it a panic disorder?

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 6/23/2008 2:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I was recently diagnosed as bipolar about two months ago. I'm a 23 year old graduate student. I've been taking Zoloft 100 mg for years and just began Lamictal 100mg (gradually increased). So far that hasn't worked too much. My moods are still all over the place. But the meds can/will be increased. Anyway.....

I have panic attacks, but they don't fit the classic scenario. I don't feel as though I'm dying. But I can't breathe. I get hysterical. I cry and curl up in a little ball and can hardly breathe, let alone peel myself off the floor. My chest is tight, my heart races, I can't take deep breaths. Usually these episodes are triggered by something small (fighting with the bf, for example). Often, they come on when I get paranoid thoughts about him cheating or not caring about me. They are not very logical thoughts, but I can't help the panic that they elicit. And once I start these "episodes", I can't rationalize anything to myself. The panic or whatever is happening just seems to take over.... I can't really describe it except in those words. I become so infantile though. I literally cry hysterically like a five year old throwing a tantrum.These happen intermittently. I had only one in the beginning of the year and then none for a few months, and then this past week I've had two.

Also, sometimes thoughts fly into my head about some dangerous scenario.
I also can never relax. I'm constantly thinking about something I have to do, even if it's something the following week. And this prevents me from sleeping. I can never ever ever fall asleep. My thoughts just won't shut up. I have to be so exhausted to fall asleep. I hardly ever get the recommended amount of sleep, which in turn doesn't help my moods at all!

Do I have a panic disorder? GAD? Or could it just be part of being bipolar? I was considering asking my new psychiatrist for a prescription of Xanax or Clonopin, just a really low dose to calm me down when I get those attacks or to help me fall asleep. Thoughts?

I can't tell you all how great it feels just writing this stuff down. I'm so glad a place like this exists.
Sorry...there are some things we cannot mention here at I have done a little editing on your post. Best to check out the forum rules :) However I am glad you have come to HW and felt you could vent here :-) all good!
Sista J.

Post Edited By Moderator (jordaNZone) : 6/23/2008 4:22:04 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 393
   Posted 6/23/2008 5:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I wud say what your experiencing is it a panic attack. Not every1 feels like ther going to die jus as tho we lost control i guess. The tightness in the chest (heart palps) is the tell tale sign for me.
It also sounds like your having troble wiv obsessive thoughts, hence the bf cheating onu etc...

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/23/2008 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I really believe it is Anxiety and you are having Panic attacks as well
I have had a/p for yrs and I dont feel like I am dying......
My heart races and I know I am having a round of panic
I have learned to float or fight thru them now or at least TRY my best to do so

ANTICIPATORY ANXIETY is also something that seems to sound like the vicious circle you keep going thru
"Stinking Thinking " is very common in a/p ppl
I am one of those but I am on a med that does help your thoughts try to settle prior to sleep

It may be a good idea to talk to your therapist about something to help you sleep

Cognitive behaviour Therapy i a good thing as well IMHO and there are many self help techniques out there to help as well
I am glad you found us and hope you read past threads and find something that may help
I am sure many others willl be along to post there input as well

STAY with us
Great support
Fantastic ppl here............LYN

  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
         Be Well All and Stay With Us We are Here To Help

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 6/23/2008 7:37:04 AM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/23/2008 8:41 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello and welcome to the forum, I am Kitt. I am going to refer you to the following thread that I have listed info on anxiety attacks.

If you already have been dx as bipolar I would really like  you to make an apointment with your Pdoc to discuss these sx as we are all here to support you but we are not professionals and cannot dx exactly what your sx are caused from.
I am happy youhae joined us and please keep posting.

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

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 6/23/2008 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the replies. I am already diagnosed as bipolar. I have discussed all these things with past pdocs but was told to try meditation. It enraged me. So I'm transferring to a different pdoc and my first appointment is Friday. But waiting in the meantime is driving me nuts! Well, maybe I'm already there.... tongue

I've told about three different pdocs about these things. Also, restless leg syndrome, being fidgety all the time, I pick scabs (like an OCD tick), etc etc. But they all seemed to think these things would go away with the antidepressant. (Zoloft treats OCD as well? supposedly?) Well, they haven't. And they listen to me talk about these things, but they don't say anything about how to treat it medically.

I have always been proactive in my own diagnosis and what meds I want to try. I do a lot of research before going to appointments. My last appointment with a pdoc, last week, she actually didn't know what clonopin was and told me I should find a new pdoc because I knew more about available meds than she did. She was kind of older, but still an MD. How is that possible?

Finding a good pdoc seems to be a difficult feat. I had one at my university and she was able to diagnose my bp pretty accurately when I thought it was plain depression, but then she suggests I meditate to get rid of panic attacks. The last thing I can do during a panic attack is meditate.... I can barely breathe or think logically, how can I meditate? It really upset me. Almost like she thought I was exaggerating or being a baby. The new pdoc I made an appointment with is located in a "center" of sorts that specializes in anxiety, bipolar, and depression and has everything you could ever need right in their facility. There is IOP, group therapy, support groups, pdocs and tdocs, etc. I'm very excited and hope to find the right pdoc that will work WITH me and realize that I'm the expert on what is happening to me. I want some say in what I put in my body.

I'm thinking of asking for a very low dose of clonopin to take daily. I've heard some people take .25 mg before bedtime to help them sleep and a few extra for "emergencies" (ie panic attacks). My boyfriend has GAD. He doesn't have panic attacks though. So luckily he understands very well what I'm going through. His meds have helped him quite a bit.

Thank you again and I'm very glad to be here. I'm sure I'll be posting here in this topic, as well as bipolar and depression sections. It's nice to be able to talk about what's going on.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 6/23/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   


I'm glad you've found the new center that you're going to be going to. A larger medical group might have more folks handy who recognize and also specialize in the kind of treatment you'll need. I surely hope it goes well for you.

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