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Old 05-19-2009   #1
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panic attacks

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Definition By Mayo Clinic staff

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that develops for no apparent reason and that triggers severe physical reactions. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you're losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.

You may have only one or two panic attacks in your lifetime. But if you have panic attacks frequently, it could mean that you have panic disorder, a type of chronic anxiety disorder.

Panic attacks were once dismissed as nerves or stress, but they're now recognized as a real medical condition. Although panic attacks can significantly affect your quality of life, treatment — including medications, psychotherapy and relaxation techniques to help prevent or control panic attacks — is very effective.

<snip>

Complications

By Mayo Clinic staff

Left untreated, panic attacks and panic disorder can result in severe complications that affect almost every area of your life. You may be so afraid of having more panic attacks that you live in a constant state of fear, ruining your quality of life.

Complications that panic attacks may cause or be associated with include:
  • Development of specific phobias, such as fear of driving or leaving your home
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Problems at work or school
  • Depression
  • Increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Financial problems
I get them too. Part of why I see a counselor. Always had them in small degree but after an assault in 2001 it was so bad I didn't leave the house for over a year. When I began leaving for a short walk I'd get lost, could not read street signs and ended up calling Mike at work to come get me. Related sleep deprivation took me below the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs straight into survival mode.



It was so bad for a couple of years that I was living in a relentless state of panic and anxiety. I began saving milk jugs and other containers, filling them with water and stacking them in a bedroom we didn't use. Mike never went in so he didn't notice until I asked him to help me move them to the garage because I couldn't walk in the room. Soon after Chris and Bryan moved here from out of state to help Mike take care of me.

Previously mentioned here in jest though it was entirely true, I had progressed to living in paranoia and the most trivial thing was easily perceived to be a personal attack.

Chris, Bryan and Mike joke about it now and then, usually referring to the bread tie test. Once in awhile they leave a bread tie on the bag for fun :.) This stemmed from a bout where I thought anyone who tied a bread tie back on the bag around a loaf of bread was attacking me. I vividly recall finding all the bread ties and throwing them away. If I saw one later I thought someone had taken it out of the trash and was attacking me with it. Yeah :.) It's humorous now, but then it was so overwhelming that I'd end up in the bedroom with a pillow over my head for hours and scream at anyone who came in the room.

Same with teeth scraping on silverware. There were a lot of ordinary sounds I could not tolerate though that was also due to the hyperacusis which I am just now being treated for.

Forget people. Sometimes I changed doctors because one 'didn't look right'. I couldn't trust anyone or anything, mainly doctors and sometimes for good reason but I couldn't tell when that was for a long time.

Misdiagnoses and sixteen wrong prescribed medications for over two years made me suicidal, explosive and basically a raw bundle of nerves. That's what drove me to studying pathologies and eventually to orthomolecular medicine and nutrition which is what straightened me out. It became a classic silver lining where adversity turns to opportunity :.)

In addition to Mike, Chris and Bryan's help, Andy was the safe 'outside' friendship that helped me help myself effectively. It took four people to pull me out of the hole I couldn't even recognize being in and before I could help myself. Everyone is not so fortunate.

May sound silly, but living with constant, often unpredictable anxiety and panic attacks turns the world as most of us know it inside out. Work is not even a consideration since most people don't want to be around you until you're better anyway. They simply don't know how to cope and there is no blame to be placed. Also interferes with getting work of all kinds done.


When someone has a broken arm, there is instant sympathy, empathy, medical attention and tolerance. When someone has anxiety or panic attacks, the broken part that needs medical attention, sympathy, empathy, attention and tolerance often gets none of that or not enough, and is generally pounded on by people around them. The typical clinical approach of most doctors who treat it can seem dismissive which adds to the problem.


Thankfully there are varying degrees and even though there are a lot of people with chronic anxiety and panic disorders on disability, it is obviously treatable. Just takes time, patience and perseverance.

As for responsibility, except here and a handful of places I've learned about, most communities take care of their own in some way. There's no sensible reason it shouldn't be that way. Not one of us is perfect and we all need something from people around us.
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Old 05-20-2009   #2
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Re: panic attacks

This sounds oddly familiar.
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Old 05-20-2009   #3
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Re: panic attacks

I have experienced panic attacks in the past. They occurred only when I was overweight. For me it was when I weighed anywhere from 210 lbs or more. Ever since I started taking better care of my health and lost weight, I don't get them anymore. I figured out that for myself, all I need to do to prevent any panic attacks from occurring is to keep myself under 200 lbs Right now I'm at 183 lbs, and still working towards getting the goal of 165-170 lb range. So I'll be shocked and surprised if I ever have another panic attack again, because I will never ever allow myself to weigh around the 200 lb range again
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Old 05-20-2009   #4
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Re: panic attacks

^Just how tall are you? 200 lbs does not sound that heavy for a guy, but then again I don't know your body type or height or anything. Do you think your panic attacks stemmed from you being overweight or the image you thought you gave other people. Sometimes panic attacks can be cause because people get paranoid about their self image and what others see (or what you think they think they see). Like I would get so worked up in high school when i had public speaking because I thought I did not look "perfect" even though I was around 125 lbs which is thin for my height and my build.

I look back at my high school pics and realize that I looked fine and I wonder how thick I had to be to not notice it or at least be okay with myself. Right now I want to work on things like loose some weight, do something about this smoking habit but I hardly beat myself up like I used to. I think being so critical of myself led to much of my panic attacks and getting worked up.
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Old 05-21-2009   #5
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Re: panic attacks

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Originally Said by GoddessDivine View Post
^Just how tall are you? 200 lbs does not sound that heavy for a guy, but then again I don't know your body type or height or anything? Do you think your panic attacks stemmed from you being overweight, or the image you thought you gave other people? Sometimes panic attacks can be cause, because people get paranoid about their self image, and what others see (or what you think they think they see). Like I would get so worked up in high school when i had public speaking, because I thought I did not look "perfect" even though I was around 125 lbs, which is thin for my height and my build.

I look back at my high school pics and realize that I looked fine, and I wonder how thick I had to be to not notice it, or at least be okay with myself. Right now I want to work on things like lose some weight, do something about this smoking habit, but I hardly beat myself up like I used to. I think being so critical of myself led to much of my panic attacks and getting worked up.

Possibly, but I just think that when I'm overweight it effects my capability to handle stress both physiologically.

My goal of where I see myself physically in terms of appearance is always directly tied to the overall improvement of my health.
Lookng better to myself and others I think of like a bonus to actual improvment of my health and feeling better overall.

As far as beating yourself up over things like that, I hear what you're saying. As people get older, we all have to learn to pace ourselves, and to think of it as an overall lifestyle change. I used to be an "all of nothing" kind of person, but I learned over time that you can just burn yourself out in the long-run. BTW, I'm around 5'8"-5'9" tall.
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