Is anyone else dealing with panic attacks? I had gamma knife in January of this year, and now I am having horrible panic attacks on a frequent basis. I am not really preoccupied with worry, but in certain situations (for me driving or being in class at school) I just feel like I am freaking out for lack of a better term. My heart races and I get tunnel vision and sweaty palms and I just have to leave. I wonder if I am going to have a bleed, or if the panic attack itself will cause one. I can take xanax (valium, etc.) which helps, but when I do I can’t pay attention very well and am tired, which also is a problem.
I didn’t have panic attacks, but I had an incredible amount of anxiety, maybe just semantics here. ABout 3-4 months after my gamma-knife treatment, I started to feel that I had this constant ticking time bomb in my head that could go off at anytime. It was so stressful, but I still felt paradoxically luckily to be alive since I did have a brain hemorrhage which led to my AVM discovery.
Everybody copes differently. I personally cooped by 1) staying busy with positive activities, and by 2) spending time with friends.
Personally, I think that medications are a temporary remedy only, though necessary at times. Some people turn to God, some people turn to friends and family (my case). Most importantly, is to turn to SOMETHING. Remember, you are not alone in this. Stay strong and stay positive! You’ll make it through this!
HI MARILYN, IM SORRY TO HEAR THAT YOU ARE HAVING PANIC ATTACKS. I HAVE HAD THEM FOR TEN YEARS NOW AND AM ON MEDS. TO HELP ME THROUGH THEM. THEY ARE BROUGHT ON DO TO A TRAMATIC EVENT IN YOU LIFE. YOU MIGHT HAVE TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP. THEY DO GET VERY BAD AT TIMES. FEELS LIKE YOU ARE HAVING A HEART ATTACK. WHEN YOU FEEL ONE COMING ON TRY BREATHING THROUGH YOUR NOSE AND EXHALING THROUGH YOUR MOUTH. CLOSE YOUR EYES AND THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. MY DOCTOR AFTER TEN YEARS SAID THAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE TO LEARN TO LIVE WITH THEM. AS IF WE DON’T HAVE TO LIVE WITH ENOUGH STUFF. I WISH YOU GOOD LUCK…SEEK HELD THEY CAN BE INTERUPT YOUR DAILY LIFE. TAKE CARE …D
My husband is suffering from these now because of me. As a matter of fact, he wound up in the emergency room this weekend because I thought he was having a heart attack. His blood pressure elevated and the hospital kept him overnight. The doc has given him medication to help him with his anxiety. I feel so responsible.
I also had and still have them after 10 years. The advice here is very good and I take them one at a time, everyone around me has or is getting used to them. I will say I love this site, I never realized that half of what I was and am going through is normal, I let a Psychiatrist diagnos me as mild Bipolar due to these attacks but the medications didn’t make me any different, a little better able to handle the panic episodes but they still kept happening. The dr’s knew what I had been through but dismissed it as related, GO FIGURE! One thing about valium, it is very addictive, so please be careful. Take one day at a time and when they start, just tell yourself it’s normal for you and it will pass, just promise me one thing - PLEASE - If you start to feel suicidal, please let someone know!! Your brain chemistry is off due to the AVM and at times it is really off and you can have suicidal tendencies. Know that when levels are back to a more normal range (they will fluctuate often at times) you will not feel that way. We are all very lucky people and TRUE SURVIVORS. If anyone has those tendencies or thoughts of suicide, I will be more than willing to give you my cell phone so you can reach me 24 hours a day so you can reach out!! Love ya girl, you are not alone!!
