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    Old 06-03-2005, 10:16 AM   #1
    MSH
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    Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    Eight months free and now this. Granted, for the last five months I have been working late nights, an attorney, wife upset with long hours, drinking 3-5 beers a day to release my stress, was married this year, bought first house, and have first baby coming. But still, driving home yesterday when worst panic attack ever (I have had hundreds so know how to cope with the daily ones) but:

    I had no idea where I was, my mind was blank, I could see but other that than my brain seemingly had no other function, my heart was going faster than it ever had, I almost passed out, could not think of anything but pulling over before I passed out at the wheel. For the first time ever I had to call 911 from my cell phone. The paramedics showed up and my BP was 165/100 (I am a 125/80 guy), my respiratory was high 36, and my sugar count was low although I am not diebetic. My vitals did not go down until a couple hours after I was in the ER. Of course, then being embarassed with myself that I could not handle the panic attack, the doctor told me I had hypervenalated in the panic attack which caused me to almost pass out.

    I always thought that you could not pass out during an attack. Am I missing something? Also, how have other people coped with a vicious cycle to release stress and panic?

     
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    Old 06-03-2005, 11:40 AM   #2
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    am glad you pulled over, some keep driving
    you dont pass out from a panic attack, although it often feels that you will or should
    but as doc says, severe hyperventilation can cause you to pass out
    the rule is, during a panic attack, breathe deep and slow, this is called diaphram breathing, take the air down to the bottom of your lungs, the stomach moves out as you breathe in and not the other way around

    it sometimes helps to hold your breath for as long as it feels comfortable as in some way this stabilises the system
    the banging or racing heart is normal during a panic attack
    if your blood sugar was really low there may have been some hypoglycemia involved, perhaps ask about this

    a large dose of benzos would have helped a lot but driving would then be doubtful

     
    Old 06-03-2005, 08:04 PM   #3
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    I've read that during a panic attack (i have them too by the way) that when you hyperventilate you're actually getting too much oxygen in the brain which makes you "feel" like you're going to pass out but with too much oxygen in the brain you can't pass out. It's the other way around, when you don't get enough oxygen to the brain that can cause you to pass out.
    That's why when people hyperventilate you've hear of them breathing into a paper bag. This lets you be able to breathe but because you're breathing into a bag there's less oxygen when you breathe it back into your lungs which will get the oxygen levels in the brain back down to normal & helps you get to where you don't feel like you're going to pass out. That feeling you get when your brain has too much oxygen alone is enuogh to make the panic, blood pressure & heart rate escalate. If your blood sugar is low the symptoms of a low blood sugar attack are similar to a panic attack. You should get a tester and test your blood while you feel these panicy feelings come on just to be sure it's not a low blood attack. If it is low blood sugar you'll need to eat something right away but not too much. Example; 1/2 of a banana is enough to level you out in most cases but a whole banana is too much and will cause the blood sugar to go up too high which will cause it to drop fast soon (an hour or 2) and cause the feelings again. Something else that I think works great is one slice of wheat bread with a table spoon of honey on it. You can keep a loaf of bread in your car (or a few slices in a ziplock bag) & keep the honey in the squirt bottle in your car too.. Pull over and make a quick honey sandwich. Within 5 to 20 minutes you should feel way better if it's related to low blood sugar. You'll feel the panic fade away as the honey and carbs get into your system. In the mean time you'll want to get a real mean in you within the next hour such as a chicken salad which you can get at a lot of fast food drive throughs. Search on the net for hypoglycemic diet & you'll find out a lot that you can do to help you with it. If it was low then you might be borderline hypoglycemic which can be controlled by diet and exercise (at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week of cardio such as walking, jogging, etc). Stay away from junk foods that have too much sugar because it will raise your blood sugar and cause it to crash (low blood sugar attack). Had you eaten any kind of junk or fast food within the last 2 or 3 hours before you had the panic attack?
    I know that when I've had a bad panic attack I too feel like I'm going to black out.. Even have had black flashes like I lost a few seconds so to speak but when really I was just so freaked out and caught up in how I felt I guess I zoned out for a sec.
    The breathing she's talking about above does help but remember that "deep" breaths does not mean long breaths in. It means deep into your lower chest. The breathing techinque is sort of shallow breaths. I do a slow 3 count in & a slow 4 count out. If you get it right you wont even really be moving your upper chest. It will all be in your upper stomach/lower chest area. I have to relax the upper part of my body to be able to get it just right but the 2 times recently that I've had full blown panic attacks (since I learned the "correct" way to breath) I've been able to make both of them go away in under 30 seconds or so which I've NEVER been able to do before. My 1st one a while back came while I was driving & now I have a fear of driving that almost always causes me to go into a panic attack. Try not to do what I did and stop or avoid driving because of the panic attack you had. It's best not to make the association of driving=panic. Take charge while you're ahead and don't let it get you. Another thing that helped me during panic recently was instead of fighting it, I just let it.. Told it, ok, come on!! I know you can't kill me or hurt me so, bring it... I preped myself to be calm as I could & did the breathing and it went away!!
    Take care & let us know how your doing,
    T.

