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ainsleigh
@ainsleigh

Posts: 81
Joined: Feb 27, 2018

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Posted by @ainsleigh, Apr 14, 2018

So many of us have suffered for anxiety and panic and I would like to share something that has helped me . In my Recovery group I learned that
nervous symptoms are ” distressing but not dangerous i.e.” NO DANGER.” If I ever feel myself getting anxious I repeat those in my mind-
it is a “secure thought ” and helps me to relax and avoids the escalation of symptoms. It takes a little practice but can make a big difference. I would love to hear if any of you find it helpful too.
Ainsleigh

REPLY

@joanm65

I have one question for all of you how does this help when you are frightened, in the midst of a full-blown attack and are aa alone? My panic attacks and anxiety have led to agoraphobia. I really want to hear from you all who live with it everyday.

Jump to this post

Hi, @joanm65 — I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am so sorry about the full-blown panic attacks and hot flashes you are experiencing and how scary those are, especially in the middle of the night, alone.

I thought you might like to meet other Connect members who have talked about agoraphobia, like @vdandy @johnlionheart @majic @lauriedr @susandenise @sharin @896038 and @oplifetrials. Hoping they may have some insights on agoraphobia and what may have helped them or their loved one in the midst of it.

@joanm65 — how have things gone for you in the past couple days? How are you feeling?

Ainsleigh, thank you for reminding me I’m not going to drop dead just because I feel a wave of illness and panic. This morning has not started well, but your suggestion just may turn it around!

@gailb

@joanm65

I am a Volunteer Mentor with Mayo Connect. I'm so sorry to read that you're experiencing panic attacks, especially in the night. I have had panic disorder, which is different from anxiety. I know how it feels when you're alone having an attack and it was extremely frightening for me. I have a couple of questions before I give my experience that may help:

1. Are you seeing a physician for your panic disorder/agoraphobia?
2. Do you take any medications to help with the anxiety/panic?
3. If so, what are you taking and how often?

If you aren't seeing a doctor or psychological professional, I highly recommend that you contact someone in your area and get an appointment as soon as possible. The physician or professional can order medication such as Ativan (Lorazepam is the generic) to help you for the short term. It sounds to me as if that would help quickly. However, I'm not a medical professionals and am just stating what worked for me. I could only take airplanes if I first had 2 mg. of Lorazepam, which made my anxiety tolrable. In the past I would get so panicked about having to fly for work that twice I couldn't get on the plane. The second time cost my job as I was fired for not attending an out of state meeting. I just couldn't get on the airplane. I have had panic attacks in stores and worried that I might start screaming and they would call for guys in white coats to take me away. Lorazepam helped with those times when I was activated and panicked. However, Lorazepam is addictive, so it's not good to take over the long term. I only got 10 pills at a time and they lasted me several months.

I also was going to talk therapy for several years, which was extremely helpful. I learned huge amounts about myself, my emotions and the things from my childhood that drove many of my reactions to situations. I also learned that my panic attacks only lasted for about 20 minutes at a time. I learned that since they would end within a short time, I could handle them. I would lay on my bed, close my eyes and become aware of my breathing. I then began to slow my breathing down by breathing in to a count of 4, and out to a count of 5. Then slowly up to breathing in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6, then in for 6 and out to a count of 7. I would repeat each count 4 times. At the end, I would imagine my "safe place" (which for me is my secret flower garden down a beautiful stairway) and I could stay there as long as I wanted.

Two good things about the actions I took are, I forced myself to concentrate on counting my breaths and slowing down my heart rate (which always raced, sometimes up to 180 bpm and once measured at 220 bpm in the ER), which occupied my mind and kept me from disasterizing about the feelings I was experiencing. This exercise was the most helpful thing for me, and I still use meditation in my life for relaxing. Concentrating on breathing relieved my panic after a few minutes.

