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Old 02-18-2007, 04:21 PM   #1
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was this a panic attack?

i have had panic attacks off and on for years but they usually occur at night. the last few days (i am sick and stressed) they have been during the day. this morning i had just walked into church and sat down. we have a very big church by the way. sometimes being around alot of people makes me have anxiety well most of the time it does , sometimes not as bad though. i have a sinus infection so already i feel like my head is stopped up and floating and dizzy. all of a sudden just the awfulest feeling came over me like i was way down in a hole, and this feeling like i don't feel right, i think i am going to die feeling comes all over me. i could not concentrate on anything it was just the worst feeling all over. i was looking around at people and it was like a dream like it was not even real. i could not focus. all i can think of was like a smothering effect all over me, and i thought "am i dying is something wrong" knowing all i have is a sinus infection, then i sit there and think "what if i have cancer or some awful disease (yes i have helth anxiety big time). i sat there for about 5 minutes and it finally passed. it was just like this awful smothering feeling. i guess it was from being around so many people.

 
Old 02-18-2007, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: was this a panic attack?

SOUNDS exactly like a panic attack. Mine started out like that then I developed panic disorder and the symptoms got worse, and worse as the years went on, and stronger! It could be because you are sick and everything is some what off with your sinus infection that it may have triggered it being in a crowed place. Mine is usually 100 times worse in crowded places.. Here is a post I wrote some time ago about my anxiety. I think you will enjoy reading it by finding comfort in what you were feeling. By the way I too get that smothering sensation.. I know it horrible.
I know it's long but worth reading! feel better

