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please help with panic attacks

(53 Posts)
mumofapirate Sat 25-May-13 22:11:29

I can't seem to control them after 6pm im in a constant panicky state. I hate going to bed as it gets so much worse. constant lump in my throat, always hyperventalating and then chest pains (not bad just heavy) and my heart beats so fast. I'm so tired and stressed. I keep thinking im having a asthma attack and take lots of my inhaler but it doesnt do anything so im almost sure its panic. Any tips to help me? I'm due to have cbt but currently on the waiting list. I'll try anything just so fed up of thinking im having a asthma attack / dying all the time.

AlteredState Sat 25-May-13 22:16:38

Breathing into a brown paper bag.
Relaxation exercises (sometimes surgery's have tapes/cds you can buy/borrow).
Kalm tablets.
Valerian tea.

Betablockers or diazepam from gp.

Fuckwittery Sat 25-May-13 22:20:53

Get up and hop for as long as you can, tip I got from mn, it is near on impossible to panic while hopping.
A favourite film scene or piece of music to play while you do your deep breathing while sniffing essential oils (I got a panic attack mixture made up, will look what they are in the morning). My go to calming film was the sound of music. deep breathing any strong smell to distract you, vicks will do if no essential oils.

Fuckwittery Sat 25-May-13 22:21:44

Meant to give you these as well, flowers and [tea]

Fuckwittery Sat 25-May-13 22:21:57


BreasticlesNTesticles Sat 25-May-13 22:22:56

CBT is excellent I found for panic attacks.

I have general anxiety disorder as well though, and I need anti d's to shift it.

mumofapirate Sat 25-May-13 22:29:13

thank you! I'd hop but after when I'd be out of breath id prob take my inhaler 10 times and sit up panicking all night. Will try and find some relaxing music to deep breath too

Right first off have you been to docs?

Taking loads of your inhaler can induce shakes with racing heart. Don't have asthma myself but ds does and when he gets a really bad chest taking loads of stuff can make him feel like this (hospital doc says that normal). Just be careful you aren't feeding one of the symptoms by taking loads of your inhalers and causing a vicious circle.

Third it's perfectly normal to wind yourself up during a panic attack and think you're going to die. Believe me I had those thoughts for years and mine always hit me at night. You aren't. It's adrenalin running through your body. Take yourself outside in the cool air and breathe deep and look around you to see you aren't the only person around right now.

Panic attacks are the loneliest thing and it really helps to talk to someone so stay on here and chat if you want to. Fwiw I had CBT years ago and even though it felt like a waste of time and I can't remember much about it it must have worked as I had serious panic attacks and anxiety constantly but now it barely bothers me.

mumofapirate Sat 25-May-13 22:48:33

Thank you ball. Glad cbt helped you in the end. I've been to the gp and he refferd me for cbt and ive had my telephone interview and am currently on the waiting list. I had a bad chest infection / pluracy in feb when I got given some inhalers I use to have asthma as a child but outgrew it so I'm not even sure if I need my inhaler or not. I dont get the shakes anymore from them either, my asthma nurse joked about sending me to drug abuse clinic if I didnt cut down which I have a bit until I panic again then I start puffing away. Every panic attacks feels different it'd help if they were similar so I knew for def that it was one. My whole body aches from being tensed all day everyday

MrsFuzzyBuzzy Sat 25-May-13 22:53:12

Try distracting yourself with a computer game or game on your phone like bubblemania or Tetris. If you can't think about feeling panicky it helps it go away (works for me anyway)

Lorelei353 Sat 25-May-13 22:55:16

Worth remembering that the best way to metabolise adrenaline is movement so if you're tired/breathless hopping, just try shaking it off. Literally shake your arms and hands and say 'shake it off' out loud. It'll remind you that there's nothing wrong with you (ie no real asthma etc.) - you CAN shake off what you're feeling, because you're in control. Works for me when I'm scared on planes, but I also suffered panic attacks years ago so remember some old tricks.

mumofapirate Sat 25-May-13 23:34:13

ill try that lor thank u.
I've got candy crush as my distraction thank u smile

winetime1981 Sun 26-May-13 17:09:25

Repeating 'this will pass' in your head and knowing that it will, like every other time smile

A1980 Sun 26-May-13 23:33:48

Diazepam is the Shit. makes you feel like you're lying on a cloud.