     
    Old 06-07-2005, 06:10 PM   #4
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    hi hsh.. boy i can relate i have had them most of my life and as i get older they feel different than they did when i was younger but all the same they are violent. i get them so bad it cripples me the other day it woke me up out of a sound sleep. and let me tell you my heart was racing faster than an indy car. my episodes usually last about 30 minutes but seem like 30 hours sometimes i get really bad ones and sometimes not as bad.... i cant say i have learned to live with them but i have learned to make it through them.

     
    Old 06-08-2005, 06:16 AM   #5
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    During the two panic attacks that caused me to go to the ER, I would say that I was hyperventilating somewhat. During my average attacks, I find it hard to breathe and I try to stay focus on taking slow deep breaths but it is not easy. I actually find myslef holding my breath at times which definitely doesn't help. I have heard that breathing into a paper bag really helps hyperventilation but I have not tried it myslef. I keep small paper bags in my vehicle now in case I start having strong breathing problems again to see if they help.

     
    Old 06-08-2005, 08:53 AM   #6
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    Hey T Panic.....can you elaborate on the deep vs long breaths? I feel that I struggle with the breathing technique and I sometimes feel more light headed when I concentrate on my breathing.

     
    Old 06-08-2005, 09:16 AM   #7
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    Lately, when I feel dizziness, I notice that I am clenching my teeth and holding my breath. Is that the same as hyperventilation? I have to remind myself to breathe and try to calm down. I hate when the dizziness hits while driving. I mean, what are the chances of passing out? I have gone to the er before when I felt like I was going to pass out. I had my daughter in the car with me and we were out of town. I wanted to be on the safe side. But now when I am on the interstate, I start thinking it may happen again and I just get worse.

     
    Old 06-09-2005, 10:05 PM   #8
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by americandancer
    Lately, when I feel dizziness, I notice that I am clenching my teeth and holding my breath. Is that the same as hyperventilation? I have to remind myself to breathe and try to calm down. I hate when the dizziness hits while driving. I mean, what are the chances of passing out? I have gone to the er before when I felt like I was going to pass out. I had my daughter in the car with me and we were out of town. I wanted to be on the safe side. But now when I am on the interstate, I start thinking it may happen again and I just get worse.
    --------
    due to holding your breath you get "less" oxygen which is not hyperventilation. Lack of oxygen in the brain can cause you to pass out BUT in order to pass out from lack of oxygen you would need to hold your breath for a long time. It would be like holding your breath under water till you can't hold it anymore and going past that SO, if you're reminding yourself to breathe inbetween the teeth clenching then you're probably not going to pass out.
    "hyperventilation" is when you breathe "too much" such as rapid, fast breathing and causes you to have too much oxygen in your brain and only makes you "feel" like you're going to pass out but you "can't" pass out when you have too much oxygen in the brain even though you feel like you will.
    The best thing to do is take slow breaths deep into your abdomen. "Deep" meaning deep inside your upper stomach area & NOT ""long"" breaths "in" or "out". If you get it right your chest area and upper body wont be moving & will be relaxed but your stomach will be moving. Do a slow 3 count breathing "in" & a slow 4 count breathing "out". I'm going to reply to someone here above asking me about this breathing technique & will go into more detail there if you would like to read more about it. I know it helps me & I've gotten to where I can make my panic go away in between 10 to 30 seconds now & be fine.
    Take care,
    T.

