Calming from First ANXIETY ATTACK Pls HELP

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ladykew, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. ladykew

    ladykew New Member

    This was so very frightening to me. Please, have ANY of you had experience with Anxiety Attacks, and where do they come from?

    I was dx'd with FMS 20+yrs ago, and CFS 10+ yrs. I have felt nervous and anxious many times, but this evening I had a real, serious, anxiety attack. This went on for almost an hour, with my Mother on the other line trying to calm me.

    I was ready to call 911, when she suspected I was hyperventilating and told me to get a paper bag and breathe into it. I was so disoriented that I couldn't think what a paper bag would be. The drugstore had just delivered some meds, and Mother told me to breathe into the medicine bag.

    I did, and the more I breathed into it, the less anxious
    I felt. Mother was still on the phone asking if I was better. I responded but kept breathing into the bag. Soon, I was able to breathe normally.

    After the attack, I still felt panicky, so I took an Ativan and am now beginning to feel relatively calm, but not fully comfortable yet.

    Could someone share some information or experiences with me? Does this happen with FMS or CFS?

    Your help would be most appreciated. I'm still a bit afraid of it happening again.

  2. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    These are very frightening. After the birth of my second child I suffered from panic disorder and had many panic attacks even on the same day. I could feel them building up and then it would just explode. I would become hysterical and cry and shake all over. I would have a sense of calm after it was over, but only for about an hour, until it would build up again, over and over.

    I went on Paxil which took care of the situation after about six weeks, but it was a very dark and frightening time for me. It took several weeks for me to find help and those weeks were not fun. Ativan was extremly helpful to me during this time, so if you have this on hand, it's a good thing. Next time if you feel it coming, try the ativan and maybe you can avoid the major attack.

    Avoid caffeine and alcohol if you can. And I would recommend talking to your doctor especially if it happens again.

    I'm not sure if this is part of the FM or CFS. I wasnt' very ill with CFS when I had my problems. Maybe someone else can shed some light on that?

    The holiday season can be very stressful. Maybe that is contributing. I sincerly hope this is a one time experience with this.

    Good luck to you!

  3. ladykew

    ladykew New Member

    I don't know what happened to me. My Mother called to let me know my ex-father-in-law had died of lung cancer in June. We were very close. His wife, who was just like my second Mom, had a stroke two weeks later.

    She wrote a card to my Mother saying she loved me and wanted to hear from me. I had let them all get out of touch because I had to for my own peace of mind.

    My ex-husband deserted me and married someone else who "wasn't sick" and who would "wait on him" as he put it. It broke up two marriages and broke the hearts of two families.

    I had never planned to see or hear from them again, but
    I had to call my ex-MIL, because I still love her so much, and she needed me. I had to talk to the "new" daughter-in-law who had nothing to say except to complain about having to take care of her MIL since her FIL died and MIL had her stroke.

    She is mean to her and will not even let her have her port-a-pot by her bed. She has to use her walker, go around the bed and across the hall to go to the bathroom at night.

    I am so upset. She also said her MIL was just pampered by her late husband and was just lazy. That is not the truth. They both took care of each other. I was in their lives much longer than she has been, and I know.

    My ex-MIL devoted her life to taking care of everybody and is the sweetest, most loving person one could ever know. For her to be treated in this manner makes me want to cry.

    Then the Respiratory Therapists came with a big oxygen-making tank for me to add to my CPAP machine, and with all my physical problems, I feel like something inside of me just broke.

    The pharmacy came to the door with my medicine and she was telling me of her panic attacks when she felt closed in, and I was talking so fast and at such a high pitch that I felt like an insane person, and I started to cry.

    What is wrong with me? Can anyone relate?

    Bless all of you on this board. You've helped me many times by my reading your posts to other people. This time, I'm in trouble.

  4. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member

    Hi Lew,

    I'm so sorry to hear that you had such a terrible anxiety/panic attack. I, too, used to suffer from wretched ones and have since learned to control them, but it took years of practice.

    Is this the first time that you have had a panic attack? This may have been an isolated incident and you may not need treatment; however, if you continue to have these attacks, it is important to go see a counselor or doc to figure out WHY you are having them and how you can better prevent them or treat them once they have begun.

    The important thing to remember is that anxiety attacks are NOT LIFE THREATENING, even though they often feel like they are.

    My recommendations would be:

    -next time, you take the Ativan (was this rxed for the anxiety?) at the BEGINNING of the attack.

    -Carry around a paper lunch bag with you.

    It is important that you do not hyperventilate (take short, rapid breaths) during an attack, as this causes you to breathe out excessive amounts of carbon dioxide from your lungs, which unbalances the finely tuned relationship between oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body. This, in turn, makes you feel light-headed, dizzy and even more anxious.

