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Old 05-17-2004, 03:11 PM   #1
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cujo25 HB User
Panic Attack caused by physical pains/indigestion

I know the answers to this for the most part but I guess I just like to hear others feedback. I feel I am a veteran of panic attacks having first had them in 2000 and got them under control with some therapy and using my own will power. I didnt go the medication route, I prefer natural and the progress I made in that time is amazing, basically got over them all together. I only get them sometimes and they arent bad at all, pass in 10-15mins and doesnt bother me a whole lot, the big ones though only come maybe a few a year or LESS.

Something I have noticed that seems to be my biggest problem though is when I experience a weird pain I dont normally feel it can instantly scare me and set off a bad one, anyone get this? For instance I was at work today perfectly fine, got a sharp pain in my heart area (im 25 years old and in excellent health heart wise according to the doctor two years ago) and I have I had this before but if I stretch or shift positions it usually goes away, however it felt like this one wasnt going away and felt it was getting worse. I went into a full blown panic, went outside to pace, called my girlfriend for reassurance etc... its been a LONG time since it was like that, almost feared I was going to call 911. I cant help but fear "this is it this time, it isnt panic something is really wrong" and I even feel the symptoms are varied just enough that they feel like I havent experienced them before. I also tend to get this sometimes for instance if I have some indigestion but I dont really know it ( I believe the digestive track runs along the left side of teh chest near the heart area). I might feel sick or nautious and then all the sudden my chest area feels weird, and I fear something is seriously wrong, well then I go to the washroom and BAM I laugh at how upset I was getting and feel 100% better. Just curious if others get things like this.

Once again, I am doing great with panic attacks, its just been a long time since this happened and I was unhappy that I allowed myself to get so upset I left work and gave into it.

Last edited by cujo25; 05-17-2004 at 03:15 PM.

 
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Old 05-17-2004, 03:26 PM   #2
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Anxiety Queen HB User
Re: Panic Attack caused by physical pains/indigestion

Hi - Just wanted you to know that I am EXACTLY the same! Starting having PA at about the same age as you are now - am much better & only get the "bad" ones rarely. But, it started with the the heart thing and still is... any little skip, pain or whatever dealing with chest pain sends me into a frenzy, like I KNOW that I am having a heart attack or something serious. Have done this on and off (mostly on) for over 20 years! Wanted you to know you are not alone & glad I'm not the only one too! Good luck!

 
Old 05-17-2004, 03:44 PM   #3
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cujo25 HB User
Re: Panic Attack caused by physical pains/indigestion

Thanks, yea its always good to know. You would think by this time we would have gotten used to it by now as to not let it bother us. Thats the power of it though, that and the fact that the pains vary in feeling most times that we think its different and new etc... which leads us to think "if its not the same as feelings I have experienced before then this is the real thing!". I guess its a good thing strange pains dont happen everyday heh.

Nice nick name btw.

 
Old 05-18-2004, 12:16 AM   #4
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alphamale9009 HB User
Re: Panic Attack caused by physical pains/indigestion

Quote:
Originally Posted by cujo25
I know the answers to this for the most part but I guess I just like to hear others feedback. I feel I am a veteran of panic attacks having first had them in 2000 and got them under control with some therapy and using my own will power. I didnt go the medication route, I prefer natural and the progress I made in that time is amazing, basically got over them all together. I only get them sometimes and they arent bad at all, pass in 10-15mins and doesnt bother me a whole lot, the big ones though only come maybe a few a year or LESS.

Something I have noticed that seems to be my biggest problem though is when I experience a weird pain I dont normally feel it can instantly scare me and set off a bad one, anyone get this? For instance I was at work today perfectly fine, got a sharp pain in my heart area (im 25 years old and in excellent health heart wise according to the doctor two years ago) and I have I had this before but if I stretch or shift positions it usually goes away, however it felt like this one wasnt going away and felt it was getting worse. I went into a full blown panic, went outside to pace, called my girlfriend for reassurance etc... its been a LONG time since it was like that, almost feared I was going to call 911. I cant help but fear "this is it this time, it isnt panic something is really wrong" and I even feel the symptoms are varied just enough that they feel like I havent experienced them before. I also tend to get this sometimes for instance if I have some indigestion but I dont really know it ( I believe the digestive track runs along the left side of teh chest near the heart area). I might feel sick or nautious and then all the sudden my chest area feels weird, and I fear something is seriously wrong, well then I go to the washroom and BAM I laugh at how upset I was getting and feel 100% better. Just curious if others get things like this.

Once again, I am doing great with panic attacks, its just been a long time since this happened and I was unhappy that I allowed myself to get so upset I left work and gave into it.

