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Panic Attacks Always Different?

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Panic Attacks Always Different?

Postby Rose_City_Vixen » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:21 pm

So I'm trying to sort out if this is something people with Anxiety Disorder NOS typically experience, or if this might be the proof I need that what I have is PTSD (I was diagnosed Anxiety NOS and I've been having trouble getting a PTSD diagnosis so anything I can point to is helpful).

For the last several years, I've been having really bad panic attacks. They're infrequent (a couple times a year normally), but they're insidious because every time they hit, they take a different form that I'm not ready for.

First it was just racing heart rate and a feeling like I might pass out along with some blurred vision. I've had an EKG I think, to confirm that it's not a heart problem after I got hospitalized with a pulse rate of 163 BPM. After a while, I learned to talk myself down from these episodes.

But then it took on another character. I would get a squeezing feeling in my neck and in one case actually felt myself nearly pass out. Once again, a hospital visit, an ultrasound to make sure I didn't have a neck aneurysm, nothing.

Now the neck squeezing is back, but it's joined by sensations in the upper middle part of my chest and blurred vision that seems almost like descriptions I've read of the "halo" of a seizure. It'll start a few hours sooner than the attacks and last for a few hours after the attack.

A bit of background: I'm a writer, and us writers tend to stow a lot of FYI knowledge about odd topics, not least of which is medicine. I know the human body pretty well for someone outside the medical profession, so it's entirely possible that this is the abominable flowering of a diabolical imagination. But the way these attacks are always changing their character scares me. I feel as if I'm constantly under attack from my own mind, and I never know what direction it's coming from. As soon as I learn what one attack looks like, it takes another form that makes me question and stokes my doubts.

I keep coming back to this fear that one day, I'm going to have a real, preventable problem and I'm going to die because I wrote it off as a panic attack (that's what happened to one of my favorite authors, Philip K. Dick, with whom I share many of my nervous personality traits).

Does anyone else experience attacks like these, that are always changing and bypassing your coping mechanisms?
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Re: Panic Attacks Always Different?

Postby Rose_City_Vixen » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:01 pm

Damn... Nobody?

This isn't good. I'm seriously afraid that my anxiety will get so bad I won't be able to take care of myself any more.
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Re: Panic Attacks Always Different?

Postby TwilightVanguard » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:32 pm

Hello.

Sometimes it can take time for replies to come, so patience might be needed here.

But I am here, so I'll see if I can enlighten you somehow. Writing is a nice profession, it would suit me well, considering I live like a hermit :lol:

Panic attacks can take on many forms and have quite a few symptoms, so they can change. What I'm worried about is that you are focusing so much on those infrequent episodes that you'll eventually give yourself frequent episodes in the end. It's not unheard of and that's how anxiety works, it's contagious in a way. Contaminates thoughts and spheres of life the longer it is allowed to fester. One day you might be afraid of heights, the next, you'll be afraid of bridges because they are high from the water.

I was also afraid that I'd lose control of myself and go totally nuts, that's another thing about anxiety and panic attacks. I don't have panic attacks often now, I have more like a constant feeling of being anxious, but before, I had symptoms that ranged from high BPM to sweating, tightness in the chest and neck and blurred vision. I thought, at the beginning, that they were spontaneous and sometimes they were, but some other times, they were triggered by something. There's a distinction between those that is important, because they aren't the same.

PTSD is something rather different and for awhile, I thought I had that, but my psychiatrist ruled it out. You need to ask your doctor/professional about it too and you should talk to him about all of this as well. Your situation isn't unheard of, I went through something very similar and what you have seem like those classic panic attacks I have at times, but to be really sure, you need to sit down with your psychiatrist/psychologist (or whatever) and be as exhaustive as possible with him about your issue. Only him can tell you what you're really dealing with.

I hope you can see a professional soon, it might make you some good. I'm also sure that you won't get to the point where you'll be totally disabled from your anxiety, so try not to stress yourself out too much.
Overcome with despair and hopelessness...
Cineri gloria sera est
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