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Panic/Anxiety attacks


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Yesterday out of the blue I felt my right hand getting numb and for some reason even though I've had hands go to sleep before it really started freaking me out. I thought of everything from high blood pressure, poor circulation, stroke to an aneurysm. My heart started beating really fast so I tried to take a nap and sleep it off.

 

After about an hour the dead arm improved though still a little twingey but my heart was still going like a moped. I watched some TV and went back to bed for the night after taking some link removed. When I woke up this morning I was feeling a little better but with my heart still noticibly beating but not as bad as before. I also have this tightness in my chest and get a little dizzy when I stand up. To all intents and purposes except for my sleepy arm I constantly feel anxious like I'm about to sit an interview or something.

 

I'm unemployed at the moment and have the bank, through a solicitor, chasing me for money owed but that's not a recent thing. I've always been very highly strung. My mother was always averly cautious and according to her everything was a potential death trap is it possible that in later life this is started to result in personal anxiety attacks and if so what can I do about it?

 

As an added point in tne past two years I've developed an axiety of closed spaces, flying and crowds of people. Things that never bothered me before. It seems that every few months it's something new.

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You probably need to see someone (perhaps a Cognitive Behavioural Therpaist) BUT - a little knowledge can be really helpful in handling these attacks.

 

What helped me (and I never get them now) was learning why they happen. When you are anxious, you tend to breathe less efficiently, and not get the right ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide in your blood. (If this is the case, you will probably find that you have a few episodes a day where you have to gasp for air a few times before your lungs feel full). This IS NOT HARMFUL.

 

One side effect of having those levels go haywire is that you get the tingling in your hands and feet. DO NOT PANIC! This is not going to kill you, it's a sign that your breathing isn't very efficient.

 

Something you can do is a breathing exercise which really helps (I could explain it but you would be better to google HYPERVENTILATION).

 

And another thing which really helped me was 'observing' - as soon as you start feeling panicky, take a mental step back and say to yourself out loud, "I'm starting to have a panic attack again! How interesting!" This distances you just enough to begin to break the cycle.

 

But do get help, and if you need debt counselling or support over money worries, don't feel you can't ask.

 

Hugs - you can get through this, you are NOT your mother and you don't therefore have to live out HER anxieties in life - get help!

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@onthewire I have let my routine slide in the last few weeks so I hope to get more active, I agree with that point.

 

Fathom I'm not at the moment but I will. The crux of my probem is actually depression; I've ignored it for years as unfortunately I'm a stick your head in the sand kind of guy, and now it feels like my body has said enough is enough. Going to see my regular GP tomorrow to nip it in the bud. Went to the Sunday GP and he told me it was a classic case of panic attack. Thank you Speranza, OntheWire and FathomFear for your support. Guys it was a terrible experience I imagined I was having everything from a stroke to a heart attack.

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