Anxiety/Panic Attacks are trying to take over!

I'm a first time mum and have a 6 month old daughter.....3 months ago I was coping fine going out and about feeling ok within myself.

However this all changed after a horrible bus journey....I had to ask a stranger to hold my daughter whilst I tried to close down her stroller whilst trying to do this the bus driver carried on driving do I was falling around everywhere.....I got so flustered and stressed that it brought on a panic attack and I had to get off the bus.....since that day I haven't been on a bus and the Anxiety/panic attacks started to get worse.

I'm now on 20mg of Citalopram which I've been on for just over 6 weeks and also have 40mg of Propanalol to take if I get really bad but as I have low blood pressure I've been told to go careful.....however over the past week I've been waking up around 3am covered in sweat feeling really hot and sick....I have to take a Propanalol to be try and get back to sleep but its broken sleep I'm then up at 7 to feed my daughter and I'm up for the rest of the day but feel exhausted.....I have to be doing something because the minute I stop the negative thoughts creep in!

I've managed to make it out but I listen to my iPod and I battle with the panic that tries to happen so far I seem to be winning the battle but its bloody hard work.....doctor has told me that the Citalopram is no quick fix and that I should be going out for a walk in the daylight every day and have social interaction every day and also to write a little note to myself telling myself that I'm going to be ok etc so if I'm having a bad moment I can look at the note and bring positivity to myself.......it's hard work but I'm determined to beat this for me and my baby daughter!

8 Replies

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  • Oh you poor girl, what an experience you had on the bus. You have done everything exactly right to cope with how you are feeling and the panic attacks and anxiety which so often go together.

    It's not unusual for these kind of symptoms to start after having a baby as you probably know and there is now a move to be a lot more pro-active in helping Mothers who have issues like yours after birth.

    It's hardly surprising it can trigger symptoms as there are few things in life as demanding as caring for a new born and so many aspects of your life change completely and then you have the hormonal changes to deal with.

    Your doctor sounds like a they are quite approachable and giving some good advice on getting out each day and having some social interaction with other Mum's etc.

    The Citalopram can take up to 6 weeks to start working fully and it will help you get back on track.

    Waking up in the early hours feeling like you do is such a common symptom, I've seen quite a few people say this on this forum and I've only been here a short time. It's because the seratonin levels drop at that time of day and they gradually rise during the daylight hours.

    What time of day do you take the Citalopram, if it's morning perhaps try changing to night time.

    Other than that perhaps try getting up and getting yourself a drink of water have a little walk around and remind yourself that you are a good person and a good Mum and yes this will pass.

    Do you have a good friend or family member that you can confide in and rely on for support, it can make quite a difference. Also there may be some support networks for post natal depression etc which may be of help......your doctor may know or you might find out about some on-line. Anxiety and depression tend to go together and support is for either or both.

    Best wishes and take care PL

  • Hi PL thank you so much for your reply.....I'm currently taking them in the morning but I think I'll take them at night as an hour or so after I've taken them I start to feel drousy so I think that's a good sign and will help me sleep through as I'm like a zombie during the day so it makes it that much harder to fight the anxiety/panic attacks when I'm really tired and I don't want to do much as I feel knackered which is no good!

    I have a friend who went through the same thing that I talk to and my Fiancés parents are really understanding as I have no contact with mine.

    I've been put on the NHS waiting list for CBT but have been told its a long wait so I'm going to look into it privately and get some prices etc.

  • Hi RD .......It sounds like at least you have some support and understanding from your fiances parents and your friend. That can make a big difference.

    Feeling really tired is normal when you have a baby too and nobody tells us just how tired and 'different' you feel and of course it's a 24/7 job.

    If you go for CBT privately make sure they are an accredited therapist. It's a pain that the waiting time is so long but it's used a lot with good results. I've never had it so can't say.

    It sounds as though you are doing a great job in sorting things out and it's not an easy thing to do, so well done to you.

    The path may not be completely smooth but then life rarely is.

    Best Wishes PL

  • Hey PL,

    I've heard really good things about CBT so willing to give it ago if it will help me manage this and hopefully ease it so I can get back to 'normal' if there is such a thing lol!

    I'm watching what I eat and drink aswell so no caffiene and I've got way down on rubbish that I used to eat and trying to eat more fruit and veg.

    I'm determined to beat this once and for all!

  • i was a chef before i started getting panic attacks was happening all the time drived me crazy in the end cbt had the most impact so i highly recommend it its free just ask your doctor

  • Hi I get panick attacks when out a lot if I go shopping with my mum as soon as I get there I start to feel hot dizzy and overwhelmed , with every thing , I'm on 200mg of sertrlein and still waiting for therapy from the nhs sine about June, I understand so mush what all u guys are having to put up with, when I feel bad I always blame my self for the way I am but I guess I shouldn't but u know at time that's the way I feel I guess I'm not the only one that feels this way?

  • Hi. Red. What a very considerate bus driver! Let us hope he never gets an anxiety problem.

    You say you have to do something to stop the negative thoughts creeping in. Now I am going to suggest something that goes right against what most would suggest. LET the thoughts come, go with them there.To try and stop thoughts by distraction is nigh impossible for an anxious person. You mention battling with the panic. You sound like an intelligent person so you will understand what I say. The word, BATTLE means conflict, FIGHTING and the expenditure of a lot of energy. You have not got that amount of energy available, especially after the birth of your child. This is a very trying time for you but try and give up the battle (which is our natural reaction but, in my view, the wrong one). Take a deep breath when you feel the panic and let it come. Don't try and push it away. You will not win that one. Fighting creates more fear and so more anxiety. ACCEPT for the moment how you feel. You will not always feel this way, so take heart. You are adding fear to fear. YOU give "IT" the energy it needs to continue. If this makes any sense to you then I may have helped. If not, put it in the drawer marked 'for future reference'. Love and best wishes. jonathan.

  • Hi Jonathan,

    Everything you've said makes perfect sense to me.

    Thank You :-).

    I will take on board all that you've said and will give it a go and will let you know how I get on.

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