Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 135647

Shown: posts 1 to 14 of 14. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers

Posted by mikal on January 13, 2003, at 8:48:29

Hello everybody,

I'm only on my 4th day of Lexapro, and getting used to the side affects. But what I'm really looking for is feed back from others who are suffering from PA's. Has Lexapro helped, how has it helped? What can I expect? I'm soooo very tired of running these thoughts of Heart Attacks over and over like a broken record. They come from out of nowhere.
What really ticks me off is how this all works. I get one or two panic attacks near bed time, and now my thinking establishes an idea to expect a panic attack at bed time, and now I feel as though what may have been just bad timing is now created out of the fear that I will always struggle at this time of day.
I'm so very tired of running these fatalistic thoughts through my head. Why do I do this? Why can I not accept what a doctor says? Why as I find out that my heart is "Normal" do I move on to thinking that I'm going to have a stroke. Who thinks about these things? All the time!
I work out, I'm relatively healthy, I don't drink, I don't smoke... but I'm (in my brain) riddled with disease.

searching for answers,

michael

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers

Posted by Bill L on January 13, 2003, at 9:47:03

In reply to Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers, posted by mikal on January 13, 2003, at 8:48:29

I think that Lexapro may help alleviate your panic attacks. You should have a good idea after being on it for a few weeks.

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers mikal

Posted by ZeeZee on January 13, 2003, at 10:14:51

In reply to Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers, posted by mikal on January 13, 2003, at 8:48:29

Hi Michael,
Please be assured that I and many, many, more on this board can relate to your problem of panic disorder. I do the same thing, I have one anxious, sleepless night and then wham, it becomes a "new thing" - I can't sleep and am fearful. My fear is going insane, not haveing a heart attack, but that doesn't matter - it's just the nature of this disorder.
I want to recommend some books to you that might help make sense out of some of this.
Please read Claire Weeks "More Help for your Nerves" and Bronwyn Fox's "Working Through Panic"".
You need something to help you break this cycle until the Lexapro begins to work. Both reading and CBT plus a benzo should prove helpful. I'm still searching for the right medication and use my books and benzo's in the meantime.
Good luck to you and keep us posted on your progress.

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers

Posted by mikal on January 13, 2003, at 10:26:05

In reply to Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers, posted by mikal on January 13, 2003, at 8:48:29

Thanks for the suggestions. This is all very new to me, as this is the first time I've faced my Panic Disorder (w/o the use of alcohol... another treatment program all together... but a good one.)
I didn't know that I was depressed until I sobered up. Then I came to the realization that Alcoholism isn't the only suffering, I think I may have done much of my drinking to cover up the Anxiety that I was experienceing. I suppose I should count my blessings that I'm still here to talk about it. Alcohol and derpression are a great cocktail for early departure from living.

Well I keep the highest spirits I can, I know I'm working towards something rather than running from it. (Still doesn't change the fact that it sucks.) But nonetheless gratitude can be a life-saver.

mc

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers

Posted by ivy on January 13, 2003, at 12:34:45

In reply to Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers, posted by mikal on January 13, 2003, at 8:48:29

i've been on lexipro for 2 months and it has really relaxed me. i don't think you'll have any problem going to sleep in about a month, you will want to sleep for about 12 hours a day, or more. that is the only problem i've been having with it. before i went on it i exercised everyday and never watched tv, but now i am so tired after work that i couldn't imagine lifting a weight or doing a squat, i just want to lay on the couch. hopefully this won't be so bad for you i'm also on klonopin so that could also be making me sleepy.

