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    Preventing Panic Attack Diarrhea
    horse_mom1 posted:
    Hello, I suffer from the worst symptom anxiety and panic attacks can have: diarrhea. And I mean, EXPLOSIVE diarrhea. When it hits, I have very little time to get to a bathroom. There are a few situations that are known to cause me to have a panic attack. I take half a Xanax as needed (which is not very often) for the general axiety. But it does not stop the diarrhea in the severe panic attacks.

    There are times when I cannot avoid the situations that typically cause me to have a panic attack. One situation in particular is being stuck in a car in traffic. For me,its a lot like being chlostrophobic and stuck in a confined place. My panic is caused by the possibility I'll have a panic attack (with explosive diarrhea) and there is no possible way I will make it to a bathroom, because there's no place to turn off and get out of the traffic. I have had messed myself on a few occasions and had to go home to clean up and clean my car.

    Over labor day weekend I would like to take a trip in the car with 3 girlfriends. I think its a 6 hour drive to and from our destination. I don't want to have to cancel due to the possibility I'll have a panic attack and have diarrhea while we're sitting in labor day traffic. I would like to know if there are any medications I could ask my doctor to prescribe that I could take before I go on this trip that would essentially stop all movement in my bowels on the days we'll be driving. I am truly desperate. My only alternative is to do very unhealthy things such as use the bowel cleansing product I had to use the night before my laparscopic hysterectomy surgery (can't remember the name but it was an over the counter product) and then starve myself and not eat or drink anything, and pump myself full of the Xanax for the drives. I'm just hoping there might be a medication available that might be a little safer approach.

    Thanks, Valerie
    aliveagain replied to princessiu's response:
    Ask your Doctor about Celexa.

    Good luck,
    Alive again
    dollmaker12 responded:
    I am over 65 and had major panic attacks from age 8. But, of course, did not know what was wrong with me. I thought I was the only one, and so did not tell my parents, friends, my husband, or children. I was finally diagnosed when I was 55. What a relief to know once and for all I had depression, severe anxiety, OCD, ADHD. The whole package. After thinking about it I think my mother had at least depression. Three of our four children have the same. or some of the disorders I have. I know it is inherited.
    I started to have the diarrhea problem in the last 10 years. Luckily I am retired, and only had one episode when I was garage saleing and had to go back to our oldest daughters home to change clothes. But, it has just happened without warning at home. It is even embarrasing at home, so I feel for all that have posted. I take Imodium AD when this happens.
    I take zoloft, and xanax. The panic attacks have gone away but stiill have the nervousness, fast heartbeat (rarely) and the worry and dwelling on things.
    My doctor thinks the zoloft is best for my OCD and has worked great for me.
    I am so thankful that I and my doctor have found a solution to these problems, even though it was much later in life. Thank goodness for medical technology.
    ksmasne replied to aliveagain's response:
    Hi aliveagain,

    My doctor has me trying Buspar. I was afraid to go back on an ssri due to the weight gain I experienced on paxil. have you experience any weight gain from Celexa? I guess if I had to choose I would rather be chubby and have a life. I don't think buspar is working. For one, I can't sleep. thanks for the post and I will look up Celexa and talk to my doctor.
    Love the bathroom mapper, they actually have an app for that, lol.


    wishing4acure responded:
    I am so glad you posted this! I have the same thing as you and I thought I was alone! I constantly worry about having diarrhea attacks especially when I am in my car. I always postpone trips with family and friends because of it. I get a hot/flush feeling and then the cramping starts....within a minute the sudden burst of diarrhea comes and it can't be stopped! I keep a roll of toilet paper and extra clothes in my car just in case I need them. I have had to pull over beside the road and run into the woods to use the bathroom while on my way to work It's so depressing! I hate going to meetings at work...that really makes me have to go to the bathroom. When I am getting ready to go to work or shopping, etc. I repeatedly go to the bathroom at home before I leave. I also have a rectal/vaginal fistula which makes things really bad! No matter how hard I try to hold in the diarrhea, it comes out another way. I usually wear a tampon and pad just in case I have an accident. I am sooo tired of this! I pray every day that God will heal me of this! I just started lexapro and am hoping it will help. Immodium AD is getting rich because of me! I am forever in fear of having an accident in front of co-workers or friends. I tell a few close friends about it but I haven't found anyone that has the same symptoms until I came here. I feel like my life is passing me by because I can't attend the social functions that I used to go to. Also, this has been happening to me since 1997. I am also single and it's hard trying to explain to a guy on a date that I can't eat certain things or go certain places unless there is a bathroom close by. I have tried listening to music, singing, concentrating on math problems , calling someone on the phone, etc, but nothing works....when the diarrhea wants to come, it comes! I really hope someone can find a cure for this!
    ksmasne replied to wishing4acure's response:
    Hi wishing4acure,

    I am a mirror imagine of your problem minus the fistula. Have you talked to a doctor about i yet and if so, what did they tell you?
    Funny, my mom and I have the same issue and our doctors give us two totally different reasons.
    As I mentioned in an early post I was trying Bupar but it didn't work, seem to make me more nervous.
    Another person said to ask my doctor about celexa which I will do when I see him again.
    I do take immodium AD as well but doesn't always work. With so many people on here with the same exact issue you would think someone would have a cure.
    I also travel with toilet paper, change of clothes and have stopped along side the road. It is really horrible and depressing.
    Please share if you find something that works for you and I will do the same.


