Terrible fear and panic. What helps? I can not anymore

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Is fear a typical symptom? I have a terrible panic that I cannot control. I am afraid of being alone. Noise disturbs me, but I listen carefully so I know that someone is really there.

Is there anything against this fear? I am not what I was anymore.

Covid 19 in October 2020. ME / CFS symptom since January.
 

Gijs

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Hi Lissie,
I read your post on this fourm about panic and fear. It is terrible i know it. I have the same thing in periods. But it is now much better.
The only thing helps for me is 1mg lorazepam a day. But it will be better in time.
I think panic and fear is one of the most underestimated symtoms.
it is not psychological but neurological in this disease.
You can also try mindfulness and meditation especially breathing technics can help.
Kind regards and take care!!! Your not the only one.
Gijs
 
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Hi @Lissi90 .....

I'd be careful with taking on something like lorazepam. Granted, it does help at the outset, but it can turn on you something fierce as you build up a state of tolerance, and then a whole new world of hell opens up under you ....

Different people have difference levels of resistance to tolerance withdrawal, but it hits everyone eventually. And truly, it makes whatever other hell you were going thru look benign by comparison.

It's also extremely hard to get off of, and very few Drs, if any, will help you, including the Dr who prescribed it for you in the first place, who will often give you the happy talk about tapering off it gradually for a week or two, whereas it often takes a couple of YEARS to successfully taper off. And there's your freeway to hell.

@Gijs is right: you're definitely not alone. I think one of the last little 'secrets' about this deadly, focused laser of an illness is the prevalence of terrifying panic/anxiety that many of us have endured. And the curiously high incidences of extreme sensitivity to glutamate and glutamic acid, and it's attendant excitotoxic effects on our systems, which is at least a contributory factor to the panic/anxiety.

What worked for me, and it took a long time to find it, was magnesium glycinate in very small doses, taken at very tight intervals: 50 mg Mag Gly every 30-60 minutes, depending on how bad I was at the moment, with 250-500 mgs of Vit C. I added in 0.25 mgs of melatonin every few hours when I was really bad.

At my worst, I was taking in around 2000-2500 mgs of magnesium and 5000 - 6000 mgs of Vit C every day. It took about 7-10 days before I was sure that it was doing something, but after that it just kept building on itself until suddenly, one day about 6 or 7 months or so after starting this, I realized I hadnt had ANY anxiety or panic respnses at all.

I dont know if this will work for you the way it did for me, but it gives you a starting point to find what will work for you. We're all different, and this bollocks-y little illness takes full advantage of that ....
 
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Have you tried Black Seed Oil?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4884225/ -
Neuropharmacological effects of Nigella sativa

The results of several studies have shown that this plant can improve memory impairment, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, neurotoxicity, neurodegeneration and pain. In addition, based on the current review, it is concluded that NS, through inhibition of acetylcholinestrase enzyme and particularly due to its antioxidative effects improves nervous system diseases.

I have found it to give me great relief from anxiety and fear by placing/rubbing it on my gums, but it can also be experimented with by ingestion.

I hope you will get better, all the best to you dear!
 

Learner1

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Is fear a typical symptom? I have a terrible panic that I cannot control. I am afraid of being alone. Noise disturbs me, but I listen carefully so I know that someone is really there.

Is there anything against this fear? I am not what I was anymore.

Covid 19 in October 2020. ME / CFS symptom since January.
Most psychiatric symptoms originate in a disturbed gut microbiome.
  • Bacteria there synthesize and metabolize various nutrients and other biochemicals.
  • Malabsorption of nutrients due to gut inflammation can occur
  • The gut barrier becomes "leaky" as does the blood brain barrier, allowing inappropriate things to get into to the brain.
Doing some stool tests, like Viome, GI Effects or GI Map may provide actionable info on how you can prove your microbiome. The books New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind by Patrick Holford and Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas may provide helpful info.

I would stay away from benzodiazepines. There is a horrible price to pay for taking them.
 
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I totally agree with @Learner1

Another great book: The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection by Scott Anderson

This groundbreaking book explains the revolutionary new science of psychobiotics and the discovery that your brain health and state of mind are intimately connected to your microbiome, that four-pound population of microbes living inside your intestines.

Leading medical researchers John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan, working with veteran journalist Scott C. Anderson, explain how common mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety, can be improved by caring for the intestinal microbiome.

Science is proving that a healthy gut means a healthy mind—and this book details the steps you can take to change your mood and improve your life by nurturing your microbiome
 
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Another great book: The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection by Scott Anderson
I agree. This is a terrific book, and totally accessible even if you know very little about probiotics going in. Well-organized info and break-downs of the various strains within the genuses ... genii .... whatever ....

Another good one, probably even better as a first-read, is a charming, beautifully written, witty, infrmative little book called, simply, GUT, by Giulia Enders. Highly recommend ....
 

judyinthesky

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I can confirm the gut theory. I have an awful anxiety and psychiatric component with my CFS. And that all started out of the blue when I developed severe pancreas insufficiency, which changed my gut.
The issue is for me all those probiotics don't help. My gut simply is fucked.

