Patient Comments: Panic Attacks - Effective Treatments

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

Published: June 17

I am a 35 year old woman that finally unlocked the mystery to my pain and sorrow. I denied for 15 years that something was wrong with me. I always wanted to be alone in a dark place. I even had my windows tented so people would not see my fear. People were never to approach and I rather like small condensed areas as a comfort zone. I first experienced a panic attack on a plan in 1997 on the way to Boston causing a slight in air disturbance. I lived leaved behind dark glasses, blinds and tent for the better portion of my life. After the attack in 1997 about 5 years ago I began to have trouble driving. I was confident of driving a stretch of road but then lost control. Signs have been present for more then a decade. Afraid to go into crowed places like a supermarket or drive because of this immense terror that would come over my as if I was loosing control like my body wasn't there. The feeling of crashing or loss of control was stronger then anything I had felt. First it was every few years then every few months but then there came a day my AGORAPHOBIA never went away. I was always embarrassed or ashamed. For me to walk into a store a routine and plan were very well thought out for a quick escape root but I had no idea who or what I was running from. There were no signals coming from my brain to direct me to turn when crossing a bridge. I have always had deep depression, and anxiety. I was foiling myself thinking they would go away. Then my heart started racing as I tried to drive around a steep bend tat I had driven for years and verbally direct myself to turn the steering wheel until one day I let go of the wheel nearly killing myself as I plummeted towards the concrete wall until all of a sudden I slammed on breaks. I would say to myself what us wrong you have driven these roads for 6 years nothing has changed but now I avoid the road. The attacks would come and go and then one day I couldn't live with it anymore. I started avoiding the areas where the attacks happened. I started taking roads and avoiding crows retreating to my home only venturing out in the near by community. I stayed away from friend's family lost jobs and relationships before of my phobia and fears were dealt with. It was the unrealistic things I was afraid of like dying was one. I started taking medication recently and plan to attend psycho therapy. I am more then ashamed then anything to find out I had a disorder triggered by stress unrelated to the situation I am in at the time I have the attacks. I still feel medication is not for me because you can become addicted but I knew if I didn't accept the truth I could kill myself or someone else. It seems like you have to learn all over again how to drive and balance yourself after you have already been down this road. It's not the easiest thing but with prayer and medical intervention maybe I can begin to heal my mind.

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Published: June 03

I am 28 years old and have been experiencing panic attacks for the last 11 years. During this time I have undergone years of therapy as well as numerous attempts at several medications; sometimes 3 or 4 medications at the same time. One of the most effective things that I can do to calm a panic attack is to focus on keeping my breathing slow and even. I tend to escape to a dark secluded space where I can lay down and focus on relaxing every muscle in my body. Every time I exhale I attempt to release the tension in my head, then my neck, then my chest and then my arms, etc. It's important for me to be as patient as possible. Sometimes I have to return to my neck and my chest over and over until I finally feel myself start to relax. There are the occasions when I can not calm down enough for this exercise to be effective. In times like that I desperately need to take Xanax. Xanax, as well as Valium, are the only medications I have found that will get rid of the racing thoughts and feeling that I or someone I love is going to die. It's a shame that so many people abuse these drugs because it just makes it that much more difficult for me to get a prescription for them. Sometimes not having them when I am in dire need is like life and death for me.

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Published: May 29

For my panic attacks I started taking a B complex vitamin with folic acid and vitamin c and a lot of exercise.

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

I try to go with what I am feeling at the time. Sometimes it's so bad that I know I need to lie down. Other times I feel like fighting it, and I take a friend along and do what I needed to do and FIGHT through it. It does take all you have, but once I got what I needed done I felt so much better and proud of myself. I know when I stay at home it gets worse, but if I try to get out and do even little things it helps me feel better mentally. I have tried hypnosis and it helps some. Relaxation and just yelling and getting it all out helps too.

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Comment from: tago, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I started having severe panic attacks 40 years ago. They truly incapacitated me. To make a long story short I bought and read the book "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" by Claire Weeks. (You can buy it on Amazon). I have not had a panic attack in 40 years, have traveled the world in complete comfort. Recently I had a friend who was under a lot of stress and started having panic attacks. I told her about this book I read and followed years ago and it worked for her too. I wasn't sure it was still in print but it is and it really works if you follow it and give your nervous system a chance to heal itself.

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