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Old 03-24-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
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Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

I am a 22 year old female with no pre-existing history of anxiety or panic disorder until suddenly two weeks ago after experiencing a sudden episode of tachycardia followed by extreme panic for seemingly no reason. The episode subsided after 35 minutes and I was totally back to normal until later on that night at home the Tachycardia started back up again and I began to feel violently ill and vomited at least seven times and experienced a headache so severe I felt like I had been hit by a sledge hammer, at about 3 A.M I headed to the emergency room and was given an E.C.G and then waited 6 hours for the results in the waiting room (I live in Canada, it's a typical thing) before I was finally called in by the E.R doctor and told my heart was otherwise fine but there was an abnormality found, a Long Q.T wave, and I would be referred to a cardiologist in a months time and that I was fine to go home because my blood test results all came back normal and I was ambulatory. A few days after that on St. Patricks day I was walking in a mall with two girlfriends and was totally fine for over three hours until I suddenly began to experience palpitations, I thought I would just head over to the public washroom to splash some water on my face to calm myself down, but I ended up fainting before even entering the door and was apparently unconscious for two minutes and then taken by ambulance to Grand River Hospital in Cambridge Ontario where I was hooked up to a heart monitor for over 4 hours and given several blood tests that revealed no abnormalities except one Delta Wave on the E.C.G that the doctor seemed to think may be a sign of W.P.W (Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome) but wouldn't know for sure until I was under the care of a cardiologist.

Three days ago I was supposed to drive to Hamilton Ontario to see a head and neck surgeon about surgical consultation regarding a benign tumor in my neck that was diagnosed two years ago (I've met with him multiple times before) but while on the road I started to again experience tachycardia and extreme nausea, which made me have to turn the car around and go home where I called the receptionist to cancel the appointment that I had waited over 8 months for. I decided that no matter what was going on in my body at the moment it was not as important as this appointment (as the tumor has grown nearly double the size it was two years ago and I desperately need surgery) I phoned back his office and told them I was on my way, while in the car I again experienced tachycardia, a choking sensation, cotton mouth and nausea that seemed to get worse the closer I came to Hamilton and had to pull over on the side of the road due to nausea and ended up vomiting almost fourteen times, I tried to force myself another three times to drive back there but my symptoms kept intensifying and I had to turn the car around and go home. I sobbed hysterically in bed, I was furious at my body for doing this to my and felt absolutely powerless, I took three anti nausea pills to settle my stomach and slept for two hours before suddenly waking up and experiencing tachycardia and a feeling of derealization that absolutely terrified me! I panicked, called a cab and went to the hospital in my city of Guelph, waited for over three hours and was finally seen by a very rude and sarcastic Doctor who was convinced that what I was experiencing was an ''anxiety attack'' and nothing else and basically did nothing but chastise me, he was convinced I was experiencing the attack due to fear of seeing the surgeon in Hamilton, I tried to explain to him that I had met with the surgeon three times in the last two years and never experienced these symptoms or anxiety of any kind, even before while going through the stressful process of finding out what that ''lump in my neck'' was back in late 2009 and waiting five months before finding out if it was Cancer or not I never had one panic attack, not an ounce of anxiety and never even worried about the outcome at all, I was totally calm about the whole thing. Still the doctor was doubtful and kept saying this was all being created by my subconscious mind, I then brought up the fact about the abnormalities on my E.C.G and he snapped at me saying that it was probably nothing and I couldn't have ''Long Q.T syndrome'' (A serious heart rhythm disorder) because it was hereditary and no one in my family had it and that I should just go home and schedule an appointment with Trellis (the Canadian mental health agency) to be diagnosed and put on medication. I tried contacting my family doctor the next day to inquire about a sedative (though I didn't feel anxious) and he told me that he didn't deal with ''mental health issues'' and again told me to contact ''Trellis'', which I did and was given an appointment within six months. for the next two days I was house bound, feeling relatively stable and symptom free until today when I tried going out of the house and driving to a department store, I felt almost fine through the drive until I walked through the parking lot and began to feel ill, then when I walked through the doors my entire body began to shake violently and my heart began to pound worse than ever before and I felt like I was again about to faint or even convulse (a very bizarre feeling) and honest to God couldn't see straight either, I went back out to my car and drove home and then stepped in the shower I then experienced severe sharp pains in my heart that felt as though it was being squeezed and I felt extremely dizzy until I laid back down in bed and everything seemed to calm down.

