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General Anxiety and Panic Disorder

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posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:06 AM
reply to post by Erich94

I didn't go through every post, so this may have been mentioned. Are you drinking enough water? And by enough I mean lots, lots of water, more than you think you need.

My "Dear Aleister" advice is to spend a couple of hours on and and educate yourself about dehydration and the symptoms of dehydration. That should help considerably as well as "arm" you with information you can use both for yourself and to share with others. Good luck, and good drinking (water that is)!

edit on 1-3-2013 by Aleister because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:17 AM
The stewardess that came was truly an angel. She asked me a bunch of questions and I think she quickly gauged that I was having a psychological problem, not a physical condition or anything life threatening. The details of our conversation are a bit of a blur, but I remember she was very, very kind. She brought me an orange and a sandwich, which she urged me to eat. I really didn't want to eat as I felt so sick, but I ate them anyway. I think they might have been her own lunch that she brought for herself, as it was a very small plane and a very short flight that had no food service - but I have no way to know for sure. She kept telling me that I was ok and that I just needed to eat something.

I felt much better after eating this food, and the panic completely subsided by the time we landed.

I'm just bringing up this story as it is the first major panic attack that I had. It's an interesting example, as there are so many obvious triggers for it - my girlfriend just broke up with me, I was dealing with the stress of travelling and flying, and I was essentially in a financial emergency as I was out of funds while travelling abroad (due to my own negligence and stupidity of course - maybe not regarding the breakup, but regarding my budget - but maybe the breakup as well).

I had no idea that this was a panic attack. I didn't even know what a panic attack was. A few years went by afterwards where I had no other panic attacks at all. Afterwards, I chalked this up as some "strange thing" that happened, and never thought much about it. Probably I was just trying to put it out of my memory. Mostly, I felt very embarrassed about having made such a scene.

It's only later, after having dealt with severe, ongoing panic attacks over long periods of time that I reflect on this as being my first one.

I think that most people would not have had a panic attack like I did, even with all of the triggers and general stress I was under (not to mention being a bit hung over and not having eaten). Most people would have just been feeling rather crappy, and maybe sick, but they probably would not have panicked. Some people, just based on our brain chemistry maybe, are more prone to having panic when there are certain triggers for it - this story is probably a classic example of this.

Unfortunately or fortunately - depending on how you look at it, in life we cannot totally control everything that's happening to us all of the time. No matter how diligent you are in keeping a healthy diet, trying to get enough sleep, get proper exercise, etc, sometimes things will go wrong and you might be in a situation where your body and mind are under extreme stress and this can trigger panic if you are prone to it. This is yet another argument for mastering these "cognitive behavioral therapy" techniques, while at the same time doing various numbers of the things folks recommend in this thread to help to keep your body and mind strong, nourished, and balanced in order to prevent inappropriate extreme anxiety or panic from happening in the first place.

I need to go to sleep soon, but will start working on another post to detail the rest of my story. I'll try to get it up within the next hour, unless I run out of steam and need to crash.

This thread is truly an example of where ATS shines. There are so many awesome, heartfelt and sincere posts here and I am honored to be part of this conversation.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:25 AM
Freud taught people to control their emotions and Reich taught people to release them:

Make up your own mind.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:27 AM
reply to post by Erich94

Thank you for the full and accurate description of a panic attack.

I suffered them many years ago, before computers or mobile/cell phones, so not only I but no one had the foggiest idea what was wrong with me, and there was no way of finding out, except to trawl through dozens of library books.

I had barely heard the term 'panic attack' before - I just assumed I was going insane or else having a heart attack.

I recognise everything you mention, particularly the wanting to get up and "do" something, and going for a drink of water...though not sure why, as I wasn't thirsty.

I got a friend to drive me to hospital during one attack, and I semi-collapsed inside the building, trying to hold onto a wall.

A nurse grabbed me under the arms, put me in a wheelchair, and wheeled me into a room, where a doctor examined me.

I remember shouting "It's my heart!" convinced it was a heart attack.

He made me breathe into a paper bag for a few seconds, and I felt fine (if foolish) and went home.

Many years later, I can confidently say that the attacks were brought on because I was subconsciously worried about being unemployed.

The human mind is a very complex thing.....

