Panic attacks

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Pansygirl, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    Last week my family went to visit my MIL.

    I had horrible panic attacks on the plane both ways and once in the car.
    They are getting worse .

    I called and scheduled a doctor's appt but won't see him till late august.

    I'm curious how many take meds for this daily. Or is this something I could
    take only when needed?

    I've also tried relaxing techniques but last week I wasn't able to
    remember or do any relalxing, it was awful and extremely scarey for me.

    My family is supportive of the fibro but wasn't supportive of the panic attacks.

    Thanks for listening, Pansy

  2. butterflydream

    butterflydream New Member

    i take medication for this daily, have been for over 20 years.

    I know the scary feeling you have, it's all part of the anxiety/panic attacks. No fun at all.

    Your doctor will decide what medication will help you and the dosage and when.
    Important to keep follow up appointments as your medication may need adjusted.

    It's wonderful your family is supportive of your Fibro.
    I feel for you with family not being supportive of the panic attacks. Many hugs to you.

    Hang in there, as these attacks can be very overwhelming as you know.

    Wish you well
  3. Empower

    Empower New Member

    I know the terror of panic attacks, especially on planes! They are terrible, you just feel like you are going to die.

    I was getting them severely when I lived in a neighborhood that a neighbor was terrorizing me.

    I moved and thank God (and knock on wood) the panic stopped

    But I do take Effexor XR (antidepressant) and that definitely has helped them

    I used to take Xanax when they happened, but that just made me sooooo tired
  4. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    i just recently started to develop severe anxiety that would almost go into a panic attack. (i know this because i had one BAAD panic attack once- yes they are horrible.) so i recently saw a good psychiatrist who rxed anti anxiety med- xanax- her instructions were to take AS NEEDED. with caution about taking only when necessary. so that is what i did and it was a great great help to me. i am doing much better now.

    so yes- some people take these meds only occaisionaly. others need to take them daily. it just depends.

    good luck to all
  5. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    butterflydream, jaminhealth, empower and bigmama2 for replying to me about the
    panic attacks.

    I've always had anxiety on airplanes and in cars too especially if I'm not driving.

    The other reason for my panic attacks in the car is when I am driving and it's windy
    and I can feel the car move~ it sends me into a panic attack before I can react.

    I also get scared driving or riding in rain or storms, would almost rather cancel an appt than
    drive in a rainstorm.
    THis summer these attacks have been worse than normal .

    On the two airplanes last week I just knew I was going to die ~ so scarey.
    I think it made me more scared when my family acted like nothing was wrong.

    I've never been on meds for this so am hopeful that I can find one that works.

    Thanks for listening and sharing,
    Very gentle hugs, Susan

  6. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    I will have to try to keep this short..........When I was dx'd with CFS and mono, I then went to Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholic groups.

    I had terrible anxiety but I wanted so badly to live a normal life. I drove the 7 miles though that was where my panic usually set in, driving.

    The counselor explained to me I was being treated for post traumatic stress disorder. He said growing up in a frightening, abusive home as a child is like a soldier in war.

    The first thing I said was I wanted courage.......he said, "what do you think got you here?"

    I had to go through the grief of not having parents, though they were there physically.

    I learned to speak to groups, ignoring the shaking I was having because everyone there felt the same way.

    I took my power back, nobody was going to use me and abuse me ever again. I learned about boundaries.

    After going to night school (Yes, I did that!!!!) I interned at a VA hospital. 25 years had passed. A Vietnam Vet came in shaking and not able to make eye contact........I thought, OMG, that was me! I thanked God I was able to see my past and remind me how far I have come.

    I do get down on myself now with the relapse of pain and not being able to bring $$$$ home as my husband constantly reminds me. He is a vet and won't accept his dx of depression and negativity, but I set my boundaries constantly.

    I had to set them with my job of caring for people in their homes.

    So, trying to keep it WAS worth the journey. There is light on the other side.

    Do not give up, seek out support and have faith. Ask for guidance throughout your day. It comes in many peculiar spots. It would appear in a magazine, church, people. I just knew the next issue I needed to attack. I was always shown.

