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panic attack again???


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I just had a panic attack about an hour ago. I'm ok now, not anxious, not panicky, but feel a little depleted and despondant.

I haven't had panic attacks in a very long time. I worked very hard with cbt to get over them and I can't understand why I had one again, tonight! It was a pretty servere attack on the scale of terror and confusion. I wonder if there could be a physiological reason behind this, besides my brain chemistry, I mean a trigger or something.

I was feeling calm, I was lying in bed feeling good, reading a book, totally relaxed enjoying reading and then all of the sudden WHAM!!! My whole body felt like I was in a vacum, or sort of like I was frozen, my whole self felt consumed with a feeling of desperation, suffocation, I felt paralyzed instantly, I also felt like I couldn't hear very well or think straight. That was what felt like the first two seconds. Then I thought what is wrong, what is wrong with me, am I dying, is this my death??? while I was still consumed with the feelings of desperation, that was about 2 more seconds. At that point I was totally panicking, I leapt out of bed and ran to my fiance (poor finance) and said something like I'm not sure what's wrong, I'm panicking, I'm panicking. Although, I wasn't totally believing that I was only panicking, I knew that was most likely. He said sit down, I didn't want to, I wanted to pace or something. By that time I noticed that my heart was totally racing, thudding in my chest and my throat was tight. This was actually good because it was evidence to me that I was panicking. Then in about 10-30 seconds later, I knew I had just had a panic attack and the rest was just kind of coming down.

I'm not sure why I'm posting this. I feel fine now, although not quite as well as I felt before the attack, unhappy now. I'm frustrated. I know I got out of it quick enough, I am not going to engage in any panic avoiding behaviors, I am not worried about another attack, so that is all good.

Yet, I am perplexed and distressed. Why did I have another attack!!!??? :mad: :(

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well, I haven't had any more attacks since the last one, 2 days ago. That's good. I went to see the movie Angels and Demons last night and more than once during the movie, I started to worry automatically. I found myself worrying that I was going to have a panic attack about 5 times during the film. I was afraid that the movie was so intense and action packed that somehow it was going to get me all wound up emotionally and trigger a panic attack. Then when I would catch myself worrying I would think, that is probably not going to happen, I want to see this movie, the panic attack comes from my fear and I would try to let my anxious feelings come and go... and i was fine. But this was very hard to do during such an action packed filme.

In cbt, I did some exposure therapies, some kind of hyperventilating exercises that really helped me. Would this work with scary movies? I hate scary movies, I kind of like action and some kinds of paranormal psychothrillers if they are not too scary, but I really don't like the awful horor movies.

The reason I want to try this is I think the book I was reading maybe gave me a panic attack. I got so caught up in this action scene in the book and then 20 second later I had the attack.

Maybe if I rent a bunch of scary movies (or read scary books) and get used to the feeling of being scared, and then if I start to panic or worry, I'll remind myself I'm only feeling anxious because I'm watching a scary movie, this is normal, I'm not dying, I'm having anxiety because this movie is frightening, yada yada yada, but it's not a real threat. So I can feel scared and then let it go. Does that make sense? Would this be helpful?

The other thing that I'm worried that may have caused my attack is low blood pressure. I have always had very low blood pressure and many of my biggest attacks have happened at night when I was lying down or even sleeping, when my blood pressure was very low. Could this be the problem or part of it? Or is this hypochondria?

Does anyone know anything about scary movie exposure or low blood pressure and anxiety?

I really want to be done with anxiety disorders.

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hi exist. Thank you for the reply. Glad to hear about the medication working. I definitley think it's a good thing to feel good about life.

The more I think of it the more I think what happened when I had the panic attack was that I read the action scene, then I got all tense and a little bit of vertigo, I did have the sensation that I was sinking kind of, or stuck, then for some reason, habit of mind I guess, then I misinterpreted my feelings to mean I was dying and hence, panicked.

The thing I still can't figure out is why I misinterpreted my feelings. Having a vertigo isn't a reason to think you are dying, but I did, then I was totallyflooded. I think at the moment I felt vertigo I started to panic, I became flooded with all the panic attack sensations, the fight or flight. It felt instantaneous.

I still haven't had another attack, since. I kind of feel like nothing could give me a panic attack right now because I'm so aware of my habit to panic that I will know what I'm feeling and it won't get that far. But at some point I need to not be aware, I mean to forget about panic or nonpanic altogether. And I'm concerned that when that happens again, a few months, maybe a few years, I will have yet another panic attack.

Perhaps I should just accept that if I have another panic attack, that's totally ok. Of course I don't want an anxiety disorder to interrupt my life and make me unhappy, but if it does (a little) now and again that's just part of who I am, as long as I can get myself back together and not let it rule me. C'est la vie.

I'm very seriously considering going back to the cbt clinic though. I really don't want to because it's a hassle and because I think there are a lot of other people out there who need it more than me and I don't want to take up their time.

