Anyone had a panic attack long after it's trigger-while being on effexor?

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Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 7/2/2009 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I was put on effexor just after being in a bad car accident, which was in October 07. I had a lot of anxiety about driving, being on the road at night, and being on the interstate to be specific. The effexor reduced my overall anxiety, and gradually I became comfortable driving again. Being on the road at night still brought on some anxiety, but not panic anymore like it was just after the accident. My doctor also gave me a prescription for Klonopin to take as needed when driving became too much and overwhelmed me.

Fast forward to last week. I drove home from my bf's apartment at night, and when I got off the interstate and was 5 minutes away from home, I had a truck behind me that was swerving and was getting really close to me. (I might add, so you understand, that we were hit by 2 drunk drivers that lost control of their cars in the accident) I had the worst panic attack I've ever had as I drove with the truck behind me. I thought the driver was drunk, and was going to lose control and come after me. My thoughts went completely irrational, and I lost it. I made it home, took a klonopin, and relaxed.

Today I had an appointment with my dr, and brought up that quite some time after the accident, I had a panic attack. He seems to think that my effexor might need to be upped, because my underlying anxiety may not be controlled by the medicine anymore. He told me to think about it, and when I see him again in a few weeks, we'll talk about if or when my meds might change. He said it's up to me, and I can think about what I feel like I need to do. He said basically I need to decide whether the dose of effexor I'm on along with klonopin is ok with me, or if I want to up the dose of effexor and see if that requires me to take less klonopin.

I'm confused about it. I don't know if I really need my meds adjusted because in general, I'm able to deal with things, and with the clonipin I'm able to keep myself from panicking. I take them sparingly, but when I know I can't deal with situations, or when I know I'm going into a very stressful situation. I wonder also if I will ever drive at night without being anxious to some degree. I'm not sure if that's something I'll ever be able to forget completely.

Have any of you been in this "borderline" area where you really don't know whether or not to change meds? Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Becky

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05
Currently on Humira, Prilosec, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12; phenergan, ultram, clonazepam as needed


bojalaisgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 7/2/2009 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Becky Sorry you had such a bad experience. It sounds like you have some post traumatic stress going on. It would be pretty normal after your experience. I was diagnosed with it and you get triggered it's what happens. Take a deep breathe, you are ok! I know what my triggers are thats why I dont want to do the long term meds and would rather just take the fast acting when I actually panic. It's such a personal choice. Good luck and listen to what your gutt tells you. Love xoxox

Allestaria
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 7/2/2009 8:02 PM (GMT -7)   
If this is a one time thing then I wouldn't.

But if you are noticing an increase of anxiety/panic then it is a good idea to up meds. You want to stay level and balanced as much as you can until you have physically and mentally beat this challenge.
But it is up to you. If you are feeling fine and functioning the best you can right now and feel "level" then I wouldn't. Upping meds can be stressful on its own. If Effesor is working I don't see the need to change it. Maybe up the dose before a switch between meds as a switch is not an easy thing to go through. And can be difficult on finding another that works as good as this one has for you.

Some times facing your fears is a good thing. So this situation was all in all a good thing. You realized you could make it home. Which is a feet in itself so be proud of yourself. Now if this situation ever comes up again you should probably work out a plan. Pulling over to the side of the road. Slowing down and allowing the person to pass. Getting off the road to a side road etc. If you have a plan in mind you will be able to function better.

I would also suggestion a defensive driving coarse. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel after the coarse. I was required to take it along with other classes to get my cdl. After the 2 week class my driving improved something major. It brought a lot of insight that we as drivers don't think about. It also gives you many ways to handle situations and what to do in other possible situations. I highly recommend it.

Again be proud of yourself. You took a challenge and defeated it and are safe. Congrats! Pat yourself on the back.

Take care
Cary-Ann

Allestaria
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 7/2/2009 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh and to add.

Meds reduce the effect on panic,anxiety and depression. They do not fix it. Meds allow you to function and not take small things and blow them out of proportions. Your incident was major. And anyone in your shoes would of been anxious about the same worries you had. How we deal with them is what makes the difference.

Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 7/2/2009 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks to both of you for your quick responses. Cary-Ann, I've never thought about taking defensive driving, but that's probably a good idea. The only reason we survived the car accident is because my bf had taken defensive driving and knew how to get us out of the spin we were in, and he was able to stop the car without crashing into the barrier or other cars. Maybe that would help me feel more in control when I'm on the road.

Also, I do think I need to keep in mind a plan should this ever happen again. I though about it after and asked myself why I didn't pull off the road, or turn into a neighborhood. Next time, should it happen again, I'll have some sane thoughts in mind to react with.
Becky

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05
Currently on Humira, Prilosec, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12; phenergan, ultram, clonazepam as needed


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/3/2009 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Becky,

That truck driver would have made me nervous too, and I haven't had the experience you did. I agree I personally don't think you need to increase your meds. I think this was just one scary incident that triggered your anxiety and you were adequately helped with the Klonopin. JMHO

Hugs
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and 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, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*
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