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    Old 03-20-2008, 11:16 AM   #1
    stimi3ak
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    Question Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    For the past year plus I have had the WORST anxiety. The littlest thing sends me over the edge and my heart will start pounding so fast I am sure it will stop. Unsure of what started me in this tailspin I never sought help for it but thought I had all these medical issues which the doctors have all ruled out.

    The one that has become constant is tight chest and shortness of breath. I will go through days where I feel like I am hyperventilating all day long but have never passed out. I am almost sure that each breath is my last and I get so scared. This of course sends my body into a panic attack which makes my chest even tighter and my breathing more shallow. Basically it becomes a vicious cycle. They have put me on Paxil because I was originally on Zoloft for two years which worked great. Unfortunately I stopped taking it when things got better and as they always do my anxiety symptoms returned ten fold but the medicine did not work the same for me again. Effexor was also unsuccessful in treating my symptoms.

    Another thing is I wake up every night and immediately start having a panic attack. WHY? This morning when my alarm went off I was sound asleep but immediately as I began to reach an awarness state the panic attack began. I had to repeat mantras to myself over and over in the shower while trying to get my breathing back to normal.

    I sound like a crazy person but to other people I am a hardworking, manager, mother and wife who has her head on straight. No one would suspect this if I were to tell them.

    So my questions are does anyone else have this where they feel short of breath a lot with a tight chest? Do you wake up a lot with panic attacks? And if you took Paxil how long did it take to work?

    THANKS!

    Last edited by stimi3ak; 03-20-2008 at 11:17 AM.

     
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    Old 03-20-2008, 12:10 PM   #2
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    Smile Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    Hello Their , you could be me because i have the same happen to me every night . Wake up in total panic mode , finally I let my doctor prescribe me xanax , which i know is supposed to be a "bad" drug . But it helps pretty fast and I can get back to sleep . Then I take a half of one after I get up in mornings , mornings are my worst time .
    I also have shortness of breath seems like I am not breathing deep enough and i get scared I will just stop breathing , sometimes I find myself holding my breath . Whats that all about ?

    I took Zoloft and changed to Paxil a few years ago , both of them worked well for me . Made me normal ,whatever that is . Just went to doctors yesterday and told him the old depression was coming back along with the anxiety . He gave me Cymbalta this time I really hope this works . I haven't been on AD's for awhile , but just couldn't handle it anymore . Paxil and Zoloft are from my understanding start working faster than most ( Just what one doctor told me ) They are in The ssri family , now Cymbalta is a ssnri ? I don't know what The "N" means or how it is different from ssri's wish I had thought to ask .

    Don't know if I helped you are not , but sure is nice to have someone to talk to , I have been around awhile , don't post much , lots of good advice and people that understand what we all are going thru .

    The only thing i didn't like about ssri's is the zaps you get when going on or coming off . I always tried to explain that to people , but they looked at me like i was crazy . Untill I came here and everyone seems to know . So I guess I am not crazy . Just a little whacky every now and again

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    Hi: I think I can shed some light on some of the questions. The panic attacks at night and the one's in the a.m. are because it's the time of day we are winding down, sleeping and just coming back to a state of wakefulness. Anxiety tends to love to creep in when the business of the day starts ebbing and our minds don't have as much to focus on.

    The shortness of breath was explained to me by my Psychiatrist better than anyone ever explained it before.....It's not that you aren't taking deep enough breaths in, it's actually that you are not letting each breath fully out. I didn't understand at first how that could make sense, but the next time it happened, I tried to focus on exhaling thoroughly and it really worked.

    I also take Xanax, as needed, which is only about 2x/week on a good week, but when I'm under more than usual stress, I will take it more frequently. I am prescribed 1/2mg. tabs and the instructions he gave were 1-2 tablets as needed. I always start with one and wait about 45 min. before deciding if I need another or maybe even 1/2 a pill.

    I'm not sure about your ages, but just in case, if you are in your late 30's or older and female (it doesn't say under your screen name) , anxiety can be a very common symptom of peri-menopause or menopause.

