Sense Of Impending Doom
Does anyone here experience anxiety attacts? I'm pretty sure I've had about 6, two of which occured in the last 24 hours (one last night and one this morning) and one last week.
From what I can tell, Anxiety Disorder mainly says it's all sudden and with no obvious onset, but I get my attacks from being highly over-stressed. Does that mean they're not panic attacks? That I don't have a disorder even though I'm getting them more frequently?
I have a lot going on in my life right now. A lot. So anytime something else it piled on top of my already about-to-tip load I react uncontrolably.
Intense sense of impending doom, rapid breathing (I've hyperventilated twice due to the rapid breathing), excessive sweating, uncontrolable fits, depression, etc.
I don't know what to do about it? Since all I can find is that the disorder is mainly brought on by no obvious reason then what am I supposed to do when mine is brought on for obvious reasons? Should I still go see a doctor?
My husband used to have mild panic attacks in crowded public areas and the doctor gave him some pills to take during an attack that calmed him down. Those would be the reason why I would like to see a doctor, but I'm afraid that since my attacks are brought on by obvious stress that they'll just tell me to suck it up?
Anyone treated with Anxiety Disorder or other, with obvious stressors causing the issue? Or is it only those without obvious onsets that get treated?
This whole thing is really starting to mess up my life. I had a test to take today. A HUGE life-changing test. My panic attack last night kept me up all night and I woke up exhausted and got another one. I missed the test which will only bring on more attacks so I'd like to do something about it before it gets worse.
Suggestions, tips, stories, advice, anything at all you can tell me to help me out?
I have severe social anxiety and have dealt with panic attacks before. I think I'm the only person on here with anxiety and I'm a psych major.
Panic attacks are actually very common and many people experience them without ever having a disorder, frequently when stress is high in their lives. You actually would not qualify for anxiety disorder(generalized or specific, I have a specific one), so that would be why you think it sounds wrong. The symptoms are not quite yours. What you may qualify for eventually is actually panic disorder(which is characterized by severe panic attacks, worrying about more panic attacks, etc), so that may be something you'll want to look into more to see if that matches what you are experiencing better. Also, there are such thing as cued panic attacks(when a specific thing triggers you), but stress is a bit too general and may not make yours cued.
If they are becoming more frequent, you should speak to your doctor. They may prescribe pills or direct you to sessions about strategies to handle it. Treatment of disorders usually is a mixture of both, with a strong reliance on the changing of your behaviors leading up to, during, and after a panic attack. They will not brush you off and if they do, find another doctor. Panic attacks can be very serious, sometimes resulting in a need for medical aid, so you need someone to take you seriously.
I can't really offer you much help since I have a hard time coping when I do have panic attacks, but I find the best thing to do is to just try to keep my stress down. It doesn't mean not doing stressful things, but that I try to balance it out. Breathing exercises tend to be important and are the most commonly used. It sounds lame, but just sitting down, taking a break and breathing in and out and only focusing on that does help. You should talk to a doctor though if you keep having trouble, its the best thing you can do.
Wow, I can't believe I never updated this?
Thank you so much for all your help Kitty! And I know this is sort of grave-digging, but I wanted to add in my info in case some other poor soul comes across this thread for help in the future.
As it turns out I had some serious hormonal problems that needed tending to. I had NO idea that I had these problems, though there's no way I could have since my circumstances were rare.
Aparently I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome...or w/e) It's a serious thing and can be very scary, though I have not researched it much BECAUSE it scares me. So if you're curious about it, you'll have to brave Google yourself, lol.
All I know, that I can handle knowing, is that my ovaries don't produce enough female hormones, but I've got either an abundance of, or at least an obviously outweighed amount of, male hormones (EVERY woman is supposed to have BOTH hormones btw...).
Anywho, I'm normally on birth control, which gives me female hormones, so I never knew the difference that my body wasn't making them on it's own. I've always had severe PMS, but the reason behind that is the overload of male hormones when the pill stopped giving me female hormones for my period. When I stopped the birth control, as we were contemplating starting our family, my periods stopped with it. It had happend before and happens to 10% of women who stops taking the pill. (Amenorrhea...or however it's spelled, lol. It's the lack of a period.) There's another pill that can jump-start your period but you can wait it out and it will usually start in/around about 3 months of absense. After 4-5 months of absense I began to worry, so I went to the doctor. They said they COULD give me the pill to jumpstart my period, but they could instead run tests to figure out WHY I never started, which would be ideal information for when we decide to start our family as you have to have ovulation to get pregnant, and I wasn't doing that.
After several several tests, and several several visits, we came to the conclusion of possible PCOS. It was POSSIBLE because normal symptoms include excess and heavy periods, but I was having NONE. So they jump started my period and I had to wait a month to see if it would be any different.
OH MAN WAS IT DIFFERENT.
I had 2 heavy periods with only ONE WEEK seperating them. I'm used to LIGHT periods with 3 1/2 weeks seperation. There were also several other embarassing symptoms too...So, it was concluded that I should be tested for PCOS. Which obviously turned out positive as I just mentioned it above. xD
Once my period was jumpstarted I had most of the symptoms of PCOS, the only thing stopping me from seeing those was that I was part of that 10% of women who develop Amenorrhea (lack of period) after quitting BC.
The panic attacks were triggered by my over abundance of male hormones, which embarassing to say, as you couldn't find anyone more dainty than me, was testosterone.
I was put back on my BC so I could keep my female hormones up to par, and if I ever want to have kids there's a hormone pill I can take that does not have BC effects. My doctor presribed some panic attack pills for whenever my hormones get out of balance all of a sudden, which I absolutely HATE taking them as they knock me out cold for several hours.
So all in all...there are more than the obvious outcomes for symptoms of Panic Attacks and probably other things too... Be sure to go to your doctor and tell them EVERYTHING, even if you don't think it's relevant. Believe you me, I didn't have A CLUE that my lack of a period was linked with the block in the solution for my panic attacks, the only reason I mentioned it was because I went to the doctor with a list of things I wanted them to fix, lol. Thankfully my doctors are curious people and want to SOLVE problems, not just fix them. xD
Oh and btw, I don't get panic attacks when I'm on BC...I've taken an unfortunate pause in taking it though as I forgot to pick some up for the past 4 weeks and my PCOS is still strong. I've been on a period for several weeks now on and off, though thankfully only the initial week was heavy. I've had several panic attacks in my duration of being off the BC/Hormones. I expect them all (the freaking annoying and persistant periods/spotting, the panic attacks, and other symptoms) to go away as soon as I go pick up my darned BC. I hate that I have to rely on it for more than one reason now. But I have no choice now. This is something I'll have to deal with the rest of my life, and will have to constantly take hormones for to avoid.
I'm glad you found out what was causing your panic attacks. Its so scary when they happen. I know somtimes they happen for no reason, or can be caused by things in your life, but I didnt know they could be caused by hormonal problems.
It makes me feel kinda better it know that I'm not the only one here who has panic attacks. With mine, I always hyperventilate during it, and lose all feeling in my legs and arms, which causes me to collapse. They happen more during school for some reason. I've had to be takin out in an ambulance twice.
I know what you mean about the meds, I hate taking them, they make me so tired and I can't focus. My school understands whats been going on and they always let me get outta class so the other students dont see it, because I don't want them to.
Any type of stress causes me to have them, but I can't say the main reason cause I'd end up having one...
I have severe anxiety which has been a result of both my rather terminal lung failure, a past suicide attempt and reaction to a prescription drug I had. All that combined can make it difficult for me to get to sleep due to flash backs, sense of impending doom etc.
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