Back with a vengeance

Hi, im new to this site I stumbled upon it when looking for advice. Im 28yr female been diagnosed with anxiety/panic im taking paxil. I have been living with anxiety/panic for almost 7yrs. I got it under control and was living a normal life with a few minor attacks once and awhile. 3 weeks ago I went to the hospital really sick with high fever and not feeling well. They did blood work & EKG which came back normal. Also did a Spinal tap which also came back normal. Was sent home and told it was just the flu with a touch of pneumonia. But now im stuck with this sick feeling of panic 24/7 feeling helpless and need to know when will I be back to my old self? Im pretty sure the fear of the spinal tap caused this to come back. Also im barely eating and losing weight. My sleep isnt the greatest either, racing thoughts and horrible nightmares. .. advice anyone please? 

4 Replies

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  • Hi there

    I'm relatively new here as well. Thought I'd reply as I also take Paxil and have similar symptoms as you. My panic disorder seems to get worst when I'm about to get sick (like the first stages of catching a cold) so much so that I can't tell if the symptoms are brought on because I am actually sick, or if it is just a panic attack =( I think the reason you may be getting more frequent panic attacks is partly because you have anxiety from the whole experience, but also because you are actually physically sick. Just try to remember that it is totally normal to feel terrible when you have the flu, and try to separate that feeling with panic. Also, try to eat (maybe just a banana, nuts, or cheese) because when you don't eat, your blood sugar will go down which causes panic attacks.

    I totally understand how you feel though. It was rough for me when I got carried to the ER from a severe allergic reaction =(

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Get plenty of rest!

  • Thank you for the reply, its been 3 weeks now after the flu i feel fine sick wise but its like my anxiety is sticking around. Im on 30mg and thinking about asking my dr to up the mg to see if that helps. My boyfriend just started a new job so im alone during the day and i think that scares me. I been eating mostly chicken fingers because i have to do groceries but that stays down. I drink lots of water just started drinking juice to see if its the sugar i need. When i was in the hospital they hooked me up to iv and i started freaking out and then when they did the spinal tap i was a mess shaking, sweating and racing thoughts. When i came home i was fine and went to bed. But the next day is when it all hit. For those 3 weeks i went to emergency trying to find some answers but all they told me was its the flu and your anxiety. I find some doctors need to learn how to deal with this health issue, they dont understand the issues we deal with. The one nurse has suffered from anxiety and now her daughter and she helped me alot understanding why i was feeling this way. 

    I been getting sleep and its like 10 hours sometimes but i think its my body trying to catch up on the lost of sleep. My boyfriend is very supportive which helps. I started having horrible nightmares and that scares me to go back to sleep. I will wake up heart pounding,sweating and shaking. I want to feel normal again to where i can go out and have fun. I also cry alot, but like the crisis team told me its my body exhausted and stressed.

    Sorry for such a long response.

    Thank you :) 

  • I must have missed the part about it being 3 weeks ago =p glad the worst parts over!

    I was definitely a wreck for a while after coming out of the ER as well. It's quite frustrating to see a doctor only for him to read my medical history and immediately suspect that it is my mental disorder that is causing it and that I should "brush it off" . I'm glad you found a nurse that understands though!

    I think upping the mg for Paxil in the short term will help you. I don't think Paxil is as addictive as benzos so depending on what your doctor thinks it could be a good idea.

    The doctor I see for my panic disorder keeps telling me to eat breakfast lunch and dinner and always each veggies first! At first I didn't really take it seriously but the difference it makes surprised me. I also used to drink juice in the morning, but apparently there is too much sugar in fruit juice and it makes your blood sugar sky rocket, then plummet in the rebound - a big factor in causing panic attacks. The key is that you need to maintain a balanced blood sugar level which is why eating veggies first is important, it gives the blood level a gradual incline Instead of an immediate boost (sorry for sounding like a nutritionist)

    Its a real challenge maintaining this life style. Sometimes I need my coffee in the morning (caffeine is a no no for anxiety), sometimes I just want to cheat and eat a burger with fries. Sometimes I need a beer! I did this for about 4 days straight and I feel terrible now =( but I know it's on me, and just knowing the cause can be a relief.

    I think in the end it's a balance between a healthy life style and doing what you like for stress relief. I'm trying to find the right balance between the two.

  • Thats okay, you dont sound like a nutritionist. & ya im pretty sure this is all from the ER visit. When you go into the hospital they have a open mind to what could be wrong but once you say your medication and what its for its like everything they thought is gone and now its all on this anxiety & panic. When i went the 5th time to emergency i was so shaky and scared and only got 4 hours of sleep in 3 days i made them do a EKG and blood work. Which all came back normal. Then the next week i went to see my doctor and she went over everything they tested for and looked into and it put my mind at ease. I told her my worries and she debunked them with me and said i was healthy and just have this bump in the road i have to over come. 

    I think whats staying in my mind is that i got sick before and this never happened so why now am i reacting like this? I had strep throat twice in 3 months and it never triggered anything. But a flu and being all hooked up i think traumatized me :/ 

    And the drs told me i can go back 20 more times and they cant refuse me but they will just get fustrated. Good thing for free health care :) i can just imagine if i had to pay :( 

    Paxil isnt addictive i have went a few days without it but you do get the side effects which are aweful but go away as soon as you take your pills. 

    I also spoke to my dr about switching my medication but now reading about what it can do i dont think i wanna try. Paxil has worked this far im sure raising the dose would probably be better. 

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