Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    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

    Dr. Farrell's WebMD TV videosExpert
    Dr. Farrell has a series of 12 videos that cover everything from your need for sleep, inheriting anxiety disorders, positive self-talk and ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    68 of 85 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.