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Offline melissas080

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Severe panic attacks all day
« on: March 23, 2014, 01:18:40 PM »
Hi there, I am new to posting here but read all the time. I am 33 years old, Female, 3 beautiful children. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with GAD, and put on Zoloft. For years I suffered and barely left my home. I had my oldest daughter and after that I seemed to do so much better. My panic attacks were gone, and I just dealt with mild anxiety that I could manage without medication.

About 4 months ago my father passed away, and since then I have been in a downward spiral. I started to have panic attacks but could quickly calm them with self talk and distraction. I started having pains here and there and would take Ibuprofren like candy to ward off any pain I might have  to thawrt the anxious feelings. About a week ago, we were driving home from a shopping trip and I started to feel like I couldn't breathe. It threw me into a major panic attack, shaking, feeling the need to run, was awful. Since then I keep having panic attacks every day and It seems I am left with the symptoms of anxiety, my chest feels really tight, it is really hard to explain feels empty, along with my stomach...i feel dizzy when I sit upright, the empty feeling gets worse. I can't eat and I am so sick to my stomach. I keep feeling like I might stop breathing or that I am having trouble breathing and might go into an asthma attack (Ive never had asthma.) I went out and bought a pulse ox and my heart rate seems to drop into the 60s inthe evenings and that scares me because it usually beats really fast. My oxygen level stays around 98 even when I Feel like I cant breathe. At times I Feel a warmth spread across my chest and I just know thats it, I am going to die any minute.

Many years ago when I had bad anxiety and panic they did EKGs and my heart checked out fine. Now I am thinking maybe giving birth to my son 8 months ago somehow damaged my heart. The empty feeling in my chest and stomach is really getting to me and making me feel awful. I bought a blood pressure cuff and my BP is a little higher than my BP usually runs, around 115/80 . SO my vitals are all good,but why do I feel like this. I feel like I am being tortured. Not to mention we have a disney trip planned next week and I dont think I can do it. I am ready to tell my poor kids that I just cant. Please  help. I know go to the drs, and I will..thats another anxiety hurdle I need to cross.

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Offline Julie A. Cook

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Re: Severe panic attacks all day
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 04:27:40 PM »
Melissa, I feel your pain .  I've been battling forthe last 6 months.  The panic has come and gone throughout my life and runs very strongly in our family.  My mother has suffered her entire 84 years, and my sister is now going through it because of recent events in her life.

Hang in there.  Just as you beat it in the past, you will beat it again.  It's a maze that it takes a while to get out of  that requires meds, a good therapist, and courage on a daily basis.   Also, patience.  You will conquer this.  I will too.

Best regardws and hang in there.  You are not alone!!!

Julie Cook
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Offline jane134

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Re: Severe panic attacks all day
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 04:31:33 PM »
Hi Melissa. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I know grief is one of the biggest triggers for anxiety, and most likely the reason you are worrying about your health so much. Yes, get to the Dr as soon as you can. I have an issue going to see the Dr too, but believe me, just get it done out the way, cos the more you delay, the more you are feeding your fear.

Have you looked into the possibility of having some therapy? Or/and maybe some grief counselling? There are some good self help books out there also. 

One thing i would say, is to steer clear of trying to diagnose yourself with possible health problems. Do NOT google! It will just feed your anxiety. I'd also say not to use the BP Cuff regularly, as you are keeping the anxiety and worry fresh in your mind.

With your Dr's advice and the right tools, you can make this manageable. You are not alone in this :yes:

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In order to fly, you have to unload the stuff that weighs you down.

Offline Calamy

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Re: Severe panic attacks all day
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2014, 11:41:43 PM »
Melissa, some months after my dad died I started hyperventilating. I have hyperventilation syndrome and probably had it for years and never realized how much it was affecting me and creating symptoms along with my panic attacks and anxiety. I think that's what's happening to you -- you're overbreathing and don't even realize it and then you feel smothered or like you can't breathe because when you get too much oxygen, you feel like you're not getting enough air. I have been having it right now this past week. Your blood pressure looks great so no worries there. I think you're going through a really difficult time and your subconscious has to work it out. I recommend doing some guided imagery and breathing through your nose and not your mouth and belly breathing (but not necessarily DEEP breathing;) You're stressing the muscles in your upper chest with shallow breathing and those muscles get fatigued very easily. I think I know what you mean when you talk about the empty feeling, too. I have also been through all the heart tests and stress tests and EKG's etc. as I am a cardiophobe so I know all those weird sensations that can take over. The warm feeling is most likely adrenaline as I also get hot flashes and cold flashes with my anxiety. Also having your heart rate slower at night sounds okay to me; I have had mine in the 60's at night as well. It really really sounds like you're hyperventilating and need to just slow down, give yourself time to deal with this as gently as you can.
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"Fear is such a vicious thing; it wraps me up in chains." - Tears for Fears, "The Working Hour"

Offline mittenchick

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Re: Severe panic attacks all day
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2014, 03:50:21 AM »
Just to offer a different sounds, to me, you may be having silent reflux. Let me explain real quick....the emotional stress you've been under can deplete or lower the stomach acid level, when this happens, you don't digest food as much or as fast as you should which creates intra-abdominal pressure which opens the sohincter between stomach and esophagus. If you've been burping quite awhile after meals AND can still recognize what you ate, its a prime indicator of law stomach acid. I understand these are all panic attack symptoms, but those also mimic so much else. The initial shortness of breath is what interests me and can be caused by so, so, so many things. Yes, your reaction afterwards was panic-based, but I believe mist are stemming from an organic base. I was misdiagnosed for years with panic and anxiety, turns out it was hypoglycemia. But, for a long, long time afterward I would panic with any bodily symptom until I researched the human body and all its functions. And, I believe panic attacks, while fear-based, often have treatable and easily fixable causes. I've helped countless people find theirs. Good luck to you, I know how rough it is being stuck in this cycle!!
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