Panic attacks

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I have a mental disorder for which I take meds and it is important to stay on your meds until you discuss it with your doctor.

 
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yeah panick attacks suck!! i used to get them alot and still do occasionally, the first couple of times i was on a bus and i was about to jump off it while moving!!! its a feeling i cant explain, but my anxiety was all going on in my head, it felt numb, but tingly, like i was getting an electric shock in my head, i couldnt see, my tongue was burning and, well i was going crazy!! it was a full blown panick attack, and a man on the bus wanted to give me some of his high blood pressure medicine cuz he thought i was probably gonna pass out, and you pretty much think your having a stroke or like your gonna die, yeah panick attacks are fun. especially when doctors find nothing wrong with you and people around you get frustrated.

 
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My Mother suffers from severe Panic/Anxiety Disorder. She has to take meds all the time. If she goes off of them she has extreme episodes of panic. She experiences the "need to flee" as well as the "physical fight". Hers are so bad that if untreated she becomes incoherent.

 
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I think the adverse effects come from her NOT taking it. As far as I know she hasn't suffered any health problems related to her meds. She has been taking them for over 10 years.

 
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I am a nurse and I had panic attacks for 4 years. I took Xanax 4 times a day then eventually weaned myself off after not having any attacks for about 2 years. The last one I had was 14 years ago. I know patients that have taken meds for panic attacks for many, many years. While it is true that you can build up a tolerance to any drug, it doesn't mean that it's not working or is bad for you. Sometimes the dosage just needs to be adjusted or a new med needs to be started. Panic attacks are very common and most people can't give you a reason why they start or end. After going through hell before I started the xanax, I would have stayed on it the rest of my life If I would have needed to. I functioned normally on meds. Worked full-time. raised a child as a single parent. I did fine on them. I never had to increase the dose I was taking. Meds should never be stopped except under a Dr's supervision. Some meds stopped abruptly can cause all kinds of nasty things from more severe attacks to seizures. I'm sorry but your friend is mis-informed on the subject. If this guy just started meds, it's likely they may get changed again.

 
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No he won't take it out on you. Panic attacks don't make you violent. If he does hurt you, it's not because of this.

 
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Anxiety attack and panic disorder are two different things. Anxiety attacks happen to many people; from stress, etc. Panic disorder is when the anxiety attacks effect your everyday life negatively. I have had panic disorder for almost 10 years. I have been taking medicaiton for about 8 years, and I am much better on the medication than being off it. Yes, panic disorder is a mental disorder, and it is a lot more common than you'd think.

 
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Originally Posted by SimplyElegant /img/forum/go_quote.gif No he won't take it out on you. Panic attacks don't make you violent. If he does hurt you, it's not because of this. I think it depends on the person. My Mom has had panic attacks where she has hurt me. She gets in to this fearful state and doesn't realize what she is doing. During an epsiode of panic she pushed me down, pulled out my hair and even tried to fight with my neighbors. She felt like people were trying to hurt her.
I called an ambulance and she ran into the woods barefoot, she felt like the paramedics were after her. There was nothing that could coax her out of this state of panic. This is probably a severe case...but it can happen.

 
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what helped me was valerian root, and thats still what i take now, because it's natural and has been used for centuries for nerves and anxiety, look up valerian root and its benefits on yahoo, and it's more effective in tea form.

 
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Originally Posted by BeneBaby /img/forum/go_quote.gif I think it depends on the person. My Mom has had panic attacks where she has hurt me. She gets in to this fearful state and doesn't realize what she is doing. During an epsiode of panic she pushed me down, pulled out my hair and even tried to fight with my neighbors. She felt like people were trying to hurt her.
I called an ambulance and she ran into the woods barefoot, she felt like the paramedics were after her. There was nothing that could coax her out of this state of panic. This is probably a severe case...but it can happen.

Wow sorry to hear that. Yeah it can but I don't think her case is a common one though.
 
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Originally Posted by BeneBaby /img/forum/go_quote.gif I think it depends on the person. My Mom has had panic attacks where she has hurt me. She gets in to this fearful state and doesn't realize what she is doing. During an epsiode of panic she pushed me down, pulled out my hair and even tried to fight with my neighbors. She felt like people were trying to hurt her.
I called an ambulance and she ran into the woods barefoot, she felt like the paramedics were after her. There was nothing that could coax her out of this state of panic. This is probably a severe case...but it can happen.

I'm really sorry you had to go through that, Manders but your mom's case is not typical. That almost sounds more like schizophrenia but I am not diagnosing here. You are right though...anything can happen. PrettyFlowers, if your date is taking a new med for panic attacks and pain meds and he is not used to taking anything, it would make him groggy and a little out of it. His body will adjust though and when he comes off the pain med, it will help a lot with that. If you like him then give him a chance. If it becomes too much for you then you'll have to tell him. I would just be up front about your feelings with him. I can tell you from personal experience that it is terrifying when it's happening to you. I was absolutely sure I was dying each and every time I had an attack. It really took me about a year on the meds before I understood that it was panic and not a heart attack. It's like nothing I can describe for you.
 
