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    Old 01-20-2005, 10:59 PM   #1
    rainswirls
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    Question I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    Hi everyone!
    For the past couple of days my panic disorder has been getting kinda bad and when that happens I always like to come to these boards and let my stress out. If you dont mind I would like to tell everyone my story of when I developed my anxiety and panic disorder and how Its changed my life.

    About 3 years ago when I was 16 years old.I was getting Into the party scene and experimenting with drugs.I was at my friends house one night and we all decided to take some "X".It was maybe my second time to do It and I really didnt know much about the drug.Well later that night I ended up getting rushed to the ER with my Blood Pressure at 202/100.(I had taken 2 different pills and It didnt mix well) Well before this I had never been to a hospital or anything. When the EMS got there I was very scared , sweating, my eyes were jiggling back and forth rapidly, I was confused It was SCARY! I remember In the Ambulance I asked one of the EMS If I was going to die and she said " no sweetie" Then I asked again right after that and she said "Honey I really dont know".Anyways at the ER my mom arrived and I remember just crying saying I loved her and how sorry I was.The Nurse told my mom I was lucky to make It and I went home early the next morning. Of course after that I didnt touch nor get around drugs!!! I very well learned my lesson!Anyways about a week later I was sitting on my couch watching T.V. when all the sudden I freaked out!! My heart started racing, I couldnt catch my breathe(SP?) For some reason I didnt use my phone instead I ran to the neighbors and asked them to call 911 that I didnt know what was wrong with me.(I lived In APTS) My Neighbor was a police officer and often was called to 911 calls and he said I was probably having an anxiety attack. Well he called 911 and the EMS got there. They told me I needed to calm down because my heart was going to fast. my pulse was 190!!They tried getting me to do little breathing excerises to slow my heart rate down but nothing would work so they put an IV In my arm and gave me Meds through It that was suppose to slow It down. They did It three times with different dosages and It did not work.They ended up taking me to the ER, when I arrived my pulse was down to 164.They asked me there If I had done drugs because of my last visit there and I told them no of course they didnt beleive me. They ran all kinds of tests and I was begging them to do something because I was feeling really odd and bad. They said they could do nothing until they found out what was wrong. Finally they did, My thyroid was Hyper Active, causing my heart to beat out of control.I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, and they put me on meds.

    After that I had attack after attack day after day.It took them about 3 months to finally diagnose me with my anxiety and panic disorder.Every since then Ive had my share of ups and downs with my disorder. Ive been on paxil since I was Diagnosed It has been highered and highered then changed from Paxil CR to regular Paxil which Is where Im at now. Im also On Ativan.

    One thing that stands out with my disorder Is my fear of death and dying!! Its ruining my life!Its a VERY intense fear I have. Its all I think about.I really truly try not to but I cant stop It.I never really think of dying by accident such as murder or car accident but Its always health related.Im constantly scared Ill get Cancer, Heart Disease, blood clots, everything!!!!I think Im sooo scared of It because Im scared of whats gonna happen when I die. where will I go? will I just be gone forever? Is there really a heaven?Im just so scared. Im not an atheiest but I continuly look for PROOF that Ill be with God after death and what will happen. Can anyone relate to this?? Why Is this fear sooo bad with me? Im sorry this was such a long post but Im so glad I got It off my back.I wish everyone luck with their disorder!
    Anyone with Advice or kind words of encouragment?
    Thanks for listening!!!!

     
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    Old 01-21-2005, 09:37 AM   #2
    crazeedazee02
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    Hi Rainswirls,

    I totally understand. My panic also started at age 16 while using drugs. I stayed away from them then for about 4 years when I started up again. I thought I was safe so long as I stayed away from anything hallucinogenic. At first I just smoked pot but pretty soon started using alot of meth. For a while it was okay and then suddenly I got to the point where every time I would use it I would have one hell of an attack that would last for so long. But since I was totally addicted I kept using every day in spite of the attacks. I know it sounds crazy but it was like I couldn't help myself. I would tell myself if I used a smaller amount it would be fine but as soon as I did that I would just keep going until I had overdone it again. Today, I use zero drugs and plan to stay that way. It was a terrible time.

    Anyway, the reason I mention this is because of your history with drugs you are more likely to start again when your panic disorder starts to improve. It is easy to tell yourself that the fun outweighs the risk once you have been free of panic for a while. It is better to stay on the safe side. Drugs are a bad idea for anyone especially us with PD.

    Okay, on to the fear of death and what comes after. I can tell you that I believe 100% in heaven and the afterlife. Of course I can't show you proof; that is the hard part of it. I have faith but it has been a long time coming. Every person's experience with finding their faith is different. For me it came when my daughter was born. Suddenly there was no question. Do you know anyone who you could talk to who might be able to lend some insight? If not you could always talk to your pastor but I know for a lot of people including myself, that would be uncomfortable. You can always go to a Christian bookstore and look around until you find something that appeals to you.

