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Author Topic: Panic Attacks  (Read 3700 times)

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Offline JeffInNYC

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  • Posts: 806
Panic Attacks
« on: August 03, 2006, 08:07:57 PM »
I get em and sometimes pretty bad.  Im in the middle of one now. Usually I take a shot of some brandy to warm me and help relax me.  I dont have any booze in the house so Im taking pharma kava which is an herb in liquid form I get from the health food store.  It hasnt really relaxed me just made me tired.

Then the thoughts race through my head which makes it worse and I dont know what to do to make this pass.

Anyone have any suggestions? Please.

And thru the years Ive been in therapy and taken some meds to help and overall Im considerably improved....but from time to time I get them bad.

I know itll pass eventually but I want it to go away now!

Offline Life

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  • Member 2005
Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2006, 08:16:00 PM »
For anxiety my Id doc px Clonazopam which kicks anxieties butt..   I hardly use it anymore but back when I first was diagnosed anti-anxiety meds saved me from flippin out...  I am still on 10ml Paxil since diagnosis and that keeps me from thinking so much about things (roominating)...

Hope you find your peace..

Love

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2006, 08:36:54 PM »
I used to take Klonopin for my panic attacks. Alcohol just makes me anxious when I am in the midst of one, as does the not-legal herb. Never tried Kava though. Seems that regardless, the act of preparing and drinking something can only help.

Are you talking to a professional about what's going on?

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline JeffInNYC

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2006, 08:44:57 PM »
Are you talking to a professional about what's going on?


Lately? No.  Like I said I have considerably improved over the year...but lately, with my mom being ill, thesem panic attacks have resurfaced.  Compared to her, what Im going through is nothing.  And Im sort of ashamed to bitch about it....but I cant help it  I want these sensations to go away so I can sleep this off.

Offline allanq

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2006, 11:02:08 PM »
I take 0.5 mg Xanax when I start getting anxiety and racing thoughts that I can't stop. It calms me down within about 20 minutes.

There's a danger of Xanax becoming addictive, but I've been using it on an occasional basis for over ten years, and it's been a big help to me.

I also see a therapist twice a month, and that's also done a lot of good.

Edited to add: I think this topic should be in the Living With forum. It's certainly not "casual conversation."
« Last Edit: August 03, 2006, 11:10:58 PM by allanq »
Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
Bottom left (Bedtime): Sustiva, Trazodone (2), Lipitor, Septra
Center: Alprazolam (Xanax)
Not shown: various vitamins & supplements

Offline joemutt

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2006, 04:35:20 AM »
Have you tried (to learn) meditation?
I have good results with it re: panick attacks (more anxiety attacks in my case)
and sleeplesness. Be Well.

Offline edfu

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2006, 04:44:34 AM »
I also take 0.5 mg Xanax as needed.  I've never needed to take more than one a day--and I don't take one every day, either.  Sometimes just knowing that I have some on hand is enough to calm me down.     
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline scotslassie

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2006, 05:06:48 AM »
do you have a thing called bach rescue remedy there? Its either a sprary, liquid or cream. The spray and liquid you put in your mouth, it tastes slightly alcoholic but it always always curbs my nerves and panic attacks. I get them pretty bad.

Also the old plastic bag blowing trick, counting to 8 each time you breathe and breathe right down into your tummy and feel it there.

Other thing is exercising, it helps to disperse it.

I know how it feels its rank

Offline randym431

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2006, 05:54:32 AM »
These are very common for many people, hiv or not. They kinda run in my family. I have had them, more so when I was in my 20's. My sister has them a lot and is on medication. Also, if she gets one at night she makes her husband get up and take a walk with her around the house or neighborhood. That calms her down. As for me, after realizing I wasn’t going to die from them, my mind let me ignore them and defuse them pretty fast without medication. Now I seldom get them, or if I do start one I just pet and play with the dogs and takes my mind off them. You just have to take the attitude "I know this wont kill me, I'll get over it", and you suddenly do. But boy are they sure a strange feeling when they hit, out of nowhere.

Offline JeffInNYC

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2006, 07:25:33 AM »
Edited to add: I think this topic should be in the Living With forum. It's certainly not "casual conversation."

Nope it shouldnt be in the Living with Forum because 1.)Im a neggie and 2.) As someone else said, people experience this HIV or not and 3.) this is an off-topic forum and not just casual conversationa.

