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General Anxiety and Panic Disorder

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posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:55 PM
reply to post by Kram09

Keep guessing. I suffer panic attacks and don't drink tap water!

The cause is known. Stop with all the nonsense guessing!

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 02:08 PM
reply to post by XtraTL

Keep guessing. I suffer panic attacks and don't drink tap water! The cause is known. Stop with all the nonsense guessing!

What are you talking about? I didn't say tap water was the cause, I was merely remarking on what another member had said.

What nonsense guessing?

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 03:15 PM
reply to post by Kram09

Sorry, I read your post out of context!

I tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to people saying tap water is to blame for this or that. Anyway, off-topic. I reacted without checking the context. Sorry.
edit on 1-3-2013 by XtraTL because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 04:05 PM
reply to post by XtraTL

No worries, it happens.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 04:16 PM
reply to post by XtraTL

Since a number of people mentioned heart conditions, I thought I would say a few words about this.

There are actually some rare heart conditions that can cause panic attacks. There is also a conditional called pheochromocytoma (usually benign growths on the adrenal gland) that can cause panic attacks, especially headache and a racing heart etc. In *most* cases, it is my understanding that these are rarely the cause. "Rare as hen's teeth" to quote a cardiologist I once saw.

Tachycardia is simply a fast beating heart. I had this for nearly a year when I was younger. I also had white coat syndrome (blood pressure 200/160 when taken by someone wearing a lab coat!)

Most of the time, these symptoms are the result, not the cause of panic disorder. A highly reactive immune system goes hand in hand with the nervous disorder underlying panic attacks. All of the effects of panic disorder, racing heart, increased blood pressure, headaches, chest pain, tingling, etc., are the result of the sympathetic nervous system flipping out due to constant levels of anxiety above the norm. (Of course if you have tingling, chest pain, etc., and do not know you are having a panic attack, seek immediate medical attention. I'm talking about people who know they are suffering from panic attacks.)

Someone also mentioned muscle twitching. This is another such symptom. Of course many of these things have a negative feedback loop associated with them, to the extent that if you can deliberately smooth your movements, breathing, etc., without twitching, that will actually reduce the anxiety and likelihood of an attack, even though the former was actually caused by the latter!

Another thing worth mentioning is that some sufferers shutter themselves in, for fear that they will have an attack in front of others. They describe a living hell, unable to function normally.

I can absolutely confidently say that this is not necessary. Shuttering oneself in and leaving oneself alone with one's thoughts is probably the worst thing one can do. The mind will focus on the panic and anxiety and this will actually increase the likelihood of further attacks. In almost all circumstances, the right approach is to face life head on, and enjoy as *much* of it as possible, now! The distraction of living life now is actually an essential element in overcoming the recurrence of anxiety attacks brought on by focusing on the disorder itself. That can be a significant component of the disorder for some sufferers, so definitely worth dealing with.

There is one situation where one should avoid situations that bring on attacks. That is any situation where you are regularly pushing yourself physically to extremes. Relentless, extreme *physical* stress can actually cause anxiety attacks. The process is identical. A build up of cortisol causes the nervous system to become frayed and the sympathetic nervous system has a spasm at some random point. Limited symptom attacks are more common in this context, but can still be pretty upsetting.

I'm saying this with complete confidence and honesty. You do not need to give up your lifestyle because of this disorder. It will go away if you practice calming yourself when attacks occur and deal with the primary source of your anxiety.

Think about how ridiculous, pathetic and feeble the disorder is. There's absolutely nothing physically wrong with you. It attacks you merely by making you *feel* like there is some impending doom. How utterly comical. Take a good look at your malady and laugh at it. What a stupid, pathetic, pitiful disorder it is. It does not have the power to take a single day off your life. It's impotent. You can defeat it when it comes simply by ignoring it and remaining calm. What sort of enemy is so weak. It's not a worthy adversary. Not worth a scrap more of your time. Laugh right in its face and let it know how little you fear it!
edit on 1-3-2013 by XtraTL because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 04:25 PM
Sure sounds like alcoholism to me. Rehab may be the answer.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 04:54 PM

Originally posted by ArcAngel
Sure sounds like alcoholism to me. Rehab may be the answer.