    NOTE: The reason why sufferers are advised to breathe into a paper bag during an attack is because carbon dioxide gas is collected in the bag and then inhaled again, which helps replenish carbon dioxide levels in your body.

    Most importantly, you need to re-evaluate WHY you are having these attacks. Sometimes when you get to the bottom of this question, you can begin to treat the problem.

    Take care and I hope that I helped in SOME way. I have been where you are and you can feel optimistic in knowing that I almost never have attacks (if I do, I have learned to control them).


  5. ladykew

    ladykew New Member

    Thank you so much for your reply. I don't feel so alone, now. However, I'm sorry you had such a really difficult time with your panic attacks, obviously much more serious than mine was.

    After reading your post, and thinking it over, I am quite certain it was triggered from stress that had happened earlier in the day. If you would read my second message to my post, you will know what led up to my attack. The loss of my ex-FIL, the poor treatment of my ex-MIL by my ex's new wife.

    My stress level was way high, and as you explained, it came out in a way that I had no control over. Very scary.

    Bless you for noticing me and replying. You are an angel.

  6. ladykew

    ladykew New Member

    You are such a beautiful girl, honey. And so young to have all your problems. I hope and pray that you will get completely well. You are a very determined young lady and I believe you are going to do very well.

    Thank you for responding to me. Your information was so very helpful. Yes, I was prescribed the Ativan for anxiety to be taken only for breakthrough anxiety.

    I have been treated by a Psychiatrist for the past 9 years for Major Depression and Severe Anxiety. I take Klonopin, Effexor XR, and Seroquel on a regular basis, and Ativan for breakthrough anxiety. He has helped me tremendously.

    When I first went to him, I couln't even put a sentence together. My Rheumatologist had just put me on disability from my job at a very large computer firm where I was quite successful. But I worked 5 years longer than he wanted me to, and one day I was found lying on the floor beside my desk.

    My manager got me up and told me I was sick and needed to go home. She walked me to my car...I assured her I was ok to drive home. But once I was in my car, I had no idea where I was.

    I had worked for this company for 20 years and loved my work. I fought to stay, but I knew after this, my doctors would not allow me to go back. It was the end of my career.

    My FMS was excruciating, the CFS had recently started, and it was time to give it up. I was running on adrenaline.

    Yes, this was my first attack, and hopefully it will be my last. However, I will follow your most welcome advice and carry a paper bag with me, and always carry my Ativan so that I can take one at the beginning of the episode instead of at the last of it.

    You are very knowledgable about this illness, and I appreciate your taking the time to explain it to me and why it happens. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will rest easier tonight because of you and the others who responded to my plea for help.

    Peace be with you@

  7. Callum

    Callum New Member

    I can add is to share what has worked for me.

    I had never had a panic attack until I had my first cardiac event (artrial fibs). After that, I didn't know what was happening. I would get them almost daily for a while.

    It is different for everyone. You may have only experienced it because of the news, and will never experience it again. You may experience lesser or greater ones. No matter what, share everything with your doctor. He/she will decide the best course of treatment.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy has helped both my mom and myself deal with anxiety attacks. Once the body takes over, I really do need the meds to help me get through it; but if I can intercede at the moment the "unsettling" feeling comes, I almost alway can head them off.

    Remember, there is no shame in having these. The body's fight-or-flight instinct is running away, and you cannot use logic once that has happened.

    I often find it very helpful to share when it happens, too. It's happened a couple of times at work, and I will say to a co-worker I trust, "I think I'm having a panic attack, do you mind if I talk to you?" Just verbalizing can help so much.

    I'm having a bit of a bad flare, so I'm not sure that I was at all articulate. But I can so empathize with the fear you are experiencing, and I wanted to reach out.

    Best to you!

  8. ladykew

    ladykew New Member

    I knew we had twins on this board, but I never dreamed I'd be talking to both of you! Twins are amazing. I helped raise two sets of twins! One set I helped to deliver, my Godchildren.

    Thank you for your response to my plea for help. I'm really feeling much better after talking to other people who have had this experience. Since this was my first "real" anxiety attack, I was amazed at how long it lasted, and how much worse it seemed to be getting. I thought something terrible was going to happen to me, until my Mother, "Dr. MOM" suggested I breathe into the paper bag.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I have taken Xanax on two occasions. One tablet for traveling to my Psychiatrist, who happens to be 350 miles away, and one tablet for the return trip. It worked wonderfully.

    However, when I told him about it and asked for a small supply, he refused it and gave me Ativan instead, for breakthrough anxiety only.

    The Xanax gave me a "feel-good feeling" but the Ativan does not, even though it does reduce my anxiety.

    He has worked with me for 9 years, so he probably knew how different ones would affect me. He was afraid I would like the Xanax too much, and I probably would have! lol

    You are the twin battling Lyme, right? I do hope you will recover soon to your complete good health. Thank you so very much for sharing with me and talking me through a very rough time.

