Saturday, July 19, 2008

Introduction

Hi, this is Danny.

I have been a survivor of panic attacks for 12-years now; experienced my very first-attack during 1996 and since that very year, it has became a disorder; I was only 7-years old at that time. I didn't know about my condition at all till the year 2005 which is 9 years after my first attack. Yes, you read it right, I didn't know anything about my condition till 9-years later - I was suffering without any knowledge on it. At that moment, no one believed about my condition: I told my parents about my symptoms and they scolded me for lying to them or ridiculed me for thinking too much; friends would think I am just trying to attract attention.

On that very year 2005, a routine health checkup was being conducted. I told the nurse about my condition and my case was forwarded to the hospital. There, I met my psychologist and psychiatrist. I told them about my condition and they confirmed that I have a panic disorder. They immediately prescribed me medication (20 mg of prozac - to be taken everyday).

Frankly speaking, my self-esteem, self-confidence and social life have been terrible during that period when I was oblivious to my condition. So, the very first step is to identify panic-attack. Once you have some knowledge on it, you will know how to handle it.

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Symptoms of Panic Attack that may include:

1) racing or pounding heartbeat (palpitations);
2) chest pains;
3) stomach upset;
4) dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea;
5) difficulty breathing, a sense of feeling smothered;
6) tingling or numbness in the hands;
7) hot flashes or chills;
8) dreamlike sensations or perceptual distortions;
9) terror: a sense that something unimaginably horrible is about to occur and one is powerless to prevent it;
10) a need to escape;
11) fear of losing control and doing something embarrassing; and
fear of dying.

You may describe the experience as follows:
"All of a sudden, I felt a tremendous wave of fear for no reason at all. My heart was pounding, my chest hurt, and it was getting harder to breathe. I thought I was going to die."

"I'm so afraid. Every time I start to go out, I get that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach and I'm terrified that another panic attack is coming or that some other, unknown terrible thing was going to happen."

[Excerpted from: Medicinenet]

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Please keep this in mind: Panic Attacks CAN be overcome or at least your condition CAN be better. My medication started off at 20mg of prozac, but now I am only taking 5mg (sometimes I even skipped taking it!) and my panic attacks have significantly improved! If I can, so can you. You have to accept that you have panic attacks, first. Remember, it CAN be overcome. Also, I recommend that you consult a psychologist, so they can guide you and help you, too.
I remember my psychologist once told me: "Panic attacks are like ripples formed in the pond after a stone is thrown onto the pond. It comes and goes away and the pond becomes peaceful again."

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi
i'm the man that posted a thread on yahoo answers nad you said me you don't want to spam.

Thanks for your site.
i hope you be happy for ever.

Anonymous said...

Your tips and insight are the best I have read, I usually bring on my panic when I read about panic lol, anyhow 3rd day of celexa for me and my anxiety was terrible all day, I am going to try your techniqes and keep plugging away. God Bless

Anonymous said...

Hi, i'm 16 years old && i too get panic attacks. Before major tests like the SAT,ACT, AP bio, any AP exam...(not tests though)i have minor panic attacks that i can usually control, but its still hard to breathe at those moments. My friend gets panic attacks as well, but she takes a pill. I don't want a pill, I don't need a pill, I just need oxygen when these things happen. Would an inhaler help...maybe a nonprescription one?

Seng said...

Yes, you can try inhalers if you want. Make sure it doesn't really contain any chemicals, though.

But before you start trying inhalers, why don't you try herbs? I remember Valerian Root or Chamomile do help you to soothe your anxiety. Once your anxiety subsides, you can breath as normal again.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just read that one of the ways to overcome anxiety is to exercise. I love to play badminton twice or even thrice a week but last february I had panick attack during playing badminton. Now, its been more than a month now that I dont play badminton beacause I have fear that I might have panic attack when I play. What should I do to overcome this fear so I can play again with a peaceful mind. thank you and more power.

Seng said...

Dear anonymous,

You need to take a step rather than living in fear forever. I know you tend to feel uncomfortable immediately when I say that and you will feel it's impossible. But believe me, take a step and try to play again.. somehow, you will realize there's nothing to fear at all. You need to reassure yourself that there's nothing wrong in badminton, you're just there to play and nothing bad will happen.. you are there to enjoy the game.

Perhaps you can start small by playing badminton somewhere near your home and have some trustful to accompany you.

All the best,
Seng

Anonymous said...

Dear Seng,

I'm 17 and about two weeks ago, I had my first panic attack. My high school was putting on a production "Little Shop of Horrors." We opened and went on for five performances. I feared Saturday because that was the day we had two shows. On Friday night was when I had the panic attack because I thought I had gotten food poisoning from Chili's and then the turmoil of those thoughts created a cascading effect that created this immense amount of pain, anguish, and depression, nausea; just pick the most painful things you can think of (except fractured bones) it felt like it was there. It was a kind of pain I had never experienced before. I had no idea what was going on and thought that I was having a heart attack or dying. I fell asleep after a while and felt better in the morning, but my body ached from it and I never want to experience that again. But ever since that happened, I can't stop thinking about what it felt like, even weeks later (but to my doctor’s credit, he has given me some relaxation methods that have kept those thoughts at bay for quite a while). But that hasn't quelled all of my worry. I keep on checking my heartbeat like an anti-virus program, and expounding every single minor pain, such as a muscle pain from playing basketball, and thinking that it is something major, threatening to my health...I keep on fearing the anguish and fear I experienced during that attack. And thinking about things, especially when it comes to the human body, can sometimes make them happen. Would you give me some advice on how to deal with these recurring thoughts? I hope that this message doesn't sound as though it was written by an insane person. I've had to sit around five-hours a day, for four days in a row, taking a standardized test, (the length of which is just ridiculous). Sorry, I'm getting a little off topic. Please, Répondez S'il Vous Plaît (I hope that's right, I've never taken a French class. I believe it means "respond please.").

Sincerely,
Anonymous

Seng said...

Hey Anonymous,

I've read your experience and description thoroughly and I suspect that you're either having Hypochondria or a trauma from the panic attack.

Hypochondria is like a phobia of having an illness and having extreme worry about getting an illness.

Don't worry, you're NOT alone. I've met and known many people who have trauma from Panic Attacks or Hypochondria.

You do sound like an intelligent person and rest assure that you're perfectly ok. Firstly you need to understand how panic attacks occur, you can learn this by reading it up at numerous health resources; wikipedia gives a simple but good explanation on it. And as you've read from all my research materials, worry or panic attacks are usually cause by our belief system.. you need to alter them back.

Try finding this book, "How to stop worrying and start living" by Dale Carnegie. It's usually available in school libraries or local libraries, or you can buy it real cheap at bookstores. The book will help to stop all of your worries by giving tips and real life stories of people.

I wish you all the best and do drop by if you still need help.

With Regards,
Seng