Medical Questions > Mental Health > Panic Attacks Forum

anxiety and fear of having a heart attack at 19

Hi I am a male, 19 years of age. I have been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. At first I realized that my anxiety would be triggered by hangovers or smoking whilst on a hangover. I have cut down significantly on cigerettes and drinking and after St Patricks day i have decided not to drink for a couple of months and to quit smoking completely. I was not regularly smoking anyway. I have been prescribed xanax .25mg and Lexapro. I have problems sleeping at night and my anxiety wakes me up every time i fall asleep or just as i am about to. Last night i took a half of the xanax and it worked but i would like to get rid of my anxiety completely. My GP recommended I start taking the Lexapro but i've been told that it can cause suicidal thoughts. My panic attacks include sweating, nausia, palpitations, fast heartbeat, numbness in different parts of the body, white flashes, weakness and this horrible feeling running through my body. I smoked Cannabis from the age of 15 and quit 4 months ago. I also had a similar anxiety expieriance where i thought i was going to have a heart attack on bathsalt drugs similar to cocaine when it was legal in Ireland and have tried cocaine and speed and have had what I have life threatening situations on both at a point of taking too much. This fear of having a heart attack has been instilled into my way of thinking from those times which only makes the panic attacks worse. I have narcotics out of my life and i just want to feel better. I get times where i worry i might have heart disease due to similarities of the symptoms and I am not sure if there is a bigger reason behind my anxiety as family life tends to get chaotic frequently and I had a hard time back in high school. I would just like a general opinion on what to do

Oh and today I went to the gym to try do some cardio i started doing my usual routine which i was always able to do. At one point while doing a more intense part of my workout i felt a moment as if my heart jumped and this triggered my panic and i return home to find my parents ready to kill each other despite the fact they know i cant be in stressful situations like that. This caused me to get worse and I had to have a warm bath to calm me down. I have been feeling like this since Monday when i went out the night before and i know i over did it by far. Ive taen half a xanax but i've been told that the detox wont let it work fully. I have this feeling in my body that horrible one i mentioned before. I havint slept without waking up every two hours in about a week. Im exhausted. And worried if i do have problems with my heart.
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replied March 28th, 2013
Hey sorry to hear your in this rough patch. I know this won't make ya feel better right now but I always try to think that these attacks haven't hurt me in the past, they won't hurt me today. I'm starting to find with these attacks my head, and from what I read others too, attaches to something and makes us forgot that the reason we feel like this is the panic attack, not whatever ailment we think we have. I tend to do it with anything from headaches which I will turn into something bigger to like then past few week or so, I have a cold. A cold to people without anxiety/PA I'd nothing more than an inconvenience, but to us its every little thing ya know, the congestion and stuffiness is pneumonia in my head, but in reality I just keep trying to remind myself its a damn cold lol. I would imagine same for you, like you said you were in a strong cardio workout, if you didn't suffer from PA's you probably wouldn't have even noticed the sensation you felt, or if you did no big deal, but for some reason our brains seem to be so in tune with every little move our body makes that we notice everything and over think it. I too have smoked pot since I was about 14 and had recently quit for about 4 months and honestly my attacks had been much less frequent, well a few weeks back I had some friends over for the ufc fight and decided to smoke a little, felt fine the next day so I kept on smoking, just very little but still some. Now the past week or so I have noticed I have had a few attacks including today, coincidence maybe but more risk than reward for me, I'm gonna stop again immediately and see how it goes. Hope maybe just chatting about this will help you, I know sometimes it does for me, and your post inadvertently has helped calm me even if for just the time being lol so I thank you.
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replied May 16th, 2013
Hi there,

I recently overcame my panic attacks and strong depersonalization moments and I would really like to share my experience and treatment on each forum I find, as other posts helped me when I needed it more, who knows, maybe it helps Smile

All my panic attacks were trigered suddently, started with numbness in arms, a feeling of general dizziness and strong insomnia. I ended up in hospital being treated with Xanax so I could finally get some sleep. Helped for a very short time and as my symptoms were back again I had to search help at other doctors. My general practicioner prescribed me Xanax for a month but that I can say was the worst month since my panic attacks: always dizzy, sleepy and weak memory.

THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY HELPED ME was seeing a psychiatrist, who prescribed me CIPRALEX (escitalopram) 10 mg and LEXOTAN. First TWO WEEKS were like HELL, but my psychiatrist warned me of this short strong period, so I had the strenght to defeat panic attacks, accentuated with deep depersonalization moments. I felt like if I am a ghost and the rest of the people are not real and all the things that make one wonder if he's going crazy. But after that period, as suddently as my panic attacks appeared, the same way started to go. Therewas no more numbness, no more dizzyness and no more fear to go to sleep or walk outside. I slowly let go of Lexotan and remained only on Cipralex. This happened after a month of treatment. In just five months I reduced the doze of Cipralex to a half for 10 days and a half at two days for other 10 days and I was done with medication.

I feel great, I can easyly think back at all those nightmare moments I thought I will die or go "nutz" and smile. I found it very important to think thatyes life doesn't have a goal of it's own but it's our duty to find what makes us happy. AND SOMETHING ELSE THAT REALLY HELPED WAS GOING OUT WHEN I WAS MOST AFFRAID TO DO SO AND SEARCHING TO GO TO WORK EVEN IF I HAD ALLOT OF MOMENTS WHEN EVERYTHING SEEMED STRANGE AROUND ME
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