Question for Panic Attack sufferers

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Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/7/2009 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
 
I suffer with anxiety attacks, not panic attacks and I just had a question for those of you who suffer with panic attacks.  I was wondering if you have ever suffered a panic attack and took your emergency medication, and then forgot you took your medication because you are so panicked because its not working fast enough and ended up taking more without remembering you already took it? 
 
I am just asking this for informational purposes. 
 
Thanks,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Allestaria
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 5/7/2009 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gail,

Yes I have done just that. And freaked out about the possible "overdose" and forced myself to throw up. Done it twice. And learned to put my meds into day holders. And now I keep notes of when I take one just so this doesn't happen again.
It scared the dickens out of me.
At the time I was able to take meds. I also kept a small notebook with the times written on them so I could just check mark the time I took it also. With that little system in place it didn't happen again!

But I don't take meds now.

melodee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 800
   Posted 5/7/2009 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nanners,

I have always thought that anxiety attacks and panic attacks were the same thing. PAD (Panic and Anxiety Disorder) is the term frequently used to describe what we have. When I take my meds, I usually write down the time and dose. Sometimes I do forget though and I end up taking more than I should and feel very sedated.

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/7/2009 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your responses. I have a family member who suffers with HA and panic attacks who recently had a bad panic attack. She is stating that she was so panicked that she forgot she took her medicine and then ended up taking ALOT more, so much that they had to rush her to the ER. The reason I asked is They wrote down in the ER that she attempted suicide. She is now very upset about that. She has been having alot more attacks now, but I think its because of the amount of medication she took and she is getting rebound attacks.

I was wondering if someone who had panic attacks could be so panicked that they would forget how much medication they took. My understanding is she took ALOT.

With my anxiety, I feel very anxious, but don't fear for my life or anything like that. So just trying to understand her. I am really worried about her mental state right now.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 5/7/2009 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Nanners, I take Xanax on a daily basis. However, when I need to take more because I am having severe anxiety/panic, I immediately grab a pen and paper and write down the time/dose. I do this so I remember when I took it, and when I can take it again. I can't think clearly when in a state of panic, so this helps me tremendously. I hope this might help your family member. That way, if she ever needed to go to the ER again, she could take the paper with her. Blessings, Julie
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia Nov. 2008, Anxiety Disorder since childhood
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg three times a day, 1mg at bedtime (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


melodee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 800
   Posted 5/7/2009 12:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Nanners,

I am sorry about what happened to your family. Has she ever been diagnosed with depression? I know panic attacks and depression can often go hand in hand. Could they (ER) have thought that the overdose had been caused by both depression and panic attack?

I found these articles on panic attacks, depression and suicide.
http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/sci/1001/blpanicsuicide1001.htm?iam=savvy&terms=%2Bsuicide+%2Bfactors
http://suicideandmentalhealthassociationinternational.org/corsu.html

I don't know how long she has been on medication. If she has been on meds for a while (at least a few years) then, she would probably know she was not supposed to overdose, even at times of severe panic. I am usually very careful about the amount of medication I take, and I keep notes of everything. It has been said that people with panic disorder tend to be overly alert and cautious in case of emergencies, too. This is because we know that panic can make us lose control and we need to be prepared for it. If she is still new to this, it could be that she didn't really know how to react in the state of severe panic, as the sensations she was experiencing was so new to her and she took more meds than she should. Everyone's condition is different, so I can't speak for everyone with PAD though.

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/7/2009 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Julie and Melodee. Yes she has suffered with these attacks for years. And has been prescribed Ativan to help. Actually I believe she has PSTD also, as when my first daughter was born (1978) they had come to the hospital to see my daughter and she was driving home from the hospital and a drunk driver slammed into the back of her truck and caused the truck to catch on fire. Her Mom died nine days later, and two of her children were burnt 85% of their bodies. (Both now close to 40 years old and doing very well in life by the way). And even though the accident was not her fault, she feels alot of guilt as she was the one driving.

I just wanted to make sure she really is okay, and did not take too much medication on purpose. Thats why I am asking is it possible to accidently take too much medication when in the middle of a panic attack and not remember. Another family member said at one point she took "a handful". But she keeps telling everyone she doesn't remember taking them. So I can understand the docs thinking she might have tried to commit suicide.

One good point to this story, she is now willing to see a therapist and get on some type of daily medication to calm these attacks down. She always was able to manage them for the most part before with the help of her Ativan.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/7/2009 4:38 PM (GMT -7)   

Nanners,

Hey there, yes I believe you could forget you took you med but you would have to take whopping dozes of the meds to cause an overdose.  If you took 10 mg of Valium and then accidently took another 10 mg it would not  be  considered an overdose.  We are talking taking a large amount of drug for an overdose.

It would depend on the drug of course and how many pills she took.

Now to answer that on a personal note, No, I would not forget I took the med but I might take another dose if the panic attack did not start to respond to the first dose after say 30-45 minutes.  My RX is written for me to decide on how much I need but does have a limit.

Anxiety versus Panic

The terms anxiety attack and panic attack are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing. In this sense, the difference is purely a matter of semantics. But from a clinical perspective, panic and anxiety are defined by different features.

The differences between panic and anxiety are best described in terms of the intensity of the symptoms and length of time the predominant symptoms occur.

Panic Attack

During a panic attack, the symptoms are sudden and extremely intense. These symptoms usually occur “out of the blue,” peak within 10 minutes and then subside. However, some attacks may last longer or may occur in succession, making it difficult to determine when one attack ends and another begins.

Anxiety

Anxiety, on the other hand, generally intensifies over a period of time and is highly correlated to excessive worry. The symptoms of anxiety are very similar to the symptoms of panic attacks.

Another important distinction is that, unlike a panic attack, the symptoms of anxiety may be persistent and very long lasting -- days, weeks or even months.

Hope this helps you with your question.  :)

Hugs to you
Kitt
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
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