Medical Questions > Mental Health > Panic Attacks Forum

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Hi, I am new to the board and have very recently, (like within the last week) been diagnosed with panic attacks. I am a 40 year old female.

About a month ago, I was laying in bed and boom out of nowhere my heart started racing, and pounding so hard I thought it would pound out of my chest. I started feeling tightness and pain and a rush of "I am going to die" came over me. I was up and down all night, afraid to go back to sleep. I was finally able to and never thought of it again. I just figured I had too much coffee. Last week at work, I was sitting at my computer typing and got what I call the mother of all headrushes, saw all starry and flashy like and my whole upper body was tingly and numb. I stoof up and just said "This is what it feels like to die" I thought I was either going to pass out or die. I was shaking and my heart was racing and about 20 minutes later I felt sick to my stomach.

I went to the doctor, heart and BP were both normal, they ordered blood work, came back normal, except for mild anemia. Saw a cardiologist and the initial findings EKG and him listening to my heart was normal but my heart was beating a bit fast and I was freaked out talking to the doctor. I have to go back for a stress/echo next week.

On to last night.. laying in bed, my bf finishes reading, turns off the light, 10 minutes later, I am having chest pain again, heart racing, couldnt get comfortable and barely slept. I didnt want to be in bed and kept coming downstairs, taking my pulse and going back up. Just to come back down, this went on until 2 am. I was so scared and my heart was pounding like crazy the whole time. I finally fell asleep for like 2 hours and got up for work. I was fine until 10 minutes before we were ready to leave and I started shaking and telling my boyfriend something was wrong with me and I needed help. I started crying at work and shaking and I was terrified I needed to go to the emergency room. Finally around 10 I just calmed down and was back to normal. My doctor just prescribed me Ativan and I am hoping it helps, because I am still scared that it may be something with my heart. Is it also common to have a tightening in your chest when you are in a calm state? Someone mentioned that sometimes the chest muscles get stressed during the attack and can cause pain as well, after an attack is over.

Sorry for the long winded post but I would love to know others experiences to help me get through this.

Thanks in advance..
Annette
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replied October 28th, 2011
I also forgot to mention the new symptom last night of it being hard to swallow. Just trying to remember everything!
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replied November 3rd, 2011
Hello Annette,

I am so sorry you experienced a panic attack. I am 29 male, and my first attack was around 7 or 9 years ago. I had the same experience nearly daily for over a month. It went away after i started to live healthier such as daily exercise, less alcohol and tobacco goodies and learning to worry less. Before i knew what i had i was miserable. I was in a deep depression because if i wasnt having an attack, and thinking i was dying, i was worried about having an attack. After i knew what i had, i dealt with attacks like a nusiance. I would tell myself that all the horrible feelings werent real, that i am physically fine which was true. I would say out loud things like "this is annoying" or "oh this again" to make it seem trivial and continue with an activity. I suggest if you have the means to do so then visit your doctor a couple of times to make sure it isnt anything else or just to put your mind at ease. But now you know what it is i know you can beat it.


Best wishes
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replied November 21st, 2011
Does this sound like a panic attack?
Hello all,yesterday i had my 1st panic attack...i think and it was very nasty,my heart went mental,i grew faint, i had to call my wife as i thought i was dying,she calmly led me downstairs where i was saying my final goodbye to my child and wife as in my mind i was dying,i begged her to call an ambulance,it was the worst thing that has ever happened me. Thank god my wife stayed calm throughout,my poor 2 year old girl had to see all of this,i really felt like i was about to leave forever. Its hard to explain,i thought my heart was going to come through my chest and as it increased i felt more faint,i was exhausted when it went away, occasionally it returned but my wife kept making me drink honey and water, i was so weak she had to put the glass to my mouth.I am so tired and depressed today i dont know what to do,im a 33 year old male and i believe i am in good physical condition, im also terrified. I really believe that i have been given a 2nd chance on earth but the trauma of the ordeal has left me very sad.
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replied November 28th, 2011
dactyl, you have described a typical panic attack.

Try sipping hot tea with a cinnamon stick instead of the honey and water. Tea and cinnamon both contain chemicals that help calm you.

Also, try moving around, maybe even power walking. In a panic attack, adrenaline floods your system. Most people are advised to sit quietly and try to calm themselves. It doesn't work. Move around briskly to get that adrenaline out of your system as soon as possible.

Believe it or not, I've found that shooting some hoops in my driveway is great because I can move fast and have to focus on shooting.

Also, there is a product called Panic Stop that I use. I've mentioned it elsewhere in this forum. I have severe panic attacks, and it stops them literally in seconds.

It doesn't cure panic attacks, though. You'll still have them, but it least it stops them immediately. I've tried a lot of products over the years, and short of Valium or Xanax, Panic Stop is the only thing that worked.
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replied November 28th, 2011
I've never heard of panic attacks causing chest muscles to hurt after an attack. Not to say it isn't possible, because we are all individuals.

Fear of heart attack is a common symptom of panic attacks because adrenalin raises your pulse and blood pressure.

However, there are heart conditions that mimic panic attacks, in particular Mitral Valve Prolapse. Furthermore, you can have a panic attack because your heart is skipping and you don't notice it consciously.

In other words, the only way to be sure you don't have a problem with your heart is a thorough exam. But the odds are that you don't and it's the panic attack causing your symptoms.
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