Glad you took the natural route, that's always the first route to go, but not the only route. What you describe is still panic. What happens is the stress hormones build up in your body as a result of the disorder, or in response to stressors that in your mind, you don't even notice, and causes a muslce spasm somewhere in the chest area. This then causes panic, but you were already of the verge of panic before this happened because that's what caused the muscle spasm. The digestive system is controlled by the Central Nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of the nervous system that is active when you are relaxed. If you never relax (you may think you are relaxed when you're not) digestion becomes difficult because all of your energy is being used by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). This causes digestive problems and what is known as irritable bowel syndrome, but the final cause goes back to anxiety, activation of the sympathetic nervous system. What you are probably experiencing is chronic mild sympathetic nervous system activation, but the constant flow of stress hormones eventually adds up and culminates in a muscle cramp or indigestion, which can cause further panic.

My advice is to watch your diet and eat a full glycemic range from low to high at each meal with protein to keep your blood sugar stable. Take mid-day naps to reset your nervous system to parasympathetic mode. Thats the way to do it all natural, but, if you get into a stressful environment, for example, constant school and work, you will not be able to get enough sleep, eat a perfect diet, or take mid-day naps. You will need drugs, a benzo like Xanax or Klonopin would be recommended and if you have high blood pressure, throw in 50-200 milligrams of atenolol (a beta blocker prescribed for chest pain and hypertension).

While it is good that you conquered your anxiety by willpower, you have to understand that some of it is simply a physical disorder that is beyond your mind's control and if you ever want to know what it is like to function completely without anxiety, you will need drugs, probably benzos. While you may not experience fear, you may still experience shaking and racing heart, and heart pain as you described because while you have conquered your fears, stress processes are still doing damage to your body.

hope i have been helpful,
daryl

 
Old 05-18-2004, 07:13 AM   #5
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ckellym HB User
Re: Panic Attack caused by physical pains/indigestion

WOw - I cant tell you how much I can relate to your story (also 26 and in great heath)
I was at work one day and got a sudden chest pain, didnt go away for about 3 hours it was on and off, I was freaking out - drove straight to the doctors office, was sure something was wrong! In the meantime, I was having heart palipitations and the sweats because I was making it worse. Finally I got to the docs and he did an EKG ( just to ease my mind that it WASNT MY HEART)
I left there actually feeling 100% better. I think pains in that area of the body are just scary in general. Its a vital organ to our health and its scary when a sudden pain happens there.
I've also experience indigestion pains too!
they are just the worst!!!!

I have found that exercising regulary and eating healthy have helped me alot in my Panic Attacks.

Take Care!

 
Old 05-18-2004, 10:09 AM   #6
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chriscwharris HB User
Re: Panic Attack caused by physical pains/indigestion

not sure if this is similar, but now and then when I get abdominal pains panic seems to come along at the same time. Sometimes I feel a bit better after going to the toilet!

 
Old 05-18-2004, 11:44 AM   #7
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Jennita HB User
Re: Panic Attack caused by physical pains/indigestion

I don't know why panic over one's pains is considered a mental disorder in need of medication. Sure, one doesn't want to hyperventilate/freak out/pass out over it, but this response is probably very normal, not mental illness.

I mention this because of my dog. One day she was looking depressed and ill, and she was shaking like she was very nervous. Then I noticed her favoring a paw, but I was worried about her shaking and depression, so I went online to look up all sorts of dog illnesses, although I suspected an injury because of the paw. But her shaking and mood made me think she had an illness of some sort. Turns out, as I also read up on injuries, the typical signs of a dog who is experiencing pain is nervousness, shaking/tremors, depression and slowness!!

If it's natural for a dog to be nervous when in pain, why not people? Natural responses do not make mental disorders. But of course, learning to control the responses makes life easier; drugs only complicate it.

Anyway, after a few days her pain/injured paw stopped hurting. And so did the resulting the depression and shaking.

Last edited by Jennita; 05-18-2004 at 11:45 AM.

 
Old 05-18-2004, 07:11 PM   #8
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cujo25 HB User
Re: Panic Attack caused by physical pains/indigestion

Nice responses everyone.

Daryl, I understand that medication is always there an that especially someone with a chemical imbalance should consider using it. I never rule anything out permanently, its just if anything I continue to get better and better as time goes on. I exercise alot now, and eat very healthy. This particular incident doesnt happen often at all, its just that its been a while and this happened yesterday so I just thought I would post about it since I have been coming here for the OCD section anyway.

I actually first started my recovery in 2000 by going to a Wholistic doctor, which helped tremendously. At the time I had developed a stomach problem where everytime I ate I felt sick and this went on for quite a while, after about a week of going to the doctor it was gone, its incredible how much that place helped me. From there I continued to get over them on my own and see a therapist once a month. I had tried Paxil and Zoloft in the beginning and they did more harm then good in my case.

Also have to realize some of this is part of my OCD, I instantly think the worst when physical things happen and insist on major illnesses or major problems. An example is one night I fell on a chair in my house and landed on the backing with my groin area, I then started to have a panic attack because I could not stop thinking that maybe I was internally bleeding in my testical area. So for the most part I dont get these much at all especially ones I consider bad, its usually sparked by a physical feeling or if im having a bout with a current OCD spike.

 
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