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    Any tricks to handling panic attacks?

    I think somewhere along the line we agreed that anxiety can be a MS problem.

    Yesterday I was supposed to have a kidney CT scan. My neighbor was driving me to the city and I started feeling lousy. By the time we got there I was in a full blown panic attack and feeling absolutely awful. I tried to keep it to myself for my neighbor's sake.

    The initial registration went smooth and I was called very quickly. I told the guy what was going on because I wasn't so sure I wanted to go through with it by that time. He called in a nurse who called in another one. Guess I was very pale by then. They thought I would be better off cancelling and talking with my doctor before I set up a new appointment. I batted it back and forth with myself and them until I finally left without having the test. Shortly after we left the clinic I started feeling better. By the time I got home my blood pressure was good. I still have a little bit of that funny feeling... even up into today. But as you all know, I am always exhausted and feel a lot of anxiety. This was the worst attack I have ever had. Felt like I was flying off into space. I had 2 weeks to think about this test and to worry about it. Not good.

    Anyway, since I can't get my doctor to order any meds, I'm trying to figure out what else I can try to control this anxiety. I'm planning to see a sleep doctor as soon as I can arrange it and am hopeful she will have better options for me. I've always said that emotional problems had to "hurt" more than the physical stuff. True enough.

    Does anyone here get these panic attacks and do you have any suggestions???

    Thanks.
    Marti




    The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.

    #2
    I am so sorry you have anxiety and panic attacks. I never understood them, until I was at the end of my working career. It was making the decision that kept me anxious. Once a decision made, I got better. But wow, it truly opened my eyes what people go thru. My heart goes out to you.

    Since meds are out of the question, have you considered a therapist? Possibly one trained in mindfulness. It may give you another tool to use when feeling this way.

    Good luck.
    Kathy
    DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri

    Comment


      #3
      So sorry to hear of your panic attack and you missed your test. Maybe I'm missing some past explanation as to why your Dr won't prescribe one of the fast acting meds for anxiety/panic attacks?

      For whatever the reason, could you try another new Dr to get what you need?

      I'm sorry I'm not familiar with any over the counter meds. I did a search for otc ones and there are a few natural ones, but again, I'm not familiar with them

      Hopefully someone will come along with some suggestions.
      Take care
      1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
      Administrator Message Boards/Moderator

      Comment


        #4
        Hello marti

        Here is a good article from the MSSA that has helpful suggestions:

        Psychotherapy, either psychodynamic or cognitive/behavioral, includes stress-reduction techniques such as guided imagery, biofeedback (a technique that teaches individuals how to control their body’s responses), and meditation. These can be very helpful to reduce anxiety. Medication management is also available.

        For some, an antidepressant, such as certain SSRIs that work on depressive and anxious symptoms, is indicated. Examples include Celexa® (citalopram) or Lexapro® (escitalopram). Additionally, Effexor® (venlafaxine) or Cymbalta® (duloxetine hydrochloride) may also be considered. Specific anti-anxiety medications like Valium® (diazepam) may work on an as-needed basis, but these tend to have short half-lives. This means that they work only for short periods of time or to aid sleep, but they are not designed for long-term use.

        https://mymsaa.org/ms-information/symptoms/anxiety/

        Take Care
        PPMS for 24 years (dx 1998)
        ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

        Comment


          #5
          Panic attacks are terrible. I started having them right around the time I first started having MS symptoms. I think that anxiety was really my body's way of telling me something was wrong, although doctors wanted to give me meds for anxiety. Thankfully the anxiety stopped after a few months after being diagnosed. Ativan helped me so much! You can get prescriptions for a very small number of pills and that will last a long time. I still take one once a year for MRIs and I also have a huge amount of comfort in knowing I have them if I ever need them. I find they work super fast if I dissolve it under my tongue (although perhaps I might have a dis-solvable variety and not all are like that)

          Drugs are not always the answer, however! I think focusing on getting good sleep would heal your body and mind so much.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by sarabeach123 View Post
            Panic attacks are terrible. I started having them right around the time I first started having MS symptoms. I think that anxiety was really my body's way of telling me something was wrong, although doctors wanted to give me meds for anxiety. Thankfully the anxiety stopped after a few months after being diagnosed. Ativan helped me so much! You can get prescriptions for a very small number of pills and that will last a long time. I still take one once a year for MRIs and I also have a huge amount of comfort in knowing I have them if I ever need them. I find they work super fast if I dissolve it under my tongue (although perhaps I might have a dis-solvable variety and not all are like that)

            Drugs are not always the answer, however! I think focusing on getting good sleep would heal your body and mind so much.

            You have hit the nail on the head here. I only want a few pills to have on hand in case I really need one. A crutch I guess. I still have 3 Xanax leftover from my last refill in Feb.. and it was only 15 pills in total. I just can't get my neuro to understand what I want. He keeps harping back to new regs and the fact that I am 69 years old. I never had any side effects from them... I even cut them in half. So I am not dependent on them. But they work wonders when needed. Thanks for understanding.
            Marti




            The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.

