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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18762
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My name is ***** *****. I am a 19 year old female. I am in

Customer Question

Hi. My name is ***** *****. I am a 19 year old female. I am in fairly good shape, exercise regularly, eat well, and am huge on hydration (prone to kidney stones). Recently I have been struggling with panic attacks- at random with little warning. I'm currently working on my approaching final University exams, a full time work schedule, and a slew of other responsibilities. I assume the panic is stress related. The past 4 nights I have been having trouble sleeping. Laying awake for several hours (like now). I am also experiencing shooting pain down my left arm- below the elbow- and to the ring and little finger. I do not have any chest pains. I take beta blockers for stage fright. Should I be concerned about these problems? Is it alright for me to ignore them for the next few weeks? I don't really like going to the doctor for anxiety but I also don't want to ignore a potentially bigger problem. Thank you in advance.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: This problem has been going on the better part of a week. Applying pressure to my left arm seems to remove the throbbing momentarily, but over all movement does not make a difference.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

Anxiety and panic attacks can feel horrible, but they are not otherwise dangerous, so they are also not conditions for which there is a reason for concern beyond the symptoms caused by the anxiety or panic attacks. Some people have more severe symptoms, and it may warrant treatment because of the severity of symptoms, but it does not warrant treatment otherwise.

It is also common to have shooting pains or tingling sensations associated with anxiety or panic attacks.

It would be OK to ignore them, if it is possible to do so. The people with more severe symptoms frequently find it difficult to ignore them, but if you are able to do so, that would be fine. Distraction techniques, such as listening to music, may help to relieve focus on the symptoms, when it may be difficult to just ignore the symptoms.

There are also some options beyond ignoring or distraction that may help. There are also many people that would rather avoid taking medicines for anxiety or panic attacks, and there are a variety of non-pharmacologic interventions that can help, including various self-relaxation techniques. For example, yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis, or controlled breathing exercises can help to ease symptoms. However, many of these techniques are not intuitive, and it would require some learning of the respective techniques.

But there certainly is no reason for concern beyond easing the symptoms, and if you can ignore them, it would be fine to do so.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.