    A doctor at the ER told me it is related to the heart too, it is our inherited body chemistry. NO DOCTOR EVER TOLD ME THAT OR HAD EMPATHY! It was an attack I had 12 years after the latest one.

    Keep us posted on how you are doing..........blessed be.
  7. sascha

    sascha Member

    i've had panic attacks and they are awful experiences. recently i started reading up on EFT and using it, and it has been helping me defuse difficult things i experience and have experienced. i recommend you check into it. go to and you can download starter manual free, and sign up for newsletters that always come with write-ups of how eft was used in this or that specific situation.

    the thing that is pertinent here for you, is that eft has been used on veterans with PTSD to amazing and good effect. i believe i have PTSD from past events.

    i was skeptical about this approach (Emotional Freedom Techniques) for a time before i really studied it and tried it out--i thought it was just another silly claim- but- wow- it's the real deal, and i'm using it daily now. i highly recommend that you check it out and try it. it's an immensely practical and empowering tool for us ill people to have in our arsenal. best of luck to you--- Sascha
  8. daynakb

    daynakb New Member

    I used to get terrible panic attacks. Seemed like they happened for absolutely no reason; I've woken up in the middle of the night with them. Xanax helped. Some people have problems with it but if I took it at the start of an attack, it just stopped the attack and caused no other side effects. Since the doc put me on Lexapro I no longer have to take Xanax and I rarely have panic attacks.

    Talk to your doc and let them know if a med is not working. I had worse attacks on other antidepressants but the Lexapro works great.
  9. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Oh, I am so sorry you are having these horrible attacks.. I know because I have had them for years but nothing like I did after being Dx with CFS/FM..

    I take Xanax daily and my panic attacks are no more..I can truly say that xanax has really helped. I still get very anxious and am having some depression not sure about taking an antidepressant as I have tried but they just didn't work for me.

    Before CFS/FM I had panic attacks / anxiety and was on xanax daily for over 2 years, once things in my life calmed down I would just forget to take them and before I knew it I wasn't taking any.. So had no trouble getting off them after over 2 years of daily use 4 times a day.

    Since the CFS/FM the anxiety/depression and panic are somewhat different but I can say the xanax has taken the panic away..Probably will be on them the rest of my life. I take 1/4 mg 4 times a day and a extra if having a bad day.. I have been on the same dose now for over 5 years.

    It has helped me but not everyone..Good luck and I do hope you get relief soon...

  10. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    Kellygirl, Sascha, daynakb, and greatgran thanks for letting me know how
    you all have dealt with panic attacks.

    Sascha ~
    I have been working with my therapist and working on relaxation
    techniques and trying to visualize things that can help me relax. I still need
    alot more practice. I will look into the EFT to see how that is done.

    Greatgran~ that's great news that the xanax is keeping the panic
    attacks away for you.

    I do feel that I will probably need to continue the relaxation techniques as
    well as a med for the immediate future anyway.

    I will let you all know how my doctor's appt goes , it's the last week in August.

    I wish we didn't have to deal with these panic attacks~ :(

    I also noticed that each time I've had a panic attack my fibro pain level increases dramatically!

    Sending gentle hugs to each of you, Pansy
    [This Message was Edited on 08/13/2009]
  11. dannybex

    dannybex Member

    Check out this thread on anxiety and probiotics...

    Hope it's helpful,

  12. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    I wish you the best..........I've been there and know how horrible it can be. Just remember to breathe also when it occurs and keep telling yourself it's a "feeling"...that was my first lesson and it works. When under stress, we naturally hold our breath.

    Tell yourself.........."It's only a "feeling", you are not going to die, breathe"

    I hope this helps.
  13. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    Well, I had more panic attacks this past week. It's not everyday but
    it does appear to be effecting my daily life which isn't good.

    I have tried some visualization to try to calm myself but it only helps
    when the panic attack is milder .

