Symptoms of Panic Attack?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/20/2008 5:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I have really enjoyed reading posts in this forum and have found them quite helpful. I was hoping someone could offer some sort of insight into some of the things I experience when I believe I am having a panic attack.
First of all, a brief history. I'm 24, had my first panic attack almost 2 years ago. I thought something in my chest had collapsed and had my poor father rush me to the ER only to have to a nurse tell me I was having a panic attack. Never had one before though I had a history of anxiety. I honestly thought I was going to die.

Up to date now, usually only stressful times or big changes bring on panic attacks. They almost always happen at night time. It's getting to the point now where if I am anxious I fear night. During the day I feel fairly normal, but as soon as it gets close to bed time I begin to worry.

My "attacks" have gotten alot worse lately with the recent divorce of my parents, a failing business, and problems in my relationship. The problem is, I get a very strong fear of going crazy. And I think that's because of some of the things I feel when I'm having an attack.

All the muscles in my body tense up and I feel like nerves are shooting off sparks in my brain. My body feels so weak and I feel like I could drop to the ground and start convulsing at any moment. I have never had a seizure but I feel like one could come on at any moment. Random images of letting loose of my arms to frail frantically or hit myself cross my mind and can not be controlled. In my mind it looks like a "crazy person" or someone who is having a seizure.

It gets to the point that I fear laying in bed as these thoughts run rampant. So I have to keep myself busy (usually on the computer) until the wee hours of the morning only to have to go to work completely drained and exhausted.

My doctor prescribed me Clonazepam to take. He said take 1/2 a .5mg tablet just as needed. But when I feel this way I get panicky about taking an unknown drug and how it will affect me.

Does anyone else feel symptoms similar to those that I have stated? Is it possible I'm dealing with more then just panic attacks?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/20/2008 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   


Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P forum.

It does sound to me like your having anxiety and panic attacks and if that is what your physician suspects than I would give the med a try and see if you feel better. 

At the top of the forum you will find info on topics that are very helpful to you so please take a look.

We all have the sx you described at sometime or another.  There are so many sx when one is having a panic attack.

You  can beat the panic.  Read the info on CBT therapy.  You may find that very helpful.

Again Welcome


Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 5/20/2008 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   

If your doctor has checked you out and doesn't feel there's anything wrong physically after that, try to trust his diagnosis and follow his treatment. I know that can be more easily said than done because I have pretty bad health anxiety sometimes too. The important thing about a diagnosis of anxiety/panic when you're worried about your health is to have ruled out any reasonable other causes for what you're feeling.

The fact that your attacks mostly happen at night may be part of his reason for suspecting panic attacks rather than other physical issues that one might expect to occur at more scattered times of the day. I have been known to go back to my doc for a followup just to be more clear about his or her reasons for diagnosing me, and that clarity and repeated assurance makes me feel a little less frightened and more confident in his/her diagnosis.

Lots of folks on the forum have had good experiences with clonazepam. I'm sure some of them will be along soon to describe them to you.

You definitely have a lot of triggers going on in your life right now. I have benefited from therapy when dealing with stacks of major upsets, so I can definitely recommend it.

Keep us posted and feel free to vent or fret any time!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 5/21/2008 6:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry, I just need to cringe a little when I read about how dr's so freely and easily give out meds.
Did this dr suggest therapy before offering to get you hooked on meds?

I was 19 when I started getting panic attacks and 35 before I ever starting taking any meds for it. I went to therapy for years to work on my panic. I went from 100% housebound to totally productive without meds.
I'm not saying meds are not helpful in certain people or certain situations, but seeing that you're "new" to panic, therapy is the way to heal your panic, not meds. Meds will only mask what's really going on. Figure out what's going on and why you're getting panic, then you will have an easier time healing from them

And yes it certainly sounds like anxiety/panic issues.
Before bed, you should probably NOT stimulate your brain with the computer, but learn how to breathe properly and relax.

I'm sorry you're going through this, I know how hard it can be
Are you willing to go for some therapy?
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 5/21/2008 7:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I think therapy would be good for you as well ....even in conjunction with the meds.
You may not need the meds for too long but since as was posted your doc orderd them you may want to give them a shot

I do CBT and other self help techniques plus take Valium for my a/p

It does sound like the SX of aniety

ANother thing I do is drink HOT milk at night with a toch of cinnamon on top
It has n ingedient in it that activatres whaen heated
FOR me it works great and I just love the warm feeling it has going thru your body before drifting off to sleep

I wish you all the best and do hope you will stay with us here at HW there is NO better online support group or ppl IMHO
Support and total understanding is always here

Stay with us

  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
                               FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 5/22/2008 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
For rhose reading this the common name of this drug klonopin. It calms down your body and brain The dose is bery low in my opinion. When I did take it I was taking 4mg a few times a day, but I have an off and fast way of preocessing drugs, so don't worry you'll never need that much. I would take it every other night if you are that afraid of it. At least you will get some sleep. Therapy is a must too. You say your first one was ER bad and it happened at night. I would consider that you be suffering a variant of PTSD. The trauma being that first panic attack and since having had tremors of panic attacks compared to that first one, there is a fear another massive "quake" going to happen again. I was sexuaully abused and I am constantly afraid it is going to happen again or worse, I have daughter. See the familliarity. Becuase we are both smart we avoid things that are called triggers. It sounds like the evevning is a trigger for you; I have many, but one of mine is watching the news on TV because the news is so voilent. There are a lot of other things you said that right out front suggesteded to me PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder.. You also seem to be having intrsive thoughs: the ideas of panic attacks pop into your head while washing dishing as you were thinking about the last piece of pie. Get it? Therapists good in both CBT and EMDR are likelt what should look for. I found CBT more helpful. My problems are still bad, like I don't believe women should even go out alone and myself refuse as well.It really helped movinghalf-was across the country. One last thing make sure you like you therapists office setting and voice!
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