I am not getting easily addicted to Benzos though, as I don't like to be on them, but sometimes I just have to. It's possible in my opinion to just use them responsibly. In particular since I've tried all natural options, and I get really bad attacks.

Do you get them as a form of mental PEM?
It took me a long time to realise, but it happens when I do too much on the basis of something mentally exhausting. At least before I became severe :)

What you could try is passion flower together with an antihistamine. This might do the trick a little bit, in particular for the waking up issue.
Would also add melatonin.

I am at the same point again because I don't have many more options for pacing, but what's "interesting" is that it always feels like dying, and rarely is related to real anxiety.

I was thinking maybe with neuro inflammation, we just have different parts of the brain inflamed. Like in this one Javanese study of brain inflammation in CFS, where they note the different areas. Oddly enough I never had anxiety before my illness. So why that should be the case I don't know. I blame my gut.

Nevertheless it's crazy making. The attacks are longer than normal panic attacks.
How are you with activities? Is there the option to limit it a bit more and see whether it has any effect?

I think it's a form of mental PEM for most.
 

judyinthesky

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Is fear a typical symptom? I have a terrible panic that I cannot control. I am afraid of being alone. Noise disturbs me, but I listen carefully so I know that someone is really there.

Is there anything against this fear? I am not what I was anymore.

Covid 19 in October 2020. ME / CFS symptom since January.
Also how long do your anxiety situations last? I personally can't take antidepressants, but would instantly do if I could!
 
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I agree. This is a terrific book, and totally accessible even if you know very little about probiotics going in. Well-organized info and break-downs of the various strains within the genuses ... genii .... whatever ....

Another good one, probably even better as a first-read, is a charming, beautifully written, witty, infrmative little book called, simply, GUT, by Giulia Enders. Highly recommend ....
Like this one? :) Gut - Giulia Enders.jpg
 
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I personally can't take antidepressants, but would instantly do if I could!
If you could, you'd have to be ready for a real Toad's Wild Ride as a Dr, who in all likelihood knows less about the function and basics of the human brain than you do, hits you with prescription after prescription while trying to find the one that you respond to.


Not based on any particular knowledge of you, your brain, or your system, or even on any particular knowledge the Dr has of the brain, the neuro system and the CNS, but simply on the basic medical principle of "Throw it all at the wall, see what sticks, bill patient for each experiment ..."
 

judyinthesky

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If you could, you'd have to be ready for a real Toad's Wild Ride as a Dr, who in all likelihood knows less about the function and basics of the human brain than you do, hits you with prescription after prescription while trying to find the one that you respond to.

Not based on any particular knowledge of you, your brain, or your system, or even on any particular knowledge the Dr has of the brain, the neuro system and the CNS, but simply on the basic medical principle of "Throw it all at the wall, see what sticks, bill patient for each experiment ..."
Well if I wouldn't have ME, I would instantly take short term antidepressants for stress periods like some of my friends. But if I wouldn't have ME, I would be a happy bunny anyways and hence not need them.
So more a hypothetical saying really.
I was happy as fuck and never ever thought about these things before my illness. It, unfortunately, always had an instant, post viral psychiatric component.
 
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@Lissi90
I'm also from NRW but without Covid.
I've won my CFS ticket eight years ago with an EBV virus from my son.

Anxiety and hyper sensitivity is also a problem for me: some days I can't tolerate noise or smells or bad news :)

This reminds me of an old Woody Allen joke: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you." :cool:

What helps me the most in these situations is to help your body.

I've found especially helpful to do Wim Hof Breathing exercises.
These exercises single-handedly saved me from panic attacks years ago.

They are not difficult but very relaxing.

This is a very basic beginner video:

I'm usually doing this but it's only audio:
 

DogLover

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Sorry to hear of your fear/anxiety, I know personally just how horrible this can be as I went through a 90 day panic attack. Here is what I do to treat symptoms:

Diet: Gluten and dairy are my major triggers not only for anxiety, but depression as well. The tricky part is that symptoms do not usually appear until 3-4 days after ingestion. They typically last about a week until they settle down depending on how much I've had. Watch hidden sources as gluten is in nearly everything that comes in a box, can or bag. It is absolutely essential that I keep a clean diet or I will go bonkers.

Benedryl: If I'm spiraling out of control, benedryl really helps. It can make me a bit drowsy, but in a panic attack, I don't care. (Some people get a reversed effect from what I've read.) A little bit of a dependency can develop, but I've never had a problem stair stepping it down.

GABA: I've tried GABA in the past with no noticeable results, but recently bought some from Bulk Supplements and WOW! I take a ½ tsp and about 30 minutes later I feel like I'm going to hyperventilate and pass out, but that quickly fades and it ends up calming me down similar to a benzo. (I know this means a leaky blood brain barrier.)

KAVA: This stuff works like a miracle. It puts me in a good mood. So, far I haven't noticed any withdrawals or dependency.

I also take a bunch of other stuff, like magnesium, vitamin C, tryptophan, .... and would like to think it helps, but I'm not 100% sure.
 
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