But, the very best thing I did was begin taking an antidepressant 6 years ago. I was depressed and spoke with my doctor about the possibility of taking an antidepressant. I had been dead set against medication for depression prior to my asking as I thought I should be able to find a "cure" for my feelings and fears by talking about them and figuring out what to do to overcome or accept the feelings. I had done that for 25 years and still had this problem. I was given a prescription for Citalopram which is generic for Celexa. I had a hard two weeks as I was adjusting to the 1/2 dose of 20 mg. per day. After 6 months, I was prescribed the full 40 mg. dose. I could tell a huge difference at 4 weeks of taking the smaller dose. I started feeling happy, perhaps for the first time in my life. I was 63 years old and had lived my entire life in fear. I was successful in spite of my fear, but it was a struggle for me everyday. I just refused to give in to my fears, except when they became overwhelming and resulted in panic attacks. After 9 months, I realized that I hadn't had any panic attacks or bad headaches since a couple of months after I had started taking the Citalopram. I am now able to fly anywhere. I just returned from a vacation in French Polynesia where the plane ride was 8 hours long–no problem for me. I even zip lined down 7 lines on a mountain in Costa Rica 2 years ago.

I would never have been able to have these wonderful experiences if I hadn't started the antidepressant. Now, not all antidepressants are the same, and many people who take them work hard to get off them and some are unable to do it. The one I take hasn't caused me side effects that I'm a reward of, and I know I will take it for the rest of my life because I need it. I think I have had a physiological chemical imbalance in my brain my whole life. This medication fixed it. I feel good and can live my life openly now. I know each of us is different and what worked for me may not work for you. However, I do believe that the combination of Lorazepam, talk therapy, and finally Citalopram greatly improved my life.

If you decide to check out an antidepressant, please ask your doctor to have you genetically tested to find the one that will work best for you. There is information on the Mayo Clinic site about genetic testing for medications, that I recommend you to read. I hope this helps you in some way to better handle your panic attacks and possibly move beyond them to living life without agoraphobia. Please let me know if I can give you any more information or support. I know what you're going through and I want to support you in a path to freedom.

Warm regards,
Gail,
Volunteer Mentor

Jump to this post

Gail, did you also recommend cbd Living Water as a remedy for anxiety? I found a place to purchase it but have not done so yet. If so, can you drink that water if you are on prescription meds?

@gailb

@joanm65

I am a Volunteer Mentor with Mayo Connect. I'm so sorry to read that you're experiencing panic attacks, especially in the night. I have had panic disorder, which is different from anxiety. I know how it feels when you're alone having an attack and it was extremely frightening for me. I have a couple of questions before I give my experience that may help:

1. Are you seeing a physician for your panic disorder/agoraphobia?
2. Do you take any medications to help with the anxiety/panic?
3. If so, what are you taking and how often?

If you aren't seeing a doctor or psychological professional, I highly recommend that you contact someone in your area and get an appointment as soon as possible. The physician or professional can order medication such as Ativan (Lorazepam is the generic) to help you for the short term. It sounds to me as if that would help quickly. However, I'm not a medical professionals and am just stating what worked for me. I could only take airplanes if I first had 2 mg. of Lorazepam, which made my anxiety tolrable. In the past I would get so panicked about having to fly for work that twice I couldn't get on the plane. The second time cost my job as I was fired for not attending an out of state meeting. I just couldn't get on the airplane. I have had panic attacks in stores and worried that I might start screaming and they would call for guys in white coats to take me away. Lorazepam helped with those times when I was activated and panicked. However, Lorazepam is addictive, so it's not good to take over the long term. I only got 10 pills at a time and they lasted me several months.

I also was going to talk therapy for several years, which was extremely helpful. I learned huge amounts about myself, my emotions and the things from my childhood that drove many of my reactions to situations. I also learned that my panic attacks only lasted for about 20 minutes at a time. I learned that since they would end within a short time, I could handle them. I would lay on my bed, close my eyes and become aware of my breathing. I then began to slow my breathing down by breathing in to a count of 4, and out to a count of 5. Then slowly up to breathing in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6, then in for 6 and out to a count of 7. I would repeat each count 4 times. At the end, I would imagine my "safe place" (which for me is my secret flower garden down a beautiful stairway) and I could stay there as long as I wanted.

Two good things about the actions I took are, I forced myself to concentrate on counting my breaths and slowing down my heart rate (which always raced, sometimes up to 180 bpm and once measured at 220 bpm in the ER), which occupied my mind and kept me from disasterizing about the feelings I was experiencing. This exercise was the most helpful thing for me, and I still use meditation in my life for relaxing. Concentrating on breathing relieved my panic after a few minutes.

