Possible panic attack??

Well I had a very funny turn last night. I had been to the shops around dinner time and noticed a pain in my right shoulder. This steadily got worse as the day wore on, and the pain travelled up the right side of my neck. I took some anti-inflammatories but they did nothing. The pain was uncomfortable but bearable. That was until about 9pm when it suddenly got worse and I felt like my neck was having spasms. I was also having pain in my left eye socket and found it painful to look to the righ hand side. The pain in my neck was so bad I had my eyes closed and was in tears. After 10-15 minutes my whole body seemed tense as it was also spasming. All of a sudden I felt like I was going to black out. Everything went black and my heart started racing so fast and I felt as if I could not breathe. My partner started shouting asking if I was ok and to talk to him and he was going to ring an ambulance. I managed to ask him for my inhaler (I have been asthmatic for years but it has been clear for a while now but I thought it might help with the breathing, it did not feel like an asthma attack) and he was pumping it into my mouth as I could not even move my arms. I managed to calm my breathing down but I was shaking for about 10 minutes after and could not even lift a glass to my mouth to get a drink, my partner had to help.

Anyone any idea what this could of been or whay could have caused it? My partner suggested it could have been a panic attack maybes brought on by the pain? Whatever it was was very scary and I thought I was actually going to die :-( thanks in advance for any replies xxxx

12 Replies

  • I'm sorry to hear of your awful experience, it sounded really scary! I'm afraid I don't have any answers as to what caused the pain in your neck and body spasms, but it sounded very painful and understandably frightening. It would be very understandable for you to have a reaction to this, and it does sound like a panic attack to me. I've had panic attacks, they are characterised by the heart beating irregularly and very fast, and then starting to hyperventilate (breathing faster than is needed) so this increases co2 in the blood stream causing pins and needles in hands and feet and dizziness. I had this reaction to loosing a lot of blood and it is a normal reaction to trauma or extreme stress. I hope you are feeling a little better now. Take care xx

  • I'd say if it happens again don't question it and just ring an ambulance! Hopefully it was just a panic attack but it could be many other things to and they would rather you 'waste' their. Time than miss something more serious. I'd ring the gp today and ask for an appt today and get a proper medical opinion its important

  • Thanks for your replies. It was really awful :-( I am feeling better now but worry about it happening again! I am going to ring the gp today as I would really like medical advice about why this has happened. I didn't want my partner to ring an ambulance as my son was in bed and did not want to wake him and worry him too but think your right that if it happens again an ambulance would be a good idea. Thanks again for the replies. Take care xxx

  • Could be clotting? Could be cardiac-related. Definitely not something to be ignored. Personally, I think you shouldn't wait for another attack, you should go to your GP now and report what happened, and get it checked out - to make sure it DOESN'T happen again.

  • I have been experiencing shortness of breath recently and did mention that to my gp last week but she never said anything in reply to it. Will certainly make an appointment. Thanks for your reply xxx

  • I have just rang doctors surgery and have an appointment for friday morning. Hopefully it does not happen again before then xx

  • Glad you rang your gp...sounds like you had the panic attack in response to whatever else was going on and only your gp can tell you what that was all about...hope you get some answers x

  • Thank you. I also hope I get some answers but I doubt I will as I never do! xx

  • Hi I often have these pains and have to go to hospital for blood test to eliminate blood clots and even heart attack. I actually made an appointment to see my Rheumy or any of his staff the first time I had this pain as it came with breathlessness at the time.

    I was told then after several tests that I had pulmonary fibrosis (the lupus had damaged the base of my lungs) so now I go to my GP as soon as I get the pain and I am then sent to the hospital.

    I use to think I was having a panic attack as my husband would tell me this especially when I was traveling by aeroplane. I was not diagnosed yet and now I cannot travel by plane because of the pressure in the cabin and some lifts affects my lungs also.

    Also remember that as lupus patients we often get unexplained pains but please have the pain checked.

    I get a lot of muscular pain that can last for a day to a week or even more.

  • Thanks for your reply. So sorry to hear of your pain. Although I am going to see a gp on Friday, I don't hold out much hope of getting any answers or help as I just seem to get fobbed off by every medical professional. xxx

  • Hi I often get pains that start at the base of my spine and seem to spasm all the way up to my neck and the pain is so immense that my back is rigid and I can't move. My breathing also goes very rapid and I feel like I am going to pass out. It is all very frightening. I have to lower myself to the ground with my back stiff and try and calm myself down because I also start panicking and can't breathe. It eventually wears off and I have to go and lie down. It can be brought on by stress, being startled, just kneeling down at the cupboard, or for no known reason. My rheumy thought is was muscle spasms and then that I was catching a nerve because I got these attacks when also kneeling down. I don't think she knows really. This has made me not want to go out on my own as it is very frightening as well as embarrassing. Taking deep breaths slowly does help to calm me, but I have no answers as to what it is and whether it is related to SLE. I am also asthmatic and I make sure I have my inhaler with me just to help with the breathing. I hope you get some answers.

  • Thanks for your reply. Sorry to hear about the trouble you have! This is also how I feel at times, like my whole body feels tense and although I am telling myself in my head to say move my arm, I find my arm doesn't respond. I often have episodes of this that can last 2 hours where I just sit motionless on the couch. My vision often goes blurry when just sitting down and I get like a drunk sort of feeling where my heads spinning and feel a bit queesy and light-headed. Since this happened on saturday I also feel worried about going out the house and also being on my own in the house incase it happens again. I to have started carrying my inhaler around with me for the first time in years!! I just want to know what is going inside my body and whether this is going to happen again. It is very worrying!! xxx

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