This is absolutely awful! I just can't have these symptoms any more it is extremely debilitating and destroying my life, I wish this would just go away and everything could go back to normal as it was just two weeks ago. Can anyone offer any words of advice!

Last edited by Beelucious; 03-26-2012 at 02:26 PM.

 
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:27 AM   #2
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

The thing about panic disorders is that they do usually seem to come "out of the blue" since a great deal of anxiety happens on a subconscious level. It does sound like panic attacks and I think the tachycardia may have been what triggered it so you felt your heart skip a beat or start to race and then the panic kicked in causing the dizziness, fainting, headache etc. and this reaction can happen before you even know what hit you, once it starts it's like a runaway train within your body and it can take a long time to come down from it. Panic isn't something we do consciously, and that's what makes it so darn hard to control. Your doctor should be able to prescribe you an antidepressant to help with it, he obviously can't help you with counselling but he can prescribe medication for you in the mean time.

 
Old 03-25-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

Like I said in Canada our family doctors don't usually deal with Mental Health concerns, we have to go through a separate organization for that instead and that usually takes 6 months to a year for one single appointment and to get started on medication. I was also recommended to completely stay away from taking antidepressants by an E.R doctor because they have the potential to put my heart in a fatal arrhythmia given that fact that I have some abnormalities within the electrical passage ways in my heart. I don't know what else I could take honest to God, I hear Antidepressants are the gold standard for treating idiopathic panic disorder.

Last edited by Beelucious; 03-25-2012 at 10:57 AM.

 
Old 03-25-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

Like I said in Canada our family doctors don't usually deal with Mental Health concerns, we have to go through a separate organization for that instead and that usually takes 6 months to a year for one single appointment and to get started on medication. I was also recommended to completely stay away from taking Antidepressants by an E.R doctor because they have the potential to put my heart in a fatal arrhythmia given that fact that I have some abnormalities within the electrical passage ways in my heart. I don't know what else I could take honest to God, I hear Antidepressants are the gold standard for treating idiopathic panic disorder.

Last edited by Beelucious; 03-25-2012 at 10:57 AM.

 
Old 03-25-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

oh ok, it's different where I live and doctors will prescribe antidepressants until you start getting treatment through the mental health system but it sounds like they're not an option for you right now. The only advice I can give you is to get through these appointments by getting someone to drive you etc. Even if you have a panic attack on the way at least you won't be driving. I'm sure deep down the tumour and the heart issue are causing you a lot of stress so the sooner they get dealt with the less stressed you may be. I think all you can do is try to reduce the stress in your life until you get therapy, listen to some relaxing music etc and try not to worry so much (easier said than done at times )

 
Old 04-01-2012, 12:47 PM   #6
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by captjane View Post
oh ok, it's different where I live and doctors will prescribe antidepressants until you start getting treatment through the mental health system but it sounds like they're not an option for you right now. The only advice I can give you is to get through these appointments by getting someone to drive you etc. Even if you have a panic attack on the way at least you won't be driving. I'm sure deep down the tumour and the heart issue are causing you a lot of stress so the sooner they get dealt with the less stressed you may be. I think all you can do is try to reduce the stress in your life until you get therapy, listen to some relaxing music etc and try not to worry so much (easier said than done at times )
Thank you for the reply, but this is not a mental health issue at all and in fact are not even really panic attacks as it turns out, I just found out that it's actually Mitral Valve Prolapse ( a heart condition that can mimic panic like symptoms).

 
Old 04-03-2012, 07:30 AM   #7
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

Beelicious-
How did they determine that this is MVP related? I have MVP and recently have been experiencing symptoms that i thought were stress or anxiety related. I have been to a cardiologist and everything checked out. The Dr. said my mvp was no concern.
After reading about your symptoms, i am wondering if it is mvp related in my case.
Thanks for sharing!

 
Old 04-07-2012, 11:26 AM   #8
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

I am so glad you finally got a diagnosis!!! I also have Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome. And yes, what you went through, I did as well. Please make sure your Cardiologist rules out any other possible heart problems, but yes MVP can also cause the symptoms.

I suggest reading the book: The Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome/Dysautonomia Survival Guide. That book helped me feel so much better mentally about this disorder!!!

