Panic attacks

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30 Posts

hiratio  ·  03 Jun 2009

Hi goaties.

Doctors don't like you to be on these kind of medicines for long as they are very addictive...sorry something else you didn't want to hear,the only other thing i can suggest is to go back and see your doctor and ask is there something stronger,ask your doctor about the medication Kalma (alprazolam) yes it is exactly the same as xanax but for some reason worked for me for some mysterious reason,i can now travel since being on them but i still have great difficulties travelling any great distances,i to must brush up on my congnitive therapy :)

I'm currently seeing a pyscologist again and he was telling me that there is some newer type congnitve therapies out and is going to teach me,so he says, that their is some newer approaches to rid these horrid feelings.

what has to be done is we need to focus on something instead of ourselves,for instance your daughters confirmation,start to think ahhhhh my daughter,i'm so proud of her,think of the funny things she has done throughout her life...things like that, when you feel agitated or panicky direct your thoughts to good things and not think about yourself,i'm part way there but like i said it is hard to break the cycle and you have to be prepared to put in the hard yards.

when i get the feelings you described i just say to myself...ok i got the trots...just means i have to sit on the loo,palpitations...i quite often think well ok yeah iv'e over breathed a little here, don't panic you can fix this by doing the relaxtion and breathing techniques that we have been taught.when feeling like i'm going to pass out...i just simply say to myself ok if i pass out someone will help me and an ambulance will be called,there really are some nice people out there :)

Let me tell you the chest pain a panic attack suffer feels is nothing compared to "real chest pain" iv'e been there.

Chin up and practice....practise..practise...don't expect immediate results it may take a couple of months but you must focus on getting rid of those negative thoughts of "oh my god here it comes"..."what will i do"..or "ohhh no i have to run home i can't handle this".It's hard as i explained but the easiest thing to do is let it all happen, the attack won't kill you even though thats the feeling you have....panic attacks has never killed anyone.

What dosage of xanax are you on ? I'm on 1mg of Kalma 3-4 times a day and that seems to keep me calm for the entire day  and night.I can't remember what dosage my xanax were when they put me on them,also i  tend to believe that there maybe a slight variation in the 2 drugs because where i am the doctor can write out a prescription for xanax but with Kalma he has to phone the health authority(government drug authority) and get an authority # before writing out a prescription for Kalma.

I hope this helps you out...


1,376 Posts

purple  ·  01 Jun 2009


i got up yesterday morning and i was feeling ok,got everything ready to head out to wexford for the day, as i got into the car i suddenly felt weird, my heart was racing, i was sweating too, i felt sick, it was a panic attack, my hubby said are you ok, do you want to go back home, i said no im not letting this beat me, but as we got to wexford i felt fine, then durning the day it came back again, this was very frightening for me. i feel flustered today . what can people do to stop these attacks happening, advice please,


6 Posts

goaties  ·  31 May 2009

Hi hiratio, how long do i have to be on xanax for them to work. I only go to my doctor when I feel anxious, and know that i am going to "freak out" if I dont do something. I had an awful panic attack on Saturday at my daughter's confirmation, in my own home, when loads of people were there, took a xanax but no use. i do not want to be on these all the time. I am going on hoilday in July and already am worried sick.


6 Posts

goaties  ·  30 May 2009

hi horitao, think i will go back to cognitive therpy. i had awful day yesterday, it was my daughters confirmation, managed the church ok, but as soon as everyone started to arrive at the house I could feel those awful feelings start up. I felt sick, had diarrhea, heart palpatations, you name it - I had it. I took a xanax but no help. do i need to be on these for a while before they kick it. I only take them when I feel a panic attack coming on but they just didnt work yesterday. i managed to get through the day but all I could think of was running away somewhere. Noone seemed to notice though.

My confidence is practically gone at this stage. I don't go many places, just to work and home. Avoid as many social functions as possible. I am also forever trying to please people, anything Im asked to do , I do no question, even though it might not suit. i never express an opinion on anything and just sit there and listen. Is this part and parcel of panic attacks?


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  28 May 2009

Hi Goaties.

I fully understand,my life was normal to then one day bang(panic attacks can and do just come out of the blue with people- i won't go into them just yet but there have been many theories on this condition),although i was or should i say we were able to recognise the cause of mine. I know it is extremely hard but what needs to be done is when you are out socially and you start thinking that way is simply let it happen nothing will become of it,let it reach it's full blown state but stand your ground,do your deep breathing exercises and bring in with it the other congnitive behavoir therapy that you would or should of been taught.Firstly i should of started off by saying do not feel embarrassed by these debilatating attacks,make your family and friends aware that you suffer from them and are under treatment,i'm sure you will find most of them fully understandable of your condition but be warned some won't be so don't let that worry you,i bet they have done something more embarrissing than having a panic attack.

