Anxiety and Panic

Kiya - posted on 08/18/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Okay, here is my situation. I get severe panic and anxiety, the whole fight or flight. The need to escape a situation. I also have what I was told IBS, acid reflux. WHich I am sure is caused by my constant worrying. I get chest pains, palpitations, racing heart, dizzy spells, tingling in hads and feet, dry mouth, shakey. I have had numerous EKG.s, a heart holter moniter and and ultrasound of my heart. everything normal, although was diagnosed with Minor mitral valve. This is really taking it's toll on me, and completely stressing me out. Is there anyone else out there that get these symptoms. I am at the point that I do not want to do anything, yet I dont want my kids to suffer. please help!

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Marie - posted on 10/09/2011

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I have suffered from all of these symptoms from time to time over the years. All the symptoms that you describe are caused by the chemical - adrenaline. I would think that with all of the symptoms that you are experiencing, you are pretty scared. But, know that none of these symptoms can hurt you. The more you worry about the symptoms, the more anxiety you will feel and the more adrenaline your body release - which, yes you guess it - will cause all the symptoms to occur again.



It seems like you have gone the medical route and are still experiencing symptoms. May I suggest that you talk to a counselor or therapist. They can help you identify the triggers and thoughts that put your body into the "flight or fight" mode.



It won't be easy at first, but you can eventually get control over the "what if" thoughts that cause you to panic. I know you are feeling uncomfortable right now, I have been where you are, just know that a panic attack and all of the nasty symptoms that go along with it - are not life threatening.



Anxiety gets it hold over our lives by producing fear. We fear the next panic attack, we fear the symptoms. We think we have some dreadful disease, or that we are going crazy or dying. But the truth is, no one has ever died from a panic attack and no one has ever gone crazy from a panic attack.



You will be ok, Like I mentioned before, talk to a therapist or counselor and learn to become the boss of your fear, it's the best thing you can do for your kids. :)



Feel free to send me a message if you want to chat more about anxiety. Anxiety is something that I know a lot about, I have been where you are and have come out the other side. I still panic from time to time, but it is nothing like it used to be.. I am here to help :)

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Dear Jennifer,

I know that your post was from awhile ago and I hope you are feeling better these days. I am new to this site and I am going through very similar symptoms that you had and was put on celexa 10 mg about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I have a five year old and 1 year old twins. My issue started after having my twins and and a thyroid condition that started during that pregnancy. After my doctor gave my tons of tests and ruled out many conditions we realized I have severe anxiety and was prescribed medicine. I am hopeful that with the meds, counseling, deep breathing techniques, and positive thinking I can get through this and come out feeling normal again. But, this has been a really scary experience and i have felt like I was going crazy most of the time. I have alot of the feeling unreal symptoms which scare me but I know now what it is so that helps keep me calm. I am lucky though because i have alot of support from my husband and family and I know this will pass with time. If you have any advice for me I would appreciate it and take care of yourself!



Angela

Daniel - posted on 06/06/2012

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Hi There,

My name is Daniel, and I am not a Mom, but I do suffer from severe anxiety. Two years ago I thought I was having a heart attack. I had all the signs, from chest pain to numb arms. It turned out to be a severe panic attack. Because I work from home as an illustrator, I didn't have anyone to compare against- and didn't realize how anxious I was, even as a baseline. Most people would be at a 1, and my base anxiety level would be a 5.

After I went to the doctor and he said I had a panic, not heart attack. I made three changes, first I ordered P90x and did 3 months of crazy workouts (6 days a week). Second I found a therapist that I really connected with and can't imagine living without. And third I would carry a "lighting rod" to channel excess energy- when I felt like I was about to boil over.

I started a company called Totem Tamers (www.totemtamers.com), with a friend of mine whose 10 year old son suffers from panic attacks. And the idea came from my carrying a small metal object in my pocket and rubbing it when I started to feel elevated (similar to how people use a worry stone).

This gives me an external sensation to focus on, and to channel my excess energy into. When I have an attack it's a full body experience, I sweat and shake and feel like I'm going to black out. So often times I have anxiety over having an panic attack in public. Anxiety about anxiety. This is my everyday worry. I've found refocusing my attention away from these thoughts to a physical sensation breaks the cycle of elevation (at least for me).

So when I start to have these thoughts, I focus on how cold the totem is in my pocket, and because it's bronze- how heavy it is. There are grooves in the side that make ridges and I focus on the texture. And because it's an animal I imagine it as a friend and protector. Which sounds silly, but I do. Then I take several deep breaths. And everything stops.

I'm not saying this to plug the company, I'm saying it because the underlying principles can be applied by anyone. You can use any personal object that has meaning to you. And when you start to feel elevated -divert your attention to the object. At the very least it's worth a try. It's really helped me, and it's also helped my friend's son.

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G - posted on 09/01/2014

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I am dealing with the same thing. I just want to run away but , I don't want my kids to know nor do I want to admit it to anyone. I'm struggling by myself I have trouble focusing and feel sad all the time. Sooooo frustrated. I don't like medication.

Melissa - posted on 04/11/2012

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I know exactly how you feel, I just had my first baby about 6 weeks ago & I am battling almost the exact same symptoms....I hope you found a way to cope,Lord knows I need too!

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It's all about our kids wellbeing right?
Hi Kiya, I understand your symptoms they are like mine. I wan't run out the front door when my kids start getting into it with each other. I'm so exhausted at the end of the day from trying to fight the urge to run from the world.
My kids show signs of anxiety and now my 4 year old daughter shows signs of panic too. The guilt is really building up. I feel sometimes I should not be raising these kids unless I get my anxiety under control. I take meds for depression and axiety. Are you taking medication for your anxiety?

