I think I had my first panic attack… not sure why. I just felt overwhelmed all of a sudden and terrified that since my life feels pretty darned wonderful right now that something will change to ruin it. I feel like a complete idiot and whiner for saying this. Has anyone else ever felt this? Am I just being stupid?
Of course you’re not! I think it’s natural for us to want things to stay perfect.
I remember a few years ago, when I was driving my daughter to a soccer tournament in New Orleans, I truly did have a panic attack. I was following another dad, and we had left kind of late for what was going to be a six-hour drive. I do not drive well at night, and I’m usually in bed by 10pm or so. We drove until about 1am, and it freaked me out so badly I thought I was going to have to get my dh to come get us.
By the next day, I was fine.
Panic attacks can sneak up on you when you least expect them. Just realize that it’s very normal.
I feel your pain. I had my first one about 8 years ago. That one was related to an incident in DD’s classroom with another student.
About 9 months after that one, I had one that I could not control. I, like you was at a good point (we had a nice vacation, everyone was healthy, etc) I HAD to go to the Dr. I felt embarrassed to some degree (wasn’t I the one that is supposed to take care of people) He quickly reassured me, that I was ok and it was a reaction from all of those years of taking care of people, that had taken a toll on me. My DD is disabled (I know of your situation) and DS is 3 years older than her. He said I had used up all of my reserves and needed to replenish. I took medication for about a year and was back to my normal self. I have had a few minor ones since then, but have been ok for the most part. You are a great Mom and you are definitely not a whiner.
You are not being stupid! They can be scary! I have panic attacks … lots. Sometimes they are worse than others, sometimes it is just this sense of dread. I notice if I’m stressed, I pick something to worry about - normally something nonexistent - and at some point just get the full boat, heart pounding, must be dying, feeling unreal thing. I think sometimes it has to do with hormones, or how much sleep I’ve had. I’ve had them for years, so I’ve thought about this … a lot:roll: - they were truly awful after my son was born - I honestly thought I was going insane. Now they just hang out with the moodiness.
They might shake you up, but random attacks are fairly normal. And if it makes you feel any better, I sometimes stress about the exact same thing that you mentioned - that things are TOO good. I worry about things that might upset it - usually because I feel a little guilty about how much I’ve been lucky enough to have. I try to focus on the present, breathe, and let go of the worry - usually it works.
Try not to worry too much about it - chances are it was an isolated event
First i want to say your not alone and definitely not stupid for feeling this way but i totally know what you mean. i am dealing with panic attacks now, actually had them for long time but worse past few months and i hate them. i feel like i’m going crazy and wish i could just have a live in dr so i can consistently be reminded that i’m ok. it feels so real to me that it’s more then just panic. i just have to keep deep breathing and i do whatever i can to get my mind off them. I take meds but its more then just that, it is important to self talk and get my mind off things by talking, knitting, reading, tv, whatever it takes at the moment. hope that helps.
Nope, you’re not being stupid.
Maybe I can make you feel better…I’ve fought panic attacks for almost 40 years. They started when I was 14 and I’m 53 now. Of course, no one had any clue as to what the heck was going on with me. I was given anti-seizure meds, meds that made it 10 times worse than it already was (which was pretty darned horrible!), and eventually just told to tough it out. Sometimes I think about those times (I’ve been on meds for years, and am soooooooo much better. I still may have one occasionally, but not very often) and marvel at the fact that I’m still here and functioning. I thank God that I never turned to drugs or alcohol to deal with the problems…because heaven knows, if it would have made me feel better, or even to forget, I’d have done it in a heartbeat.
So, if I can deal with this for as long as I have, and for a very good part of it with nobody knowing what a panic attack even was, let alone how to treat them, I know you can handle anything…'cause I’m a real wimp. And, I’m an anamoly - mine started earlier than is typical for the onset and all that jazz. There’s no reason to think that yours is anymore than an isolated incident, but even if it wasn’t, doctors know how to treat it now.
Cut yourself some slack…you’re great! Your brain chemistry just threw you a curveball, that’s all.
Yes. I know what you mean about when everything is going well and you can’t believe it will last…
But I get them when I am in a crowded place - like yesterday at Costco. There were so many people milling about I just left my basket (with 2 items in it) and pretty much ran out the door. I felt totally overwhelmed and wierded out and had to get out of there.
I think we all feel them to some degree at various times of our lives for various reasons.
My wedding is in two weeks, and so far in the last week, I have had 2 of them…I must totally commisserate!
To be perfectly honest, no.
I’ve never felt panic. I am one of those weird people (probably a mental defect) that has never experienced the sensation of fear at all. The only thing that scares me is giant green and yellow spotted space frogs, and so far I haven’t run across any.
Not bragging or making light of such an experience, but I’ve honestly just never been there that I can recall (maybe as a small child or something).
oh gosh, have i had panic attacks! however, mine were not out of the blue…but directly related to sleep (or lack of). i was convinced that if i went to sleep, i was not waking up! here’s the thing…i went for a sleep study. a severe case of apnea (where you stop breathing while you sleep) is considered 30-40 times an hour. I averaged over 98 an hour! i now use a cpap machine and besides getting better sleep <g>…no more panic attacks.
You are totally not alone. I had one in college that caused me to get up and leave a class 5 minutes into a test… and there were only 3 tests in that class for the entire semester. Needless to say, I eventually fixed things, but my life was really messy for a while.
Just a couple of things:
- Monitor it and try to think about what happened rationally. Have you felt like it was coming for a while, or did it really pop up out of the blue. (Mine always build up and build up until I can’t handle it anymore.) Also, how do you feel now? Better? Worse?
- Try to find things that help you de-stress. Without even realizing it at first, I have found that I gravitate towards knitting when I am stressed and so far I think it helps.
- Limit your caffiene intake. I realize this is hard for many people, but caffiene increases your blood pressure and makes your heart race. In people like me who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, it can create a false sense of anxiety/urgency which, in turn, creates a panic attack over (literally) nothing. I did this after being diagnosed and immediately felt a difference in a positive way. If you take a lot of coffiene in during the day, just remember to step down gradually, or you’ll have headaches. I promise that it is possible to kick it, though.
I only had one in my life. It was to go to jury duty, boy I was a mess. I am very shy and the thought of going was awful. My dh took me as far as he could and let me tell you I was ready to faint.
The poor guard at the door made me sit and take deep breaths. It did help and I didn’t have to go into jury duty. I still try not to think about it, I will still go into panic mode. So you are not alone in your feelings. Most of us have been there in our lives.
I am picking up my CPAP machine today. The doctor just called and said I did real well with the machine and it totally gets rid of the apnea for me. I also, don’t have to have the machine pressure set very high, which is good for me, he says. I’m excited. I want to feel rested.
What good news!!
I had my first panic attack after my first baby was born 30 yrs ago.
I never experienced them before I had given birth. I did have them on and off after having my other two children. Xanax was GREAT for me.