     
    Old 06-09-2005, 11:44 PM   #9
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SirReal
    Hey T Panic.....can you elaborate on the deep vs long breaths? I feel that I struggle with the breathing technique and I sometimes feel more light headed when I concentrate on my breathing.
    ---------------
    Hi, SirReal... This is going to be a long post but I'll explain it & a few other things I do that gets rid of my panic attacks, as best I can ...

    Before you can take a deep breath "in", you have to give one away "out". Because, when you've been breathing in a short, shallow manner (from your chest), if you try & take a deep inhale, you just can't do it. All you can do is take a more labored, shallow breath from your chest. That will give you all the air you need, but it won't feel "good".

    Breathe very shallowly a few times, then try to take a deep breath. When you breathe in this shallow manner, you get all the air you need to live, but you can also get other symptoms which add to your panic attack.

    You get chest pain or heaviness, because you've tightened the muscles of your chest to an uncomfortable degree. (The chest pain people feel in a panic attack isn't from the heart, it's from the muscles of the chest). You feel lightheaded or dizzy, because shallow breathing can produce the same sensations as hyperventilation. & you also get a more rapid heartbeat, & maybe numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, lips, etc., as well. All from breathing short & shallow.

    "Deep breathing" is also known as "diaphragmatic breathing", or "belly breathing".
    Put one hand just above your belt line, & the other hand on your chest, right over the breastbone. You can use your hands as a guide to let you know if it's your stomach OR your chest or both moving. Your hands will tell you what part of your body, & what muscles, you're using to breathe.
    Open your mouth & sigh, as if someone had just told you something annoying. As you do.. let your shoulders & the muscles of your upper body relax down with the exhalation. The point of the sigh is not to completely empty your lungs - "it's to relax the muscles of your upper body".
    Hold that position for a few seconds.
    Close your mouth & inhale SLOWLY through your nose by pushing your stomach out. The movement of your stomach breathing in this way pulls in more air than breathing from the chest. When you've inhaled as much air as you can "comfortably" (without throwing your upper body into it), just stop. You're finished with that inhale. (I do the "inhale" for a slow 3 count "in".. 1... 2... 3... and that's comfortable for me. Everyone counts at different speeds & has different sized lungs so, you have to be the judge of what "count" in is comfortable for YOU).
    Let your hands be your guide to let you know if you're moving your "chest" OR your "stomach" to breathe. A "deep" breath means to breathe "slow into your stomach" & not into your chest".

    Your hands will tell you if you're doing this correctly or not. Where is the "muscular movement" of the breathing? You want it to occur at your stomach. Your upper body should be relatively still. If you feel movement in your chest, or notice your head & shoulders moving upwards, start over again & practice getting the motion down to your stomach.

