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Is this a panic attack?

(7 Posts)
JohnSnowsTie Thu 20-Feb-14 22:28:17

Will give a couple of examples.

Last month I had conjunctivitis for the first time. It freaked me out because it came on throughout the course of a single day and the thought of waking with my eyes stuck closed was scary. I used the drops my doctor had prescribed DD when she'd had it a couple of weeks before, and after I used them I pondered the danger of using someone else's meds and quickly became overwhelmed with a sense of dread, numbness in mouth, quickened heart rate and fast breathing etc. I got up very quickly and paced about a bit, sat somewhere else with my head in my hands to try and calm myself and actually considered asking DH to call an ambulance (was convinced for a moment I was going into anaphylacyic shock and was going to die).

It happened again tonight when I ate some ice cream with walnuts in - it occurred to me that I might be allergic to nuts (no reason to think so, other than its a common allergy) and the same symptoms happened again.

DH thinks it's just exhaustion (we have a 10 week old plus two older ones) but the fear is overwhelming, I feel kind of swamped by it and out of control even though I'm aware I look calm on the outside. For some reason I've developed a real fear of allergic reactions just recently. I've always had an anxious nature and had CBT a few years ago for it.

Grittzio Thu 20-Feb-14 22:40:59

It does sound like one I'm afraid, I have experienced them before but I actually got my husband to ring for an ambulance! I suggest going to see you Dr or HV ASAP, as you have already had CBT, if this was on the NHS, they may get you back in very quickly for some more therapy since you have a baby, they did with me. I had CBT therapy before DD came along, when she was 6 weeks old I lost my father and I was seen by my previous NHS therapist within a week, and every couple of weeks thereafter until I felt able to cope.

Good luck, you will learn to control them, I still teeter along a very fine line sometimes but I can pull myself out of one if I feel one coming on. X

SilverStars Fri 21-Feb-14 00:10:19

Is there any way you can get as much rest and sleep as possible to see if that helps? 3 children and one a baby sounds exhausting and when shattered coping mechanisms are not usually at their best. Whether baby could have a bottle ( expressed) if fed, or you can get a nap in the day somehow - anything to help you cope.

Definitely worth talking to your HV etc but if it is brought on my your circumstances doing everything you can as well to help is also useful. Not easy I know but I was so shattered with my dc when a baby that I had to be told by a medic to rest more than I was ( had a difficult situation in family at the time that took lots of energy), and until I did that my brain was in a dreadful state.

Does not mean you not panicking or having health anxiety or anything else but just sharing what helped me - good healthy food and as much rest as possible ( dh doing night wakings for a few nights a week helped!)

teawomen Fri 21-Feb-14 09:05:14

Hello I have a very similar thing when my daughter was born. I feared I was going to pass out or have a fit. Neither have happened before. I refuse to meds of a side effect states either of those too. I suffered panic attacks for a long time after and have just started to sort of recover this past couple of month my dd is now 16 month. I had cbt and then went on to take anti anxiety medication. Hope you feel better soon. Id contact hv and doc at the others have said.

chimchar Fri 21-Feb-14 09:16:08

It does sound like. The good thing is that you can recognise it for what it is, and start to help to talk yourself down from it....

here are a few short term fixes which help me when im off on one!

It's the 'fight or flight' thing....the fear in you fuels the panic attack. I use the phrase 'don't fuel the fear' to myself...quietly and calmly. I find it helps. often distraction can help, and singing too is great as it regulates your breathing.

There are some good apps for your phone...Andrew Johnson does lots, and some are free, or just about £2 max I think. they work well for me.

also try repeat what he is saying to yourself and tap yourself as he does. its a bit woo but again, I really find it beneficial.

congrats on your new baby. I hope you feel better soon. x

JohnSnowsTie Fri 21-Feb-14 14:10:12

Thanks for the messages all. It only occurred to me last night that it might be panic related as it seems only too occur beyond the point at which I've lost control - i.e. once I've used the eye drops, onced I'd eaten the nuts. I'm quite a hypochondriac and tend to assume the worst when it comes to health

What's strange is that for the most part my anxiety is under control and has been since becoming a SAHM. I get out a lot and am very sociable but my anxiety was mostly brought on by stressful or confrontational work situations.

Grittzio Fri 21-Feb-14 19:13:44

My first panic attack came out of the blue, convinced I was was going to die, even went and said goodbye to my son whilst he slept. I had used Dr Google to look an ailment up, I wouldn't say I was stressed at the time, stay away from Dr Google if you can. I think I'm quite a strong person and when the paramedics diagnosed a panic attack no one was more shocked than myself. I have been through some pretty major traumatic events and thought I'd coped really well but sometimes these events have a habit of catching you unawares.

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