Panic attacks

I used to suffer from panic attacks when I was a bit younger, about three/four years ago. They started off with just feeling a bit panicky and my heart beating too fast and then I started having huge fits where I just collapsed and screamed so much I couldn't breathe, but carried on screaming because I thought I was going to die (these were usually triggered by beating beaten up or having things thrown at me. School, eh?)

But I've started having the smaller ones again. It's less physical this time and I'm just getting them when I worry about things, specifically things out of my control. I was pretty stressed out and depressed before the end of the year but now I've finished all my uni work it seems to have gotten worse. I'm miserable all the time, lost my sex drive, finding it very hard to even leave the house or hang out with my friends...and now it's kinda turned into a panic/anxiety thing. Pretty much every day I'm fighting off attacks now and it's really worrying me, and I don't really have anyone to look after me.

I just wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions. I know some breathing exercises but they kind of only hold them off for a bit, and I find that if I make one go away with a breathing exercise I get one quicker later. I know it's a psychological thing and I'm trying to not avoid triggers and stuff, cause I know that only makes things worse, but I don't know what to do. I have an appointment with a counsellor on Friday and a doctor on Monday to see if there's anything that can be done, but if anyone can help before then, that would be great.

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19 replies since 1st June 2010 • Last reply 1st June 2010

I'm sorry you're being affected by these. Panic attacks are horrible Happy Somewhere I've found useful is no panic http://www.nopanic.org.uk/ I've bought things of their website before and found them helpful and they also have a helpline, which although I haven't used I've been told its pretty good.

Mind also do some really good leaflets that you can download online http://www.mind.org.uk/page404

The Mental Health foundation also do some good stuff http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/welcome/

If you still have my mobile feel free to text me too Happy I have lived with depression and anxiety on and off since I was small. I also work in mental health so find out about bits and bobs through there too. The main part of my job is working with 18 - 30 year olds and I've been doing that job about 8 and a half years so I'm more than happy for you to pick my brains if it helps. If you don't have my number and you'd like me to send it let me know and I can pm it to you.

x

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I'm so sorry! Your doctor will be able to find a medication that will alleviate this disorder. Don't give up hope. There is treatment for this.

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I really really really hope you get better Kitten! Let us know how you are doing!

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Thanks guys. I think I looked at No Panic the first time it happened but I'll look through those sites again, thank you =) I don't have your number any more KitKat, my phone messed up a while back and I lost all the numbers, if you could PM it that would be great.

I'm not sure how to feel about medication. I don't even like taking paracetamol. And I don't want anything that I can become addicted to, or anything that will affect my personality too much (I don't actually care that much but I don't think my boyfriend would like it - I've dated someone who was on anti-depressants and it was really horrible.) But I guess I have to wait to see what the doctor says first!

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Most doctors will be able to direct you to a therapist who uses CBT or breathing techniques to alleviate panic attacks. The meds for them (if you aren't in a permanent state of anxiety) aren't for everyone, I would definitely recommend a cognative approach first - if you need meds as well then you know that you have tried both options.

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I also get like that because of stress. What I do is at least once a day for 10 minutes I have a "me" time, where I meditate to relax and let out all my emotions that I've had to keep inside all day. It helps me to keep calm if I meditate everyday but I don't really know if it'll work well for you, it just depends on the person. If I don't meditate every day I get panic attacks and I get aggressive really quickly so it basicly helps to keep me sane. Hope it works for you.

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I've done breathing exercises before, and they stop me from having huge ones but I can't keep on just having little ones all the time cause they're really getting me down and making it hard for me to do anything.

Rawr, I think my problem is that I feel I have too much "me" time. I don't like me, I don't like being alone with myself. It's worse now because all my friends have gone home for the summer and I'm left with pretty much just my boyfriend, who doesn't want to hang out all the time and doesn't know how to deal with my problems.

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Well one of my friends just tried to talk to me about why I've been so down and been having panic attacks and she basically just told me that all my reasons are bollocks...which, guess what, made me cry and have a really severe panic attack! I know that some things are in my head, but telling me that's stupid doesn't help. Yeah, when I had a huge screaming panic attack and people were throwing bottles at me, they weren't trying to kill me like I was sure they were, but that doesn't make the feeling any less. Panic attacks aren't rational. And then when I have genuine concerns because my supposed best friend is going out with a drug addict she's met twice who told me BEFORE HE MET HER that he was going to use her for sex by any means necessary, and she won't even talk to me about it because she clearly knows she's doing something wrong, then according to Lizzie I'm lying or I've misunderstood things and I've just got to let Lauren do what she wants. Doesn't matter whatsoever that this guy tried to sleep with me and then turned on me and got really vicious, no, I must just be fucking crazy.

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you know what, your so called FRIEND know jack sh*t. As an anexity sufferer, I understand how you feel. Get yourself to therapy, once you get help it gets better

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If I get panicy distraction helps.
I've got a book: Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith witk loads of this you have to do to pages.
They are all fairly simple things to do, bu so much fun. Cover this page with circles for instance.

It won't help always, but imagination can overrule panic feelings.

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I'm with Michelle on this one - your friend is talking out of her arse. Its not bollocks, anxiety is horrendous. Unfortunately some people just don't get it.

On the issue Squizita raised I was actually the opposite. I've had CBT and it was great while I was having it and the psychologist was amazing I don't think I was well enough to hold onto what I was learning. Now that my meds are working and I feel stronger I feel in a better place to benefit from therapy. I've been referred for psychotherapy so fingers crossed the appointment will come round soon.

I also find distraction a great help. I sometimes play freecell or something simple like that if I'm feeling shit. It's sometimes just enough to focus my attention away from how I'm feeling. I also find it near impossible to make a decision when I'm really anxious so simple things like doodling, playing freecell are really handy. I also got myself a little book on origami and a tiny pack of origami paper that I used to carry around with me. I made a whole load of little boxes but its good for keeping your head and hands busy.

Basically I think everyones different and you sometimes have to try a few things to find what works for you. Unfortunately we're in the majority - most people will experience some problems with their mental health at some point in their life and your experiences will give you the empathy that your friend is sadly lacking.

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Yeah I need distractions - making stuff helps, so I'm focusing this week on making clothes and that for Download (it's a festival for non-UKers.) Getting into a project really helps me.

I've also found that talking to someone on the phone helps - not talking about the problem, just talking. It means that I have to stop crying and breathe properly in order to be understood. When I first got panic attacks I found self-harming worked to make me stop panicking - obviously I see now that it wasn't a very healthy approach but it's the same idea, do something that you can't do while you're crying and freaking out.

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talking and writing does seem to help alot. HUG

we are here for you

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Thanks Michelle *hugs*

I went to the doctor today and they prescribed me Fluoxetine which is a mild antidepressant and should help me with both depression and my panic/anxiety problems. Just not sure whether to tell my parents and my boyfriend.

Although I've just checked and they're not vegetarian, which is such crap =(

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