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At random times during the day, I have these anxiety attacks at times. It's not when there is a crisis. Then I'm fine since there's action that needs to be taken. It's the in between times. It's the anxiety about what could happen that does it. I just find myself with a loudly beating heart and cold with fear.

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Ashwagandha, helps me a lot
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I get that at times. Although I haven't been diagnosed with it. It's just the symptoms that I have been having. A lot of stress which I hope that will soon go away......maybe.....
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Thank-you Golden!
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(((((((Gershun))))))) No fun.

I take a very small dose of Fluvoxamine (Luvox) for the fibro pain. Years ago I took a higher dose as an antidepressant. There were a number of antidepressants I tried but could not take due to side effects. Luvox is not commonly used as far as I can tell but has an anti anxiety effect as well as being an anti depressant. It is used for OCD - a problem I certainly don't have, but works well for me for fibro with little side effects. Might be worth you asking about it. Antidepressants aren't addictive as anti anxiety meds can be. They simply get your brain chemicals back into the right balance. Good luck.
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I've been having major anxiety these last couple of weeks. Going to the dentist triggered this latest slew of attacks. I seem to have more of them in the Fall for some strange reason. It's always been the case. So I've often wondered if allergens in the air during the fall season trigger them.

But the last couple of days in particular have been really bad. The dentist prescribed me amoxicillin and for some reason it's been bothering me and causing a strange reaction. I don't fault anyone for taking SSRI's for anxiety. In fact I went to my doc on Wednesday and asked him for a few Ativan. He is very against taking this and tried to convince me to go on another antidepressant but I just got through weaning myself off of Effexor and don't want to go down this route again so soon. Maybe in the future. Never say never.

Has anyone on here taken an SSRI that had fewer side effects cause it's the side effects that really bother me.
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This is all really helpful, & agree that we each have to address our panic issues in our own way. I feel like I've tried everything though, & just so tired of it...(want to be normal). Thanks @ lealonnie1, cuz I feel better knowing that someone, besides me, has had the panic 'come out of nowhere'. (In the past, I knew I had been stressing in my mind about stuff), but never had an attack b4 when all day I was in a good mood! Seems so confusing, will have to research this. ✌ peace 2all.
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Also, from what I understand, trying to reduce stress in your life can help, but nore than that its a physiological thing, your brain chemistry.

One person could be experiencing no stress at all and still get them, where another person could experience all kind of stress in their environment and not get them.

SSRI basically restore the proper chemical balance, they are not like a benzo like Xanax which tranquilize you, they more fix the problem and are not dangerous or addicting. (again, I am not a medical pro, so this is just what I have learned on my own, take the advice as such)
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when I was much younger I would get them. I thought I was having heart issues or MS or something, MD said it is anxiety attacks. I told him he didn't understand, when I got them I was not feeling the least bit anxious.

Finally they convinced me that is what they were, which in itself helped. When I felt one coming on I could sort of control it by not panicking and been taking a very low does of an SSRI.

