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Others with panic attacks

Discussion in 'Cognition' started by stevenski, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. stevenski

    stevenski Guest

    Entering a debated area here. I have anxiety attacks and panic attacks
    : I KNOW what causes them
    1. acid reflux, possibly combined with oesaphageal dysmotility
    2.traumatic events: the aftermath: i had one on Monday and, intermittently, have felt anxious ever since
    3. Valium rebound probably. I am on a medium sized doseage.
    4. Being in a mini-relapse. I know all these factors are linked and are causative

    I have had all the heart checks and have diagnosis of severe oesaphageal dysmotility through a multitude of tests: barium swallow, endoscopy/gastroscope,nuclear medecine stomach emptying test, stage manometry; I also have acid rebound(not identified As NERD or GERD because i could not tolerate the 24 hour ambulatory ph manomenty test). Not a nice mixture; though i try to remain positive. I have chosen to remain on Nexium because they mainly control the diagnosis of nccp(non-cardiac chest pain)caused by acid reflux and regurgitation, which i experienced BEFORE going on Nexium, so if there is rebound there, it is only PARTLY caused by Nexium rebound issues. i have high stomach acid(detected by sodium bicarb test), NOT low stomach acid(I know there is an endless debate about this, and people, wanting to help, which is kind, have suggested all kinds of other tests, one of which was incompetently administered, the administrator having not even HEARD of a Proton Pump Inhibitor, like Nexium, etc-PPI, so as this involved putting a capsule down ur throat on a string with no medical supervision present; thanks but no thanks!:)I am not interested therefore in getting into the debate re whether it is high or low stomach acid; that is my choice. Like most people I NEED(for psychological well-being ) to BELIeVE certain things, when there are conflicting opinions; i do not want medical opinion or suggestions for treatment, because i have tried all the sensible and some less sensible ones. I probably sound defensive, but I don't want to get into a further cycle of worry/anxiety about this; and am (just)coping for the moment, sometimes better than others depending on symptom severity and amount of sleep/rest.

    I do NOT have dysautonmia; i have looked it up and do not satisfy enough criteria; though i probably DO have a cns/ans problem. However, the language to describe these syndromes changes all the times, not just with scientific/medical developments(obviously), but with FASHIONS, ie. going towards a psychiatric/psychological model, or towards a (primarily) physiological one; or , much more usefully, though scarily, a middle ground of neuro-psychological(most people do not want to hear re this and I am nOT interested, am afraid, in the bigger debate about the psychosomatic v. the viral/physiological model.) But I noticed that the symptoms that, for instance, the (I think) UK based website "No more Panic" as well as the expected panic attack/anxiety symtoms, lists severe exhaustion states!I DO believe i have an m.e type illness, as i have a nearly consistently slightly low white blood cell count and, once only, borderline neutropaenia(slighly low neutrophils). i do not choose to be tested for viruses(though these tests ARE available in the UK if you fight for them; they are in the NICE guidelines)or to take a/vs(these are NOT avilable on the NHS, NICE guidelines).Again, i am not interested in entering the uK debate re the NICE guidelines, though have read the full, around 300 page document and know what is in them and how to use them to my advantage and how to have a dialogue with my G.P re them and their limitations.
    So why am i posting this thread?

    Just to hear from others who have some/all of the above symptoms and who have been diagnosed with postviralfatiguesyndrome(like me), m.e/cfs(like me later; they use them interchangeably, but is a PRE current NICE guidelines physiological dx)- for MUTUAL SUPPORT really.

    thanks Steve("Stevenski")
  2. caledonia


    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    You can heal the reflux with deglycerrized (sp?) licorice. I am using a product called GI Health from Da Vinci Laboratories. It takes about three months.

    The benzos are notorious for rebound anxiety, which is why they're addictive and so hard to get off of. I had a terrible experience with Xanax. I think Valium is the lightest one (also the longest acting one, I just found out). When you're ready to get off, you need to taper off. Here's more info:

    If the anxiety is reflux and Valium, then I guess an SSRI would not be helpful? Usually that's what they recommend if you're not doing well with the benzos. You can get serotonin levels tested with a Neuroscience neurotransmitters test. Then if you need serotonin you can try 5htp or tryptophan first.

