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Thread: Anxiety Attacks

  1. #11
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    All the responses are appreciated, and I'll get back to a few more. Shortnsweet, your advice is really excellent and is an important reference for anyone dealing with this sort of thing. I'll need to go back and read it all over a few times to really think about it.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Array Lethal Sage's Avatar
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    Klonopin is practically my best friend. I forgot it today and probably appeared like a meth junkie.

    I haven't had a panic attack recently, but I have had a few. Mostly at college. I sucked at college. Anyway, I'd get them in the parking lot. Once it almost felt like I had a stroke, or what is described as such. Now that I'm not doing much I feel like I'm near my edge. I develop quirks. It kind of sucks. I wonder what pills I'll be taking when I get older.

    Anyway, Klonopin helped.
    ...

  3. #13
    Not Your Therapist Array Sinmara's Avatar
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    You need to get checked out to know whether or not you are truly having anxiety attacks. For a long time I was told that I was having anxiety attacks, but I later discovered that I was having tachycardia-like symptoms due to untreated and unmanaged hypoglycemia.

    Which just further solidifies my opinion that 90% of doctors are useless at diagnosing their patients unless the symptoms are dancing a little jig with bells on, but that's for another thread.

    Point is, there are other health issues that can look very much like an anxiety attack. If this only happens when you're sleeping, I'm sure there's a reason for it. Your body releases all manner of chemicals when going in to sleep mode. Do a bit of research on your own and talk to a doctor about your symptoms.

  4. #14
    Lay the coin on my tongue Array SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you are going through this, I hope it gets at least partly sorted out soon.

    I don't think I've ever had a proper anxiety attack but I have a flying phobia so have felt close to it on a few occasions. CBT and breathing exercises helped somewhat, though I have to see how things go in the long term.
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Array bluebell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    There is a tidal wave of anxiety just under the radar in my mind. I think there are a few layers involved. There is enough resolved in my life right now that my mind thinks it is safe to work through it, I think.
    That resonates strongly with me atm. I have an anxiety disorder (PTSD) so this is something I am continually dealing with, although not to the same degree as a panic attack that you've described.

    In terms of practical physical things, cutting out caffeine and sugar has helped me a lot. I can get anxiety triggered *just* from eating too much sugar in one sitting. Also, going for long walks is my way of 'meditating'. I zone out, let my brain just wander as I walk while on autopilot. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this, but sometimes salt or salty foods can calm me down a bit as well.

    In terms of the underneath the radar and feeling safe enough to work through it, that's something I'm living at the moment. As far as I can tell, anxiety is repressed emotion for me, which interestingly you've also mentioned:

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    When I face crisis situations I tend to suppress emotions so that I can think clearly and solve the problem. In some ways I have gotten too good at it, and while I like the effect it has on my decision-making, this subconscious anxiety attack bit needs to go.
    I've found supressed grief, anger, pain, sadness, hatred etc at various times beneath the anxiety. Once I've tuned into the supressed emotion and processed it, often the anxiety lifts fairly quickly. The challenge is tuning into the emotion in the first place. Sometimes unedited writing can help me access what it is - I let myself just type whatever. Asking yourself 'what emotion is behind this?' can help focus the answers and tuning into whatever else is attached to it is part of the process for me.

    One thing that I've very recently started doing is getting a back rub from new guy. He reads me accurately and knows when I'm starting to drift away mentally. I feel safe with him. The back rubs are simultaneously calming and grounding. The grounding is what lets me tune into whatever's going on. The brain seems to then throw up images of whatever historical emotional flotsam is causing the anxiety. Sometimes I just deal with it internally or sometimes I'll mention it to him.

