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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/31/2010 12:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I am new to this forum!

I am currently struggling again with very high anxiety and panic attacks. This is an ongoing issue for me. I am 47 years of age and I've had various mood issues on and off my entire adult life (depression). This full-blown anxiety with panic attacks started about 9 years ago.

I seem to get better periodically and then I slip back to this place of more or less constant anxiety with panic attacks. It's really bad right now and I do not feel good. My anxiety often manifests very physically, for example, I feel nauseous and have tightness in my chest. It's definitely a very physical feeling in my body. And when I feel like that, it triggers more anxiety. It really feels as though it is my physical feelings which trigger my anxious thoughts, rather than my anxious thoughts triggering my physical anxiety (if that makes sense).

I have recently restarted Zoloft. This has helped me in the past but this time around it does not seem to be having much effect. Last night for the first time I had to take an Ativan. I thought I was dying and I got my husband to drive me to the ER. It came on very suddenly. Intense nausea, weakness, my pulse was racing, I started physically shaking, I had chest pain and pain in my back and I felt like I was about to have some kind of seizure and die. I have had plenty of panic attacks before, but this was different and more intense and scary than anything I have previously experienced.

In the end, we just ended up sitting in the parking lot of the ER for about an hour. I took an Ativan and that helped me calm down. And then we went home.

I really, really do not want to become dependent on Ativan or anything like that. But last night was the worst panic attack I've ever had in my life. I really thought I was about to die.

I do still worry that there could be something physically wrong with me because I feel unwell a lot of the time. I've had some heart tests (EKG and holter monitor) and they were normal. I've also had a chest x-ray and had tons of blood tests. I don't really know what other tests to have and my doctor is getting pretty fed up with me (since she assures me it's all anxiety-related).

My psychiatrist wants me to take Klonopin on a daily basis, but I don't want to do this. My therapist thinks I should try and handle these attacks without medication (with the exception of my Zoloft).

I don't know what to do, I just know that I feel really bad and I don't seem to be getting any better. I already do a lot of "healthy" things. My diet is good, I exercise regularly, I meditate. But I just cannot find peace from this constant anxiety that is gnawing away at me all the time.

Thanks for listening!

Post Edited (dogstar) : 8/31/2010 1:58:54 PM (GMT-6)

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27117
   Posted 8/31/2010 1:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, we have lots in common! I'm sorry that you are going through such a rough time. I'm glad that you found this forum. Along with good therapy, it has helped me tremendously. I think as women of our age, we do suffer a lot of physical symptoms. If your doctor has ruled out any health issues, I think that you can rest assured that they are just manifestations of the anxiety. After my Dr. ran numerous tests, I had to make a conscious decision to believe her. It has taken time, but I can now feel these sensations, and while unpleasant, I can avoid a full blown attack. Do you have some good breathing techniques? Can you practice them daily? (This really helped me, as I am a hyperventilator) Glad that you found us, post and read the archives often!
Woof, woof Dogstar
Scaredy Cat:)
"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/31/2010 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for the warm welcome, Scaredy Cat! I really appreciate it!

It's great that you are now successful at preventing full-blown panic attacks! Well done! And, yes, I do need to practice my breathing exercises! I tend to leave it too late - in other words, I leave it until the panic attack is already happening, by which time I am in too much of a state - I need to practice the breathing exercises daily, as you suggest!

Thanks so much and I'll look forward to getting to know you and others here!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/31/2010 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome.  I have had GAD for 32 years now and I will have long spells of really good times and then run into some bad times.  I also have a Psychiatrist and a Therapist.  They are both in the same clinic so they know my plan of care and there is no conflict in their recommendations.  My pdoc writes the RX and my therapist does not deal in the medications.
Klonopin is a good medication and is usually prescribed on a regular schedule at least until your Zoloft kicks in.  I would consider using it if your Pdoc has prescribed it.
I hope you will give it a try along with the suggestions posted by Scaredy Cat  :-)
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/31/2010 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kitt! Thank you so much for the welcome! Gosh, everyone is so friendly and welcoming here! Thank you!

Thanks also for your input on the klonopin. I appreciate that and I may well give it a try. Thank you!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2474
   Posted 8/31/2010 7:00 PM (GMT -7)   
welcome and sorry you are feeling so bad. Hope it passes for you quickly. all the best to you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/31/2010 9:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for the warm welcome!
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