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yeah, i get panic attacks. they're definitely not as bad as a lot of people have, but they can definitely ruin my day. the worst panic attack i ever had, i talked about the circumstances in another thread and don't want to run around boo-hooing, so here are the symptoms from it.

1) i had a TERRIBLE shortness of breath - like when you're hysterically crying and your breath comes in little gulps - for about 45 minutes, which led to hyperventilating.
2) i was only kinda dizzy, but more lightheaded than i've ever been before or since - all the color drained from my face and i had to sit down.
3) i was absolutely certain i was never going to leave the room i was in. i didn't know if i was about to die or if i'd just sit there unable to move for the next 100 years.
4) my mouth was completely dry. so much so that i had to peel my tongue off the roof of my mouth with my fingers (sorry that's a bit gross).

for that one i sat until i could stand, and i was at work and got sent home. i made it home in one piece and laid on my couch for the rest of the evening.

my usual panic attacks are just a jump in my heartrate, dry mouth, and feeling of uncontrollable terror. of course now i'm on xanax and zoloft, and i take my zoloft in the morning so usually i don't need xanax. but when i do, i take that and try to get through the next 20 minutes until i can function again. they're not usually related to my social anxiety; most of my panic attacks come from insecurity and fear of failure.
 

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My panic attacks are random and (thankfully) infrequent. Most of my panic attacks have been triggered by social situations although the most recent one was over a health concern. They've ranged from mild to severe. Most often during a panic attack I'm trying so hard not to let on that I'm having one. Panic attacks can be extremely exhausting, but I think it's normal when you consider what your body/mind is going through. When my next panic attack comes rolling around I now have some Xanax to help - we'll see how that works.
 

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It's my understanding that a panic attack typically lasts 15-20 minutes or so, rather than an hour, so I'm not sure if it's technically an attack or simply severe anxiety. This confusion mixed up my diagnosis as I went from carrying around the GAD label for a decade and now only recently did a psychologist identify my experiences as attacks. Thus now I'm told I have panic disorder, not GAD.

The symptoms that are the most bothersome for me are derealization, dizziness, nausea, and in the most severe cases, fainting.

Reflecting on attacks is definitely challenging. I'm about to start CBT this week for the first time (doctors would say I should do it but never would refer me...annoying). I do know what you mean about all knowledge flying out the window when an attack begins. I guess it's just up to us to work harder on focusing, or catching it early on before we lose our heads.
 

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It's my understanding that a panic attack typically lasts 15-20 minutes or so, rather than an hour, so I'm not sure if it's technically an attack or simply severe anxiety. This confusion mixed up my diagnosis as I went from carrying around the GAD label for a decade and now only recently did a psychologist identify my experiences as attacks. Thus now I'm told I have panic disorder, not GAD.

The symptoms that are the most bothersome for me are derealization, dizziness, nausea, and in the most severe cases, fainting.
Is there a fine line between depersonalization and derealization?

Haha, cause I freakin hate depersonalization, I think it makes me freak out even more. I feel so helpless when that happens.

Just wondering if I have experienced derealization before (most likely have).
 

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I dont really get panic attacks anymore but at one time I have well over 5 per day.

It was terrible. No kinda way to live. Thats when I was younger and before I was on meds.

Now I only get 1-2 panic attacks per year at most, usually brought on by my dads medical condition as he is near death.
 

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saudades
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies guys, I really appreciate it. I've kind of put off replying to this thread because I've noticed that just thinking about my panic attacks has become almost like a trigger in itself (as stupid as that may sound :no). I did, however, go see a doctor last week and he prescribed some new medication for me. I'm currently taking Effexor for the anxiety and Valium for the attacks. So far I've only had to use the Valium once but it did help calm me down quite a bit. I'm trying my best to use it sparingly though.

@Seafolly Good luck with the CBT! I honestly think you'll find it very helpful.

@Xande - Depersonalization and derealization are quite similar. Depersonalization, as you know, is when you feel detached from yourself. Derealization is when you feel detached from your surroundings. So you basically feel like you're in a dreamlike state and nothing around you feels real. It can be quite a frightening experience.
 

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SASsy
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You've got classic Panic Disorder. I've found the only thing that helps is medication, which you say you are now on. Stay on it and your Panic will slowly fade away. :yes
 

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I'm sorry to hear you're suffering. I have panic disorder, my attacks are usually triggered by driving or feeling like I can't escape some place. I also have mild health anxiety, one time my heart skipped a beat a few times and it brought on a panic attack because I was so worried my heart was going to give out. In fact, any abnormality in my body sets me on high alert but they don't go into full blown panic anymore thank goodness.

The first time I ever had a panic attack it lasted hours and only finished when I went to A&E and was given sedatives. I thought I was dying and freaked the hell out of my friend when I burst into tears and told him so. I realised later that I just kept having cycles of panic so I'd have a 10 min attack then calm down a bit then think 'woah what was that' and panic all over again. I ended up making myself sick after a while, it was the worst night of my life. I think my panic attacks started when we had a big earthquake in my city (Christchurch). I remember the whole experience just changed my perception on my feelings of security when you can be woken in the night to your whole house shaking!

