| | Ways I Found To Cope With Anxiety/panic Attacks And What I Think Caused Mine
hi there, I am 23 years old and I have suffered from panic/anxiety attacks since I was 20.
One morning I woke up to have a cup of coffee and cigarette and felt a soft mass in my cheek, as I was having wisdom tooth problems at the time (they were just coming through and caused a little pain) I thought nothing of the mass and thought ah well I have a blocked gland or something and thought I'd massage it a little just to see if it would drain itself......wrong move, it drained alright and I felt my heart go off the richter scale....really fast (like it wanted to jump out and run down the street, I felt a cold rush and felt like my eyes were bulging and my head felt all tight and 'full of blood (like too much or somethin) and I had trouble keeping my breathing under control (like I was being choked). I ran into my boyfriends mum and dads room and got his dad to feel my pulse as I thought I was going mad and he said it was going really fast but for me to calm down and not panic (he said it wasn't a heart attack (he has had a heart attack before)). He said if it didn't go away in 10 mins he would ring a ambulance so I calmed down a little (that didn't stop the palpitations though but they calmed a little).
I proceeded to have a cigarette even though I was finding it a little hard to breathe (thought it might've calmed my nerves a little), boy was I wrong in doing that, my head proceeded to get a floaty, swimming feeling (like when your under general anaesthetic and you wake up why your under it and the nurse shoves more in and you pass out, if anybody has ever had that experience) anyway I was aware of the floaty, swimmy feeling and then I passed out? or fainted?. I came to about 2-3 minutes later.
I then staggered to the toilet to do a number 2 feelin a little unco-ordinated, I was feelin hot and sweaty in there like I was in a sauna, the no 2 came out as diorreahh (really offensive, frothy but watery and lightish tan colour)
I insisted that my boyfriends dad take me to the hospital, so he took me there. They did an ECG and said it was normal and that it was panic/anxiety attacks. I even told them about the tooth thing and the ER doctor looked at me like I was mad.
I then proceeded to think they were lying e.t.c and that I might have some underlying disease such as cancer or heart disease. When I had my first panic/anxiety attack I thought I was having a heart attack!.
And so a bitter circle of gp's, emergency visits to the hospital and specialist visits began each time coming up with nothing, and then one hospital caught the arse end of one and diagnosed a small abnormal sinus rythym,but that it was common for people my age to experience this and that it wasn't life threatening. I was starting to feel like a hypochondriac!!!!.......but I was glad they told me it wasn't life threatening.
One good asian doctor I went to before that hospital found the abnormal rythym happening said that it could have been a release of natural cortisone to combat the germ release of the gland I drained, or that something biological could have set off my adrenal glands that started off the panic/anxiety attacks.......anyway he did every test he could think of for me like thyroid test, hormone test,digestive xray e.t.c. All came back normal to my dismay. Then he sent me to a heart specialist just to be sure. The heart specialist (who is the best here in south australia) put me on a halter monitor twice and also did a dopla ultrasound. Those all came back normal.
I explained to him that this was happening to me 2-3 times every 3 days on the ***.....and that my pulse was 130-140 each time (which is abnormal even 120 is pushing it ( unless your ill)) ranging from 10 minutes to a few hours. He decided to prescribe me a calcium channel blocker (Noten-50mg tablet per day). The first time I took a full tablet I passed out/fainted within 30 minutes. I then decided well maybe 50mg is to much for me and only took 1/2 a tablet each day and loe and behold it worked but didn't stop them altogether. I was only getting them 1-2 times a month and less severe when I was taking Noten.
Then oneday I just decided well I shouldn't be on heart medication anymore and decided to wean myself off of Noten (because if you just stop it immediately you can suffer high blood pressure and palpitations).
I then went to see a shrink and have been seeing him on a regular basis for 9-10 months now and I haven't had any panic/anxiety attacks for 7-8 months now......
NOW FOR WAYS TO EASE AND COPE WITH PANIC/ANXIETY ATTACKS:
lie down with legs elevated (in a dark room is good, if the room isn't dark just shield your eyes with your arm).
Stick a wet, cold (not icy) flannel/washcloth on your chest to help with palpitations.
concentrated on breathing through your mouth and exhaling through your nose.
suck on some ice (under your tongue, there is a nerve there that has something to do with the heart, often when you have bad teeth it can lead to heart disease)
drink some cold, icy water.
wet your face with cold water, or have a lukewarm/tepid (but on the coldish side) shower.
try not to drink or eat anything containing caffeine too much.
go to bed early and get a good nights sleep.
try not to stress.
try not to smoke or at least cut down if your a hooked smoker.
don't take drugs/ or at least cut down (this included pot, it may be relaxing to smoke it but it actually raises your blood pressure and can give a false sense of security).
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT BE IN DENIAL THAT YOUR HAVING A PANIC/ANXIETY ATTACK DON'T FOCUS ON WHATS HAPPENING TO YOU, (UNLESS THERE IS EXTREME PAIN).......AND THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS.......
hope this helps people, reply and give your opinion if you wish