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Thread: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

  1. #1
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    Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    Hi, I had one of my worst panic attacks yesterday so quickly. My hands bent right into my wrists and my fingers stuck like pincers or claws and I couldn't move them and it was so painful. This moved to my legs and when I tried to walk I fell over. I couldn't move to get to a bag to try to blow into or my Diazepam. Luckily my daughter was home who thankfully helped me (to my great embarrassment). My doctor/psychologist says this would pass but it was so scary and painful I had to reach for my meds. has anyone else experienced this and manged to overcome it without tablets?

  2. #2
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    Re: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    This sounds like hyperventilation and happens when you over breath. It is important to try to slow down your breathing or hold your breath for a few seconds. Take deep breaths in and hold it for a count of 4 and slowly let it out.

  3. #3
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    Re: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    Hi Annie, thanks for that. I did try to control by breathing but once my hands turned inwards and my fingers curled up it was very painful. If I could have moved my hand to reach for a bag I would've tried that but even the I dont think I would have been able to hold it! The fear just took over. Normally I can stop this before it goes too far with tablets but it came on so fast the fear got the better or me again:(

  4. #4
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    Re: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    Yes it is scary when this happens. It has only happened to me once when I hyperventilated.

  5. #5
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    Re: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    This happened to me during a really bad panic attack and was the most frightening thing I have ever experienced. I had the claw hand thing and my jaw also went into spasm. I truly thought I was having a stroke and was paralysed.

    It did eventually pass and my doctor confirmed it can sometimes happen during a prolonged panic attack due to severe hyperventilation. This then causes you to have very low levels of carbon dioxide in your body and the you get the tetany spasms. The doctor really put my mind at rest and I was able to rationalise it the next time it happened.

    I hope you are able to rationalise if this happens to you again (and I hope it doesn't!) the faster you can control your breathing the less likely it is to happen.

    Kitti
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  6. #6
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    Re: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    It's called a carpopedal spasm, and is caused by hyperventilation. I've never had one but my friend who's an EMT says she sees this a lot in people having panic attacks.

    She thinks it's funny, but she has an EMT sense of humor. I'm like, have you ever had a panic attack??? It's not that funny :P

  7. #7
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    Re: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    I've only had happen on a couple of occasions and it is mighty scary. Sometimes when I'm really anxious now I think it may happen but I concentrate on my breathing like Annie says and it works, I've not had the claw hands for years.

    It's sometimes difficult to recognise when we're tense so getting in the habit of mindful breathing will reduce general anxiety and retrain your breathing pattern so you can avoid this painful and frightening symptom.

    Sam

  8. #8
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    Re: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    Thanks all for your wise words. Its only the third time this has happened in about 12 years but I'm finding myself thinking about it far too much now. From the moment I wake up recently its a constant fight with myself to control this and I think I tried to hard on Monday when I got it so bad. Unfortunately I'm opting for a tablet just now to manage my days or I don't think I would go out of the house, which did happen before for around six months and I certainly cant let that happen again :(

  9. #9
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    Re: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    Sounds more like beta-adrenergic hypertonia to me - basically the higher concentration of adrenaline causes higher muscle tension than normal. It's not related to hyperventilation which generally causes numbness and tingling in the extremities. It's actually an extremely common effect of a panic attack, although often not as noticeable due to movement
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  10. #10
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    Re: Wrists and fingers totally seized like claws, so scary. Has anyone else had this?

    dont no i have suffed anxiety and panic for over 30yrs its never happend to me but it happend to my son in law who suffers anxiet and ocd i did panic as i had never seen any one do it before i called ambulance when they came they got him breathing right as he was hyperventalating they took him to hospital were the doc said he had took enoug qxygen in to walk under water for 5minutes so i do believe its due to hyperventalating

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