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24 April 2012



Hey dear. Just catching up on this now, but wanted to say that my heart goes out to you. I've never experienced panic attacks but can totally empathize on the crushing anxiety front. Anytime you want to talk about this stuff, or anything else, I am happy to be a listening (and medicated :) ) ear. Katina


Sorry, but I have to say something else--don't ever rule out other medical causes. I thought I was having panic attacks (it felt like a heart attack) and it turned out, after two years of chasing it, to be my gall bladder! NOT stones, but underperforming gall bladder. Of all things! I felt the adrenaline-rush feeling, the butterflies, the racing heart, the diahrrea...but it seemed completely random. Not caused by specific situations. Actually, it was caused by what I was eating and the fact that my gall bladder was going nuts. I still wear all my worry in my stomach, but that panicky thing is gone. Go to your GP first, I guess.

Lori McPherson

Lauren, I suffer from severe anxiety. I tried everything. I was not going to take medication. I kept having panic attacks. It was affecting my entire life. Several times I thought I was having a heart attack. I was even taken by ambulance once to the ER.The worst one was when a resident at work shoved me into the wall. It brought on memories of abuse from my father and husband. Well to make a long story short my PCP put me on Paxil (for anxiety and depression) and Ambien (for sleep). The Paxil makes me sleepy so I take both at bedtime. Don't feel that this makes you mentally defective or any such thing. It is a chemical inbalance. It is also hereditory. My Grandmother suffered from this as well as my Mother and both of my kids. Take care of yourself and know that you are loved very much.

lauren gibbs-beadle

Whew! Thanks for the quick and abundant love and support. ALL helpful advice (and not unsolicited! I did ask!) A theme of this blog is vulnerability and I'm so glad I decided to write about this and to be vulnerable with you all! You're the best.

Keep it comin'!

Katie A.

hi, i have been diagnosed with severe anxiety. and i know that lifestyle changes will help me; more water, more exercise, less stress, etc. but i got to a point where the ONLY thing that helped me was medication, and it was night and day. prozac is my friend. for flying, ativan is my better friend. i was so overwhelmed by panic and anxiety that it was paralyzing, but within days prozac helped even me out. there is a lot to be said about chemical deficiencies etc. and it has taken me a lot of time to appreciate that it is a physical, not mental or emotional, issue for me. yes, i can get myself in a better headspace but the pills are what allow me to even consider it!!

Kate D.

As a self-diagnosed (and then doctor-diagnosed) anxious person, I've begun to enjoy my share of panic attacks. My favorite part (and I think I share this with Babybel): stress vomiting! When I'm super-anxious for long periods of time, I start to lose my appetite. And, much like a labrador retriever, if I lose my appetite, something is seriously wrong. Warning: Unsolicited advice to follow.

Three things that helped me the most (and these are just me and worked for my own anxiety, lifestyle, environmental surroundings, and body chemistry):

1. Talking to my general practitioner and getting a prescription for drugs to address the panic attacks. I decided not to go on any long-term drugs, but there are some that can help with just relaxing you in the midst of a panic attack. They made me a bit sleepy, but I could drive within a few hours, and they helped me regain my appetite, start producing saliva again (my number one sign of a panic attack coming on: serious dry mouth), and slowed down my heart rate. (I used Klonopin. I also used Ambien at night, since the anxiety was keeping me awake and when I did sleep, it wasn't good sleep; the exhaustion would just make the anxiety/panic attacks worse.) I also went off of birth control, which seemed to help some, too. Sometimes, your body chemistry just gets wacky!

2. Knitting. This helped with the overall anxiety. I'm not sure why, but having a small, unimportant project on which to focus that had a long-term goal, but that I could easily make progress within a few hours. It required just enough thought that I could focus on that and not all of the anxiety, but not complicated enough to cause more anxiety. Knitting for me is probably the equivalent of meditation for other people.

3. Terrible television. It is very distracting, often humorous, and, gosh darn it, I love to judge people I don't know. It also helps me to think how much more anxious I would be if I went on television and exposed my entire life and shit-talked all of my friends in front of a national audience. But that's not my life path, and I'm less anxious for it. Suggestions: Mob Wives (not appropriate for the babies), Real Housewives of anywhere/everywhere, Dance Moms, America's Next Top Model, Toddlers and Tiaras, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

Good luck dealing with it! You're not alone- we have a group of three of us just in my office that have the "anxiety club". We all talk and laugh about the random things that set off our panic attacks. (Last piece of unsolicited advice: talking about it is so so so helpful for me. It makes me less anxious to know I'm not the only worrier out there and it isn't just me being high-maintenance.)


Sweetie, you are doing EVERYTHING you can. It's smart to want to get help, because with this kind of thing, trying too hard to "fix" it just makes it worse.
Having a child (or two) multiplies everything in your head about ten times. I never knew what anxiety was until I had a child. It doesn't get better when they're less "dependent" (what the heck does that mean, anyway...).
So find someone who knows more than you do (and yes, there IS someone like that) about anxiety attacks, panic attacks, psychology, psychiatry, and let them help you. You are JUST a mommy. Just because you have ovaries doesn't mean you are the expert at everything it takes to be a parent.
Talk to your daddy. I know he will have wise words. But also trust your instincts that you cannot take care of the babies completely if you are not as healthy as you can be. It would be the same if you had a broken ankle, right?
Love you, it'll be fine.
Auntie Amy

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