    I would also like to mention, I was able to get off Zoloft after 10 years when I increased my intake of active B12 and folic acid (like Rich Vank's methylation protocol). I'm only taking about 500mcg of each. It must have helped increased serotonin. I'm still taking some 5htp.

    For the post traumatic stress, EFT (emotional freedom technique) works well for me. It also works for reducing anxiety while having an attack. It's free to learn at There are also several Youtube videos.
  3. Gavman

    Gavman Senior Member

    Psychologically it seems that panic attacks happen due to tunnel or narrow vision. I think people with CFS generally develop this to a degree just to deal with the world around them. But one thing that can help is increasing visual perception. Its a short term fix and its used to get people out of shock. Make movements just in front of your ears so you can see them, click or clap the hands to add a sound too, which might help. I have used a technique I read about from Milton Erickson's hypnosis for shock where you ask the person do you think the color of the wall and the color of the ceiling match? Which hopefully gets them to focus off their problem. It was quite effective, my dad stopped panicking.
  4. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    I sometimes feint at the sight of blood/when having blood taken. Only about 5 times in the last decade... but more than is normal.

    I don't really think of these as panic/anxiety attacks as, especially when in a medical setting, I'm not feeling at all anxious/panicked. It clearly is some sort of psychological mechanism though, even if I'm not consciously aware of it. It's only a really rare problem for me.

    I find that mindfulness meditation is good for fun, and I've heard that it's meant to be of use for anxiety type issues too. It could be worth trying something like that just for the pleasure of it, and then seeing if it brings some other benefits too?
  5. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

    Hi Stevenski, I'm really, really sorry to hear that you are suffering from this type of problem. Anxiety and panioc attacks are a nasty business and seems to be a very complicated subject when you are also talking about M.E and other chronic health problems.
    I have had terrible debilitating anxiety and panic attacks as part of my M.E, and like you i am pretty certain what causes them. For me it is usually always when i have overdone things and am more ill, as my physical health improves the anxiety always does as well. I Think i also had a big problpem because i was not diagnosed for 16 years and so had terrible anxiety about all the symptoms that i kept being told werent real.

    Since my diagnosis and understanding my illness more i have had a reduction in panic and anxiety. Now when i get dizzy or feel really spaced out i can tell myself it is M.E and that i have been overdoing it and probably need to go and rest.
    My anxiety was made massively worse by being mis diagnosed as having just an anxiety disorder and then given SSRI's, i had a very severe reaction that took me over a year to recover from. It also caused me to develop agoraphobia which i still havent recovered from.

    My Homeopath summed it up very nicely by saying she thought the agoraphobia, panic and anxiety were protective mechanisms to stop me overdoing it and causing more damage. I would have carried on trying to study and work etc if i hadnt started having panic attacks.

    I have met patients who believe that M.E is an anxiety disorder as the symptoms can be similar. I have to take issue with this as i have had CBT, counselling, valium, SSRI's and done a brilliant phone course with NO MORE PANIC. My anxiety HAS improved through understanding and managing my condition, but my M.E has not. Other people who i knwo from the No more panic course where not ill in the way i am and lost all their strange symptoms once they got it under control.
    Having said that the course was very supportive and i would highly recommend it to anyone.
    Im also sure that there are things going on with our brains and adrenals etc which make anxiety and panic more likely. Mnay other chronic conditions have this such as Lupus. (in fact a history of sudden unexplained agoraphobia is a risk factor for Lupus)
    The best thing i ever did was to learn to meditate and then learn tpo pace more effectively.

    Nice to hear from you by the way -its been a long time!
    xxx Justy.
  6. caledonia


    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Justy's post reminded me to say that there seems to be a relationship not only between anxiety and adrenals, but also adrenals and reflux. I am going through pregnenolone withdrawal with a lot of anxiety and my reflux just went to a whole new level.

