T Nation

Panic Attacks

[quote]kenny-mccormick wrote:
There comes a time for anyone who suffers serious anxiety and panic attacks when you just deal with it I get them I have crazy anxiety anytime I go anywhere new or meeting new people but I have never been able to do anything to stop them and now I just dont care anymore which in turn has more then halved my episodes and recovering from them is quick as lol sometimes I end up hysterically laughing. What I’m saying is everyone has fucked up shit wrong with them accept that shit and handle your business like a man[/quote]

So you think going to a doctor or a therapist to help deal with it, makes you less of a man?

Srsly?

[quote]UtahLama wrote:

[quote]kenny-mccormick wrote:
There comes a time for anyone who suffers serious anxiety and panic attacks when you just deal with it I get them I have crazy anxiety anytime I go anywhere new or meeting new people but I have never been able to do anything to stop them and now I just dont care anymore which in turn has more then halved my episodes and recovering from them is quick as lol sometimes I end up hysterically laughing. What I’m saying is everyone has fucked up shit wrong with them accept that shit and handle your business like a man[/quote]

So you think going to a doctor or a therapist to help deal with it, makes you less of a man?

Srsly?[/quote]

You obviously do because I didn’t say anything like that. We all have ways of dealing with shit the point is to deal with it and keep on truckin nobody on this planet is alone with issues

[quote]kenny-mccormick wrote:

[quote]UtahLama wrote:

[quote]kenny-mccormick wrote:
There comes a time for anyone who suffers serious anxiety and panic attacks when you just deal with it I get them I have crazy anxiety anytime I go anywhere new or meeting new people but I have never been able to do anything to stop them and now I just dont care anymore which in turn has more then halved my episodes and recovering from them is quick as lol sometimes I end up hysterically laughing. What I’m saying is everyone has fucked up shit wrong with them accept that shit and handle your business like a man[/quote]

So you think going to a doctor or a therapist to help deal with it, makes you less of a man?

Srsly?[/quote]

You obviously do because I didn’t say anything like that. We all have ways of dealing with shit the point is to deal with it and keep on truckin nobody on this planet is alone with issues
[/quote]

I really don’t…if I misunderstood you, my bad.

[quote]UtahLama wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]UtahLama wrote:

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
You guys are junkies. Bleh!

[/quote]

You have literally zero idea of what you are talking about.

None.

SSRI’s are 0% addictive.[/quote]
Hey man you can fight the fight, but you know you cant win this argument. I have argued enough with people on this site about medication and medical treatment.
Save yourself the bang your head against the wall and just ignore them. [/quote]

Doncha just love armchair MD’s.

“It’s all in your head bro!” “Just pull yourself out of it bro”

Sheesh.
[/quote]

So drugs are the ONLY THING that will ever help?
No one EVER pulled himself out of Panic Attacks? And learned something important in the process?

Is it so hard to not recommend drugs but to default to manly traditions of toughness and self-help on a site that advocates masculinity?
WOuld trying out meditation, like Irish said, disqualify, too, as irrational?

I’m sure the OP will find hundreds of eager supporters on depression or anxiety boards who will spend hours on making sure he puts juuust the right mix of chemicals into his body (“my body was like fuckthis on Numbonal, but on Dumbolex im like blsfargh”).

Maybe drugs helped you out of your personal misery, I know the opposite can be true, too. And you can get over it oldschool style.

Is my opinion so difficult to accept that you have to spew this passive aggressive pussy-shit?
Will it devalue your own personal history if someone manages to overcome issues on his own?

Wish the op the strength to get better, soon, as well as to emerge as a better man from it.

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:

[quote]UtahLama wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]UtahLama wrote:

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
You guys are junkies. Bleh!

[/quote]

You have literally zero idea of what you are talking about.

None.

SSRI’s are 0% addictive.[/quote]
Hey man you can fight the fight, but you know you cant win this argument. I have argued enough with people on this site about medication and medical treatment.
Save yourself the bang your head against the wall and just ignore them. [/quote]

Doncha just love armchair MD’s.

“It’s all in your head bro!” “Just pull yourself out of it bro”

Sheesh.
[/quote]

So drugs are the ONLY THING that will ever help?
No one EVER pulled himself out of Panic Attacks? And learned something important in the process?

Is it so hard to not recommend drugs but to default to manly traditions of toughness and self-help on a site that advocates masculinity?
WOuld trying out meditation, like Irish said, disqualify, too, as irrational?

