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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:51 am 
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smoothie wrote:
So, do any of you have any experience with single time use medicine for panic attacks? I used to suffer from anxiety, but it hasn't really been an issue for years (thanks to copious amounts of therapy) but I never took any medication. However, I am suffering from a serious amount of anxiety when it comes to flying. You know the deal; I hyper ventilate, sometimes throw up, I feel tingling and like I can't breath, my heart rate gets out of control. And I need to fly to England in a month. I can't (and don't want to!) avoid flying - I want to travel and see the world.
So i've called up my doctor and have an appointment next monday to talk about her prescribing some medicine for my flights. I have no idea what kind of medicine that exists that prevents full blown panic attacks, but I want to hear your experiences.. What do you take? Does it make you stoned? Relaxed? What can I expect?

I am going to ask her to prescribe enough so that I can take a pill at home just to try it out without being in a plane. Because there is no way in hell I am taking medicine that makes my brain goofy while on a plane without knowing what to expect!


My husband was prescribed clonazepam for stuff like this. (Not sure of the spelling, that's a phonetic interpretation.) Its a super mild dose and he just takes it if it feels like a panic attack is setting in. It just mellows him out a little bit but isn't like vicoden or something that stones you out. And honestly, most of the time just knowing he has it in his wallet is enough to calm him down, you know?


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:52 am 
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Emmalv - have you tried meditation? I was given a cd of a "body scan" a while back, I think there are probably a few similar kind of things floating around, and I found it quite helpful for gettng me to relax. It's actually not supposed to put you to sleep, but I found I couldn't help drifting off after a few times going through the excercise.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:00 pm 
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Any change, good and bad, sends me into a panic. We got a nice new couch and bed yesterday and I'm freaking out because it's upset the balance of my home.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:14 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs

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dropscone wrote:
Emmalv - have you tried meditation? I was given a cd of a "body scan" a while back, I think there are probably a few similar kind of things floating around, and I found it quite helpful for gettng me to relax. It's actually not supposed to put you to sleep, but I found I couldn't help drifting off after a few times going through the excercise.


I have not, but I will definitely look into. I had considered meditation awhile back but think I need a CD to keep me on track... I have a hard time not letting the racing thoughts crowd my head and didn't consider for some reason that there were CD's out there. The only other thing I've thought of is taking up yoga again, which I might do with a friend. Thanks for the suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:54 am 
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Last night I had what I thought was an asthma attack at 10 pm, so I kept trying to breath through it and use my ventolin inhaler, even though my heart rate was going crazy. I finally felt calm enough to think I wasn't going to die in my sleep and went to bed at midnight, only to wake up at 2 am with my hands and feet on fire feeling like I was having a heart attack and was going to die. I woke my husband and because Leela is 2 and I didn't want to wake her, and I didn't think I was going to make it to a hospital, I called 911.

The police got there first, and were pretty dismissive - they said "Hey its going to be $900 are you sure you want the paramedics to come check you out?" Umm, its 2 am and I can't breathe and I am freaking out, so yes, please. So then the fire department guys came in and checked me out and took my BP (120/80) and heart rate (105 bpm!) and put me on O2. They were also really dismissive, saying "Well you have no signs of a heart attack, do you still want the paramedics?" And I said yes again, because I couldn't breathe and I know a lot of times heart attack signs in women are different from those in men, so they are easy to miss, plus I thought I might also need pulse ox to know if I was getting enough air, so the EMS guys came in, and they were really nice. They did an EKG and pulse ox and basically reassured me that it was okay to call 911 and this was scary, and they were glad to help, it was their job. One of them told me he had had one, and it was so scary, so it happens to lots of people.

So then they stayed for a while, and I declined transport to the hospital because I started being able to breathe properly after they had me recirculate CO2 into a mask.

And now I am realizing that the asthma attacks that I have been having since last summer (which were not responding to my inhaler and happening despite my maintenance meds) were probably anxiety attacks. Its just that I didn't have the money to go get them checked out when they were in full swing, so I would go to my MD after and she would say "Oh looks like you're fine now." And then I'd pay my $120 and go home.

I am concerned about 2 things (1) how can I learn to tell a panic attack from an asthma attack, when they are basically opposites, and (2) what can I do for anxiety? I wonder if the things I normally do for asthma (Butyeko breathing exercises) would exacerbate an anxiety attack (I am pretty sure ventolin - which ups your heart rate isn't a good thing to take while anxious).