Anyway, I appreciate all the responses.  It seems to hit me most after I have a full stomach, then the panic sets in like Im about to throw up.  And though throwing up is not pleasant, it really wouldnt be the end of the world, but yet I get all panicky.  99% of the time I DONT throw up.

I usually turn on music and pace back and forth to try to get my mind off it.  But sometimes, its a real bitch...last night it was close to 3 hours before I felt ok again.

PS Never heard of Bach Resuce Remedy...where can I get it?

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2006, 07:45:43 AM »
If you are noticing a correlation between eating and panic, I submit that there *might* be a physiological basis for at least part of your condition. So often we assume that psychotropic symptoms = psychological problems. And maybe over time, a psychological situation CAN develop, if the underlying physiological situation is not corrected. At some point, it might become chicken/egg.

But I honestly think that ruling out food allergies or some other physical condition might be a good idea.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2006, 07:57:36 AM »
Dear All,

This is not strictly speaking only an HIV-related issue. Nevertheless, it's a common enough experience, (as is confirmed by the number of responses since it was posted) to be something worth reaching as wide an audeince here as possible.

Along with the pharamacological suggestions being offered, I've found that in the moment when someone is having an attack, talking quietly with that person and getting them to breath slowly and deeply can help some very difficult moments of being overwhelmed to pass.

Meditation also seems to be very helpful, though not when an episode is happening. Talking about the experience when an episode is NOT in process can also be very useful in exposing some personal devils to the light.

Andy Velez

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2006, 08:50:48 AM »
I suspect there is some misunderstanding here.

Jeff is HIV negative and as a long standing member of AIDSMEDS understands the strict rules about negative members posting in Living With. This thread was moved to Living With from Off Topic unbeknownst to Jeff.

Jeff tells me he's already received a pissy PM from an annoyed poz member that his thread is in Living With. I suspect this is all a misunderstanding and would implore poz members not to chew Jeffy out about this.

I'm sure the thread will be moved back to it's rightful place.

MtD

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2006, 08:53:42 AM »
Hi All,

Sorry for the seesawing on where to place this thread. I wasn't remembering Jeff's negative status when I originally read the thread. I do think it's a serious issue worth discussion. However, following the rules of the Forum it will stay in this section.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline kykeith

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2006, 09:03:14 AM »
hey there...when i was first diagnosed i was vomiting two or three times a day...my nerves were completely shot...and the panic attacks at night were the absolute worse...breathing was eratic, heart was racing and i couldn't stand to sit with myself...so when i started the meds my doctor started me on zanax as well. i take .5 milligrams in the morning and the same at night before i go to bed...i tried not taking them about three weeks after starting the meds and the vomiting started again...i was concerned because i'm a recovering alcoholic but my doc said he's more concerned about me keeping the meds down...so now for the past nine months this has just become routine to me...i don't recommend it for everyone...but for me it really has helped...i have still had a panic attack or two, but it's nothing like it was...good luck guy!

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2006, 09:14:27 AM »
Jeffy,

I meant to add that Bach "Rescue Remedy" preparations are bullshit in the same vein as homeopathy, naturopathy and the zodiac. Don't waste your money on them. You're just buying bottles of very expensive water.

Rather continue with your therapy and if necessary see your doctor.

MtD

Offline David_CA

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2006, 09:15:34 AM »
My ex-wife had 'em really bad.  They are often associated with the onset of depression, which she also had.  Her Dr. prescribed Prozac.  She was like a new person after a few weeks... actually more like she had been a couple of years prior to this. 

Shortly after I was diagnosed as HIV+, I started having these really intense feelings.  I felt like I couldn't breathe, like something was physically squeezing my chest making it hard to breathe.  My blood pressure and pulse rate shot up.  I felt hot and really nervous.  It was sort of like the 'fight or flight' feeling.  I described this to my ID Dr. and he felt I was having panic attacks.  He asked me if I wanted to try Prozac and see if it helped.  I said I would, but was really reluctant to take 'em when I got the prescription filled.  I had never been on antidepressants and prided myself on being able to manage my stress levels myself.  I guess HIV was a bit more than I had dealt with!  I did start the Prozac.  People say it takes several weeks to help with depression.  I've read where other people say it takes a few days.  I also take Adderal, which seems to speed up almost all other drugs (including alcohol) that I take.  I felt relief from the anxiety/ panic in a few days and continue to feel better.

The difference was like night and day, just like my ex- said.  I've taken Prozac for around two months now and it's been so nice not having these panic attacks.  Actually, I've had a couple, but I can handle that.  I have Ativan for times when it gets really stressful. 

