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Panic attacks... what to do about them?!

(15 Posts)
OhWhatAPalaver Tue 30-Jun-15 22:02:02

I have a few medical problems and I get quite stressed out about feeling ill. When I start to feel unwell I seem to automatically assume the worst thing possible and start panicking. This obviously makes me feel worse and it's a vicious circle. For example, I came down with a flu type bug last week and it coincided with the second day of my period and for some reason I managed to convince myself I had TSS... I have a DD who is 3 and she was a bit ill as well but not as bad as me, so had I been rational I would have just seen that I had caught a bug off her. When I feel ill I also feel very scared that something is going to happen to me and my DD will be alone in our house and no one will know (I have a partner but we don't live together yet), this makes me panic more.

I have meniere's disease, which causes vertigo, balance problems and confusion, amongst other things. Whenever I have a meniere's attack I find it very hard to rationalise what is going on and I panic again. I often ring my mum when I feel like this and she just tells me to stop being silly and calm down, which doesn't really help. I always feel like I need someone there with me while I'm ill and that I can't cope alone. I have had panic attacks in the past where I've had palpitations or been stressed and felt like I can't be alone and felt like i needed to have someone with me to be able to relax and come out of it. I have never liked living alone and feel much happier living in a busy house but, until recently, I was a single parent so it has just been me and DD for over a year now. I struggled at first but got used to it eventually. It seems to just be when I'm ill (or when i think I'm ill or think I'm more ill than i am) that I get panic attacks. I thought I'd feel better now that I have a partner again but obviously he isn't here all the time and doesn't have keys yet.

I'm assuming the first step is to go to the GP but I don't particularly want medication. What choices do I have in order to go about stopping this cycle of silliness that I've gotten myself in to? Has anyone else been through similar?
Thanks for reading, bit of an essay! Any help much appreciated smile

SquarePeggyLou Tue 30-Jun-15 22:11:27

Have you considered CBT?
I used to have panic attacks, usually at night. I found that sleeping with a light on helped and saying out loud to myself that nothing bad was going to happen and that it would be over in a few moments.
GPs can refer you for CBT on the NHS, I had about 8 sessions I think, though it was a while ago now so I'm not sure.

FreakinScaryCaaw Tue 30-Jun-15 22:12:30

I really feel for you. It can feel incredibly scary to go through this.

I have to take medication for panic. A lot of people find CBT helps. It may help you change your thought patterns?

It can be a vicious cycle. Stress makes you susceptible to being poorly, you stress when poorly.

If you can find ways to relax it may help you?

I do feel a visit to the GP is needed but of course that's your choice. You can make it clear you want non medication help. Take someone with you for support perhaps? Writing symptoms and feelings down helps with explaining. We can feel rushed sometimes. Maybe ask for a double appointment?

FreakinScaryCaaw Tue 30-Jun-15 22:14:20

CBT

OhWhatAPalaver Tue 30-Jun-15 22:33:34

Thanks for the link, certainly sounds like I could benefit from it. I wonder how long I'll have to wait for it on the NHS?!

FreakinScaryCaaw Tue 30-Jun-15 22:48:54

It depends where you live. Make an appointment with the gp to get the ball rolling.

Keep posting on here. We who suffer feel your struggle flowers

Have you been on nomorepanic website? I remember finding them helpful years ago. NMP

Pedestriana Tue 30-Jun-15 23:00:26

As an aside to medical intervention/cbt you might want to look into yoga. You learn how to relax and how to concentrate on each part of the body separately.

I hadn't had panic attacks until a few years ago after an operation. The hospital didn't tell me that one of the more immediate side effects of the op were panic attacks because, and I quote, they "didn't want to worry me". After the first, I was prescribed some valium, which took the edge off, and I've now learned to deal with them when they very rarely surface, so that they don't get out of control.

FreakinScaryCaaw Wed 01-Jul-15 08:13:37

I agree yoga can help. Exercise in general is good.

brokenhearted55a Wed 01-Jul-15 16:25:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prettywhiteguitar Wed 01-Jul-15 16:31:48

Dp went to private CBT counselling for his panic attacks and they really helped him deal with day to day anxiety too.

In the end he only went to three sessions at £30 a go, so if you don't want to wait maybe you could save up and pay ?

OhWhatAPalaver Wed 01-Jul-15 22:18:07

Thanks for the advice. I do really need to do some exercise.... i have a feeling that could be a big part of the problem. I was thinking maybe starting Tai Chi as my fitness level is pretty low. It seems like a cross between meditation, martial arts and exercise so will most probably help!
Will make a gp appointment and see what they say.

FreakinScaryCaaw Thu 02-Jul-15 22:54:45

Good luck at the GP.

bmcc78 Tue 14-Jul-15 18:22:57

I have recently experienced panic attacks when falling asleep leading to not sleeping at all through the night. This in turn leads to fearing going to bed the following night which of course brings the panic on again! Horrible spiral. I feel that I've got it somewhat under control as I can calm down and sleep but I can't seem to go to bed without thinking about it. Did you have this and did you get to a stage where you go to bed without a second thought??!

bmcc78 Tue 14-Jul-15 18:24:43

Sorry previous message was for square Peggy Lou!

MewlingQuim Tue 14-Jul-15 18:37:38

I had awful panic attacks years ago. I had them about 15 times a day and it felt like I was dying. I did realise they were panic attacks but I still couldn't stop them from happening, but when I did eventually go to the GP and it was confirmed that they were panic attacks then I almost completely stopped having them overnight. I do very occasionally have them now, but nowhere near as bad.

Seeing a GP would be a good start, it may well help just going as it did with me! I also find that exercise does help, I have done martial arts and yoga, both have a focus on breathing and relaxing.

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