I believe my panic attacks started from post-partem depression

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/17/2009 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
  I had my second child in the summer when I was 22 and it was very hot when I was expecting that summer. I remember
we had a week when the temperature was up to 105 several
times. We had just moved into a house and did not have an
 air conditioner plus the plumbing was broken. We were renting
at that time and had to wait until the landlord could get the
plumbing fixed. Several times I remember putting the dirtydishes in a clean tub of scalding water and washing and rinsing them on my knees in the bathroom.  My daughter was born in  late summer and after several months passed I experienced some incidents that would have alerted a person who knew what anxiety was. Unfortunately, I did not, so when these things passed, I quickly forgot about them.  I had a new baby, a four year old son and a husband at the time and had planned to return to work part time.  I remember going to the laundrymat one evening around October and for some reason after putting my clothes in the washers, I kept wishing they would hurry and finish.  When I took them out, I put them in the dryer and then left with them not quite dry and ended up having to lay them out at home and press things that wouldn't have needed pressing.  I remember running the sweeper one day and then sitting  down in the kitchen only to notice how fast my heart was  pumping and wondered about it because I didn't think I  had worked that hard.  One night after my husband and  children were in bed for the night, I began painting the basement steps I started at the top and was painting down  and as I painted, one or twice I remember turning around because I kept having the feeling
that someone was behind me. about the third time it happened, it frightened me so that I threw the paint brush,
 ran up the steps and found myself standing in behind the kitchen door with my heart racing.  But as time went on, I eventually finished painting the steps and several other areas of the basement. It was around this time that a man killed some student nurses several hundred miles from where we lived and since we lived right outside of town on a highway which crossed  over to the railroad tracks, I began thinking, " What if." What if the man who did this to those student nurses hopped on a freight train and ended up in our neighborhood.
  It was winter then, dark when my husband left for work and dark when he came home. I was there with the children most days without a car and found myself being fearful a lot. But then they caught the man who did this terrible thing, and the holidays came and went and soon I was starting back to work.
 It was one evening in early January and I had been working for almost two hours when I noticed that the flourescent lighting seemed to be causing things to look darker to me, plus I hadn't been feeling very well.  I remember looking over at the lady I was working with and I said, " I don't feel right."  Then,
she looked up at me, she said, "You are really white, please sit down. " But I didn't want to sit down, I felt like I wanted to run, but I did go and sit down and as soon as I did, my heart began beating so fast I thought I was having a heart attack and when it wouldn't slow down, I was taken by ambulance to the hospital quite alarmed at what was happening to me and then I remembered that day was also my 23rd birthday.
After that night, over the next six months, I was in and out of
five different hospitals for test, treatments and started on different medications all to no avail. I ended up back home and the panic attacks (which started the night I was taken to the emergency room) were such a part of my life that I lived in a constant state of panic waiting for the next one to happen.
A big part of my life is in the years between that period of time and the summer my son graduated from high school when I went to a new doctor who started me on the MAO Inhibitor, Nardil. After I had been on this medication for a little over three weeks, I never had another panic attack and I have been taking it for over twenty five years now.  I still have a hard time dealing with a lot of stress and I don't always handle things the way I would like to all of the time, but I am so grateful to God for the Nardil. 
Is there anyone else on this forum who is taking an MAO

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 1/17/2009 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
You had been through a lot when your symptoms began. A new place, new baby and the murders of the student nurses (I remember hearing about that. Sad). As for now, write in a journal and begin walking. Walking is relaxing. There are many things you can do along with the med, to deal with stress. I'm glad the Nardil helped!
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
Prozac and Carvedilol

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/18/2009 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Aries and Nikki,

I used to walk a lot, but over the last couple of years, I have gotten away from it. I'm 65 now and it's winter and cold, so I can't get out
and walk much right now. But I really did notice that I felt better
when I walked. Now panic attacks are well known, but back in
1966 when I became so ill, no one that I knew had ever heard of anything like what had been happening to me. I remember mother saying to me once, " Well, I guess your husband will divorce you and they will take your kids away, etc. " I realize this was her way of trying to "snap me out of what was going on in my life, but it only made things worse.


Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/18/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
It was about that time I was starting my attacks at age 10 ..........1965

You are spot on they would not believe you had any such thing and many lobotomies were done uneedlessly IMHO.........

Women and some men were just locked up in sanitarioums for what they were feeling and telling their docs...........

Thank God the times have changed and the anxiety and panic as well as depression is a very well known illness that can be tx w/o losing your kids and your life

WE have come along way but stil more research and understanding is needed IMHO

I had a radical hysterectomy and my a/p was thru the roof for a few mths in 93..........I was Blessed not having Post Partem Depression

CBT and HW has helped me out so much


 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

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Green Grove
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/18/2009 5:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for sharing a part of you WiggyAnn :) It is amazing how far so many have come in dealing with their A/P and I'm so happy that you found something that worked for you. I've never taken anything like this before, but I will keep it in mind to speak with my doc about if I find things getting out of control again :)

Take care of yourself!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Fall Seven Times. . . . . . . . . .  Stand Up Eight."
~Japanese Proverb~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/21/2009 4:07 AM (GMT -6)   

My panic attacks began in 1966/67, so I remember that period of time
very well. I had been in three hospitals, one twice and nothing the doctors did helped me. I was still so ill that I almost begged the doctor to put me into a fourth hospital so they could find out what was wrong with me. I remember my first night there, when I felt one of the panic attacks coming on me. My heart beat so fast all of the time anyway, but since the night I ended up in the emergency room with my heart beating so fast and palpitating for so long, before they gave me something to help me sleep, I was very fearful of having the panic attacks. But I felt one coming on me and one of the nurses who worked there was walking in the hall and I put shaky hand on her arm and I said, " Can you help me? My heart is beating so fast... and before I could get the words out, she shook me off and said, "Get away from me!" I was near the restroom and I went
into one of the stalls and stood there with tears streaming down my face and I remember saying, "God, please help me, I don't know what to do ."

After two years of living like this and finding no medications that would give me any relief, I began to use alcohol as a treatment. I was visiting my dad, while mother was at work and he told me to get a can of beer out of the fridge and drink some of it. Dad drank beer after work, so he always had some in the fridg. I did not like the taste of beer, but that day, he insisted I do this. He said, "You haven't even been alive for the last two years, you have only been existing." So, I did as he asked and began sipping a can of beer and I found that after drinking about a third of the can, I felt calmer and could actually sit in a chair and hold a conversation. instead of just pacing and crying and I found that if I would just drink a little bit of beer, the panic and anxiety would go away... so that is how I began using alcohol as a treatment. I could take care of my children, I could drive and do my housework and everyone thought I was getting better. However, at the end of ten years time, the alcohol had control of me. I just wanted to share a little more of what went on during the years after my daughter was born when the panic attacks began until I eventually began taking the MAO Inhibitor, Nardil.

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