Patient Comments: Panic Attacks - Symptoms

What symptoms do you experience with panic attacks?

Comment from: secret, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 21

With panic attacks. I experience head tensions, my whole body starts to shake like I'm having the chills, it gets tense to where it gets harder for me to breathe, like a feeling of being squeezed. I get teary, and my hands start to form a fist like it's locked up. I get a bit dizzy but am aware of what's happening to me. That's why I always store some meds in my car and at home. Because I experienced it while I was driving and I didn't have my pills on me which was scary.

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Comment from: masmit, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

I'm 36 and just started to have anxiety attacks. I've learned to control the really bad symptoms like racing heart and hyperventilating but I can't stop the fear that I'm going to die. I'm always checking my pulse to see if it's racing or checking the arteries in my neck to see if they are bulging. I've stopped watching any medical shows on t.v. I always give myself whatever disease they talk about. I tell myself it's in my head but I can't stop the fear of dyeing. My sister died of a sudden heart attack last year and that set the attacks into overdrive. I'm now taking zyprexa after trying all the usual meds and it seems to help. One of my major fears is taking a med that will kill me so it was very hard to get help. I hope someone can get relief where I couldn't.

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Comment from: Marie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

My first panic attack was 2 weeks ago, I may have had them before, but I have only recently learned to id them. Just waking up one Sunday, my head hurt like if it was being pounded on with a concrete block, was dizzy, numbness the entire left side of my body, thought I was having a stroke, called 911, went to ER. EKG and blood work was fine. The next couple of weeks, continued to feel the tremors in the chest, dizziness and headaches. Last Sunday, just arrived at a theme park when sudden strong dizziness, shortness of breath, headache took over, on the way to the first aid office, arms and legs went numb, tingling, head was pounding, chest pain, heart beat so hard, very dizzy. BP 150/110, heart rate 128. Felt I was having a heart attack and feared dying. Thought of my kids and all that's emotional would increase shortness of breath and hyperventilation. Went to ER again, attack lasted about 3 hours, all extremities went numb and couldn't move, facial cramps, sever body trembling. Again, thought it was a heart attack. This time I was hospitalized, doctors ran all cardio, blood tests, mri's, mra's: All came out normal. No diagnosis from doctors. The paramedic on the ambulance suggested I was having a P.A. Did research, apparently I now suffer from P.A. I can now tell when an attack is about to happen-the trembling in my chest, dizziness and sudden headache. The attacks are crippling-mentally and emotionally and physically. Xanax helps, also taking deep long breaths, recognizing the symptoms, then mentally over power them so they don't over power you. Good luck to all P.A. sufferers. There are many out there, just don't let this evil thing get the best of you.

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Comment from: Goldie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I am 34 and started suffering from panic attacks 8 years ago. My father also suffers from anxiety since as far as I can remember. Have been off and on meds like Paxil. They seemed to help but had to discontinue in pregnancy. Now, my anxiety/panic is totally out of control. I have attacks during the day and also they wake me up at night and then I can't fall back asleep for hours. My symptoms are very severe they include all textbook symptoms and last for hours. I try to cope but it really does seem to be controlling my life. I eat right, exercise, I don't drink or smoke and I am of normal weight, but still nothing helps me. I think I am going to call my Dr. and go back on the meds, even though I hate to have to take any sort of medication.

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Comment from: geb, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

I had my first panic attack when I was 15, after my sister died. Then I went for about five years without having one. Then I started having them again. I am now 48. I am so sick of these attacks. I do not like taking meds. I do think that keeping busy and exercise works. But I still have problems with driving far away or going on vacations. My children say I will only travel within my bubble. I feel like an idiot. I need to know where the Fire departments are when I'm going anywhere just so I know if I have a bad enough panic attack I can get help if I can't breathe. And to me that's crazy, but it's how I feel. I would love to be normal.

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Comment from: christine, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

I was sexually abused as a child and not until adulthood did I start having panic attacks. I believe it has to do with the abuse, but I'm not positive. I'm also going through menopause and I've heard that women sometimes have panic attacks at this stage of life. I was taking valium at night to sleep, but I am now on alprazolam. I took the first one last night, because I had a panic attack out of nowhere. I usually get lightheaded and feel like I can't concentrate on the person who is talking to me. It feels like an out of body experience. And, then, my heart starts racing, like it's going to jump out of my chest. Usually, if I take deep breaths and lie down, I feel better within about 10 minutes. Last night was the first time I took Alprazolam. I don't really like it because I woke up this morning feeling drowsy and super hungry. So frustrated!

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