Sounds legit. Off to join my local AA. I hope they won't discriminate against me just because I rarely if ever drink alcohol.

(I assume you were joking of course.)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 05:25 PM
reply to post by Kram09

In the US, you more have to worry about water fluoridation, etc., with the occasional case of something getting into the water and then, hopefully you watch the local news and they'll tell you that something or the other has gotten into the water and which areas need to boil and filter their water before use/ingestion. At least, that's what it's like around here.

I have a friend who just got back from spending about nine months in Sofia in Bulgaria...she said that out in the mountains, the water was pure and delicious but you could NOT drink the water in Sofia because the pipes were so corroded and it was just generally nasty and dangerous stuff...she also commented that from having to shower in it for nine months, her hair became exceptionally flat, LOL.

The only reason I mentioned water in the first place was because I was responding to a gentleman who (I think) said his wife, daughter, and niece all started having panic attacks for the first time in their lives in a one to two month period...therefore my "maybe something's in the water" statement was an off-the-cuff remark that perhaps something in their environment was causing their sudden and collective anxiety issues.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:02 PM
reply to post by jcutler12888

Panic attacks can happen spontaneously to anyone. And one of the causes of this can be severe allergic reaction. So it is technically possible that something in the water (or just the environment in general) can actually cause them.

Strictly speaking we should distinguish panic attacks and panic disorder. Anyone can have an isolated panic attack. Panic disorder is where people repeatedly and continually have them (on and off of course).

However, there is also a genetic component to panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder (which are related). My father and brother both suffer from them. We are separated by many thousands of miles.

I systematically eliminated all possible sources of allergens in my case. Fortunately there were only a handful of things that were new in my environment that I could have been exposed to. There was a black mould growing on the curtain in my kitchen. I replaced it. There was a substance on my kitchen floor which smelled like stale almonds. I removed it. I was also exposed to a grease at work on some computer equipment which was new. I subsequently avoided all contact with these things. None of them were relevant.

I do take aspartame. Cue the anti-aspartame gags. I do enjoy them so much. I'm shovelling the stuff into my face right now. Neat. No dilution. I can smell the methanol and formaldehyde on my breath! I'm delirious with intoxication. It's even better than inducing a nice diabetic coma after a sugar high!
edit on 1-3-2013 by XtraTL because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:06 PM
post removed because the user has no concept of manners

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posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:09 PM
kudos to you for the bravery to expose yourself "publicly"

I have tried meds, hated it

I'm trying meditation now, mixed reviews

when I catch my self talk assuming the worst, I try to remember "finding nemo"

Dory: [the whale speaks to her] Okay, that one was a little tougher. He either said, "We should go to the back of the throat.", or "He wants a root beer float".
Marlin: Of course he wants us to go there! That's eating us! [rubs his tail on the whale's tongue] How do I taste, Moby? Do I taste good?! [to Dory] You tell him I'm not interested in being lunch!
Dory: Okay. He-e-e-e--
Marlin: Stop talking to him! [the tongue suddenly goes vertical]
Dory: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!
[Dory and Marlin grab onto the taste buds to prevent from falling into the throat.]
Marlin: What is going on?!
Dory: I'll check, waaaaaaaaaa...
Marlin: No, no more whale, you can't speak whale!
Dory: Yes, I can!
Marlin: No, you can't! You think you could do these things, but you can't, Nemo!
Dory: OK! [lets go]
Marlin: Dory! [grabs her]
Dory: He says, "It's time to let go!". Everything's going to be all right.
Marlin: How do you know, how do you know something bad isn't gonna happen?!
Dory: I don't!".

my anxiety comes from assuming the worst. hope this helps

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:35 PM
OK... this is not medical advice. Just an opinion.

That being said, this is what worked from someone I know.

Valarian root and melitonin. 3 caps valarain root, and one 3mg tab of melitonin, all an hour or so before bed. You can break the meitonin in hald for 1.5mg to start.