They are scary when you first experience them.
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OMG we are sisters of another mother. And I don't even care for my brother in home. But it goes so far as I worry about EVERYTHING from identity theft to exploding hot water heaters. It can waken me in the night and ruin sleep. Anxiety is such an enemy to me that when it hits I literally go paralyzed. I don't hear, I don't see, and it is as though surround sound is blasting me. I can't multitask. I misplace things.
I have a calm partner and he can always talk me briefly down off the ceiling. He asks about the honest possibility of all I imagine could go wrong. Shortly after he did that re my brother's demolished and towed truck it all went bad in just the way I imagined it. Hee hee. And not so funny.
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Yes, I do most days to. Taking an antidepressant. When I ended up in the ER back in May I had only been taking the least mg, but after that major scare I am back on what I was prescribed. I fought taking anything for years, but can't deny my need for it now. Every day is another issue to deal with and I stay in a form of PTSD all the time.
Each and every person has a right to decide how to deal with the anxiety. Whatever it takes to help you. But the taboo attached to psychotropics is a moot point at this stage of the game.
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anonymous828521 Sep 29, 2019
Agee RBuser1, at first I too resisted & struggled against any chemicals...(got exhausting)...so back on low dose again... Still feel ashamed of that, cuz my ex used to make fun of my anxiety issues, insult me in front of the kids.
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Just saw this thread, & it helped me today, cuz just had panic attack: & now too exhausted to finish my chores. Everything was fine & my mood was good all day...until suddenly feeling 'ramped up', with sweating & tightness, unable to focus, grinding my teeth... (Wth?) I don't know what to do, cuz it came outta nowhere.
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lealonnie1 Sep 27, 2019
Every time I've had panic attacks, they've come out of nowhere too. Especially scary & troublesome, I know. I hope you feel better soon
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Yup. Common for me when stress is at its worst, and it is almost paralyzing in that I cannot think when it happens. For me it is more when something does happen; something has to be handled. And suddenly, anything that requires incoming, voices talking, just anything. I suddenly cannot think. Mouth gets dry. My ears can go plugged. I can feel nausea at its worst. Chest just feels like the heart is slamming. It is basically a panic attack, and part of our fight or flight response. Adrenaline and cortisol coursing through us. Take some deep breathes. Admit to WHOEVER is there "Sorry; I am having a bit of a panic attack; need to go somewhere and breath for a minute". It is fear of the unknown, fear we will not be able to get through, fear of the unknown. Pure anxiety. Some people actually get chest pain and go to ER. Happily I don't. But it is something, once realized you can try to deal with. Definitely concentrate on breathing in to count of 4 or 6, and out a few counts longer (longer expirations mimics sleep state). Just the counting itself can divert your primitive mind's attention a bit. Know that it will pass. Be more accepting of it.
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I'd stay away from drugs and focus on meditation, exercise, diet and breathing more deeply to get oxygen into the blood--and changing your life situation. Eating vegetables makes your body chemistry more basic (versus acidic), making you calmer that same day--you don't have to wait long for results. I was eating lots of yellow squash sauteed with butter and salt and felt noticeably less panicked, and it was delicious. As soon as I reverted to junkier eating I'd feel more panicky. You can look on the web for lists of foods that are basic versus acidic. It works.

For years I was a pharmaceutical rep in medical schools and research hospitals and saw first hand that doctors are trained to prescribe drugs drugs drugs. Though certain drugs save lives, overall we take way more than we probably need instead of using less damaging remedies.
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AlvaDeer May 15, 2019
I agree with staying away from medications. That said, if a pill, used infrequently, and not regularily, can help, it often can help just to know it is "available" even if not used. Drugs are not a good long term regular answer, just as a few glasses of sauvignon blanc is not. But the occ. need for either is understood. Just important for us to understand our vulnerable states and not get ourselves in more trouble than we started with.
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Yes, I have anxiety attacks frequently. I was already diagnosed with panic disorder and generalized anxiety before becoming my mother's primary caregiver. I have tried various antidepressants, but I never really cared for the side effects. Since I was unable to concentrate when I became my mother's caregiver, my doctor prescribed a very low dose of Adderall to help me finish drafting my dissertation and teach. While the Adderall certainly helped, boosting my mood, concentration, and confidence, I would not recommend it since it can be easily abused and also comes with its own host of side effects. Now, I take 5-HTP and Travacor as well as taking Klonopin, Buspar, and Seroquel. I also meditate. There is an awesome app called Headspace that really helps.
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I believe anxiety is under achieving. Always the perfectionist, I swing between numb and full blown panic. Nothing really helps except knowing I'm taking steps to make things better. Where I can't, I talk to friends who will listen. I should be in therapy, but I would have to schedule and confirm payment for that. I quit alcohol a few years ago and really miss it lol!!!
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AlvaDeer May 15, 2019
Finally, someone who gave me a giggle today.
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I found out that Anxiety (especially long term) can cause many health problems. Stress can cause cortisone levels to do all kinds of damage such as insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes, etc. (I'm in this situation, and it really is frightens me).
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Ali: Yes, agreed!
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I can relate to the calm during a real emergency, and also the anxiety about what could happen next. Match that up against constant fights with your care recipient's health care provider about mis-steps on their part, at a time when the recipient (my spouse) is in constant neural foot pain so bad that he's wheelchair-bound, and more need for opioids. He's a stroke survivor on 7 1/2 years and way too young for this (66). The health care provider, a PACE program, botched two specialist referrals within the last few months. The first, they referred us to a brain tumor specialist, which is NOT the problem he has (thankfully). The specialist immediately told us that her expertise would be of limited help for us but nobly did her best. Second, a neural test, administered a month later, was declared invalid by the tester because of Botox shots that compromised neural function. We had not been warned in advance that Botox given within a specific time frame would compromise this test. It would have to be repeated. So I threatened to file a grievance with the PACE program. They responded and met me about halfway in my requests, but the halfway they did meet me was useful so far. Anyone reading this may be able to detect the stress of not knowing what you don't know until it becomes an adverse result. Last night I had a dream in which I ran over a woman with my car because I didn't see or hear her. I think that's indicative. As for my part, my (new) primary care doctor recommended that I take anti anxiety- and depressant drugs but warned me about the risk for suicidal thoughts. She said if these occurred, I should take an ambulance to the ER, not drive. I declined the recommendation. It defies logic that a primary home caregiver should EVER consider taking such a drug. Not only that, but if I did comply and opt for the ambulance ride, and later received a four-figure (at least) bill for the ambulance ride because my insurer determined that it was not medically necessary, how anxious and depressed do you think that would make ME?
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Judging from your post of a few days ago you are dealing with too much. - grandma, mother, father and a geriatric dog and job responsibilities mixed in. All without support, or so it seems. Ways of dealing with the panic attacks are bandaids as the cause of the panic is still with you - extreme stress from caregiver overload.