    Yesterday I had severe anxiety, triggered by an impending real estate agent inspection of my apartment. The history of it is terror of being judged, due to terror of my mother growing up. I ended up struggling with it all evening and was crippled by it at various stages. However, concious rationalism helped a bit. Staying focused on the fact that this was just anxiety and a trigger from the past helped with staying somewhat objective and slightly detached from the anxiety. Self-soothing, such as 'you're safe now' and 'there's really nothing to worry about, you're not gonna get evicted just cos you haven't cleaned the place perfectly' etc helped dampen down the anxiety at times and allowed me enough mobility to finish cleaning my place.

    Buddhist mindfulness may be helpful for you. Non-judgemental labelling of the internal emotional state can turn down the volume of trigger reactions.

    Best of luck with this, Toonia. Anxiety is unpleasant in the extreme.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Array GirlFromMars's Avatar
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    Anxiety/panic attacks are seriously awful, you feel like you're dying. I was put on Diazepam for them a few months back, but had to be taken off because they're apparently quite highly addictive. I'm always getting anxiety, but the actual anxiety ATTACKS I haven't had since I took them. To be honest, I can't give any real advice, because all I do is just...live with it. But I offer my empathy, because I totally understand. I hope they go away for you.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    All the responses are appreciated, and I'll get back to a few more. Shortnsweet, your advice is really excellent and is an important reference for anyone dealing with this sort of thing. I'll need to go back and read it all over a few times to really think about it.
    Thanks. I know exactly what you're going through. It's really hell and a lot of folks don't understand, but of course there's a lot who do, too as you can see in the thread. I feel so fortunate to have "beat" them as severe as they were. Hopefully what worked for me can work for you, too!
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  8. #18
    Minister of Propagandhi Array ajblaise's Avatar
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    I took klonopin, xanax, and valium recreationally for a bit, but in doses much higher than people take for anxiety. The klondike bars were my favorite.

    But they definitely work, although I've never had a panic attack before. In large doses I was practically an ESTP, one with no short-term memory.

    Some doctors put people on anti-depressants for anxiety, which I don't think is quite right. But if SSRIs are the only thing that work, that's alright. But they have more side-effects than anti-anxiety meds in regular doses.

  9. #19
    He pronks, too! Array Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I don't think I have attacks. I don't if one can have anxiety attacks per se. I believe they are supposed to be called panic attacks if they reach that stage.

    On many occasions I feel like I've gotten close though. I have a really high base level of anxiety, and sometimes when several demands overlap, I get very high-strung and I think I approach panic. I don't have the issue of waking up at night feeling panicked so much, but I do have a hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep due to general anxiety.

    I'm not sure what you can do about it. In my position, I still find it pretty plausible to attribute my anxiety to things that are going on in my life, so I'm choosing to attempt practical solutions to my sources of stress, instead of taking meds.
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  10. #20
    meh Array Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pettycure View Post
    You need to get checked out to know whether or not you are truly having anxiety attacks. For a long time I was told that I was having anxiety attacks, but I later discovered that I was having tachycardia-like symptoms due to untreated and unmanaged hypoglycemia.

    Which just further solidifies my opinion that 90% of doctors are useless at diagnosing their patients unless the symptoms are dancing a little jig with bells on, but that's for another thread.

    Point is, there are other health issues that can look very much like an anxiety attack. If this only happens when you're sleeping, I'm sure there's a reason for it. Your body releases all manner of chemicals when going in to sleep mode. Do a bit of research on your own and talk to a doctor about your symptoms.
    This is the best advice.
    I had the opposite problem. Taken into hospital with suspected heart problems (due to family history) which was simply an anxiety attack. I used to get them more as a child (seldom as an adult), blacking out, freaking out - but interestingly re above I was also hypoglycemic.

    The first set of symptoms are called adrenergic (or sympathetic) because they relate to the nervous system's response to hypoglycemia. Patients may experience any of the following;
    • nervousness,
    • sweating,
    • intense hunger,
    • trembling,
    • weakness,
    • palpitations, and
    • often have trouble speaking.
    Caused by release of hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. Could feel like, or even trigger panic, I would have thought...

    My only solution has been to try to manage my stress levels.
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