New to having Panic Attacks

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/8/2007 8:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I just started having panic attacks a few weeks ago. I've had anxiety in my life before, but never PA's. This of course scares me, as it is impacting my life. I'm not sure what kind of help I'm asking for, but thought I'd tell you what is going on, and see what folks have to say. In reading thru this forum, it appears that there is lots of great, helpful folks here with lots of wisdom.

First PA (ever in my life) was a few weeks ago. Went to the doc because I had been having stomach discomfort for several days. As soon as I walked in to doctors office waiting room to check-in I knew I was in trouble. Was very dizzy. When the nurse was doing her thing after I was called in, I told her I was feeling dizzy and she had my lie down, which led to difficulty catching my breath and I was sent to the ER. I thought I was gonna pass out -- I never passed out in my life, and still have not. ER ran blood test and EKG -- both were normal and ER doc said I was having a PA and gave me 2MG of Lorazepam to help me calm down. The PA lasted approx 1.5 - 2 hours. about 25 minutes after taking the Lorazepam, I was ok.

Since then I had PA's a few times, but these have been short term (1 to 10 minutes), and less severe than that first one. Twice was while driving (I pulled over both times), a few times when a co-worker (various folks) would visit me in my office for a few minutes, and last time was yesterday after being called in to get a CT scan. While walking down the hall with the technician I felt the urge to bail out as I was feeling dizzy and just "off". I was fine when brought in for the CT scan itself and after. (Note -- never before have I had any real fears on doctor visits or xray-type visits like this -- no big deal).

One life change that happened only a few weeks prior to the first PA was being diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and starting CPAP treatment. My first thought was that the CPAP treatment (which had not been successful yet...still not), was making my sleep worse and causing sleep deprivation. But now I'm not so sure. Sleep has been getting somewhat better. Also checked into that CPAP itself would not cause PA's. Sleep deprivation could of course.

I'm baffled. I get concerned when people come to my office, as I'm scared I'll have a PA. I'm scared to have a doctors appt. in that I might have a PA during the visit -- as occured during my first PA.

After the first PA and ER visit, my doc gave me a prescription for Lorazepam 1MG, and it does seem to help when feeling the panic symptoms. It kicks in about 25 minutes. My PA symptoms are dizziness, shortness of breath, throat feels like its closing and tiggling in my head (sides feel like they are swelling).

I wonder if I have a bad sinus or ear infection and that was in part why the CT scan was requested by my ENT. Could this is the cause of my PA's? Would love to hear anyone's thoughts and suggestions, as I'm a bit lost on where to turn.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 12/9/2007 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
i did that when i went to the dentist are a social situation with alot of people but i would start getting shaky bad , chest tightened , and felt like i was going to pass out, everyone has different ways they have pa but it sounds like you have them, i got put on lexapro and it helps me alot you would have to talk to your doc to find out want anxiety med is right for you, i think i have always been a nervous person, due to to being so shy, but i would definitely check with your doctor just so your stress level is brought down going places like your docs.


gad and social anxiety

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/9/2007 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello and Welcome to Healing Well and the A & P Forum.  I am Kitt.  I am glad you have found us and I hope that we can meet your needs.  You will find many wonderful and caring members who know where your coming from and what your going through.

A panic attack is the sudden onset of intense anxiety, characterized by feelings of intense fear and apprehension and accompanied by palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, and trembling. Just about any symptom may be related with panic attacks and anxiety.

According to the American Psychological Association the symptoms of a panic attack commonly last approximately ten minutes. However, panic attacks can be as short as 1-5 minutes, while more severe panic attacks may form a cyclic series of episodes, lasting for an extended period, sometimes hours. Often those afflicted will experience significant anticipatory anxiety in between attacks and in situations where attacks have previously occurred. Reference: Wikipedia

You posted that you are on Lorazepam and that it helps.  May I suggest that you speak with your physician about therapy and learning techniques to deal with the attacks as the medication is wonderful but it is not the long term best answer to controlling the attacks.

Please keep posting and again a Warm Welcome.



Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression, GERD, Osteoarthritis
*Wife of a Crohnie*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/10/2007 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt. Appreciate your good words. I agree that medication is not the long term answer and need some techniques to deal with the PA's.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 12/11/2007 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to HW Allan.  I'm really glad you posted your experiences.  It takes a bit of strength to do that!! It sounds like you have some of the fairly common PA symptoms and a couple all of your own.  It's pretty normal to be scared of having another PA, especially at work, but it sounds to me like you are coping extremely well.

Did your doctor discuss any sort of counselling or support group or a medication that last's a little bit longer? You might want to bring this up with your doc, it can help you gain more confidence over the symptoms.  And a little but of understanding.  doesn't mean you have to like it though!! Hope to see more of your posts Allan and thanks again for sharing.

I alone can do this, but I cannot do it alone. 

racer x
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 12/12/2007 11:53 AM (GMT -6)   
welcome to hw allan. I hope you can find some solace here with us. not sure about why your having the attacks but we are more then willing to listen to what ever is bothering you.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/12/2007 10:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys. The last 2 days have been much, much better. I took a Lorazepam each morning and had no anxiety episodes, and felt the way I did weeks ago when everything was normal. I visited my MD today and he prescribed me Zoloft. Because the Lorazapam has been effective the last 2 days, he told me to continue taking it for another week and then taper off for a few days. Hopefully, things will continue to stay better. I'll keep you posted. Thanks.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/12/2007 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry you're going through this, but you don't have to suffer or be afraid. Having anxiety/panic attacks is a learned habit, which can be unlearned. You will not pass out, your blood pressure actually increases during a panic attack. You won't go crazy, you are not mentally ill. When we have these symptoms we tell ourselves all kinds of things that simply aren't true, but they add to the fear and then the cycle continues. You're afraid to go back to the dr because you had your panic attack there, but it's not the place that gives you the panic attack, it's your thoughts and what you're telling yourself. There are techniques to use when you feel yourself talking negatively and scaring yourself, it all starts with our thoughts. I use to be where you are, I know how you feel. Once you realize what anxiety is and what it is not, you will no longer fear it and once you disable the fear, the panic attacks dissipate. Your fear is fueling them. What we resist, persists. I agree about learning the skills to get past your panic attacks, meds are like a bandage, it's a temporary fix, but the problem still exists below it. I wish you the best.
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