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  1. #1

    Panic disorder/anxiety?

    Hi all,

    I recently joined and posted a thread in the migraine forum.

    I am also experiencing what I think may be a panic disorder or anxiety issue and as I mentioned in my other post, my family doctor is 5 hours away so I have to go to a walk-in clinic in Toronto and see a very rushed doctor for about 5 minutes to get any help... so I need to arm myself with plenty of information, know what to ask and be very concise when I do go... which is why I am here, to see if anyone can help me better determine how to speak to the clinic doctor and ask for a medication to help.

    The women on my mother's side have a long history of panic/anxiety issues. My mom has panic attacks/might anxiety and is on zoloft (or was)... my grandma apparently has similar issues, and my great-grandma was severely agoraphobic.

    Since I was a child, I've had extreme worry, felt like something bad was going to happen if I didn't "confess" to my parents something bad I did (and once I did, I eventually fixated on something else I had to tell them or else...)... I had an episode as a child where I was having severe attacks of some sort and went to the hospital.

    In high school, social anxiety got pretty bad (combined with untreated migraines) and I stopped going...

    At 18 (24 now) I went on Effexor and I was able to finish up my degree. I took myself off of it because I didn't want to take it anymore, went through horrible withdrawals etc.

    I now am a freelance writer/copywriter/web writer operating my own business... while I don't have to commute, it can be quite stressful especially with clients not paying on time, the postal strike which shut off my income (they pay by cheque)...and the stress of deadlines.

    Last year I felt like my throat was going to swell shut and kill me, like there was genuinely something in there or I was having an allergy attack (I don't have allergies and was sent to an allergist to determine that) which was causing severe panic...the allergist told me to relax, calm down and if that didn't work look into a panic disorder (but not to google it because of lots of misinformation out there)... eventually it subsided somewhat but has not gone away completely. I've had ultrasounds on my throat, blood work, etc... no thyroid issues. Slight b12 deficiency which I'm taking supplements for.

    Now, I am shaky, dizzy, generally "out of it"... a few weeks ago my legs felt like they wouldn't do what I was going to tell them to, they were numb and cold-feeling (on the inside not the outside). I believe that might have been the b12 deficiency, which I left alone and didn't do anything about until recently. But this brought about mild panic issues, heart racing feelings (doctor checked, it's not racing), etc.

    The b12 has helped a bit, but I still am dizzy and I feel like I am not even here... like everything outside of my body is surreal, even grave situations (We've lost two family members in the last 3 months or so, the latest less than a week ago)... I am getting random chills, adrenaline rushes, severe waves of panic, etc. I feel on edge and constantly worried about every little thing... if something is resolved, I will fixate and obsess and worry about something else.

    To be honest, my body feels like it did when I went through the effexor withdrawals (adrenaline shocks, weird feelings, being a zombie), but I am not on anything and nor have I been for years now.

    I feel like a dope continually going to the doctor (walk-in clinic) with seemingly made up illnesses (throat closing, heart racing and dizziness) because I am not like that at all. I am not sure what to tell this doctor in the few minutes I have with her to convince her I need an SSRI (which I am not really keen on, but if it helps it helps) or a short benzo treatment (I read 8-weeks can help sometimes).

    Thank you in advance!
    Last edited by Steve; July 12th, 2011 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Link added

  2. #2

    Re: Panic disorder/anxiety?

    Panic Disorder-Panic Attacks-Agoraphobia-Anxiety-Phobias-Fears-Nervousness this is a link to about.com's website on the disorder.

    Maybe having a look at the above links will help in deciding how to talk to the doctor.
    I wonder though if a walk in clinic with a few mins with a doctor is going to suffice for that doctor to diagnose and then prescribe meds to treat ??. Self diagnosis is not always the correct diagnosis, there maybe any number of reasons for the symptoms you describe. Maybe a referral to a psychiatrist\psychologist would be more beneficial to obtain a correct diagnosis.