My Disease called anxiety~by boxerlover
Hello to everyone who decided this topic would have been of interest to you.
I decided to sit down and write about my disease, anxiety with panic disorder. So many of us here question whether or not we are alone in what we are feeling. So many of us question whether or not these are indeed symptoms of anxiety. We tell ourselves yeah I have been alittle stressed out lately but not enough to cause all these horrible physical symptoms I am experiencing. Or is it enough? My only interest in writing this is in hopes to find others out there who maybe suffers as well and perhaps "think they are alone" and maybe come to realize they are not and find some comfort in knowing this. Or perhaps you are reading this saying to yourself, boy I know how that person feels I have been down that road more than once and offer some support or advice to others on things that may or may not have helped you. I must note that everything I write today is real life experiences that I myself have had. Nothing is taken out of a text book or off of any website or documentary. They are real feelings, real symptoms, and real daily struggles. Also I must add if you are looking for a short read, this post is also not for you, as I mentioned this is years of struggles and years could not be summed up in two sentences. My true goal in writing this is to possibly help others including myself, or perhaps find or give comfort in others as well.
So everyone knows that feeling you are on an airplane and dropping altitude, you feel a falling sensation from within, it almost causes you to reach for those nice bags they offer you cause your stomach begins to feel queasy, or your in an elevator and you are going up or down, and again you are struck with that dropping, falling sensation. Only thing is you know you are not on an airplane or in an elevator you are sitting at your desk at work, or reading the paper at home, or perhaps just cooking dinner in your kitchen going about your day. So what just happened? Your mind starts going on overdrive, Did I just have a stroke? I am having a heart attack that must be it? You begin to Have hot and cold flashes, you feel pins and needles all over, your heart rate starts to speed up, your chest is hurting cause your heart is pounding so hard, you feel like you can't catch your breath, a smothering sensation, like a pillow being placed over your face, you feel the urge to crawl out of your body and run, but where? Where is your safe place? Your head feel so heavy like you just had a mask of funny gas placed over your face Your legs can't possibly hold you up anymore they are so weak and shaky, you know you are going to pass out at any moment, BUT you don't so now what?
Your in the grocery store, already you are having a hard time focusing and walking down the aisle without falling over, so you fingers are gripped to the cart for balance purposes. You approached the check out and suddenly you feel hot and cold all over, your starting to feel like you might pass out or perhaps go crazy. everyone's voices become much louder but for some strange reason you can't understand what they are saying, the fluorescent lights seemed intensely bright, you knees start to feel that shakiness you know all so well. You suddenly have the urge to leave and run to that safe place again, the sheer terror is beyond anything you could control. You shove your cart to the side inspite the need for food, and run as fast as you can out of the store. You wonder to yourself, again what just happened? Your still feeling the effects of panic. Your trembling fumbling for your keys, your still trying to catch your breath, driving away for the store approaching your home you begin to feel your heart rate slowing down. Why is this happening? I feel like I am losing my mind. Realistically I know that there was no reason for fear, but why does my body and mind seem to think there is? Suddenly, for no immediate reason, my body was overwhelmed by a surge of elemental panic. Everything seems to race out of control, I could feel my vision go off, everything faded out and became detached, and my heart felt like it wanted to jump out of my chest. Is this just panic and anxiety or is there really something physically wrong with me? There has to be something wrong, I know there is.. These are all the thoughts that follow hours, and days, and weeks after.. Which trigger the feelings all over again. Like a spinning wheel just keeps going around and around. But how do you over come this? I know next time I will breath better, I will tell myself over and over again that there is nothing to fear, I will handle it better next time....
Next time Your driving along singing to your favorite song, suddenly you are stopped at a red light, A red light that seems like an eternity to change to green, suddenly this overwhelming fear comes over you, your breathing starts to become fast and shallow, the song you were just singing along to begins to sound distorted, your beginning to feel detached, your trembling so hard you can hear your teeth chattering, your chest is hurting, your heart is pounding, you start to feel your vision blur, Your lightheaded and just know at any moment you are going to pass out.
I have to get out, those are the thoughts running through your head, You begin to feel like everything around you is closing in. You are sure this time that you are dying. The light turns green, you proceed with traffic, suddenly you are struck with a intense headache, pressure feeling to be exact.
Your still feeling the effects of what your body just went through, You keep asking yourself what just happened, If I only could make it home I will be okay. You pull up to your house and you feel a sense of being safe. You spend hours, feeling the effects of fear, terror and adrenaline that just raced through your body. You ask your self why? You would think by now your body was so use to the surges, But in fact each and everytime the feelings and symptoms are just as strong as if you were experiencing them for the first time... Again you promise your self next time I will handle it better.
You begin to research... And research and yup you guessed it you have every single symptom or every single disease out there. You begin to obsess and believe you are plagued with everyone of these illnesses, and this in turn causes you to obsess about it day in and day out. You wake up feeling sick and go to bed feeling sick. You experience every symptom form a chronic rapid heart rate, to chills and hot flashes, upset stomach, headaches, dizziness, disattachment from yourself, even disappointment in yourself.
You stop doing all the things you once loved and enjoyed. Everything you do has become a major challenge to this beast. You start to feel as if your life is not in your control anymore. You can't control these feelings, you have tried over and over again.. You simply feel like you are going to die at the hands of this beast. BUT you don't.. You continue to live in a vicious cycle of fear, and terror along with an array of symptoms that are horrific.
There are so many treatments out there for suffers just like myself. There are medications, therapies, and most of all support groups such as this one that can help others to feel comfort in knowing that they are not by any means alone. I feel that this is the most effective for me, speaking to others who know what it feels like first hand, who understands your daily struggle, offers you support and comfort when perhaps you can't find that in the one's you spend most of your days with. My sole purpose today is to offer that support, share my terror of anxiety disorder with you all and hope that somebody out there reads this and finds some kind of comfort... Believe me feeling alone in this makes everything more of a challenge.
I must mention that there are illnesses that mimic anxiety as well as trigger anxiety, so proper diagnosis is important, Once you are diagnosed and know you suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder, The Rest OF the Battle is excepting the fact that this really is anxiety!!!
I hope reading this has help many of you. I know writing it has helped me some.. Still I continue to battle my daily struggle with anxiety disease and panic disorder.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all you suffers such as myself.
Everyone feel free to comment on this post, perhaps your experiences could help others as well... As always my best to all... Boxerlover

Last edited by boxerlover227; 02-18-2007 at 04:57 PM.

 
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:16 PM   #3
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Re: was this a panic attack?

thank you boxerlover227 for your response back. i totally understand what you wrote. thank you again for taking the time for your input.

 
Old 02-19-2007, 05:37 AM   #4
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Re: was this a panic attack?

are you on medication for your sinus infection? one time i took benadryl and it wasn't non-drowsy and i had a panic attack. feeling "not real" is what a lot of people with panic attacks report. the technical term is "depersonalization" or "derealization". beating anxiety is coming to terms with the fact that it is only anxiety your experiencing. i try to downgrade my anxiety as much as i can so i don't see it as an issue. try this: when you are feeling anxious, just mentally note that you are having an adrenaline rush (which is what anxiety technically is). deep breathing is helpful and also progressive muscle relaxation, which is when you single out and tense up every muscle from your feet to your head and release. hope you feel better.

 
Old 02-19-2007, 10:20 PM   #5
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Re: was this a panic attack?

Wow- Boxerlover,

You described the physical "terrors" that I get toa "T".
Especially the dropping, falling feeling. I had never seen anyone describe that so explicitly before.
And your description of being in line at the check out in the food store is also ME-- the bright lights, the loud voces- everyonje seems to move so slow as I am breaking out in a sweat & my knees get like rubber.

I hate this....

anxiousinnj

 
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