Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Anxiety vs Alzheimers
RitaFibro posted:
I'm 62 years old and being treated for Anxiety and Depression.

I'm also being treated for Alopecia Areata, Asthma, Balance Problems (after a fall), Fibromyalgia, Herniated Cervical and Lumbar Discs (from a car accident), GERD, Hiatal Hernia, High Cholesterol, HTN, and Osteoarthritis of the Spine,Hands and Feet.

I read an article in Sunday's newspaper on 5 Early Warning
signs of Alzheimers.

How can I tell if I'm having Panic Attacks or early Alzheimers?

Thanks for your input,
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Keeping up on medical matters is always a good idea, but there are things to keep in mind and one of them is the problems created by multiple medications being taken at once.

Although I am not an MD, it seems to me that you are probably taking medication for many of your medical disorders and the interaction can cause problems in memory, concentration and even balance problems.

I once worked in Alzheimer's research and one thing we know is that it usually runs in families and it usually begins simply by having problems in memory which do not improve. Hypertension can cause memory problems, but this comes and goes and that's one of the defining ways to make the diagnosis; Alzheimer's doesn't come and go.

Some medications for hypertension, alone, can bring on panic attacks. I had one patient who had been very social, went out every day and, suddenly, when her BP meds were changed, she went from that to an almost complete recluse; didn't even go near the front door of her home because she was so agoraphobic. Meds changed back and she was fine again.

So, a careful assessment of ALL your meds needs to be performed to see if some of them may be causing some problems.

Research has also shown that exercise is now a major component of psychiatric treatment for both anxiety and depression and you can do simple things around your home; walk up and down stairs (discuss with your PCP), walk in place, etc.

I hope I have been helpful.

Featuring Experts

Reid Wilson, PhD is an international expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, with books translated into nine languages. He is author of Don...More

Helpful Tips

Progressive Muscle RelaxationExpert
In addition to relaxation breathing and guided imagery, one great self-help technique that you can use anywhere (even while sitting in a ... More
Was this Helpful?
17 of 27 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.