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I have generalized anxiety disorder and get panic attacks. I take regular meds for my anxiety disorder, but I also take Ativan for when I get panic attacks.

As for the two ways of reacting that your date described, that's just classic fight or flight. Everyone experiences that in times of stress/emergency. It's nothing abnormal.

I'd just like to say that I've never gotten violent with anyone. I think if he was ever to get violent with you, that would be because of one of two things. One, he has violent tendencies regardless of his anxiety. Two, there is more wrong with him than just anxiety problems.

I hope that helps some!

 
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Originally Posted by BeneBaby /img/forum/go_quote.gif I think it depends on the person. My Mom has had panic attacks where she has hurt me. She gets in to this fearful state and doesn't realize what she is doing. During an epsiode of panic she pushed me down, pulled out my hair and even tried to fight with my neighbors. She felt like people were trying to hurt her.
I called an ambulance and she ran into the woods barefoot, she felt like the paramedics were after her. There was nothing that could coax her out of this state of panic. This is probably a severe case...but it can happen.

Wow, Amanda! That sounds pretty serious! I agree, though, that that sounds like more than anxiety and panic attacks. It also sounds like she's suffering from paranoia...
 
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Originally Posted by BeneBaby /img/forum/go_quote.gif I think the adverse effects come from her NOT taking it. As far as I know she hasn't suffered any health problems related to her meds. She has been taking them for over 10 years. Agree. There are several different classes of medications for anxiety and panic but I assume you girl are talking about SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, etc (which are also used for depression). Side effects include nausea, dry mouth, nightmares, decreased libido, and interactions with other medications; but for the most part they are quite safe and effective.
 
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Originally Posted by BeneBaby /img/forum/go_quote.gif I think it depends on the person. My Mom has had panic attacks where she has hurt me. She gets in to this fearful state and doesn't realize what she is doing. During an epsiode of panic she pushed me down, pulled out my hair and even tried to fight with my neighbors. She felt like people were trying to hurt her.
I called an ambulance and she ran into the woods barefoot, she felt like the paramedics were after her. There was nothing that could coax her out of this state of panic. This is probably a severe case...but it can happen.

Manders this description would be quite atypical/ extreme for a case of panic... Some of the things you described sound more like paranoid ideation. In any case, I am glad she is doing well on her medications!

 
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I have had anxiety all of my life but, usually before my periods, I'll have a full blown, the walls-are-closing-in-on-me panic attack. I have an angel of a doctor who brilliantly makes sure my meds and dosages are what I need. I am on Wellbutrin+Prozac and the Prozac is taken only half of the month. I am happy to be anxiety free and I am a very happy person when I am free to live without fear.

That being said, my anxiety doesn't get in the way of me being a great wife to my DH of 11 years. When I do get a bit panicked, I just get to experience what a loving hubby I have and during the other times, you'd never know I have any disorder or even take meds at all! HTH!

 
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Holy wow, I can't believe how many people here have anxiety. I have anxiety really bad, but I only have bad attacks every now and then. Like a few times a month. But I have the "fleeing" sensation a lot and have to get up and get away from a situation, it will be really hard for me to breath, see straight, hear good. I'll start arguments for no reason and they'll get way way out of hand on my account. I'll cry......I mean really cry, my asthma will start going crazy and I'll need my inhaler. It effects my relationship but not bad. He just realizes they are gonna happen from time to time, and we just gotta get through them when they do. I've taken medication including xanax and valium, which helped but I felt like I abused the medication sometimes and came to the decision that I didn't like myself on the meds and quit taking them.

