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Panic Attacks

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what really causes the things we call panic attacks? what are the symptoms of a real panic attack?

the reason i am asking is as far as i can tell all of the "problems" that i get or my "death attacks" are acually panic attacks that i get for some reason. I have no clue why they start and when they happen i cant seem to think that thats what they are so it gets worse and worse until i black out. the reason im bringing this up is because last week i had one again. It has been almost 7 months since the last time something like this has happend to me but it scared me so badly i made a complete fool of myself infront of like 30 people. i was outside talking with my roommate completly calm not a care in the world. when all of a sudden my head started to feel funny like pressure coming from all sides and my vision started to get all funny. i knew then something was not right so i desied to go back inside. apon entering the house my hearing went. even though there was 30+ people in the house all i could hear was a very very loud buzzing sound coming from both my ears completly muting out all sounds, i started to walk toward the bathroom and i kept blacking in and out of conchesnis i managed to get myself into the bathroom and shut the door. i stayed in there for around 5 minutes until i completly paniced came out the door yelled for my ex-girl and told her to take me to the hospital because i was dying making a huge scene infront of a crap load of people. she thru me into the bed room and made me lay down i was sweating like crazy and eventually pased out for like 30 minutes then woke up ( i was completly sober this entire time) called my doctor the next day and he said you had a panic attack get over it and hung up phone (jerk dont know why i still go to him) so i was wondering how to stop one when u start to have one or what truly cuases these? how can i get them to stop? its really really scary. i hope im not crazy

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what really causes the things we call panic attacks? what are the symptoms of a real panic attack?

the reason i am asking is as far as i can tell all of the "problems" that i get or my "death attacks" are acually panic attacks that i get for some reason. I have no clue why they start and when they happen i cant seem to think that thats what they are so it gets worse and worse until i black out. the reason im bringing this up is because last week i had one again. It has been almost 7 months since the last time something like this has happend to me but it scared me so badly i made a complete fool of myself infront of like 30 people. i was outside talking with my roommate completly calm not a care in the world. when all of a sudden my head started to feel funny like pressure coming from all sides and my vision started to get all funny. i knew then something was not right so i desied to go back inside. apon entering the house my hearing went. even though there was 30+ people in the house all i could hear was a very very loud buzzing sound coming from both my ears completly muting out all sounds, i started to walk toward the bathroom and i kept blacking in and out of conchesnis i managed to get myself into the bathroom and shut the door. i stayed in there for around 5 minutes until i completly paniced came out the door yelled for my ex-girl and told her to take me to the hospital because i was dying making a huge scene infront of a crap load of people. she thru me into the bed room and made me lay down i was sweating like crazy and eventually pased out for like 30 minutes then woke up ( i was completly sober this entire time) called my doctor the next day and he said you had a panic attack get over it and hung up phone (jerk dont know why i still go to him) so i was wondering how to stop one when u start to have one or what truly cuases these? how can i get them to stop? its really really scary. i hope im not crazy

I'm so sorry you are experiencing this. Panic attacks truly do feel as though you are dying. And nobody but fellow panickers can ever know what that feels like. Please don't be embarrassed. Panic attacks can be absolutely awful. Please know that there are many of us out here who do know exactly how you feel. If it's honestly panic disorder, you aren't dying or crazy. Panic attacks tend to be a somewhat inherited tendency, but they are considered physically harmless. Dreadful feeling and life altering perhaps, but harmless. A person can use prescription drugs to curb panic attacks, but self help behaviour modification techniques are way better and more effective in the long term in my opinion.

The Midwest Center For Stress and Anxiety puts out a great set of tapes that you might want to invest in. Many people are able to get a good handle on their panic episodes using their methods. When you hear all those other people describing exactly what you are experiencing, it is very comforting and encouraging. Panic is just a misfiring of your fight or flight mechanisms. Your autonomic nervous system is out of balance. Nobody really knows exactly why they occur and they are usually disgustingly unpredictable. But most people overcome them and live perfectly normal lives. If left unattended, however, panic disorder can lead to a type of post traumatic stress syndrome where you worry constantly about the next attack. This can turn into generalized anxiety where you are anxious all day long. Some people end up prisoners of their fears and become agoraphobia (fear of being around people or leaving your house). There's no need for that! Take time to study up on panic disorder so you completely understand it. All those dreadful feelings you have during panic attacks are easily explained by understanding the programming of your body's survival mechanisms. Your body is just doing what it is programmed to do. Even though it feels horrible, you aren't dying. When you understand panic better, you will realize that it may be a temporary handicap, but you don't need to fear it. Work on your thought patterns, understand what's happening and you can overcome this.

