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Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety & Panic Disorders’

Only a few have witnessed my panic attacks accompanied by tics. I try to stay home as much as possible when under increased stress or there is a change in normal routine to minimize anxiety. Tic disorders are not psychological, but neurological and not considered mental illnesses, but occur simultaneously with my Panic Attacks. Tics manifest as motor, vocal, and mental repetitions. Agoraphobia is fear of places and situations difficult to escape from with limited control,triggering my panic attacks.

I can definitely hide bipolar from you if all is calm, but not a chance when the panic attacks begin and I have nowhere to hide

Triggers-Panic Attacks with Agoraphobia:

  • Being far away from home
  • Going anywhere without the company of a “safe” person
  • Physical exertion (because of the belief that it could trigger a panic attack)
  • Going to places where escape is not readily available (e.g. restaurants, theaters, stores, public transportation)
  • Driving
  • Places where it would be embarrassing to have a panic attack, such as a social gathering
  • Eating or drinking anything that could possibly provoke panic (such as alcohol, caffeine, or certain foods or medications)

Agoraphobia patients can experience sudden panic attacks when traveling to places where they fear they are out of control, help would be difficult to obtain, or they could be embarrassed. During a panic attack, epinephrine is released in large amounts, triggering the body’s natural fight-or-flight response. A panic attack typically has an abrupt onset, building to maximum intensity within 10 to 15 minutes, and rarely lasts longer than 30 minutes. Symptoms of a panic attack include palpitations, a rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tightness in the throat and shortness of breath. Many patients report a fear of dying or of losing control of emotions and/or behavior.

I do not have the skills to stop an attack from getting worse when it starts and sometimes they lasts for hours. The tics are what makes it difficult to mask while in public. Everything I do is repeated for a long time and I am guessing this is a coping mechanism to calm down. Vocal tics-barely audible muttering, repeating words, portion of words, and phrases. Motor tics- shrugging, squinting, twitching, eye blinking, arm flailing, grimacing, and tongue rolling. Mental tic-echo is when I repeat something someone else said. When all of this is happening I CANNOT STAND BEING IN MY OWN SKIN. It is disabling because the weakness in my legs prevent me from walking steady.

As the years go by without successful treatment of the panic attacks and bipolar, everything just gets worse. Medication to treat one problem causes adverse reactions with another or they are highly addictive (bipolar patients tend to have more addictions).

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Postpartum depression or bipolar disorder, here is a good article. After the stillbirth of Tanner we had another baby. Afterwards was not the feeling I was expecting. I was extremely anxious  or panicked and did not want to be home alone with him. Not that I was thinking of hurting him, I just did not know what to do with him. The days were long and I would count the minutes until my husband came home.

I did not tell anyone of these feelings because it would make me look as if I was not in control and have the situation in check. My son slept with me for the first 7 months because crying would put me in a frantic state. The idea of bringing him out in public (with just me) was out of the question. What if he would cry, then what? It was only when he turned 5 that I was somewhat as ease with being alone with him. He now had some independence and his life wasn’t in jeopardy with my care.

Loved ones gave me journals and calendars to keep track of his momentous events like his first step. The idea of documenting this was overwhelming and I do not remember much of his younger years. On top of this I was going through a deep depression, our marriage was suffering and I wanted a divorce and our  new home was being built. We had to live with my in-laws for 3 months during construction and this was not what I needed. The added stress of my son crying and me not knowing what to do while under constant watch by my husband’s parents. I also had landscape projects going on the add to the demands upon me.

Putting the pieces together now. I have been on Lamictal for over a week and notice that I have no energy or the window has narrowed a great deal and I am eating more.

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I am now on Citalopram, the generic form of Celexa and this is helping tremendously. When I first started taking this medication I was quite tired and zombie-like. For some reason that fatigue has subsided and I can multi-task like nobody’s business. Citalopram is the second medication my doctor prescribed, Lexapro being the first. $70 a month or $9 a month, I chose 9 (citalopram).

I am relieved of such intense bouts of anxiety and panic and did not know life could be this way. I am very confident that generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is a condition I’ve had most of my life and now can experience life with a calmer nature.

September is my stillborn son’s angelversary (death date) and this will be the true test of the prescribed medication. I told my doctor that 1 month prior to Tanner’s angelversary and 1 month after I am incredibly tense and not fun to be around. So he scheduled another follow up visit for September to see how I’m doing.

I don’t know if I will be able to describe this to its fullest since these are just feelings where I have no control. There has been a pattern of high anxiety around Tanner’s death date that begins sometime around my birthday, August 23. I have a shorter fuse than usual and I do not get along with my husband and make it very clear to stay away from me.

I don’t know if its because Tanner and my husband share birthday’s or just the fact that we are approaching a bittersweet day, September 28. On the birthday cake it will always read “Happy Birthday Todd and Tanner” and sometimes it ends up being a very melancholy day with a great deal of silence.

I hope Citalopram will alleviate this anxiety and panic so I can enjoy my husband’s birthday and honor my perfect and beautiful stillborn son Tanner.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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My dizziness has subsided and I am able to remember and multi-task again because of Lexapro. I told my doctor that I wasn’t crazy about paying 70 dollars a month (there is no generic substitue) so he prescribed Citalopram. This is about 9 dollars and gentler on the pocket book. He did suggest that it may cause more sedation. I will try it out.

My doctor also suggested cognitive behavior therapy sessions and gave me a list of local resources. Although my physical symptoms of anxiety disorder have subsided I still feel rather panicky. This has been my normal for a very long time and I am guessing therapy may be healing for me.

When I was pregnant with my son Tanner, who was stillborn, I had no fear and felt very calm. 5 months prior to his death my first cousin and wife gave birth to their first daughter who was also stillborn. I truly did not think Tanner would be born still because we already had an angel born in the extended family. There was another tramatic event with my other cousin’s baby and I thought it was my turn, but not to have another angel. I expressed to my husband that Tanner may have Downs Syndrome and I was mentally preparing for that. This is a symptom of anxiety disorder, to be thinking the worst without even having the hard facts.

When I hear a goat yelling in our pasture I immediately think the worst. Are they stuck in the fence, are they being attacked by vultures, or have broken their leg. My heart starts beating rapidly and the sweat drips from my hands as I run to help them.

I have always told my husband that I will die first of cancer. He thinks I am nuts as well as the rest of the family. So I am striving to get life in some kind of order for him before I go.

I want to have a bit more mental peace at some point in my life.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana www.justacloudaway.com

 

 

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