's feeling so difficult for you right now. I'm glad you're still posting here and letting us know how you're doing. I wish I could write more for you tonight, but I just got home from a long day running sound for an early Independence Day fireworks show, and I'm exhausted. I just wanted to let you know someone here cares and is hearing you. I've struggled all week with traumatic stress flashbacks, and I didn't get much sleep last night, laying awake with anxiety. So I'm doubly tired. It was actually helpful that I got to work today with my boss. He always has something to say about nearly everything, so the drive out of town passed quickly. Plus, thunderstorms rolled through once we got there bringing 60MPH wind gusts that picked up vendors' tents like toys and threw them over the fence! The storm made us late and we had to get up the first band in a hurry. There was a good small town turnout, and the excitement and adrenaline of the show completely occupied my mind and seems to have left me feeling pretty centered right now. Our gear is pretty heavy, so I got a nice workout too. Please be patient and loving to yourself. Some part of you seems terrified and afraid, and perhaps you could start by assuring it that you hear it, that you will have its back from this moment on, and you will stop at nothing to insure its safety.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:19 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Least - I'm not sure of the complete story, so forgive me if I'm making you repeat yourself.....
but are you taking anything for anxiety? is this something you've always had or is it because of (or worse) from the withdrawals? if you're not, I think you should. you shouldn't have to feel like that - especially every day. and I quickly scanned your beginning posts on here where you said it wasn't life threatening, and it may not be - but it certainly can be dangerous. I used to take panic attacks, and hyperventilate until I fainted. and fainting on cement floors or banging your head off tables on the way down is not as funny as it sounds
I hope you can get things settled down soon. you should NOT feel trapped, or feel this bad. when I first started here you were one of the first people around cheering me on and offering advice. makes me sad that I can't help you out more now. please keep posting and let us know how you're doing.

(worried about you...)
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:27 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by least View Post
It's been a month and the anxiety is just getting worse. I wake up most mornings in a complete panic and feeling so sick to my stomach. feel too hot then too cold. Want to go back to sleep but can't relax long enough to do that. Just feeling completely out of control and helpless.

I've relapsed several times since starting this thread, but am now on day eight being sober. The physical withdrawal is over but the mental problems are getting worse. I feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm afraid to do anything and afraid to NOT do anything. I'm trapped and feel horrible.
Least,
Things seem to be getting worse, and not better.
Have you called your doctor yet?
Remember you said you would do so today?
Please do so.
Or consider calling 911.
This isn't right.
And I'm very concerned about your well being now...

Shalom!
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:50 AM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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I made an appt to see my shrink but can't get in til the 21st. I told my counselor about my recurring severe anxiety but she didn't suggest anything other than seeing the shrink to talk about my meds and such. I am trying to keep busy so as to not focus on the anxiety, but sometimes I feel like I'm coming unglued. Or like I'm hitch hiking on the road of Life but no one will stop for me.

The last few days have been especially hard as I've caught some sort of flu bug and have been quite sick. Today I am feeling a little bit better and am going to occupy myself by cleaning house.

Please pray for me that I can find some peace of mind. If it weren't for my loving dogs I would feel completely alone. But their love helps me and I need to stay sane and healthy to care for them. Caring for them gives me purpose. Thank God for my dogs.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:14 AM
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least
I can relate, and I feel for you. I know how bad panic attacks can be. I too was on ativan, and am now taking neurontin..which is pretty much working for me so far except for the side effects. But, before the ativan and neurontin I lived in almost a constant state of fear and obsession. I was constantly checking my pulse with my fingers..went to the er a few times..ect and pretty much always felt on the verge of losing it. The best thing you can do, if you possibly can is to spend as little time thinking and worrying about having an attack as you can, because indeed doing so can make you feel worse. I know it's not easy, but try to relax. I'm glad you have the dogs. I know mine are a constant comfort. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers..b
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:23 AM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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I feel like I'm losing my mind, my sanity. Don't know what to do. Feel like nothing is 'real' anymore. Worried about everything and unable to control myself. I am hanging on by a thread. I will be glad to finally see my shrink and ask him for help. I too am taking neurontin, and it seems to help, but sometimes the feelings are overwhelming. am trying hard to maintain my grip on 'reality', whatever that is. :ghug
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:04 AM
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Thank you for your thoughtful description of alcohol withdrawal and the panic attacks it can trigger. I've found that the B-complex vitamins in higher doses also help. The individual B vitamins need to be balanced with each other so it's best to buy them in B-50 or B-100 form where they are already in the proper ratios.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:20 PM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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(((Least)))
I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier...

If you cannot see your doc before the 21st (!!!), have you told the receptionist that it's an emergency? Have you called the doc yourself??? That's terribly long to wait for an appt, under these circumstances! I suggest you call again and strongly advocate for yourself, explaining to whomever exactly how severe the problem is! Use these printings for your script if needed!

In the meantime, if you cannot get relief, do not hesitate to call 911. Go to the hospital, if you need to. You do not have to suffer like this. Remember, extended stress is *not* good for the body, and causes more problems. So, don't let things get worse for youself, ok?

Do you have anyone who can help you now?

Take care of yourself, Least... you deserve it...

Shalom!
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:24 AM
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I am calling my shrink today and seeing if I could talk to him on the phone today, and not wait til the 21st to see him. I am getting worried as these panic attacks are not going away.

I will let you know what he does, if anything.

I'm drinking chamomile tea with valerian to try and relax. Can't concentrate on anything and it's raining so can't walk the dogs.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:36 AM
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(((( least ))))
I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with this! I wish I knew something that would help it go away. Just know I am thinking about you. I'm glad you have your animal companions. Dogs are so loyal -- I bet is feels good to lean into their loyalty when so much fear is present.
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