The Xanax will help take the edge off and make you feel calm and relaxed,as i said in my last post to you i was tried on Xanax but it didn't cut it with me so my GP put me on Kalma,now the weirdest thing is they are both the same i said Xanax might be Australias generic brand (cheaper) and the pharmacists said she couldn't really understand why Xanax didn't work and Kalma did,she said maybe a simple thing like talc powder or another by ingredient might of been dropped or added to the Kalma,who knows but Kalma became my salvation after about a week on that i was able to move about (i was house bound for several years...Agoraphobiac)

As long as you have been given a clean bill of health and been diagnosed with just only panic attacks yes you will recover(you know what i mean :)......) but it's entirely up to you i said you have to put in the hard yards with the Cognitive Behavouir Therapy...i'ts very easy to give up on i know,and takes some practise,it happened to me,at the time it just seemed easier just to give up on the breathing and thinking techniques but once mastered you will feel much...much better and also be even more confident in life before these horrid panic attacks raised their head.


6 Posts

goaties  ·  27 May 2009

Hi hiratio, thanks for the advice. I have been to numerous psychologists, even tried acupunture, but to no relief. I can go months withous experienceing any symtoms, but something will come up, like a social event, and then all I can think about is that I will have an attack, embarrass not only myself but my family, and the more I think the more anxious I become. Its driving me insane. All I want is to be feel normal again. I first experinced a panic attack 20 years ago on the way home form a holiday. I have tried to think of what might have triggered it but cannot come up with anything. since then holdiays are so stressful - I end up getting valium just to get me on the plane- and when I there all I want is to get home. Does the xanax get rid of these awful feelings? Will I ever feel normal again?


12,086 Posts

Anonymous  ·  27 May 2009

Hi hiratio, any doctor I have gone to has order a full work up except in cases where diagnosis is clear - this is in both Ireland and France. I would regard anything else as arrogant or shoddy, to be honest. Hi goaties, I actually suffered similar to yourself after my own fahter died and I too was concentrating on my Mam. The panic attacks used to start at night - in my sleep!! I obsessed too as part of the anxiety and had to know where my parnter was 24 X 7 - like I had become some sort of possessive madwoman - and that's not me at all. So no, you're not going mad. It does sound like what I went thru. The panic attacks tho were entirely grief related and unfortunatley there is no treamtent but time. If the Dr. has perscribed xanax I'm sure they will help. I know people who take them for specific anxieties suxh as fear of flying and they're very successful. Do you think bereavement counselling could help you at all? . Take care of yourself.



30 Posts

hiratio  ·  26 May 2009

Hi and welcome goaties.

your doctor is on the right track with medication xanax is the drug of choice for panic/ anxiety attacks,did he perform blood tests with you ? to rule out other things....I myself am on Kalma (alprazolam) exactly the same as xanax but xanax must be Australias generic brand as they don't cut it with me....Kalma seems to be the only drug that works with me.

The next step your doctor may organise a refferal to a psychologist or psychiatrist to determine if there is indeed an underlying problem,emotionally or something that may of occured when you was younger.Also if your doctor hasn't already done it,usually not they leave it to the psychologists or pyshiatrists to explain the relaxation techniques which do work but you have to be prepared to put in the hard yards.they recommend that you go to places that you avoid and stay there until panic has subsided,but they do not start you off on that immediately they say if it becomes to overwhelming to leave the situation till attack subsides they call it,they will get you to return to the uncomfortable places and remain there until you have calmed down and get you to stay there .....and after awhile doing this hopefully you will be the master of your destiny

I don't want to sound cruel...but don't focus your attention to much on your mum...she may well end up being your crutch (a prop for your anxieties)....i may be completely wrong but that is usually what happens to panic/anxiety sufferers,they find a for the obsessive kind of stuff thats best left up to your doctor , pyscologists or pyshiatrists.

I certainly hope something i have spoken about helps.


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  26 May 2009

Hi again Niamh

I am from Australia and all GP's here carry out full bloodwork in aiding their diagnoses of panic/anxiety attacks,theyjust simply can't say "ahhh after what you have just described is you are suffering from whats called panic/anxiety attacks" this is just down right poor medical professionalism,you have stated your self and so have i....although we have a dis-agreement on several issues like hyperglycemia,every one has had a bout of this at one stage or another in their life....albeit only short stints and more than likely only occurs once-twice a year,all it is ,is where the liver has absorbed(burnt up) all the sugar/glucose from itself and the blood stream,more prominent when you skip a meal and work to hard leading to stress on the body however as stated panic/anxiety never usually occurs in the non sensitised body and an actual diagnosed hyperglyceamic sufferer.

Now as a suffer of some of the organic illnesses i described previously panic/anxiety does not appear to be prevalent(panic/ anxiety can be differentiated from other bodily feelings) from and discussing it with other cancer ,diabetic and the low B12 sufferers (aneamic patients) they have told me that they haven't experienced what we experience in a mild....moderate...severe panic attack,sure they sit there and wonder "why me" "what have i done to deserve this" etc,etc.