Yes everyone’s posts are right on. In Charlie’s case, prior to Gamma Knife he had panic attacks for about a 12 week period. It wrought havoc on our family because it was just about the time school was getting to start and I had an ulcerated cornea in my left eye. Charlie would hardly come out of the bedroom much. Xanax helped, but it eventually affected him in a very bad way. The doctor has since put him on Klonopin. A very small dosage because his system is very sensitive to meds. It reacts to almost anything. The klonopin keeps him very even keel because it is extended release. Since it can cause drowsiness, he takes it at 10 at night. If he should happen to need anymore during the day, he takes a half of one about 2 in the afternoon. He had tried several xanax, lexapro, cymbalta, all to no avail. Klonopin seems to be it for him. Going to see a psychiatrist should help. What you’ll find is he will end up telling you that at some point you need to let yourself go through the motions of the panic attack so that your brain recognizes that nothing is going to happen and you are going to be just fine. When this actually registers, the attacks gradually will disappear. The other thing is they might be stress induced and if they are, the key will be to get rid of the stress so that you can lessen the degree of the attacks until they are all gone. Hope this helps and remember to breathe deeply. This helps also. Godspeed, Nora
I wanted to say that Nora is absolutely right about the stress being a big trigger for panic attacks. I know youa re trying to get through school but also remember that stress can delay healing. My Dr’s advised me to destress my life as much as possible and still do. I tend to be a high stress person and right now with the wedding tomorrow, I have had my share of AVM problems lately. And yes, for anyone who saw my question about regrowth and why I don’t want to go back to the Dr., I am going as soon as I get home from my honeymoon!! Marilyn, I know school is very important to you but please don’t overdue it, school will be there and we would like for you to be too! If you need to cut back a little, do it! You ABSOLUTELY have to give your body time to recover. Take it from someone who did not that your body will try to shut down on you if you don’t. I went back to work at 8 weeks after 4 aneurisms and my radiosurgery, about 2 months later, my entire body shut down and it took almost two years to come back to what we can call normal again. Take the time to let your body regain balance before trying to take on too much. I know it’s hard, don’t let this get you down and we will all be here for you.
I just want to say thanks to everyone who has replied to this. I’ve had panic attacks for years before the AVM diagnosis, but I was to the point where I could regain my equilibrium, so to speak, relatively quickly. I knew it was irrational. Now, when my heart races I think about my blood pressure, which makes me feel worse. I just feel like I have to FLEE the environment that seems to provoke it. I have had prescriptions to various benzodiazapines (xanax, etc.) for years, but I almost never take them. I understand that these meds can be a real problem for some people, but I don’t particularly care for them.
Susan–congratulations and mazal tov on your wedding! I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon! When you come back, do go to the doctor.
As an aside–Yesterday one of my closest friends died because he didn’t see a doctor for a highly treatable illness (bronchitis)–it turned into pneumonia, his kidneys failed, he went into cardiac arrest in the hospital icu and died. I am not saying this as an analogy to anyone, but what I want to point out is that if he had gone for antibiotics when it was a bad cough, he might still be here–only 43 years old. By time he went to the hospital, the doctors had limited options. I wonder if this horrible tragedy could have been avoided. My heart is permanently, irreversibly broken.
I’m so sorry for your loss, Marilyn. Such a sad story, but a good example to us all no to put off going to the doctor. I tend to do this, worrying about the doctor thinking I am paranoid. I won’t hesitate in the future.
I am very sorry for your loss of a good friend. I agree that this horrible tragedy could have been avoided if your friend had went to the Dr. sooner. It is a wake up call for us all to not ignore our medical care and I am right up there on the list!! I am going to the Dr. ASAP for a check on my AVM and get the appropriate tests done. I have been in the blind for too long now and am so glad I found all of you, otherwise I would not have known that this will grow back and it is not a matter of if I have another rupture, it is when. I do hope that your panic attacks are a little better.
I am sorry for your loss Marilyn. It is good to warn those you can still save. Recently I discovered I have another brain aneurysm.Dr. Lawton from UCSF was kind enough to call me just now. He said, " I've taken a look at your angiogram and MRI you have a broad aneurysm did your other one rupture or hemorhage I said the other one hemorhagged. He said I would like to do the surgery. I asked will I be the same? He said you should be. I would like to give you another angiogram with the dye in it to get a better look and then the next day I will operate. I would like to clip it. I would like to do the surgery. I said, When will this take place? He said you can wait but not to long.
I don't know what to do. My poor son started to cry very deeply we are so close. I don't know what to do. He did not give me to many options. I don't know what to do.