Funnyfishface Mon 27-May-13 14:54:45


I have suffered with anxiety and panic attacks for just over 2 years now. I had a bad year of stress the year leading up to the first one. I was absolutely terrified. I didn't know what was happening. I had terrible fight or flight symptoms.
I had my rock bottom in October last year. My anxiety was so bad I couldn't leave the house. I had cbt therapy on nhs. Called fearfighter. That was very helpful. I have also had face to face therapy privately. That was the best treatment. She suggested mindfulness. I have been on citalopram anti dep since November. I did not want to take meds but really felt that I was in such a hole it was the only way out.
You have to stay determined. Don't ever give in. I do still have anxiety but nowhere near as bad as I was. I have the tools to help me stop it before it takes hold.

Good luck. If you would like to pm me for any encouragement you can.
Big hugs xxxx

mumofapirate Tue 28-May-13 22:47:05

thank you for the support it really does help. Still feeling the same but I did go out today to the shop with my dh which made me feel better for just being out. I hate going out and avoid it at all costs

Really feel for you. I've suffered on and off for years. The tight chest is my most hated symptom.

I keep trying to come off meds (citalopram) but after a few months, bang, they're back.

I went back on meds last November and they really have changed my life. I've come to realise I may be like a friend of mine, on them for a very long time. Maybe even forever? They do something to my serotonin that stops my symptoms so that's fine by me.

I tried all the usual things to stop my symptoms. Yoga, oils, distraction, CBT, telling myself it'll pass (didn't work). Plus other things.

Now I've managed to get a full time job doing something I've always wanted to do, and even drove yesterday. Driving's a phobia of mine but I need to do it to get to my new job. I'm so much more positive now.

I really hope I stay free of them. Also that you can find something to rid yourself of them as they are crippling. Unless you've suffered you can have no idea.

Smitten1981 Tue 28-May-13 23:06:28

Google the Charles Linden Method. I think you can download a free booket from the website. Him and a course of hypnotherapy were the only things that helped me. I have been having them on and off for 10 years now.

Truly a horrible experience, but you can get better and you will.

Smitten1981 Tue 28-May-13 23:09:03

Oh, and I know it sounds a bit wacky, but meditation really helps to calm your mind too. You can download guided meditations from iTunes.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 28-May-13 23:14:48

Sertraline is fabulous stuff.

And I find doing something out my normal routine is really helpful. We have just had a weekend away and I didn't have any anxiety at all, because I was doing different things to normal, busy and interested and not just going through the motions of everyday life.

Really hope you are feeling better soon, panic and anxiety is the pits.

mumofapirate Tue 28-May-13 23:44:44

thank you smile I think I'm following him on twitter actually. Gp offered me tablets but this is one of my fears along with most other things. I do try to do a few things or at least one thing a week that scare s me. I walked to the shop last weekend with my dcs I was terrifyed at the thought but it was actually nice. I feel so daft writing it down. Currently laid in bed with tight chest and numb arms with twitchy toes. I do have a 2 yr old to squish next to me tho smile it's lovely hearing that there is hope and surely if all of you can get better then surely I can too? I need a plan, need to help myself whilst waiting for cbt but where do I begin?

Why do the meds scare you? Honestly try them they've changed my life. People are amazed I've ever had panic disorder as I'm very outgoing and confident, not a nervous person. But there's something in my body, probably brain, that clicks into gear and causes the panic symptoms. The meds stop it. I

Smitten1981 Wed 29-May-13 09:53:14

I took anti-depressants and beta blockers at first but I stopped taking them as I didn't think they were helping and I didn't want to become dependant on them. I stopped taking them and am so glad I did as I have a friend who was having the same issue at the same time and she's been on Citalopram for 8 years now, she can't come off them as the panic attacks start up again.