Now i find it extremely strange that no Irish doctor doesn't order a full blood work up on first presentation of panic/anxiety,maybe your medicos are more confident in an accurate diagnoses of this ? I do understand that a womans body clock works completely different than a males and that certain hormonal conditions can give off the same symptoms as panic/anxiety,i'm not saying that the women are not suffering from panic/anxiety.


6 Posts

goaties  ·  26 May 2009

Hi, I am new to this discussion board. Have being suffering from panci attacks for years. They mainly come on when I have to face certain social occasions like weeings, confirmations etc, also have great difficulty going on holiday. Lately my anixeity levels have soared and dont seem to be getting any easier. I lost my dad two years ago and have been focusing my attention on my mum since then...making sure shes ok ...and kind of put grieving on the back burner for a while. I cant seem to make the simpliest of decisions, have got to the point where I am obsessed about housework and everything has to be in the right place. i feel I am going mad. I went to my gp and he prescribed xanax. I have been on these before as a temporary measure. Has anyone experienced the same anixieties, obsessions etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


12,086 Posts

Anonymous  ·  26 May 2009

This is good advice Niamh but it might be useful for some people to know that.

Chromium is also used to combat excess cortisol (the stress hormone) spikes.

For all sexually active women who are not trying to concieve, be extremely careful about Vitamin C at such high doses as it can interfere with the pill. As always, with any supplements do consult your doctor as they can interfere with other medications.

It is quite simply untrue to suggest however that no GP in Ireland will do a full blood workup and a glucose tolerance test, among others, for a patient experiencing symtoms of a panic attack. Any GP I have every gone to, except for things like baterial infections which are easily diagnosed, has done a full blood panel - and yes it was in Ireland (and also France).


50 Posts

Niamh  ·  26 May 2009

Valuble supplements: Morning:

Chromium 200mg per day to increase insulin sensitivity

Full B complex try to look for one with 200mg of B5 Panthotenic acid great for energy and the adrenals and nervous system

Vitamin C 1000mg Cardio vascular, Immune and Adrenal support


Magnesium:Calcium in a 2:1 ratio is best to help with sleep, anxiety and muscle tension

Zinc taken last thing at night just before bed. Excellant for the immune system and adrenals

It is also advisable to get your iron checked and supplement if it is low

Adding cinnamon to things also increases insulin sensitivity and having a protein rich snack 1 hour before going to bed will help people sleep through the nite. Oat cakes and hummus are great as they are low GI

Leaving a snack beside your bed if you do wake up and actually eating it I know this is difficult as the last thing you feel like doing if an attack is coming on is eating but it can seriously shorten the length of the attack. Not something sweet though. Think about how awful a panic attack patient feels after drinking alcohol, because alcohol is converted to sugar in the body. You can get a huge high followed by an awful low the next day, it's hypoglyceamic state that can induce an attack. Eating something before going to sleep can help greatly if you have drank.

I have studied in this area and tested it on myself finding it very beneficial. It's possitive and encourages over all well being. I just wish some one gave me this support when I was badly suffering. I don't think you should be giving advice unless you've experienced positive results with it yourself


50 Posts

Niamh  ·  26 May 2009

Where are you from Hirato? No GP in ireland would do that, depending on your age they might check your heart if your having palpations. Usually they offer an anti depressant or anti anxiety medication. The test for hypoglyceamia is the same one for diabetes, no doctor is going to give a panic attack patient an oral glucose tolerence test. Our cells become more resistant to glucose the more they are exposed to it. Being in a chronic state of stress means that they are being constantly exposed to glucose therefore making a person more susceptible to insulin resistance and hypoglyceamia. This not full diabetes and can be reversed easily but people who suffer panic attacks have to be aware because even if this is not the root problem it can make them feel a hell of a lot worse increasing instances. Try it for a few weeks before you turn your nose up at it.


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  26 May 2009

"My god I started having Panic atticks 10 years ago. I' ve had one in the last 5 years. Please stop giving advice to people if ur still having them now... because unless they've seriously reduced then your not recovered."

Thats your exact words,you your self have not reached a recovered status ,you still suffer even if it is has been 5 years.I have been reading posts again and no-one and that includes me,yes i made a suggestion on it but it was just a comment we were not promoting ECT (electro convulsive therapy) it has worked with success but it is not really a considered option for just panic/anxiety alone,if you re-read my post i was referring to a relative of mine that had it done on both sides of his brain and had worked successfuly for his condition.....schizoprhenia,he no longer requires medication...anti-depressants and the other drugs used for schizophrenia,Also i made a comment of a report that was made on ross river virus sufferers that by touching electric fences eliminated their ross river virus symptoms completely,ross river virus is identical to chronic fatigue syndrome and some sufferers have been game enough to engage in touching electric fences to get relief and have done,obviously i can't speak for all sufferers but a small number have actually done it with success.ECT is still used in most modern western medicine but is only used for extreme cases i believe.