    I even had a panic attack in the grocery store last week

    It doesn't help when my family tells me to relax . :(

    I hope I am able to get some help from my doctor this week.
    My appt is wednesday

    Thanks for everyone's input ~ very much appreciated.

    wishing for better days for all of us. Pansy( Susan)
  14. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    In my mid twenties I started having horrific panic attacks so I can relate. My mother used to have them so I think part of it is I have her nervous system and with FM/CFS we are in overdrive as it is.

    I literally thought I was dying. I was going to the ER all the time. I would not wish the feeling on my worse enemy.

    I was put on Ativan and they stopped after a while.

    What the doctor told me is that once you start getting panic attacks it is like a self feeding loop and most if almost all, need medication to break the cycle. He was not specific but said he had several family members who developed panic attacks. You also may need to take something for the rest of your life. It is the nature of the beast.

    I attributed a lot to stress and yes it might have been the straw that broke the camels back, however once the meds. kicked in I still had the stressors, but my body was not physically overreacting. I was not dopey after a while and my body felt "normal" not high.

    It got to the point that I was scared to go out and I would go to bed with my day clothes on in case I had to go to the ER. I was constantly obsessing over every little symptom. Who was that person?

    I was eventually weaned from Ativan to Clonazepam. I had a rough month getting off of it, but the clonazepam also helped me with my sleep issues.

    I think I have always had some anxiety issues but this was way out of proportion. Don't feel bad about having to go on meds. I know that the most positive of thoughts would not have helped me, though I found the relaxation techniques worked better once I was on the meds.

    Take care. This too will pass.

  15. campbeck97

    campbeck97 New Member

    Pansygirl so sorry you are having anxiety/panic attacks you certainly are not alone. I started having them many years ago after aa very stressful time in my life and out of nowhere i started having them . I cant tell you the number of times I rushed to the hospital just sure I was dying and each time being told that I was just having a panic attack and I wasnt going to die. It was just horrible but I couldnt control them and I couldnt calm down, unless you have had one you just cant explain the horror, wierd symptoms you feel. While reading your post you sound so much like me about the riding /esp during rain and flying. Bless your heart!! I dont fly anymore ... just cant do it.I could go on and on but I will try to keep this short. I did start taking Xanax about 9 years ago and that was the answer for me, no more anxiety/panic attacks. I have however reduced the dose over the years as I just dont need it as often or as big of a dose. But I always have it with me and if one starts I simply chew one up(taste real bad ) but it stops its very quickly. I dont intend to ever stop them , they work for me . Of course im not a Dr. so you should find what helps you. Bless you and I hope you get some help at your apt. Hang in there.
  16. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    for your replies, it helps to know I'm not alone.

    The worst panic attack was probably in the airplane as it lasted almost the entire
    2 1/2 hours of the flight. That is just the worst and most scariest feeling and
    experience I have ever had.

    I'm starting to get anxious about my dr's appt tomorrow morning.

    Thanks for listening and I appreciate everyone's input very much.

    Very gentle hugs, Pansy (Susan)
  17. hensue

    hensue New Member

    I do not get panic attacks but my son has them. My mother was a very strong person and no fibro she started having them. They gave her a low dose of paxil. She was fine. My son is only 28 and I wish I knew what he had been going through so I could have helped him.

    He did not go to the Doc and being young and Male his Dad and friends just thought he was nuts.
    If you do not get help unless it is some hormonal woman thing. Which it very well could be it will get worse from what the doc told me.

    Now you have to understand my son was shy and had social phobia. Which is bad but the panic attacks would wake him up in the middle of the night heart racing and hyperventilating.
    He went on like this they were traveling and working he kept telling me how bad it was.
    Then he got to the point he could not function this will not happen to you because as I said he has extreme social phobia. He is not paranoid but they think they are worthless no self esteem and that people are judging there actions or what they are doing all the time.