The valarian will be sold in strenghths of about 480mg. Besides experience, there is some science behind this. Valarian has anxiolytic properties.

Try this for 3 months and see how you do. If you feel once coming on, try quietly singing to yourself. It helps mediate breathing.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:37 PM
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posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:41 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:50 PM
reply to post by syrinx high priest

Sorry for so many replies on one thread, but I cannot help one more.

Believe it or not, there is actual, real, medical research indicating that meditation helps. Not that there is some kind of special spiritual mumbo jumbo involved. But here is how.

Number one, the *practice* of controlled breathing is known to be helpful in controlling attacks. Focusing on the breathing itself is not terribly helpful, as it will just lead to hyper-awareness and potentially more panic. But most meditation requires (more or less unconsciously) some form of controlled, calm breathing. Not to mention, meditation is pretty calming, in and of itself, since you are sitting still, thinking calm thoughts.

Number two, and perhaps more importantly from a scientific point of view, it is believed that meditating helps the person focus on the here and now, as opposed to the future. In the self-help parlance it is called "centering oneself".

It's helpful to understand why this helps. Apparently there is a scale, with psychopath at one end and panic disorder at the other. The psychopath will not give a thought to the future but does everything in the here-and-now. They revel in pleasure at their current acts, even if they are horridly socially abhorrent (though they do plan for the future).

People with panic disorder on the other hand have themselves boxed in. They don't want to offend anyone. They are exceedingly worried about the future. Employment, health, death, financial woes, loss of a loved one, whatever. They rehearse all the time dealing with non-existent future events and conversations or allow continual anxiety to sit at the back of their mind or build up and refuse to take decisive action to deal with the problem at its source. They remain excessively concerned about the *consequences* of doing so, i.e. they live in the future, disconnected from their life right now.

I do not personally meditate, but understand fully how this could be helpful, if done in the right way. From what I understand, it is not transcendental meditation or emptying oneself, but centering oneself and concentrating on "just being, now", that is helpful.

I think it is very important to see these things as part of an overall strategy to overcome panic attacks, not a solution on their own. No individual thing is going to work on its own. But the right combination of things certainly does.

Some people require drugs for a while, in order to calm them down enough to begin to implement the other things required, or to give them the relief they need to build up their confidence again. Others need counselling to help identify the sources of long term stress. Sometimes people are not able to identify these easily on their own. Others need counselling to teach them how to use various NLP tricks to help control their minds. I was lucky in that I already knew a lot of such tricks which I could draw on. Controlling one's racing mind is not easy without practice. Sometimes various tricks can be helpful until this comes naturally.

The great news is that many, many people have overcome panic attacks without the need for further medication. I count myself amongst them. At one point I thought my life would never return to the way it was. I was wrong. It did. Many, perhaps most days, I feel completely normal and do not have to even think twice about panic attacks. It is as though I never had them. If I do have one, I know it is just a sign that I need to deal with some stress and calm myself down for a day or so. But to be honest, they are becoming so infrequent, and so easy to control that I have little fear of them nowadays.

I hope that meditation really helps you. But I believe you will definitely find that it is even more beneficial if you don't see it as a panacea, but one of a number of tools.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:51 PM
reply to post by Erich94

Disclaimer: I am no psychologist

Sounds like the hallmark of Disassociative Anxiety Disorder in my humble opinion.

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

And curiously, those who experience such depersonalisation engage in compulsive ruminating on philosophical questions - not surprising, I would imagine the sensation of being divorced from "normal bodily sensations/reality" would invite deep thought.


Dissassociative disorders are also associated with childhood trauma.


Allow me suggest that you not take medical advice from strangers on internet forums - but you already know that


I wish you all the best Erich94

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 07:17 PM

Originally posted by UmbraSumus
reply to post by Erich94

Sounds like the hallmark of Disassociative Anxiety Disorder in my humble opinion.

Well spotted UmbraSumus!! You could well be onto something there (I mean in the case of the OP).

Possibly a similar thing, but the cause of the panic appears to be anxiety about dissociation.