 
Old 04-07-2012, 06:46 PM   #9
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

Thank you! I definitely will look into reading it sooner or later. I'm so totally relieved I got a diagnosis too, no panic disorder is that severe and it is definitely rare for syncope to occur with just anxiety, I knew it had to be something ''valve'' related I just had a gut instinct about it. Starting Beta Blockers soon, any other treatment out there that's been proven successful for you too so far! I'd love to know. And I'm definitely going to keep following up with the cardiologist about the possibility of other abnormalities, especially that Long Q.T.

Last edited by Beelucious; 04-07-2012 at 06:50 PM.

 
Old 04-07-2012, 06:53 PM   #10
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

They did a 24 hour Holter monitor, multiple ECG's and an evaluation of most of my symptoms and then concluded from there.

 
Old 04-07-2012, 07:59 PM   #11
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

Oh that's good. Yea I couldn't handle the beta blockers (made me so tired)....so now I do ok without medication. Here are some tips I've learned to beable to live a somewhat normal life

Drink tons of room temperature water

Pace myself and do not stress about things. Relax when needed.

Take nice relaxing walks on days off to enjoy the fresh air and get some light exercise.

Eat healthy (avoid caffeine, sugar, and alcohol)

Get plenty of sleep and have a consistent sleep pattern

Hope that helps!!!

 
Old 04-09-2012, 06:55 PM   #12
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

I have great empathy for you because I went through a similar start of panic attacks when I was 19. That was over 40 years ago. At that point, they didn't know what it was and I was told I had all sorts of things from being a paranoid schizophrenic to having a brain tumor. It took 20 years before the newer types of drugs came out.... Paxil for me, changed my life. I am sorry your wait for a mental health appointment is so long...arrrgh! It sounds like you need something like Paxil for the long term but maybe Xanax for the immediate onset of an attack. I also learned how to slow my breathing down because I, like you, would have my heart racing, and would hyperventilate and faint. Once you get control of your breathing, and learned relaxation techniques I could "short circuit" the attack. Unfortunately, I had to get on the drugs first. They helped a lot and then I could learn how to physiologically conquer the attacks. It is a challenge because the onset is so quick and catches you by surprise. They are so dibilitating and it is a relatively simple thing to fix. Could you come to the states and pay out of pocket until you can get in to see a Canadian doctor? It takes about a month for the Paxil to become effective. Your body is putting out way too much adrenaline it gets dumped into your system all at once. It causes your heart to race, your increased breathing rate, nausea, visual disturbances, etc. You are probably not experiencing any real heart problems... it is just the panic disorder. One more thing.... it is very common for panic disorder to set in primarily young women, late teens, early twenty's. I hope you can get some help soon. I know how awful this is. Take care, Sharon

 
Old 04-12-2012, 04:23 PM   #13
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

Like I said in my last reply, I was diagnosed with a heart condition recently. That's what it was all along, it was never panic disorder, it is Mitral Valve Prolapse. I received this diagnoses after finally seeing a cardiologist a week and a half ago. I'm now on Beta Blockers and am perfectly fine and symptom free.

Last edited by Beelucious; 04-12-2012 at 04:26 PM.

 
Old 05-14-2012, 07:48 AM   #14
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

i cant offer advice as i just started with "panic" a couple weeks ago and started with these posts to see if talking/sharing would help. i've always been strong willed and laid back - nothing bothers me; the rock for the family. Then a week ago 180, daily attacks completely distracting me from normal life and work. <edit> what a mess. not sure this helps you but i certainly can appreciate the frustration and fear. hopefully it's just some hormonal or chemical imbalance reaching my mid 40's and this just all goes away....

Last edited by ms_mod; 05-14-2012 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Removed posting rules violation. Ms_Mod

 
Old 05-14-2012, 09:26 AM   #15
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Re: Please help! onset of severe panic disorder in the last two weeks

I totally understand how you are feeling. Part of the reason is because they seem to come out of --the blue-- and rock your world in a very negative way. I am no doctor but had panic attacks for 20 years. Here is my nickel's worth of advice....
First, I would get to your doctor asap. <edit>. My panic attacks just kept getting worse because at that time, people thought I was "a total garden-variety lunatic." Just be very up front with your doc. This is a totally physiological / chemical thing going on. I have every confidence with the help of your doctor, you will be able to rid yourself of these really awful attacks. Your doctor may want to refer you to an someone else who is experienced in work with people with chemical dependence. All the better... you just want to get rid of these things. Hang in there, please keep us posted. Take care, Sharon

Last edited by ms_mod; 05-14-2012 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Removed posting rules violation. Ms_Mod

 
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