There are side effects... primarily sexual.  To me, those are definitely worth the relief I get from anxiety.  I've been working on these side effects, and it's helped some.  It's almost like discovering sex again!   ;)  I don't advocate drugs/ medications for every problem that comes up.  Sometimes, I think a lot of us just need a little help for those periods of intense stress; I don't plan on taking this forever, but if I need to, I certainly will.  Good luck.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
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Offline scotslassie

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  • Posts: 82
Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2006, 09:32:04 AM »
Jeffy,

I meant to add that Bach "Rescue Remedy" preparations are bullshit in the same vein as homeopathy, naturopathy and the zodiac. Don't waste your money on them. You're just buying bottles of very expensive water.

Rather continue with your therapy and if necessary see your doctor.

MtD

totally totally disagree

They worked for me and other people I know- who cares if its psychosomatic- It only cost me about 4 quid( about 8 dollars?)

People are free to choose whatever works for them and to try it

Have you ever tried them Matty?

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2006, 10:05:33 AM »
totally totally disagree

They worked for me and other people I know- who cares if its psychosomatic- It only cost me about 4 quid( about 8 dollars?)

People are free to choose whatever works for them and to try it

Have you ever tried them Matty?


It's cool to disagree with me scotslassie, you're entitled to be wrong from time to time. ;)

That said, there is no peer reviewed science that supports the efficacy of Bach remedies, homeopathy naturopathy or almost any other "complementary" or "alternative" therapy.

It's all hocus pocus and cheap money making. Purveyors of "alternative therapies" are charlatans and thieves. They should be flogged with chains and cast outside of the city walls.

And for the record, I haven't tried these things. I don't need to. There is no science to support them. Similarly I've never consulted a witch doctor or a faith healer.

I'm betting you haven't either.

People with anxiety disorders such as Jeffy should seek treatment from properly qualified mental health practitioners. You'll note that I have not recommended the use of benzodiazepines (such as Xanax), because those sorts of decisions are best left to appropriately qualified people. Perhaps benzo's will work for Jeffy, perhaps other forms of orthodox therapy are better.

It's not for us to decide.

Nevertheless, anxiety and other mental health disorders are legitimate medical conditions and as such they deserve legitimate medical solutions. I'll wager a pound to a pinch of shit that if you, scotslassie, had a broken leg or a serious condition like syphilis or HIV you wouldn't fuck around with Bach remedies.

You'd burn a blazing trail to the nearest doctor's office and scream for orthodox medicine.

MtD

Offline Gary85741

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    • Good guy, good heart
Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2006, 10:16:10 AM »


Jeff...and others...

I have them (anxiety or panic attacks) once in a while.  Usually it's only once about every other year.  Sometimes I can relate it directly to an event, sometimes not.  And I find some of those instigating events can be kind of subconscious.

When I have had them...my heart starts pounding, then, I feel very hot and the need for air, then I sweat profusely, then I feel nauseous, and finally I become light-headed and usually black out (vasovagal syncope, it's called.)

I've heard such symptoms resemble those of a heart attack.  Those physical feelings maybe feed the attack too...sort of a catch-22!  Now that I'm 'experienced' with these things...I know what to expect...and I also know it will pass and nothing terrible is going to happen.  I usually get about a thirty-second warning it's coming on...and if I'm at home I immediately lie down in case I pass out.  It's worse in public because the fact that people start gawking makes the whole thing more frustrating...LOL.

Apparently during these types of episodes a lot of people hyperventilate, so it's recommended one slow down their breathing a bit during the event...such as "four-square breathing" (four seconds inhaling...four seconds holding...four seconds exhaling...etc.)  Kind of hard to do though at the time...LOL.

Hope this helps in some way for those who experience these things.  I've had a few mild cases lately of this (not to the point of losing consciousness.)  I've started an injectible medication so I've had to learn how to do that.  My hands start shaking so it's difficult to complete the injection process (though I manage to get it done.)  Intellectually I'm not afraid to do it, it's just a case of bad nerves I guess.  I've done three weekly injections thus far and each time it gets a little bit easier.

Gary    
Poz since '89. 
Current regimen: Rescriptor, Emtriva, Kaletra, Invirase, Acyclovir, Lisinopril, Lipitor, Prilosec, Valium, Testim, Nandrolone, Loperamidr, Marinol.

Offline scotslassie

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  • Posts: 82
Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2006, 10:16:54 AM »
totally totally disagree

They worked for me and other people I know- who cares if its psychosomatic- It only cost me about 4 quid( about 8 dollars?)