    I wish I had more to tell you. I am a true believer but am new to the game. Maybe someone else here can be a little more helpful.

    Anyway, I wish you the best and truly hope you find the way. Even if that does sound kinda cheesy!

     
    Old 01-21-2005, 11:07 AM   #3
    richdaws1984
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    Hey,

    I can totally relate to how you feel. For a minute i thought i was reading one of my own posts!

    I have a few posts in the anxiety board which explains my situation if you wana read them, because they are too long to write again!

    I dont think ive ever experienced a full on panic attack but regularly feel very anxious, nevous and dizzy and scared to death that im gonna pass out, have a heart attack or die.

    It all started when i noticed i had a strong, fast heart rate. A few days later out with mates i had chest pains and heart rate of 150 and was rushed to hospital. I had all the tests and all negative. I couldnt accept that there was nothing wrong with me because i felt so bad.

    Im still having tests done now and all are coming back clear so anxiety is being blamed.

    Everytime i go out to bars and clubs i have a fast heart rate of like 130, i get red hot, lightheaded and dreamy. I feel like im gonna pass out or that my heart is going to pack in becuase its beating so fast.

    I stay like this all the time im out and i can never enjoy myself. (Im 20 y/o m by the way) I can never get the thoughts of passing out and dying out of my head.

    I have also thought ive had every disease under the sun. If i have a pain in my stomach i will check it out on the net, then all of a sudden i will find a symptom of stomach cancer is a sharp pain. Then my mind goes crazy and i convince myself ive got cancer. I think ive has: brain tumours, aids, blood clots, etc... all of which are in my head!

    I am trying to convince myself i have anxiety, possibly social, and that is all. You CAN NOT DIE from anxiety. If you do feel like you are on the verge of passing out then think of it this way. If you do pass out then in this time your body will return to normal. Your heartrate will reduce , your temperature will balance and you will feel better.

    A lot of anxiety is in the head. The brain can trick you and mess you around. There was once a case where a guy was sure he was paralysed. He wasnt at all and his legs were fine, but by thinking he was, he eventually lost the use of his legs.

    Always think possitive, you arent going to die from this condition. When an attack comes just relax and ride it through.

    Read the posts on the anxiety boards. I find them really helpful.

    When you finally do die (of old age) aged 95 with 14 great grand kids, im sure you will go somewhere you want to be.

    Best of luck - Rich

     
    Old 01-21-2005, 11:58 AM   #4
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    to rainswirls
    panic attacks and anxiety attacks are the same things, tyyroid problems can cause similar problems so you need to work out what the cause is and learn the difference
    paxil often helps a lot but occasionally never works or works a while then stops, there are many other antidepressants to try
    panic attacks often start after taking illegal drugs but I think the panic attack was waiting for an excuse to happen

    your fears of death and disease are called hypochondria and often go with anxiety and panic attacks, please be assured that people dont die from panic attacks

    learning to relax and learning CBT coping skills will help a lot

     
    Old 01-21-2005, 11:43 PM   #5
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    Thanks everyone for replying!!!
    Crazee, I dont plan on using drugs ever again...to scary of a thing for me.
    Rich, You sound JUST like me, Ive also thought Ive had EVERY disease out there.
    Hry, Ive heard that Thyroid symptoms mimick anxiety,but I still have my anxiety when my thyroid is under control.
    Thanks to everyone for listening!

     
    Old 01-24-2005, 04:36 AM   #6
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    Hi hun

    My Gosh, you brought tears to my eyes. I am so, so sorry you are going through this at such a young age. I can relate to you because I went through the same exact thing. I can also relate to you because my daughter is going through something similiar. I just wanted to say that I think the reason you and so many people here are scared of death is because we "feel" like we are going to die. I did the same thing as you. I called an ambulance and told them I was dying! I really thought my time on earth was over. Panic makes you feel this way for some reason. It makes you feel like something is wrong inside. You're not sure what it is, but you just feel doomed. The good thing about this is although you feel like you are dying, no one has ever died from a panic attack. It's actually your brain sending all these mixed messages that cause all these weird feelings we have. I can name a list of things I feel when I panic. It is not comfortable at all, but the medication you are on will help a whole lot.

    We can't really get into religion here, but I do want to say that I felt the same way you felt when I panicked. Where am I going to go, etc? Let me ask you, do you have a pastor you can talk to in your area? If so, you can call or go by. Ask them questions and tell them what you are going through. I think this will help you out a lot. Talk to people who believe in God, do some research and keep your mind ocupied. If looking up this stuff makes you panicky, then don't do it right now. Wait it out untill you feel better, then do it.

    When I start panicking, I turn on the TV. Something about hearing the TV makes me more relaxed. It takes my mind off of the panic. I also start adding in my mind. Like 1+1=2, 2+2=4, etc. This helps to take your mind off of the panic too, because when you start panicking you're brain is saying......."oh, oh, I am panicking......oh my god, what is wrong with me"......then you start panicking even more. So, by taking your mind off of your panic, you should be able to lessen it.

