• Panic attacks, here we go again

    Asked by AmyJo on Thursday, September 25, 2014

    Panic attacks, here we go again

    I posted awhile back about panic attacks. They've gotten severely worse. I called my doctor and he put me on Ativan 3 times a day and during a panic attack once an hour until it's gone. I have never had such terrible attacks like this before. I had one the other night that lasted 4 hours, I finally was able to fall asleep, and when I woke up I still had it. I's been coming and going all week. It started Sunday evening and is still there today. Does anyone else get them this bad? If so, how do you treat them?

    25 Answers from the Community

    25 answers
    • amontoya's Avatar
      amontoya

      I used to get them when I was married to my EX husband. He caused me so much grief. I ran and ran and ran. I was in excellent shape back then! Every time he annoyed me or I started to become overwhelmed, I put my running shoes on. I've found exercise is the best way to clear your mind. I realize you may not be able to run like I did but is there something you can do? Take a walk? Get out of the house even if it's in the middle of the night? Can you call someone and talk it through? Are you in therapy? Can you talk to your therapist? I know it's awful, hang in there.

      over 6 years ago
    • AmyJo's Avatar
      AmyJo

      I'm not able physically to just go.
      My daughter is usually pretty good at talking me down, but she's 18 and isn't always home.
      My sister is also good, but she works.
      I've tried to meditate, but when I'm in the panic mode, I can't concentrate on anything. I just want it to stop!!!

      over 6 years ago
    • amontoya's Avatar
      amontoya

      I know you do and I wish there was something I could say or do to make it better for you. Thinking of you AmyJo...

      over 6 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Oh, AmyJo! I wish I had some suggestions for you ... it makes me so sad that you are fighting these attacks. I never have had a panic attack, I don't think, but is it at all possible that you could lose yourself in a good book since exercise is pretty much out of the picture? Do you like to cook? Could you get your mind to concentrate on following a recipe? Sorry if these ideas are ridiculous ... I am thinking out loud without benefit (thankfully) of knowing what I am even trying to help with.

      Is it too trite to try to concentrate on things you love and reasons you feel blessed? Obviously, all of my ideas are to try to get your mind onto something else...

      Big, big hugs and fervent prayers, sweet lady. I hate to see you suffer.

      over 6 years ago
    • myronbob's Avatar
      myronbob

      hi AMYJOE ,I suffered panic after I quit drinking [20 years ago ]. they put me on anti-depressant Zoloft which unfortunately takes 3-4weeks to kick in . since cancer anxiety has risen sky high .have first post liver resection scan oct 9th . have you tried anti-depressants ? they also suggest meditation . what did help was sitting still and taking deep breaths . hopefully it panic will run course and lighten up . good luck bob.

      over 6 years ago
    • ritafaystageIV's Avatar
      ritafaystageIV

      I get them also. I was given ativan then switched to clonepin. It really helps. I rarely take them now, but when I do get them I never have to take more than one. I am also on an antidepressant. I hope you get some relief. Prayers

      over 6 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Are you seeing a Psychiatrist for this?
      Regular Docs are ok but not good with this stuff and doses etc.
      Barry

      over 6 years ago
    • TXHills' Avatar
      TXHills

      There is a breathing technique called "four square", which might help you. When you first feel anxiety building, try it and see if you can short-circuit the cycle. It's very simple and takes only one minute. Breathe in to the count of four, (about four seconds), then hold that breath for four seconds. Let it out for four seconds, then wait for four seconds before the next breath. Repeat a couple of times. You can do four of these breaths in one minute. Slowing your breathing sends a signal to your body to relax. It's free, safe and easy to do as often as you need. I also recommend some guided meditation. On YouTube, The Honest Guys have a lovely channel of them, many of which are geared to lower anxiety. Best to you.

      over 6 years ago
    • CrazyHarry's Avatar
      CrazyHarry

      Have you tried lorezepam? Also magical baked goods really helped. Or smoking it would be ok. I'm just not a smoker.

      Best results for me was a combo of lorezepam, pain meds and some magical bake goods.

      over 6 years ago
    • AmyJo's Avatar
      AmyJo

      Thanks everyone.
      I've been on Lexapro for years, I take Xanax, Ativan (which is lorezepam). Since I first posted this all I've done is sleep. The panic attack starts, I take Ativan, sleep, wake up and start all over again. I think I'm going to try taking 1/2 of the Ativan.

      TXHills, I tried that while I was reading your post, but I had a really hard time doing it. I'm on oxygen and couldn't hold my breath that long.