    Sickathis responded:
    I know what you are feeling Valerie. I was never like this until 2 years ago. I just out of no where starting having anxiety panic attacks. I feel so bad for my husband because when it comes it comes. I don't have insurance to even go see a doctor and am running out of medication and I am so nervous whats going to happen. But it only happens when I go on long drives. Yes, I really hope they come up with something cause it just comes over me and I can not control it.

    Bill324 replied to Sickathis's response:
    New to the internet...I posted this somewhere else on this site. It's nice to see that I'm not the only person suffering from this. I drive for a living so everyday is a struggle for me. Always, "where's the closest bathroom?" " Will I make it in time?" "Can I make it through 60 miles of country when there's no bathrooms around or on the tollway?" On the weekends I'm fine because I'm not at work. This has affected every aspect of my life. I've left work early many times because of this. Like I said, weekends I'm okay, but come monday it's "what if I have to drive the tollway?" Then the attacks come. I try not to think about it, but it just happens that way. Looking for any kind of advice or help. It's a nightmare that I wouldn't wish on anybody.
    Bartman123 replied to Bill324's response:
    Have suffered from panic and anxiety for 25 years, in cars, enclosed area and when not in control for many years.The trigger aside from racing heart is my pooper. Some tips I can pass along are 1/ Diet, try to regiment your diet, eating the same things most days may be boring (fibre)oatmeal I find can really slow things down, and I find it does add some regularity to your "poop schedule". 2/ Car travel, find a really funny or comforting recording for your ipod or phone and take it with you. My experiance has been that its hard to panic when your laughing your head off sitting in a traffic jam. 3/ Exercise daily, try to get your yips out, it leaves less on the table for panic to feed on. 4/, and here's my weird on, but sometimes helpful. I am not an overly religous or spirital person, but I do believe in a higher power (read GIVE UP CONTROL to someone else) When driving or anywhere imagine a cone of bright light or sun or whatever gives you comfort coming from the sky through your car roof, house roof or what ever. This cone, wide at the top full of light narrowing down to the top of your head follows you everywhere, and when the dark clouds of panic or anxiety move in, burn them off with the bright warmth of YOUR cone. Try it. 5? Breathe deep. Hope this helps.
    dairyfree responded:
    As simple as this sounds like you have a food intolerance. My wife was on Lorazepam for over 25 years. I was on 20 mg. Lexapro/day for anxiety and 30mg. ritalin for ADHD. We quit dairy in Sept. 2011 and we have never felt better in our lives. We both are now prescription free. Anxiety is GONE. I can now concentrate like never before. We're happier and have more drive than ever. Western doc's don't seem too interested in nutrition or what you put in your mouth. Please google food intolerances and diet eliminations. It might not be dairy, but it sounds like you're having a reaction to something. [br>[br>[br>[br>Socrates once said "Let food be your medicine & medicine be your food".[br>[br>[br>[br>Good luck,[br>[br>[br>Mark
    1christian1 replied to jessicaxx914's response:
    Hey Jess, I've been where you're at. When I was young (60 now), things like this were not talked about. My problems started in the 8th grade when I had to change schools. I worried about throwing up, sweaty underarms, diarrhea, full bladder, stomach growling or gas while in class, but especially on the bus. School was hell and my shyness in speech class, along with these problems caused a nervous breakdown in my college junior year..never went back..have worked really bad jobs. OK, here's my advice: It's nothing to be ashamed very vocal and just say "I need to crap!" and just laugh about it. You are making the problem bigger than it is. Nowadays, anything goes! People aren't shocked by ANYTHING! Tell each one of your teachers up front about your problem. They will UNDERSTAND. DO NOT let this rob you of that degree.
    Brittskiann replied to Bill324's response:
    I have experienced the same symptoms. Racing heart, sweaty palms and then rumbling in my tummy. If I am in a car driving anywhere I have a sense of panic. I had tears in my eyes when I read your post. It is such a weird feeling to know other people are experiencing the exact same problems as me. I feel sad for them and upset for myself and relieved that I am not crazy or alone (because that is often how I feel). My family tries to be understanding of my problem but I know it can be irritating for them to deal with. I guess all I'm trying to say is that, even though I wouldn't wish this problem on anyone, I'm glad I found a community of people that have experienced this too. My sister recently convinced me to go and see my doctor again and ask for a referral to a therapist or counselor. I pray this works for me. The thoughts of having a diarrhea panick attack haunt me all the time. I live in a very rural area and everywhere is a 20 minute drive. This Thursday is my dad's birthday and my family wants to go to a restaurant that is an hour long drive. The past week I have been obsessing and worrying about this trip. I am going to have to load up on Immodium for the drive and take my dinner as take out. I hope I can find a way to have a life and not continue to have to live in fear of being away from a bathroom. It Has become depressing to feel like I am trapped in my house. I even feel a sense of panic every morning when I am dressing for work.
    ZpainZpain replied to Brittskiann's response:
    Everyone. Jesus, I should have googled my symptoms a year ago, when it all started....I am a 36 year old male. I spent a decade in prison for drugs, I have been clean from the meth since 2002. I got out of prison 4 years ago, everything was fine. Then a year ago, I started having anxiety. I had just started a pool cleaning job, and my stomach would start to hurt, gas pains, and eventually, I had diarrhea all the time, and as a pool guy, no where to go. I had to quit. I have had an upper and lower GI, where they scope both sides, they found nothing, gone through a bunch of meds, been in a mental hospital, all to find why I 1. have diarrhea when I get nervous, 2. have butterflies(not in a good way) just previous to having the anxiety, and 3. why when I am unable to poop, instead I will get nausea, and eventually throw up. I am currently on seroquel, an anti psychotic, which makes me go to sleep, I am going to discontinue that today, it is not helping anymore. I was on Zoloft, but it made me sick, then on Lexapro, which didn't even dent it. Also on ativan, which doesn't work, so I don't take it. The only med that has really helped is propranolol. This med is actually a heart med. I take 40 milligrams before leaving the house, and it helps, It used to help a great deal more, but that ended.

