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Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4486
Experience:  MD Psychiatry
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I am fifty two years old and have been an epileptic all my

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I am fifty two years old and have been an epileptic all my life. I have been treated with tegretol, epilum, epitec, luvox (for depression) and for the last approximately five years I have been experiencing what I would call "panic attacks". Is there a chance that these attacks could be hot flashes?
<p>Hi there,</p><p> </p><p>Welcome to Just answer !</p><p> </p><p>Well, hot flashes at times does confuse with panic attacks , especially in cases of women who have attained menopause , so in order to confirm whether it is Panic attacks or hot flashes , i will like to ask a few questions.</p><p> </p><p>Do you suffer from sudden onset of episodes caracterised by fearfulness , fear of impending doom , increased and pounding heart beat which can be felt by you ( palpitation), chest tightness , shortness of breath , excessive sweating , abdominal discomfort , feeling of throwing and choking ( air hunger) . These symptoms occurring in episodes , each episode lasting 15- 20 minutes , and then symptoms getting resolved on their own ?</p><p> </p><p>Regards..</p>
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much for answering my query. Regarding the descriptions that you mention. They are all pretty much the same as what I experience apart from the shortness of air feeling. However oftern one of these attacks will go over into a seizure. They normally happen when I am asleep and wake me up. It begins with a tightness in my stomach and worst of all I fear what the outcome could be - a seizure. Just ten days ago, I had three of those attacks in one day and ittook me about the rest of the week to recover much like having a seizure. Its all so confusing!
Thanks for the reply !

Well, from your description of the past episodes it is suggestive of Panic attacks , and it is not necessary to have all the symptoms that i mentioned to be diagnosed as panic attacks , if one has 4 or more of the symptoms , then we can term the patient as having panic attack.

And let me tell you that it is the hallmark feature of Panic attack that it leads to an intense fear in the person about getting a serious condition , immediately following the attack , such as a seizure or a heart attack or stroke , etc , so in other words there is a feeling of dread involved in a Panic attack , however the same feeling of dread ( such as the feeling you have that the episode will take a violent turn into a seizure episode ) , is not seen in Hot Flashes .

Hot flashes are basically feeling of burning sensation which spread across the body , ofetn associated with excesive sweating or flushing or both , and is seen in perimenopausal or post - menopausal females , but there are no symptoms such as chest tightness, feeling of dread , tightness, or discomfort in abdomen / stomach ,the same features which you experience.

So, i will suggest that what you are suffering from , is a PANIC DISORDER ( recurrent panic attacks) , and i will advice you to get started on 1 SSRI anti depressant such as either Paxil (Paroxetine) or Zoloft ( sertraline) or Prozac ( fluoxetine ) , which acts as good anti anxiety drugs and Panic attack , being a type of anxiety disorder itself , reacts to the SSRI'S very well. And , guess what , SSRI anti depresants are also used for the treatment of Hot flashes , which although you do not seem to be suffering from, but the SSRI mentioned will take care of hot flashes as well , if at all they occur ( being in the menopausal age group , they may occur) , while they act best for the treatment of Panic attacks .So, i suggets you get any one of the mentioned SSRI anti depressant prescribed by your doctor.

I am mentioning a link below on Hot flashes , which will throw more light on it .

I wish you best of health.

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