I am also so upset at the medical system in the US. Why should someone have to pay $900 for a 2 mile ride, an EKG, BP, pulse ox and heart rate? Why can't we have a medical system which doesn't bankrupt people?

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:07 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
I am also so upset at the medical system in the US. Why should someone have to pay $900 for a 2 mile ride, an EKG, BP, pulse ox and heart rate? Why can't we have a medical system which doesn't bankrupt people?


When I was run off the road a couple years ago, I was sent an $800 bill for the two fire trucks that came to the scene and didn't even stop - the cops just waved them on because the accident wasn't too severe. They travelled less than 10 minutes! I was livid.

That aside, I'm so sorry that all happened. Talk about terrifying. As for telling your attacks apart, can you think of anything else that felt different from an asthma attack, no matter how small? When I get my passing out panic attacks, my hands tingle like crazy. That's tricky for me because tingling and nerve pain are common in fibro but if I start tingling to the point of numbness I pretty much need to lie down on a cold floor and just close my eyes and breathe deeply. When the tingling subsides I can get back up. Anything other than that and I am going down.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:22 am 
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T'lish I'm sorry that happened, that sounds scary, especially the dismissive way in which you were treated.

When I get anxious I gasp for air a lot and it's been really bad the past 48 hours or so. I'm at work and I'm sure everyone is wondering why I keep gasping. I haven't been to the gym in a couple of weeks so I think that's part of the reason my anxiety levels are creeping up.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:57 pm 
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T'lish, I need to think about it a bit more but one of the signs I use to know the difference between asthma and panic is with panic I think I'm going to die or there is something seriously wrong with an asthma attack I don't and soon after I take the inhaler I get relief.

There is a leaflet at work on anxiety. Here's an online version of it http://www.aware.ie/help/information/literature-2/anxiety/

I find progressive muscle relaxation audiobooks really help. If you use it every day, if not twice a day, while things are bad it can really take the edge off the attacks. The last bad one I had didn't pass by the time I had finished the audiobook so I followed it up with a walk then a long bath. It really did help and I managed to get out to work.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:27 pm 
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I've had really severe anxiety since I've been a child. In the last year I started taking medication for it. First I tried Effexor and it helped but the stomach pain was unbearable, so now I'm on 40 mg of Celexa and Xanax, which I have literally only taken once since I got the prescription. Celexa has helped me a lot. Especially around my period. I would literally become suicidal. Also, I went to a therapist for a while and that helped me as well. She have me the skills I needed to problem solve and cope with my anxiety and depression. I have stopped going, but I still keep the things she says in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:08 pm 
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smoothie, i have had medication prescribed just for flying. generally these days, similar to you, my anxiety is now controlled and mild, have never taken medication for it, but flying makes me break out into full panic attacks. i was travelling to morocco, and the round trip would be 5 flights (some long - i'm in canada), so i went to my doctor and she prescribed lorazepam.

i was nervous about relying on something i didn't have experience with, so i tried one a bit before i flew (and was nervous about it). but, i felt really calm, and any anxious thoughts that came up, i was able to just observe, be rational about, and let them go. i felt miiiiildly stoned, but still able to fully function. when it came time to fly, i had one in my sweater pocket, ready to take if i felt an anxiety attack coming. it turns out just having the pill there, and knowing how it made me feel, made me able to deal with the anxiousness i had and keep myself calm. it really, really surprised me. it was such a major change from my flying experience even as recently as a few months prior. even if that doesn't happen for you, it could be very helpful to have something you've tried and know will work for you when and if you need it to. i hope you have some success! :) i still have anxiety when flying, but i'm so happy to have it on a level i can get a grip on, and to have something as a backup plan if i can't.


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:06 am 
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hi all - i used to suffer with anxiety quite frequently and found that taking a magnesium citrate supplement has really helped... i take it every evening about two hours before going to bed. i know it sounds too simple to be true, but have been so impressed with the results i like to share it with everyone i run into that is having problems with anxiety and/or insomnia.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:14 pm 
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Tofulish - I'm not familiar with the breathing form you are talking about but I have used breathing exercises from yoga to help calm down panic attacks before. At the start they can feel like am asthma attack but then I get other symptoms like increased sensitivity to light and sound. I also get terrified of being touched.