    I am not a doctor, but I hope I could help some,
    Chantel

     
    Old 01-24-2005, 08:44 AM   #7
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    I think of death non-stop, too. I think I have every little disease I hear about too. I don't take meds. I just stay at home, It's the only place I feel comfortable and don't have a panic attack. Today my mom wants me to leave the house and I can already feel the panic sinking under my skin. I feel scared, shaky. This is definitely ruining my life, too. Good luck to you!

     
    Old 01-24-2005, 08:42 PM   #8
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    Thanks again everyone for the replys!
    Chantel, Yes I actually ran Into a minister here at my work I just started and got the # to their church I plan on attending soon.
    Jackie, You really do sound just like me. your fear of leaving your house Is called Agoraphobia. I had It when I first got my disorder. EVERYSINGLE day I would get In the car and start driving to wal-mart. for the first maybe 6 days I ended up turning around and going home. Then one day I actually made It there all by myself. I just ran in and turn some film in to be developed and walked really fast out. when I got home I just cried because I couldnt beleive I did It. (wal-mart was only 5-10 mins away.)
    Anyways, what Im saying Is just keep trying! I know Its hard to do but eventually you can do It. Also I read In another post that you dont take meds. well I am scared to death of meds!!! BUT The only meds I do take are my disorder meds and my thyroid meds....because they help me to be "normal" again. I cant force you to take meds but Im telling you from experience they have turned my life around !! Im not at all saying Im free of panic but Im not that scared locked up zombie type person freaking out over everything anymore. good luck sweetie!

     
    Old 02-07-2005, 01:57 PM   #9
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    This is my first time posting...I can also relate...I am 26 and for all of my life I have been 100% "healthy". One day I went out to lunch and had a panic attack at Panera Bread (store). For no apparent reason I felt like I was having a heart attack (faint, heart pounding, dizzy). To make a long story short, I went to the ER and they told me I had a Panic attack, I never heard of such a thing as nieve as it sounds. This happened about 6 months ago and since then everyday is an adventure. I am afraid for my wife to leave the house, going on vacation, traveling for my job, etc. I am taking .5 alprazolam when I need to which has helped somewhat. I have never been to religious, but I have found great comfort by reading the Bible and meditating on the words when I start to get the antsy feeling of an oncoming panic. Like Chantel2003 says, we can't get into religion hear...but its helped me perhaps it can help you too.

    Hope all the best!

     
    Old 02-07-2005, 05:58 PM   #10
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    Smile Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    I am so glad I found this forum. Your posts sound like they could be written by me. I didn't get my first panic attack until age 39, but baby it hit me with a vengeance.

    I was in the dentist chair and he accidentally hit a vein with epinephrine so it made my heart race. I then panicked even more in response. I remember looking out the window at the clouds in the sky and wondering if I would make it to heaven because I was sure I was going to die.

    That was my triggering incident. After that I had very few attacks, but then they started coming really often about a year later. It got to the point that I couldn't function. I was always anxious and couldn't sleep.

    I was constantly thinking about my possible death and how I could get cancer.

    I am much better today with Zoloft. I haven't had an attack in over a year. What a relief because you really feel like you will die. I went to the emergency room three times because I was truly convinced that I was dying.

    My heart goes out to all of you--especially the young ones. Please get some help so you can go out and enjoy your life. With the right meds., you should be able to live panic free.

     
    Old 02-07-2005, 06:45 PM   #11
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    Hi there Prose

    I was just wondering how long you have been on Zoloft? I ask this because I myself am on medication for panic attacks. I have been on Lexapro for over a year now. It has helped me dramatically, but I don't really have a "happy" feeling like I'm supposed to have. An SSRI is supposed to help you be more focussed and happy. I guess I just want to know a little bit about Zoloft is you don't mind. Thanks for any information you can give.

    Chantel

     
    Old 02-08-2005, 06:20 AM   #12
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    Yes, I have been on Zoloft for two years. I have not really had any panic attacks since then.

    I can't really say that I feel happy all the time. I have to say that I feel tired sometimes. Still, I feel so much better than I did when I was panicking. I would like to try to get off Zoloft eventually. I want to learn to control my panic attacks mentally. I do feel normal though. I don't feel strange or deadened.

    My psychiatrist is great with meds., but she isn't one for talk therapy. I need to find a good therapist to help me with this.

     
    Old 02-09-2005, 10:03 AM   #13
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    Re: I would like to tell my story, can anyone relate?

    Hi again

    Thank you for responding Lexapro has really helped me out a whole lot for my panic attacks, but I still get them on my menstrual cycle. Not as bad as before, but still as scary. I guess my hormones are all out of whack. I have thyroid issues too, so that could be the cause.

    I know different medicines work different for people. I was once on Prozac and it made me feel like a zombie. My friend takes it and she feels wonderful. I guess I need to find something to help me out mostly during my cycles. I will talk to my doctor and see what he says. Thanks for your help.

    Chantel

     
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