People are free to choose whatever works for them and to try it

Have you ever tried them Matty?


It's cool to disagree with me scotslassie, you're entitled to be wrong from time to time. ;)

Is that a veiled threat matty?



And for the record, I haven't tried these things. I don't need to. There is no science to support them. Similarly I've never consulted a witch doctor or a faith healer.

I'm betting you haven't either.

so what if I havent? what does that matter

People with anxiety disorders such as Jeffy should seek treatment from properly qualified mental health practitioners. You'll note that I have not recommended the use of benzodiazepines (such as Xanax), because those sorts of decisions are best left to appropriately qualified people. Perhaps benzo's will work for Jeffy, perhaps other forms of orthodox therapy are better.

It's not for us to decide.


You hit the nail on the head- ITS NOT FOR US TO DECIDE


Nevertheless, anxiety and other mental health disorders are legitimate medical conditions and as such they deserve legitimate medical solutions. I'll wager a pound to a pinch of shit that if you, scotslassie, had a broken leg or a serious condition like syphilis or HIV you wouldn't fuck around with Bach remedies.

You'd burn a blazing trail to the nearest doctor's office and scream for orthodox medicine.

MtD

Yes, but bach rescue can be used with other stuff. Its not a cure, its something people use to help them get through things. When I have a panic attack I take it, it works for me. I dont need scientific proof to know my 4 quid has helped me through a majorly, majorly stressful panic attack

do you even get panic attacks matty? Im sorry, but you cannot tell people what and what not to take. I made a recomendation for him- I didnt say take it and put a gun to his head.


Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2006, 10:25:07 AM »
Yes, but bach rescue can be used with other stuff. Its not a cure, its something people use to help them get through things. When I have a panic attack I take it, it works for me. I dont need scientific proof to know my 4 quid has helped me through a majorly, majorly stressful panic attack

do you even get panic attacks matty? Im sorry, but you cannot tell people what and what not to take. I made a recomendation for him- I didnt say take it and put a gun to his head.


I am steely hearted and not given to the weak emotions of mortals. Panic is not something that Matty the Damned is familiar with. Certainly I inspire it in others, but what can you do?

I maintain my position. Bach remedies are a crock of shite. You might as well recommend that Jeffy be bled with leeches for his humours is unbalanced!

Scotslassie, I recommend you do one of two things:

1. Visit This site and get the facts;

2. Failing that, take your Bach flower remedies into one of the treatment forums here and see how far you get.

MtD

Offline scotslassie

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2006, 10:31:42 AM »
They work for me- they may work for others- stop trying to tell people what to do!

And why on earth do I need to put it into a treatment forum here?  I am specifically writing about my experience with using it for this particular symptom- panic attacks

And to brag that you inspire fear in others is just utterly unbeleiveable

Offline scotslassie

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2006, 10:32:49 AM »
Oh yeah and what have quackwatch got to do with it? what do they prove that I amnt proving to myself?

You obviously arent reading my posts carefully enough- I didnt say it works for everyone, but it works for me and is cheap and stops me wanting to self harm and freak out ok?

Im sorry to hijack this thread, Ill withdraw now

Offline JeffInNYC

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2006, 06:53:38 PM »
Thanks everyone for your responses.

When I saw this morning my thread got moved to Living With I thought "Damn, its in the Living With forum...now I cant even post in my own thread!".  Quite the discomforting thought which nearly triggered off another panic attack...thanks, Andy.   ;)

To be honest though, whether I am neggie or poz, i think this thread belongs in this forum because panic attacks can affect anyone regardless of HIV status.

Im going to reread the responses here because for me panic and anxiety always seems to present itself many times in my life and Im getting too old to deal with this crap.  Im sure theres something in this thread which can help me.

Hope all of you are well and thank you for sharing your experiences.

Offline edfu

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2006, 09:30:18 PM »
Jeff, if you're negative, why are you here, even in the Off-Topic Forum?
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline lydgate

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Re: Panic Attacks
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2006, 10:13:39 PM »
Between the two, for a panic attack, I would choose Xanax over Klonopin; faster acting, shorter half life. A different kind of anxiolytic that works for some long-term is Buspar.

You mentioned trying therapy over several years -- did you try a series of sessions dedicated specifically to your panic attacks? Cognitive behavioral therapy reportedly has an astonishing 80%+ success rate with panic and anxiety disorders; 12 to 18 sessions seems to be the norm.

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

 


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