When will I learn caffeine is not my friend? I had a latte at 8 and i'm so jittery and anxious. I have clonazepam for anxiety but I feel I've been relying on it too much lately.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:17 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I am concerned about 2 things (1) how can I learn to tell a panic attack from an asthma attack, when they are basically opposites, and (2) what can I do for anxiety? I wonder if the things I normally do for asthma (Butyeko breathing exercises) would exacerbate an anxiety attack (I am pretty sure ventolin - which ups your heart rate isn't a good thing to take while anxious).


I'm sorry to read about your anxiety attack, Tofulish. They're awful and it seems like the world is ending while you are in the midst of one. They can be terrifying. I haven't had any issues with asthma attacks since childhood, so I'm not really sure how to differentiate the two. In my experience, the racing thoughts and feeling of impending doom coupled with hyperventilating are usually the clear indicators that I'm having an anxiety attack.

I Googled the Butyeko breathing exercises and I don't know that I'd find that helpful. It looked like short breaths and that's what I try to avoid when I'm in the middle of an anxiety attack. Taking a deep breath, holding it, and then breathing all of that air out is usually what is helpful to me. As a kid, a therapist taught me an exercise where you sit back and think of 5 things you see, then 5 things you feel (as in touch), then 5 things you hear, all while doing deep, yoga style breathing. Then reduce it to 4 things, then 3 things, etc. It works to distract you and force you to think about something else. I've also found exercise to be really helpful. I try to exercise daily even if I'm not anxious. If I get anxious, I take a walk, ride my bike, do some yoga. I realize you have a toddler so that might be easier said than done. Seeing a therapist has been very beneficial for me. There are also support groups out there where you could talk to other people with similar issues. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (https://www.nami.org) is a helpful resource since states have their own local chapters with support groups and help lines.

I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and OCD at 12 and have managed it pretty well using medication and the techniques I mentioned above. Unfortunately, I've recently had a bit of a relapse due to stress and a medication switch that was not successful. I realize that I'm a total stranger but please feel free to PM me if you have any questions or just want to talk to somebody who has been there and knows what's like.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:33 am 
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I woke up in the middle of the night in a full panic. No idea what triggered it or if I was having a wonky dream or what, but my heart was beating out of my chest and breathing was hard. I fell back asleep fairly quickly, but it was so, so weird.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Thank you everyone for the kind thoughts and suggestions.

Lacy wrote:
In my experience, the racing thoughts and feeling of impending doom coupled with hyperventilating are usually the clear indicators that I'm having an anxiety attack.


I have those during my asthma attacks, though sadly, so it really does feel confusing for me. At the moment I am sitting here trying to breathe normally and not sure if its anxiety or asthma. Should I take deep breaths and hold for anxiety or take shallow breaths for asthma? I just took my inhaler too, so hopefully that helps, though up to now I've been trying to avoid using my inhaler (in part because throwing extra adrenaline onto an anxiety attack sounds like a bad idea). Oy.

I feel like such a loser - I can't even figure out how to breathe properly. Something that should be a simple autonomic reaction.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:07 pm 
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Something that works for me with asthma is pretending that I'm breathing through a straw. It doesn't fix everything, but it definitely helps when my lungs start to feel tight. Perhaps that would be a useful technique for you.

Also, for what it's worth, the emergency inhaler never really affected my anxiety one way or the other.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:20 pm 
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Oh thanks! That is good to know. There are just so many breathing techniques and I can't tell if I am hyperventilating unintentionally which is causing me to feel spacey or if its the asthma/anxiety.

I was in therapy for regular old GAD/PTSD for a few years in my early 30s, but I've never had panic attacks, and this is just throwing me for a loop. I never really got how debilitating they are until I experienced one. Yikes.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:36 pm 
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zero33 wrote:
hi all - i used to suffer with anxiety quite frequently and found that taking a magnesium citrate supplement has really helped... i take it every evening about two hours before going to bed. i know it sounds too simple to be true, but have been so impressed with the results i like to share it with everyone i run into that is having problems with anxiety and/or insomnia.


I used to take magnesium before bed and found it really calming. I've suffered reactive anxiety this year and want to try it again when I get my IBS issues under better control. It really did work wonders for me.


