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Author Topic: Lasting anxiety/panic attacks from the flu?  (Read 198 times)

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Offline Iradiri

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Lasting anxiety/panic attacks from the flu?
« on: May 28, 2014, 11:04:23 PM »
Hello! I'm new here. I hope I'm posting this in the right section.

I've had depersonalization issues for 2 years or so. Never been to a therapist. The depersonalization hasn't been too bad for the last year or so. I learned to control it better (which basically means not thinking about it too much, and distracting myself constantly).

 In February, I had a very nasty case of the flu. I had a high fever for several days, and on the 4th day, I had a horrible panic attack. After I got my wits about me, I knew it was a panic attack. I had previously had a couple of panic attacks due to medicines/drugs. I hadn't had any in about 2 1/2 years. I recovered from the flu, but the panic attacks and anxiety didn't stop. My depersonalization also came back, a little different from before. A large amount of the time, everything seems absolutely, fundamentally weird, unreal, and wrong. I can't focus much of the time, and any large amount of stress or stimuli overwhelms me and makes me have a panic attack. I used to be an avid coffee drinker, but now I can barely handle half a cup without having panic attacks.

The panic attacks are the absolute worst part, though. In between attacks, I often feel that I'll never have another one. But when I do have the next one, they completely drain me. I can usually stop them before they become severe, but it's really difficult sometimes. The ones that I get in my sleep are the worst, since they're already in full force by the time I wake up. After I have one, I'm utterly drained and "foggy" feeling for days. I constantly feel like I'll have another. I had three of them in one night three days ago, and I still feel like crap today.

I haven't been having as many for the last month or two, thankfully. Sometimes I'll go a full week or two without one. Right after I had the flu, I was having them almost every day. Was it a coincidence that I started getting this right after I got sick? Why do I still get them sometimes? What can I do? :( Thank you for reading this.
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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: Lasting anxiety/panic attacks from the flu?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2014, 05:19:59 AM »
A lot depends on the original cause of your anxiety. Maybe it was based around illness. Some people when they are not feeling well they find themselves in a state of panic. Thinking they are worse than they really are. I have seen this with my own eyes. People go from calm to wild with panic because of illness. You say you had a fever too. The mind could have linked the fever with panic attacks. Panic attack = hot and sweaty. Fever is almost the same thing. Because you had a panic attack in the past the mind might have made the connection and kick started off your panic attacks. Now it seems that your illness has cleared up you are getting things back under control again. Which is a good thing. I am sure you can get back to where you were at before your flu began. I would simply try and put it behind me. Keep moving forward. You seem like a strong person. One who can fight back against the panic attacks and brings things under control. That is a major plus.
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Offline Iradiri

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Re: Lasting anxiety/panic attacks from the flu?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2014, 08:10:20 PM »
That makes some sense. I do know that some of my issues have roots in an illness/surgery etc that I had in a child, as well. So, it makes sense that just being very ill could trigger it, now that I  think of it. Anything involving my health is sort of a weak spot for me. I think that's why the physical symptoms of panic bother me so much.

So I should just wait it out? I've had a tough couple of days. I had 2 nighttime panic attacks again 3 days ago, then a bad one the day after, and then another one yesterday. Felt on the verge of one today. Felt foggy headed, can't concentrate and generally "weird" since 4-5 days ago. Trying to convince myself it's just anxiety again.
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Offline Kavenchols

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Re: Lasting anxiety/panic attacks from the flu?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 06:50:57 PM »
Learning to relax, which isn't as easy as it sounds, can help to relieve some of this stress and tension, and may also help you to deal more effectively with your panic attacks when they occur. Cognitive behavioural therapy aims to identify and change the negative thought patterns and misinterpretations that are feeding your panic attacks.
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Offline firewife

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Re: Lasting anxiety/panic attacks from the flu?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 12:47:23 PM »
I can only speak.for.myself but any time I get a new or strange illness my panic and anxiety always comes back. I recently had my first sinus infection and I can't seem to shake the anxiety attacks. I just keep telling myself you've beat them before you can again. Maybe you can do the same and remember that you've already had that flu strain so you won't get it again. And remember to get your flu shot next year as a precaution.
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