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  25 May 2009 this message :)

To put it in a nutshell 99% of organic illnesses, panic/anxiety never occurs

I.E.... glandular fever,cancer,hyper glyceamics,heart and lung conditions,vertigo..the organic illness list goes on.


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  25 May 2009

Hi Niamh

I honestly can't believe you just posted that.....any half descent GP tests for this, he/she orders a full blood work up when you first experience these horrid panic attacks and then monitor regular blood work usually once to twice a year to make certain there are no changes.when i was first diagnosed with panic/ anxiety i had just about every test known to  medical science,the way you have explained hyper glycemic is totally different to the way any medical professional has explained to me,the adrenal gland expresses the adrenalin first in turn when to much has been produced eats all the sugar up in your blood and liver giving you the shaking and feinting feeling commonly known as hyperglycemic. the adrenalin comes from over anxious or a frightened state and it can be released while sleeping as your body may be so stressed out that you are  having a nightmare and not knowing it that causes you to wake during a panic attack or you may have woken  because your body is so sensitised by the feelings experienced during an attack.

I agree with you that every ones panic/anxiety attacks are not identical in path or development,there are a number of causitives for these attacks and no-one has the answers,sure they ASSUME that it is the way we have learnt how to over react in a panic situation,not true, in most cases there is a pyschological factor but not in every ones case like mine.


50 Posts

Niamh  ·  24 May 2009

My god I started having Panic atticks 10 years ago.  I' ve had one in the last 5 years.  Please stop giving advice to people if ur still having them now... because unless they've seriously reduced then your not recovered. Sorry but if you don't know why you were having them STOP advising people to have extreme electric shock treatment!!  The reason could be alot more simple than that!!!   Has anyone considered... Hypo glyceamia....  Look it up, alot of panick attack patients have it.  Although not the original instigator probably the reason most people who can't associate there attacks with anything but are still having them!  Hypo glyceamia:  Blood sugar levels drop below normal.  This is a huge stress on the body!!  The adrenals need to kick in to increase sugar levels.  This can initiate an attack.  A common side affect of Hypo glyceamia is waking during the night feeling anxious or having a panick attack due a rise in cortisol, putting the adrenal under stress as they should be resting at night.  The sugar levels drop during the night and then the adrenals wake us up.  Mostly due to a diet high in sugar and refined carbs.  Stress is the reason people start having panic attacks but hypo glyceamia must be considered if people have reduced their stress levels but are still experiencing unexplained attacks!  Symptoms include: trembling, shaking, dizziness, sweating, tingling, palpatations, racing heart, anxiety, irratibility, mood swings and speech difficulties. If anyone would like advice on treating hypoglyceamia I will post it, no problem...  : )


5 Posts

charlie1  ·  22 May 2009

hi there, sorry it took me so long to reply, i havent had any really....heartburn the first few days immediatly after taking it each day  but i sorted that by swallowing the tablet and then eating dry bread. my libido was kinda non existent for the first 6 - 8 wks but thats back thankgod! other than that iv been grand....everyone is different though i suppose. i would def advise anyone to try medication, panic was controlling my life and i can see that now. i had so many negative feelings about medication and it took me a long time to make the decision, but hopefully i can come off it in 6months or a year and things will stay as they are now. im young getting married soon and looking forward to it!


3,037 Posts

buzz  ·  15 May 2009

hi Charlie have you experienced any side effects from this drug?


5 Posts

charlie1  ·  14 May 2009

i finally caved and decided to listen to my gp iv been taking 20mg gerozac (lowest dose) once a day for 3 mths now and i haven't had a panic attack once....i feel so free. i havent had any side effects and i would recommend medication to anyone. thinking back i dont know how i lived with panic for so long....long may it last i say. im looking forward to enjoying everything life has to offer and not shying away incase i have a panic attack!


3,037 Posts

buzz  ·  08 May 2009

I had my first panic attack when I was 11, they were bad for a few years then tapered off a bit. In the past year or two they have got worse, I would love to know what triggers them because there are times when I am going along just fine and then all of a sudden BANG! There seems to be no rhyme or reason behind them, making them harder to avoid.