In fact do you have any help? Are there any plans for grandma to be placed? You need to care for yourself.
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I have learned some valuable lessons in life but far too late. We are all subject to what if this or that????????? We have anxiety attacks out of fear of the unknown. Here is what I did to overcome these attacks. I took the issue at hand which was making me nervous. I then took that subject and put it into little pieces which eventually formed the whole big picture. I thought and analyzed what would I do and how would I do something IF that little piece occurred. Then I did the same with the next piece. Eventually, I had solved the "how" of the big picture IF it ever happened. It took a bit of time, but I found peace because now I knew what I would do to handle things. The attacks stopped and I found i was able to do whatever I had to do when things when wrong. I finally had peace. You are doing the right thing in DEFINING THE ISSUE as a first step. Then figure out how you would handle each aspect. You will now be prepared for whatever comes because you know you can handle it - you won't be in panic mode as you figured things out before they happened.
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Davina May 15, 2019
That's good advice, Riley.
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Ryan, you are NOT alone. Get all of that. And anxiety is such a difficult thing to deal with. Mindfulness helps. Sounds hokey but can really can make a difference. Google it. And benzos are not usually a good solution. There are other options if medication is something you need.
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I have suffered from severe panic disorder for decades and black out from the bad attacks....I have a fear of many things esp health related, hospitals , travel, etc.....and just being confined.....but in the last 10 yrs have had to soldier thru to care for my elderly parents and do the drs appts, waiting rooms, er visits, etc...last summer was the biggest challenge yet - my dad fell, broke his hip - ER in the middle of the night - surgery, rehab, etc and then visiting him daily and staying hours with him daily so that he wouldn't lose his mind...towards the end of the 6 week of rehab - he got sickwith MRSA and it went to heart - 9 intense days in rehab followed by ER and hospital and then hospice stay all the while my brother also came down with infection and had to commute between my dad in Brooklyn, my brother in manhattan(1 hr away) and my mom back in Brooklyn at night since she is also elderly and frail...….this went on for weeks but somehow the anxiety and panic disappeared and my parents dying was my biggest fear......watching him die I was out of my body and not registering much which I believe kept the panic away...then facing the wake, funeral, cemetary, eulogy....all no anxiety....then after he passed I had extreme guilt/grief over his death and my decisions ...but the anxiety seems better than its been in many years but still pretty humbling...perhaps my dads last gift to me was that "I can do it"...I hope so..i miss him so much!@
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AlvaDeer Apr 28, 2019
Wow. You not only did it but you are somewhat a superhero, and I think you are proof that the anxiety for us is about the "what ifs" and the "I won't know what to do things." I think for those of us who deal with a bit of an anxiety disorder over all need daily to remind ourselves of what we are doing WELL, what we did WELL or well enough to survive another day. Can't tell you how much I admire you for all you have survived through, Mhillwt.
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I had a series of panic attacks early last year, not knowing what was happening. The first (and worst) one happened when I was relaxed and calm. I thought it was a heart problem, but the blood tests the ER ran showed I was severely anemic. My body wasn't producing healthy red cells anymore. After medical care, some time to heal, and mindfulness of what my body was telling me, it stopped happening.

