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Old 07-07-2007, 02:18 PM   #1
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Help me understand Anxiety/Panic Attacks.

Hi,

i've recently been dating my girlfriend for 4 months and she's a great girl! However, since i've met her she's told me that she's prone to panic attacks. Sometimes she worries over the most improbable things and just thinking about them over and over again in her mind makes her go into panic attacks sometime.

I've never been in the presence of them until once whilst in bed. She was worried about being pregnant (but it was so exaggerated cos we've not done anything to even make her possible of being pregnant, it was just the thought/remote possibility of it) and she started to uncontrollably shake.

She said her attacks present themselves differently and that she's had them since she was 18 during stressful exam periods when they were worse. She's gone to see a counsellor but hasn't since they've been "better" after those exam periods.

I guess what i'm asking is more information of how panic attacks and anxiety work? I don't want to live in ignorance so if anyone here who suffers from them can give me an insight that'd be really helpful. I mean, she just worries so much about things where the probability is SO low (almost impossible) and I keep telling her to stop worrying and tell her how she's being unrealistic and she knows, but she can't stop worrying!

What can I do to help?

 
Old 07-07-2007, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: Help me understand Anxiety/Panic Attacks.

Hi:

Panic attacks are this sudden surge of overwhelming fear that can come out of nowhere. Everybody has a trigger or triggers that will set them off the key is to figure out what the trigger is and either avoid it all together or find a way to deal with it. One of the worst ones I have had was I thought my throat was swelling shut and it got to the point where I actually saw the swelling and could not breathe. Went to the emergency room and was treated like I was nuts. No idea what triggered that one but I think I was sick at the time. Your girlfriend needs to recognize when one is coming if possible and start fighting it with breathing techniques, meditation and possibly medication. For me the sign normally is every hair on my body feels like it is standing and I start clenching my fists. The part of your story that keeps jumping out of me is that she seems to be obsessing over something small and setting her self off. Anyway this is just my opinion

take care
trg247
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Old 07-07-2007, 05:46 PM   #3
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Re: Help me understand Anxiety/Panic Attacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trg247 View Post
The part of your story that keeps jumping out of me is that she seems to be obsessing over something small and setting her self off.

take care
trg247
What do you mean by this?

P.S. thanks for the description of panic attacks!

 
Old 07-07-2007, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Help me understand Anxiety/Panic Attacks.

Hi:

I am probaly way off base here but I was thinking about obsessive compulsive disorder. Mostly the obsessive part. People who have this tend to overthink and overanalyze over anything to the point where anxiety or marked distress occurs. I would look up OCD and get her to a doctor if I were you

take care
trg247
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Current Meds
Pristiq
Cymbalta
Seroquel
Temazapam

 
Old 07-08-2007, 02:09 PM   #5
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Re: Help me understand Anxiety/Panic Attacks.

It makes sense the Obsession diagnosis, but at this point i just dunno what to do.

She had a chat with me today and said that she's not sure whether she wants to see her GP or not. There's two things her GP might suggest: seeing a Counsellor or go on medication.

She's not sure about the Counsellor cos she had one at Uni and he didn't help. But also, if she saw one out of Uni she'd be on the NHS waiting list, so it'd take a while.

Obviously she doesn't want to go on medication either because of her fear of growing over-dependent on them etc.

She told me today that her GP had diagnosed her disorder as Generalised Anxiety Disorder. People would have specific fears or phobias leading to anxiety, but hers is generalised. She would worry over something she have done or a particular situation and then suffer panic attacks. But she'd always get over them because what she worried she'd done would be so far in the past that the consequences no longer mattered or were impossible.

However, lately she's been worrying about whether she'd turn into a bad person in the future. She's worried that she'll do something bad in her sleep, like rare cases of Sleep Murdering or she worries that she'll turn into a bad person like a murderer etc. But the difference this time is that these are hypothetical worries. They could happen. She said usually she gets over her worries when there's proof that there's nothing to worry about.

But worrying you'll become a bad person is harder. There IS no proof. I dunno what to suggest to her...

 
Old 07-08-2007, 07:34 PM   #6
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Re: Help me understand Anxiety/Panic Attacks.

I know what she is going through. I have had thoughts what if I do something to harm my 17 year old son or husband. They are What If thinking and Obsessive Scarey thoughts. Because she knows it is bad and something she will never do is a correct way of thinking according to my counselor. She talks about it to you and understands it is wrong and something she will never do. Her anxiety is what is making her think like this. Once I was flipping through channels and caught the end of a scarey movie and for a week I couldn't get out of my head what if I hurt my son. My counselor said it is my anxiety. She needs to tell herself this is stupid, this is obsessive Scarey thoughts and they will go away. This works for me. She needs to kick them out of her head once they come in. I hope this helps a little.
Dawn

 
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