But, the very best thing I did was begin taking an antidepressant 6 years ago. I was depressed and spoke with my doctor about the possibility of taking an antidepressant. I had been dead set against medication for depression prior to my asking as I thought I should be able to find a "cure" for my feelings and fears by talking about them and figuring out what to do to overcome or accept the feelings. I had done that for 25 years and still had this problem. I was given a prescription for Citalopram which is generic for Celexa. I had a hard two weeks as I was adjusting to the 1/2 dose of 20 mg. per day. After 6 months, I was prescribed the full 40 mg. dose. I could tell a huge difference at 4 weeks of taking the smaller dose. I started feeling happy, perhaps for the first time in my life. I was 63 years old and had lived my entire life in fear. I was successful in spite of my fear, but it was a struggle for me everyday. I just refused to give in to my fears, except when they became overwhelming and resulted in panic attacks. After 9 months, I realized that I hadn't had any panic attacks or bad headaches since a couple of months after I had started taking the Citalopram. I am now able to fly anywhere. I just returned from a vacation in French Polynesia where the plane ride was 8 hours long–no problem for me. I even zip lined down 7 lines on a mountain in Costa Rica 2 years ago.

I would never have been able to have these wonderful experiences if I hadn't started the antidepressant. Now, not all antidepressants are the same, and many people who take them work hard to get off them and some are unable to do it. The one I take hasn't caused me side effects that I'm a reward of, and I know I will take it for the rest of my life because I need it. I think I have had a physiological chemical imbalance in my brain my whole life. This medication fixed it. I feel good and can live my life openly now. I know each of us is different and what worked for me may not work for you. However, I do believe that the combination of Lorazepam, talk therapy, and finally Citalopram greatly improved my life.

If you decide to check out an antidepressant, please ask your doctor to have you genetically tested to find the one that will work best for you. There is information on the Mayo Clinic site about genetic testing for medications, that I recommend you to read. I hope this helps you in some way to better handle your panic attacks and possibly move beyond them to living life without agoraphobia. Please let me know if I can give you any more information or support. I know what you're going through and I want to support you in a path to freedom.

Warm regards,
Gail,
Volunteer Mentor

Jump to this post

@annedodrill44

Yes, CBD helps my anxiety level. I don't know what prescription drugs you take, so I can't help you with whether or not there would be interactions. However, I can let you know that it seems to be very benign. I take blood pressure, antidepressant, thyroid, and insulin medications and the CBD didn't interact badly with them. It really helped my anxiety level when I was withdrawing from Tramadol.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

If you are interested in staying informed about what's happening with marijuana-related laws, research, etc. I have recommend going to
http://www.norml.org and joining their organization. Their goal is to work toward legalization of Marijuana / Cannabis at the Federal Government level.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

Liked by kygirl25

@gailb

If you are interested in staying informed about what's happening with marijuana-related laws, research, etc. I have recommend going to
http://www.norml.org and joining their organization. Their goal is to work toward legalization of Marijuana / Cannabis at the Federal Government level.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

Jump to this post

Thank you again, Gail!

@gailb

@joanm65

I am a Volunteer Mentor with Mayo Connect. I'm so sorry to read that you're experiencing panic attacks, especially in the night. I have had panic disorder, which is different from anxiety. I know how it feels when you're alone having an attack and it was extremely frightening for me. I have a couple of questions before I give my experience that may help:

1. Are you seeing a physician for your panic disorder/agoraphobia?
2. Do you take any medications to help with the anxiety/panic?
3. If so, what are you taking and how often?

If you aren't seeing a doctor or psychological professional, I highly recommend that you contact someone in your area and get an appointment as soon as possible. The physician or professional can order medication such as Ativan (Lorazepam is the generic) to help you for the short term. It sounds to me as if that would help quickly. However, I'm not a medical professionals and am just stating what worked for me. I could only take airplanes if I first had 2 mg. of Lorazepam, which made my anxiety tolrable. In the past I would get so panicked about having to fly for work that twice I couldn't get on the plane. The second time cost my job as I was fired for not attending an out of state meeting. I just couldn't get on the airplane. I have had panic attacks in stores and worried that I might start screaming and they would call for guys in white coats to take me away. Lorazepam helped with those times when I was activated and panicked. However, Lorazepam is addictive, so it's not good to take over the long term. I only got 10 pills at a time and they lasted me several months.

