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Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience:  15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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Would like to talk to someone about my anxiety/panic attacks.

Customer Question

Would like to talk to someone about my anxiety/panic attacks.

Ive had anxiety for 7 years, had my first panic attack 8 days ago, thought I was going to die. All sensations throughout my face, my body, out of body feelings, heart racing, hyperventilating, etc. Called 911, went to the ER for first time in my life. EKG and Blood Results were good.

Im a 23 year old male. Since my panic attack, I have had all symptoms that I had during the attack. I feel groggy, heavy headed, tight band feeling around my head, and getting sudden rushes of adrenalin through my head which is automatic nervousness/anxiety.

Im on xanax .25 x 3 a day. And 75 mg zoloft at night, for 2 months now, just got upped to 75, 5 days from 50 mg.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. K replied 3 years ago.

Dr. K :

Hi...I'm here...how long have you been taking xanax?

Dr. K :

Whoever is prescribing your zoloft is proceeding conservatively with the dose...not that there is anything wrong with that. In general, for a healthy 23yo male who tolerates medications well without side effects I usually increase the dose from 50 to 100mg per day (max dose is 200mg).

Dr. K :


Keep in mind the best approach to panic & anxiety is treating it holistically. Medications can be part of the solution. I also highly recommend 1) psychotherapy with a live therapist to address social anxiety, and 2) learning some formal relaxation therapy.

The last 2 treatments I mentioned are proven by sophisticated studies using brain scans (CT, MRI, EEG, pet scans) to improve brain function.

Also, by formal relaxation therapy I mean yoga, meditation, or similar methods. Having relaxing hobbies is also important, but not quite the same as formal relaxation therapy.

And remember you can't separate emotional health from physical health, so exercise & nutrition are vital.


There are also several self-help books you can read which can help including: 1) The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, 2) The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns; 3) The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by XXXXX XXXXX;
You could also try some over the counter products to help your anxiety like chamomile, kava kava, valerian root, or lemon balm.

Remember, even over the counter products can have side effects. If you taking any prescribed medications you should check with the doc who prescribes them to make sure the over the counter products won't interact with them.

And always start with low doses and increase them only if needed and slowly.

What else can I help with?
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Please let me know if you need more information. We can continue the dialog until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the answers don't forget to hit the ACCEPT button & provide expert feedback. Also remember that this is not an official doctor patient relationship and not a substitute for a full live psychiatric evaluation. Thank you for using justanswers.

Dr. K :

That's another great book for panic attacks.

Dr. K :

Studies on panic show that for severe symptoms a combined approach of meds & psychotherapy is the best. Also, a specific type of psychotherapy called CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is especially good. Lately, studies are showing how effective MCBT is (when you combine CBT with mindfulness, which is a form of relaxation therapy). In fact some studies show that psychotherapy like CBT can have better long term results than medications.

Customer:

Im here just reading what you said.

Dr. K :

Hi! Let me know when you're caught up...I'm standing by...

Customer:

Thanks! Im going to be seeing a therapist in person over the next week or two when I can find someone that is available.

Customer:

Im going to check out that workbook you posted as well.

Dr. K :

Is there anything else I can help with?

Customer:

Is it normal for me to be suffereing physical symptoms, etc even 8 days after a severe panic attack?

Customer:

I mean, I have been feeling awfulllllll.

Customer:

And I fear that its a brain tumor and not anxiety, but my 2 doctors told me its not.

Dr. K :

Physical symptoms are very common with anxiety, especially panic. That's why people think they are having a heart attack or are going to die...they perceive the chest pain & other physical symptoms as a heart attack.

Dr. K :

That's the "worry wart" part of your brain speaking...I thought I had a brain tumor in med school...it turned out to be impacted ear wax...ha!

Dr. K :

Severe anxiety can even mimic a stroke...I've seen patients who were literally paralyzed from anxiety...but there was no true, long term nerve damage and they recovered fully...

Customer:

Yeah. I felt like I was having a stroke or something. I mean I was getting wierd tingling and numbness in my face and on my scalp during this attack!

Customer:

I was scared to death, have you heard of anyone experiencing those symptoms during/after an attack?

Customer:

My ears are always like clogged. Especially when I wake up in the morning, if I swallow hard or something, it like crackles in my ear.

Dr. K :

In fact, those are classic symptoms of panic....right out of the textbooks...

Dr. K :

The ear issues are likely unrelated...do you have sinus issues?

Customer:

I have some allergies during the seasons, but not to many sinus problems I dont think

Customer:

That attack was very like traumitizing

Customer:

Im still experiencing random feelings of anxiety and adrenalin randomly during the day, and sometimes at night when I wake up in middle of night, not sleeping to well

Dr. K :

I hear ya...it is for many...and usually the 1st attack leads to fear of future attacks.

Dr. K :

The good news is you are young and it doesn't sound like you've yet had optimal, holistic treatment. The prognosis for you is very good if you take some of my suggestions (and I don't sugarcoat).

Dr. K :

Anything else?

Customer:

My grandmother does Raikki

Customer:

not sure if that is anything

Customer:

im definitly going to be doing some yoga

Dr. K :

I'm a big advocate of yoga...don't know too much about reiki...

Dr. K :

Anything else? If not, please hit ACCEPT to end chat...good luck in your healing journey...

Customer:

thank you for your help!

Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience: 15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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