Patient Comments: Panic Attacks - Effective Treatments

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

Comment from: jams 08, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

Looking back, I guess I had my first panic attack around 18. My grandparents took me to the hospital, and I was told I just hyperventilated. Now at 36, I suffer full-blown panic attacks. It got really bad last year while going through some marital problems. I get them now when I feel stressed, like at work or for no reason at all. I also get them sometimes in crowds. I feel like I'm suffocating. My heart beats hard, I get hot flashes, my hands shake and sometimes go numb, and I start to cry. It most often happens in public too. I started carrying around 5 mg of Xanax. It helps take the edge off, and then I can usually calm down. Breathing exercises never helped me. It always made me panic more. Sometimes I wonder how I will be able to continue working because I often think I am absolutely going crazy and should be in the hospital. Thank goodness for Xanax.

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Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I had panic attacks from the time I was 12 years old. At the age of 40, I discovered a thyroid tumor in my neck. I had the tumor removed and have never had another panic attack since. This makes me so happy because my attacks were extremely uncomfortable and fearsome. They kept me from living my life the way I wanted to. I resisted taking any drug therapies, even at a young age.

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Comment from: Krystal, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I'm 17 and I have regular panic attacks almost everyday. It's gotten to the point were I'm almost scared to even go to sleep at night because I fear that I will die in my sleep. When I had my first attack I was 14 and it was horrific for me. I was home alone, parents were at work, and it was so sudden, I got the chills, palpitations, tingling hands, and light headedness. I thought I was having a heart attack which made me panic more. I had this overwhelming thought that I was going to die right there at any minute. Now one of my friends has died from cardiac arrest and I was told that it what's causing my most recent panic attacks, thinking about my friend dying at 16. I knew she had heart problems but it still hit me hard. Now I fear everyday that my heart will stop at anytime and I'll die. This just sets me up for an attack later on. I cut caffeine out of my diet completely and it helped a lot, but now it doesn't seem to matter, I get them constantly again.

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Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I first realized I suffered from panic disorder when I was a freshman in high school. I felt out of control, like I was going crazy, or that I was going to die. I saw multiple doctors and they all told me the same thing: "You're perfectly healthy." I finally saw my school counselor whose husband suffers from panic disorder as well. She gave me a book to read and being able to put a name to my condition helped me right away. I had been doing fine until I was 25 and planning my wedding. My panic attacks started again and I'm now taking Zoloft 25mg. The Zoloft has helped tremendously and I even forget to take it sometimes. After not having a panic attack for two years, (I guess I was overdue), my husband went away for a week on a business trip and I had a panic attack again. I upped my dose to 50mg and am feeling fine. I'll probably go back down to 25mg after he comes back. What helps me deal, is knowing about the condition. Learn as much as you can about panic disorder and understand that there are others out there. You are not alone.

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Comment from: foxgurrrlie21, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I am 24 years old and I'm a single mom to 2 special needs children. I have very high anxiety but it's been most recent that I've been having panic attacks. They are so scary for me. They come without warning and it feels like I'm going to die, as soon as i start having one, I go lay down put my feet up and breathe in through my nose and exhale through my mouth. My 7 year old son is so scared that I'm going to die, I tell him no it's just a reminder mommy is doing too much. He doesn't understand though. I used to have them far and few between every couple of months, but most recently I have them maybe 3-4 times a week. Sometimes I have more then one in the same day. All I can say is that its super scary.

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Comment from: lindsey0131, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

Only psychotherapy and Xanax have helped with my panic attacks. I have been on nearly all SSRIs and TCAs over the past eight years to no avail.

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