I found what worked for me was to just go about things normally, I couldn't leave the house at first, but if you start doing small things and don't run when you feel the panic creeping up it does get better over time.

It is hard work, exhausting and terrifying but if you don't let it get the better of you and just keep going even though you are scared you will retrain your brain into reducing the fear.

This is the only thing that's ever really worked for me, but everyone is different.

I really do recommend the Charles Linden pack though. I think you can get it slightly cheaper second hand from Ebay or Amazon Used.

mumofapirate Wed 29-May-13 14:27:48

thank you. ill go look on ebay for Charles lindams book. I'm willing to help myself if I can.
im scared of medicine as ill sit there waiting for side effects, everything I do ill be thinking is this a side effect. ill spend all day watching for signs, reading horror stories etc.

I've gone to see my friend to day and I'm dying to leave I'm so panicked ive not said anything to her tho so will try and wait a little longer before running.

Smitten1981 Wed 29-May-13 14:59:23

Oh, and also cut out caffeine, that really helped me. I'm exactly the same with medication, I just panic about side effects and them making me feel sick.

rasputin Wed 29-May-13 15:01:19

The only thing that works for me is yoga. Every day, otherwise I get poorly again, hence why I am feeling low and panicy again at the moment as been neglecting yoga.

Oh the wanting to escape feeling is awful sad

Keep talking to your Gp.

FrameyMcFrame Wed 29-May-13 16:09:59

If you panic every day at 6 then let yourself have a panic hour.

6-7 o clock, panic time. really go for it, have a good old panic.

But then you stop at 7. Glass of wine, something on telly, no more panicking until tomorrow.

Worth a try?

Funnyfishface Wed 29-May-13 17:05:57

Hi mumofpirate.

Things I tried
Charles linden
Panic away
More hypnotherapy
Crystal healing
Claire weeks books (excellent would def recommend)
Cbt therapy nhs fearfighter programme
Medication and therapy

So as you can see I have spent a small fortune on getting to the bottom of my anxiety and panic
The things that worked for me relaxation. Acceptance. I accept that I have a problem with anxiety. I don't push myself to do too much. As it causes a setback. I try not to get stressed. I have my comfort zones. I try and do something every day.
I am now on citalopram anti dep. like you I was very scared to take them. I believe I had every side effect going. I would rather not be on them but hey ho. I have been on them for 6 months on the lowest dose.
Mindfulness cd for relaxation and breathing is excellent.
You really do need to know what has caused your anxiety.
I thought the panic away programme was more effective than the linden method.
The panic away is all about acceptance and staying in the panic until it passes. The linden method is all about distraction. I found it hard to distract myself when I was having an attack.
The cbt therapy was very good. That was about facing your fears. On a scale of 1-10. Start with something small then build it up to the thing that scares you the most.

I would say, love, encouragement and gentle persuasion from my family and friends were the best things. Rolling eyes, tutting and saying things like pull yourself together are NOT helpful.

Good luck op xxx

mumofapirate Thu 30-May-13 22:00:49

thank you all so much I can't stress how much I appreciate everyones support. I have very little support at home, mother would tut and avoid talking at all costs. Dh is the "its all In my head" type if bloke, he means well but it doesnt help. Friends don't understand unless they've had a panic attack themselves.
I went out for a drive to pet shop today and I actually felt good to be out. I've had 2 big panic attacks and both times I've laid down and they do eventually pass. Panic hour might be ok to try too. I need to get some music on my phone for on a night to relax. hyperventalating is my big prob at the min...but theres always something. . oh the joys!

Well done for the drive to the shop.

I remember just walking a couple of hundred yards seeming like a million miles. And wanting to rush home.

You have us on here mumofapirate. We understand.

Funnyfishface Thu 30-May-13 23:34:20

You can download mindfulness onto your phone.

Well done for getting to the pet shop. That's a great accomplishment. Little goals. Don't overdo it though.

I used to get panic attacks and anxiety. The one thing that really helped was strenuous exercise. Those endorphins really work! I start to feel the anxiety coming back if I don't go for a run for a while. Mindfulness is good too.