I also was going to talk therapy for several years, which was extremely helpful. I learned huge amounts about myself, my emotions and the things from my childhood that drove many of my reactions to situations. I also learned that my panic attacks only lasted for about 20 minutes at a time. I learned that since they would end within a short time, I could handle them. I would lay on my bed, close my eyes and become aware of my breathing. I then began to slow my breathing down by breathing in to a count of 4, and out to a count of 5. Then slowly up to breathing in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6, then in for 6 and out to a count of 7. I would repeat each count 4 times. At the end, I would imagine my "safe place" (which for me is my secret flower garden down a beautiful stairway) and I could stay there as long as I wanted.

Two good things about the actions I took are, I forced myself to concentrate on counting my breaths and slowing down my heart rate (which always raced, sometimes up to 180 bpm and once measured at 220 bpm in the ER), which occupied my mind and kept me from disasterizing about the feelings I was experiencing. This exercise was the most helpful thing for me, and I still use meditation in my life for relaxing. Concentrating on breathing relieved my panic after a few minutes.

But, the very best thing I did was begin taking an antidepressant 6 years ago. I was depressed and spoke with my doctor about the possibility of taking an antidepressant. I had been dead set against medication for depression prior to my asking as I thought I should be able to find a "cure" for my feelings and fears by talking about them and figuring out what to do to overcome or accept the feelings. I had done that for 25 years and still had this problem. I was given a prescription for Citalopram which is generic for Celexa. I had a hard two weeks as I was adjusting to the 1/2 dose of 20 mg. per day. After 6 months, I was prescribed the full 40 mg. dose. I could tell a huge difference at 4 weeks of taking the smaller dose. I started feeling happy, perhaps for the first time in my life. I was 63 years old and had lived my entire life in fear. I was successful in spite of my fear, but it was a struggle for me everyday. I just refused to give in to my fears, except when they became overwhelming and resulted in panic attacks. After 9 months, I realized that I hadn't had any panic attacks or bad headaches since a couple of months after I had started taking the Citalopram. I am now able to fly anywhere. I just returned from a vacation in French Polynesia where the plane ride was 8 hours long–no problem for me. I even zip lined down 7 lines on a mountain in Costa Rica 2 years ago.

I would never have been able to have these wonderful experiences if I hadn't started the antidepressant. Now, not all antidepressants are the same, and many people who take them work hard to get off them and some are unable to do it. The one I take hasn't caused me side effects that I'm a reward of, and I know I will take it for the rest of my life because I need it. I think I have had a physiological chemical imbalance in my brain my whole life. This medication fixed it. I feel good and can live my life openly now. I know each of us is different and what worked for me may not work for you. However, I do believe that the combination of Lorazepam, talk therapy, and finally Citalopram greatly improved my life.

If you decide to check out an antidepressant, please ask your doctor to have you genetically tested to find the one that will work best for you. There is information on the Mayo Clinic site about genetic testing for medications, that I recommend you to read. I hope this helps you in some way to better handle your panic attacks and possibly move beyond them to living life without agoraphobia. Please let me know if I can give you any more information or support. I know what you're going through and I want to support you in a path to freedom.

Warm regards,
Gail,
Volunteer Mentor

Jump to this post

@annedodrill44, I live on the East Coast. Can you tell me where to purchase CBD Living Water? Or can you at least tell me how you found a place that sells it? I'm not sure what the rules are for confidentiality on Connect. I've lived with anxiety just about all my life. I'm taking an antidepressant and going through talk therapy. I thought I understood what a panic attack was until I actually had one. I believe that breathing and meditation can help at times, but when I'm having an anxiety attack they truly are the last things I think about. Any information about the CBD Living Water, or CBD oil, would be really appreciated. Thanks, and I truly wish you good luck. @cognac

Does anyone suffer nervousness that exhibits as a knot in the stomach, intermittent waves of nausea, occasional loss of appetite? If so, I’d like to hear from you. Docs say it’s likely anxiety, since all testing I’ve had is “normal”.

