Anyone else get panic attacks?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Aussiegirl, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl New Member

    When I first got sick with this ridiculous CFS...I noticed I was feeling faint when I went to shopping centres. The music the people the lights....I dont know.
    I have spent a few months at home now and am really needing to venture out to the shops for a while but I have this panic attack feeling and feel a little apprehensive.
    I try to push on....then the lights feel bright and the people feel too close.....
    Anyone else felt this way and how do you over come it?
  2. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    I have been a recluse since May of 2002, for just these reasons. On the occasions I venture out (or should I say my mate has urgently prodded me on), it is very taxing, as I feel as if I am in the "fight or flight" mode. The adrenalin is surging, the discomfort arises, and the sensory overload becomes quite overwhelming. I had tried driving once since May, about 3 months into this ridiculous stuff, lol, as you call it. I did this in a rural area, and it was a poor choice. I used to be an excellent driver, hauling race horses all over the country in huge vans and trailers. But now, I felt completely inept, on a deserted two lane highway, in a mid size sedan. I expressed what had been happening with the anxiety, and sensory overload with my doctor, we decided to try klonopin.
    I have found this to help in those situations where the lights are too bright, noises too loud, and that alienated and anxious response. I actually for only the second time in 9 months, got in the car, in the drivers seat, and ran to town to run a few errands. I survived, and so did all those on the road, I am proud to say. It wasn't easy by any means, but it seemed less, overwhelming than my earlier excursions. I kept telling myself at each stop, this was something I could do. I did not have the adrenalin surges, and I could certainly tell, as I was not exhausted when I arrived home. I think for me, it is the sensory overload that brings this about. There is such a lack of control, when you are inable to process all these stimuli coming at you. It leaves you feeling befuddled and frightened. The klonopin seems to have really curbed the anxiety and sensory overload, I don't feel as if I am short circuiting anymore. Best wishes, LL
    [This Message was Edited on 02/19/2003]
  3. Dara

    Dara New Member

    I wouldn't drive on the freeway or any bridges. I would break out in a sweat, everything would get dark, and I felt like I couldn't breathe. My doctor prescribed .5mg of Xanax (alprazolam), I would break one in half about an hour or so before I had to get in the car. It really did work, it built up my confidence so that now I don't have to take anything and I drive all over the place. I found that before I started taking the medication all I had to do was think about driving on the freeway or bridge and I would give myself a panic attack just thinking of it. My doctor told me that it is actually more commen that we think. I felt that my inability to drive different places really was stopping me from doing so many things I wanted to do. I hope that you can find something that will help you because once you do you will feel so good about yourself and really feel free. Sometimes I get in the car and go for a drive and just want to keep driving.

    Dara
  4. lease79

    lease79 New Member

    Do I know how you're feeling.
    I started having panic attacks about a year ago. I had my most recent one yesterday in a major shopping centre.
    My vision is weird with this dd anyways, I hate going outside as I am so photophobic.
    But when I am in shopping centres with all the fluro lights & people & noise I freak out.
    Everything seems too loud, people are too close, I can't focus, everything gets louder, things around me seem unreal, I can't breathe & then I freak out :(
    Driving is no better, though I did manage to drive the WHOLE way back from Adelaide last night (2 hours drive) after Jace had got us out of the city.
    I didn't panic the WHOLE way home & this is deffinately a first for me in a very long time.
    I am slowly trying to come to terms with my panic attacks, though it's hard, as I honestly feel like I'm having a heart attack. I have some okay days & then some really bad days, but all in all at the moment I am just trying to get through one day at a time.
    *Hugs*

    Lease
  5. pamelasng

    pamelasng New Member

    Hi just to let you know both myself and my daughters have these,mine have just about stopped but my 15 yr old still has them so we do any shopping in little trips and her tafe classes are small so she copes ok, my 16 yr old is staying with my mum in the country to attend a course at tafe,on her second day my mum rang to say Jessie had had an anxiety attack and had been unable to move she was taken to hospital by ambulance and checked out, diagnosis anxiety attack. I have been explaining these things to my family for years but they still find other reasons for it happening.When it happens to me I do deep breathing,the first time it happened I thought I was having a heart attack. Bye for now Pam S.
  6. Milo83

