As I was diagnosed, I have anxiety and panic disorder. In the last few years all of my symptoms started to fade away, but lately they came back. I am puzzled! Can someone help me with advice? At the beginning of my anxiety disorder I was afraid I had some kind of a life threatening disease and the doctors are unable to diagnose it. Now, that my panic attacks came back, I am afraid again I have some kind of undetected disease. I will describe the evolution of my disorder, and I hope this topic will help others also who are struggling with a similar issue.
I was diagnosed with anxiety 10 years ago, and since then i am on medication. I took Xanax for a few years than i continued with paroxetine and propranolol, the lowest doses available. I also consulted a psychologist for almost 3 years but I did not receive special therapy for panic attacks. (I am in my early 30s, 170cm or 5.5ft tall and 58kg or 127lbs, I dont smoke nor drink alcoholic drinks, nor energy drinks, I dont consume narcotics, and most of the time I am vegetarian. I do not exercise.) I had anxiety problems since childhood, but the first physical symptom appeared only in my teenage years (the same time when I went to another school), and that was an urge to pee when anxious, even 5 minutes after i just peed and had nothing to pee. I was very ashamed by this, and did not tell anyone. This symptom slowly disappeared after I finished school. Another year passed and I moved to another country. I had a car accident, and had concussion. I was released from the hospital after 3 days, and I remember I was very worried about my health and my life also. As time went on, started to regain my positive thinking, my humor and my confidence. After almost one year I started to have a large variety of strange symptoms, like weakness, dizziness, and these were making me anxious. I moved back home because I was not feeling safe. I went to some medical exams and they could not find any related abnormality, except a heart valve prolapse, but the doctor told me not to worry about it, many people have them and they can live with it. Did I mention, one of my first anxiety-related symptom was extra heartbeats? After consulting lots of different doctors, I arrived to a psyhciatrist, and she diagnosed me with anxiety. This is when I was put on medication. I had panic attacks at least once a week. I was too afraid to go for long walks, to travel, and to be in busy places. For a many years I did not notice any healing, but with the help of a psychologist I learned to live along with my disorder. Slowly I learned to fight my fears and started to gain confidence. Finally I could travel for long distances, to go on trips, camps, etc. without having panic attacks. This changed this summer, when I was traveling far away, I suddenly had a brutal panic attack, and since then I am having panic attacks almost every time when I need to travel or have to go to a very important meeting. One of these panic attacks lasted for 4-5 hours.
When having panic attacks I am afraid of having some kind of heart issue, though I was examined by at least 3 different cardiologists and all of them told me, they cant find any serious disorder, and one of the doctors even told me, she cant see any prolapse on the ultrasound. Though she suspects a short PR syndrome, but she is not sure about it yet. Several years ago I gradually stopped taking propranolol to my doctors advice, and after a few months one day while I was working, my blood pressure and heart rate suddenly went up (I don't remember about the blood pressure, but my heart rate I think was 150). This had occurred 2 or 3 times, and were followed by panic attacks. Emergency doc gave me some sedatives and they suspected it was stress-related. From that on, propranolol was put back into my medication.
I found out, many of my symptoms are consistent with candida, and with lyme disease, but when I mentioned this to my doctors, they all excluded this without any examination.
The biggest puzzle in my mind right now is, does my panic attack causes heart-related symptoms, or do I have a heart-problem indeed that triggers panic? Or do I have some brain disease that is slowly evolving? Or perheaps a strange infection?
When anxious i feel pressure in my chest, i have muscle spasms and my shoulder and chest muscles tremble. While having panic attacks, I feel numbness in my chest, both my arms and legs and I feel the need to escape.
I know, a precise diagnose needs much detailed research done by professionals in person, but I would gladly appreciate advice, from professionals on this forum, and from anyone who is suffering from a similar disorder and has experience living along with it.
I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist. As a student paramedic I cant offer much as this isn't my field of expertise. But can say that many panic attacks are brought on by stress or by a significant event.
try to slow your heart rate by taking deep breaths and reassuring yourself. By staying near loved ones this can help provide a feeling of being safe.
well that's all from me.