Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by FM_DD, May 21, 2003.

  1. FM_DD

    FM_DD New Member

    I am having panic attacks once a month when I have to speak in front of a room of people (that I have worked with 20+ years)!!! Today I almost passed out. My chest still hurts. I don't know why this is happening. This has been going on for the last 7-8 months (ever since I've had to start going to these meetings) and getting worse each time. My face gets beet red, my heart races and today for the first time my chest hurt real bad. I'm already on noritriptyline (SP?), gabitril, ambien, celebrex. I know I need to go to the Dr. before the next meeting comes up but I'M JUST SICK OF GOING TO THE DR. I really can't do any breathing to try to help because then everyone would hear it. HELP!!!!!

  2. Cactuslil

    Cactuslil New Member

    Before I would take any more meds I would try to be very, very prepared for the talks you must give. Use the mirrow et al. so your confidence is high. Use diaphramic breathing to contol some of the panic. If it gets disabling the mildest panic attack med I know of is buspar. Many entertainers et al. use it for stage fright and as meds go it is very benign.

    I have panic attacks now for ten years. As a performer/entertainer I never had panic attacks. This FMS/et al. ultimately led to my having panic attacks severe enough to all but put me homebound.

    If you just can't get a grip on the anxiety causing the panic attacks, see your doc. You don't have to suffer. Love Lil'
  3. dd

    dd New Member

    Sorry you are suffering with panic attacks. I have had panic attack disorder since I was 20...I am 39 now. I know how debilitating they can.

    Do you only get them when you are speaking in front of people or do you get them at other times too? There are different catagories of panic attacks...that's why I am asking. There are panic attacks that are caused by social phobia's...such as speaking in public, GAD...which is Generalized Anxiety Disorder and PAD...Panic Attack Disorder. The social kind of panic disorder usually only happens when a person is speaking in front of an audience...actors sometimes get this kind of stage fright. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is when a person feels anxious most of the time but does not usually end up with a "panic attack" per say. They usually feel on the edge of one constantly. Panic Attack Disorder is when you get full blown panic attacks no matter what/where you are. They hit out of the blue...home, car, shopping, movies, malls etc...

    Anyway, if the only time you feel like this is speaking in public then it sounds like a social panic disorder. My doctor told me once that he suffers from anxiety when speaking at seminars. He said that he takes Propranolol/Inderal before he does any speaking and it helps to regulate his breathing and heartbeat.

    If you have more of a panic attack disorder then you might want to consider something like Paxil or any other antidepressant that is used for anxiety as well. I personally don't take any anti-depressants for my panic attack disorder because I have such bad side effects from them. But, I do take Xanax and it helps me most of the time.

    I hope this helps you some.


  4. FM_DD

    FM_DD New Member

    I want to thank each of you for your kind words and recommendations. I have been researching online ever since it happened and I still have a lot to learn. My chest stayed sore for a couple of days afterwards, I guess this is normal? I still have to speak to my boss about thing whole thing so at least someone at work will be aware of what ELSE I have going on. Thank you all again.

  5. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    You are having a panic attack in front of all those people because you are getting anxious and allowing yourself to hyperventilate....short, rapid, shallow breaths. This messes up the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our brain and cause us to experience the "fight or flight" situation, which is the panic attack. Be more aware of your breathing when you get ready to go in front of people like that, and be sure you are breathing IN with your nose and out with your mouth. Use your diaphram, not your chest when breathing. Using your chest will cause your lungs to "not" inflate fully and properly, thus robbing your brain of the needed oxygen. Inhale slowly to the count of 7, hold your breath for about 4 seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth, like you are whistling. Empty your lungs completely, then inhale over again. Be sure this breathing is done with your abdomen, not your chest. Do this just before you go on stage, about 3-4 times. That will level out your oxygen levels in your brain. Then while giving your talk, be aware so that you don't start the hyperventilating again. You'll be fine as long as you remember to take control of your breathing in these stressful situations! Remember to BREATHE DEEP and let the oxygen fill your lungs.

    I forgot to mention that someone above noted to be sure to NOT take in any caffeine at these functions.....can the sugar too, they're both stimulants and will make the situation worse. You don't need meds for this, you can handle this all on your own and be the victor!

    Good luck,
    Marilyn :)
    [This Message was Edited on 05/24/2003]
  6. susabar

    susabar New Member

    boy that has done wonders for my anxiety !!!!!
  7. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I get occasional panic attacks. I like the Xanax the best. You only need them when you are going into a stressful situation, or feel the panic coming on, they work wonders for me. Its not something you need to take everyday, or all day to get into your system. Just when you need it.

    Very low dosage will work just fine. Ask your doctor and see what he has to say.

    They stop the palpitations, sweating, shakiness, and that that stupid fear we can't explain in certain situations.

    Just though I would add my own experience for you.

    My husband's dentist has him take one before he goes for his appointment. My husband does not take any kinds of meds. But he is a basket case with a dentist! This was the dentists idea.

    The breathing Marilyn spoke of is also great, but it does not always work for me. Maybe I am doing it wrong.

    Shalom, Shirl

  8. nancyneptune

    nancyneptune New Member

    Xanax it is. I have Panic Disorder and need it all the time, but the very fastest bestest way to get your nerves calmed with social phobias is Xanax. If you only need one for your speeches once a month it's not a problem. Either that or give up the speeches.
    I've been told for 12 years to breathe properly, but guess what, no amount of or method of breathing is EVER going to stop a panic attack for me. I can't control that huge rush of adrenaline in my blood with brain oxygentaion. I'd need a lobotomy,lol. N
  9. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    to speak in front of people. I get the same symptoms,even when I had to read 2 verses at a wedding. I was this way before this DD and after.
    I wish I could do it, but now I know I can't.
    Good luck
  10. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    It sounds like you're waiting too long to start the deep breathing. Adrenelin takes a little while to build up and it's when we start feeling anxious that we need to take control of our breathing. I bet that you're not even thinking of it at that time, and by the time the panic attack takes hold of you, it's too late. Start the deep breathing anyway, and the panic will subside. Remember that it takes a few minutes of deep breathing to drain the adrenelin out of your system. Just relax, breathe deep and be patient. I carry a bottle of cold water with me wherever I go and when I feel the anxiety mounting, I hold the cold bottle to the side of my neck towards the adams apple. It seems to really calm me down the the coolness and brings me back to reality. I guess this is why the experts tell us to focus on something when we feel a panic attack coming on. Even if it's a plant, or the radio dial in the car....anything to deter your mind and help you get control. Always remember to breathe deeply, this will help you even a little bit.

    Marilyn :)
  11. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    Beta blockers like Propranol can be helpful with the physical symptoms of stage fright, such as the chest pain and sweating. Without a doubt if you dont improve and need to continue speaking, a low dose of Klonopin or Ativan will do the trick or a combo of Propranol and Klonopin would ideally help but may make you sleepy. It might be nessesaty to monitor your b/p and pulse when taking these 2 together and is contraindicated if you have low b/p. Best of Luck...Practice makes perfect and BTW I never publically speak for the same reason as you.