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Caffine "OD" and anxiety.
calisonic posted:
Nine days ago (6/28/2010) I had a very sudden panic attack (very rapid heart rate, chills, huge adrenalin rush, palpatations, prety much though I was going to die) induced by too much caffeine intake (about 700 - 800 mg a day for a few months in the form of strong coffee at work till about 2pm and a 200mg caffeine tablet every morning),
While this is'nt a nessisarily a huge amount of caffeine, it turns out my father had a similar reaction when he was younger and a cardiologist simply told him to stay away from caffeine for the most part, and he's been fine ever since. So I believe it's something like a genetic, moderate intolerance to the substance.
The ER did blood test EKG and chest xray To see if I had an enlarged heart etc but said I looked fine. At the moment I hadnt been thinking about the caffeine and didn't think to mention it to them, but a follow up with my primary care daoctor said that's what it was.
I've since quit my caffeine intake altogether, as well as my smoking (2-4 full flavor ciggarettes a day).
The problem is even though I know that all of this was induced by the caffeine and that there is no reason to think I should have another panic episode, I can't get it out of my head that I will at any moment and am pretty much constantly paranoid that I will, Every time get a feeling (cold, hot, hungry, tired normal anxiety like hitting a red light, or just a random muscle twitch) the first thing that pops into my head is the memory of that fear I felt during the attack.
So what Im asking is could anyone who's been through somthing simular to this give me some tips? I am exercising more and that certainly does help. but the withdraw symptoms from both smoking and caffeine are all manifesting as fear of another pending attack.
Thanks in advance.
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
I can understand about the withdrawal from both the caffeine and the cigarettes. Since you've identified a family relationship regarding and in tolerance to caffeine, that's all to your good. The fact that you are exercising is also a great idea because we know that this has very real positive effects on certain brain chemicals that manage anxiety and depression.

One thing that panic attacks do is that he leave you with the fear of having another attack and this thinking predisposes you to being prone to another attack. The thing to do, therefore, is to help yourself by being proactive when ever you get the slightest inclination that you may be going to have a panic attack. One thing you might try is relaxation breathing. I've uploaded a video instructing you how to do this and you'll find it in the Tips column on the right-hand side of this page. You can download it keep it, on your computer and quickly learned to use it within a few minutes.

There's really nothing special to learn because it's based simply on breathing and thinking about different parts of your body. You can do it anywhere you want, at any time and it will help you calm down rather quickly. The thing to do, however, is not to wait until the panic begins to affect you. In fact panic is very much like pain which has to be managed quickly before it takes hold.

I hope you feel better very soon
calisonic replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
Thank you! This certainly does help. And for anyone else experiencing similar symptoms please see

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