5 Posts

charlie1  ·  27 Feb 2009

hi niamh, hiratio....its been a few weeks since id had any panic until monday and iv never been as scared, i even rang my mam to come to stay with 30 a mum of two and she lives 5 hours away so i must have been bad! it lasted for 3days on and off...i went to my gp finally as i was in a state, she gave me gerozac but im afraid to take them iv read too many bad stories of side effects. during the panic i had some scary thoughts. im still afraid as i dont think its totally gone this time. anyone know anything about gerozac? im also gettin married in august and we plan more kids so i need to be careful about what to do regarding gp swears these will help but i just dont know


12,086 Posts

Anonymous  ·  20 Feb 2009

Hi Patricia, Hiratio. I'm very late getting back to this, sorry. I was helping out family a lot these past few weeks. Ah I see, you're speaking from Australia- great to have such an international mix on here. That would explain then the difference so, if it hasn't been banned there. I too have accienally touched electirc fences in my youth and I can tell you the last thing it made me feel was charged up and ready to go - more like ready to lie down in a darkened room with something strong to make me sleep until the horrible sick feeling wore off. Everyone is different and reacts differently tho I suppose.


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  06 Feb 2009

Hi Again Anonymous.

I'm from Australia and shock treatment hasn't been banned here....yet,it's hard for me to say what our medical practitioners actually think about it here as my own GP was thinking about having it performed on me and back then there was no real solid evidence that it worked and i refused and the doctor had to oblige. I know that one of my relatives who has had this treatment for depression and schizoprenia he had ...this is going back from memory 2 lots to one side of the brain and according to my cousin didn't do anything but made him a bit jittery was is comment so later down the track he was told he was going to have another lot but to the whole of his brain,not just one side,he had that lot of treatment and to date is feeling much,much better and apparently off his anti-depressant medication and his comments now have changed. he wonders why they didn't do this in the first place,but mind you i think he was under another specialist and had done his homework on shock treatment for him to "zap" the whole brain...i'm with you in your opinion about this treatment but it must work on a number of patients as my cousins shock treatment was a success.

As for shock treatment this was stumbled accross accidently by a person suffering from ross river virus which is similar in make up to CFS. he accidently touched an electric fence and within a day or two all his ross river virus symptoms disappeared so i think the medicos trialed it on CFS sufferers with success as well. i couldn't tell you if it is common practise in the treatment of CFS. Sufferers themselves are actually self treating by touching electric fences,thats the stories i have been hearing,being on the land myself i have accidently touched an electric fence,it hurts..well more stunned than anything but after the shock wears off you do tend to feel kind of...well...excuse the expression charged up and ready to go but i'm not game enough to touch another electric fence since i developed panic/anxiety as i fear it may make the condition worse...just another fear i have Embarassed


490 Posts

Patricia  ·  06 Feb 2009

Not banned everywhere it would seem:

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment for severe mental illness in which a small, carefully controlled amount of electricity is introduced into the brain. This electrical stimulation, used in conjunction with anesthesia and muscle relaxant medications, produces a mild generalized seizure or convulsion. While used to treat a variety of psychiatric disorders, it is most effective in the treatment of severe depression, and provides the most rapid relief currently available for this illness.""

ECT often produces dramatic improvement in the signs and symptoms of major depression, especially in elderly individuals, sometimes during the first week of treatment. While it is estimated that 50% of these patients will experience a future return of symptoms, the prognosis for each episode of illness is good. Mania also often responds well to treatment. The picture is not as bright for schizophrenia, which is more difficult to treat and is characterized by frequent relapses.

A few patients are placed on maintenance ECT. This means they return to the hospital every one-two months, as needed, for an additional treatment. These individuals are thus able to keep their illness under control and lead a normal and productive life.


12,086 Posts

Anonymous  ·  06 Feb 2009

Hi Hiration, thanks for your response. Actually ECG IS in fact banned here (in Ireland I mean) and has been since about mid-year last year. The governing medical body for psychiatrists has confirmed this and it was condemned outright due to the harmful effects. It has a long and frankly appalling history pretty much worldwide. Perhaps you are speaking from a different cuontry tho and it isn't banned where you are.

The idea that running an electric voltage into the brain of a person already suffering seems barbaric to me and there are many in the medical community as well as lay peple who would agree. As for using ECG for CFS, sounds pretty horrific to me.

Anti-depressants were vastly over perscribed here in the 8o's too, mainly to women and were handed out for everything from gallbladder problems to empty nest syndrome to menopause. And I know in he U.S. they are still perscribed for undiagnosed (and untested in some cases) hypothyroidism. Not sure abou ADHD medication as thats a relatively new diagnosis here. I suppose it differs for different people. Some are helped by it when they exprience panic or anxiety and others are not.  I was lucky if you could call it that in that I knew what was causing my panic attacks and it was situational.


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  05 Feb 2009

Sorry wrong link....this is the one i meant to put up....

if the first link gets put up it is worth a read.the second link is some research findings


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  05 Feb 2009

Also something i found and forgot to link


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  05 Feb 2009

Hi Anonymous.

