Anxiety or panic attack

Posted by bonnieh218 @bonnieh218, Mar 19, 2019

I was recently on a trip in Hawaii. We went to a location to see waterfalls. The area, over a deep cliff, was fenced with very high fences. Just walking closer to the fence I started feeling shakey and light headed. My niece took my hand to draw me closer to the fence to get a better view of the waterfalls. I got lots of shortness of breath, pain in my chest, crying, pulling back and was yelling No. After walking away it took at least 20 minutes to breathe normally and steady my nerves. This has never happened so extremely before. Is it an anxiety or panic attack or is there any difference at all? In April I have my annual medical appointments with my Mayo Clinic doctor team and am wondering if this is worthy of mentioning or not?
I appreciate any comments and suggestions.

Liked by lauren123

@bonnieh218 – Good morning. There really is difference between a panic and anxiety attack.
I hope that this helps: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/panic-attacks/symptoms-causes/syc-20376021
I am firm believer that if something changes in your mind and or body it's time to see your doctor. Yes, It's worth mention! Please come back and let me know what your doctor says!

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@bonnieh218– You raised a good question and for me I would say that the panic attack created the anxiety. It seemed for me once I had my 1st panic attack that came out of no where the result was crossing that bridge became a source of anxiety. So, as I would contemplate crossing the bridge again the anxiety kicked in the panic began all over again. About a year after my 1st PA crossing that bridge, we had a family camp trip planned with several other couples.
I along with a few of the other fathers had planned to go down the day before to set up camp. I was concerned and I thought having my younger son along would make it easier. My wife & I had planned to be on the cell phones (this was before it was illegal in this state) throughout the drive hoping her encouragement and voice would be enough to get us accross that bridge. Well as we approached this narrow 2 lane bridge my heart was pounding and my wife was doing a great job of encouraging me, BUT at the last moment I swerved off the road! I sat on the edge of the road in tears trying to explain to my wife why I could not do it. I had to call one of the other dads to come rescue us so we could join the group.
For me that was how it all began and for the first year & a half I added several "no go's" to that list. I finally met with a Psychiatrist a he put me on 1 mg of Klonopin. Slowly but surely I took back my life. I have driven over that bridge many times since (with my wife next to me) and am back driving on busy freeways and flying on airplanes. I can't say I look forward to it, but the more I do these things it seems the more I become confident and desensitized.
As to your question I would deffinitely encourage you to bring this up at youe upcoming Mayo appt. Jim @thankful

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@thankful Thank you for sharing what you did. I think that sometimes a panic or anxiety attack can be triggered by some misperception that one of our senses comes up with, kind of like a glitch in the system. For example, you perceive a sense of smoke and all of the sudden wherever you're at feels like it might be on fire. Then for a long time afterwards, anytime you're in that location or something similar you feel like a fire might break out which produces both a panic and anxiety feeling. The mind is a powerful thing and can literally change your entire life around by limiting and precluding you from living normally like you would like to. Congratulations on being able to track down a way to work out of this and feel better!
Ginger

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@gingerw– I agree! I remember my Psychiatrist telling me a story that I've heard many times over since then. If you were to run up a few flights of stairs you would clearly feel your heart pounding. Well, you know that's what you just did and so therefore your pounding heart is accepted and you move on.
Yet when so many other synthoms befall us I know for me I immediately react and before i knew it, it became one of those items on my "no-go" list.
It all makes sense, but in the midst of a panic attack for me, non of that mattered! The more I learned about how powerful emotions were for me the better equipped I became in recognizing what was the trigger and found ways around them. Jim @thankful

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@thankful

@gingerw– I agree! I remember my Psychiatrist telling me a story that I've heard many times over since then. If you were to run up a few flights of stairs you would clearly feel your heart pounding. Well, you know that's what you just did and so therefore your pounding heart is accepted and you move on.
Yet when so many other synthoms befall us I know for me I immediately react and before i knew it, it became one of those items on my "no-go" list.
It all makes sense, but in the midst of a panic attack for me, non of that mattered! The more I learned about how powerful emotions were for me the better equipped I became in recognizing what was the trigger and found ways around them. Jim @thankful

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@gingerw This is an interesting comment. what were the ways you found to get around them?

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@lauren123

@gingerw This is an interesting comment. what were the ways you found to get around them?

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@lauren123 I think this comment was meant for @thankful. Ways to get around is to educate yourself on your emotions, do a lot of research and self-analysis of what have been triggers for you. For me, it has been becoming more aware of how I interact with my environment, which includes not only physical, emotional and the people that I interact with. My senses are hyper-vigilant which is good and bad. It causes a lot of stress at times and fatigue from the hyper-vigilance. But getting a handle on what it is and understanding, and a lot of positive self-talk to get me to relax seems to help me. Each person is different I understand.
Ginger

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What has been very helpful to me with my anxiety has been to meditate and mindfulness. I used to think certain feelings were "bad," or "unacceptable," and when I felt these feelings, I would become very scared, and thus my anxiety would take off. Through meditation and mindfulness, I have learned that I am not my feelings, that they come and go and that fighting them or trying to run away from them only makes my anxiety more intense. I now understand that my feelings don't have mean anything. I don't have to make up and believe in some "story," to go along with my anxiety. Anxiety is a reaction to distorted thinking, and I now understand that. There are a lot of good guided meditations online around anxiety and acceptance of feelings.

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@river19– Good morning and welcome to Connect. I'm so glad that mindfulness and mediation work for you. I tried TM years ago but could never sit still long enough for it work. lol. I'm not sure I think that I understand what you mean by your feelings don't have to mean anything. But when you are wrapped up tight in them they certainly influence how your feel and react. I think that most of us in this group accept our feelings as reality but have a hard time releasing them. Mediation can be excellent for that. Thank you for sharing your story. How long have you been meditating? Are you taking any additional meds?

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@merpreb

@river19– Good morning and welcome to Connect. I'm so glad that mindfulness and mediation work for you. I tried TM years ago but could never sit still long enough for it work. lol. I'm not sure I think that I understand what you mean by your feelings don't have to mean anything. But when you are wrapped up tight in them they certainly influence how your feel and react. I think that most of us in this group accept our feelings as reality but have a hard time releasing them. Mediation can be excellent for that. Thank you for sharing your story. How long have you been meditating? Are you taking any additional meds?

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When I stated that my feelings don't have to mean anything, I meant that if I have thoughts that scare me, or thoughts that something bad is going to happen to me, it isn't a sign that something bad is going to happen to me. It's just my anxiety and is not a premonition about the future. I have been meditating for several years. I take buspirone and sertreline for my anxiety.

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