            Comment


              #7
              Panic attacks

              Originally posted by marti View Post
              You have hit the nail on the head here. I only want a few pills to have on hand in case I really need one. A crutch I guess. I still have 3 Xanax leftover from my last refill in Feb.. and it was only 15 pills in total. I just can't get my neuro to understand what I want. He keeps harping back to new regs and the fact that I am 69 years old. I never had any side effects from them... I even cut them in half. So I am not dependent on them. But they work wonders when needed. Thanks for understanding.
              Please try to learn 4/7/8 breathing, it does help. It is a yoga technique but it actually resets the limbic system in the brain. Get in comfy position, breathe in for count of 4, hold for count of 7 and breath out to count of 8. Continue this until you feel better. It has saved me in some bad situations.

              Comment


                #8
                CBD oil may help.
                The future depends on what you do today.- Gandhi

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Teddy1101 View Post
                  Please try to learn 4/7/8 breathing, it does help. It is a yoga technique but it actually resets the limbic system in the brain. Get in comfy position, breathe in for count of 4, hold for count of 7 and breath out to count of 8. Continue this until you feel better. It has saved me in some bad situations.


                  Thanks again. I've tried and tried the breathing technique. I get no relief.
                  Marti




                  The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Boudreaux View Post
                    CBD oil may help.


                    I tried the CBD oil without success, but I will try it again. The problem with any med is that these things come out of the blue without any or much warning.
                    Marti




                    The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Boudreaux View Post
                      CBD oil may help.

                      I know this is an old post, but I am starting CBD oil and wondered if you had any experience with it. Thanks
                      Marti




                      The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi Marti, I just noticed an article the other day titled, "Scientists may have found the root of anxiety, opening a door to treatment". Googling that would probably take you to the article on inverse.com.

                        From the article:

                        In a series of mouse experiments, scientists at the University of Utah noted that a “lineage” of cells called Hoxb8 microglia had specific effects on anxiety. In mice with dysfunctional Hoxb8 microglia cells, they nervously over-groomed and displayed symptoms similar to human anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, but when these cells were functioning normally, the symptoms abated.

                        Of course, this requires waiting for whatever treatment they develop which could take a while.

                        My solutions are:

                        • Exercise, especially right before bed (stretching qualifies)
                        • Meditation (includes daydreaming, listening to music with eyes closed, drawing, anything relaxing)
                        • Taking a break from computers/TV
                        All the best, ~G

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by gargantua View Post
                          Hi Marti, I just noticed an article the other day titled, "Scientists may have found the root of anxiety, opening a door to treatment". Googling that would probably take you to the article on inverse.com.

                          From the article:

                          In a series of mouse experiments, scientists at the University of Utah noted that a “lineage” of cells called Hoxb8 microglia had specific effects on anxiety. In mice with dysfunctional Hoxb8 microglia cells, they nervously over-groomed and displayed symptoms similar to human anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, but when these cells were functioning normally, the symptoms abated.

                          Of course, this requires waiting for whatever treatment they develop which could take a while.

                          My solutions are:

                          • Exercise, especially right before bed (stretching qualifies)
                          • Meditation (includes daydreaming, listening to music with eyes closed, drawing, anything relaxing)
                          • Taking a break from computers/TV

                          Thanks for the link. I have it in my favorites so I can print it later or read it when my eyes feel better. It gives me hope. The only exception I have is watching tv. I find it calms me. I love comedies and short sitcoms. Let's hope they keep researching. I know that my mother was highly anxious. Probably worse than me. My sister told me she would faint whenever she took her to the doctor. Yikes!
                          Marti




                          The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by marti View Post
                            The only exception I have is watching tv. I find it calms me. I love comedies and short sitcoms.
                            Yes, comedies really help me too!

                            Hope you find the article interesting (Isn't the research on the human brain amazing?), and especially that you find ways to help with anxiety.
                            All the best, ~G

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Another strategy: 5-4-3-2-1 grounding method

                              https://amindfulemergence.com/5-4-3-...educe-anxiety/

                              Here's a brief summary:

                              5. Acknowledge 5 THINGS around you that you can SEE.

                              4. Acknowledge 4 THINGS around you that you can TOUCH.

                              3. Acknowledge 3 THINGS around you that you can HEAR.

                              2. Acknowledge 2 THINGS around you that you can SMELL.

                              1. Acknowledge 1 THING that you can TASTE.

                              Practice: Like any other skill, it is important to practice grounding techniques. It will be most useful to use this skill when you are calm and practicing it often. That way, when you find yourself needing to use it, you already know how.
                              ~ Faith
                              MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
                              (now a Mimibug)

                              Symptoms began in JAN02
                              - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
                              - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
                              .

                              - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
                              - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

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