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Thread: Panic Attacks Are Back

  1. #1
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    Nov 2017
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    Panic Attacks Are Back

    This is my first time back in a long time. I take that as making strides in my treatment for panic and health anxiety but I always value this site as a tool for help.

    That being said I am back as is my panic. I haven't had a panic attack (full blown) in a couple of years but yesterday out of nowhere I had one. And I couldn't help but be brought back to the day I had my first one.

    My day was going fine and then after a healthy lunch I started having bad heart palpitations. To the point where I couldn't concentrate on anything. I'm used to them but these were happening very frequently, like prior to my first one two years ago. I took .25 mg of clonazapam to take the edge off which seemed to work but I was still feeling fluttering throughout the day. I had a good work out in the evening with the stair machine and boxing, which helped.

    But then at around 9 at night I was just sitting in my bed and BOOM, I felt a MASSIVE head rush that seemed to last about 3-5 seconds and my heart rate elevated. I thought my vision seemed to get a little blurry. After that I became so exhausted I slept up until my alarm, which I never do.

    I'm worried I'm falling back into the old days of fear. My health anxiety has always been there but I've learned how to better deal with it. That's not to say some days are worse than others but these episodes have lied dormant for the last two years and are back and I can't explain why.

    Sorry for writing a book but I needed to put my thoughts down and hopefully seek some words of wisdom.

    Mark

  2. #2
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    May 2017
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    Re: Panic Attacks Are Back

    Maybe don't try to explain why they are back. Don't look for a reason. You have hit a relapse that's all. It happens to everyone. You will get out of it quicker if you don't delve too deeply into the why's and wherefores of why it's happened.

    revisit your coping strategies that aided your improvement last time. You did improve otherwise you wouldn't have known things had slipped again. You did it once and you can do it again. How long it lasts is up to your attitude towards it.
    __________________
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  3. #3
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    Nov 2017
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    Re: Panic Attacks Are Back

    Thank you for the response. I have tried breathing techniques. However at times I feel the deep breathing is exacerbating them. FWIW I have an inhaler I take twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. I've been on it for a couple of months but I haven't been able to take it the last two days because the pharmacy took their sweet time refilling the order. I read inhalers can cause palpitations but I'm not sure if that's while taking them of being off them for a period of time.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2016
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    297

    Re: Panic Attacks Are Back

    @MarkyMark88 I just want to say, I'm in the same boat as you man. My Panic Disorder came back again last month with a vengeance. It had been about a year and a half that I managed to keep them at bay. And so, much like you, that's why I'm here roaming the No More Panic website again. But you know, I think Panic Disorder gets less and less frequent each time it hits us again and again after so much time without them. I guess it takes time and patience to finally conquer them in the long run.

    Although to tell you the truth, at this point in my life, I'm starting to get really irritated with this damn PD of mine. But who knows, maybe that is the trick to stopping the madness.
    __________________
    John Wayne: 'Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.'

  5. #5
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    Re: Panic Attacks Are Back

    Quote Originally Posted by PanickyGuy View Post
    Although to tell you the truth, at this point in my life, I'm starting to get really irritated with this damn PD of mine. But who knows, maybe that is the trick to stopping the madness.
    Absolutely. It got to the point yesterday where my heart palpitations (which lead to the panic attack on Monday) were so frequent that fear turned into anger. Every time I would get one I would slowly get more and more agitated. So far so good today though. As much as I hate to admit it, it got to the point where I gave in and took a clonzapam. I've tapered down to half a tablet a day from two full tablets a day over the last year and a half, but it got so bad I've taken two full ones the last two days, and so far nothing as catastrophic as days past. That to me shows it has to be anxiety. If it was truly a heart defect I can't imagine anti anxiety meds stopping symptoms in such a short time. We'll see how I do once I go back down to half a tablet.

    Good luck in dealing with your panic. It's great to know we are not alone, this site being an example. The thing that has also really helped me the last couple of days is exercise. Specifically boxing. You can feel your heart rate elevate and beat at a steady, constant pace with no palpitations to be found. And you get to take out those frustrations out on a punching bag.

  6. #6
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    Re: Panic Attacks Are Back

    Don't use anger, it does not work. I used to do the same, but ultimately it will prolong the issue.