 
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Originally Posted by kaylin_marie /img/forum/go_quote.gif Holy wow, I can't believe how many people here have anxiety. I have anxiety really bad, but I only have bad attacks every now and then. Like a few times a month. But I have the "fleeing" sensation a lot and have to get up and get away from a situation, it will be really hard for me to breath, see straight, hear good. I'll start arguments for no reason and they'll get way way out of hand on my account. I'll cry......I mean really cry, my asthma will start going crazy and I'll need my inhaler. It effects my relationship but not bad. He just realizes they are gonna happen from time to time, and we just gotta get through them when they do. I've taken medication including xanax and valium, which helped but I felt like I abused the medication sometimes and came to the decision that I didn't like myself on the meds and quit taking them. That's really weird. I had pneumonia in May, and now have permanent (so they say - i hope not) breathing problems and am medicated as a person is for asthma. The steroids in those medications can make you anxious though as they are stimulants. Ugh...I notice a different corelation to my breathing and my anxiety. The two are definately connected. Anyone who has been treated for panic disorder was of course taught the various breathing techniques to help you when you have an attack. I think my breathing problems are directly related to my anxiety and vice versa. Making sure you are breathing deeply helps with all anxiety. I feel you on the asthma/anxiety thing. I'm struggling with it lately and it sucks.
I distringuish panic attacks from anxiety attacks. When i have a panic attack, it is an episode. And I have physiological symptoms and just an overwhelming feeling of losing my mind and terror that lasts for 10-20 minutes. I have anxiety attacks, and I sort of see those as the precursors to panic attacks. I haven't had a panic attack in a couple years. I just have bad anxiety. It does get better. The more panic attacks you have, the more you realize you will get through it. It's sort of like, umm...herpes! My friend has it, and when she described it to me, I thought - hey! That's how panic attacks sort of work. Well anyways,...they do get better with time luckily. I used to be where the guy you are dating is, and it is best to medicate right away. If you don't, the problem worsens and it isn't treated. It's hard, but my boyfriend and I both have (have had) panic attacks. They are more common than you'd think. Everyone goes through a hard time in life. Sometimes you meet a person when they are going through one, and if you like the guy, you could learn how to be there for him when an attack happens. Ask him what how he would like you to act if he is with you and one happens. I know for me, when I was going through it, I had to explain my triggers to my family, friends and boyfriend. He's my ex now, but I still appreciate the way he helped me when I was going through that. A person with panic disorder can become more and more reclusive in order to avoid triggers, so him maintaining a healthy social life is really important. Agoraphobia is a step backwards when you have panic disorder. I think it was very mature of him to tell you what he is dealing with right now.

 
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Originally Posted by PrettyFlowers /img/forum/go_quote.gif Thank you so much jessica9.
You make me feel better and that I could not be at risk being with him. I know for sure that he is still interested in me and already called me to set up a second date.

At what point do you suggest I bring up this topic again to ask him how I can be of help when a panic attack occurs?

Also, I'm not sure if this has to do with my insecurities or not, but in a way, I think he is reclusive but when we talk, he is very open type of person and would tell me everything, or at least I think so.

I definately understand how that could make you feel insecure, but it makes so much sense considering he is just now having panic attacks. on the phone, he probably feels like he is in a safe place, and he can open up. he is probably reclusive because he has certain things that trigger his attacks. i know for me, driving was a huge trigger and i couldn't drive for awhile. i should emphasize that i think if you are on medication for panic attacks and getting help through therapy, you can get over your triggers to the point where you don't feel the need to avoid them as much in a matter of a month or two. people who get panic attacks associate certain things or places with the attacks and fear an attack will come if they encounter it. So people do tend to seem reclusive. I bet he feels safe in his home and safe and comfortable talking to you. I would avoid a lot of situations when my situation was bad. Also, my mother works in human resources, and she always made me feel better by telling me how you would be surprised how many people have to take time away from work due to anxiety problems. It is very common.
Do you guys go out to dinner? Do you go to movies? Is he okay going out places? I know when my panic disorder was at its worst, my exboyfriend and I would watch movies at my house and order food in and talk. It was really terrible for me at that time. Even that was hard, but he was such a comfort to me. One thing is, if your panic disorder is really bad, sometimes even hearing even the word "panic attack" or having to talk about it is incredibly hard. It took awhile for me to be able to talk about it without feeling like one would happen. It seems like he can talk about it some, but be careful. I would maybe approach it by asking him if he'd like to stay in one night and hang out. And maybe ask him what you can do to make him feel comfortable and if there is anything you could do to help if he is feeling anxious. That way you don't have mention the attacks. I know for me, when I would feel an attack coming on, I wouldn't want anyone to mention what I was about to go through. I would think if someone didn't mention it, I could stop it. And you learn the more you have them how to control them. But everyone is different in how they want people to react. My boyfriend has panic disorder and he reacts to panic attacks completely differently than i do. When we met, he was having frequent attacks and I was having none. We hung out at his house a lot, watched movies, and then we would go out to dinner occassionally. The more comfortable he became around me, the more I helped him become less reclusive. He sort of challenged his triggers. I never realized I was doing this really because I didn't know exactly how reclusive he was before. But he wrote me a Christmas card at the end of the first year we were together and it said, "Thank you for making my life fun again." He told me I had helped with his panic attacks and I really was not aware I was doing it just by getting to know him, doing silly things, and being his friend. So, for someone like me who has gone through it, I was really honored that he felt that way. Lots of people experience this at some point. Even psychiatrists have them - two of mine did. So, I think if you want to date this guy, it doesn't have to be very difficult. Just having fun in whatever way he is comfortable and spending time together helps and can help pull him out of his shell eventually. The person you hear on the phone is who he is. The reclusive person...I think that is what he is going through. I would ask what you could do to make him feel comfortable or what you should do if he isn't feeling well when the moment seems right and he is comfortable. It could be on the phone or when you are with him. Good luck. A lot of good people go through difficulties. It's really great that you are trying to understand what he is experiencing.

 

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