    Pause briefly for whatever time feels comfortable to you. But, be aware that when you breathe this way, you are taking larger breaths than you're used to. For this reason, it's necessary to breathe more "slowly" than you're used to. If you breathe into your stomach at the same rate you use with your small, shallow breaths into your chest, you will probably feel a little lightheaded from overbreathing. It's not harmful. If that happens, it's a signal to slow down your breathing. Ok, now the "exhale"........
    Open your mouth. Exhale through your "mouth" by pulling your stomach in.... The "exhale" should be a little longer out than the inhale in. I do a slow 3 count breathing "in" and a slow ""4"" count breathing "out".
    Hold it in for a second or 2 & repeat the slow "inhale" explained at the top then the "exhale" as explained above and that's how you do it!
    I had to practice this while NOT having a panic attack to make sure I got it right because it's kind of hard to do your first few times so, you'll want to get it down while not having a panic attack at first. Once you get it right you'll know if you are because your hand on your chest should not be moving much at all when your stomach pushes out as you take a breath in. Stomach breathing = Deep breathing. Chest breathing = shallow breathing. Some people confuse "DEEP" breathing with regular chest breathing (breathing in, "blowing up your chest" as far as it will go) but that's not "deep breathing". That type of breathing into the chest is called "fast shallow breathing" & can cause you to feel sensations of hyperventilating (which makes us feel dizzy, lightheaded, etc.) You can't pass out from hyperventilating & it can't "hurt" you. the sensations if hyperventilation can make your heart race, numbness in hands, arms, face, dizziness & feel shortness of breath, etc., which is what most of us feel during a panic attack). So, that type of breathing can add to or make worse your panic attacks. This is why it's VERY important for us panicers to learn the "correct" way to "slow, deep" breathing as I explained above. I do this type of deep breathing during panic attacks now & have made every single one since go away in between 10 to 30 seconds. Mine used to last for 1 to 2 hours & my anxiety would go on from it several hours after. If your panic don't go away as fast as mine did just keep breathing slow & "correctly" until it does. It works best for me if I close my eyes too... So, if you're driving & can't get the panic to stop from breathing then pull over on the side of the road, relax yourself, close your eyes and do the breathing. If you have a child with you who wont understand then make something up & tell them something like, "we're going to play a game to see who can be quiet for the longest.. if you win you get a toy!!" (you might have to take them to mcdonalds for a happy meal with a toy later but hey! ya gotta do what ya gotta do, eh? & if it works then they'll just think your playing a game when you have to pull over & get yourself together & they wont be scared.) Even if you can't get them quiet, close your eyes & try to zone out of everything around you & focus on counting your slow deep breaths in & then counting out slow, etc.. I get really hot when I feel a panic attack coming on so, I like to keep cold water with me to sip on and hold against my head and back of neck to cool me down. When I feel one coming on I also, like to blow my nose to clear my airways to get ready for the breathing. Doing this with a clogged nose did freak me out a bit so, it helped to clear it out real quick just before. So, for the driving panicers, I'd sugguest a small ice cooler in the car with bottled water to cool you off & some napkins for the nose. wow! This post is long! BUT, every single bit of what I explained here has helped me to get rid of my FEAR of panic & STOP the panic FAST when it comes.. I've been on Zoloft for 20 days now which is helping too.
    I hope this helps everyone & if you have something you do that helps you get rid of or prevent your panic/anxiety attacks, please, share it with us!
    Thanks!
    Take care & PRACTICE Breathing correctly...
    T.

     
    Old 06-10-2005, 06:48 AM   #10
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    t panic, thanks for all that helpful information! Years ago, when I was first diagnosed with panic disorder, I saw a psychologist for "relaxation techniques". We practiced the breathing correctly and from the stomach, not the chest. I had forgotten that is so important! I don't know if I am exactly holding my breath or shallow breathing when I go into panic mode. Thanks again for the info. I also think it is important to practice when not in a panic mode.

     
    Old 06-10-2005, 11:14 AM   #11
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    Thanks so much for the response T. I've read about diaphragmatic breathing but never thought about "deep breathing" vs "long" breaths. I think I was overdoing it when I was attempting to do this breathing because I found myself taking these hugh breaths and trying to must every bit of air I could into my lungs. I'm going to try to slow it down some. Again, thanks for taking the time to explain.

     
    Old 06-10-2005, 05:52 PM   #12
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SirReal
    Thanks so much for the response T. I've read about diaphragmatic breathing but never thought about "deep breathing" vs "long" breaths. I think I was overdoing it when I was attempting to do this breathing because I found myself taking these hugh breaths and trying to must every bit of air I could into my lungs. I'm going to try to slow it down some. Again, thanks for taking the time to explain.
    You're welcome!
    T.

     
    Old 06-10-2005, 06:01 PM   #13
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    Re: Has anyone hypervenalated during p/a?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by americandancer
    t panic, thanks for all that helpful information! Years ago, when I was first diagnosed with panic disorder, I saw a psychologist for "relaxation techniques". We practiced the breathing correctly and from the stomach, not the chest. I had forgotten that is so important! I don't know if I am exactly holding my breath or shallow breathing when I go into panic mode. Thanks again for the info. I also think it is important to practice when not in a panic mode.
    You're welcome!
    The Deep breathing thing has helped me SO much & I know it's easily misunderstood as the fast shallow breathing I explained above which is impossible to get relief from & make panic worse so, it's very important to learn & pracitce the correct way of breathing to get good results. Panic is a nightmare. Doing the correct breathing can stop it fast!
    Good luck to everyone!
    T.

     
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