Anxiety/Panic attacks.. out of ideas has anybody found a way to stop them?

Hi Everybody,

I'm a 23 year old guy - I've been having panic attacks since I was 17, (6 years now) they occur mostly randomly. I've seen my GP several times and been offered self help things, which have never really helped. Attacks are much less frequent now - but still occur far too often. CBT is next on the list, which I'm thinking of trying though I'm sceptical as to if it will help.

I get a horrible tightness in my chest, I feel sick, I need the loo very often, I become extremely smell sensitive, the thought of eating or drinking or taking tablets makes my stomach turn.my hands shake, I get hot flushes and become terrified of everything. Every upcoming event in my life scares me - eating, going out anywhere, going to work etc - but only during these panic periods. sometimes I get thoughts of dying, passing out, having a heart attack or that I will never ever be happy or normal. The thought of leaving to go for a walk is horrible, It makes me want to sit still until the feeling goes away. This often lasts for several hours..

Can anybody else relate to this? or offer any advise for preventing/getting out of this nightmare. I've never tried to speak to anybody with similar symptoms .. only NHS doctors or family.

Any advise at all would be appreciated

Thank you!

18 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi

    I can relate very well to your horrible feelings :-) have u ever tried antidepressant?some of them are specific for panick attacks and they are useful.or maybe u don t want to take medicines??Cbt is very helpful as well..I personally improved quite a lot.Other things that might help you are yoga and meditation..u ve been suffering for few years now and I understand your feeling of been afraid of everything and nobody should suffering like u do for such a long time with no progresses.Yes u should do something about it cause you risk to get depressed over it!!try one of any method that I suggested u till u find the right one that works for you..;-) best wishes and be strong u will get better! don t worry ;-)

  • Hi joe88. The symptoms you describe are typical of GAD (general anxiety disorder). Many tens of thousands suffer from this problem so take heart, you are not alone. It may surprise you to know that all your symptoms are normal in the circumstances, but they are normal reactions exagerated. We all feel that, at times, we do not want to do things, but to a nervously ill person they get exagerated out of all proportion. Any sort of appointment (doctors, hospital, even social) becomes a nightmare with sensative and heightened emotions. There are two books I strongly recommend by Dr. Claire Weekes. Available on Amazon. "Self help for your nerves" and "Peace from nervous suffering". They have become my bible over the years. Another website worth looking at is by Professor Ashton. (just punch up the name and you will get it). She talks about the various drugs and their uses in nervous illness. However you feel remember; your symptoms are normal reactions grossly exagerated. You become bewildered and upset by them and thus increase the output of Adrenalin, which creates the old viscious circle. Fear-Adrenalin-Fear. I am not for one moment underestimating your feelings I know them only too well. But you are young enough to come to an understanding about what is causing your problem and deal with it. Nil desperandom. Keep working on it and, for the moment, accept how you feel. Do not fight!! This only creates more fear and anxiety, and more Adrenalin. Good luck. jonathan.

  • I'm aving Emdr wich is working for me. It's a therapy that uses rapid eye movement to relieve the anxiety. Just like Jonathon gas said u have to accept these feelings as they can't hurt u. It feels dreadful as I too av GAD but just accepting them and telling ure self come on then if ure gona come then come. The feelings will have less power over you. The books by Claire Weekes are fab and so is a book called At last a life by Paul David. Hope you find peace soon.

  • Hi joe another sufferer here so your not strange or alone get to your drs and see if there's any councilling or help meds wise on offer if not there's some good books out there about dealing with it because apart from it ruining your enjoyment of life catch it early I didn't but I took some councilling last time it was offered and it has helped it basically makes you find what triggers your panic attacks and anxietys and learns you some techniques to help face them down you've had panic attacks and they are awful when there happening and you feel out of control but when they pass which mostly they do without any real harm iv had them for yrs because I didn't get help so you get some help and they will get easier to live with and get rid of all the best mate and good luck

  • Oh and just to add you do become hyper sensitive to things foods and how your feeling health wise so the smell sensitivity is just another symptom and a book I'm finding helpful is cognitive behavioral therapy for dummies. Unfortunate title I know but I find it fairly easy to understand good look mate .....Mel

  • Hey! Please don't feel like you're alone in this at all, I myself also suffer, and I'm 21 so now how frustrating it can be when you just want to have fun and relax.

    I would recommend CBT. My first sessions when I was a kiddo (about 15 ish) were great. I had it again last year, and couldn't stand the therapist so quit. I'm now signed off of work and when I go back will have been off for 3 months. But this time, I'm not giving up. CBT gives you the tools to get better yourself, and I think that's the best thing. You should also try this alongside some medication as they say the two work well together, not just one or the other. If CBT isn't your thing, why not just some counselling first, to see how you feel about talking?

    If you ever want to PM me, feel free x

  • Hi Joe,

    You are not alone in this and feel free to ask any questions.

    CBT has helped me a lot and, if you can, take the sessions, try to go even if you sit there and say nothing the fact is you went.

    Inside, you know that although you feel you are going to die, you survived and eventually you will get stronger, learn coping strategies, be able to manage again.