It really helps to work out these issues here. I'm glad this site exists. Thank you. :)

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You don't really need to worry about anxiety disorders affecting your life because people get over these and I'm one of them. I had an anxiety disorder all of about two years and I had panics and I had extreme pain in my stomach and a heck of a lot of poo waterfalls. Now the worst that happens to me is if I get anxious I get a little bit of a pain in the stomach.

I remember when I had it though I was so bad that i was afraid of being afraid so in essence I was afraid of fear itself. When you have an attack heres what you should do. Do something completely random and maybe something a little weird that would get you thinking, hey this is stupid why am I doing this. This will distract you because you won't be worrying that much about the panic itself you'll be distracted thinking about something else.

I remember what my dad made me do when I had a panic attack once. We were getting rid of our pool and there is cement running around the edge of it. My dad told me pick up this sledge hammer and start hammering.

This helped a lot because my mind was drifting off to things like hey this is loud will this disturb the neighbors or why on earth am I doing this. Because of this big distraction my panic went away completely.

So what you could tell your fiance is if your having a panic where your confused and can't concentrate you just lose your mind(which I have had) do something to distract me if this happens again. If he asks what tell him, surprise me:)

One more thing, now in the future this will be fine and live in the moment because when I was worrying about my future when going through this, that's what hurt me the most during this part of my life.

remember, you'll be fine, no doubt in my mind.

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Thank you so much ob1. Thank you for the words of encouragement. Its nice to hear that other people have recovered from their anxiety. I do have hope that this will get better.

So far, I haven't had a full blown panic attack like that one I had a couple weeks ago, but I have had two instances of near panic. But I immediately recognized that it was panic and not a real threat and let go of the fear and I'm fine. This has happened twice, it takes a matter of about 3 seconds, at least that's what it feels like.

It was something like I felt my hand was numbish or just felt weird, then I immediately think, "what's wrong with me, what if, what if," I start to feel panic, then before I can follow that thought I recognize that this is anxiety and panic, I am not really in danger, and it's like I pulled the emergency brakes on the panic switch, like my runaway panic has screeched to a halt. There was no residual anxiety or anything. I realized that I had just started to panic, but I'm ok and of course my hand (or whaterver is bothering me) is fine. This has happened twice in the past two weeks.

Anxiety is a strange thing. Sometimes I think it's so normal to have anxiety that I forget that other people don't react this way. Like I feel like sometimes other people should panic or worry more. This isn't directly related to panic attack or an anxiety disorder, but for example, if my fiance smells smoke he might just sit there for a while smelling it and not do anything and I know he's not alone.

I think most people don't heed warning signs. I am not trying to justify my panic, but I would check out the smoke smell and I don't think that's wrong. The point is just not to have a panic attack over it. On the flip side, it also helps to realize that other people don't panic, that there is a totally different way to react to things. It gives me perspective. I can get kind of caught up in my mind and my own feelings, I think it's helpful to know that everyone is different and a lot of people just go about their days not feeling much anxiety, if any.

Now that I write this, I am recognizing that I worry that I'm the one who has to make sure I'm healthy and safe if I don't no one will notice if, say, I have a heart attack or a stroke or if the house burns down! If I'm not aware, vigilant and reactive, then who knows what might happen. I know anxiety and panic is not the answer because these things are out of whack, not constructive and it's usually not a reaction to something that is really dangerous anyway, but rather some imaginary or overblown fear... but still there's a part of me that is afraid to feel too safe. Does that make sense? I worry a little bit, like in the back of my mind, that if I let myself feel too safe then that's when something bad will happen.

Wow, this is a little crazy. I guess this is a little bit of paranoia or hypervigilance. I don't know how to label it. Maybe I'm just a fearful person.

I better stop myself here because I could go on and on analyzing myself and anxiety all day. :)

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Anxiety attacks really do come from over thinking and over anylizing and looking at every little thing that can go wrong. I remember when I was going through this I was so bad I couldn't leave the house because I was thinking okay what would happen if I leave the house? Will I have a panic attack? Will my stomach hut like crazy? Will I ???? and by ????? sometimes I get so anxious I'm thinking ???? and ???? isn't acually a tangible though I'm just starting to freak out more and more and ??? turns in to mass murderer coming from behind. You really need to learn to go with the flow instead of this will go wrong and that will go wrong and what about this and that.

You really need to learn to focus on what happening now and stop focusing and this is what might happen next. If you smell smoke yeah look for fire but just get up search around, oh a smoke, or oh fiance burning his food. Like you said you don't need to freak out you just need to get up check it out sit back down enjoy the rest of the day.

Also instead of thinking what if something wrong will happen, if you have a need to think of what will happen, try thinking up for positive senarios. Stop thinking what if this happens:( and start thinking what if this happens:D go from glass if half empty to glass if half full.

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