I've also learned it can happen when your thyroid is wacky or your other hormones are not balanced, so please get yourself a medical workup to rule a physical trigger out.
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AliBoBali Apr 27, 2019
I think I may have been always prone to Generalized Anxiety Disorder due to genetics and childhood experiences, but it wasn't until after an exposure to a bad Toxic Mold home environment that I started to have panic attacks. I then read about others' experience, and watched documentaries on mold illness, and learned that experiencing panic is a common enough first symptom. It's how some people figure out that there's something wrong, that mold is making them sick.

It's interesting how our body manifests these stress responses when something is physically wrong inside of us, or in our environment. It makes sense, of course, but also I think there's a weird disconnect in how these symptoms are treated by modern Psychiatry. Panic/anxiety disorder tends to be treated as brain chemistry gone askew all by itself with no known cause, instead of always screening for other causes first.
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Yes, during the day, but mostly at night. I wake up in a panic, with my chest feeling tight, and this weight like a bowling ball of dread pressing down on my lungs.
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AliBoBali Apr 26, 2019
Get this checked out by medical professionals ASAP, of course, but if they don't find anything it may be related to having high cortisol levels at night. There are also "stress dreams" that happen as a symptom of having high anxiety, but I don't recall waking up in a panic from them but I've only had my own experiences with all this.

When I was going through a period of waking up at night, specifically waking up in panic, I researched online to see what could be causing it. The best I could come up with is that high cortisol/stress hormone levels at nighttime can cause you to jerk awake. I think everyone experiences this once in a while, but to be experiencing it often may mean you're under too much stress and would benefit from SSRI or other anti-anxiety medication. In my case, starting regular exercise seemed to help with all my anxiety-related symptoms, but especially the sleep issues.
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I didnt mention yesterday that when ive had bad times ... Im better now i hope ... i would congratulate myself ... for almost everthing no matter how small or seemingly unimportant ...

good terry you made the bed/ good terry you paid a bill/ good terry you went to the grocery/ good terry you flushed the toilet/ good terry you took a shower.

Well you get the idea.
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AliBoBali Apr 26, 2019
I do this, too. :-) I've started high fiving myself, even. Take both of my hands and high five them together, saying the words "High five! You did good." lol Whatever helps me to keep it moving forward and to keep my emotional energy up.

I was going through a rough patch with anxiety attacks some time ago and posted about it here on AC. A couple of users sent private messages to tell me their coping strategies, and one advised reassuring myself that things are ok. I think reassuring ourselves that we're okay, and encouraging ourselves to keep going on some small tasks even when we're feeling out of sorts, is a great coping tool.
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Perhaps you could try meditation or yoga in small stages.
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AliBoBali Apr 26, 2019
Yoga and meditation helped me during times of very bad panic disorder. There are plenty of beginners guides for these things on YouTube. Just press play and get started. :-)
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Sorry for not being back earlier. I hope you understand how it is.

I thought I was going to pass out tonight.

Let me set the scene. Grandma likes to tuck away food in random places and eat it later. Last night she was gnawing on something that I remember giving her 2 days ago. Let's say it shouldn't be left out of the fridge. I grabbed it out of her hands and told her to spit it out. She looked me in the eye with that "go <you know what> youself" look on her face. She swallows it and opens her mouth to show me she has. I tell her she's going to get diarrhea. She did. Started early this morning. I'll leave out the gory details of that disaster. In itself, that's another post. I've changed her diaper 5 times so far today. That's been my day.

So tonight at around 8pm, I smell a scent coming off of grandma from the other side of the living room. When that happens, there's been overflow. So I get up to deal with that. At the same time, the dog starts whining because she needs to go outside. All day long, as usual, dad's been in his chair with his feet up watching TV without a care in the world. All this while I've been dealing with diarrhea grandma, stubborn mom and a very geriatric dog. I've also been dealing with residue business issues. Reviewing contracts when I'm being interrupted every five minutes makes me feel like my head is about to explode. I'll admit it, I was irritated. I raised my voice and asked him to deal with the dog. His response was "IT'S ALWAYS MY FAULT!". Then the yelling began. He ended up marching off to lock himself in the bathroom. All this sets off mom who starts yelling. Grandma is leaking. The dog is whining. For a few seconds, I got lightheaded, my vision tunneled and a swayed a bit. I thought I was going to pass out. I clinched and strained to drive more blood into my brain until it passed.