    I have found myself that only planning for the next 5 or ten minutes works.

    just plan 10 minute tasks and no more, then rest or do something nice for 10 mins.

    if you finish in time - well done.

    if you don't then you just underestimated the task, ok stop and make the rest part of the next task.

    if you finish early - well done, add the time left to your free time you earned it!

    this removes any pressure from doing the tasks and you will start to manage with practice - one of my early tasks was to go fill the kettle, rest, then make a cup of tea, in my rest period I got to relax and drink it!

    don't be tempted to just go on to the next task, the r&r is important as we can get too ambitious, overwhelmed and unable to do anything, it's not about a race, it's about pacing and allowing yourself to relax and to be YOU.

    regards,

    sandra.

  • Hiya :) i would recoment CBT to anyone? it worked for me i am now on my 14 session and since my 3rd session i stopped panicking, i still occationly have days where im anxious and nervous but if i compare it to 14 sessions back its changed my life around! im 19 and female all i wanted to do was to live a normal life and now i feel im getting some where , take care and i strongly recoment CBT

    regards

  • hi everyone,,,, can somebody tell me if you have neck pain tention, tingling on the left arm and numbnes but my neck is killing me so much pain like something is burning there so if somebody have the same simtoms please be helpfull to me thank u all

  • Samm-uk,

    Go see your doctor, or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647

    No need to delay.

    D.

  • Hope your feeling o.k. and went to see your G.P.?

  • hi i too get the same feelings its tension in your neck thats all it is and then your arms hurt cos your tense but when your relaxed it goes it wount harm u x

  • Hi Joe,

    Check out the list of NHS services here iapt.nhs.uk/services

    You can self-refer to many and should be able to make enquiries about CBT without necessarily making an appointment, either via websites or by calling.

    Best of luck

    D.

  • Thankyou everybody - I will look into CBT! I'm surprised to see so many people with the same/similar problems I've never met anybody else that has the same thing. The only thing that made me realise there may be others is when I saw Peter Andre on Piers Morgan's interview talking about it.

    I'd love to hear more about how people manage to get through these horrible episodes .. so far mine never end until I sleep - which can take hours.

  • Hi Joe88, I've just joined the group and I have been suffering anxiety/ panic attacks for the last 5 years on and off.

    My panic attacks come on with out any warning!

    My last attack was 2 months ago where I ended up making my Dr perform an ecg to calm myself down, as I was convinced I was having a heart attack, as I was having severe palpitations and felt like I was dying.....

    I am really trying spot my triggers and hopefully this will help me....

    I am also thinking about CBT.

    ^_^

  • Hi Joe88, I have been a sufferer for 15 years (I started when I was 23).

    Do all you can to get help and advice, it is good you recognised early and have this support here. My "fault" or "failing" was not recognising what was wrong with me and seeking the correct help. I still greatly struggle and suffer to date but unfortunately where I live the NHS and local council provide very little help for this kind of thing and I just cannot afford the £40 to £50 per hour session to go private. I have had CBT via the IAPT service but it was only for 6 weeks then I was cut loose, obviously it helped very little and was not very intense.

    Another thing I find is as a full time worker there is little to no assistance or help out of work hours, people cannot always take an hour off work every week for counselling.

    Do all you can, keep strong and fight.

    Be well people x

  • Hi,

    Anxiety uk offer one to one therapy, either face to face or on the phone. The rate you pay is means tested (from £7 to £50 per session), and you have to be a member, which is around £30 on top. See anxietyuk.org.uk . This can be a useful option where NHS waiting lists are too long or no other servcies are available locally.

    The self help books suggested by Jonathan2468 will also be worth a try. All therapies are interactive and require effort on the part of individuals. This is why therapists help to set goals and will set homework. Ultimately you have to take some responsibility for your own recovery as there's no magic wand.

    NHS services have improved greatly since around 2006 when IAPT started to address the shortage of CBT therapists. They shouldn't 'cut you loose', and should provide out of hours appointments for working people. You will be stepped up to higher intensity treatment or stepped down if you are recovering well, just like a medicinal dosage.

    IAPT is about 'improving access to psychological therapies', but some areas have weaker services than others. Don't let that stop you seeking help or indeed complaining about the lack or quality of services availkable locally. I suggest going back to your GP if IAPT has disappointed and telling them. They will be responsible for commissioning services after March next year and should be told!

    Best

    D.

  • Hi, You are obviously feeling worried about what is making you so anxious and how you can possibly deal with your feelings. I also had extreme anxiety for much of my life and think it may help you to find a supportive relationship, maybe with a counsellor or pscyhotherapist, with whom you can face your fears. Doing it on your own may help, but it may only make you feel worse, it depends on the level of your anxiety and how strong you feel in being able to face the fear. I remember one day feeling so exhausted from the effort of all the years of trying to deal with my anxiety that I gave up trying and let go, feeling even if it meant I was going to die then that would have to happen because I simply didn't have the energy to fight any more, all my resilience had gone. From that moment I have never had a panic attack. But I did have the security of feeling understood in a deep way by a therapist. Now I only ever feel anxious about realistic danger, for example when a stupid driver cuts in front of my car so that I wonder for a second whether I can stop in time, or when I have to meet with someone and am nervous about whether the interview will go well, minor reactions, perfectly normal and in proportion to the situation. Some people are able to face their fears alone but I found it safer to have someone there to support me during the process. Maybe you can ask your GP to refer you if you think that might be helpful. I hope you find a way to feel more peaceful in the world. Good luck, Suex

You may also like...