I'm undergoing CBT therapy which has helped immensely. Just being reminded constantly that the symptoms are going to hurt me and telling them to do their worse and being okay is progress. She had me do certain exercises like making myself hyperventilate or run around the block to give me some of the panic syptoms and be able to understand they are harmless. I've done that every day for weeks and it really does help. Also telling other people and not being too hard on myself has been great. To not get down on myself if I have a panic attack and celebrate when I accomplish something and having people around me support that. I was offered medication but to me it felt like giving in, I don't judge anyone who takes the option but it wasn't for me.
 

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When I have an anxiety attack one thing that helps me is to slowly breathe in while mentally counting to 5 then exhale while doing the same I do this until I feel calmer. A google search would probably produce other helpful techniques to calm an anxiety attack.
 

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Dancing on my own
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Yes, I have most of the symptoms you listed when I have my panic attacks. I pace rapidly, shake hard and go outside, when possible. I am completely drained after having one, it's terrible. The next days are spent trying to do as little as possible to trigger another one. It's so exhausting both during and after.
 

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I'm sorry to hear you're suffering. I have panic disorder, my attacks are usually triggered by driving or feeling like I can't escape some place. I also have mild health anxiety, one time my heart skipped a beat a few times and it brought on a panic attack because I was so worried my heart was going to give out. In fact, any abnormality in my body sets me on high alert but they don't go into full blown panic anymore thank goodness.

The first time I ever had a panic attack it lasted hours and only finished when I went to A&E and was given sedatives. I thought I was dying and freaked the hell out of my friend when I burst into tears and told him so. I realised later that I just kept having cycles of panic so I'd have a 10 min attack then calm down a bit then think 'woah what was that' and panic all over again. I ended up making myself sick after a while, it was the worst night of my life. I think my panic attacks started when we had a big earthquake in my city (Christchurch). I remember the whole experience just changed my perception on my feelings of security when you can be woken in the night to your whole house shaking!

I'm undergoing CBT therapy which has helped immensely. Just being reminded constantly that the symptoms are going to hurt me and telling them to do their worse and being okay is progress. She had me do certain exercises like making myself hyperventilate or run around the block to give me some of the panic syptoms and be able to understand they are harmless. I've done that every day for weeks and it really does help. Also telling other people and not being too hard on myself has been great. To not get down on myself if I have a panic attack and celebrate when I accomplish something and having people around me support that. I was offered medication but to me it felt like giving in, I don't judge anyone who takes the option but it wasn't for me.
:eek: you just described my panic attacks to a tee! I remember the first time I had one I absolutely flipped and thought I was having a heart attack, thankfully I kind of realized what was going on but it took 2 hours to finally calm myself down and stop shaking :( Then what followed was 3 days of absolute hell were I suffered from immense derealization and cycle panic attacks on top of that :(, I was about to sign myself up for a psych ward but thankfully I found out that panic attacks are harmless and shouldnt be feared. After that they dropped immensely but I still get pretty bad anxiety at night though :?, and the occasional random attack every now and then :mum
 

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I suffered from frequent panic attacks a few years ago i even had one in my sleep! Taking medications and therapy has been very helpful. I hate the shortness of breath feeling and the derealization the most.I still have bad anxiety but at least i rarely get panic attacks. Hope you find a good solution, panic attacks are just awful to experience.
 

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I'm sorry you're experiencing them for such long periods of time. :(

Thankfully, mine aren't random, although their justification is iffy sometimes.
My last one was earlier this week, before going into a foreign building to start my first aid course. My body was tensed before we even left. I knew there would be a bunch of strangers there and I would inevitably have to make an effort to stay focussed, (i.e. not hide in the bathroom). I knew I would have to talk to these strangers as well. Even worse, we would have to physically interact with each other. As goes with any classroom setting for me, I imagined how I should sit, which direction I should face, where I should put my purse, what to do with my hands, and this list basically doesn't stop. We were early and parked outside the entrance. I'd eaten breakfast - bad bad bad idea because my stomach was in major knots. My heart was beating out of my chest and I was clutching my purse so it wasn't obvious my hands were shaking/sweaty. As a result, I felt sick and when I walked inside slight de-realization set in.

So, I sat down, next to some total strangers, to hear the instructor tell us that we need pens and he doesn't carry any spares. I didn't have any writing utensils with me. Cue FUUUUUUU-

Cue me having to ask infront of anyone if they had any spare pens. Because, you know, I need that kind of extra panic on top of what I'm already experiencing. What fun.

My main symptoms are tensed muscles, palpitations, shakiness, and sweating. Nausea can follow, as can de-realization.

I take medication thats helps with my muscle tensing. Everything else is fair game. I basically try to ignore it and tell myself I'm not having a panic attack. Mentally, I try to assure myself that my reaction is absurd and there is nothing to be afraid of.
 

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Dancing on my own
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Maybe I should post this here too, since it coincides with the topic...

You can hear the heart monitor alarm (I believe that's what it's called?) go off at 0:58 .
I wonder if she wanted this recorded... Was that the nurse recording it?
 

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:eek: you just described my panic attacks to a tee! I remember the first time I had one I absolutely flipped and thought I was having a heart attack, thankfully I kind of realized what was going on but it took 2 hours to finally calm myself down and stop shaking :( Then what followed was 3 days of absolute hell were I suffered from immense derealization and cycle panic attacks on top of that :(, I was about to sign myself up for a psych ward but thankfully I found out that panic attacks are harmless and shouldnt be feared. After that they dropped immensely but I still get pretty bad anxiety at night though :?, and the occasional random attack every now and then :mum
:( :squeeze

I'm gonna bop those panic attacks away! :wife :twak
 
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