Patient Comments: Panic Attacks - Effective Treatments

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

Comment from: rainbowlove, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 06

I am 22 year old female. I experienced my first panic attack when I was a senior in high school. I started to work out and lost weight but being at home always makes me feel pressure and stress. At times I don't know what to do. I've taken many medications but citalopram has been more effective.

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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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Comment from: Dave, 65-74 Male Published: October 09

I am a 68-year-old man. I began having panic attacks about 15 years ago. At first, they occurred only one night every couple of months. At that time, I had problems getting a diagnosis. The attacks have become more common but usually not as strong. They now vary from about twice a month to several times a week. Intensity varies from just icy-cold hands to pounding and rapid pulse, chest pains, and finally violent tremors of my arms and chest muscles. I have taken several medications with little improvement until I tried Xanax or the generic equivalent. I can take half a 25 mg tablet and get relief in 15 to 30 minutes. The attacks can come with no apparent cause or be triggered by even mildly stressful situations.

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Comment from: Sherri, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I had my first panic attack when I was pregnant with my second child. I was 29 years old. I did not have them for several years after that. They occur frequently now and I am 44. Mine are only at night and wake me up from my sleep. I have noticed they occur a week to two weeks before my menstrual cycle and occur several nights a week. I dread them! I have tried medications, but they don't seem to help. The best thing I do is get up and go to the bathroom. My OBGYN told me to bear down as if I am pooping. When you do this, it relaxes the muscles in your body. It sounds weird but it does help. I also try self-talk and try to breathe deeply. I read that it is rare to have them at night, and I am not sure why it happens only at night. However, I am grateful it doesn't happen in public. I really have not found a doctor who can help me or who even understands the symptoms. I get chills and shake as if I am going through hypothermia. I panic and think I am going to die, and then start thinking it would be easier to die.

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