Corygal Sat 01-Jun-13 18:38:14

I have had anxiety for years, on and off. I'm recommending exercise - I am jolly unfit and walk 2 miles a day. Even walking up and down the same street if you can't get far from home does the trick.

Also controlled breathing works for me. Set eating and sleeping routines, like a child, also help. Anxiety is a very physical thing - and that side of it is quite easy to tackle.

How are you mumofapirate?

CakeInMyFace Mon 03-Jun-13 17:27:40

I've had bad panic attacks in the past - they used to cause all kinds of things like numbness in my arms and legs (from too much tension), back pain and muscle pain, headaches... on and on. I still get them from time to time, mainly in the evenings or in the middle of the night. I even lost my job because of them at one stage.

When they were really bad (few years ago) citalopram really helped me. Not a single side effect (I was frightened of this too). You can start at a really low dose - they really did change my life for the better.

If you really don't want to try drug therapy, warm baths with lavender, lavender oil on your pillow, camomile tea used to help me, warm milk before bed.

Really hope things start to get better and you are able to start therapy soon.

Elquota Mon 03-Jun-13 17:48:50

Yes to relaxation tapes/CDs.

It's very possible medication would help you, if you can possibly get yourself to the GP and explain your fears of the side effects. The medications won't make you more anxious - you're anxious anyway. And in a few weeks they could be making a real positive difference to you.

Cake I've not had many side effects on Citalopram either. And used to have awful symptoms before taking them. Once I listed 30 symptoms and my GP was on the brink of sending me to a neurologist until I said I think it could be stress/anxiety related. Then started on the meds.

mumofapirate Sat 08-Jun-13 20:24:00

hello smile ive been on holiday! it was just 4 nights at the local seaside in a caravan. I was panicking all the time that I was going to get ill, i diagnosed myself with lung cancer and a blood clot whilst I was away. I kept thinking would the ambulance find the caravan if I got ill but I made it! I had one big panic attack where I went totally numb and couldn't breath, dh pulled over and gave me the "its all in your head only you can sort it" was weird because it was horrible but when it went I felt a hugh relief. It was like the anxiety had been building up to it all week.
I've been taking too much inhaler too because I got scared if I didn't I might have an asthma attack, most I took was 24 puffs in a day but I read the side effects last night had a panic attack and not taken any today and i dont feel any worse so that was prob another thing in my head. Got a massive headache prob withdrawal or something. I wish I could just sit back and relax but I darent stop worrying because if I worry they dont happen if I stop they might.
I get visual migraines occasionally and the last couple were 6 weeks apart so I feel like im waiting to get one of those too. I'm a mess really but still muddling through.

I've bought some quartz crystals to 'heal' me and a dream catcher to try and stop the nightmares I keep having.

Still no news on cbt appointment.

Hope everyone else is ok? Thank u again for being there.

mumofapirate Sat 08-Jun-13 20:37:18

sorry to be dumb but which mindfulness do I downloaded please? I have a samsung so get play store and samsung apps. I've found a mindfulness bell

tobiasfunke Sat 08-Jun-13 20:46:01

I'd allso recommend a hypnotherapy app for your phone/ipod - there are free ones about. I found them really useful. I also used to start counting to distract myself. I feel for you - they are really debilitating

kizzie Sat 08-Jun-13 22:59:07

Lots of good tips on here.
The thing I have to tell myself if I have a panic attack (not had one for a while thank goodness - although thats bound to be the kiss of death !!!! :-)) is to completely stay in the moment.
I used to instantly start catastrophising. So : 'Im always going to have this, i'll never be able to breath properly again, Im useless, no one else is like this, i feel so ill - i'l never be well again' etc etc and I would just get worse and worse.
So instead i try and concentrate on my breathing. Ban myself from thinking about anything other than my immediate surroundings.
And things like - count back in 3's from 300. Count the pattern in a wallpaper etc. Just until it starts to ease a bit.

