Patient Comments: Panic Attacks - Effective Treatments

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your panic attacks?

Comment from: hope, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I'm 28 and I've been dealing with depression and anxiety for the last two years. I didn't want to start taking medications but I decided to because the panic attacks were occurring more often and they were interfering with my daily life. I know the cause of my anxiety attacks; they usually have to do with stress and feeling overwhelmed. Overall the things that have helped me are exercise, meditation, yoga, therapy, and the medications, but not one by itself has been sufficient.

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Comment from: Sophie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

My first panic attack was when I was 15. I passed out in a restaurant. Thereafter, I would pass out about once every five years or so. I had no idea what was wrong with me and thought perhaps I had either an undiagnosed heart condition or high blood pressure, though doctors would tell me I was physically just fine. It's been pretty bad over the years but I was able to cope until last October when my husband walked out, leaving me with a two-year-old son, two mortgage payments on the side of a very isolated mountain. I went through months of hell. I couldn't eat or sleep and the medicines (buspar and Prozac) were slow to take effect. Once they did, I was okay but until then I just wanted to cling onto the bed to keep myself from flying off the earth. I feel terrible for anyone suffering from this disorder. It is a nightmare to feel so out of control and terrified. I stay on my medication but I'm very reclusive.

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Comment from: lindaann1960, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I am a 48-year-old female. I remember my first panic attack at age 14 when my 15-month-old brother died. I was in school at the time. I never wanted to go back. My mom gave me a tiny bit of her Valium, and I kept it in my back pocket, just in case. My mom really didn't know what was going on with me, even though she suffered from the same thing. I guess I didn't explain it well. I started having them again at age 25. I didn't want to leave the house. I had to have a couple of beers to get the courage. My family doctor finally sent me to a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with depression and panic disorder. He tried several anxiety medications (Xanax made me spacey) and several antidepressants. Finally, I found clonazepam and imipramine. The two doses together have helped me tremendously. I still get depressed, but it's not as bad as it was. I still get sudden feelings of panic, but I take a clonazepam, and that helps. It is hereditary in my family with my grandmother, mom and brothers. I hope this helps. Plus, I have read many books about panic. People just don't understand it until it happens to them.

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Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I am 38 year old RN student and I developed a panic disorder when my mom, then sister died at age 25. The world feels unsafe and I terrorize myself with "what if's" that never happen. I too have panic attacks that come on suddenly with no correlation to what's going on in my life at the time. The first symptom I get is light-headedness, then I get very hot, racing heart, tingling finger and toes, shortness of breath. I then have a dire need to escape so as not to embarrass myself in public. I have even passed out for about 2 minutes at a nightclub before. That was embarrassing. They thought I was drunk, but I had just gotten there and had only had 1 bottle of water! What calms me down is a cool shower with the lights off and a couple candles. The extra oxygen from the water seems to help a lot. When that doesn't work, I take Klonopin 1mg tablets. They work great. I also take Zoloft daily and Ambien as needed. I go to therapy every two weeks too. So far, so good.

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Comment from: keeling, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I love that I just found this site. You are all going through the same exact thing as I am and I thought I was so alone. I have had depression now for 20 years. It hit me after my first child and I was hospitalized in a psychiatric ward at methodist hospital in Indianapolis for 4 months I have seen my son once. I did ok then had my daughter 2 years later and did ok and then my son 4 years later and the past 5 years have been panic/anxiety, but the last 2 years have been a living hell since November. I have now had 9 count them 9 EKGS I am so embarrassed, broke, ashamed, I've lost my husband and my kids want nothing to do with me right now. I am seeking therapy and have for over 7yrs. and I have switched doctors during this time also. I can't keep a job I am on medication Zoloft and Xanax and nothing seems to be working, I am a good person and have so much to offer and I have a heart of gold, but no one wants to hear the OMG I'm dying. It was bad my family doctor sent me to a cardiologist and he did an EKG laughed and said call me in 50 years when you need a heart doctor no wait I'll be dead call one of my associates. I had a sleep study the other night so I am waiting to hear from it, I don't drink or smoke, I am very over weight, but have lost 34 pounds since July 9th so I'm working on that. I feel as if there is no end to my misery.

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