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:47 pm 
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i have a fear of bugs in my food. i thought it was a bug in a paper towel i used to dry off my chickpeas. however before i can inspect it it fell apart. i know it is most possibly a burnt bit off the pan (there was not blood/bug slime) but i keep wanting to toss the chickpeas out and not freak out.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:33 pm 
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I knocked over a mug that had some soymilk in it (for coffee! I hate having to use an unnecessary spoon to stir in smilk so I put it in first) and it made a loud noise and surprised me and I am on edge like crazy so I jumped and started crying and shaking and then like halfway through cleaning it up I started laughing hysterically because I WAS LITERALLY CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK.


crying over spilled milk! is a thing I have done! thanks anxiety!

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:20 pm 
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Hey Tofulish! Hugs to you! The anxiety attacks I get are always linked with worrying about my health, especially focusing on the heart, having a high heart rate is super triggering for my anxiety and of course the more anxiety I get the higher my heart rate gets, so I totally feel for you!

One thing that really helped me is learning a lot about heart rate. And one thing I can tell you for sure is 105 is totally normal! For the stress levels you were at, I would say actually on the low on of normal. Here's a chart that's related to exercise, but it's nice because it shows the age brackets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Exercise_zones.png That way you can see how far away from danger you were. :) And check out this sentence from Wiki: "The normal human heart rate ranges from 60–100 bpm" !

Stress ups a heart rate a lot, so know that it's totally normal! It's been about three years now, but I was having anxiety attacks and I couldn't figure out how to know if it was safe to wait them out or not, it was so confusing, like at what point does one cross from having an anxiety attack to a heart attack, right?! So I got a watch that had a heart rate monitor and it helped for those times I was freaking out. Like, if you look at this chart here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maxim ... rmulae.png you can see at what point you should be worried about the rate.

Anyways, hopefully this is helpful, knowing how usually far below risky my heart rate was, even at times when I felt surely it was beating right out if my chest, was very helpful for me.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:23 pm 
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Thanks Mars! That is helpful! I will read it in more detail tomorrow, but its definitely reassuring!

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:56 am 
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For what it's worth, Tlish, my resting HR is about 100, and I'm in pretty awesome shape. My HR tops out around 215 when I'm going as hard as I possibly can on the bike. My doctors have never expressed concern over either of these. Also, asthma meds often elevate HR.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:37 pm 
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Each year I seem to just barely survive my birthday. This year was pretty bad, though I have had worse. I want to love my birthday, I really do, but I just always end up having an anxiety attack over something minor and it makes it so much worse that it's my birthday and I "should" be enjoying myself. Yesterday I missed a train and completely lost it. I was surrounded by strangers and had to crouch in a corner, sobbing and shaking and hyperventilating and striving desperately not to draw attention to myself. I kept thinking "I'm that crazy person at the train station, everyone is staring and wondering about me, and little do they know how insignificant my problems really are."

Of course, my rational brain says that having an anxiety disorder IS a significant problem, but in a crisis like that my rational brain shuts off and it's been happening a lot lately. I've been going through an especially difficult phase for a few weeks now and it only seems to be getting worse. I just got off the phone with my counselor and she didn't really have time to talk and somehow it just made me feel a thousand times worse. I wish I could see my counselor more frequently but it's expensive and difficult to work into my schedule. And I'm not even sure it would help. No matter how much I try to deconstruct and recalibrate my destructive thought patterns, when I'm having an attack my fear overrides everything.

Maybe I just need to resign myself that irrational panic will always be a part of my life, and I just need to work around it as best I can. Everyone's entitled to their quirks, right? But then there is the low-level anxiety that permeates my life, that seems to affect almost everything I do... sometimes I wonder about anti-anxiety medication but I had such a dreadful experience with that in my teens, that I don't think I can ever go back. It's times like these that I want to take up chainsmoking or some other nervous habit, just anything to calm myself down. But I've never smoked and I'm pretty sure I never will.

Anyhow, sorry for the depressing ramble, but it felt kinda cathartic to read some of the stories in this thread so I thought I'd add my own in case someone can relate. Hang in there folks. <3


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:15 pm 
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Maybe this should be posted in the poo thread. I dunno. Whatever.

My panic attacks come on pretty fast, and pretty much make me almost black out in a matter of minutes. If they don't make me pass out, they make me need to poo desperately. I know stress poo is a thing, but, panic attack poo? Am I the only one?

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