Katie - posted on 05/05/2011

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wow that sounds like me about 6 months after my son was born. Having the IBS to go along with the panic and anxiety is a terrible thing to deal with. I went through 6 months where I couldn't go out alone because my panic attacks trigger migraines that are accompanied by visual auras and vision loss. I was terrified that I would be out somewhere driving with my son in the car and all of a sudden not be able to see. I did the chest pains, numbness, tingling, nausea, migraines, dizzyness, feeling of being detatched from life in general, fear I was having a stroke or a heart attack. It was terrible. After trying for about two months to get it under control without meds (I was on effexor in my very early 20's and I did not react well to it) I finally admitted to myself that I was doing way more harm than good to myself and my family by trying unsuccessfully to cope alone. I suffer from GAD, hypochondriasis and post traumatic stress syndrome. The best thing I ever did was seek out a good GP. My doctor helped talk me down when I was sure that all of my problems could not possibly be related to anxiety alone. He did all the tests and when they all came back negative he helped me understand just how much impact anxiety can have on your physical well being, I saw a therapist for a few months and my doctor put me on a very low dose of celexa (I take 10mg a day, even though the minimum dose prescribed is usually 20mg.) The first few weeks getting used to the meds threw me for a loop, but after about a month I noticed that I could go a full 24 hours without having an anxiety attack, and then it was 48, and then a week.
I wish I didn't have to be on meds, but for now it is what works for me and it is worth it to not feel crazy all the time. One other thing that got me through was knowing that in most cases you wont suffer from this forever, you will find a way out of it, and you will feel like a normal human again. I found that I would have panic attacks because I was afraid of having a panic attack, it was all a terrible circle. If you don't have one, try to find a good doctor (I know that is easier said then done,) evaluate what you are eating, sometimes a change in diet can make a huge difference (cutting out dairy realllllly helped me,) try to find a therapist if you can and even though it's hard try to take care of yourself. It's so easy to get insanely run down when your dealing with anxiety and then it just gets worse and worse. I am by no means an expert (lol about anything really) and I can only go by my own experiences, but just know that you are not alone and there are other people going through the same thing.

****I just realized that your post is from quite a while ago, but I already typed this all out....sooo. I hope that you've managed to get your anxiety under control! :D

Sarah - posted on 04/02/2011

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Charlotte,
I'm so happy that you are getting it under control and that your able to use natural methods.
After my divorce is when I started getting panic attacks, that was three years ago. I still get attacks now and then but I mostly suffer with general anxiety, In the beginning I was like you and tried my best to use natural methods but my doctor and family kept pushing pills on me. I've tried many different medications and had horrible side effects! Zoloft caused me heart problems and sent me to the hospital for a week!
As time went by I started taking Ativan to calm down and now I cant make it through the day without my medication. I try to tell myself this is what I need to do for now and it will get better and I'll eventually get off benzos. Sometimes I think it would have been better if I didnt listen to my family and perhaps I wouldnt be on medication. So congrats for staying strong. :)

Charlotte - posted on 03/16/2011

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I do. They were the worst 3 months after my son was born. I had my first panic attack (chest pain, palpitations, racing heart, dizzy, tingling hands & feet shakey, & panic) They continued severly until my son was 1 year old. I do have them on occasion but not nearly as severe as they used to be. I've learned some coping. Controling my breathing when I start to feel one coming on helps. I stay away from having too much caffeine or sugar. If I find myself starting to go into a panic. I make myself a cup of chamomile tea (REALLLLY helps me), sit down, and self-sooth by repeating in my mind "I'm okay, I'm okay, I know what this is. I've dealt with this before. I'm not dying. I just need to calm myself" etc. I have found it really helps me. If it gets really bad and I go into a full on panic attack, I force myself to mediate. I put my son in the crib, sit down & cry, try to control my breathing, invision my "happy place", and pray like no other. When all else fails, this works. I stay away from situations that cause my lots of anxiety and only recently have begun to deal with them. Being in public with my son without my husband and driving freeways are things I still can not do. Also, loud places get to me. And sometimes grocery stores set me off (usually if I'm tired). Lots of sleep is important for me. I've found right now, as my son is still young and keeping up with him takes up a lot of my energy (he's a high energy & strong-willed toddler/pre-schooler), avoiding the panic as much as possible is important. But as he gets older, I'm attempiting more & more to overcome this.

Jennifer - posted on 09/11/2010

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You aren't alone. I can't be in public situations or else I feel like I will pass out, my heart races so fast, I get so weak that I feel like I cannot escape where I am, and all you've been through. I've been dealing with this for 10yrs. Doesn't help that I have asthma on top of it all for the past 8yrs.

I am so lucky I have understanding family, yet I do worry about my children and how they react to me not being able to go out into public places. I talk to them and make them understand that I have issues and this disorder that makes it hard on me. This disorder does take over your life and it's hard on a person. It's even harder for me when almost every single med I have been on makes my panic worse. Doc put me on Effexor and I could not sleep and felt like I was dying.

I can say I am not worse as I was 10 yrs ago, but I avoid the places that make me worse. I do take baby steps. The best thing is to seek a therapist. It helps to get everything off your chest. Find support groups or befriend others (on or offline) that deal with your issues. It feels so much better knowing you aren't alone and you can discuss with someone understanding. It's a long hard process, but you are so not alone on feeling those symptoms.

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