Hi @annedodrill44,

I merged your message about finding others who may experience nervous stomach with this discussion, so that you could reconnect with members and continue the conversation.

You might be interested in viewing these discussions on Connect as well:
– Physical Health Symptoms due to panic attacks or chronic anxiety https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/physical-health-symptoms-due-to-panic-attacks-or-chronic-anxiety/
– Please help https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/please-help-2d8ce9/

@gailb

@joanm65

I am a Volunteer Mentor with Mayo Connect. I'm so sorry to read that you're experiencing panic attacks, especially in the night. I have had panic disorder, which is different from anxiety. I know how it feels when you're alone having an attack and it was extremely frightening for me. I have a couple of questions before I give my experience that may help:

1. Are you seeing a physician for your panic disorder/agoraphobia?
2. Do you take any medications to help with the anxiety/panic?
3. If so, what are you taking and how often?

If you aren't seeing a doctor or psychological professional, I highly recommend that you contact someone in your area and get an appointment as soon as possible. The physician or professional can order medication such as Ativan (Lorazepam is the generic) to help you for the short term. It sounds to me as if that would help quickly. However, I'm not a medical professionals and am just stating what worked for me. I could only take airplanes if I first had 2 mg. of Lorazepam, which made my anxiety tolrable. In the past I would get so panicked about having to fly for work that twice I couldn't get on the plane. The second time cost my job as I was fired for not attending an out of state meeting. I just couldn't get on the airplane. I have had panic attacks in stores and worried that I might start screaming and they would call for guys in white coats to take me away. Lorazepam helped with those times when I was activated and panicked. However, Lorazepam is addictive, so it's not good to take over the long term. I only got 10 pills at a time and they lasted me several months.

I also was going to talk therapy for several years, which was extremely helpful. I learned huge amounts about myself, my emotions and the things from my childhood that drove many of my reactions to situations. I also learned that my panic attacks only lasted for about 20 minutes at a time. I learned that since they would end within a short time, I could handle them. I would lay on my bed, close my eyes and become aware of my breathing. I then began to slow my breathing down by breathing in to a count of 4, and out to a count of 5. Then slowly up to breathing in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6, then in for 6 and out to a count of 7. I would repeat each count 4 times. At the end, I would imagine my "safe place" (which for me is my secret flower garden down a beautiful stairway) and I could stay there as long as I wanted.

Two good things about the actions I took are, I forced myself to concentrate on counting my breaths and slowing down my heart rate (which always raced, sometimes up to 180 bpm and once measured at 220 bpm in the ER), which occupied my mind and kept me from disasterizing about the feelings I was experiencing. This exercise was the most helpful thing for me, and I still use meditation in my life for relaxing. Concentrating on breathing relieved my panic after a few minutes.

But, the very best thing I did was begin taking an antidepressant 6 years ago. I was depressed and spoke with my doctor about the possibility of taking an antidepressant. I had been dead set against medication for depression prior to my asking as I thought I should be able to find a "cure" for my feelings and fears by talking about them and figuring out what to do to overcome or accept the feelings. I had done that for 25 years and still had this problem. I was given a prescription for Citalopram which is generic for Celexa. I had a hard two weeks as I was adjusting to the 1/2 dose of 20 mg. per day. After 6 months, I was prescribed the full 40 mg. dose. I could tell a huge difference at 4 weeks of taking the smaller dose. I started feeling happy, perhaps for the first time in my life. I was 63 years old and had lived my entire life in fear. I was successful in spite of my fear, but it was a struggle for me everyday. I just refused to give in to my fears, except when they became overwhelming and resulted in panic attacks. After 9 months, I realized that I hadn't had any panic attacks or bad headaches since a couple of months after I had started taking the Citalopram. I am now able to fly anywhere. I just returned from a vacation in French Polynesia where the plane ride was 8 hours long–no problem for me. I even zip lined down 7 lines on a mountain in Costa Rica 2 years ago.

