Couch to 5K
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Monthly panic attacks

I have a day every month when I suffer several panic attacks. Totally illogical and they come out of the blue. Nothing seems to trigger them. I've had them every month now for over three years. My doctor is very sympathetic and has prescribed me several things but I - at 60 - can't help thinking this is still a female monthly issue. She doesn't agree but doesn't know what causes them. I am at my wits end with them. Does anyone else suffer similarly. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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I have had a number of them over the last few months with the last one occurring just yesterday morning, and I have an appointment to speak with the doctor about it. To be honest it seemed fairly closely linked to very clearly defined and stressful situations so I hadn't considered a hormonal link - and yet yesterday's corresponded, perhaps by chance, to my monthly cycle. I really don't know. It's all rather new to me and not very nice. It leaves me feeling utterly out of sorts for at least the whole day, often longer. I can't imagine having to deal with them for three years, every single month - I am very sorry to read this. I hope you find some relief with the medicine your doctor has prescribed as it must be very wearing.

Is the medication expected to completely block them or just limit them, and does it work straight away or do you need to be taking it for a while?

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I have sertraline, pregabalin and pericyadine (this makes me feel very sleepy so don't take it that often). The only thing all this stuff has done is eliminated my waking in the morning feeling anxious. But it hasn't helped the panic day - or the few days after when I feel - as you say - rather wrung out and still anxious.

I'm very sorry to hear you are having them. I must confess that I have almost reached the stage where I wonder if I can carry on. It's only my family and my work that are holding me together. Reading helps as it's an escape and I can stop worrying.

Thank you so much for your comments. It's kind of you and it gives me some support to carry on.

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I am sorry you are suffering so much and hope that your doctor can offer further suggestions or perhaps modify your medication somewhat (it can't be great to be taking a lot of medicine that's not helping you, or only helping in a very minimal way). Perhaps also there are some specific support groups too, either locally or online. Please don't despair, I'm sure there are ways of making it easier to live with them, at the very least.

Probably I ought to mention that this group is intended for followers of the C25k (Couch to 5k) running programme. It is likely that there exist specific groups on HealthUnlocked that are more focused towards this type of problem (though if you're doing C25k too, forgive me. And if not - maybe it would help - it is surprising how beneficial it can be in so many areas of life).

I hope you find some helpful answers, and soon. xx

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Do let me know how you get on at the Dr's. My Dr has always been very kind and gradually increased the drugs as time went on. There was - and isn't - a magic cure but if you find something that helps I'd be so grateful to know.

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I definitely will, thank you.

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I get them. Backlash of PTSD. Even though I 'know' they are literally just in my mind its still a godawful experience. I generally tough it out - meds and I do not get along well - but find that if I drink a BIG mug of coffee with milk and sugar, it helps.

Caffeine should, one would think, make a person even more jittery but my own personal theory is that it 'jumpstarts' the old gray matter again - rather like putting the paddles on a heart attack victim.

Running absolutely has helped me enormously - I am getting them noticeably more frequently since being sidelined on the IC.

Hang in there - they are rough, but transitory, that's what I keep reminding myself along with the knowledge that EVERYTHING in life can change very quickly...including getting something really amazing that makes everything before fade into insignificance :) It's life on life's terms - the good, bad and indifferent.

We have far less 'control' over things happening than we think and therefore should not feel overly responsible or, god forbid, 'guilty' when we get hit with the effluent - it ain't out fault that we live in a screwy world ;)

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has a good evidence base and is a relatively brief treatment. You could speak to your Doc about a referral to IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapy) services. Good luck!

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Thank you for this. Are you able to tell me any more about the therapy. I'm not really attracted to the idea of group therapy at all; but if I can find something privately - would this be a good idea? And what exactly is CBT?

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be in a group (people often find it useful to share experiences and tips and encourage each other - a bit like on here) or individually. It is not the sort of therapy where you talk about your childhood but rather look at the habits in thinking and behaviour that maintain difficulties with (for example) anxiety and depression. It will try and find out any underlying and unhelpful beliefs that lead to anxious thoughts and identify triggers. It teaches strategies for managing and reducing symptoms. You could go private but services are reasonable on the NHS. Treatment usually occurs over 12-16 sessions (for straight forward anxiety states). You will be asked to keep diaries and complete homework tasks. If you want to go down the private route have a look at the BACP website.

I notice there is a 'anxiety disorder' community on this site. Might be worth checking it out too. Good luck :)

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Thanks very much. Very helpful and kind. I'll look into it.

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