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers ZeeZee

Posted by Ritch on January 13, 2003, at 13:29:58

In reply to Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers mikal, posted by ZeeZee on January 13, 2003, at 10:14:51

> Hi Michael,
> Please be assured that I and many, many, more on this board can relate to your problem of panic disorder. I do the same thing, I have one anxious, sleepless night and then wham, it becomes a "new thing" - I can't sleep and am fearful. My fear is going insane, not haveing a heart attack, but that doesn't matter - it's just the nature of this disorder.
> I want to recommend some books to you that might help make sense out of some of this.
> Please read Claire Weeks "More Help for your Nerves" and Bronwyn Fox's "Working Through Panic".
> You need something to help you break this cycle until the Lexapro begins to work. Both reading and CBT plus a benzo should prove helpful. I'm still searching for the right medication and use my books and benzo's in the meantime.
> Good luck to you and keep us posted on your progress.

ZeeZee, I have heard of some folks that have panic disorder who carry little cards with them which have basic CBT-like statements on them that help chill them out before the panic anxiety escalates out of control. Do you know where you can obtain those (to print, i.e.) or what sort of statements they say? There have been a couple of times over the years where I have been away from my meds (and was withdrawing from them), because of a icestorm (stuck at someone else's house for a couple of days, ie.), and started getting freaked out and had to "talk myself down" to prevent the panic waves from building. It would be cool to have some highly refined short statements.

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers Ritch

Posted by ZeeZee on January 13, 2003, at 13:49:02

In reply to Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers ZeeZee, posted by Ritch on January 13, 2003, at 13:29:58

The books I mentioned have statements in them that I find helpful but I have found that writing notes to myself is more effective. Anything you can say to yourself (in writing) that challenges the irrational escalation of fear is helpful.
I always remind myself that I've been through this a trillion times before and that nothing bad has ever happened (didn't die, go crazy, have a heart attack etc) as one of the statements. However, I can't rely on this alone and wish I could! I hope someday I'll get to the point where I can just "talk to myself" and relieve the anxety/panic but I'm not there yet.
Good Luck

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers

Posted by Rainee on January 13, 2003, at 19:21:36

In reply to Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers Ritch, posted by ZeeZee on January 13, 2003, at 13:49:02

I have suffered from Panic fo many years. The books mentioned are great. I am currently on lexapro and it has started to kick in and today has been a very peaceful day. Prior to this I was on prozac for 7 years and it helped too but lost it's effectiveness over the years. I cleaned my system out for 4 months and now am back on meds.
I might be having a fresh start.. I hope!

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers mikal

Posted by worrier on January 13, 2003, at 19:30:11

In reply to Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers, posted by mikal on January 13, 2003, at 8:48:29

> Hello everybody,
>
> I'm only on my 4th day of Lexapro, and getting used to the side affects. But what I'm really looking for is feed back from others who are suffering from PA's. Has Lexapro helped, how has it helped? What can I expect? I'm soooo very tired of running these thoughts of Heart Attacks over and over like a broken record. They come from out of nowhere.
> What really ticks me off is how this all works. I get one or two panic attacks near bed time, and now my thinking establishes an idea to expect a panic attack at bed time, and now I feel as though what may have been just bad timing is now created out of the fear that I will always struggle at this time of day.
> I'm so very tired of running these fatalistic thoughts through my head. Why do I do this? Why can I not accept what a doctor says? Why as I find out that my heart is "Normal" do I move on to thinking that I'm going to have a stroke. Who thinks about these things? All the time!
> I work out, I'm relatively healthy, I don't drink, I don't smoke... but I'm (in my brain) riddled with disease.
>
> searching for answers,
>
> michael

Hey Michael, can't speak to the lexapro thing ,as I have had horrible problems with most antidepressants, so don't really want to try anything new. Hope it works for you. Did just want to say,like so many others already have, that you are definitely not alone. My panic attacks almost always happen when I go to bed, or am just sitting watching tv or doing some other "relaxing" thing. I have had a stress echocardiogram, worn a holter moniter for 48 hours, had my hormone and thyroid levels checked, you name it. But I still can't shake the thought that "this time it really is my heart" or an adrenal tumor or whatever. That leads to the thoughts that really escalate the panic...."what if this time I only think it's a panic attack and by the time I realize it's not, it will be too late and I'll end up dead". It's and endless feedback loop. Xanax has really helped to both prevent the panic and will stop it very quickly if it takes hold. Still, I spend way to much time checking my heart rate and bp. Hard to break old habits. Good luck to you. Worrier.

