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Panic Disorders Message Board

Panic Disorders Board Index

Hey there, I happened across this board while googling the difference between Zoloft and Xanax because my old English teacher had breast cancer and was put on Zoloft for anti depressant and anxiety...

I've always been a "hypochondriac" and scared of everything. I used to watch a show as a child called Rescue 911 and old people would be having heart attacks and my chest would start hurting. I'm scared of everything. (Except childbirth, even though I was a chicken about needles and pain, I knew I was getting a pretty sweet gift at the end so I powered through it with minimal meds and for that, I am very proud of myself. I did need some oxygen with my second during delivery though because I panicked from the pain and the doctor was kind of useless. LOL)

I've never really had true panic attacks until around high school. Those were very, very minimal though. Only had a couple of them. One pretty much started with a stomachache, my fear of barfing in front of everyone so I would just stay in the bathroom until the period ended so I wouldn't' have to keep leaving just in case I did puke...which never happened. I only remember this happening to me one time, during Biology. I also had a boyfriend in college my senior year who cheated on me incessantly. That didn't help things. Again though, that was more like your typical panicky situation that every person has at some point in their lives.

Then when I was a freshman in community college is when they really started. Same thing happened, I felt sick to my stomach, ran to the bathroom and was too afraid to go back in case my stomach got the better of me, I didn't want to barf in class or have to keep stepping out causing a scene because bored students watch ANY movement going on instead of paying attention to the class.

My anxiety has progressively gotten worse over the years. From the time I was a child up until adulthood, anything that made me nervous always affected my stomach. I would get a stomachache, butterflies, nausea, some combination of those or just one symptom. It was always my stomach. It was predictable, it sucked, but at least I could expect that so so strange sensation of something pushing in my stomach. That was my fear detector. For some reason though, it no longer affects my stomach. Now when I get panicky, I get VERY lightheaded and can't breath. I don't know the logistics of all of this, why it changed from one type of symptom to another. Maybe I have an actual disorder now.

My panic attacks *generally* happen when I'm alone. My mom had hypoglycemia and it just kind of went away. I may have something like that because I do get very light headed when I haven't eaten, and if I haven't gotten enough sleep I'm like a drunkard. Sometimes when I'm out and about and I haven't eaten I get lightheaded, then I panic about passing out in public.

My biggest panic attack issue is when I have to be somewhere, like an appointment, court, anything like that. If I have a scheduled appointment somewhere, I can't really explain it, but it's like I want the option of not HAVING to be there. When I know I have no choice, I panic. It's way worse when I'm alone. I tried to keep my cool the other day when I had to go to a little show at my son's pre-k. My daughter had no school that day so I thought since I had her with me I'd be fine, but I had one of the worst attacks ever. I was SO light headed and dizzy I thought for sure I would be a spectacle and an ambulance would get called. I had to sit down in the middle of the hallway for a minute to calm down. I attributed it to lack of sleep because I made sure I ate before we left. After all was said and done, the show ended, and I was in my car heading home with the kids, I basically felt fine, just tired. And of course after my panic attacks I am absolutely exhausted.

I'm started to think too that I've never really been able to rely on anyone. My parents divorced when I was young, my mom and stepdad divorced when I was in college, my boyfriend at the time cheated on me all the time, and my husband now is ok about them, but he just gets very annoyed, tells me I'll be fine and get over it I have them all the time. It's not comforting. I can't ever count on anyone, and I've never had a real true best friend. (I think I have high standards in that department, girls are catty and there's so much drama and I don't like it.) So I'm not sure if my panic attacks stem from feeling alone, as I usually am metaphorically and physically. I'm a stay at home mom so it's just me all day, then the kids and me in the evening and the kids stress me out so I'm sure that doesn't help. Even with my daughter being aware of me panicking and trying to help comfort me at my son's show didn't help.

I don't know if this is just a general panic attack thing or if I have an actual disorder or what. I am not a fan of pills, chemical meds, I'm more of the natural approach when it's known to work. My doctor wanted to give me Xanax and I told him I was too afraid of a mind altering chemical pill. He said panic attacks are in your head generally anyways and if I can come up with a method of calming myself I don't need a pill. Can't do it, it's been 11 years now and I just cannot seem to find a method that calms me. I've been a light social smoker for the same time frame. I probably smoke 10 cigarettes year, usually less. I do notice they do calm me slightly, but I'm not a fan of the smell, taste, etc. I hate cigarettes so I really don't want to go that route, plus the obvious, they're unhealthy. I'm also not an alcohol fan. Though I do notice a weak drink helps me a lot, I can't be walking around drinking all the time, especially when most of the time my attacks happen when I'm alone, and not home.

I may or may not have a thyroid issue, I noticed a lump in my neck which is apparently my thyroid gland. It shrinks and grows and is squishy so we know it's not cancer. I had bloodwork done after about 5 years of the fear of needles. Finally got it done and they said I was fine... Then I found out about a book called Stop the Thyroid Madness that basically says those bloodtests are all wrong and certain things need to be check and only natural meds work and all that. Anxiety/panic attacks are a symptom of thyroid issues, but from what I've read, some of these people think every ailment they have is from their thyroid so I'm not sure that that has much to do with this at all. I've only had this lump for a couple years now and at this point I have no health insurance. Plus, in order to get this thyroid issue (If I even have one.) taken care of I have to have health insurance and find a doctor that is willing to prescribe the more natural meds, which is nonexistent in my area of the world.

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