    Milo83 New Member


    I have been getting panic attacks since my early 20's..At that time, I really didn't know what was happening..(I am now 49yrs old)..Back when I was around 32 they got so horrible that I thought I was dying..Chest pain, the whole nine yards..I finally started to see a physicatrist on a regular basis & if it wasn't for him, I really don't know what I would have done..I take Xanax on a regular basis..Not only for the panic attacks, but I have suffered from anxiety since high school..
    I can't stand Malls, grocery stores, riding in a car (unless it's just a quick run in my hometown)
    Along with taking Xanax, and going for therapy monthly since 1987, I have come a long way, BUT I still get them in certain situations, BUT, I have learned to deal with them better and talk myself through them..From what I have been told, Klonopin is another good drug, and they say it is not as addicting as Xanax..
    You are not alone & I truly feel for you when these happen..
    Best Wishes........Take Care..........Donna
  7. JP

    JP New Member

    Looks like we are in good company. I work with my anxiety every day. I can usually manage it pretty well and I am armed with Ativan just in case. I find that packing around an Ativan is really helpful. If I am going over the edge, I put 1mg under my tongue....magic!! It really works well for me. I have used about 10 pills in the past 4 months. I had my first attack this past October. What a ride that was...to the ER anyway. Good news is that I had the worst of the worst. Now it is just managing the daily anxiety with breathing, walking, spending time with my dog, trying not to eat or fall into bad habits around the anxiety. I do spend most of my time alone and this works for me.

    Take care,
    Jan
  8. idiotsinc

    idiotsinc New Member

    The good news is getting treatment may also help your FMS. One of thee leading theories on the cause of FMS is the primal "fight or Flight" response all mammals have. This is the response that takes over when we sense danger. It appears in those with FMS this response somehow gets permanently turned on. Because of this you can't get to the 3rd and 4th levels of sleep where your body repairs itself. I don't have anxiety attacks often (nor are they severe) now but I'm often tense. I've been through neurological testing and also suffer from ADD (anxiety is often found in those with ADD too). After spending next week in Cancun I have an appointment with a shrink on Wednesday to see if I can be helped by treating my anxiety and ADD. Just understanding some of these things has greatly reduced my anxiety level. Research info on ADD and anxiety on the web to gain some understanding yourself.
  9. dd

    dd New Member

    I have had panic attack disorder since I was 20. I am 38 now. I have basically been housebound for months now because I am terrified of driving now because of the panic attacks. I also get them in grocery stores, malls, resturants...basically anywhere where there are lots of people and noise. They are worse now than they were a few years ago and I think that is because of the sensory overload that I get from the FM and CFS. I do take Xanax but that doesn't seem to help too much anymore. I did drive last week and did quite well. I was so proud of myself. But, this week I am having a fibro flare so I have not tried again yet.

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

    Debbie
  10. mellow

    mellow New Member

    I know exactly how you feel. I was having really bad panic attacks and was anxious everytime I left the house especially in crowded shopping centres, theatres etc. If I felt an attack coming on I would try and relax and focus on an object until it passed. My doctor put me on anti-depressants that helped with anxiety also. I forced myself to go to places where I had had panic attacks rather than avoid them which is what most people would do. This was really hard at first as I would be waiting for something to happen and, of course, it did because I put myself in that mode of thought. I gradually realised that I hadn't had an attack for a while and this was because I had stopped thinking it was going to happen. Whatever you do I feel you have to face what is causing the problem, even if you only spend 5 minutes in the shopping centre at first its a start. I found that the worst thing is to avoid the situation. I still can't stand the lighting, noise and crowds but I feel that I am now in control. My fear was that I would have a panic attack and everyone would look at me. When it did happen no-one even noticed. Please don't lock yourself away and avoid situations. Usually we are stronger than we know. Mellow
  11. JimB

    JimB New Member

    Hi Aussiegirl. You might want to checkout my reply to Lifedancer.Sincerely, JimB
  12. KarenL47520

    KarenL47520 New Member

    The only time I feel safe to go out someplace is when I am with John. After John came into my life, he had an amazingly calming effect on me. My nightmares decreased and I always feel so safe when I am with him. I had gotten so bad with being afraid to leave the house, I was letting things slide, not going and taking care of business, started shopping on line for things so that they would be delivered and I didn't have to go out. I still have a little of the apprehension when John and I are out together, but not that overwhelming OMG I have got to get home where it is safe. When John and I met, I was immediately attracted to him for his gentle nature. This man has the most amazing kind and gentle nature. He told me he was attracted to my strength. I was floored when he told me that a few months ago. I have never seen or thought of myself to be a strong person. But I guess maybe I am, after looking back over my laundry list and all I have been through, the strength had to come from somewhere in order for me to survive it all.