I'm not exactly sure which type of anxiety disorder you have, but in an acute situation it doesn't make much difference in treatment. The DSM
IV..which is the current psychological diagnostic criteria bible classifies about 7 different types of anxiety. Everything from PTSD, to an acute
stress disorder. Link to DSM IV for anxiety related issues
It sounds like you had a definite issue with a specific trigger..the hurricane, so PTSD might have been a diagnoses, but like I said before...for the
other night that doesn't matter. What matters is something again caused you to have an acute panic attack or anxiety disorder. I will be honest here
and say there is a sort of an astigmatism in the medical field regarding many psych issues including anxiety unless you're a psychiatrist or
It is also commonly seen in ER's and I know doctors and pre-hospital providers get tired of dealing with it. That's just the honestly of the
situation and I thought you needed to know before I continue to try to explain this. The problem is though, many physicians, paramedics, nurses, etc.
think people are indeed faking it. And the truth is...some are. But it is a real disease.
Anxiety Disorders categorize a large number of disorders where the primary feature is abnormal or inappropriate anxiety. Everybody has experienced
anxiety. Think about the last time a loud noise frightened you and remember the feelings inside your body. Chances are you experienced an increased
heart rate, tensed muscles, and perhaps an acute sense of focus as you tried to determine the source of the noise. These are all symptoms of anxiety.
They are also part of a normal process in our bodies called the 'flight or flight' phenomenon. This means that your body is preparing itself to
either fight or protect itself or to flee a dangerous situation.
These symptoms become a problem when they occur without any recognizable stimulus or when the stimulus does not warrant such a reaction. In other
words, inappropriate anxiety is when a person's heart races, breathing increases, and muscles tense without any reason for them to do so. Once a
medical cause is ruled out, an anxiety disorder may be the culprit.
Disorders in this Category
Acute Stress Disorder
Agoraphobia (with or without a history of Panic Disorder)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder [GAD]
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder [OCD]
Panic Disorder (with or without Agoraphobia)
Phobias (including Social Phobia)
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]
This is directly from the DSM IV and the same link I used above.
Since we know have shown this is "real"...which I know you already knew, let's take a look at the treatments for these issues.
Most anxiety issues will take an extended amount of time to treat, and usually with a combination of medicine and therapy.
This is directly from The Mayo Clinic.
In some cases, anxiety is a diagnosable mental health condition that requires treatment. Generalized anxiety disorder, for example, is characterized
by persistent worry about major or minor concerns. Other anxiety disorders — such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — have more specific triggers and symptoms. In some cases, anxiety is caused by a medical condition that needs
Whatever form of anxiety you have, medications, counseling or lifestyle changes can generally help.
You probably had either a Generalized Anxiety Disorder
or a Panic Attack and Panic Disorder.
The symptoms are closely related....and so are the treatments. Especially for acute or sudden onset. For long term treatment usually SSRI, or SNRI's
can be used to help prevent them. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or tricyclic antidepressants can also be used, but these also take time and
both have a higher risk of side effects than the SSRI's or SNRI's do.
For BOTH according to the Mayo Clinic, and every medical facility I have ever worked for for acute treatment, benzodiazpines are used. They are a
central nervous system depressant, and can be habit forming. But again...I know you know all this. What is not found anywhere in anything I have ever
read, is the use of benadryl to treat acute anxiety. Off label use of meds to treat certain conditions is approved by the FDA, but it's my opinion
using benedryl is irresponsible and potentially more dangerous than say 1mg of Ativan...watching you for an hour or so, then letting someone take you
home and telling you to follow up with your personal physician in the morning.