    So that's two clues to look at adrenals/adrenal fatigue. This is going to be another thing regular docs can't help you with but a holistic doc or naturopath would be better suited. Or you can research and try things on your own. You can get an ASI adrenal saliva test to see what's going on with cortisol levels throughout the day.
  7. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

    Sorry you're going through all that, Steve.

    I actually had never experienced panic attacks until a few months ago. It surprised me - I had no clue what was going on. Thankfully I knew someone experienced in managing these who was able to guide me through some structured breathing, and I've found that with some practice I'm now able to bring them down on my own when they flare.

    For me, so far I've pinpointed that it seems to only happen when I'm starting out from a chronically high level of stress. Reducing that factor in the equation has so far made things manageable, thankfully. If I find myself starting to feel panicky, that's a big road sign in my face to stop and re-evaluate what's going on in my life and how I can bring down those levels.

    I'm blessed to only have it this midly...I know others less fortunate and it must be such a nightmare to go through.

    Sending over a few of these: :hug:
  8. stevenski

    stevenski Guest

    Just wanted to thank everyone for their support and ideas. i shall consider them! Best wishes Steve Benson("Stevenski")
  9. maddietod

    maddietod Senior Member

    East Coast, USA
    I used to have panic attacks in the middle of the night, and pepto bismol would stop them. Don't know if you can take it with reflux (?). If I took the pepto when I got the first warning signs, sometimes I could stop the whole process.

    I have no idea why this works for me, and so far for everybody I've shared it with. Oh - for terrible ones I remember adding benedryl to the mix.

    I forget what you call these things across the pond.
  10. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

    I have ME-related anxiety attacks, directly correlated to how ill I am. Haven't figured out what to do since I'm scared of benzos. Will definitely try the Pepto. Thanks, Madie!
  11. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    N. California
    I have anxiety attacks when I overdo, and burn my adrenals too hard.

    In my case, the anxiety is clearly a symptom of depleted energy reserves, especially depleted adrenals.
    I take a lot of adaptogenic herbs regularly to support my adrenals, and have sometimes also used 7Keto DHEA.

    Sorry you're dealing with this, Stevenski... It is NOT FUN!
  12. Sugarplum


    British Columbia
    I'm sorry you are going through such horrible stuff. I am new here. I have ME and I struggle with anxiety. I use SSRIs and
    currently am using Prozac. I was on Paxil but I was forgetting to take it so the doc switched me to Prozac which stays in the
    system longer. If I were not on medication I would be debilitated by the anxiety and I would curl up into a little ball of shaking and tearful non-coping woman.
  13. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

    I had a panic attack day every month for most of my life during PMS and took a mental healthy day off if I had any vacation time available. When I turned 50 - well, it was suddenly PMS forever. I could not function. I could not consider drugs because I am exquisitely sensitive to drugs and get side effects no one else seems to experience. So I figured it was hormonal (it had always been before!) and I went out and bought DHEA. I took 50mg and felt right as rain within 30 minutes. It only stays in the system for 20 hours, so I popped another one at dinner and stayed right as rain forever after -- no panic. There is a DHEA:cortisol ratio of 10:1 that is the youthful level -- the level that allows you to tolerate all sorts of stress. After age 30 your DHEA level starts to wane. Meanwhile caffeine, stress, poor nutrition (such as caused by inability to break down some required nutrient or other genetically, etc) raise cortisol. 2 cups of coffee raise your cortisol 33%!!! But you cannot raise your cortisol too high compared to your DHEA or it causes stress, anxiety, etc. So if you get DHEA:cortisol to be 10:1 you can tolerate the most stress and don't have panic attacks (unless maybe a train is coming at you or something). There are at least a few dozen studies in google/scholar showing high DHEA supplementation (100mg) helps those with depression. There are thousands of studies showing health benefits against chronic disease (such as diabetes) in people 50+ taking 50mg DHEA. (Higher doses are still outliers in the scientific community, but it works for me). I swear by DHEA because it also lowers my blood pressure from 184/117 to 140/83 (and 500mg potassium lowers it further to a perfect 120/80). I think you need to look at the studies yourself if you go over 50mg -- I can't advise anyone to do what I did -- you need to make up your own mind.

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