    As much as I agree that you just need to accept that you're having a relapse, I also disagree that you don't need to look for a reason. You don't need to go on a soul searching quest, but it is a good idea to have a look at what might be stressing you right now, and this can include over exercising. Over exercising is a massive issue for a lot of people because we are being sold the idea that you have to push yourself to the max, and this ain't good for you unless you really know what you're doing. Unless you have a prescribed dietary and physical recovery plan, you may well be doing more harm than good.

    So, are you doing too much intense exercise AND letting your diet slip AND not getting enough sleep AND overworking AND worrying about X, Y and Z? In isolation these things seem trivial, but they can add up.

    The exercise may help during the moment, but I found that when I suffered with stress based anxiety I would get massive rebound anxiety 2-4 hours after I did the exercise.

  7. #7
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    Re: Panic Attacks Are Back

    All of that stuff most likely is playing a part as I am trying to get back on track from vacation and the holidays. I would disagree with the exercise part though. But I am keeping in mind that not one person is the same and everybody's bodies and mental landscapes are different.

    I'm sure it has to do with recent labs I had done and an upcoming hematology appointment I have. But I wasn't fretting about it has much after I had the blood work done. Some of the values had elevated past the normal standard a little but nothing crazy, and my fiance and I researched it and I felt better afterwards.

    It's just that these palpitations seemed very abnormal. Not like the ones I'm used to that pop up every once and a while. That specifically is what stoked the fear.

  8. #8
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    Re: Panic Attacks Are Back

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkyMark88 View Post
    But I am keeping in mind that not one person is the same and everybody's bodies and mental landscapes are different.
    Mental landscapes yes, bodies...no. Physically, we are all more or less identical in terms of CNS makeups. Over exercise is a stress, this is Universal. The only way the stress can differ between people is what they have in reserve (are they already stressed, do they eat and sleep right etc).

    Try and look at your own evidence -

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkyMark88 View Post
    But then at around 9 at night I was just sitting in my bed and BOOM, I felt a MASSIVE head rush that seemed to last about 3-5 seconds and my heart rate elevated. I thought my vision seemed to get a little blurry. After that I became so exhausted I slept up until my alarm, which I never do.
    The fact that your anxiety is coming back points towards a stressed system, and stress comes in multiple forms. Is there a reason you're having regular bloodwork done?

  9. #9
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    Re: Panic Attacks Are Back

    Quote Originally Posted by ankietyjoe View Post
    Is there a reason you're having regular bloodwork done?
    There is. Last year I was diagnosed with hemolytic anemia. This is my one year follow up with my hematologist in regards to it. I have these same blood tests done again during my routine physical in the summer with my PCP. In total from when I was diagnosed until now I've probably had 50 different specific blood tests done. Not 50 needle pokes but viles filled. Not including ultrasounds and MRIs of my liver, spleen and pancreas and everything else in that general area. It was a lot.

    I just get naturally worked up when it comes to blood tests. Some of the values on my liver panel were elevated, specifically my bilirubin. My reticulocytes were also elevated, which makes sense with this disease. But still elevated from my last test. I'm not so much worried about this disorder specifically, with him saying last year if anything became catastrophically out of wack it would just be a matter of putting me on a steroid. I just get worried they will find some underlying cancer or something. It's how I'm wired. I get that worry in the back of my head for every CBC or Diff test. Kind of went off with my whole life story there lol.

  10. #10
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    Re: Panic Attacks Are Back

    Ok, it's not 'just how you're wired'. People often cite this as a reason for persistent health anxiety, but it's just not true (in my opinion). Everything we think about is a combination of experience and habit. Neuroplasticity is a thing, and is another Universal truth. You can un-learn thought patterns, even when you have a specific and identifiable worry like you do.

    In any case, have you investigated the reason for the condition? Have you been told why the hemolytic anemia exists in the first place?

    What generally happens is that you'll be given a diagnosis, and then self research starts to happen and that inevitably leads to the ultimate conclusion that something terrible and terminal is going to happen, and that thought becomes lodged in the brain as we practice re-thinking it over and over again. This form of anemia could potentially have been caused by a course of medication you took for example, has any of this been investigated?

    Either way, during the time where you have elevated stress hormones, it is important that you keep yourself physically and mentally relaxed, hence mentioning the exercise as a potential additional trigger. Especially if it's intense boxing training (there's nothing more intense than that in my experience!).

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