I've suspected for some time that I've been having panic attacks for about four years now, and reading through the posts here has pretty mch confirmed it for me. Mine started when I was having chest pain and exteme nausea. I believed it was a heart condition of some sort, and my doctor had me on beta blockers for about a year. Every time I had the pain, I panicked, thinking I was about to die. An emergency room doctor finally told me I didn't have a heart problem, I had an acid problem. An endoscopy revealed GERD and very early Barrett's. I now take Nexium and have the reflux, and thereby the panic attacks, mostly under control.
However, I still have spells where my GERD flares up badly, which, although normal, also causes me to have panic attacks in the middle of the night when my stomach flares up. I can calm my stomach down with a liquid antacid, but then I'm stuck riding out all of the panic symptoms before I can get back to sleep. I don't feel that I need to be on any medication for the panic attacks because I know exactly what causes them and they only occur when I'm going through a bad spell with my stomach. But, I was wondering if anyone else has this problem (with GERD or any other unrelated medical condition), and anything that may have been helpful in disassociating the panic from the other symptoms.
GERD and panic attacks often go together, a psychiatrist called dr shipko has done research into the connection and probably has some info on the net
any valium type tablet disolved under the tongue will reduce a panic attack, klonapin wafers, if available are helpful
you do need to learn CBT and new anxiety coping skills
panic attacks are often confused with heart problems, but panic attacks never harm anyone
Thank you for your reply. I found very little on Dr. Shipko beyond his desire to sell his book and a lot of vague answers in internet chat transcripts, but I found quite a bit of helpful information on CBT (which I had never heard of) that I intend to explore more fully. As I mentioned, I am not interested in pharmaceutical solutions as I know what the cause of my panic is - I was just looking for some suggestions for separating the mental reaction from the physical problem.
wow, i was in the exact same boat as you. i started having anxiety/panic issues last fall, but didnt really have any stomach issues at first. then toward the winter i started getting a gnawing pain in my upper abdomen. i ended up getting an endoscopy done and they found that i had esphageal inflammation toward my stomach, so it wasnt full blown GERD, but something quite similar. my stomach would actually turn out to the be cause of alot of my anxiety because i would worry about it. once i knew what was wrong and the doc put me on aciphex, and i really havent had a whole lot of the panic symptoms or stomach issues in a while.
i know how youre feeling though. hang in there. when your stomach starts to flare up, just try and calm yourself down. you know exactly what it is, so that should help both kinds of symptoms if you just try and relax. i know its easier said than done, but if you get yourself all worked up about the stomach problems, trust me i would know, then itll just make everything worse, and itll be a vicious cycle.
Alabama - when you say you get panic attacks in the middle of the night from GERD do you have elevated blood pressure and racing heart. I've been getting that and thought it could be GERD related. What do you experience with your panic attacks?