The difference between a panic attack and ... - Anxiety Support

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The difference between a panic attack and panic disorder.

kama24 profile image
24 Replies

I've been thinking about my anxiety disorder (although I still refer to it as fear not anxiety). Panic attacks for me are initiated by something that happens. For the past 2 years, a feeling of "fear" is my constant companion especially upon first waking up until mid afternoon. I feel this is panic disorder. I would be interested in others opinions.

24 Replies
Cruncher profile image
Cruncher

I would say that you have some sort of anxiety disorder. Usually people do not have fear all the time. But don't be discouraged! It is totally possible to become better about it and relax, and get a grip on it.

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to Cruncher

I too believe that since it sticks with me for hours on end that it is not just a panic "attack" I talk logic to myself daily to no avail but I will keep trying. Thanks for replying.

Cruncher profile image
Cruncher in reply to kama24

No problem! Sometimes, you have to admit something exists before you can start helping yourself.

I talk logically to myself too and it only helps sometimes. Sometimes I go for the emotional appeal rather than the logical one, or I try to put in the grand scheme of things and that helps to minimize certain anxiety issues.

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to Cruncher

I have always been the first to admit I am not your "normal" person and that I battle "thoughts" as well as panic/anxiety. It started up very bad in my early teen years and that was a LONG time ago!! CBT classes made us see the positive vs the negative, but it is not always so simple. I FEAR hospitals and know one is likely coming. I FEAR death, surgery etc.. So I tell myself...."the safest place you could be is IN a hospital, other people around you, a nurse on call, a dr. on call, a telephone to call home!"...yup works for about 10 min.!!

Cruncher profile image
Cruncher in reply to kama24

I understand... it is very difficult to wrangle emotions when you are feeling stressed or anxious... I would recommend some kind of therapy.

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to Cruncher

Yes, I see a phsyciatrist ever 2 months....to no avail really. He listens, I talk or ask questions. I was talking to a friend today who suffers from anxiety, agoraphobia, and OCD. She described it as "not knowing exactly what you are afraid of"....for me I summed it up by saying "just about everything!" This is definitely panic disorder and panic attacks periodically. I just need to somehow get a grip!

Cruncher profile image
Cruncher in reply to kama24

You and I both! Good luck with everything; we all need a little luck these days :)

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to Cruncher

No truer words were spoken! :-)

HearYou profile image
HearYou

Dear kama24,

Sorry you have painic attacks followed by anxiety hours. I reviewd your post so I would know a little about you before just sending a reply.

You have posted a large number of iquierie anout anxiety and panic., and have received a number ofvery well written, helpful replies about anxiety and panic.

If you reread those replies, I think you may find the answer to your current question. If you are not getting additional help by a therapist, maybe this would be a good time to try that. From those well written relies, you have some education

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to HearYou

Hello, thank you for your response. I am on minimal doses of 3 medications for anxiety, not that I feel they help me. I do see a physciatrist on a regular basis, but I'm afraid I baffle him as well as myself! I have battled panic attacks most of my life. The continual long lasting panic disorder started 2 years ago when I weaned off Paxil after being on it for 18 years. At that time I felt it was no longer helping, but in hind sight I now wish I'd stayed on it! No, I'd never go back to it as the withdrawal was horrible!! I do feel I have progressed from panic attacks to panic disorder since it is a daily long lasting feeling. I am waiting to see an endocrinologist in December hopefully. A nodule was found on one adrenal gland & our family doctor thinks it could be causint excess cortisol, especially when I first wake. Of course the thought of surgery sends me into a "what if" mode as well as fearful. I always value the opinions of others in this forum. It helps to "talk" with those who understand :-)

HearYou profile image
HearYou in reply to kama24

Whatever we call it...panic,anxiety,it just is hard to even describe to those who never had it. Be positive about the surgery, there may be some relief, even if you still have to deal with the rest.

Someone I know has been on Paxil for years. I wondered about that. I'll let her know about your withdrawal issues. Everywhere we read we are told that after a while a medication loses its effectiveness, but then we hear that it was effective for a long time for some people....but perhaps the doctors worry that it may cause some other problems that are invisible, but may surface later.

