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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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can panic attacks take the form of difficulty walking, depression

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can panic attacks take the form of difficulty walking, depression of breathing and very blurred vision associated with almost constant feeling of fullness/pressure at back of head and neck. The fullness is relieved by positional change
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr John B replied 3 years ago.
Hi. I'm glad you posted this. While there is a set list of panic attack symptoms (the ones required for formal diagnosis) in reality panic and intense anxiety can manifest as almost any physiological sensation or psychological phenomena. Any clinician who has worked in an Emergency or Psychiatric ward will be able to tell you that people can at times present with the most bizarre of symptoms that turn out to be anxiety based. It is impossible to diagnose someone via JustAnswer but I can tell you that difficulty breathing, blurred vision and a sensation of pressure at the back of head and neck all sound very much like panic. Some people experience 'wobbly' or 'weak' legs and find this makes walking difficult. I'm unsure however if this is what you are referring to when you describe walking difficulty. Regardless, whenever anxiety or panic is being assessed it is always advisable to have a medical examination first to exclude any other potential physiological/medical causes for the symptoms. I hope this has been of some help, best of luck!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
thanks for your answer i have recently recalled traumatic experiences which are difficult to cope with and think these may be contributing to panic. I also had a severe withdrawal reaction to medication which included neurological symptoms such as seizures-very frightening- absences, difficulty in recalling information and recounting it/memory problems, word finding difficulties being not able to understand what people were saying all of which compounded matters how can i learn to absorb these experiences and avoid the associated panic which is worst when i associate the increasing pressure at the back of my head with the possibility of seizure are there techniques for overcoming these?
Expert:  Dr John B replied 3 years ago.
Hi. Traumatic memories will certainly contribute to panic. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD - a chronic traumatic illness) is actually classed as an anxiety disorder. There certainly are techniques for coping with panic. I can strongly recommend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as CBT is widely regarded as the gold standard treatment for Panic. CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviours and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. There is loads of evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of anxiety based problems. Treatment is technique-driven, brief, direct and time-limited (normally 10-12 sessions). CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings, and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications.
Many CBT treatment programs for anxiety disorders have been evaluated for efficacy and effectiveness; the health-care trend of evidence-based treatment, where specific treatments for symptom-based diagnoses are recommended, has favored CBT over other approaches such as psychodynamic treatments. In the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends CBT as the treatment of choice for panic attacks. I would strongly encourage you to consult with a CBT trained therapist as I would expect you to benefit greatly from this approach. CBT is usually offered by Clinical Psychologists (although not exclusively) and you can contact The Psychology Society of Ireland via http://www.psihq.ie/find_psychologist.asp for assistance with locating an appropriate Psychologist in your area. Also, take a look at an article published by the APA - http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2010/05/locate-a-therapist.aspx. It's an interview with a senior Psychologist and covers some of the things you should consider when you looking for a Psychologist. In the mean time you could start by accessing some CBT based self-help material to learn some CBT techniques. I can recommend this book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Overcoming-Panic-Derrick-Silove/dp/1854877011) and also this shorter document (https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/leaflets/Panic.pdf) as something you can read right now. I hope this has been of some help, best of luck!
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience: PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
Dr John B and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
thanks again, don't know if you can advise me/help me with this, i have been taking diazapam for past two days at 20-30mgs daily i don't wish to become dependent on it should i very slowly reduce it over next couple of days while substituting cbt/relaxation techniques and while knowing it takes time to master panic have you any sense of what an appropriate timeframe might be? sorry if this is not your area but i am just looking for general advice not definitive answers many thanks
Expert:  Dr John B replied 3 years ago.
Hi. I really can't advise regarding the medication withdrawal as I'm not a medical doctor. I do know however that Benzodiazapines (Diazapam) can be difficult to withdraw and cause some nasty side effects so you really must consult with your medical doctor on how to stop. There would certainly be no reason not to commence with CBT techniques while you are going through the proper withdrawal process. Predicting time frame of response to CBT is difficult as people vary greatly. I have had patients who have started to improve almost straight away whilst others have taken 10-12 weeks. In my experience I have found that the shorter the length of time a person has been experiencing Panic the quicker they recover. I have also found that people who are actively experiencing intense anxiety and panic seem to respond better than people who have milder anxiety and less frequent attacks. Best of luck!
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience: PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
Dr John B and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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