I would never have been able to have these wonderful experiences if I hadn't started the antidepressant. Now, not all antidepressants are the same, and many people who take them work hard to get off them and some are unable to do it. The one I take hasn't caused me side effects that I'm a reward of, and I know I will take it for the rest of my life because I need it. I think I have had a physiological chemical imbalance in my brain my whole life. This medication fixed it. I feel good and can live my life openly now. I know each of us is different and what worked for me may not work for you. However, I do believe that the combination of Lorazepam, talk therapy, and finally Citalopram greatly improved my life.

If you decide to check out an antidepressant, please ask your doctor to have you genetically tested to find the one that will work best for you. There is information on the Mayo Clinic site about genetic testing for medications, that I recommend you to read. I hope this helps you in some way to better handle your panic attacks and possibly move beyond them to living life without agoraphobia. Please let me know if I can give you any more information or support. I know what you're going through and I want to support you in a path to freedom.

Warm regards,
Gail,
Volunteer Mentor

Jump to this post

@cognac

You should be able to purchase any CBD Living Water product on their website at: http://www.cbdlivingwater.com They have expanded the product line now. It was very helpful for me when I was withdrawing from Tramadol.

Please check with your physician and mental health professional before you use the CBD. There have been no negative interactions with medication that I'm aware of, but your physicians should be aware that you are taking this. It will also be helpful for them to know about CBD as an alternative if it helps your situation.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

@parus

@gailb I found your words to be encouraging. I like to hear when an antidepressant helps someone and they can say they are "happy". Amazing and thank you for sharing. No one deserves to live with this disorder. Would that there was a switch in my brain that could be clicked and the panic button would no longer be tripped.

Jump to this post

@parus

How are you doing Parus? I'm thinking about you and missing your posts. I hope things are OK with you. Please check in with us.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

@gailb

@joanm65

I am a Volunteer Mentor with Mayo Connect. I'm so sorry to read that you're experiencing panic attacks, especially in the night. I have had panic disorder, which is different from anxiety. I know how it feels when you're alone having an attack and it was extremely frightening for me. I have a couple of questions before I give my experience that may help:

1. Are you seeing a physician for your panic disorder/agoraphobia?
2. Do you take any medications to help with the anxiety/panic?
3. If so, what are you taking and how often?

If you aren't seeing a doctor or psychological professional, I highly recommend that you contact someone in your area and get an appointment as soon as possible. The physician or professional can order medication such as Ativan (Lorazepam is the generic) to help you for the short term. It sounds to me as if that would help quickly. However, I'm not a medical professionals and am just stating what worked for me. I could only take airplanes if I first had 2 mg. of Lorazepam, which made my anxiety tolrable. In the past I would get so panicked about having to fly for work that twice I couldn't get on the plane. The second time cost my job as I was fired for not attending an out of state meeting. I just couldn't get on the airplane. I have had panic attacks in stores and worried that I might start screaming and they would call for guys in white coats to take me away. Lorazepam helped with those times when I was activated and panicked. However, Lorazepam is addictive, so it's not good to take over the long term. I only got 10 pills at a time and they lasted me several months.

I also was going to talk therapy for several years, which was extremely helpful. I learned huge amounts about myself, my emotions and the things from my childhood that drove many of my reactions to situations. I also learned that my panic attacks only lasted for about 20 minutes at a time. I learned that since they would end within a short time, I could handle them. I would lay on my bed, close my eyes and become aware of my breathing. I then began to slow my breathing down by breathing in to a count of 4, and out to a count of 5. Then slowly up to breathing in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6, then in for 6 and out to a count of 7. I would repeat each count 4 times. At the end, I would imagine my "safe place" (which for me is my secret flower garden down a beautiful stairway) and I could stay there as long as I wanted.

Two good things about the actions I took are, I forced myself to concentrate on counting my breaths and slowing down my heart rate (which always raced, sometimes up to 180 bpm and once measured at 220 bpm in the ER), which occupied my mind and kept me from disasterizing about the feelings I was experiencing. This exercise was the most helpful thing for me, and I still use meditation in my life for relaxing. Concentrating on breathing relieved my panic after a few minutes.