    I am seeing a great deal of people saying a med worked in the past but now not so much. That seems to be a theme with us, though I am sure the greater psychiatry community feels the same way about their meds and their problems.

    I am supposed to start effexor soon. I am hoping it works. I am a stay at home dad, and like many of you, I have hurt family and friends by staying home. I have cancelled my wedding twice, and my fiance has been hurt by that more than anything.

    I go to school online, for computer programming. I recently found a job, that I am currently training for, that allows me to stay at home, though actually learning with out being in a building full of programmers has proven difficult.

    I am tired of this, as I am sure all of you are. Mine was created in response to stress, getting married, having a new job, and having responsibility for the first time in my life as a non criminal. I am sure it comes from that moment a year ago.

    What does work? Someone here mentioned walks. Believe it or not, this works. I try to take a shot of vodka, put on my head phones and allow my big damned dog pull me around the neighborhood. This relaxes me sometimes. If you are going to try it, do it at night, that helps. In fact being out at night helps a helluvalot. I think becoming a night person is going to help much more.

    Propranolol, 40 mg. You don't need to see psych to get this, just go to your primary care physician, they will give it to you, just tell them you want to try something non psychotropical.

    I am tired of loading up on anti diarrhea. Tired of planning around bathrooms. Sadly, I bought a 35 foot RV so that I can travel, the bathroom is 10 feel behind me! I had to lie to my family to buy it, said it was for all of us, and it is, but in my dark heart, it is in response to this disease that has a hold of us.

    The meds that people mention here will not work for everyone. Our chemistries are different, you just have to try new meds, That is how the med game works.

    Lastly, if bears mentioning ECT. This is when they shock your brain while you sleep. The downside of this is that you lose some long term memory. My sister went through it for depression. And it worked. However, I would lose the last three years of schooling for my bachelors degree, so this is not an option for me. But for some it may work.

    Don't give up, Thinking in my head that I won't let my ass make an ass of me helps.

    Oh, and I listen to eye of the tiger when I get up. It helps, LOL
    An_245359 responded:
    Hey Valerie, I know this is an old post but I was wondering if you found an alternative for xanax. I know klonopin side effects have the possibility of the same problem but my friend says he doesn't suffer from this issue.
    mattspunkingurl responded:
    Wow. I'm so glad I've found other people with the EXACT same issue as myself. I've had this since childhood but it was manageable back then. I used to get diarrhea during the first day of school or public speaking. I was fine most of the time. Now my life sucks. I'm a stay at home mom. I'm taking Lexapro and Xanax for panic and generalized anxiety. Anytime I want to leave my house I have to take 1-2 mg of Xanax and 4 immodiums at least an hour before I want to leave. It's horrible. I feel like such a whacko and all my family thinks I'm nuts. If they think I like feeling anxious all the time and being trapped by diarrhea, then they're the crazy ones. I wish I had other options but I don't see any in the near future. Immodium is my BFF right now.

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