I'm on plain old generic form of Xanax with Welbutrin and generic form of Cymbalta at this time and seem to be ok for now. Just glad I have a brief med check each month to monitor the meds.

Best wishes regarding your surgery and hoping it improves your life.

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to HearYou

Hi, thank you for your reply. Everyone on here is so kind and understanding. People who have never experienced severe anxiety/panic really don't know what we are talking about. As my mother used to say "don't judge me until you have walked a mile in my shoes!" My physciatrist did a 5 week slow withdrawal from paxil. About the 2nd week, I felt like someone who must be in withdrawal from heavy drugs: crying, depressed, great anger outbursts, insomnia, and nausea. I felt sorry for my husband!! I too have Ativan 2mg sublingual. I only use it when VERY bad and as I call it "at the point of no return". Since I battle hard I usually only take maybe 3 or 4 per month at the very most. I am on Luvox, Brompazapam, and Teva Olanzapine daily for the last 2 yrs. Frankly I don't think they do much but I am very leery about trying new medications as there are so many possible side effect. I guess all any of us can do is face each new day as it comes and enjoy the "better" days! :-)

blackcat64013 profile image
blackcat64013

Hi Kama24

Anxiety attacks or panic attacks are common among patients with an anxiety disorder.

Panic attacks tend to peak about 10 minutes in, and then go through a slow but steady decline that can last anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. The resulting fatigue from a panic attack, however, can last the rest of the day depending on the severity of the attack.

From one who knows, knowing more about panic goes a long way towards relieving your distress. Once you learn what to expect, you can find ways to work through and recover from episodes of panic, helping yourself recover more quickly and get back to living your life.

kama24 profile image
kama24

Thank you. I tend to agree. When the feeling last hrs. on end it is more than a normal panic attack. I was looking for the opinion of others to confirm my thoughts! I have attended CBT class and try my best to use mindfulness to help me but the feeling of fear can be very overwhelming. I will continue to do battle!

_j1971_ profile image
_j1971_

Have you ever been tested for Epstien Barr? It’s what causes my major panic attacks. As well as many other symptoms.

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to _j1971_

No, I've never been checked for Epstien Barr....I will take a look at symptoms. They ruled out Chushings Disease. There are days when I think they should try a lobotomy on me :-)

_j1971_ profile image
_j1971_ in reply to kama24

My functional medicine doctor did all sorts of blood tests, etc. Epstien Barr is a pretty common cause for panic/anxiety disorders. It’s treatable and you will be much better if you have it once it’s under control. I hate medications and avoid them as much as possible. However, my doctor prescribed valtrex an anti viral for the Epstein Barr and now 2.5 weeks later I finally feel like my old self and the feels of doom are few and far between. Good luck!

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to _j1971_

Thank you. I'm so glad that you did get some help. I will look into the symptoms etc for Epstien Barr

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to _j1971_

I did do some research On Epstein Barr Syndrome and really I don't have any of the symptoms they describe, but it was worth looking into.

_j1971_ profile image
_j1971_ in reply to kama24

That’s great. I was shocked when I found out I had it because I had so many crazy issues. Hoping your anxiety resolves. Best of luck to you. 😊

_j1971_ profile image
_j1971_

I also didn’t have the hardly any main symptoms mentioned when you do a google search. My symptoms were panic/anxiety, heart palpitations, hair loss, and fatigue. Never had a sore throat or fever.

kama24 profile image
kama24

The only thing I could relate to is panic/anxiety and there is no doubt in my mind the panic attacks are caused by my mind since I've had them from teen years. It was definitely worth looking into though and I thank you.

_j1971_ profile image
_j1971_ in reply to kama24

You’re very welcome. Panic attacks are horrible. I only started having them 2 years ago. They are debilitating! 😩

kama24 profile image
kama24 in reply to _j1971_

I guess I'm an old pro with panic and panic attacks although I think I'm now into panic disorder. Two years ago I came off a long time med and I've suffered ever since. Had I known what lay ahead I'd sure have re thought my action!

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