    Or If you ring your Gp maybe he can fax a letter saying he has confirmed this diagnosis?? ( assuming he has of course diagnosed you with this disorder) . That would go a long way to helping the doctor at the clinic prescribe something to alleviate your symptoms.
    Last edited by Steve; July 12th, 2011 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Removed Unused Link

  3. #3

    Re: Panic disorder/anxiety?

    I believe that might have been the b12 deficiency,
    As you may know, something else doctor's will check for with complaints of anxiety is thyroid function, which is also a blood test.

    so I need to arm myself with plenty of information, know what to ask and be very concise when I do go..
    One tip you may have considered already: Maybe hand the doctor a list of your symptoms. Or just use the list to refresh your memory.

    They prescribe SSRIs rather liberally these days, so you shouldn't have a problem getting a prescription sooner than later.

    Also, the drug websites have more information, e.g.

    http://www.lexapro.com/talk-to-doctor-about-lexapro/



    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4

    Re: Panic disorder/anxiety?

    Yes, I was thinking of maybe typing one up to bring with me... I feel much better today, I think writing down everything in a post helps.

  5. #5

    Re: Panic disorder/anxiety?

    I feel much better today, I think writing down everything in a post helps.
    Glad to hear you feel much better , Have you considered maybe seeking counseling \therapy to help with finding the triggers of these attacks and how you can better manage\ cope when they strike?

    I agree with you that writing things down here helps, It does for me

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    68

    Re: Panic disorder/anxiety?

    I feel like a dope continually going to the doctor (walk-in clinic) with seemingly made up illnesses (throat closing, heart racing and dizziness) because I am not like that at all.
    Hi Squiggle,

    While you might be unable to control the anxiety / panic, you may have control over how you judge yourself in this situation. There's no reason for you to feel like a "dope". You know that your experience of anxiety / panic is real, and that you're doing what you can to handle it, based on the knowledge and resources you have. I would suggest instead that doctors are human and have their limitations. And of course, you'll find that some doctors are more knowledgeable and caring than others. Hopefully you'll manage to find the help you need, sooner rather than later.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alberta and Saskatchewan
    Posts
    1,688

    Re: Panic disorder/anxiety?

    I visited a psychologist (paid for through work) last Friday who reminded me to start up on my meditation again. I don't know why I stopped doing it. It's like a skill, and I'm a bit rusty. It's almost like one of those drugs one must take continuously to survive, like insulin for diabetes or synthroid for hypothyroid... That's what I gotta think of it, instead of stopping doing it just because I feel fine.

    Have you ever tried meditative breathing techniques? It does actually help. I'm doing some right after I post this, just so I don't find something else to distract me (like another post lol)...
    There is always tomorrow...

  8. #8

    Re: Panic disorder/anxiety?

    Thanks everyone

    Re: Daniel, I've had a thyroid ultrasound (because I felt like my throat was swelling up and I was gonna die...the thyroid is the closest thing to that general area) and recent bloodwork (because I had high blood pressure at the time, although the last time I went to the dr it was normal)...

    I visited the Dr about two weeks ago and was prescribed 10 mg of Celexa (SSRI) per day... Tuesday will be two weeks since I started and I'm supposed to go back on Tuesday and either get more or up my dosage. I don't feel it yet.. A few days after I started taking it I felt better but I am sure that's a placebo effect, because I knew I was doing something for it... I feel about the same, still anxious/dizzy/jumpy/can't breathe sometimes. I've been on an SSRI before and I remember what that felt like. I don't feel that yet, so I'm wondering if I should wait and see if it takes effect, get more 10 mg's on Tuesday... or ask for a higher dose.

  9. #9

    Re: Panic disorder/anxiety?

    As you may know, some people start at 20 mg/day anyway.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10

    Re: Panic disorder/anxiety?

    You could ring the doctor and just say what you have said about about you not feeling the benefits of the celexa yet and see what he says? That phone call will give you reassurance and you will feel that you have done something good to help yourself too. .

    Sometimes certain drugs take a while to start giving benefit and also making a small change in your routine could help too.


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