Is this a panic attack? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Is this a panic attack?

This happened a year ago so my memory of it has become somewhat foggy but it was uh.....interesting enough that it is still strong in my mind.

I was just finishing dinner, my father and I were having one of our conversations where he implies that I'm an idiot, I start crying at the table but run to my room to hide it. Then as I'm sitting there crying, this happens in about this order:

Hyperventilation, heart pounding, sudden pressure at my temples (like something is squeezing at my brain), light-headedness, wave of numbness, left side of body goes way numb (right side is less so), so I get up to walk. Time slows, can't seem to move very well, face and lips go numb, can't really walk or talk. Lasts about 2 hours in its more extreme moments, gradually got better and went to sleep. For the next few days, the world seemed sort of ....... uh, difficult to describe......hazy, I suppose, and far away.

Since then it has not happened in full but every time I get sufficiently upset then the pressure at the temples starts in again, and I can almost feel the same experience coming on.

My friend said it sounded like a mini stroke, my doctor said that at my age (25) it is unlikely, and told me it was "anxiety." Which was the first I sort of had the term applied to me.

Any similar experiences? Anyone knows what this might sound like? Stroke? Panic attack? Nervous breakdown?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 12:18 PM
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Re: Is this a panic attack?

Hey Shi..

Sounds a lot like "disassociation"...
Kinda like coming unhooked from yourself, where everything feels surreal?
Happened to me a lot. Not so much anymore tho, now that I'm a cave-dweller
Look up 'Disassociative Identity Disorder' (DID). And see if any of it sounds familiar.
Just a thought.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 09:03 PM
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Re: Is this a panic attack?

I came accross something and this may sound more like what you've expereinced...

Hyperventilation Syndrome:

If you have hyperventilation syndrome -- that is, if you regularly hyperventilate -- you might not be aware of it. But you will be aware of having many of the associated symptoms, including dizziness or lightheadedness, shortness of breath, belching, bloating, dry mouth, weakness, confusion, sleep disturbances, numbness and tingling in your arms or around your mouth, muscle spasms in hands and feet, chest pain, and palpitations ... 003071.htm
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is this a panic attack?

I could not find the term Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID), a search for it returned results for Dissociative Identity Disorder' (DID) which I know is the new term for Multiple Personality Disorder. Spelling mistake?

But I have read stuff on dissociation and it doesn't sound quite like me, per se. Although I do have some crazy problems with other "personalities" but it is not quite the same way as in Multiple Personality. I don't think so anyways.

About the hyperventilation syndrome, hmm it was sort of an isolated event about a year ago and hasn't happened again so far though for the first while afterwards I felt twinges of it coming on. now I am fine, mostly. So I wouldn't say it's a regular thing, maybe it needs the right stimulus.

Thanks for the replies.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 06:54 AM
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Re: Is this a panic attack?

I would say it was a panic attack sort of breakdown too. Ive had anxiety attacks like youre describing (hyperventalating/vomiting/shaking/abstract thoughts)and yes the next couple of days I would feel out of it and everything "surreal" but I noticed less social anxiety during the aftermath then once i was back to normal things were the same again.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 07:22 AM
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Re: Is this a panic attack?

You had an anxiety attack and yes it can cause dissociation.

troll: man, we got a lot of snow
yooper: eh?
troll: three feet, man!
yooper: yah
troll: no school, man, it was sweet
yooper: you closed school for three feet of snow?!?!??!?
troll: you like excessive punctuation, don't you?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 08:17 AM
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Re: Is this a panic attack?

Yes Shi..that was a spelling error ..sorry 'bout that..
And yes..MPD and DID are the same thing (these diagnosis are at the extreme end of a broad spectrum of identity disorders.)
Dissociation episodes can occur once in a persons life or numerous times, depending on the individual. This does not mean ,however, that a separate 'personality' is in simply means that the person has had/has the symptoms of depersonalization. I hope this post is a little clearer..I do apologize for the confusion.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 06:51 PM
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Re: Is this a panic attack?

I'd say that's a severe case of a panic attack. Severe meaning it hit you that night, but the fealing stayed a couple days. I used to get those a lot and MAN they are sooo not fun. it can make you feel pretty damn sick. and when you suffer from emetophobia (like me), it's really a terrible thing
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is this a panic attack?

No apology necessary, Lilfly.

So it seems the general consensus is that it was a panic/anxiety attack, I suppose that's better than having a stroke.

Of course it also formed my first real confirmation of what I was starting to suspect at the time, that I had a psychological problem.

So.....dunno, which is worse, experiencing a stroke at age 25 or finding out you have social anxiety which essentially cripples you for life and sends you into a downward spiral of depression....

well I figure that people who have suffered panic attacks before would be able to recognize if what had happened to me was about the same thing so...

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