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Old 03-21-2012, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Panic Attacks


Hi,

I have been sober for 18 months. I have little one and a half year old girl. For the lest week I have been having major panic attacks and I can't seem to stop them. I have been to the doctor and they have me on medicine, but it will take a while for it to kick in. I feel like I am dying. My body is tense and won't calm down. My neck is tense and it shoots electrical feelings through my arms. I don't want to drink, and I won't, but I want to know if anyone else has experienced this. I used to have them before I stopped drinking and they were one of the main reasons that I stopped. I feel completely exhausted, zapped, scared and totally strung out.

Has anyone had this?

Oh it doesn't feel good. I know it is temporary, but I am freaking out. It has been a week and a half now of panic attacks.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, I had panic attacks before I started drinking, since childhood. And, well into sobriety I still get them.

One thing I've learned is that simply breathing will help. When you get a panic attack, your breathing becomes shallow and quick, and that makes the panic increase. Take three slow, deep breaths and it will help to calm you. If it's possible, just stop what you're doing and let your body recover. Try listening to some music. Also, there are lots of good books on how to deal with panic attacks without using medication, so you might want to check that out too.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I too have panic attacks and did before I quit drinking, the more comfortable I get in sobriety the better I'm able to deal with them. I do take medication for them but only half of the prescribed dose before bedtime and as a result I haven't had a severe attack in well over a year. Anna's advice sounds good to me too, just breath...
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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YES....toward the end of my drinking career I had multiple, daily panic attacks.Two times they were so severe and terrifying, I thought I was having a heart attack. Both of these times I called an ambulance to my home and was told by the medics that all my vitals were "normal".Yet I thought I was dying. 3 days after detox I had one more panic attack the likes of which I thought I would never recover. It lasted all day and I finally had to take medication to get through it. I know how thorughly draining the aftermath of a panic attack can be. Thankfully that was the last one I have had in the last 13 months. Anna is right....if you can control your breathing, you will somewhat control your attack. Yoga has helped me with this. ( highly recommend ). Good luck and BREATHE.....in through your nose and out through your mouth....slowly.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh Lord I've had panic attacks for 20 years. They suck! I won't go into all the details now but the last one I had was day 1 of sobriety, after quite a binge. I had a beer in front of me and an Ativan. I wasn't going to take both (dangerous). I sat there for a long time, knowing that one beer would help, two would be better, etc. I put the beer away and took the Ativan. It was still a miserable day but I didn't drink. I had panic attacks before I became an alcoholic, but I am sure drinking dint help! Anxiety was definitely a major reason for me to drink. Drugs to help anxiety and depression definitely work better without alcohol involved.
Anyway, to try to help you.... This is hard but it works.... Don't be afraid of the anxiety. Sy it again and again even if you don't believe it. A panic attack is just a physical sensation, it won't hurt me, I don't have to fight it, it will go away. Try to detach yourself from the physical sensations. A panic attack won't hurt you. A panic attack won't kill you.
And breathing really does help. Practice it a lot, even when you are not panicking.
Good luck I know how awful they are!
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Also there is a book I like called from panic to power. I forgot the author, but it is a woman. This book has helped me a lot. Also maybe you could do a benzo short term unless you are worried about getting addicted. Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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'From Panic to Power' is by Lucinda Bassett and it's a great book.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Anna! I am going to check that book out.
I too struggle with panic attacks. This weekend they were BAD!!! Trying to combat the problem with exercising, trying to be as organized as I can and getting enough rest. Good night
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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First off, we have daughters the same age

Secondly, I went through this too. Along with the above suggestions, i find it helpful to avoid certain foods (high in sugar or salt), and B vitamins tend to help too.

Also, our hormones are still a little wacky at 18 months postpartum. Maybe talk to your doctor about that. Hormone therapy could help, or a change in birth control (if you're on it).

Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Dear thisisforellie,

you poor thing I feel for you.

Like everyone else, I suffered for years with panic attacks too. I thought I was superwoman until then ;> in a high pressure 24/7 job, lots of hobbies, never ill, plenty of money etc but my brain didn't listen to my body if that makes sense and I literally started to burn out...

The first one is terrifying isn't it - when your heart races, your throat tightens and all you want to do is escape your body and run from this feeling. Which some of us do and end up with agorophobia on top as well as depression.

To think that your body will not let you get away with abusing it - clever body but not nice at all.

On a positive note, I have not had an attack in more than 10 years and I have learnt through therapy how to "listen" to my body :> so as soon as I start to feel my shoulders getting tight, or that knot in my stomach, I relax and as Anna and others said, breathe slowly (don't panic...).

Another book which I found useful was Self Help for Your Nerves by Dr Claire Weekes.

Take carex
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Another book which I found useful was Self Help for Your Nerves by Dr Claire Weekes.

Me too! Probably the best I have read on the subject!
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