    We are all holding our breath, he is going to start to work again soon. He has not worked in 10 months.
    One reason I tell you this is if I could have got him some help when he first started panic attacks per say. He might not have gotten this way.
    He is now on three anti depressants. Trazadone to sleep cymbalta and zoloft.
    He is going out with his wife and children, where he did not use to leave the house. He still is not comfortable talking to people. With someone he knows with him he is better now. Use to even a family get together he would panic and go in his room and freak.

    He told me it was like a panick attack from the time he got up to the time he went to bed.
    Then he became suicidal he did not want to live in this type of extreme anxiety in his body and mind. He would constantly worry and thoughts racing. He is not bi polar.

    Finally here is the good part he got on an airplane for the first time in two years and did not panic. Said he would not do it again but he did it.

    I just dont want you to go along and think this is an ok way to live. It is not no one should have to live like that.

    I hope you will all say a prayer for him he is runnning out of unemployment and putting himself back out there in the world working in a couple of weeks.
    He has a brand new baby girl also she was born dec22. Men I think it is worse on they are all so macho his Dad does not understand and his brother is in special ops. They do not get it.

    You get the help you need now, it is like a pattern the brain will keep taking this path if not stopped. You are not like my son I am just giving you an extreme so you will get help.

    Physically get your self checked out. Something bad maybe out of balance.

    The only one I almost had was going over the tallest bridge this year in Louisanna I almost freaked so I finally talked myself into getting in the middle lane mind you they were going 60 and 70 over this bridge. I talked myself to the top and did not look at each side when I saw I was going down on the other side I was ok. I still would have really freaked had it been raining.

    After I got off the bridge I thought dear God is this what my son is talking about and waking up with and going to bed sedated with??
    They are horrible and I am sure I did not have a bad one compared to most.
    Sorry maybe I should not have said all this but I do know it is not something you mess with.

    I wonder what the heck makes us so anxious and anxiety ridden. is someone putting something in our food or lack there of?

    Sorry for the rambling I do want you to keep us posted. You will be fine you are not letting it go.

    Take care and hang in there I promise you that doc has heard far worse than what you are saying.

    Let me know
  18. rjbrenner

    rjbrenner New Member


    We have found that hypnosis can be a powerful tool for relief of the terrible feelings that accompany these problems. Please note that hypnosis by itself will do nothing. It is how the hypnotist guides you through the process that will help eliminate the horrible feelings. The true trigger for the fibro or panic response can easily be found in this state and then your response to that trigger can be altered.

    I would like to tell you that it works 100% but that would be just plan silly, nothing works 100% but it has proven successful more times then not.

    If you decide to research this modality I suggest you ask how it is done and what the success rate is. The success rate will very depending on the hypnotist's education in this area and their experience with it.

    I have known several people that have had wonderful outcomes with this process.

    By the way it would be a good idea to ask your Dr. for a referral to use this or any complimentary modality.

    Bob Brenner
  19. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    I very much appreciate you sharing your son's experience and your own on the bridge.

    I will say a prayer for your son , Hensue. Keep us posted.

    I have to say that my husband and family do try to understand my fibro but
    my husband is having trouble understanding the panic attacks. He keeps telling me that
    I need to relax more, maybe try yoga, it's easy for him to say since he's never had one.

    I know the panic attacks I am having are not something that just started this summer as I can think back to many other times but now they are getting more often and worse in
    intensity and harder for me to control, so I knew I needed some help. Although it's not easy
    for me to ask for help.

    I am anxious about going to the doctor ~ I just keep praying that he will
    understand and figure out something that can help me.

    very gentle hugs , Susan (Pansy)
    I appreciate everyone's input.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/26/2009]
  20. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    My doctor's visit went better than expected.

    My doctor gave me a prescription for Xanex (30)pills to see how I do. He for
    now only wants me to take as "needed". If this doesn't work then
    he wants to try a different med.

    I did talk to my doctor about my husband not understanding about the panic
    attacks~ this is hard for me.

    It's always been easy for my husband to relax and not get worried about things, my doctor said unless my husband has a panic attack he won't get it. ;( If I had listened to my husband I would n't have gotten treatment .

    Hope that this helps. Thanks so much for everyone's input. Pansy