How do your anxiety/panic attacks present? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-25-2008, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas...

I'm in the middle of a bit of a health issue..

I have spent the past few months feeling lightheaded almost constantly. Then, about a month ago I started getting arm and chest burning.

I've had complete blood workups and can rule out diet and medication reations.

I have a CT scan tomorrow at 4pm to rule out masses/tumors in the brain.

I've also spoke with my cardiologist and ruled out my heart being the cause.

Initially I thought it was anxiety... and I'm still wondering if it is. I mean my body feels anxious but my mind doesn't. Does that make sense? The arm burning is interrupting my life. The lightheaded-ness as well.

Can anyone with anxiety disorder relate?

I am taking 10mg Lexapro and 100mg of Trazadone daily and have been for a while.

I know I might be reaching far here... but I want to address every thing. I need my health back.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#2 of 22 Old 03-25-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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Yep. Exactly. For years I had anxiety attacks just like you are describing. I would think I was fine, be doing some random thing like grocery shopping, and all of a sudden my chest and arm start burning. I've had to leave full shopping carts in stores and leave.

I am now on Geodon and when I feel an anxiety attack coming on (they don't happen often now) I take a Lorazapam.
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#3 of 22 Old 03-25-2008, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mama, I wish I could hug you.

Thank you so much for responding.

I am going to call my PCP now....

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#4 of 22 Old 03-29-2008, 07:52 AM
 
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Mine aren't quite the same presentation, but my DF's anxiety sounds similar to yours. When he was younger he also had a ton of tests done to see what was wrong and everything looked fine-- it was his anxiety.

I hope you're able to find the help you need
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#5 of 22 Old 03-29-2008, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much...

I'm still waiting on the cat scan results. (I had it Tuesday, you'd think they'd call me by now.)

As soon as they call me with them, I'm going to address the need for anxiety meds. I can't take much more of this...

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#6 of 22 Old 04-16-2008, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just an update on this... the scan was clear as I predicted.

My doctor increased my doses of lexapro and trazadone.

I'm still having the symptoms, though... I'm hoping since it's only been two weeks since the dose increase that it just takes time to really take full effect....

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#7 of 22 Old 04-16-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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MamaRbh,
I wish that you will feel much better soon. My anxiety has presented as a whole variety of physical symptoms. I have had SO many medical exams (including MRIs of my brain upon different occasions) for these symptoms. Recently, I was in the hospital overnight for tachycardia (elevated heart rate) and had a complete cardio workup. My resting heart rate would not get lower than 142! (And I excercise daily, am presumably in top physical condition...) I have also had lots of neuro symptoms, undiagnosed. I know how you must feel. I just started Lexapro 3 weeks ago and while I feel slightly less edgy, I'm not great. (These 10 mg may not be enough for me either.) What you describe can definitely be anxiety. I have had the infinite light-headedness, too. Take care of yourself and feel better soon!
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#8 of 22 Old 04-16-2008, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Man I could relate to your post in SO many ways, teachma... so many ways. In fact, in May I am having my tachycardia repaired via an ablation. (which my doctor thinks might be part of why the contant underlying anxiety)

I was on 10mg Lexapro, too, but was just raised to 20mg...

Thank you so much for responding.... I hope we can both find comfort soon.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#9 of 22 Old 04-17-2008, 10:00 AM
 
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Mine weren't quite like that, I'd start with my heart beginning to race, then my chest would get tight, breathing would get quicker, my ears would ring, and my head would spin, and I wanted to R.U.N.!!!!!!

I also take Lorazepam as needed for the attacks.

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#10 of 22 Old 04-17-2008, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm thinking I should go to an actualy psych rather than my family practice doctor about this. This morning was so uncomfortable...burning arms, tight chest. I think I need something more than 20mg of lexapro.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#11 of 22 Old 04-17-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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YES, please do go see a therapist. Family docs are not equipped to deal with things like this. You might also do better with a different ssri. Lots of people's anxiety gets WORSE on Lex. You might need something else.

You could also use something like Ativan, just when the attacks come. But you need to see a therapist for this, not just the family doc. They are pretty much clueless.

Mom to two beautiful boys, now in school to be a therapist and help other women with PPD.  
 

