I'm new around here, and I'm liking the place so far. :)
Brief as I can background: Around 18 I suddenly developed a panic disorder. I had no problems up until that point; Next thing I knew, I couldn't get off the couch, barely ate and slept most of the day, and did this for a couple weeks before working up the ability to go to a doctor who, after a battery of tests, diagnosed me with a panic disorder. I very briefly had medication (I think it was Zoloft), but my insurance had run out shortly thereafter.
Fast forward a little over a decade, and for the most part I've been managing my disorder on my own. When I do get them, they're frequently started by a heart palpitation (this weird feeling of it stopping, beating really hard once and then resuming its normal rhythm) and I'm usually able to quash them within about 30 seconds. Sometimes I felt the wave wash over me, and it wouldn't even break my stride.
With that out of the way, back in Nov of last year, I had that similar heart palpitation, and at first figured it was nothing. Then it did it again, until it did it about 15 times in a row. That, of course, threw me into an hours long panic attack, that had me actually calling paramedics, followed by a hospital visit. Of course, they hooked me up to an EKG for a couple hours, took blood / urine, and said there were no signs of anything, and that my blood test actually came out great. Feeling a little better, I went home, and though it took me a few days to 'wind down' from that mega panic shock, I did, and was fone for a couple of months...
Which brings me to the present, or about 3 weeks ago. I was sitting on the couch, just watching TV with my wife when BAM, a 3 hour long panic attack strikes. This one wasn't even caused by a palpitation, yet it ended in her driving me to the emergency room, when I had the usual EKG / Blood test / doctor listening for murmurs, all of which were perfectly fine. The problem is, since then, I've spent the last 3 weeks having panic attacks and when I'm not having one, I'm constantly anxious feeling. I went to urgent care, and the doctor gave me some Viibryd samples, as well as a prescription for Ativan. I've been taking the Viibryd for about 2 weeks (I've only done the 10mg so far... I have my first psych appointment on the 12th, so I figured better to not get too deep in something they might want to change) and while it has helped over all with the panic attacks (they aren't as frequent and are easier to set aside thus far) I simply cannot get rid of the constantly anxious feeling.
I get the shooting and dull chest pains (which I know are muscular and probably radiating around from my usual upper back pain, as I can press on my chest muscles and feel the soreness), and my muscles all over, though particularly my upper body, feel... Worn. Restless. I also have the urge to just sleep, all the time, even when I don't take the Ativan. I've been hitting the 12 hour mark most nights, and if I didn't make myself get up, I'm fairly certain I could sleep away a day. If I could just get rid of the constant anxious feeling, I would actually feel perfectly fine otherwise, but the fact that it isn't going away invites more panic.
So, the TL;DR - Is it normal to have the general symptoms of anxiety (muscle tension / pain, fast heartbeat here and there) for weeks on end? Could it also be my mind / body adjusting to the Viibryd? I've had enough tests to know now that my heart is likely A-OK, so it isn't the fear of that driving panic attacks anymore, it is just this weird, sudden onset of my panic disorder that I've been dealing with for years very well that is bothering me.
2 other things:
1. I have become unemployed recently, but I'm actually still financially stable, so while I don't THINK that would cause it, I obviously can't be certain.
2. About a month ago, I started dieting. I went from daily soda, candy and big meals to under 1800 calories (I'm 5'11", 280 lbs), and I completely carved candy, most sugar and caffeine out of my diet cold turkey. Could the sudden change in blood sugar, caffeine withdrawal or perhaps hormones from fat loss (I'm down to 260) have brought on or contributed to the sudden onset?
Thank you to anyone who actually makes it through all of that. I know it is a lot, but I really need to find an answer somehow. I've gone from having a morbid fear of death to getting thoughts of inviting it because I don't like living this way, and I'm not comfortable with that change.