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Panic attack "out of the blue"while on medication
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Miika posted:
Ten years ago, after suffering for over 35 yrs.with panic, persistent anxiety, and many phobias, my physician finally got me to agree to try medication.. Within two weeks of trying medication, my life changed dramatically. My question is, why would I still have occasionally have breakthroughs of panic? Today, during a message, my heart rate began to elevate and went into a tailspin of panic. Does this happen to anyone else?
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Miika responded:
So sorry for all the grammatical errors! My husband was distracting me!
 
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ZomgCDG responded:
Miika,

This is actually fairly common, at least in my experience. I've been on Paroxetine 20mg, which helps control my attacks for the most part, but my doctors also prescribed Alprazolam .25mg to relieve the occasional anxiety outbreak. If you don't mind me asking, what medications/doses are you on right now? It might help to talk to your doctor about either a mild benzodiazepine to relieve the occasional attack, or upping the dose of the medication you use to control it now.
 
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Medication can be very helpful for a variety of disorders, but the body doesn't always remain responsive and there is what psychiatrists call a "poop out" effect.

It may be time to discuss with your prescriber what has been happening so that the two of you can work on a resolution. In the meantime, you might also want to use some self-help techniques and I would suggest that you consider watching our relaxation breathing video tutorial in our Tips column here.
 
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WillT responded:
Miika,

Welcome to the party! I've suffered chronic depression/anxiety/panic since surviving a brain aneurysm clipping procedure 21 years ago. I've had benefit of one of the country's top shrinks who specializes in brain injury, and who knows his meds inside-out. Here's the way it is for me now (and will likely worsen with aging, says my doc):

1)depression: incurable. I'm unresponsive to every single anti-depressant on the market.

2)anxiety/panic: _fairly well controlled_ with 3 X1 Mg. daily dose of clonazepam. I get about 95% relief from this benzodiazepine. But that miserable 5% represents days/incidents that for unclear reasons just seem to stab me with panic and anxiety. I used to be able to predict almost exactly when I'd get an attack: around 6:00 p.m. when the better half is due home from work and I'm supposed to have a delightful dinner going (I can't cook worth a damn!); when expecting any important phone call; when watching violent TV shows or movies. But in the last 5 years or so it's become totally unpredictable. Lately I've been waking up around 3:a.m in panic! I don't understand why. My doc says this kind of unpredictable occurrence of panic/anxiety is just part of aging. The brain starts to go nutty, you know?
What fun!
Good luck to you.


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