Patient Comments: Panic Attacks - Effective Treatments

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

Comment from: simone, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I have suffered with panic attack for years. It used to happen very often, then my doctor prescribed Zoloft for a short while and Ativan on long term. My attacks use to be severe. It happened suddenly and I am speechless and helpless during that time; I feel as if I am dying. It left my body drained. I am always scared that I'll get a heart attack and die but after speaking with an experienced relative, she helped me to see that, that will not happen. She said I have to have positive thoughts and forget about sickness and meditate. I am still on a low dose of Ativan but meditation helps me control my breathing and makes me feel better. Every time I feel funny at heart I meditate and sometimes it helps me avoid an attack.

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Comment from: felladog4, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 01

I started with antidepressants to fight the panic disorder. A lady friend told me one day I was mush mouthed. Doctor told me I was on the top he could give me and I said wanted to see a psychiatrist. Got with a good doctor and an excellent social worker who treated me for several years. Finally worked my way through till just now and then attacks, the most recent the other day. I went straight to the shrink's office and got some good advice from the psychiatric nurse as all the doctors were off on Friday. Still a little antsy but better, may soon join a day group for further work if doctor thinks it's necessary. I'm on medication, Lexapro and Klonopin, generic of both.

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Comment from: Leslie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I have had panic disorder for 16 years. I have found that I cause my panic attacks by the way I am thinking (negatively). It took a long time to come to this conclusion. I was prescribed Xanax initially, along with therapy. The therapy has been the most helpful (talking, journaling, etc.). When I feel overwhelmed, the anti-anxiety meds help. I watch what I think and what I say. I have taken words like "worst," "horrible," etc., out of my vocabulary so that I can talk myself down. For example, "This may not feel very good, but it will go away." My panic attacks now last a few seconds at most. I grew up in an abusive home and discovered that the little girl in me needs to be loved and accepted. I try to make time for me every day: taking a bath, journaling, walking, working out, etc. These things help immensely with my self-esteem. I am still working on my agoraphobia now. I keep pushing the edge because I want to be totally free. The last thing I have to conquer is flying and driving alone. It's hard, but it feels so liberating when I succeed!

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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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