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Ways of dealing with panic attacks, and advice with the NHS

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've been on here for a while, reading through all the fantastic advice you all give out, so im wondering if you could help me.
I've been dealing with panic attacks on and off for 4 years. they seem to be very tempermental, suddenly disappearing for a matter of months and coming back without any warning!
however recently I've been getting pretty ill and they're just getting worse and worse. I have a major fear of not being in control, being by myself, open spaces and closed spaces. being an 18 year old girl this obviously restricts what i feel comfortable doing, although i constantly push myself outside of my comfort zone to try and overcome these fears.
I think a lot of it stems from having glandular fever and not leaving the hosue for about a month. the first time i stepped outside i totally freaked out and couldnt deal with it. since then every time i feel uncomfortable or do something different the feelings of panic wash back over me. its making me really consider going to university next year, as i think the change will be too much at once. I have a very good breathing pattern for when I panic, and can usually remove myself from the situation and calm myself down. However if im even slightly tired or ill then its hard work!
As i mentioned earlier I've been pretty ill recently, with numerous trips to the hospital/doctors and an uncountable amount of antibiotics/painkillers. This in itself doesnt help as the more tablets im on the more run down i feel. Aswell as the hospital saying they dont have a clue whats wrong with me, I've had numerous operations with them trying to find out whats wrong. Obviously general anasthetic doesnt help with the not being in control!
So basically what I'm asking is advice for how to keep calm and relaxed, and any ideas people have on sleeping well and keeping on top of things.
I would also like to know if anybody else has issues with the NHS and although I know theres a lot of people going through specialists etc, when they tell me they urgently need to get me on a new course of antibiotics and to see a different type of consultant then wait 30 days to write a referall letter what i can do?
Thanks :)


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I understand about the panic attacks, as i've had them for a quite a few years too, and mine also come and go- some years they are terrible, and i've been to a&e in different places more times than i'd have liked (hazards of crowded tubes, and panicking, and getting of at the nearest station lol) but some years, i have none!

    My best trick, is to try and talk to myself quietly, tell myself not to panic, and calllllmmmm down, or.. if that fails, get someone to count breathes with me(as usually my mind is so all over the place by that stage, i can't do a lot to calm myself down)

    I haven't really found a foolproof method yet :/ umm.. paper bag is always good if you catch it at the right stage, i usually get taken to hospital cuz my heart rate won't go down (or i'm on public transport by myself)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm exactly the same, although now I'm okay on the tube with others as i can get off pretty regularly if i need to, its the tube stations that are the worry now!
    I find that someone sitting close by so i can grab them if i need to, but for them to just talk about something completley random, just to take my mind off of it, along with concentrating on my breathing.
    Do you get palplitaions aswell?
    I got sent to the cardiologist as sometimes i would get them for no reason and that would then lead to a panic attack. I've found a&e aren't very sympathetic though.
    I guess for some people its just a fact of life and something that takes time to deal with, as it seems pretty impossible to have under control!
    It's nice to know it affects other people too, none of my friends/family understand very well and its usually a get over it youre fine reaction i get rather than any help!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yeh, the talking to someone does help too, but i guess only if they know what to do... if i see them get even slightly panicky too, it sets me off worse LOL.
    Yeh, i find the physical symptoms are what most of the time set me off... it's really to do with my breathing, if i feel it is slightly compromised, or if i feel sick/dizzy, feel my heart racing, then the panic just starts, it seems to be too late by the time i notice and tell myself to calm down :/
    I'm not sure if they will ever be completely under control, although, the happier i am, the less they happen- i often get them in situations with authority figures too...if i feel i've done 'something wrong' ... but the more confident i am at the time, i get them less.

    My family do understand, but get scared, which makes me more scared lol, but my Aunt suffers from them too, so i reckon they are genetic for the large part also.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mostly, i've been treated well at a&e, but last time i went (on fri) I was taking these strong painkillers for my back (dihydrocodine) and i woke up reallly suddenly in the middle of the night, i felt unable to breathe, wheezy/metallic feeling, dizzy and my throat felt swollen... so i then got anxious, and called an ambulance - when i was seen, the doc said 'so ...why are you here?' i explained, and she said 'oh...i think you had a panic attack, there is no other medical reason for your symptoms'
    I felt sooo bad!! i mean... that was not the experience of panic attacks i've EVER had in the past 10 years of having them! but she said 'well... if YOU think it was the medication...you can stop taking it' - I was thinking 'help me out.. you're the doctor!!'

    Arggg she just made me feel a fraud, like i made it up, or suddenly my panic attacks were coming back/mutating? and now i'm scared it'll happen again :'(:( (I stopped taking the painkiller just in case :/ i can live with the pain rather than have that happen again!

    Any thoughts/advice welcome :/
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    People getting scared really doesnt help!
    in my experience panic attacks when you first wake up in the middle of the night are the worst!
    they make you panic more as you dont know enough about whats going on to calm down!
    Calling an ambulance seemed like the best thing for you to do, especially with your throat feeling swollen, i also hate that doctors seem to leave a lot up to the patient... you dont know if the tablets are doing it or not, they are the one with a medical degree!
    fearing its guna happen again can be one of the worst bits about it sometimes!
    hope you're feeling better now though, more often than not if the doctors/hospital know you have anxiety issues they will pass EVERYTHING off as that...
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,180 Skive's The Limit
    My sister has them but her situation really improved after several sessions with a hypnotherapist. She says it's the most effective thing she did in trying to get over them. She no longer has panic attacks but she still does suffer from time to time with redness on her chest and neck which used to appear when she had the attacks.
    So not a cure but a definate improvement.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Lulu Lupo :wave:

    From reading your thread, it seems you are new to The Site, so welcome. It's great that you have found the community here and have been so open and honest.

    It sound's like the unpredictable nature of your panic attacks is getting you down and that coupled with your on-going illness is making an impact on your life, especially if you are re-considering going to University. Though it also seems that you have some great tools for helping when you have a panic attack. The Site has an information page on panic attacks - you might want to check that out? Also look at the links on the right hand side to the 'related articles' and also the link to 'No Panic' - a charity that also has a helpline that you may want to consider using too?

    If you're not entirely happy with your NHS service then you may want to look at the NHS - PALS website (Patient Advice and Liaison Service), they can sometimes help to resolve issues that you have.

    Take care and do keep posting - :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thanks :) panic attacks are slowly getting there, being ill is actually helping me in a way because its making me spend a lot more time at home by myself!
    my only issue now is that ive been signed off work due to the constant pain from being ill! got a hospital appointment in a months time (supposedly the first 'emergency' appointment they had!)so its going to be a struggle funding my way to college and back!
    luckily i have a very generous boyfriend who has offered to pay for a private consultation, think i shall be taking him up on that!
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