Skip to content
Why do I feel like this?
avatar
KrystaMichele posted:
My first "episode" was in church. I was just sitting there listening and my heart started to race. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I was taking rapid, short breaths. I was crying uncontrollably. My EKG showed nothing wrong. There was also nothing wrong in my X-ray. This happened again while I was relaxing with a friend. I was completely still & we were watching TV. All of a sudden I couldn't breathe again. Friends called 911 & I was rushed to the hospital. My heart rate was over 200 bpm that night.

My doctor told me to exercise. When I'm on the treadmill & I feel my heart rate increase (which I know it should since I'm moving), I start to panic and it gets worse. Sometimes at night when I'm laying down, I feel like my heart skips a beat & I pop up and start to breathe hard. This is all very scary, but doctors keep saying nothing's wrong.

My doctor said it could be panic attacks. I have tons of questions. If anyone can answer any of them, I would greatly appreciate it.

How do you just randomly start to have panic attacks? And if nothing is physically wrong with me, why do all the symptoms feel so real? And why are they so severe? My heart feels like it will beat out of my chest and I feel like I'm barely getting any air when I inhale. When I'm having an episode, I constantly put my hand to my chest to make sure my heart is still beating. I know that it is. If I'm still talking, obviously it's beating. But something in my head tells me I have to keep checking my heart. It's so scary.

I'm graduating on May 4. I've applied to grad school, but I haven't received an acceptance letter yet. I am stressed. I know I am. But I've been stressed forever. I always put too much on my place. Why is this just happening now? And when does it stop? This is a horrible thing to go through daily and I can't keep dealing with these episodes?

Any answers from anyone are greatly appreciated.

Take the Poll

What physical symptom do you experience the most during your episodes?
  • shortness of breath
  • significanly increased heart rate
  • sweating
  • shakes
  • headache
vote
View Poll Results
Reply
 
avatar
ladybug1985 responded:
Your anxiety sounds just like mine, they always come on sudden and ive been to ER 4 times but they never find anything wrong. they seem to be worse at certain times of the month which makes me think it has something to do with hormones. besides getting a doc to prescribe ativan to have on hand when you feel one come on, i find it helpful to pace and talk on the phone when im having one. sometimes it will take and hr or so to subside but it always does eventually.
 
avatar
rachelc86 responded:
Hi Krysta, my name is Rachel and I have all the same problems as you. All of it is normal when you're having an anxiety attack, and it doesn't matter where you are, you can get them anytime. The best thing to help is to talk to your doctor about anxiety, because when you have an attack, mentally you can tell yourself you're ok and that its just an attack and will eventually go away. But it's very frustrating! I'll be perfectly fine and then it will hit me and I secretly freak out because I don't want people to know. My doctor did proscribe me a mild medication just for when I have an attack, and it really does help. You can do things to try to not have as many, but it won't ever go away. And what I noticed is that I'll go awhile without having any attacks, and then when I get one, I'll have one the next day or in two days. I think those are set off from the fear of having them. And it's crazy because sometimes I feel like I have control over them because I've changed my lifestyle, but when they hit you lose all mental control.
Im going to try seeing a therapist, because I feel the more education you have on it, the attacks are more easier to handle when they come.
And don't worry if no one really understand what you're going through, because you'll make yourself feel like your going crazy. No one knows what its like until they have anxiety attacks like ours. People think they have them when they get stressed out, but what we get is different types of anxiety attacks.
I hope I helped, because I know they can be really scary. I would definitely talk to your doctor or find a doctor who handles anxiety because like I said, being educated on the problem helps you when you have an attack.

Take Care,
Rachel
 
avatar
rachelc86 replied to ladybug1985's response:
I agree, the ativan does help. And a nurse told me your hormones can trigger them, or make them worse.
 
avatar
rachelc86 responded:
And also about how you said when you exercise it seems to trigger one, I've had that happen at the beginning when I started getting them, and I think its because you have the fear and the fear can definitely trigger them. Also, after talking to other people who gets them, I learned that at the beginning from when they start, you get them frequently and they're bad. I think over time it gets better, but that probably has to do with your knowledge of knowing its an attack and that you're really ok. So for now when you exercise, I wouldn't do any intense cardio.
And def stay away from caffeine and get sleep!
 
avatar
Cjack1990 responded:
Hey Krysta. I've had a PD for about 7 years now and I actually had that kind of panic attack happen to me about a month ago.
My heart usually does race, of course, but this kind was insane. I think with mine I had way too much caffeine that day but it still scared the living daylights out of me. Like you I kept feeling my heart, and anytime I would walk I would try and walk as slow as I could so my heart wouldn't race.

When people have panic attacks there's a trigger. I'm guessing if you were in church and if it was full you might have gotten overwhelmed and panicked and now you're worried it'll happen again (in my opinion not sure, i'm no doctor.) My trigger is sick. I'm worried ill be sick or see or be around people that are sick.

Also I think it could be letting the stress build since you said you've always been stressed. I highly recommend seeing a counsler, especially since you're dealing with grad school and letters and all that fun stuff. Talking helped me alot.
 
avatar
KrystaMichele replied to ladybug1985's response:
Ladybug,

That's exactly what happens to me! I have to talk to my ex (of all people) for hours to feel comfortable again. How does ativan help you? Does it simply calm you or actually treat physical symptoms?
 
avatar
KrystaMichele replied to rachelc86's response:
Rachel,

You were really helpful. I did talk to my doctor. He prescribed me Zoloft. I've only been on it two days. No difference yet. However, my attacks have gotten worse since I posted. I'm seeing a therapist tomorrow. I honestly think that talking about it helps thought.
 
avatar
KrystaMichele replied to Cjack1990's response:
Cjack,

I understand that there's the possibility that stress is building up. This never occurred to me. I'm always looking at the "now" and not what led up to now. Like you, I try to walk slowly and do everything slowly because I don't want my heart rate to increase. The only thing I haven't done is decrease the amount of exercise. I am overweight & I've been trying to live a better lifestyle. I've lost 14 pounds since the first attack. It really sucks that a fast heart rate triggers my attacks, though, because I don't want to stop exercising.

I have an appointment with a therapist tomorrow afternoon. I'll keep everyone posted on how that goes!
 
avatar
Cjack1990 replied to KrystaMichele's response:
Congrats on losing the weight!! That's awesome. But yes, built up stress and not talking or doing something to release it can cause anxiety, my therapist explained it like a balloon, you can slowly add air to it and not let it out, and eventually it'll burst.
I haven't been too too worried about my heart rate lately, I still check every once in a while and make sure it doesnt go crazy again. I think if you're worried about over working your heart check in with a doctor. But like you said when you went to the er everything came up fine, double checking shouldn't hurt. And exersize is the best way to relieve the stress, and maybe having a doctor will give you a peace of mind so you can keep working hard.

Good luck and thank you for keeping us posted!!


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?
14 of 24 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

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.