Shock treatment is a last resort really here but it isn't banned as they have found it can do wonders for depression and schizophrenia they have found...exscuse the terminology  :) that zapping one side of the brain doesn't give the full they reckon...whats needed so they say is a few treatments.. on one side and then on another 1-2 occassions the whole brain be zapped (both sides) there is a limit the # of times shock treatment can be used for obvious reasons.Some doctors have been shown by some people suffering chronic fatigue syndrome that by getting zapped by an electric fence (used for cattle) have actually cured them of chronic fatigue...maybe my zap wasn't big enough :) i'm still suffering to a degree.

Everything that we hear about panic/anxiety is interesting but this is an area that is not really funded that well to find an exact cause because even the  least person we expect to fall to this condition does so...there a quite a few actors with this condition.I don't know what the situation is like where you are from but our medical association looked into the matter of prescribing anti-depressants and found that it was the most overly prescribed drug along side the ADHD/ADD medication and both could be harmful to patients if they did not need to be on them so we now have a criteria that has to be met by patients for our GP's to diagnose depression,I don't doubt that this medication helps depression but i am one of many here that say that anti-deprassants don't help panic/anxiety...i attended one of our self help for panic/anxiety and we all were asked if the medication helped ...the most common answer was ones that it did help were people with both conditions(the depressed and had panic/anxiety),we also were asked what we thought triggered our panic attacks the answers were like here very varying from bad childhood experiences,stress and financial worries etc,etc right down to diet.Even though it is now a recognised disorder i personally think that a lot more research needs to be done as i don't think they have quiet worked it out themselves,they are just as mystifyed as we are.


12,086 Posts

Anonymous  ·  05 Feb 2009

Hi Niamh, I used to suffer from panic attacks - thankfully resolved now. They were just like you suggested Patricia, -  brought on by a series of a sudden truamatic events. I KNEW the cause, the doctor perscribed sleeping tablets - which made me feel hungover. It's an amazing coincidence but I went on a heavy exercise routine - just in an effort to tire myelf out so i could sleep without being woken by a panic attack. I never considered that the endorphins produced had a good effect on may brain!

For those affected by low serotonin, I would say get out as much as you can - even on cloudy days, in the Winter. For prolonged spells would you consider using a light box? I have heard good reports of them.The information about 5 HTP is interesting. I had heard of it but my doctor said it that as long as I have a good diet, which I do, I will be getting the amino acid combination that I need anyway, as 5 HTP is almost useless on its own. An interesting thing was to, she said that serotonin was a brain chemical and was produced by the brain! Interesting too about some people being sensitized to anxiety, I have read a theory that babies - and this was common throughout the 40', 50s, 60's and even 70's here - who were fed 'on the clock' ie scheduled feeding instead of demand lead feeding, that this raising their anxiety levels and the stress resulting from it, lowered their tolerance to anxiety. Might be something in that.

Hiratio, just to let you know ecg (shock therapy) has now been banned for use here and medical authorities have outright condemned its use given how harmful it had proven to be.


490 Posts

Patricia  ·  05 Feb 2009

I think I forgot to put in this link:


490 Posts

Patricia  ·  05 Feb 2009

Hello to all:

Yes, Niamh, you are right.  Some people have the anxiety disposition hard-wired into the brain.  It is really only in relatively recent times that there has been research into the brain on anything near the same level as research into the rest of the human body.  More is known now about the hard-wiring.

Obviously, there is situational anxiety, or panic attacks, brought on by a series of sudden, rather awful, events.  I know that some years back I had to deal with a whole lot of seriously stressful events, all happening at the SAME time.  I look back and it seems like a nightmare, that it didn't really happen.  For the first time in my life I got these panic attacks (didn't know what they were!).  Anyhow, I eventually did go to a professional to find out what was happening.  I was prescribed something for the panic.  Well, after about a week, I put the tablets on the back of the fire!  They made me feel phased out. 

I went on a heavy exercise routine, and when I wasn't at that I knocked myself out doing other physical work.  I suppose the endorphins thus produced had a good effect on the brain.  I had no problem sleeping, and eventually the panic abated, until one day I realised it was no longer there!  But boy was it bad while it lasted.  I so sympathise with those who have to deal with panic and anxiety. 



30 Posts

hiratio  ·  04 Feb 2009

Hi Again Niamh

i don't know if i would be allowed to post the link but i found some interesting things on this natural drug you have spoken about. apparently this drug was banned by the FDA in the USA for 1-2 quite severe side effects that apparently have killed,this is most likely the reason why this drug is not available in Australia. if you read my link it is available in New Zealand and online in various countries.

i think every panic/anxiety sufferer goes through what you have described about seasonal causes. in my case i love summer because of the bright blue skies and as you say the sun however there is a price that comes with it,because of the heat the breathing seems to get more difficult,come winter time we get the grey looking feeling until some sun pops up :) i can tolerate quiet a bit of cold as i was bought up and have lived in our central highlands the best part of my life....but a lot of sufferers the cold weather can even trigger an attack.