I’m sure the OP will find hundreds of eager supporters on depression or anxiety boards who will spend hours on making sure he puts juuust the right mix of chemicals into his body (“my body was like fuckthis on Numbonal, but on Dumbolex im like blsfargh”).

Maybe drugs helped you out of your personal misery, I know the opposite can be true, too. And you can get over it oldschool style.

Is my opinion so difficult to accept that you have to spew this passive aggressive pussy-shit?
Will it devalue your own personal history if someone manages to overcome issues on his own?

Wish the op the strength to get better, soon, as well as to emerge as a better man from it.
[/quote]

LULZ at "passive aggressive. You called everybody who found help through a doctor “druggies”

If you have never experienced serious panic attacks you have no idea about what you speak. And if you have and simply manned through it, good on you.

[quote]cstratton2 wrote:
Again just so you guys are aware panic attacks aren’t a chemical imbalance you need to treat with high doses of drugs, it’s strictly behavioral even in the most extreme forms like I had. It can take a while for a nervous system to become de sensitized again, however I just want to point out nothing is more effective then CBT for panic attacks and anxiety. If you do not perpetuate it and have a fear of it then it nips the whole thing in the bud. You may still get episodes for a few months after here and there but you just ride it out without fear, eventually everything normalizes again. So long as you have a radical one hundred percent acceptance of it, do not avoid or push any of the feelings away, or create any avoidance patterns. [/quote]

This is terrible information. Holy crap.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:
Xanax 2mg. Don’t drive after taking it whatever you do.[/quote]

That may be a bit much, but yeah it will work. He really should start with 0.5 mg and work his way up for acute symptoms.

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
Has anyone experienced them? Suggestions on how to deal or stop them?

I recently started working a late shift get off around 10:30 pm and have had two episodes.

The first one was about a week ago. As I was going to sleep I just started thinking how it is crazy that we go to sleep assuming we will wake up and if I died I would never see it coming. Well, suddenly I was convinced I was going to die in my sleep. It was a short one.

Yesterday, as I was going to sleep I the idea that this was some king of virtual reality and that those who “seriously” realized that would be able to wake up i.e. The Matrix. My heart started beating a little faster so, I got up and began getting slight tunnel vision. It started to feel like everything around me was not real. That was not the worst of it. What really brought on the panic was that I would somehow get stuck between this “reality” and the real world in a state of insanity. I had to get my brother to help me calm down. Lasted about 3 minutes.

They have only happened twice at night in the morning I feel fine but, as if it never even happened, it was a dream or disbelief that it could happen to me.

  • Aside from working late I am under no stress or anxiety. I do not drink or smoke. The only thing is that I have drank some diet soda at around 8-9 PM which does have some caffeine.[/quote]

Okay, I am going strictly based on what you said, so take it with a grain of salt AND talk to a professional ultimately. This is a muscle head forum.
What a lot of people don’t realize about panic attacks is that they can be debilitating, crippling things if go un-managed. They come from nowhere, with out warning, not stimulated by anything in particular and make you feel as if you are going to die either from the symptoms or the fear itself. And since you never know when or where they are going to hit, they can make your life a prison if left unchecked.

So first thing is there are two issues to address, you have the acute symptoms, the panic attack itself and then you have the underlying cause for the panic attacks.

First the acute symptoms. The cure for acute symptoms is benzodiazepines. Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium would all work. The point of these is to have them on hand so that if you start to feel symptomatic you can pop a pill and minimize it or eliminate it. This will at least give you the confidence to move on with your life while dealing with the issue.

The underlying cause is far harder to find and treat because there can be a multitude of reasons for it. It could be a chemical imbalance, i.e. something physiological. For that you have to look at your family history and look for instances of depression and anxiety. But that does not end it. Your family history can be clean and YOU can have a chemical imbalance, even if not genetically cause. Environmental factors can mess up your squash.
So long instances of extremely stressful situations, or things like going to war, if you served in the military, PTSD, abusive childhood, being held prisoner, really fucked up family situations, etc. This or things like this, especially if they carried on for a long time can actually make physical changes in your brain. Put more simply if your brain had been put in survival mode either repeatedly, or for extended periods of time it can actually change the physiology of the brain, particularly with the neurotransmitter production, uptake and reuptake.
Now, the change may or may not be permanent. Sometimes it can work itself out and sometimes not. This is pretty individual and the stressors have to be eliminated long enough, or better coping mechanisms employed to give your nervous system ‘a break’. This is highly individual, some people do recover others do not and there is really no way to tell who will or will not.
The key to having a chance at recovery is eliminating stressors for a long enough period of time.
The way to grant your nervous system a long enough ‘break’ from stress to give it a chance to heal is behavior modification (making changes in your life where you minimize stress), physical activity (intense is usually better, but over doing it is also bad), and therapy. Therapy can help you identify and maybe correct or make adjustments to how you deal with stress. Or it can identify a source which may in fact be simple to correct. If your serious about getting well therapy should be tried, if it doesn’t help you can just quit.

