Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Mental Health Support » Panic attacks - what are they like?

01-21-2014, 10:05 AM   #1
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Location: Plainville, Connecticut
Panic attacks - what are they like?

I'm starting to wonder if my "seizures" aren't just panic attacks. I've posted a few threads about what's going on so if you look on my profile you'll find paragraphs if you're curious, but the upshot is that I've been having these massive head rushes that end in a cold sweat and sometimes nausea if I've just eaten.

What put my doctors on the "seizure" trail is that my heart stopped during one of them last month. Sinus arrest. I think that may be a red herring, though, because I had also unintentionally mega-dosed on Lialda that morning, which is documented as rarely causing cardiac issues, and I was on a lot of prednisone, too, which I also doubled (oops.)

I've had a bunch of those head rushes since, but none with cardiac involvement. I was getting them for about a month before the whole cardiac-ward-in-the-hospital drama, but they were like these little "micro" attacks where my head would feel light and "buzzy" for a second or two and then clear. Now, I'm having these great whalloping head rushes that start out slow, build to an almost overwhelming crest, and then disappear in about 10-20 seconds total.

I know I'm an anxious guy and I always run at 115% in terms of my mind just running scenarios all of the time. We're over budget, under salaried, two sick kids, house falling apart, haven't paid the property taxes yet, need to file my federal taxes, what am I making for dinner tonight, oh yeah my oldest needs dental extractions and when am I going to schedule that around my youngest's dinner/bedtime and my wife and my alternating work schedules...? (breathe)

Is there anybody on here who has been definitively diagnosed with panic attacks or anxiety attacks who can describe them so I can compare notes?
01-21-2014, 10:12 AM   #2
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I use to have panic attacks in my late teens. It started with shortness of breath, like there was a lot of pressure in my chest and I was unable to breath. Things got a bit tunnel-vision-like too. Fast heart rate for sure. It would last well over an hour.

Then they just stopped. Never had one in over 15 years.

I would imagine they can be similar, but not necessarily the same from person to person. Only a qualified doc can diagnose you based on the symptoms.

I hope you find some relief though. Being overwhelmed isn't a good feeling at all.
Visit my blog to find out how I live with an ostomy while maintaining a vegan lifestyle. Tips, reviews and food

01-21-2014, 12:52 PM   #3
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Location: New York

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Yes I have panic attacks and they range from high anxiety to full blown feelings of wanting to vomit, faint, and pressure in chest so I feel as if I can't breathe or will have a heart attack. It's a miserable way to live but I find the best way to deal with it is exposure therapy. So whatever triggers these attacks for me is what I need to tackle head on and face to get over it or more comfortable.
01-21-2014, 01:18 PM   #4
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When Johnny was on Prednisone it would make his heart race and he would get short of breath and it definitely caused him to panic (I don't know if it would fit the clinical definition of a panic attack but he was very frightened). I think the normal side effects of the drugs along with how a body would naturally react to very real side effects is frightening and would increase physical symptoms.

We had everything checked out (heart issues etc) for our own piece of mind but I am convinced they were side effects from medications. Just FYI, Johnny would take zofran occasionally for nausea and when we took him to the ER for the racing heart, he had a prolonged QT on the EKG. I now know that this can be a side effect of zofran. These meds can produce real issues, once we were aware it helped tremendously.

I hope things settle quickly for you Muppet. (((((Hugs))))))
Mom of Johnny
Dx Oct 11 2011 Crohns disease
Prednisone done 12/30/11
6mp 50mg every day
Allopurinol 50mg -discontinued per new G.I. on 11/01/12
Multi Vitamin
Vitamin D3 1000mg
01-21-2014, 01:31 PM   #5
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Location: Plainville, Connecticut
It seems like pressure in the chest is a commonality with panic attacks that I don't have. It's all a big head rush for me, whatever this is, but I can stand and carry on a conversation during it (which seems to rule out seizures and heart issues, to me). I'm stumped on this.

The sensation is most like the diaphoretic/syncope episodes I got back when I had a raging abscess in my rectum pre-surgery.

Docs want to put me on all sorts of nasty things and I just don't think that's the answer.
01-21-2014, 01:59 PM   #6
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I've had panic attacks and separately I've had that buzzy head. I feel like they are completely separate. I'm on Asacol and Humira. I have only gotten the buzzy head a few times in my adult life. Scary but nothing ever seems to come of it. I've had MRI's of the head (my mom died of a brain aneurysm) but nothing ever showed up as abnormal. I've never been able to attribute the buzzy head to anything specific. Not even meds, I've had an episode of it prior to Crohn's and one early in crohn's when I was on Asacol, Lomotil, and remicade.
05-01-2016, 05:52 AM   #7
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I happen frequently after meals, soft arms, legs weak, cold sweat ... almost faint, thoughts of imminent death is better after burping ... panic attacks?

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