Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Where Do We Go From Here?

Posted by carrot on September 11, 1999, at 1:18:00

In reply to Re: Where Do We Go From Here?, posted by Dee on September 2, 1999, at 22:45:46

>I also have had panic attacks for years, which have at times left me completely disabled. It's tricky with the meds because everyone's chemistry is so different it's really impossible to tell what may make your husband better or worse. It's trial and error...and it certainly is a `trial' a lot of the time. Klonopin and buspar are excellent meds for panic disorder, and (as others have pointed out), antidepressants in the SSRI category are especially effective with depression and panic attacks.

I found the thing most helpful in my twenty years of panic attacks has been meditation. I live in an area where there are quite a few Buddhist Centers that hold meditation retreats. I basically sat, facing a wall for hours on end letting the panic come, and come, and finally realized that IT WOULD NOT KILL ME. I know it sounds so simple, but it's a profound realization, because in the height of anxiety, we do feel like we are going to die. Learning a technique in which your husband can somehow come to realize that his panic is created by thoughts manifesting themselves as (terrifying) physical symptoms. Therefore, if he learns to quiet his mind (through meditation, praying, deep breathing exercises), his physical symptoms may not be as acute.

Your husband may need meds to get to the point of being able to do any of these exercises. I think there's a lot of stigma re: taking medication to manage anxiety. Many people think that we should just be able to `pull ourselves' together. They don't understand that panic is not just fear, or normal `everyday' anxiety. It is paralyzing. While it is important to `keep an eye out for' medication abuse, sometimes it is necessary to use them in order to be able to benefit from therapy or relaxation techniques.

There are panic attack chat rooms/sites on the net, which may be helpful if you are in a small town where there may not be a lot of resources.

Good luck. I empathize with your husband.


I quite agree with Yardena. If we separate the acquired and innate, we may be dealing with one half of the problem as we should, while the other half drags us down. This is what I think about myself, and I really cannot talk to anyone else: There may well be a chemical imbalance in my brain that I need to take care of. However, that having gone untreated for thirty years has led to a burdensome set of survival tricks and coping skills, that, situation changed, become improper behavior.
> This is why I think that my medical problem is equally a problem of attitudes and behavior. The medicine gives me the break that I so badly need so I can focus on changing my coping tactics so I can improve my life. I am fighting two wars, and the battle has to take place on two frontiers at the same time. I find that this is the only way it may work for me.
> As to Serzone, I have found just recently (after three weeks of taking it) that it is brining my anxiety and depression down. However, after I started taking it (something like days 4-8) I slipped into a severe, edgy, crushing attacks of anxiety. What helped me to get through this, was knowing that others had experienced the same thing, and it will pass. On a night like this I came to this page and just cried out for help... I received lots of support and was able to make it through the thing.
> Just for me, now that I am starting to feel the beneficial effects of Serzone, I think it was paying the price.
> I really feel for you. It is so hard to go through the detoxification and deal with anxiety disorder at the same time. I was self-medicating with crystalmethamphetamine for years, and cutting that left me in the most painful place imaginable. But I made it, and others have, too. I think it is important at this time to have a support group, for sometimes it is the most important thing of all for us o know that we are not alone. When we feel that crushing pain, and we think that there is no other human in the world who could possibly understand what it feels like to have that 'knife hit into your neck and twisted over and over', as I once described it , we need someone to say "Yes, I remember how it felt." I wish it wasn't so, but sometimes things must get worse in order to get better.
> Your husband is very lucky to have someone like you by his side, and a site like this to for pier support.
> I wish you all the best and send lots of love your way
> Dee




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