    I don't know if this is helpful, but just thought I'd share. Take care, cmpgirl

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 12:56 PM   #4
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cmpgirl View Post
    The shortness of breath was explained to me by my Psychiatrist better than anyone ever explained it before.....It's not that you aren't taking deep enough breaths in, it's actually that you are not letting each breath fully out. I didn't understand at first how that could make sense, but the next time it happened, I tried to focus on exhaling thoroughly and it really worked.
    wow!! that is interesting.im gonna have to give that a try. thanks.

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    Ammy05 I understand the brain zaps, you are not crazy, I was trying to come off of Paxil and it was fine for a week than the withdraws started, brain zaps body zaps you name it. Now I am trying to wean off as cmpgirl recommended. (Thank you) however I still feel like the anxiety is coming back worse as well. I take Xanax twice a day only half of .05 each time, not sure if it is working as well as it use to, I am starting to get depressed again, I may need to go back to the doc.

    As far as Peri Menopause I would say thats probably what happened to me. I just had a partial hysterectomy but that isnt going to stop the menopause.

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 01:15 PM   #6
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    Thanks Cmpgirl ! I seem to be following you today . I am 51 and go to the Menopause Boards , and know I have alot of symptoms of Peri , Except I am regular as clock work .

    My anxiety has been with me many years , but just started having panic attacts in the last few years , can't be closed up in public places like shopping malls or anyplace where I feel trapped .

    Now my depression is back big time . Just can't get a handle on it . To make it worse my husband doesn't believe in AD's . Tells me I have no reason to be depressed because I have him and we are happy . Well maybe one of us is . Anyway told him it has nothing to do with him , its a chemical imbalance been on AD's long before I met him .

    So I just flat out told him I was going to ask doctor to put me back on them , and this time he agreed I needed something . I would have got back on them anyway .

    I was just wondering what the difference between an SSRI and a SSNRI ? Been on SSRI's . Maybe its because SSNRI 's are for both depression and anxiety ? Anyway he gave me Cymbalta , I pray it works . Thanks just for everyone being here

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 01:53 PM   #7
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    An SSRI is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. An SSNRI is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. In other words, an SSNRI works on multiple receptors whereas SSRIs work only on serotonin receptors.

    Both types can be used for either anxiety, depression, or both, but for some reason SSNRI's tend to be prescribed for anxiety less. Perhaps they tend to be a little stimulating.

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 04:25 PM   #8
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    Thanks everyone! I am 29 years old so I do not think it is premenopause. I had blood work done last Friday and my thyroid is normal. When they gave me the results today I got the gentle "it's all in your head" approach again.

    I like how the psychiatrist said "breathing is the one thing we control". I just still need to figure out why I choose to not breathe right. I am like you in the fact I do not exhale all the way. I keep my air in a lot but it is because I feel like either I can't exhale it or I can't breathe in enough.

    How long did it take to correct using AD's and practicing good breathing? This has been going on for a year for me so I have a really hard habit to break. THANKS!

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    WOW! Does this sound familiar!

    I too have had symptoms so similar to yours I almost thought you were talking about me.

    I took Paxil for several years. It started to work in about 2 wks. Your results may be different.

    I found meditation and autohypnosis to be extremely helpful, you may want to look into that for yourself. There are all kinds of books out there on the subjects. Money should not be an issue because there are always public libraries. Of course there is the web as well.

    It takes time and a good deal of dedication on your part but, it can be beaten.

    I found that when I was having a panic attack, if I kept telling myself "Its not going to kill me" it helped. I did feel as though I was dieing .

    Paxil is especially good in the SSRI class for those who have panic attacks.

    Hang in there. Its not forever!!

    Jaygee

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 06:38 PM   #10
    stimi3ak
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SENDING THIS! How long until the shortness of breath stopped? How long did you work at it?

    Would you notice it was worse when you exerted yourself? If I go up the stairs it is bad! But again all bad things have been ruled out.

    Thank you again for the inspiration!

     
    Old 03-22-2008, 06:45 PM   #11
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    I want to thank Timber , Hotdam and cmpgirl for your replies it helped me very much . I am on 3rd day of Cymbalta everything ok , little sick not much , have a little anxiety but I know where it is coming from . A little boost in energy is ok with me . And Cmpgirl I am trying to exhale !

