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Panic Attacks!!

seanjo Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi, hope you are all well ;)
I suffer from panic attacks, have done for over a decade, I have been to Dr's, had therapy and have been on Sertraline and Citalopram, none of which have worked. I find my best form of relief is a good slug of rum, it calms me down and relaxes me. It is no way to run a life though, so is there a treatment out there. in the UK, that gives the same effect, but without the liver damage?


  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @seanjo and a warm welcome to the community! I'm sorry your previous treatments haven't worked, this must be very stressful! I hope the community is able to provide support and guidance, however we are not medical professionals and treatment suggestions may be based on personal experiences. Have you been back to your doctor/ GP regarding other treatments?

    I'm tagging @MickConnon who is our mental health advisior :) 

  • EmmaB
    EmmaB Community member Posts: 263 Pioneering
    Hi @seanjo

    It sounds like nothing to date has dealt with the root cause of your panic attacks... self medicating with rum unfortunately won't really sort it either...

    I'm a qualified counsellor and the question that went through my head when I read your post was - when you say you've had therapy what sort of therapy was it eg person centred, CBT, EMDR etc?  Also was there something specific which 'set off' the panic attacks in the first place, you don't have to go into detail but it might be relevant eg car accident, bereavement, losing your job etc.

    It's great you want to do something about them, having that motivation is probably half the battle.

    Best wishes.

  • Kate_Scope
    Kate_Scope Scope Posts: 74 Pioneering
    edited June 2019
    from my personal perspective, I have a diagnosis of OCD and panic disorder, I take conventional medications and have had CBT and all sort of treatment over the last 25 years. 

    I actually read up on the fight, flight, freeze, and once I understood why I had pains in my chest, why I couldn't catch my breath, why I had pins and needles, why my throat felt like there was a lump there. I could manage to talk myself out of the panic, I could rationalize the feelings and what the causes were. It really helped me be able to manage the panic attacks. 

    so the pins and needles in my Hands was from the blood rushing to my larger muscles so I could run faster away from whatever danger there was (cavemen would have had to do this to get away from danger) we basically have the same mechanics now we just don't need them- the reaction is not  needed for small danger- but we cant switch it off
    I went dizzy and had vision problems as our peripheral vision goes so we can see much further ahead and see better. 

    There are videos on youtube about it and it is worth knowing what it causes so you can try and rationalize. 


  • MickConnon
    MickConnon Community member Posts: 56 Courageous
    Hi @seanjo. Welcome to the site. Thanks @Chloe_Scope, for bringing this to my attention. Also a great thanks to @EmmaB and @Kate_Scope for their input into this question.
    I totally ‘get’ why you have turned to alcohol as so many do to self medicate. This is a more common problem that everyone expects as alcohol is freely available and cheap. However, the fact you have recognised that the way forward is not this means you are taking responsibility for your future and not drinking yourself in to a stupor. I mean this in a nice way?.
    I suppose your GP has tried you on various benzo’s which should help short term but are not prescribed long term, or shouldn’t be due to dependency issues. I posted on here a couple of days ago about a medication called Pregabalin which is used more often with Anxiety and has less to no dependency issues and from those who have used it, works really well. Another which is used is Gabapentin but is less common for anxiety. Medication is used but I believe masks the underlying problem which I will come in to now. 
    I’d like to continue the replies you had from @EmmaB and @Kate_Scope who discussed looking at your triggers. By this, certain situations or experiences will bring on a panic attack and getting to recognise these will enable you to have these documented but will be the first step to overcoming these. Am not saying you will be cured overnight, little steps are best and this will take time. Therapy is the best way forward alongside medication for the short term but we are all different. 
    @EmmaB is right in getting to the root of the problem, this will continue and I’m sure after a decade you’d be glad to turn your back on anxiety. Some might say, getting some exercise, cutting down on caffeine, alcohol.... I hear you?. Again we are all different and necessarily what works for some will not work for others. Sleep is a very important aspect in getting yourself on track but am not taking the nursey point of view.
    Sertaline and  Citalopram are used extensively as antidepressants and some are reported to have anxiolytic properties. 
    Could I suggest a visit to your GP, as I believe a referral appointment to see a consultant psychiatrist might be helpful as no offence to GPs, they are that General Practitioners but you do get some good ones out there who specialise in Mental Health. A psychiatrist will be able to see by your history that the anxiety has been largely unmanaged and recommend appropriate therapy as well as some other medication to help you short term. Self help is another option where if we feel up to it, there are guides on Mind and Rethink websites which may help you to at least recognise triggers that bring on the panic attacks. Let me know what you think and keep us posted on here how things are, please? Take care

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