I have been going to the doctor and seeing a psychologist recently to help me get through some seemingly random attacks in which my hands and feet go numb (sometimes they are cold), I start to hyperventilate, my heart races, I may struggle breathing, I become disoriented, and thoughts that something is physically wrong with me (often with breathing or something that has to do with the numbness in my hands or mouth). These can last anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours (I've heard three hours is very long for a typical panic attack) and happen once or twice daily. I know that all of these are common symptoms of panic disorder and this is what both my psychologist and doctor have "diagnosed" me with. However, none of the medication or treatments have worked (I have had this since mid January and have tried anti-depressants and the SSRi citalopram which only made conditions worse). I have had no trauma in my life nor am I going through a time with a lot of stress. I am 20 years old and weigh apx 190lbs. I have had my blood drawn for a chem test as well as thyroid exam which both have come back normal. I have also had an EKG and the results there were fine as well. My mom has Raynauds phenomenon which could explain my cold hands and feet but not necessarily the numbness or other symptoms that relate to the attack. One strange realization that I have had is that I only have these attacks while sitting down. I.E. driving, writing papers, or video games. I have NEVER had an attack start while standing or lying down. Often times standing up even helps alleviate the symptoms of the attack. I have also noticed that when my hands get really cold or get numb I can press down on my palm or back of hand and it seems as if the blood returns slower than usual (the skin stays white longer than usual. Also, I do not use tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs except for xanax that I ONLY use during a severe attack as I am wary of using pills or any other drug. It may also be important to note that I threw out my left shoulder over the summer and after an MRI everything came back normal so my doctor basically dismissed any physical problems with my shoulder and sent me with vicodin to get rid of the pain. Since then I have random movements that make me feel as if my shoulder is dislocated thus causing a very similar numbing feeling to those of my attacks. I also have back problems that may stem from bad posture or constantly cracking it when I get uncomfortable. Is it possible that there is a pinched nerve somewhere causing this or that I have a form of Peripheral neuropathy that is triggered when sitting down? It is just strange as it only happens sitting down and I truly have little to no stress in my life to trigger these attacks. Id appreciate any help or informed responses as if you have experienced what I feel, they can truly take over your life and mental well-being. I am also posting this on the general health board just in case this could actually be something other than general panic disorder. Thank you guys for your time!
i think today i might have had my first panic attack, but i am not sure. if it was i think i felt a numbness kind of feeling in my hands and feet. i don't know if that helps,...i hope everything goes well though
if meds don't help, then if it were me I'd look into possible vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially calcium/magnesium, and vitamin D. Vitamin D can be tested, but not magnesium, there is no good test for it. However a clinical nutritionist (a CCN) could help assess your nutrition needs. They have training in bio-chemistry. Hope this goes away soon.