Now the old people are asleep, including the dog. Turns out she really needed to poop too. Took a while to get dad out of the restroom. I had to do the nightly dance to get mom to brush her teeth. Grandma got changed again. I'm wearing my workout shorts and t-shirt from when I was able to workout since I have no clothes left. Let's say changing grandma involves a bit of poop transference and I've had to change my clothes 5 times. The washing machine has been cranking washing their clothes so mine will have to wait until tomorrow.

I don't feel half bad right now. I realize that's mostly because I've guzzled down a beer. I still have contracts to deal with but I'm thinking the early caregiver heart attack will take care of things before any of that will be a problem. I'll just let the beer do it's work until grandma needs another diaper. I should have a couple of hours before that happens.
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Ryan67 Apr 26, 2019
HI, I'm just starting taking care of my mom she has dementia and Alzheimer's.
I couldn't do all yo do! You are amazing!
My mom is just sooo forgetful. Not flushing the toilet, either using no toilet paper or way to much.
My husband is no help. He just goes outside to his shop. I have to work the evening shift
So much anxiety. He checks on her every so often. But I am so afraid.
She puts dirty dishes in the D/W
after they just been run, I can't keep up. She's now hiding her clothes and wearing them up to 3x.
Jjust feel so overwhelmed and alone. EXAUSTED IN PA !!!
Now plumbing issues.
Help.
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Yes, I suffer from anxiety. It can be really uncomfortable to say the least. I've found some relief in deep breathing exercises & guided meditations (youtube videos) and I take 5HTP a homeopathic pre-cursor to serotonin.
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Benzo's help but I am trying to wean off right now and right now I hate benzo's and I would never recommend them to anyone.
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AliBoBali Apr 26, 2019
It's my opinion that they should be a last resort option, but just having them can be reassuring if you're experiencing regular panic/anxiety. I very nearly called 911 on myself once because I didn't have any with me and had a very bad attack and couldn't move from sitting in my car. If I would have had some with me at that time it would've prevented all that crazy mess. I sat there for hours. lol It's funny NOW but definitely wasn't funny at the time!

I know that exercise has helped me. And I think the psilocybin regimen I did helped, too. It would be great if I could quit drinking alcohol altogether since it raises cortisol levels, but that might be asking too much of myself right now. lol

The withdrawal from benzos is difficult, agree. Are you familiar with The Ashton Manual? I followed it and maybe it helped..? Also there's an online forum for support while w/d from benzos, appropriately named Benzo Buddies. I joined at one time but found I didn't participate all that much. They had a nice community there, as I recall.

I tried a lot of supplements while I was withdrawing -- ashwaghanda, 5 HTP, all the usual things. I think just having something else, besides the benzos, to turn to is helpful. Deep breathing always helped in a pinch. Good luck, Gershun. You'll get through it. I don't envy you, though. 💜
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When I posted to this thread I referred to the one instance after an argument with Mom and her Dementia. I wheeled into the chest pain center because I thought I might be having a heart attack with the weird symptoms women sometimes have. When I posted a couple days ago I thought that was the only time it has happened to me.

I remembered another time. After Dad passed away a day or two after the funeral my sister and our husbands decided to clear out Dad’s apartment rather than pay for the next months rent. I had basically same symptoms. Queasy, sweaty, confused, tight chest. I hadn’t eaten in who knows when, I had been surviving on coffee mostly. Anyway, they got me out of Dads apartment. I started feeling better, then I ate and recovered completely.

It's interesting. I wonder if it was my brain or body that was overloaded or both?

My body and brain doesn’t seem to have the tolerance for stress that it once had, before caregiving. When my life gets stressful I wake up at 3:30am. It’s always 3:30am. Sometimes I can go back to sleep, sometimes I can’t.
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bambi1 Apr 26, 2019
I always wake up at 3:00 or 3;30 am .Dont know why but i fall back to sleep right away.
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