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Panic attacks. A few months

Customer Question
Panic attacks. Doctor's Assistant:...

Panic attacks.

Doctor's Assistant: How long have you been dealing with this? Is there anything in particular that seems to make the symptoms better or worse?

A few months

Submitted: 26 days ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 51 minutes by:
5/27/2018
Mental Health Professional: LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker replied 26 days ago
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,054
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
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Hi, thanks for writing. My name is***** am sorry to hear you are having panic attacks. They are not fun. Can you give me a little more info so I can understand how I can help?

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
I ended up going to the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack. They are constant.
Mental Health Professional: LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker replied 26 days ago

Do you have a lot of stress in your life? What did ER do for you besides rule out cardiac concerns? Are you receiving any treatment as of now - either meds or counseling?

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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
The doctors said I was in perfect health. I have made a appointment for a counselor but it’s a couple of weeks until they can see me. I have not been given any
Meds
Mental Health Professional: LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker replied 26 days ago

Ok. A counselor is a good plan but ideal treatment will likely include getting on a medication called an SSRI as well. If you can, please see your primary care doc at the earliest convenience to discuss a medication (like Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, etc.) These mda can take a few weeks to begin to positively impact symptoms of anxiety so getting on o0hne sooner rather than later is important! ERs are not often the ones to prescribe these meds as they prefer they be prescribed by a doctor who will keep oversight on your condition, like your primary care doc. Note if you do start an SSRI, sometimes panic can get a little worse before it gets better so it can take persistence and patience with the medication but they are overall really safe and well-tolerated. If you do have any initial side effects, please note they usually dissipate a fetra few weeks of continued use and can be uncomfortable. BUt if they are deemed intolerable, you would want to report that to your doctor. ) Quite possibly, your doc would also consider prescribing a VERY short-term supply of a benzo like Xanax to help you overcome the panic attacks in the short-term so do ask for this as well but note a lot of dopcs are hesitant to prescribe this any more due to concerns for addiction. (I know that was a lot of info to give about a hypothetical med but I want to give you hope that this is a sound option for you. Best practice for anxiety states medications combined with therapy so you are on the right track.More coming...

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Mental Health Professional: LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker replied 26 days ago

Remember, anxiety is an alarm that you brain has in place which is meant to protect you from danger. Unfortunately, this alarm is not often accurate so when you feel really anxious, take a step back in the moment, do some controlled "square" breathing, recognize that you are in no danger, and roll with the anxiety reminding yourself you are safe, the peak of the anxiety will pass in a short time, and you can handle this. The more you feel confident that you can handle a panic attack, the shorter in duration and intensity it will become but if you allow panic to become something you completely dread and fear, it will come on harder and more often. Panic is a just a cluster of symptoms that are really uncomfortable but it is not dangerous! So if you do feel panic coming on, just grit and bear it knowing tit should be gone in a matter of 15-20 minutes and may wipe you out, but does not pose any risk to your health. Point is, it really matters how you reatto the [panic when it strikes.

Here is a blog I wrote which points to some exedrcises which can also help you in your efforts to manage anxiety and these can be implemented immediately. https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/3-easy-exercises-for-anxiety-relief-you-can-use-anywhere

-Leah

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