My psyhcologist had informed me on one occassion that panic/anxiety cannot be cured,it can be managed but not cured. i certainly hope he is wrong because as you well know what it can do to people and no-one deserves that kind of debilitation for the rest of their life ....young or old...A lot of studies have gone into depression and they have said that it is or can be gentically passed on to date this can't be disputed but what they did was examined the 2, depression and panic/anxiety and came up with panic/anxiety was a side symptom of depression,i don't believe this for a second...sorry...i believe it is completely another type of illness,i do agree one can make one anxious if they have depression and vice versa with panic/anxiety but this is because we are at the end of our tether with our feelings,thoughts and physical symptoms,that seems a bit mumbo jumbo but i hope you can see what i'm trying to say ? you don't necassarily have to be depressed if you suffer panic/anxiety..i'm definately not,i hate these feelings but like you said as you do, i take on all the challenges that come with it,I can't comment on the depression part as i have never been diagnosed with depression so i don't know what a depressed person actually feels,i can only imagine that it's similar to a person that just suffers panic attacks.

Patricia...Hi,yes i agree with you about panic/anxiety being around for quiet awhile and people back in the 60's,70's and 80's people were ashamed or embarrased to go to their GP about the condition and were embarrassed to talk about what they were experiencing with family and friends but back then i don't think the condition was as prevalant as it is now.they say 2 out of every 5 people now suffer this condition (approx) now thats a lot of people of today suffering.the 60's is my era and i was perfectly healthy up until 1990 then wham i get what they name panic/anxiety,i have explained my reasoning as to how i believe i got it in previous posts.

Everyone has been given or have offered ideas on how to cope with these which is all appreciated i'm sure,but to date the only real aid is CBT and anti-anxiety medications to stave off the bigger symptoms,some have found natural remedies have helped them,I say what ever helps you(anyone in this condition)...go for it,if it works go...go..go..


50 Posts

Niamh  ·  04 Feb 2009

Patricia I think you hit the nail on the head there, it's hard for some people though because I also think that panic attacks can be a product of long term low level anxiety aswell, which means people may not even link them to stress coz nothing has changed in there life but suddenly they are getting these attacks that never happened before.  I also believe that everyone has a certain tolerance to stress or anxiety.  A person may never experience a panic attack in the most stressful of situations but other attacks can be brought on by something very small.  Various things can affect this tolerance level some people are just born with an anxious predisposition, maybe some people have ingested something to sensitize their nervous system and some peoples' systems are overwhelmed by chemicals in their diet whatever the reason I think the key to recovery is managing these symptoms.  Whether it's doing some yoga, going to counselling, getting extra sunlight, taking a natural supplement, people need to try everything to see what will help them.  Perhaps re prioritising some of the basics will add fulfillment and happiness to life and reduce anxiety levels. 

*Relationship, *Finances, *Career, *Family, *Creativity, *Physical exercise, *personal development and last but not least - *fun!  We all need balance in our lives!

People need to know there is a road to recovery : )


50 Posts

Niamh  ·  04 Feb 2009

 I did mention in my paragraph that it shouldn't be taken alongside anti depressant medication.  But that's interesting that people take it so that they don't feel so bad the next day after partying surely that would only imply that they do actually work?  A lot of natural medicines are discredited by the pharmaceutical companies which don't want them cutting into their own profits so you have to be aware of where the clinical trials have been run and by who?From experience of taking 5HTP myself and also questioning others who have taken it I have found only positive results.  People are welcome to test it out for themselves.  I mentioned sunlight as my anxiety I feel was linked to SAD Seasonal affective disorder which is a condition where people are affected by sunlight or more to the point a lack of it.  It is very common in Ireland.  I always feel more anxious during the winter months some people feel depressed.  Believe me though I'm in very in tune with my body, I actually consider myself recovered coz everything that affects me, I meet it head on with practical tactics to stop it in it's tracks or at least lessen the affects!  People need to be in tune with their bodies and figure out which makes them feel worse and try various things that help them feel better, that's what will help them recover in the end, but absolutely everyone is different, these are only suggestions.  Your theory about the chemical additives is interesting, and they have indeed been found to affect anxiety so eliminating them from the diet would be a really positive step!


490 Posts

Patricia  ·  03 Feb 2009

Hello to Hiratio, and everyone:

I think panic attacks always existed, except that they had no name, so to speak, and were not recognised for what they are: a product of severe anxiety.

In the past people would be ashamed to even say they felt that way, and I can only imagine what many must have suffered, not realising what was happening to them. It must have felt like going crazy.



30 Posts

hiratio  ·  03 Feb 2009

Hi again...i did a bit of online researching on your suggestion and from my understanding of their studies does not mix well with anti-depressants. have a read,you may of already read it but any ways heres a link for anyone else interested.

