I have been to 5 emergency rooms over the last 12 years thinking I was having a heart attack... always negative and heart is fine... have been taking celexa 20 mg for the last 5 years and no problems until a few weeks ago... went to ER and again "heart like a 25 yo man" ... I'm 58. Why does this keep happening to me? How can I learn to control this fear, anxiety, and stop having these attacks? My head is buzzing, my heart is racing, I wake up at night with night sweats and a sense I'm about to die... Please tell me what has worked for others?
Sounds like you are having panic attacks, I've had those before and like you I was convinced I was going to die. I was already on Celexa for my OCD but if I recall (it happened about 10 years ago) I went to a higher dosage for awhile. I also was given Klonopin for a short time.
Knowing that what I'd felt was a panic attack helped me in future instances, along with practicing mindfulness and cognitive behavorial therapy (CBT) I worked at not letting the anxiety spin out of control. I found that deep breathing excersises helped and focusing on the fact that what I was feeling was just a panic attack.
I'd ask your doctor to refer you to a psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety disorders. They will be able to better help you manage your anxiety. A CBT therapist would also be useful. I'd also recommend picking up a copy of "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook" by Doctor Edmund J. Bourne. It will help you begin to learn techniques to handle your anxiety and panic attacks.
I've experienced the exact same type of situation: waking up in the middle of the night with that unbearable sense of doom, feeling that you NEED to go to the emergency room and that it has to be more than psychological. And it IS more than psychological: the panic that starts in your brain ends up wreaking havoc on your whole body.
I think everyone has their own quirk when it comes to panic relief. A hot shower is always my first response, no matter what time of night... I've also found that I can "snap out of it" by taking a wet washcloth to my face, and then I can talk to myself logically and start to calm myself down. Sometimes I bundle up and go for a walk. (I have to keep myself warm to keep my shaking down or else my muscles become painfully sore.) My mother used to tell me to drink some water, but I've found that consuming anything in the midst of a panic attack is a bad idea because there's so much muscle tension in the stomach. Try to relax focusing on ONE muscle at a time. (I start with my abdominal muscles for the reason I just mentioned.)
I'm not a medical expert, but I've taken Celexa in the past and I've found that a daily medication does not help with panic attacks - unless, I suppose, you are having panic attacks EVERY day. I would recommend asking your doctor about a medication you can take for which you take a pill WHEN you're having a panic attack.
Thank you both. Actually had a good night last night. I still had the buzzing in my head and of course the tinittus is constant in my right year, but no night sweats and racing heart. I have to see my doctor about getting the right medication for me. I think the celexa isn't doing the job any more. I am a sober alcoholic and don't want to take any medication that has the potential to create a problem there which limits me on the benzo's. I have found that just putting it out t here and being a part of this community is a great relief. Have a great weekend everyone.
Sounds like you are taking some good steps. 20mg is a low dose for Celexa so don't be surprised if your doctor suggests moving to a slightly higher dose rather than changing medications altogether. He still might have you change, but sometimes just a dose increase can be enough.