Panic Attacks?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by stanhope, Jun 22, 2013.

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  1. stanhope

    stanhope Member

    I've been suffering from depression since I was around 14-15 (diagnosed). It's always been a huge part of my life, and it's led me into some very dark mental places throughout my life.

    I'm turning 21 tomorrow and for the past 3-4 years, since I started college, I've been having these panic attacks in addiction to my spiraling depression. They usually happen when I'm walking to class, at home, or when a bad memory is triggered by something. It's absolutely terrible and I don't know what to do.

    During these attacks, I can't breathe, I hyperventilate, I have this incredible sinking feeling in my chest, I start shaking/sweating/getting red, and I don't know what to do. It's literally the worst pain I've ever experienced. I've never cut myself or attempted suicide, but when it happens at home, I've thought about doing some stuff just to end this pain. But thankfully I've never gone through with it.

    I guess what I'm asking is, how do you control/stop these panic attacks? My depression is pretty bad on it's own, but I can survive in my day to day life. But coupled with these panic attacks, it's becoming incredibly hard.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2013
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Hi stanhope does your doc know about these attacks if so are you on medication hun to stop the anxiety. in a full blown attack it is wise to just sit down where you are reach out to someone and let them know what is happening having someone close to you help to decrease anxiety. Breathing very slowly helps too hun
  3. morning rush

    morning rush Well-Known Member

    I agree with total eclipse, talk to your doctor. I take meds for my anxiety so it minimizes the panic attacks but when they happen you need to keep going. Don't back down because next time the panic attack will be stronger. It's trying to keep you from doing things because you fear something about it happens when I go out, when I clean and when I'm in groups...because I have social phobias...

    also, talk to yourself(in your mind), try to calm yourself during and when the panic is done, tell yourself thank god you got through it, that you are strong for being able to get through it...notice that it didn't stop you and that you can overcome it (even if at the moment of the attack, it doesn't feel like anything is working) keep your mind occupied, like listening to music, read a book (I know it's hard when you can hardly breath and you're in pain) because your panic will be less with a friend, call someone and tell them what is going on...

    my gramps used to get panic attacks and I would sit with him and tell him to breath slowly, and I would talk to him, of course in the beginning, he glared at me as if saying I AM TRYING TO BREATH SLOWLY...but then his attack would last just a few minutes instead of longer when he's alone...

    hope this helps a little...
  4. stanhope

    stanhope Member

    Thank you so much for the help guys, I'll use these tips the next time it happens.

    And no, my parents deny me a chance to speak to a doctor. They don't want to believe that I'm not "normal" (Even with an official diagnosis) I'm on their insurance, so they'll find out if I talk to a doctor behind their back.

    So I'm trying to deal with these panic attacks and depression without the aid of medicine.
  5. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    hi. I am so sorry you are having to hide this because of your parents denial. Do you have a school counseller? Someone at school who you can talk with? Do you think that to help yourself you might be willing to defy your parents wishes to deny the pain you are in? So you can get the treatment you need and deserve? I do take something for anxiety. I have to. And I also know there are good counsellers who can help with anxiety attacks. They can give tools to assist. CBT is good. Perhaps a school counseller can help with this. And you would not have to tell your parents.

    Sometimes we do have to go against what our parents want for us, if you know what i mean. I am just putting that thought out there. I am very glad you are here. You sound like a really nice and wise person. And do not often say that to people here.
  6. stanhope

    stanhope Member

    Thank you for your kind words, Flowers

    I think I eventually have to go against my parents on this, as much as I've tried...I can't cope on my own anymore.

    I've never thought about going to the school counselor, I'll have to start once my semester begins.
  7. stanhope

    stanhope Member

    I wish they gave out free hugs in addition to the counseling...Sorry, just a random thought
  8. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    You are such a reasonable person. I want to point that out to you. I can see that you will do what it takes to no longer let this condition rule your life. I know many great people who are very high functioning and doing well in life who either took or have to taken medication to achieve that level of function and peace.

    When does the semester begin? Are you talking about fall? Because if so, I do have some other good ideas for resources you can try until then.
  9. stanhope

    stanhope Member

    Yup Fall 2013, starts in late August
  10. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    Here is what you can do now, if it feels okay to you.
    If you do not have health care insurance and if you live in the US, you could call united way ( in most areas you can reach them by calling 211 on your phone). Then explain your circumstances. Ask them about what services you can get. They can direct you to services in your area that are free or at low charge. United way has a huge database of orginizations that assist people. This is what they do. They are set up to help people. I found it took me two calls to find the right info and phone numbers to call. Because different people there have different skills at being resourceful re how they search their database.

    If you have insurance that is attached to your parents insurance, you may want to call and explain the circumstances to them. Tell them that you cannot let them know you are seeking help. Explain why. If you do not live in US, then please disregard the above :D And someone from the country you live in can give you better suggestions.

    The other thing you can do, if it feels right is to go to your family doctor. Because you are 21 you have the right to keep everything you tell him or her confidential. A family doctor can at least give you some medication. It is not the optimal way to go. Because there is no counselling. But it is much better than trying to make it through the summer with no medicinal support. Often, family doctors understand more than we might realize.

    If none of the above suggestions sound right for you, then I will come up with another. I would like to see you, if possible, enter school in the fall without panic attacks. Also, I hate to see anyone spend a summer without being helped for panic attacks and anxiety.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2013
  11. stanhope

    stanhope Member

    Wow thank you so much flowers, yes I'm in the US and I will give them a call today and see what my options are. And I had no idea that I could keep my stuff confidential once I become 21.

    You have been so helpful, I can't thank you enough
  12. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    you are more then welcome, Stanhope. Yes, once you are 21, you are no longer a minor. Your parents have no legal rights to your information. And it is no longer legal for a provider to give this information to them..... or anyone else, wihtout your written concent. Please let me know how things go when you start to look into finding resources. The second try calling United way, I found something awesome in Vermont where I live. A little agency that helps people navagate getting help for emotional or psychiatric issues. It was perfect for me at the time. Totally respectful person.
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