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#12 of 22 Old 04-17-2008, 02:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaRBH View Post
I'm thinking I should go to an actualy psych rather than my family practice doctor about this. This morning was so uncomfortable...burning arms, tight chest. I think I need something more than 20mg of lexapro.
Please do, family practice docs are under qualified to treat mental health. Mine sent me into a manic episode by prescribing 20 mg of lexapro.

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#13 of 22 Old 04-17-2008, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's unanimous, eh? I'll have to call for a referral today...

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#14 of 22 Old 04-18-2008, 09:59 AM
 
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good for you. It can be a hard call to make, but it's an important one.

~Autumn~   Mama to whistling.gif (2001) and hearts.gif(2005) partners.gif madly in love since '99 
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#15 of 22 Old 04-18-2008, 11:32 AM
 
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Do your episodes have a pattern or trigger? You could try keeping a diary of what you are doing and when your symptoms present. If you find your attacks are caused by a certain trigger(s) you can take a preemptive xanax when you know you will be in that situation instead of taking something (i.e. lexapro) on a constant basis.

I was put on Paxil for my anxiety/panic attacks and it made things a hell lot worse. Coming off Paxil was even harder. I know my panic attacks are caused by highway driving or driving over bridges so now I just take one before I know I will be in the situation that causes it.

good luck and we are always here to talk. Personally, my panic attacks make me feel like a freak sometimes when I around those that don't understand.

\m/

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#16 of 22 Old 04-18-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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My anxiety doesn't manifest like your does, but I also suggest tracking what your triggers seem to be. A combination of avoiding triggers, therapy, EMDR (much of my anxiety is related to complex PTSD) and lexapro have really reduced my panic attacks.
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#17 of 22 Old 04-19-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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My first experience with panic attacks also led me to think I had a brain tumor or something, with CT scans and everything. I was sure I was dying. I couldn't believe that I could have so many physical symptoms, and that there was nothing abnormal showing up on the tests. I was out-of-it/dizzy/couldn't see well/etc. for about a month until I finally got the diagnosis of "anxiety/panic attacks."

For me, just knowing that it was anxiety/panic attacks was enough to make me get better. Now when I start to feel that way, I'm able to calm myself down by reminding myself that what I'm feeling isn't "real." (Most of my triggers seem to be something relating to my health). The brain is an amazing thing. I wouldn't be at all surprised if what you're feeling could be due to anxiety alone.



Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#18 of 22 Old 04-22-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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I find that when my stress minefests itself in physical symptoms (stomachaches, chest pain), I tend not to realize how stressed I am mentally because I'm not experiencing it mentally. If you think you are stresed, these health problems can definitely be stress-related. Although they are different from mine, I have come to find that stress can manifest itself in infinite ways.
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#19 of 22 Old 04-22-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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My anxiety attacks start with a general tightening in my chest, usually to one side. If I let it go then it goes across my whole chest. I don't ever feel nervous or have a racing heart but I do have a huge urge to start writing "if I die letters" to my dd and dh. That's how I can tell if things are bad for me.

*formerly apecaut*, Mom to A, Calliope (stillborn 40 weeks 6/22/07), A and O
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#20 of 22 Old 04-22-2008, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having a heart procedure on 5/2.... I'm going to wait to call a psych until after the procedure asI'm thinking my fear of that could be the cause for the anxiety. Wish me luck...

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#21 of 22 Old 04-22-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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are theygoing to sedate you at all? my husband had a procedure done last year, an epidural for back pain (numbing then injecting cortizone) and the first one hurt so bad he was yelling. the week before the 2nd he was ramped, anxiety up to hear and beyond.

they sedated him, and he said it was a breeze (comparatively) about a week later he was prescribed clonazepam.


It might be a good idea to go a head and call now, if nothing else they can give you a small supply 7-10 days instead of the 30-60 I get.

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#22 of 22 Old 04-23-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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DH is going in to see our PA tomorrow morning for an exam. Two nights ago he had what he referred to as a major attack. He was afraid it was a heart attack, and woke me to just be up with him. He was chattering about our life insurance, and kept asking what would happent o the kids and I. His heart was racing and his back and arm went numb. He walked aound with the phone in his hand. I finally got him to ly down and I was next to him with my head on his chest. His heart was beating very rapidly for a very long time. While he feels concerned it may have been a heart attack, I am feeling it may be more anxiety. He has had a simialr attack in the past.

Has anyone had any numbness with prior attacks?

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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