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Anybody suffer from anxiety or have anxiety attacks?

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  • Anybody suffer from anxiety or have anxiety attacks?

    Can you tell me what your symptoms are or, what brings them on? Or how it developed, and what you do to help subside that feeling? Or.... Is anyone a bit of a recluse... or dread going out in public?

    If you don't feel comfortable telling online, pm is much appreciated .


  • #2
    I have anxiety and panic attacks. Things that bring them on are public transportation or being in a social situation over which I have no control. I have increased heart rate, dizziness, shallow breathing, tingling in my fingers, and a feeling that I can only describe as wanting to crawl out of my skin. To alleviate the anxiety I take Lorazepam. I have tried CBT, tried breathing exercises, tried psycho-therapy. Nothing works but Lorazepam. And I've been dealing with this for 20 years.


    • Original Poster

      Wow!! Thank you posting your story mayhew. If you dont want to answer that is ok.... Do you know what brought your anxiety on? Or why?? What is lorezepam?? Is that like adovan(sp)?


      • #4
        I had what I guess would be an anxiety attack, as my understanding is that panic attacks aren't triggered by externals (could be wrong, just an impression). Just the once, and that was quite enough. My sympathies, anyone plagued by them! I'd graduated from college (which I attended in a city), and then been unemployed for about a year. During which I lived at home, in a small town, with no car. In other words, I didn't get out much, apart from job interviews. Then I got a job in Philly. My first day on the new job, I made it through the day - then got home and just freaked out - couldn't catch my breath, shaking, trembling. I wasn't scared of the job or the city, it was like my system was overwhelmed by the noise and scale compared to home, and the amount of time I'd spent there. I calmed down eventually, it didn't happen again, I went back the next day and it was okay. Very scary.


        • #5
          I have massive anxiety and anxiety attacks daily. It centers around my epilepsy meds...basically worrying if I've taken them or not. I've tried everything tO help with it and am currently seeing a neuro cognitive psychologist who specializes in epilepsy and we are doing CBT. Anywho, the cause is not the point.

          I get very very dizzy, feel like I'm going to be unconscious (which furthers the anxiety of having a seizure), my hands or feet tingle and sometimes my heartrate increases. It's awful, and it happens at least 30 times per day. My dr has me trying breathing exercises...which are weird, but I'm trying! It's especially scary when this happens on horseback. Lord knows i don't need to get dizzy and fall off my 17 hander!

          I have tried multiple anti anxiety meds but don't like them. Lorazepam is great but puts me on my ass. I'm sure I'll get a hold of this one day, but for now I'll just keep trying whatever my dr suggests!! Good luck!
          Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
          White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

          Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


          • #6
            YES. Terrible, terrible anxiety starting in my 20s, although, looking back, I can see I had issues into childhood. At it's worse, it evolved into agoraphobia, and it was very difficult to leave the house.

            I tried lots of different SSRIs, combined with therapy and ativan for the worst moments, and none of that really helped. If anything, SSRIs made everything much worse after a very brief period where they might have helped. What HAS helped is Seroquel. Seroquel is off label for anxiety disorder, but I do believe I saw that they are in trials to get it on label. (So I can't be the only one who is using it like this.) It's quite seriously changed my life. On it, I can function like a normal human being. I can meet people, I can make phone calls, I can do new things--COMFORTABLY. Off of it? Yeah, right.

            It is also wonderful for my terribly severe insomnia. On Seroquel, I sleep. Of of it, I don't. For weeks at a time.

            For me, there are very few negatives. It is expensive, but insurance covers it. It does cause weight gain for some, and I have seen a few extra pounds...but I was SO THIN due to anxiety before, this is probably where I'm supposed to be. If I take it after midnight, I might wake up groggy.

            I've been on Seroquel for perhaps 6? years now? I think? Since then I've had total control of the anxiety issues, and in the last year or so, I have been able to step the dose down very slowly. I did find the lowest dose that controls the anxiety by trying to step down below that, and had some not fun weeks while I ramped back up and regained control.

            Seroquel has been faaaar more effective for me than anything else, including ativan. If you have health insurance and no contra-indications, I'd say it's worth a try.

            (Oh, and no--ahem--sex side effects like the SSRIs.)


            • #7
              I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 16. Panic attacks didn't start until I was 25 or so. Honestly, I have no idea what brought them on. They got worse and worse for years. Unlike some people, I don't take Lorazepam (a benzodiazepan) every day. I only take them when I have a panic attack. I recently went on Zyprexa (same class of drug as Seroquel mentioned above) and haven't had to take the Lorazepam since I've been on it. I also recently started riding again. So whether it is the increased activity, or the Zyprexa, or the horses, I couldn't tell you! I lean towards the horse...


              • #8
                I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 16. Panic attacks didn't start until I was 25 or so. Honestly, I have no idea what brought them on. They got worse and worse for years. Unlike some people, I don't take Lorazepam (a benzodiazepan) every day. I only take them when I have a panic attack. I recently went on Zyprexa (same class of drug as Seroquel mentioned above) and haven't had to take the Lorazepam since I've been on it. I also recently started riding again. So whether it is the increased activity, or the Zyprexa, or the horses, I couldn't tell you! I lean towards the horse...