What’s going on in the brain: The source area for panic and other anxiety related issues has largely to do with the amygdala and there is some mid-brain activity. The amygdala is called the ‘fear center’ of the brain and is mainly where fear and ‘fight or flight’ responses come from. It a panic attack situation this part of your brain is malfunctioning. Stabilizing the neurotransmitter activity in this region of the brain is key to managing or eliminating the symptoms. Under stress this part of your brain is activated and excessive stress, especially for long periods of time can keep this part of your brain to active for normal everyday life leading to anxiety and yes panic attacks.
This can be managed by medication. SSRI’s and DRI’s (some newer drugs combine the two) are good drugs to manage this on a daily basis. It will serve to stabilize the activity in the amygdala. Also, interestingly enough, this part of your brain is very sensitive to sex hormones. I.E., something like low testosterone can also cause issues in this part of the brain. Sex hormones work opposite of the seretonin or dopamine reuptake inhibitors. Sex hormones are actually essential to synapse creation and healing. So, also, get your testosterone levels checked. You are young, hopefully this is not a problem, but honestly young people are not immune to sex hormone imbalance.

So in summary, panic attacks and anxiety ARE a physiological problem. Physiological problems can both be caused and corrected by environmental factors, but not necessarily if there is a genetic link. Your first order of business is to control the acute symptoms and you do that with drugs, i.e. benzodiazepines. Once you get control of the acute symptoms start working on the core issue, there is one, you just have to find out what that is. Look at family history. Also, change you daily life by eliminating and managing stress where you can. Seek therapy to see if you can identify a possible source for the stress. Get your testosterone levels checked.

Feel free to check out any of the information I stated, cross reference it all you want. But I hope I was able to give you some good information to help you through this.

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]cstratton2 wrote:
Again just so you guys are aware panic attacks aren’t a chemical imbalance you need to treat with high doses of drugs, it’s strictly behavioral even in the most extreme forms like I had. It can take a while for a nervous system to become de sensitized again, however I just want to point out nothing is more effective then CBT for panic attacks and anxiety. If you do not perpetuate it and have a fear of it then it nips the whole thing in the bud. You may still get episodes for a few months after here and there but you just ride it out without fear, eventually everything normalizes again. So long as you have a radical one hundred percent acceptance of it, do not avoid or push any of the feelings away, or create any avoidance patterns. [/quote]

This is terrible information. Holy crap.[/quote]

I am not putting the hard science behind it or being overtly complex, however every anxiety specialist based psychologist, or psychiatrists recognize the same things. The chemical imbalance theory has long been dis proven given much more recent studies proving it’s ineffective and fallacy of logic in pure design.

Yes, there are physiological effects and changes from anxiety and panic attacks, however this does not serve as the root of the challenge and does not facilitate recovery. I have talked to over hundreds of people in direct experience and when people apply the right tools, and have the right attitude not a single one of them had remaining issues.

There are certain things that can trigger a sensitized nervous system, stress being the biggest cause, but also conditions even of the blood like pyroluria, infectious disease, hyperthyroidism deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals, hormonal imbalance, PTSD, unresolved conflict, etc… This could all serve as a catalyst to chronic anxiety so sometimes it is important to rule those things out.

In these cases of course one needs to treat underlying issues, however as a base of generalized anxiety or panic there is no science that proves actual changes in neurotransmitter levels that are the cause for generalized anxiety disorder, and panic attacks, and yet all the evidence to disprove it.

In my experience the best advice people can get that offer a full and lasting recovery is from others who went through it themselves. If you never experience it yourself you cannot offer as much as someone who has been there themselves. I am also not turning ignorant to other potential triggers of the physiological effects of anxiety either, yes definitely look into those things if suspected, however for a full and lasting recovery a much deeper constitution needs to be formed then medication can offer. A lasting recovery is dependent on inner changes in response to chronic stress, and fear rather then suppressing symptoms itself.