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot about this variant online. Have you seen any decent pages about it?

Actually searching around I cannot find any authoritative sources for information about this. There's dissociative identity disorder, which is something different. And there's two web pages which mention it, neither of which is reliable and one probably copied the other. It might be a real condition, but under what name?
edit on 1-3-2013 by XtraTL because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 07:28 PM
I don't want to step on anyone's toes here, but I think the most obvious answer might be staring everyone right in the face. You said you had your first panic attack right after talking about current events and etc with your girlfriend right?

Now I'm assuming, and correct me if I'm wrong, that by current events you mean the kind of stuff you read about here on ATS. My theory is that it was your discussion of these sometimes disturbing topics which led to your attack and which contributed to your anxiety.

I think reading ATS on a regular basis would give any normal, half-intelligent person an at least passing case of anxiety. The trick is learning to take this stuff with a grain of salt.

When I first started reading the site, it took me a while to learn exactly which things to consider as fact, which things to ponder, and which things to laugh at. Unfortunately, most of it is arguably either in the second or third category, but it can take some time realize this.

The fact is, your anxiety probably developed as a result of issues from your childhood, or some other problem in your everyday life (it's just basic psychology), and was more than likely exacerbated by your interest in conspiracy theories and the like.

My best advice would be to ease up on reading news of any kind for a while, and maybe try a new hobby or pick back up on something you've been neglecting. But first and foremost is to see a doctor.

The truth is, if you have an anxiety disorder (and it sounds to me like you do, speaking from experience), no one here can help you the way an actual doctor can.

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 07:57 PM
Hey Erich-- I haven't bothered to read all the other replies. As I read your account, I just had to tell you that this exact experience began happening to me 2 years ago, and lasted about 8 months. I really got weirded out when you said you couldn't swallow. That's what triggered the rush if fear in me when it first started happening. It would happen a few times a week, and I started fearing the attacks themselves. It was like walking across an unstable floor, never knowing when it would cave.

I was not on drugs, drugs didn't help. In fact, when my doc prescribed Prozac, I had a seratonin storm-- which incidentally felt oddly similar to the attacks themselves! How did I overcome the problem? Acupuncture. That's right. Cleared it right up. Hope this helps, and good luck to you!

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 08:48 PM

Originally posted by mysteriousmysteries
and was more than likely exacerbated by your interest in conspiracy theories and the like.

Conspiracy theories usually exacerbate paranoia, not anxiety. I'm not writing off your comment entirely. Excessive anxiety about future events would perhaps not be best served by reading ATS. But that would be rare.

Remember, anxiety disorder is not a mental disorder!

Regarding medical professionals, yes, seek help if you don't yet know for sure what you have, or if you are unable to bring it under control, or if you believe you may be having a heart attack, stroke or aneurysm.

However if it really is anxiety disorder, it is not life threatening and does not *necessarily* improve with pharmacological or psychological treatment.

Many medical professionals are also entirely unhelpful. I have a friend who went to the doctor with (work related) anxiety and was sent on an anger management course!

One must be realistic about what to expect from medical intervention. Except in cases where there is a real medical disorder underlying the condition (rare), there is no magical pill, surgery or psychological trick which will make this disappear. You must be active in your own recovery if you are to recover fully.

Some studies show that drugs can impair *some* people's ability to recover naturally from anxiety disorder. I guess that is saying that, for some people, doctors actually make it worse.

I say this fully realising the irony of the situation. I am normally the one arguing against quacks on this site who are recommending all manner of home-grown placebos (or worse) for real medical conditions.

Again, *do* seek medical attention if you do not know for sure you are having panic attacks, or if you are unable to bring them under control.

Steer clear of quack solutions. A good trick is to type "blah blah scam" into google, where "blah blah" is whatever treatment you are considering paying money for. Pretty often scams are listed by professional organisations which make it their job to put them out of business. The self help/supplement/alternative medicine industry is unfortunately filled with individuals making a quick buck out of selling factory and food industry waste as "miracle cures". Not everything can be cured by putting something expensive in your mouth!

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