     
    Old 03-23-2008, 03:39 PM   #12
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    You seem to have a lot on your head, Wife , Manager, Mum thats a lot in itself. When busy <PEOPLE> like us try to juggle and run life at a fast pace, and put pressure on ourselves to make sure everything is perfectly running smoothly, it is bound to set our stress levels off.

    IS there any way you can slow down on anything in your life?

    I think your body is overloaded and is trying to tell you to slowwwwwwwwwwwww down !

    Last edited by msmod; 03-23-2008 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Replaced text message, chat room word with the proper word. Please follow the posting rules. Ms_Mod

     
    Old 03-23-2008, 05:23 PM   #13
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    I can't believe this. I have been having exactly to a tea the same problems with anxiety. I was on Paxil for years for hyperventilation attacks. It took me a long time to realize it's not physical and went through over 10 books on how to stop my anxiety. Went to a therapist and did talk therapy. Tried anxiety tapes . Finally took the 10mg of Paxil. Within 2 weeks was not hyperventilating and the fear was gone. I am 49 and have started perimenopause . The Paxil has stopped working also. About 2 years ago started having a tight stomach feeling when under stress which made me spacy, panicky and was breathing just with my chest. This was off and on. Then started to have jumping up panic attacks all night for weeks but was anxiety free during the day. Finally no panic attacks at night but before work running to the bathroom at least 5 times. That job was seasonal. I was a preschool assistant teacher for many years but a change in ownership and hours let me take some time off and I wanted to try a less stressful job. I loved the children but felt like I needed a change. After the season job I started a new job and had a knot in my stomach and felt like I was dying all day. The three people including me were laid off for job cuts. I was relieved. This was about 3 weeks ago. Went shopping with my daughter who's getting married in May for wedding shoes. Breathing fast in mall, upper chest breathing, very rapid heart and wanted to run from store. This went on for two hours jor the whole time we were there. I just couldn't shake it. Got home and used a paper bag to stop the hyperventilation . Looked pretty funny since all my husband could find was a big grocery bag. Felt better but right before bed started worrying that I'll have the same thing in the morning and immedietly started the rapid breathing again. Had Easter with my parents and my mom who's in her 70's had her cousins over and while talking was seeing stars and my pupils looked dilated. This went on the whole time. I couldn't even help my mom with the meal. She said she could tell on my face that I was not feeling well again. Now it seems I could only talk to my "safe people", husband, mom, sometimes my daughter(she's high strung and I tense up") without hyperventilating. I even do it on the phone. I'm dreading her wedding and even her Bridal shower next week. I want to enjoy myself at her wedding and shower. I'm so afraid of myself because the hyperventilation seems to be involuntary now. As soon as I wake up my heart starts to race and I start the fast chest breathing and it's down hill from there all day. It's a horrible feeling. Will make an appointment with a new doctor tomorrow and finally ask for a new medication. If I have at least one good day I change my mind & don't do anything. NOw it's been so many bad days. I'm afraid to take and new med and don't even know what would be good after the paxil. Sorry this is so long but I feel better knowing I'm not the only one with this horrible symptom of anxiety.
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    Old 03-24-2008, 07:13 AM   #14
    stimi3ak
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    Re: Why Does Anxiety Do This?

    Hi Chris,

    Whereas I am very sorry this has happened to you and do not wish it upon anyone it is nice to know I am not alone.

    As each day goes on like this I worry that it is not anxiety. I wake up in the middle of the night feeling like my chest has something heavy on it and that I am forcing myself to breathe. I have never passed out and each time I have gone to the ER my oxygen levels have been 98% or above. A few times I was even hyperventilating so bad I thought those levels would be a lot lower.

    These occurrences coupled with the many specialists I have seen leave little chance that it is anything but anxiety. I just don't understand how the mind does this. I am scared all day long.

    I have been on Paxil CR 12.5 mgs for 10 days now. I have noticed a slight difference but nothing that is dramatic. I'm hoping this will begin working like they said it would very soon so I can be somewhat normal. It is tough having this fear all the time with the nervous stomach and all the other anxiety symptoms that plague me all day long. It's hard to say what came first: the breathing issue or the anxiety.

    I also saw that you had posted a thread on the sleep disorder board about sleep apnea. I don't think I have that but because I read that thread I felt like I took on symptoms of it. Isn't that weird? Again...the mind is powerful.

     
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