Sorry this will be a bit long but I want to give enough information.
I have experienced anxiety in some form or another since a very young child. My first diagnosis came at age 22 and I was originally diagnosed with Dysthymia. After being prescribed Effexor I began experiencing the first of several really severe panic attacks. I had a handful in which I got extremely dizzy, couldn't breathe, my vision became both shaky and tunnel-like, paralysis in which I couldn't move and briefly couldn't even speak although I was aware of my surroundings, and in at least one case I lost consciousness. In every case the only thing that could make things better was going to sleep.
I went off of Effexor, and after a year or 2 the severe panic attacks seemed to go away, and I was left with generalized heightened anxiety and a slow building increase in my OCD symptoms.
A handful of years went by and I finally decided I needed help again from a therapist. I went back and was diagnosed with OCD and GAD. I have been dealing with that to the best of my abilities for the last 14 years or so. It had been at least 11-12 years since my last severe panic attack but I was having small anxiety attacks often. Sometimes (including recently) I have felt stuck in "fight or flight" mode for weeks at a time. But again, it was a different feeling than the severe attacks when I was younger. No less frustrating, just different.
I took Lexapro for a handful of years but have been off any kind of daily medication for years. I am prescribed .5 Clonzepam as needed and find myself taking 1 a day regularly, sometimes 2.
Last night I had one of the most severe panic attacks I have ever experienced. It seemed to last forever although I couldn't tell you how long it actually lasted. I got nauseous first, and dizzy shortly after. Everything got really loud and bright. My friends that were with me said they actually saw me go "white" and lose all color. One of them helped me to a couch and I sat there for awhile just breathing. After a few minutes I thought everything was ok and I tried to stand up. I got woozy all over again, and landed back on the couch. My husband realized about this time what was happening (he had been in the other room) and came and sat with me. He kept trying to tell me something (I still don't know what it was) but all I could hear was about every 3rd word, and I finally managed to spit out, "I can't understand you," before losing all muscle control again. I literally could barely raise my hand or head. My body felt as if it weighed 1000 lbs. I so desperately wanted to go home at that point but could not move.
When I could open my eyes, everything seemed to pulse uncontrollably. I could feel my heart in my face but that was about all I could feel. I FINALLY was able to get up and get out the door and home.
Aside from my concern that this type of attack has returned after soooo many years, I used to wake up feeling fine and refreshed after these episodes. Today when I awoke after 11 hours of sleep, I still felt weak, shaky, tingly, and generally confused. I had to go into work, and while I think I was able to fake it well enough, it felt like I was talking to people through a veil. Although they were right in front of me, and I could see that, they somehow felt really far away and I felt very disconnected from what I was doing.
Has anyone had any experiences like this before? I am looking forward to discussing it with my doctor, but of course, my psychiatrist just retired and I have an appointment to get things started with a new guy on the 3rd. What a way to kick off new treatment, right?