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 07:28 AM
reply to post by Itisnowagain

In the physical world, I am my body.
In the spiritual world, I am my mind.
And I am also the silence behind it.

But while I exist in these world, these are the identities that must be protected because whether or not I identify with them - its pain can still be felt by "me" as others can feel their pain through their own minds and bodies.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 07:48 AM
reply to post by Erich94

Very odd! I was considering posting a post similar to this just this morning as i woke up. But i thought people wouldn't want to read due to the nature of the website... anyway, i'll try help... if i can!

I was never and still have never been diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder. But im 99.99999% sure i have it. And have had it, on and off, for the past few years. However, my general worrying about EVERYTHING started 9 years ago this month. My father passed away when i was 12. After that, it kind of shook me up... naturally. I personally think that has definitely either bought the anxiety on or at least added to it. What pushed it to another level was a health scare i had a few years ago. Thank God, it was nothing, but it pushed me to pretty high levels of anxiety. Mines health anxiety, what's yours in relation to? Or just general?

I can relate to your dream like state. I only skimmed through your post as it was rather long so excuse me if you mentioned this. But did you ever check out Depersonalization? If not, you definitely should. It's a symptom of anxiety where nothing feels real or you feel in a dream like state. Everyday things feel unfamiliar.... It is a symptom of anxiety therefore can not be there without the initial anxiety. I have had it. For about 3-4 months, and it was extremely scary! Until i figured out why/what was going on. It's easier said than done, but i tried to forget about it. Which was easier knowing that it was not serious and merely an anxiety symptom. I really think you should do some research on it, if you think you had this. (again, if you mentioned it sorry! haha)

Anxiety is an extremely scary thing and a lot of people just think "it's anxiety, stop worrying" a LOT easier said than done. There is medication, like you mentioned, and counselling out there that have helped some people i have spoken to. But i never used either of them. I struggled through and made it out the other end! Well, to an extent! I still have anxiety but i feel much more in control of it 90% of the time. It doesn't ruin my life like i know it once did. Anxietyzone is a great place to chat with others that may help! Google it. Stick at it, you'll get there, im sure. It might never leave completely, but i hope, like me, you can live your life without panic getting in the way 24/7. We all have bad days with it, but it's not every day now!

That's a brief outline of my story! I hope it helped and keep in touch if you need to chat!
edit on 1-3-2013 by MrConspiracy because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-3-2013 by MrConspiracy because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 07:57 AM
i have had similar experiences through my life mine started when i was a child i was told they were night terrors i would wake up feeling real terror i don't know why at the age of about 10 yrs they stopped then again when i was in my 20s i was watching tv and all of a sudden i got the same feeling of real terror i had to go out of the house i suppose i was trying to run away from the feeling these carried on for years on and off im now 49 yrs old i don't get them as bad now but i controlled them in a way i would let the feeling take me over and give in to it and tell myself it was if i didn't care anymore now i get mostly palpitations and still the fear but it doesn't scare my anymore and as long as i know that it doesn't last as long hope this helps a bit good luck

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 09:42 AM
reply to post by Erich94

I think the disorder itself came partly from heredity, I was always a "nervous Nelly". My past drug use sure did not help. What triggered my very first panic attack was where I was at in my life, struggling with a bad break up on top of a high stress job and finally one day I just cracked.

Do I think one panic attack can bring on more? Absolutely! After my first it was constantly in my head worrying about when the next one was going to happen and in general what was going on. I was a mess and I let it take control of me. It wasn't until I got so fed up with things that I started to face these things head on and deal with them. I got ahold of myself and this helped greatly. Instead of getting scared when I felt one coming on and running out of the room or building, I would stay where I was and just concentrate on my breath, tell myself I was going to be OK, keep following my breath until the horrible feelings would subside. The more you do that, the easier it gets. I barely get them now and if I do its from outside triggers, I don't induce them upon myself anymore cause I learned not to fear them. Learning not to fear them makes them easier to get through in general.

General anxiety disorder has been nasty for me. Its good days, bad days. Some days my nerves mess with me big time and other days I'm fine. The ativan was a life saver at one point but I've managed to wean myself down with vitamins which have helped alot.