But, the very best thing I did was begin taking an antidepressant 6 years ago. I was depressed and spoke with my doctor about the possibility of taking an antidepressant. I had been dead set against medication for depression prior to my asking as I thought I should be able to find a "cure" for my feelings and fears by talking about them and figuring out what to do to overcome or accept the feelings. I had done that for 25 years and still had this problem. I was given a prescription for Citalopram which is generic for Celexa. I had a hard two weeks as I was adjusting to the 1/2 dose of 20 mg. per day. After 6 months, I was prescribed the full 40 mg. dose. I could tell a huge difference at 4 weeks of taking the smaller dose. I started feeling happy, perhaps for the first time in my life. I was 63 years old and had lived my entire life in fear. I was successful in spite of my fear, but it was a struggle for me everyday. I just refused to give in to my fears, except when they became overwhelming and resulted in panic attacks. After 9 months, I realized that I hadn't had any panic attacks or bad headaches since a couple of months after I had started taking the Citalopram. I am now able to fly anywhere. I just returned from a vacation in French Polynesia where the plane ride was 8 hours long–no problem for me. I even zip lined down 7 lines on a mountain in Costa Rica 2 years ago.

I would never have been able to have these wonderful experiences if I hadn't started the antidepressant. Now, not all antidepressants are the same, and many people who take them work hard to get off them and some are unable to do it. The one I take hasn't caused me side effects that I'm a reward of, and I know I will take it for the rest of my life because I need it. I think I have had a physiological chemical imbalance in my brain my whole life. This medication fixed it. I feel good and can live my life openly now. I know each of us is different and what worked for me may not work for you. However, I do believe that the combination of Lorazepam, talk therapy, and finally Citalopram greatly improved my life.

If you decide to check out an antidepressant, please ask your doctor to have you genetically tested to find the one that will work best for you. There is information on the Mayo Clinic site about genetic testing for medications, that I recommend you to read. I hope this helps you in some way to better handle your panic attacks and possibly move beyond them to living life without agoraphobia. Please let me know if I can give you any more information or support. I know what you're going through and I want to support you in a path to freedom.

Warm regards,
Gail,
Volunteer Mentor

Jump to this post

Gail, thank you so very much. My PCP knows I'm trying this route. @cognac

For those who are interested in using CBD as a pain or anxiety reliever, here are two websites that provide excellent quality products and one has an extensive educational programs that are free. One series of the education programs helps each person determine their own dosage for their problems.

1. http://www.cbdlivingwater.org — has good products. I used the Living Water to help me withdraw from Tramadol.

2. https://mjstherapeutics.org — this is where I purchased my CBD Daily tincture. It's an excellent quality product and they have others you can order online.

3. https://healer.com/about-us/ educational programs. I need to take their education programs and determine the correct dosage for my arthritis and radiculopathy pain.

These are good sites with reliable products and information. I have tested these links now and they work.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

Liked by kygirl25

@parus

@gailb I found your words to be encouraging. I like to hear when an antidepressant helps someone and they can say they are "happy". Amazing and thank you for sharing. No one deserves to live with this disorder. Would that there was a switch in my brain that could be clicked and the panic button would no longer be tripped.

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@gailb Thank you for asking. Things are improving. My thyroid had bottomed out and now the TSH is in the normal range again. Going for botox injections in jaws to help w/ grinding and clenching from TMJnin hopes it will help w/ head/neck/shoulder pain.
The sun has been shining and there is once again hope on the horizon.

@parus

@gailb I found your words to be encouraging. I like to hear when an antidepressant helps someone and they can say they are "happy". Amazing and thank you for sharing. No one deserves to live with this disorder. Would that there was a switch in my brain that could be clicked and the panic button would no longer be tripped.

Jump to this post

@parus

Thanks for the update. I'm so happy that you're doing better and things are looking up for you. It's amazing how much thyroid hormones can affect everything in our lives. I was awaking in a puddle of water every morning, and sweating profusely everytime I ate & I kept telling my internist about it but he didn't think it was a problem. The internist finally referred me to my endocrinologist for my diabetes. The Endo checked my thyroid hormones and found that I was taking too much. He told me that's why I was sweating all the time. After a couple of weeks taking less I was no longer sweating and my mood was much improved. Thankfully I was only overdosing for about a year. My diabetes is better under the endocrinologist too.

I'm glad you see hope on the horizon and that the sun is shining where you are! My son has has Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). He uses a "light box" to help. If you haven't been evaluated or used light therapy before, you may want to check into that for the winter months.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

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