Patient Comments: Panic Attacks - Effective Treatments

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

Published: August 29

I suffered my first panic attack after my sister died. After talking to friends and family about what was happening, they said they thought I was having panic attacks. I then read books and got a lot of information about the condition. Once I had this information, I felt empowered to fight it. I eventually learned to take control of the panic attack and not let it take control of me. I would try to breathe it out. I would focus on something other than the attack. Although this sounds easy, it was very difficult, but I was determined not to live my life this way. I have never had medication for it. After 10 years, I am finding that my attacks are under control, but if I am in a situation where I am not in control, like going on a plane, I am scared that I will have a panic attack. So I have been to a doctor who has given me Ativan to take when I am in this situation of feeling out of control. So I have yet to try it out, and I hope it works, or that I may not even need it, because I will not let this rule my life.

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Comment from: Softie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

I have suffered from panic attacks since I was 6. I am 35 now. I do not take any medications for them as I have tried so many, and well, they just make me worse. I am writing a book on how to deal with them without medications. I could not talk to people and everything scared me. Now, I work full-time as an accounts payable clerk. I have traveled all over Australia and have a son. Panic attacks have ruined relationships, and I get into bouts of depression. However, through my own self monitoring, I can deal with them. I live a fairly normal life and do not let my panic attacks get in the way of what I want to do. Don't let them control you, you can control them.

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Comment from: katieson, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

This is my second time around with panic attacks, and I am so angry that it's reared its ugly head again. This time, I refused to allow it to cripple me, so I am on Effexor. I've been on it for six weeks now and it's going OK. I was literally terrified of taking medication, but I can't go back to the old, crippled version of me. Now, I take the pills religiously. It's hard to accept that I have little control over this. I will manage it this time, I did before, and I am taking solace in the fact that it went away before. I did try some cognitive behavioral therapy 12 years ago, but the counselor was useless and had no understanding of the disorder. I hope the one I am planning to use this time is more experienced.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

I have that Ativan works well for my panic attacks. I was diagnosed with panic disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar 1 disorder. I know what it is like to experience these frightening feelings, and my heart goes out to those that also experience that.

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Published: July 15

I am 45 years old and began having panic attacks two years ago after the unexpected death of friend from a major heart attack. In the beginning, I took Ativan/Lorazepam. I also started a strict diet and exercise program. I completely cut out all caffeine. I also stopped drinking sodas and switched my diet to one that was rich in fish, chicken, vegetables and whole grains. Over a one-year period, I lost 35 pounds and did not need to take my medication at all. Last year, I fell off the bandwagon and began consuming red meats, fried foods, etc. I also slacked off on the exercise and gained 15 pounds. Now the anxiety has started again. I've just begun my new/old routine again and hope it works the second time around and pray for the discipline to stick with it.

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Published: June 26

I had the attacks at night. I would awake and be short of breath and just sure I was going to die right there. My doc diagnosed me with sleep apnea. I wear a c-pap machine now and have no more attacks. I also had hallucinations about spiders in the bed. I would wake up and sleep on the sofa because Ii believed there were spiders all in my bed and hanging webs above me. I can laugh about that now, but at the time it was extremely frightening. Life is so much better now.

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Published: June 17

I take Effexor XR 75mg daily and Ativan as needed, although Ativan takes about 20 minutes to start working which can seem like an eternity. I try to focus on breathing and relaxing during an attack. It's sometimes easier said than done, but does help if you stay focused.

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