                • #9
                  There are plenty of causes and triggers for anxiety attacks. In my case I guess my brain is not wired to deal with great amounts of stress and the fact that I have chronic depression doesn't help.Or maybe it's my anxiety that triggers the depression episodes, who knows.

                  I can tell you specifically about what triggered my lat major depression episode. I had a very stressful situation at work that escalated to a point that I was having panic attacks just from having to go to work. Eventually I wasn't able to function at all, was afraid to leave my home, afraid to turn on the pc, afraid to get out of bed, afraid to stay in bed... you get the picture. In my case, it took a damn good psych and the right combination of drugs and leaving my workplace to get back on track.

                  I was doing well and dropped the meds to a minimum until a friend of mine got seriously ill and no one has been able to diagnose her yet. Back to major anxiety again. It didn't get so bad, but I did have to up the meds again to make sure I stay functional and relatively sane.

                  That's just my personal experience, I think each person is different in what triggers anxiety and what helps deal with it, but I help it help knowing that you're not alone.
                  Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

                  Originally posted by DottieHQ
                  You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.


                  • #10
                    Yes, it's awful. Mine started when I was 25 or 26. The first time I had a panic attack I ended up in the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack. After the hospital visit I didn't have another for about a year and then they came back on... Started out having one a week, got worse and worse over a month to the point where I was having 4+ full on panic attacks a day in addition to constant anxiety. I barely slept for days and finally went to the doctor. I started with Xanax and a sleeping pill to see if I could get them to subside. They helped in the moment but didn't make them stop so I went on Lexapro and started doing Bikram yoga. I satyed on the Lexapro for 9 months. That helped break the panic attack cycle and the Bikram taught me how to control my thoughts and breathing so that I can work through the anxiety when it crops up. Bikram was really a miracle for me and I highly recommend trying yoga - whichever type sounds best for you - in addition to medication and/or CBT. I am very fortunate in that I seem to have gained control of whatever was causing my anxiety. I don't know if it was some kind of chemical imbalance or what, but I rarely have anxiety issues now.


                    • #11
                      My sister suffered from anxiety attacks. When she had her first one she went to the hospital because she and her family thought she was having a heart attack. It's a very real condition and I'm sorry for those of you who suffer through it.

                      She took Ativan and some other meds, including anti-depression meds.

                      Be very, very careful with the Ativan. If you take it it will most likely help you, but do not take it and drink any alcohol...at all. None. Please.

                      Ativan and alcohol together are deadly. My sister drank beer and took her medication and died this April from liver and kidney failure. Don't even think one beer is OK, or one glass of wine, because it isn't. Please.


                      • #12
                        Anxiety attacks, usually brought on by the inability to stop thinking about a specific issue/problem (can be anything). A few thoughts spiral into hyperventilating, dizziness, rapid/pounding heartbeat, etc.

                        Onset when I was 22, I think. Under a doctor's care, but haven't been fully happy with treatment as they still happen (though admittedly less frequently, just still as intense).

                        Most difficult part? Finding people around you who understand and can sympathize. Or at least not treat you like you're crazy.


                        • #13
                          Rather than rewrite the whole thing, I'll link you to my Off Topic post (http://chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=324099) that got me on my way to Celexa and relief. I can ride my horse again. I can grocery shop without fuss. I drove 6 hours straight from NoVA to Ohio before Mother's Day and wouldn't let my 22 y/o son drive because I felt GOOD. I would even drive through downtown Chicago (as long as it's not rush hour ) I love my Celexa.
                          I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
                          Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


                          • #14
                            Yep, I get some pretty spectacular anxiety. Sometimes I get the added bonus of hives. Panic attacks, too. I'll be fine for a few years, then I'll have like 6 months where it's bad. I tried medication but found it practically took elephant tranquilizers to make a difference, plus one of my anxiety triggers is thinking about possible side-effects of medication. To control the basic anxiety, I have to be super balanced with life stuff (regular sleep is CRITICAL, regular exercise, tidy environment, controlled and regular schedule, etc.) Oddly, I can handle HUGE work stress and major life changes, but heaven help me if my sleep schedule gets out of whack for more than a few days or I let my apartment get too cluttered. The big things are no problem for me. The little stuff is what does me in.

                            For panic attacks, I have distracting, comfortable little rituals I follow to get me through them. I have basically conditioned myself to calm down when I watch Big Bang Theory. I also find smaller spaces feel better, so I'll actually drag a pillow into my closet and sit there (i am aware this is weird). Also, when my anxiety is bad, I have to go NOWHERE NEAR WebMD, TV shows about natural disasters, the news, or the weather channel, because those will set me off.

                            If you want to try a therapist, I'd suggest you try several to find somebody who clicks with you. I spent months with one I didn't click with and got nowhere, but three sessions with one I did click with helped immeasurably.