freedom567 Wed 12-Jun-13 13:07:16

hey mumofapirate - bet you didn't realise quite so many of us are going through the same thing...and to be able to admit it, in the relative safety of mumsnet may well be a really useful tool for you you can see we all have different coping strategies, and have possibly tried different therapies in the past...myself, I've found that music is great - not necessarily 'relaxation' music, but ensuring that I've always got access to the music that makes me feel relaxed - there is a difference (for instance for me it's a bit of cheesy pop, or some favourite old tunes). I've had two panic attacks this week; and know that I'm currently in quite an anxious state, and therefore can assume that I may well have another one...the first one this week, I took dog for walk, and called a few friends, until my breathing returned to 'normal' etc - it took about 70 minutes...the second one was in the middle of my working day - again I took myself off for a walk - this time i went to a really quiet place (outside) sat on a bench and let the 'panic' consume me for a few minutes....cried through the feelings of telling myself to pull myself together, and then gathered my thoughts up one by one, and either 'parked' them for later or dismissed them by saying them out loud....after a panic attack I tend to eat a piece of fruit - this way you get some natural sugars rather than the high/low experienced with chocolate...
they are frightening, but I have found that by learning to embrace them rather than fight them means the severity of them is far less....we are all here to support each other...good luck x

mumofapirate Wed 12-Jun-13 20:07:10

thank you freedom. Your right I never realised other ppl felt like I do. Its sad but reassuring that I'm not alone.
im currently laid in bed with a bad head and eyes. i feel like a have blood gushing down my head but from what I've read yet again its anxiety causing it, like a stress headache. I'm trying to make my body relax and feel less tense. I hate embracing panic attacks but your right thats what I need to do rather than fight. I'll try my best. smile

freedom567 Wed 12-Jun-13 21:02:57

Hope ur doing ok mumofapirate ...

mumofapirate Thu 13-Jun-13 17:54:53

struggling to embrace the panic! its my panic time now til half 8 ish then I come round a little. Trying to be ok and let myself panic but I get the usual thoughts "oh my god im dying, cant breath properly, this one feels different it must be worse, let me take a deep breath...oh no I cant...I must be dying, must be an asthma attack even though ive not done anything to trigger one, my throat itches I must be having an allergic reaction to something. throat has a lump in...or is it closing?? argh! my head hurts, feel sick, shall I ring 999...oh no I can't incase its just panic...but what if its not and I am actually dying argh argh...dh is home in 45 mins ill try and survive til then, feel dizzy...i might pass out...oh i can't get my breath again I MuSt by dying, I don't want to die I'm scared I want to make it all go away ok ok calm down its just panic....I think...but what if its not? ?... (I'll then rethink everything ive just thought)

thats what is going off in my head right now.sad

mumofapirate Thu 13-Jun-13 17:58:12

I darent cry as im scared it'll trigger an asthma attack, I darent laugh too much for same reason. I dont think ive actually had an asthma attack but I always hyperventalate and feel out of breath, seem to focus on my breathing alot.

I went to the shop a bit further away today with my ds, we only stayed for 10 mins as I was terrifyed but not as bad as I thought.

I need to stop posting I sound like a right weirdo sad

mumofapirate Thu 13-Jun-13 18:06:24

hands are numb and so cold, can your throat actually close from a panic attack? I darent google it in case it can. hurry up and pass if its panic please, 30 mins till dh is home hurry up. hate this.

freedom567 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:54:13

Just logged in, hope you got thru it x

mumofapirate Sat 15-Jun-13 19:33:48

yes thanks, feel embarrassed now. .

Corygal Sat 15-Jun-13 20:39:49

No your throat can't close up while you're panicking - physically impossible, don't worry.

BUT one of the symptoms of anx. is choking or feeling like you are - it's a charmer. Don't worry, it's just a psychological thing.

There is no physical danger at all.

mumofapirate Wed 19-Jun-13 23:33:57

thank u feel better knowing its psychological rather than physical

mumofapirate Fri 28-Jun-13 17:34:21

feel like I'm panicking and now i can hardly feel my hands and arms its taken me ages to type thiS. HATE this so much.

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