[quote]cstratton2 wrote:

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]cstratton2 wrote:
Again just so you guys are aware panic attacks aren’t a chemical imbalance you need to treat with high doses of drugs, it’s strictly behavioral even in the most extreme forms like I had. It can take a while for a nervous system to become de sensitized again, however I just want to point out nothing is more effective then CBT for panic attacks and anxiety. If you do not perpetuate it and have a fear of it then it nips the whole thing in the bud. You may still get episodes for a few months after here and there but you just ride it out without fear, eventually everything normalizes again. So long as you have a radical one hundred percent acceptance of it, do not avoid or push any of the feelings away, or create any avoidance patterns. [/quote]

This is terrible information. Holy crap.[/quote]

I am not putting the hard science behind it or being overtly complex, however every anxiety specialist based psychologist, or psychiatrists recognize the same things. The chemical imbalance theory has long been dis proven given much more recent studies proving it’s ineffective and fallacy of logic in pure design.

Yes, there are physiological effects and changes from anxiety and panic attacks, however this does not serve as the root of the challenge and does not facilitate recovery. I have talked to over hundreds of people in direct experience and when people apply the right tools, and have the right attitude not a single one of them had remaining issues.

There are certain things that can trigger a sensitized nervous system, stress being the biggest cause, but also conditions even of the blood like pyroluria, infectious disease, hyperthyroidism deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals, hormonal imbalance, PTSD, unresolved conflict, etc… This could all serve as a catalyst to chronic anxiety so sometimes it is important to rule those things out.

In these cases of course one needs to treat underlying issues, however as a base of generalized anxiety or panic there is no science that proves actual changes in neurotransmitter levels that are the cause for generalized anxiety disorder, and panic attacks, and yet all the evidence to disprove it.

In my experience the best advice people can get that offer a full and lasting recovery is from others who went through it themselves. If you never experience it yourself you cannot offer as much as someone who has been there themselves. I am also not turning ignorant to other potential triggers of the physiological effects of anxiety either, yes definitely look into those things if suspected, however for a full and lasting recovery a much deeper constitution needs to be formed then medication can offer. A lasting recovery is dependent on inner changes in response to chronic stress, and fear rather then suppressing symptoms itself. [/quote]

You’re right, I was to harsh. I apologize.

[quote]pat wrote:

You’re right, I was to harsh. I apologize.[/quote]

Oh no problem Pat, I just wanted to offer what I could!

[quote]pat wrote:
Okay, I am going strictly based on what you said, so take it with a grain of salt AND talk to a professional ultimately. This is a muscle head forum.
[/quote]

Okay, Pat - you and I have butted heads in the past, but I do want to tell you that this is a correct, concise and well thought out resonse - and I appreciate it.

I do not have the affliction, but my Wife, kids and wifes family have it to some degree or another, and it is interesting for me to watch and help them through it.

they have not accepted that it is a problem, but deal with the affliction from day to day.

this is interesting in that it is psychological, chemical, and hereditary - I think.

again, good post ~

[quote]Edgy wrote:

[quote]pat wrote:
Okay, I am going strictly based on what you said, so take it with a grain of salt AND talk to a professional ultimately. This is a muscle head forum.
[/quote]

Okay, Pat - you and I have butted heads in the past, but I do want to tell you that this is a correct, concise and well thought out resonse - and I appreciate it.

I do not have the affliction, but my Wife, kids and wifes family have it to some degree or another, and it is interesting for me to watch and help them through it.

they have not accepted that it is a problem, but deal with the affliction from day to day.

this is interesting in that it is psychological, chemical, and hereditary - I think.

again, good post ~
[/quote]

Thanks Edgy. I hope it helps somebody if not the OP. I think psychological problems are highly underrated in there scope and affect. What a lot of folks don’t realize when they have a ‘It’s all in your head’ mentality is that the brain is a part of the body and it can get sick like the rest. And it can be minor or major. Also, people don’t realize that environment affects the physiology. What you experience actually changes your brain physically. It’s why problems can continue long after a stressor has past. These issues people bring up are no joke, they are having a profound impact on their lives. So I try to take them seriously and give them their just due.

I wish the best for your family who are suffering. I know it’s a struggle for them and resources are typically poor, but getting better.
Really, I hope to see neurology, psychiatry and psychology break down silos and work together more. It’s important work as more and more people seem to suffer these afflictions… And if not more then more people are realizing they are suffering from something and not just knocking it back with alcohol.