Other things that helped me, surround yourself with love and laughter. By that I mean immerse yourself in hobbies and things you love. For me its music, dancing and my cat. My cat makes me laugh at least a few times a day with all the silly things he does. Putting on some of my favorite music does wonders. If I have one of those days where I just can't win I'll end the day with my favorite funny movie, which I can laugh at over and over again. Find comedies or funny shows that you like, watch funny videos on you tube.... Laugh!

You have been very open on here about your disorder and I suggest doing the same with friends and family, if you don't already. I'm open about it with the people around me and this helps alot. If I'm feeling a panic attack coming along I tell them, and they are right there to help me through it and tell me everything is going to be OK. Have your girl friend help you through this too, be completely honest with her when you start to feel crappy. My bf and I both suffer from panic and anxiety and we have a nice little support system to help each other through the rough days. The more you talk to people about it the more you will find how common it is. Just having someone else reassure me everything is going to be OK when my nerves are acting up helps alot, especially if its someone that suffers from them too. Just knowing someone else understands what your going thru can provide comfort.

One last suggestion, if you have the medical insurance I would get the other things ruled out first. I was lucky to have good insurance when all this hit me and my doctor sent me for tons of tests to rule the other things out... Especially alot of heart tests. Once I had all that out of the way it was like a big weight lifted off me.

You are young yet. I hope with all of our advice on here you may be able to get through this quicker and easier than some of us. I'm a very stubborn person, the main thing is never give up, keep trying new things to help and I promise you it does get alot easier and you will become a much stronger person.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 10:03 AM
reply to post by Erich94

My anxiety stems from the amount of physics that I studied during high school on my free time. I was very interested in science, physics and quantum mechanics. I studied a bunch of theories about existence and the universe which led me to be quite the philosopher. Basically the act of actually existing is so weird to me that this actually is what causes my anxiety which also contributes to my panic attacks which came about from a completely different reason which I am unaware of.


You hit it right on the head there, and I've been down that road so many times (questioning my own existence and the purpose thereof) that I finally started to get angry at myself.

I didn't want to feel weak and helpless anymore, a victim of my own reality...

The first thing I did to reign in the panicky feeling was to learn the 7-11 breathing technique. The next thing I did was to force myself to come to some conclusions about life:

(1) We are going to die somehow, some way, at some time and that's GREAT, because who really wants to live FOREVER?

(2) Existence has no inherent purpose, other than the purposes we attribute to it.

(3) Too much of anything is bad for you, INCLUDING deep thinking and trying to 'figure it all out' which will never be done from a 3D perspective.

(4) I DEMAND back the control over my emotions that I once had. I am VIGILANT about my self control, and all other modes of thinking are secondary to that.

Although we are all slated for suffering and death (as taught in Buddhism) we do not have to play victim to our own daydreaming: Getting a grip is sometimes as simple as letting go.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 10:16 AM
one word :"XANX"

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 10:25 AM
Sorry to hear about your intense anxiety. I do relate to your nagging feelings about the nature of our existence. I always wonder why I should be compelled to participate in it when we aren't allowed to be aware of the reason for or the nature of things. I always think of it as our lives being a game of Monopoly. Most people unquestioningly participate in the game and are happy to go on with their efforts to complete its objectives. I'm more concerned about what the board is made of. The answer to that question will not help you play the game in any way, and for that reason I see the game itself to be irrelevant. I feel generalized anxiety a good amount of the time, but fortunately it never reaches the extremes that it has for you.

It's interesting that you say that at the height of these attacks, you feel separated from your body, because I find that the more I can feel that I am fully inhabiting my body, the more at ease I'm able to feel. I generally have the feeling that I have one foot out the door of this reality, which means that there is a something/somewhere else, and where or what that is, is what nags at me. Another way to describe it is that I have my own thoughts, feelings, identity and experiences, but those things exist upon a larger background. I tend to wonder what that background really is.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 11:36 AM
Get rid of any and all garbage you are putting in your body. That goes for prescription pills, caffeine, aspartame, etc... all that stuff only makes it worse. Get some exercise. Do something fun. Go bowling. Take a bike ride. All problems are in the mind, and all problems are solved in the mind. Try reading the Tao Te Ching. You don't need Buspirone or any of that other poison that doctors push for the drug companies.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 11:58 AM

Originally posted by arpgme
reply to post by Itisnowagain

In the physical world, I am my body.
In the spiritual world, I am my mind.
And I am also the silence behind it.