    I hope never to have another episode, but if I do feel one coming on, I will know what to do, thanks to you and your Twin Sis and the RedHeadEMT.

    Bless you all,
  9. ladykew

    ladykew New Member

    You are so kind to reach out and share with me. This is really what I was needing, and didn't actually know it at the time. You are so right...being able to talk to someone about it sure does help. Thank you for being there for me.

    I'm sorry for your illness and atrial fib. My mother had that and it frightened us all half to death. She recovered just fine except with an erratic blood pressure, usually too high. Otherwise, at 80, she's in very good
    health, thank God.

    I can certainly emphasize with you being in a bit of a flare. I have frequent flares that last anywhere from a few days to 3 to 4 months.

    Those are the nightmare ones, but thank goodness they don't come along too often. Just when tragedy strikes, or a big move like when I sold my house in Dallas, TX, and moved to a small town in the valley of the Ozarks to be closer to my Mother.

    I was already ill and in a flare, in bed, and my Realtor told me to go home with my Mother and she would sell my house and call me when she had a buyer. That was great!

    I had not been there 2 weeks and she called me with "2" buyers who wanted in right away. At the same time, one of the nice duplexes became available in the town where my Mother lived (and that I had been wishing for)and I got it!

    Well, things are getting better for me. I have FMS/CFS/MPS/MCS and it's difficult to stay well, but I
    do better here than anywhere else!

    Thanks again for taking the time to talk to me. Really does help. You're a very caring person. God bless you!

  10. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    First I will say, it will be "trial and error" to find out what helps. I definitely believe there is always a cause.

    I was having anxiety a year ago and I really believe it was something medical. I would try to go to bed, then suddenly have to jump up and pace around. Once I rushed to the emergency room thinking my heart was acting up.

    What is the heck was wrong? I still am not positive but I have always heard that some physical problems can cause anxiety.

    I found out a few months ago I had gallstones. I had my gallbladder removed on 11/5 and am doing much better. For 2 years I had severe digestive problems and could not eat much, so I am sure I was having low blood sugar. I know that can cause anxiety reactions.

    Another thing I tried which I also think helped was Bio Identical Hormone cream. I received that from the Fibro and Fatigue Center in Torrance, CA. The cream was compounded by a lab in Colorado and mailed. I was using Estrogen and Progesterone.

    I tried therapy which was some help but not alot. Along with the anxiety I also had insomnia. When I tried the sleeping pill Restoril it helped alot with anxiety the next day. Restoril really does help anxiety.

    Ok, the next thing that helped me was Klonopin .5 mg which I also take the night before.

    The doctor gave me Xanax but I haven't used it much. In my opinion, I don't really thing fibro of CFS causes anxiety. Others may feel differently.

    If you are really worried about something that can also aggravate the problem but not be the only cause.

    I wish I had a easy answer, I know it is so hard. You might try taking Restoril for sleep and see if you feel better the next day. (thats if you have a problem sleeping).

    Is there is any chance you have low blood sugar? Also, if you heart acts up, that can cause anxiety feelings. Any kind of rhythm disturbance.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/19/2006]
  11. cymbeline

    cymbeline New Member

    Hi, I'm sorry to hear you have had panic attacks, they are very frightening.
    There is a NHS selfhelp leaflet which you might find useful as it explains the reasons for panic clearly and offers useful suggestions. I have seen lots of people use these strategies and they work very well.
    I hope you are doing ok.
  12. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Lew, think I have had those horrible anxiety/panic most of my life...I went for years trying to deal with them without meds..Then when the CFS hit they were horrible ..I couldn't leave the house etc..

    I went to a psych. and he tried me on many antidepressants the old and new ..Wasn't able to tolerate any of them..So he put me on xanax..That has been over 5 years ago..I started out on a .25 three times a day..My prescription now is .05 three to four times a day..I usually don't take but half of that dose unless there is extra stress or I am going out for the day..

    The medicine has given me somewhat of a functional life and I will probably be on them from now on..

    I don't like the fact I have to depend on a pill but the benefits out weigh the risk...

    Anxiety is horrible and no one knows till they have it..

  13. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

  14. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    Bumping this again. I'm starting to have more frequent anxiety attacks then usual with my wisdom teeth surgery coming up. Reading some of the responses made me feel a little better.
  15. greeneyeslk

    greeneyeslk New Member

  16. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    I think it is fairly common among us with these DDs. You can do a search and see.

    I have had many. Last winter I became unable to leave my house because of it. The effexor has been a tremendous help to me. I also take Ativan for sleep and occasional anxiety.

    Good luck, I think anxiety is just as bad as the pain.

    Sue in Ontario
  17. mindbender

    mindbender New Member

    it was scarry

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