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is this anxiety disorder?

(12 Posts)
NKe6c0b95X11bc80a0782 Tue 19-Aug-08 21:54:54

Hi -Has this happened to anyone else, cos I feel really frightened about what is happening to me? A week ago I had a migraine (i have only ever had 2 of these before, along time ago) and that evening I suddenly started getting pins and needles in my hands and feet, a feeling like everything was closing in on me and that I was dying. I was so scared that my husband called 999 but they could find nothing wrong with me other than a fast heartrate.I asked them to take me to hospital as I feared something was really wrong, but the A&E dr said that I had had a panic attack. 3 evenings later, the same thing happened, out of the blue, and this time I was convinced I was going to die. Paramedics came and said that I was having a panic attack and could find nothing wrong. The rest of the night was awful - pressure on my chest, pins and needles, falling feeling, terror, crawling feeling in my head, racing heart, trembling etc so I saw a GP the next day who said I was suffering from anxiety. For three days I could hardly eat and had to keep fighting off these episodes. Most of the symptoms have improved now but I still shake from time to time and feel it all coming on again, as well as strange sensations in my arms and legs. I've had an ECg today which was fine but I'm still worried something is really wrong.Can anyone help? I'm desperate for reassurance.

crispyduck Tue 19-Aug-08 21:58:44

Hi NK
i suffered from anxiety after my second child...had 2 panic attacks..i was told to breath into a bag which helped...my fear was going out in public...can you pin point the anxiety and what the cause is?

Poppycake Tue 19-Aug-08 22:00:42

You poor thing - has your GP not recommended anything - do you have a sense of why you might start having these attacks now?

giraffescantdancethetango Tue 19-Aug-08 22:01:23

hiya can i reccomend a helpline my friend works on? its called no panic www.nopanic.org.uk/menu.htm x

Niecie Tue 19-Aug-08 22:01:47

Sounds very like a panic attack to me.

Did the people who did the ECG not refer you back to your GP? You can get beta blockers to help in the short term but I found that it took counselling (CBT) and relaxation lessons to help me.

In the short term when you feel an attack coming on breath into a paper bag as it helps with the over breathing and helps with the physical symptons.

So sorry you are having to deal with this as it really is crap but help is out there.

hotCheeseBurns Tue 19-Aug-08 22:02:23

Panic attacks are really common, I get them occasionally, although not as bad as yours.

I think a good thing to do is lots of research to find out what causes them, the effects and how many other people suffer too so that when one comes along you know what it is and that nothing bad is actually happening.

Mine started after I had fainted a couple of times in big crowds - i became very claustrophobic and terrfified of passing out. Once I learnt, however, that while you're having a panic attack there's no chance of you passing out because you're hyperventilating I stopped being so frightened of them.

Hope this helps?

hotCheeseBurns Tue 19-Aug-08 22:03:15

And beta blockers really helped me too

fourlittlefeet Tue 19-Aug-08 22:08:23

When I had them PA's I found a really good basic book on it that explained them to me (and to other people who didn't understand and thought I was being a hypochondriac). It took me about 2 years to stop having them.

Understanding what they were and how they worked really helped as when they came on I could think 'right you bugger, you aren't going to get the better of me' and it really helped! Generally getting out of the situation or distraction tends to help too.

Absolutely awful, hope you get them under control soon.

NKe6c0b95X11bc80a0782 Wed 20-Aug-08 08:05:45

Thanks for messages of support. If I concentrate on taking slow breaths and distract myself by pottering about, then eventually the feelings go away and i don't have a full blown attack. So I suppose I should take this to mean that I CAN control them... but it's still really frightening and I do worry that one could come on at any time which doesn't help.The dr orignally gave me citalopram and diazapam but the second dose of the diazapam made me worse so I'm too nervous of taking either. Does your gp refer you for CBT, or do you have to find someone yourself?Thanks

rydercup Wed 20-Aug-08 08:39:49

Hello - I went through a phase of this quite recently.... the problem that I found was that when I tuned into it... it happened all the more....... however, it is incredibly difficult to tune out from it. I found a book by Claire Weekes that really helped me understand the process and not 'fear' it.... the problem is, the 'fear' of them breeds more 'fear' and thus more adrenaline and thus fast heart rate and all the other symptoms you describe. The book really worked for me and I refer to it constantly if having a wobbly day....... I think its called 'self help for your nerves'. Gotta be worth a try.

Niecie Wed 20-Aug-08 16:10:42

My CBT was through a GP referral. It took a little while to come through but whilst I was waiting I had a short course of relaxation lessons with a trainee psychologist which was good too.

Are either of the drugs you have also beta blockers? I know the citalopram is an AD, isn't it? I don't really know the effect of the diazapan - I think it treats anxiety doesn't it? <bit clueless - sorry>

I was just thinking that the beta blockers were good because they stopped the symptoms in their tracks when they threatened to get out of hand. I am sure that the drugs you have will work in the medium to long term but for more or less instant effect the beta blockers worked wonders - I didn't take them for very long or very regularly but they got me over a bad patch.

I am with you on pottering around too - it does help. I think it is all tied up in the fight or flight mechanism. When you have a panic attack your body is flooded with adrenaline ready to fight or for flight. Doing something helps to get rid of the adrenaline - much better than sitting down and over thinking what is happening and potentially making yourself feel worse.

Oh sorry - rambling a bit but the other thing I find that helps is Bach Rescue Rememdy. I keep taking it until I feel better. It usually takes more than one dose but it does have an effect.

NKe6c0b95X11bc80a0782 Tue 02-Sep-08 18:41:22

Thanks for recommending the Claire Weekes book - it is brilliant and is really helping me. Symptoms come and go but generally I'm getting back to my 'old' self. My gp has prescribed Beta Blockers. Does anyone know whether they have any side effects? I'm not brave enough to take them yet.

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