But while I exist in these world, these are the identities that must be protected because whether or not I identify with them - its pain can still be felt by "me" as others can feel their pain through their own minds and bodies.

Pain is an experience that comes and passes in that which never passes.

The mind (experienced as thought) and body (experienced as sensation) are appearances that appear and disappear in that which never passes.

Everything is an appearance accept that which never appears - awareness.
Awareness - ever present but rarely noticed.

Notice awareness and see how peaceful it feels. It is the only cure for the fear of life.
There's no place like home.
edit on 1-3-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 12:14 PM
Effexor and Seroquel helps a lot !! Just sayin'

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 12:23 PM
Sorry, i didn't have time to read through all the posts.

I'm not a 'medical person' but you should get your doctor to check your iron count and more important your FERRITIN count taken at the doctor's and while waiting. .

Also, check out your magnesium and vitamin d levels.
. I am sure your doctor will be a great help if you are anaemic.

Good luck.
edit on 1-3-2013 by Elliot because: grammar

edit on 1-3-2013 by Elliot because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-3-2013 by Elliot because: grammar

edit on 1-3-2013 by Elliot because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:00 PM
Well...with all the responses your getting here...let me throw another at you. A conspiracy website is no place for medical advice. Youll get hundreads of interpretations...some making sense...others not....and none are verifiable and necessarily reflective of what you currently are experiencing.

Get a complete diagnostic physical exam from a medical doctor to establish there are no organic causes against your body's homeostasis (the body's natural ability to maintain to day, month to month).

You do owe yourself a medical diagnosis from a licensed physician. All these opinions can be confusing, misleading and not very specific to your issues.

Good luck. Oh, and mention Moms issue growing up. It may be hereditary.

MS (EMT 1st Responder)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:00 PM

Originally posted by Elliot
Also, check out your magnesium and vitamin d levels.

I was thinking potassium. You can get twitchy if you aren't getting enough potassium. And it will also affect your heart rate.

Also, finding ways to lower your brainwaves will relax your muscles and is good for anyone. Watching a movie at a movie theater, at 24 frames per second, is better for your mind than watching TV, at 30 frames per second. Meditation is always a good thing and there are so many websites out there to teach you. If your anxiety is attached to your central vision (visual phobias mostly), doing peripheral vision exercises can help. If you wear glasses, get your vision rechecked by a professional eye doctor (not at a place like Sears). If your glasses prescription is off, it could be kicking your brain into a higher/more alert state and setting off anxiety. Exercise will make your muscles tired and less prone to spasming (unless you overdo it).

Hope that helps.
edit on 1-3-2013 by CryHavoc because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:18 PM
reply to post by Erich94

Hi Erich94,

thanks very much for sharing your experiences with panic attacks on the forum. I have been suffering from them for about as long as you. Fortunately, I have them nearly completely under control without medication.

As the information available about this disorder is sometimes confused and diluted with crank/quack material, I'd like to post what I have found out, in case it can help you. To my knowledge, all of the following are main stream medical facts and not my own opinions. However, it is important to understand that whilst I am an academic, **I have no medical training and am only offering this advice as a fellow sufferer, not as a qualified professional.**

* Panic attacks are NOT recognised as a *mental* condition. They are a disorder affecting the *nervous system*.

* Sufferers describe them as being the worst thing a human being can experience, aside from torture. (As a sufferer, I can add my full approbation to that!) They can often shock the body so badly that they take weeks to recover from!!

* Panic attacks are caused by "long term, relentless anxiety caused by an external stressor". Every single word there counts! If this is not you, then I urge you to seek medical advice. There are a very small number of exceedingly rare diseases which can cause panic attacks (as far as I know, treatable diseases, so no cause for panic).

* Panic attacks last from a couple of minutes to 15 minutes each, but can trigger rolling follow-on attacks, sometimes for hours or even days. This can be a highly emotional experience, and can eventually lead to depression.

* Panic attacks are not usually triggered by something that was just said to you or that you were just thinking about. They often happen completely randomly and unexpectedly, though some environments can increase their occurrence.