As far as gluten is concerned, some celiac people feel like gluten brings on panic attacks for them. Others with DQ1,6 genes tend to get neurological symptoms like panic and anxiety with their accidental glutenings even more than gastrointestinal ones.

Hope this helps.....God Bless.

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Excellent reply, and I agree!

Also in my experience a number of things can be "behind" the anxiety, and it is each person's journey to understand that. I think sometimes our body it trying to talk to us but we don't understand the message.

I once knew a woman in her early 40s who suddenly started having attacks like these. It turned out that she had a traumatic loss of her mother when she was ten years old where the adults around her had not told her about her mother's illness and did not comfort or talk to her about it after she died. Following that, some abusive experiences by her father.

These were things she had never really addressed, and when she did so--such as grieving her mother's loss and addressing things with her father--her panic attacks all stopped.

Just an idea for you to think about.


4/2007 Positive IGA, TTG Enterolab results, with severe malabsorption: Two DQ2 celiac genes--highest possible risk.

gluten-free since 4/22/07; SF since 7/07; 3/08 & 7/08 high sugar levels in stool (i.e. cannot break down carbs) digestive enzymes for carbs didn't help; 7/18/08 started SCD as prescribed by my physician (MD).

10/2000 dx LYME disease; 2008 clinical dx CELIAC; Other: hypothyroid, allergies, dupuytrens, high mercury levels

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Sometimes panic attacks have nothing to do with anything that happened in your past. Panic attacks also can be caused by chemical imbalances in your brain. Celiac disease causes chemical imbalances, when you do not absorb your vitamins and minerals properly, then things can happen to your thought processes. Sometimes you need medication to "rewire" your system. Without the proper nutrition, things go haywire.

Panic in itself can be very scary. I think now I have more anxiety than panic, the difference being, I worry something will happen, so it does. I anticipate problems. I have dealt with both, panic and anxiety. I woke up last night in the middle of a panic, I have never done that before. I have woke up and then panicked, but never woke in the middle of one. I had this overwhelming feeling of something not right and then I thought I was going to be sick to my stomach and ran for the bathroom, the panic subsided then and it was over. Very weird.

My first panic attack was 25 yrs ago. I remember it so well. My 2 month old daughter had plugged tear ducts and the doctor wanted to operate on them. I was at the doctor's office with her because she had broken out in this rash, which later turned out to be roseola--anyways, I could not open the car doors to go into the doctor's office. I just could not get out of the car. I was in tears, I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, but I could not open the doors. So I drove to where my husband and father worked, about 2 miles away and my dad walked up to my car and found a hysterical daughter. He opened the car door and I fell into his arms, I cried and cried, I thought I was going crazy. He calmed me down and I sat in the office for a little while and then took my baby back to the doctor's office. Very scary, these attacks.

Totally irrational, but very real. I also find if I feel trapped, I panic. Can be small places or huge places, doesn't matter. I am on 40mgs of Celexa and it does help.


Deb

Long Island, NY

Double DQ1, subtype 6

We urge all doctors to take time to listen to your patients.. don't "isolate" symptoms but look at the whole spectrum. If a patient tells you s/he feels as if s/he's falling apart and "nothing seems to be working properly", chances are s/he's right!

"The calm river of your life approaches the rocky chute of the rapids - flow on through. You are the same water. The rocks cannot hurt you. Remember, now and then, that you are the water and not the boat. Flow on!

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I think it is important to understand that this is a physical reaction, a nice big chemical wallop. So don't let people tell you it's all in your head. It is a physical response. Sometimes you can control them, or prevent them from getting worse, through stress relief techniques such as controlled breathing, etc.

I agree that it's important to consider whether they are being caused by emotional hang-ups that can be worked out. If that is the case, it's great news because you CAN get to point where you stop having them!

A psychiatrist or psychologist or even someone who teaches meditation may be able to offer you help with learning coping techniques (even if it is not actually an emotional hang-up). The first two might also be able to help you determine if temporary medication would help.

I'm going to second your idea to GET A NEW DOCTOR. IMHO, a good doctor would take the time to make sure it really was a panic attack and discuss ways to help you cope with them. Even if you have a history of them.


Gluten-Free since February 2006

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