      This sort of thing just comes on. No worries, no stress..... BAMM! Here ya go! You've won the grand prize of a week long Panic Attack!!!

      over 6 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      (((Hugs))) I hope you find a solution.

      over 6 years ago
    • TXHills' Avatar
      TXHills

      If you can slow down your breathing pattern at all, it may help. Have you had your oxygen level checked? Maybe you are low on oxygen and that's triggering these attacks. If it lasts a week, there is likely a physical basis, so I would let the doctor know.

      over 6 years ago
    • AmyJo's Avatar
      AmyJo

      I did ask about the oxygen when I first called and they gave me the script for Ativan. I think I will, however, keep trying that counted breathing. Perhaps I can master it. Anything to help!
      I've had panic attacks before but have been able to get them under control in a reasonable amount of time. This one is just holding on and not letting go. Making me think I'm crazy.
      Thanks again everyone!!!!!

      over 6 years ago
    • gonewest's Avatar
      gonewest

      Amy Jo what is it you are actually experiencing? Please check the side effects on Ativan. Could you be having paradoxical reactions? Search fda ativan. Download fda info. Scroll down to "paradoxical reactions".

      over 6 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      Good point about it possibly being a side effect. I had one night where my heart was racing for more than 4 hours, I estimate at 126 bpm. I felt perfectly calm, just a little annoyed because I wanted to sleep. It turned out to be a side effect of the steroid. When they halved my dose another, persistent "mystery" side effect vanished, too.

      over 6 years ago
    • Keith59's Avatar
      Keith59

      Anti anxiety meds in combo with cognitive behavioral therapy is the best solution for panic attacks.

      over 6 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Have you ever tried a big glass of Vodka or Scotch ?
      Just a thought. ALSO if you get it at night have you tried Ambien in high doses to keep you asleep?
      BTW.....I thought everybody with cancer got panic attacks....lol

      over 6 years ago
    • Robza's Avatar
      Robza

      AmyJo, My daughter gets panic attack and takes remeron, it seems to help her. I've also heard that yoga can be beneficial. Personally, I've always found the Serenity Prayer to be quite helpful in settling me down during periods of high anxiety. You're an amazing woman

      over 6 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      I have a friend who went on disability due to panic attacks. Her doctor won't give her much anti-anxiety medicine. But, she's seeing a psychiatrist/counselor to discuss her issues. I think she's doing better than when she first went on disability. She didn't have cancer, though. I'm sure that is a part of the problem. But, maybe you should see someone more familiar with panic attacks so that you can get the proper treatment, which may involved medication and therapy. Good luck to you. I get them whenever I have to go in the scan machines (claustrophobia).

      over 6 years ago
    • AmyJo's Avatar
      AmyJo

      I've taken Ativan before without any reaction. I used it for nausea on the old chemo.
      My mom seems to think it's because I've always been an active person and since cancer I've gradually slowed down to almost no movement. Does that make any sense to you guys?
      I spoke to my pastor last night and he thinks I'm under attack by satan, gave me some prayers to read.
      Sometimes I get so tired of trying to figure things out

      over 6 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      A Side Effect of Getting Cancer is PANIC and Fright !
      The best antidote is a CURE......
      Outlaw the chemo and they'd find something better in a week.
      As Long as that's what they use and MUCH Money is being made THEY have NO Financial incentive to look for something better. AND OF COURSE it has to be able to be patented. I'd love to write a Novel about a guy who found something that grew in his back yard and if it was ground up and putt through a coffee grinder and eaten in apple sauce it cured cancer. He better lay low. You can't patent it? They don't want it. Get rid of Big Pharma and Start some New Ones.....and of course clean up the food supply. Has anybody been to a slaughter house lately or one of these Industrial Farms where the animals live right on top of each other and the cows that we eat are not fed their natural diet, shot up full of Antibiotics and hormones and then ground up with some food die and given to us as hamburgers and hotdogs....UGH.....

      over 6 years ago
    • NanaL's Avatar
      NanaL

      Sending prayers and healing your way. I sure hope things turn around for you very quickly!

      over 6 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      I hate to complicate this further, but a recent study found an association between benzodiazapines (which include Ativan) and Alzheimer's. Caveats: the study subjects had been older people and the association was found in cases where the drugs were taken for more than three months. Also, findings are more pronounced with long-acting drugs (like Valium) than with short-acting drugs (like Ativan).

      http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/benzodiazepine-use-may-raise-risk-alzheimers-disease-201409107397

      over 6 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      I thought that said he thought you were under attack by santa. That would make me anxious.

      I found this from the National Cancer Institute regarding panic attacks and anxiety- http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/adjustment/Patient/page1/AllPages There's a patient version and a professional version with more technical details.

      It seems like your family is helping the most.

      over 6 years ago
    • cjtigers' Avatar
      cjtigers

      I think cancer and anxiety go hand in hand. I never had a problem with it in all my years until my diagnosis. I, too was on ativan, xanax and zoloft. Four years later I'm still on small doses of zoloft and xanax so I can get a good night's sleep. Cancer changes us, makes us feel vulnerable. Please just know you're not alone and this is sadly a normal reaction. A counselor once told me, going through cancer treatment can leave you with a mild type of PTSD. I believe that was true in my case. Take your meds, take deep breaths and this too shall pass. Good luck.

      over 6 years ago

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