* The most important technique in dealing with panic attacks *when they happen* is to recognise immediately that it is **only** a panic attack and that it is just telling you that you need to enhance your calm. It will pass if you enhance your calm. Don't allow yourself to get emotional or to "explore where the panic is taking you". To the extent possible, take your mind off the panic and focus on something else of interest. This requires much practice, but it is the most effective thing you can do. Calm, calm, calm.

* Do NOT hyperventilate. Breathe extremely calmly whilst thinking about something else. Take a breath of five seconds in, hold it for two seconds, five seconds out. Repeat once or twice, but no more, then try to get on with your life. It takes practice, but that is all you need to do!

* The most important thing in dealing with panic attacks *when they are not happening* is to deal swiftly and decisively with the cause of the long term stress and anxiety. The most common reason for the nervous system becoming fraught is rehearsal of hypothetical future situations. "Why, if this [insert possible future event or conversation] happens then I'll do this, and this, and say that". This is the unhealthy mental habit that leads to anxiety disorder. You must make a conscious effort to practice shutting down such rehearsals of "what-if" scenarios as soon as they happen. They are learned behaviour and an unhealthy mental practice.

* You may need to be abrupt with people. Don't be excessively polite. Be bold and say what needs to be said, come what may. Recent research shows that this kind of anxiety is often the result of sufferers focusing too much on the future and not on the here and now! Be more ruthless with your future and make changes now, without regard to consequences! Planning for the future is fine, so long as it is productive, not unproductive, unhealthy thought. Being rude is not required, just *assertive*. Think entrepreneur/business minded, not rude!

* Exercise will relieve stress. However certain kinds of extremes can actually increase it. This includes power-lifting for example. To avoid unhealthy elevation of cortisol, it is essential to deload every four weeks if pushing your body to physical extremes. But regular exercise is essential to reducing stress. At least three half hour sessions a week.

* Walking in nature dramatically reduces stress, as does listening to quiet classical music, spending time with friends and family, etc.

* Blueberries and dark chocolate are excellent at reducing stress. Beware of just about every gimmick product (e.g. Acai berries are actually a pretty middle-of-the-road antioxidant). These facts are backed by real medical research!

* You must cease *all* intake of stimulants, especially caffeine (coffee, coke, diet coke, energy drinks) and pre-workout formulas and drugs such as ephedrine, etc.

If you would like to contact me by PM, please feel free. I studied physics at uni. I'd love to discuss with you further. Hope this helps.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:49 PM
reply to post by jcutler12888

Yeah, you can't trust tap water. From the chemicals they put into to the integrity of the pipes of the public water system (and their potential for contaminating the water with anything from heavy metals to other poisons in the ground), it's generally a good idea to avoid water from the tap.

Interestingly on a daily basis all I drink is tap water (well okay I drink coffee, but usually no more than two). I live in the UK though and you live in the USA so I'm sure there are differences.

I know there is a lot that people say about water fluoridation too. I don't think my water is fluoridated be honest I have no idea.

Secondly the other member posted about writing things down. I think this can be beneficial and not just to those who are suffering from anxiety/panic attacks. It helps clarify your thoughts and if you can't be honest just writing your feelings down on paper then who can you be honest with? It's a way of venting and personally I find it works for me. It's also nice to read back after time has passed and read what you wrote and think back about what you were feeling and things happening at that time.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:53 PM
reply to post by XtraTL

I forgot to add the following:

I suffered from night terrors when young (actually continued into my teens). But I didn't remember them afterwards. My family told me I was having them. So I found what you wrote about that quite interesting.

The symptoms you described of derealization are also characteristic, but I don't happen to get those particular symptoms.

I often have intense thoughts about my existence, eternity, why anything at all exists, how I can possibly be aware of my existence, etc. But these thoughts are not the cause of my panic attacks (in my case it is career stress).

By the way, recent research shows that dealing with depression is often quite similar to dealing with anxiety. They are much more linked than we thought, though having one doesn't necessarily have anything to do with having the other. And primary depression is treated as more of a mental illness than a nervous system disorder.

But there's a lot of hope in recent research for people with severe depression. Some of the same techniques appear to work for them to some degree (though often in concert with medication, which is sometimes needed)!

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