 

Thanks for that... ZeeZee

Posted by Ritch on January 13, 2003, at 23:45:21

In reply to Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers Ritch, posted by ZeeZee on January 13, 2003, at 13:49:02

...Anything you can say to yourself (in writing) that challenges the irrational escalation of fear is helpful...

That is interesting because you SEE the written words in front of you instead of trying to rely on countering the negative thoughts with different *thoughts*. I suppose the "card thing" I am talking about could be like a "mantra" of sorts that could be easy to memorize and be effective as well. Thanks.

 

Re: Thanks for that... Ritch

Posted by ZeeZee on January 14, 2003, at 8:55:10

In reply to Thanks for that... ZeeZee, posted by Ritch on January 13, 2003, at 23:45:21

>I suppose the "card thing" I am talking about could be like a "mantra" of sorts that could be easy to memorize and be effective as well. Thanks.

Yes, a mantra with meditation techniques is recommended as well. Taped or written thoughts in addition, anything you don't have to come up with at "the time" because your anxiety will over ride it. This is the basis of the CBT programs I've been in and I hoped that by practicing all of the above plus the rational self talk and exposure therapy that I would recover. However it doesn't seem to matter how many times I do the program or read the books or practice the meditation I make no progress.
The past postive effect of he MAOI's still haunt me. Knowing that one pill could do what all the practicing in the world could not, leaves me searching for another medicine like that.

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answer

Posted by Olivia on July 28, 2003, at 12:04:04

In reply to Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers, posted by mikal on January 13, 2003, at 8:48:29

Mikal:
I see that you started using Lexapro in January. My doctor has recommended the same for me. I would like to know if it seems to have helped you. Also, how long did it take for you to work through the side effects. I took one 20 mg and was unable to function for a full 24 hrs., not to mention the nausea and headache. I wouldn't take any more of them, but I might try again, since nothing else seems very promising. My doctors had me on benzos for 10 years and now I am going through detox to withdraw from them. They worked well, but I never should have been left on them for so long. Please use these with great caution. I hope you are doing well.

Olivia

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers

Posted by Kim B. on January 16, 2004, at 9:53:04

In reply to Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers, posted by Rainee on January 13, 2003, at 19:21:36

Hi Everyone,

I have reading many posts from here for the last 5 weeks since I started on Lexapro for depression and panic attacks. I have been amazed at the wonderful words people write back. It has truly helped me get through all of the s/e's. I do have a question though that I was wondering if anyone out there can answer for me. When exactly does the Lexapro start to help lessen the anxiety/panic attacks. I have been on Lexapro, like I said, for 5 weeks and last night I had a horrible panic attack at midnight. It was the worse I've experienced in a year. Why at night and why isn't the Lexapro helping me? Can anyone help?

 

Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers

Posted by KathrynLex on January 16, 2004, at 13:08:08

In reply to Re: Panic Attacks / Lexapro / searching for answers, posted by Kim B. on January 16, 2004, at 9:53:04

Hi Kim,

I'm sorry to hear you had a bad panic attack, those can be so awful.

I'm at the end of week 4 of 10 mg Lex and noticed a huge improvement in my anxiety at the start of week 3. I have woken up in the middle of the night close to panic a couple of times, but have not had a serious attack since starting Lex.

A lot of people on the board have reported feeling anxious or panicing at night while on Lex. I'm not sure why it occurs during the night, but it's not unusual so you're not alone on this one.

I would urge you to call your pdoc. He/She might want to increase your dose or add something to your drug "cocktail" to help prevent your panic attacks.

I hope this is helpful. As I said before, I know panic attacks can be horrible and I don't think anybody should have to go through something so awful. Please call your pdoc and let us know how you're doing.

K.


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