I have been having panic attacks for a long time. I am 40 years old, and I didn't recognize the attacks until about 5 years ago. But, once diagnosed I am now aware that I have probably had these nearly my whole life, but far and between. As I have gotten older, they have seemed to happen closer together, so I started complaining about them to my doctor and was finally diagnosed. This past year though, they have seemed to have progressed. Even though I take medication for anxiety and depression and am regularly checked and adjusted, the attacks seem to be harder to control. So I realized, though panic attacks can be managed, I still have no control on them when I do have one. I have gone to the ER a few times for the attacks that seem to last hours, fearing it was a heart attack. All test come back fine. I have been given a medication that is suppose to help during an attack to ease the symptoms and bring the attack to an end a little quicker. They work. But it is exhausting.
My symptoms include, starting with dreading something ( and not all the time, sometimes it just happens), - whether it's going somewhere, anywhere or knowing I have to be to work or something and I really feel like I don't want to go, and then cloudiness and chest pressure, and chest pains, feeling like i am bloated from lower belly up to under my breasts. Strange muscle aches in my arms, elbows, hands. sick feeling in my body and mind. And it is gradual, it starts off so minor I can't tell I am fixing to have an attack, then it's like a symptom at a time, and I am unsure of what is happening and then I start to worry I might have an attack so then I start deep breathing trying to keep calm, I will even sit in a hot bath hoping to catch it before it gets worse. I try to keep my mind busy, I don't draw attention to myself, I don't warn my husband that I might be having a panic attack, to keep him from worrying or making me worry. I just try to keep calm. Usually after I can stand all I can in the bath, I will lay down-stomach down on the bed and still the symptoms get worse. I can feel my heart beating in my neck and chest, hard and fast. And then just all over nausea that just lasts forever. And all I can think about is -just go on, get over this, go vomit and things will get better. And finally I will vomit several times in a matter of minutes and then all the symptoms subside, I physically feel better-the sick feeling I get is gone. But for 24 hours after an attack I am tired! I can't motivate myself for nothing! I will lay around, barely getting up to eat, all I want to do is sleep.
I don't worry like I use to, about every detail in my life, which would give me reason for the attacks. So I don't know why I still have them, or why they are happening more often. I just wish I knew of a better way to control them, or ease the symptoms better than I do.
What are some of the ways you deal?