I have also just found that these pills you are talking about are not available in Australia. i have not found that they are illegal but they are not kept ...if you want them you have to order them in from overseas.Also from the reading that i have just done most people use them for ...i suppose you could call them "party drugs" they say it gives them more energy for night clubbing and wake up the next morning without a hang over.


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  03 Feb 2009

Hi Niamh.

St Johns Wort is... well it was an acceptable form of alternative medication for panic and anxiety until some scientists found that it may actually do more harm than good to your health. as soon as i can find the studies i will if allowed put the link up. people use St Johns Wort at their own risk today. now i maybe mis-interpreting here but when the day looks grey outside it usually is it's just the way you and your brain is interpreting the colour. grey always seems to be associated with depression but this is not always the case, your brain might be trying to trick you into saying ohhh no i'm getting depression when in fact you most probably aren't at all. your brain will try anything to keep you in any kind of panic state. Scientests and medical specialists have performed many placebo testing and nothing appears to work on panic attacks. they have used plain water in testing and people not knowing what was in the injection started to say "hey i'm starting to feel better" after a few shots of water same with vitamins & minerals....can you see what i am trying to point out ? but on the other hand the sufferers that have that pressing feeling on their chest and difficulty breathing were administered Nitrolingual spray or tablet under the tongue and reported no change in the pressure on the chest and difficulty breathing so to the medical specialists this ruled out any organic heart disease. this is where my GP made his first mistake with panic/anxiety with my chest pain. the spray under the tongue starts to make my chest pain disappear within a minute of taking it,depending on the severity of chest pain it may take several sprays under the tongue to do anything. I have heard of 2 rather radical procedures to completely remove panic/anxiety from ones life and they both aren't accepted in todays medicine...1) is to sever a certain nerve,which one i cannot honestly tell you as i can't remember,but on my next visit to my GP or pyshcologist i will ask which one it was 2) shock treatment(small electrical currents)..some doctors have varying opinions on whether this in fact does work it is still being performed today. it is said to have worked well on some schizoprenic and depressed patients. someone very close to me worked in a major hospital (now retired) had informed me that this procedure is not very nice to watch even from a professional that has to perform the procedure and does not always have the desired effects...sometimes it can make the anxious person worse or develop another condition.


50 Posts

Niamh  ·  03 Feb 2009

Charlie 1 I feel exactly the same. My anxiety is definitely higher on dark days, This is because you don't get that natural boost of serotonin that you would from sunlight to help you feel better. A lot of doctors will actually prescribe a mild anti depressant for people with anxiety to help them feel better so it's only natural that the things which help our bodies produce serotonin ourselves such as sunlight will help us to feel better. I believe there is a direct link between depression and anxiety. The hormone cortisol released during times of stress has been proven to reduce levels of tryptophan in the body, without tryptophan we cannot produce serotonin. Trytophan is an amino acid, it is available to buy as a supplement called 5 HTP from the UK but not from Ireland. Alot of people actually find 5HTP more successful than anti depressant medication for this reason it has been classified as a medicine now in Ireland along with st. John's wort and is only available on prescription. You could ask your doctor about it as it would be a natural alternative to drugs. In fact if you type in serotonin into your search engine I'm sure 5HTP would be one of the first things to pop up. It is very important for anyone else reading this article to know that 5HTP should not be used alongside anti depressant medication as both increase serotonin levels therefore increasing risk of over dose. However if you do wish to come off your anti depressant medication 5HTP can be used then to minimize withdrawals affects but always under the supervision of your doctor/GP. A really nice thing about 5 HTP is that it can have immediate results. This is because serotonin is actually manufactured by the body in the stomach so you can start feeling results within a few hours of starting to take it. It can also help with problems sleeping, not insomniacs but just general sleeping problems from stress etc.


30 Posts

hiratio  ·  02 Feb 2009

Hi Charlie1, yes this does happen to me the symptoms you have described. i myself don't like medication but for me to have at least half a decent lifestyle i am on anti panic/anxiety medication. it's not an anti-depressant,although it is highly addictive but stops the frequency of panic/anxiety. the drug is called Kalma (alprazolam). it is exactly the same as xanax but for some weird reason xanax just does not work for me, maybe there is certain ingredients missing in xanax for it to not work and kalma does. depression does not have to be present with panic/anxiety attacks...they are 2 different conditions....although some people can and do have both conditions.

Did you read my previous postings ? i commented on what i thought caused mine and also expressed my opinion on what cause todays panic/anxiety attacks as this condition was rarely heard of back in my days..60's,70's and the 80's in the 90's the name started to pop up. i'm not saying that it never happened back in them eras but it WAS less common than it is today. I don't know whether it was because of our stature back then be frowned upon because we looked physically fit and complaining that we are sick, it wasn't acceptable back then as much as it is today. It was around the late 80's to mid 90's the laws for additives and preservatives were chopped and changed in our supermarket foods and so called fresh fruit and vegetables.

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