                            eta: symptoms -- for panic attacks, I generally feel like I'm dying, the heart-attack/earth-is-spinning/imminent-doom-is-approaching feeling. For general anxiety, basically when I let my life get out of balance, I'll find myself first getting sluggish and feeling down, and then I'll start worrying and having obsessive thoughts about impending disasters, then I'll get insomnia and start doing kind of weird things like taking my temperature obsessively or checking things over and over, and then I'll start getting regular panic attacks. I'm always a "worrier," but this pattern is very different from that.


                            • #15
                              panic attacks, agoraphobia, out of body experiences and more, i had a lot of symptoms of depression.
                              thankfully a free massage led to a recomendation to see a chiropractor and in minutes he dx me with a pinched nerve in my neck. when i wasn't getting enough blood flow to the brain i would start panicking.

                              ya know what?
                              he could have been 100% wrong but it didn't matter.
                              just having someone listen to me, really think about it and then come up with a reason why gave me a reason to believe i wasn't losing my mind. and the symptoms were so terrifying that i was afraid to shower, fearing that the next step would be seeing blood coming out instead of water.
                              truly i was so freaked out by the symptoms i was convinced i was going to be admitted to the psych ward.

                              so now 22 years later i still have occasional chronic episodes of insomnia and if i take too much melatonin i have break through anxiety. just one inkling of it is so upsetting--even after all these years.

                              and yes, horses helped me so much. as did chinese stress releif body work. that helped immensely actually. benedryl is amazing too, as is 5htp.
                              anyway, i feel for you, i've heard ebt works wonders too.


                              • #16
                                Yup mine are triggered when not enough sleep, feeling out of control, clutter, and chaos. Yet when things get stressful at work I am the one to keep it together.
                                Insignia MC - Spanish PRE mare
                                Tuggy - RIP at the bridge (9/12/2016)
                                Theodore the Boxer - RIP at the the bridge (10/5/2017)


                                • #17
                                  Since starting an anti depressant, I've felt a bit better, but I still definitely have my moments. I think a lot of it has to do with my OCD... if something isn't right, but I'm in a situation that I can't actually do anything about it (such as at someone else's house, etc) I start to get progressively more anxious. Now that I'm on my antidepressant, it hasn't escalated to an anxiety attack, so at least that's under wraps.*knock on wood*

                                  For me, it felt like my thoughts were rushing all the time and they were never pleasant thoughts. Then when I had an anxiety attack, I would feel like I was dying and just become a jittery mess.
                                  Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                                  • #18
                                    When I was much younger, I was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. (Or Sensory Integration Disorder depending who you talk to) My symptoms from a SPD "meltdown" are displayed as a panic attack from mild to severe. It's a lot more common than people realize.

                                    I've tried countless medicines to try to get things under control. Right now I got a mix of SSRIs and Benzos to keep me sane (I guess I should never event! :O)
                                    Horses help me a LOT with my anxiety.

                                    My inbox is always open.
                                    Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!


                                    • #19
                                      I had a problematic childhood with 2 parents that drank heavily. I'm sure that had something to do with it.

                                      I was alway anxious in my 20's and 30's, but it escalated around menopause. Although, I never avoided social situations.

                                      My first true panic attack was during a very stressful day at work. As another poster said, it felt like an out of body experience. Very dizzy to the point I felt if I sat down, I'd fall over. So, I kept walking around the building.

                                      I didn't let anyone know what was going on, so people were talking as usual. Again, I can only describe it as an out of body experience.

                                      Sadly, since my work place was first time I had a true panic attack, I freaked every morning before work and had to force myself to walk inside.
                                      I associated panic attack = work.

                                      Take Paxil and Klonopin daily. Xanex only when needed, which is rare.
                                      Down side of Paxil, is weight gain.

                                      Don't suffer anymore than you have to. There is so much help and different medications out there.

                                      My major suggestion is to see a specialist, such as a Psychiatrist. They know the latest meds and can try you on different ones to see what works the best.

                                      Initially, I went to my Primary Care Dr. who told me to stop drinking coffee in the morning!!! And when I asked her for meds she started me at a high dose, which made me very nauseous.

                                      A Psychiatrist should know to start you at a low dose and slowly titrate up.

                                      Again, please don't suffer any longer than you have to. When I started talking to friends and acquaintances, I couldn't believe the number of people who took medication for anxiety.

                                      It's nothing to be embarrassed about and the stigma associated with seeing a Psychiatrist is nil.

                                      Good luck!

                                      ETA: I tried Prozac for a bit and it was horrible!!!! Perhaps everyone feels differently on it, but I got extremely depressed, to the point I didn't trust myself. I only knew it was from the Prozac as I did some reading on it. Stopped it immediately.
                                      Last edited by Huntertwo; Jun. 2, 2012, 11:46 PM. Reason: To add info.
                                      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

                                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                                      • #20
                                        I have the same feeling as huntertwo. I'll get dizzy to the point where i have to stand and move. It's awful while stopping in traffic or at shoplights. I had to pull over the other day because I thought I was going to pass out. Ugh.!
                                        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.