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Is this a panic attack.

Very recently I think I had my first panic attack. My doctor is looking into other medical issues but it seems likely it's anxiety. Just wondering how long the feeling usually last. On Monday while I was at work I suddenly felt like my adrenaline got turned on. I was really shaky, started feeling like my throat was closing up, cold sweats, and heart was racing. After 1.5 hours of dealing with this I went into the ER because I had arm pain, which I was previously associating with a pinched nerve in my neck but didn't want to be stupid and thought it was best that I get checked out. So it's now 4 days later and my heart rate has went down, but it's still elevated for me, sticking around 90-99, it was at 135 in the ER. I feel clammy, bogged down, and anxious. I just can't shake this feeling. I don't like being alone and have the added stress of it just being me and my daughter at home today. I've worried all day that if it is medical and something happens while we are at home, who would help her. My doctor prescribed Xanax but I haven't get the prescription yet. Can't wait to take it. Hoping it will reset me.
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Avatar universal
Panic attacks certainly are scary, especially when it's your first one and you haven't a clue what's going on. Been there, done that, went to the ER with a pulse around 135 just like you. Might have even been the same place -- Spectrum Butterworth? For a while I was completely convinced I was dying.

I'm assuming that the ER staff ran some tests on you, which all came back negative. So you can pretty much rest assured you're not having a physical problem. It's not unusual for people to have one or two out-of-the-blue panic attacks in their lifetime. It's also not unusual to develop a panic/anxiety disorder after a major panic episode such as yours (and mine).

You might consider seeing a counselor to see if he/she can identify anything going on under the surface that caused or contributed to your panic attack. Or perhaps you're under too much stress, or overdoing it on caffeine. Sometimes it's just a mystery what causes panic attacks.

The Xanax should help you calm down. Just don't overdo it. It's not meant for long-term daily use, but more on an as needed basis.

I wish you all the best!
Avatar universal
Thank you for replying and yes same hospital. So I do feel I was in very good hands there. They did run all the tests and put me on a holter monitor for 24 hrs, which I haven't got the results back on yet.
I've thought if caffeine could be the problem. I haven't had anymore than usual but on a regular work day I will drink 3-4 cups while at work in the morning.
Therapy is something I will do if the tests my doctor is running all come back normal. I want to hit this head on. I can't feel like this all the time with a toddler to take care of. Xanax has helped a lot in these last few days. My heart rate has still stayed elevated for me, but I don't get the clammy or anxious feeling with it. My doctor only prescribed me 10 at .25 and I'm taking half of a pill so it's very small amount.
480448 tn?1426952138
Great reply from Lron!

I concur that it sounds like a panic attack also.  They stink (that's an understatement)!  You handled it just right, as it's always best to err on the side of safety when it comes to your health.  If there was something big and bad causing your symptoms (medically), it's very likely something would have shown up in the ER assessment.  It's also great that your doc is trying to rule out a medical cause, as many conditions will mimic panic/anxiety (ie thyroid disorders).

If you get a clean bill of health (which I bet you will), honest to goodness, the very very very best way to handle this is to try to dismiss it.  Don't give it anymore "power" than it already has.  The unfortunate thing about a panic attack, like Lron stated, is that often times, a person will actually develop a chronic anxiety issue as a result of how traumatic the feelings of panic were.  It's almost like a PTSD reaction, you begin fearing having another attack, and the anxious cycle begins.  If you can distract yourself and redirect your thoughts when you find yourself worrying about your health, or reliving the panic attack, you have a good chance of being able to put it behind you and hopefully not having to deal with anxiety chronically.

If you find yourself unable to dismiss the worry, then absolutely it's a good idea to get into some therapy.  And, yes, if you're still feeling some underlying anxiety, take the Xanax as directed.;  A low dose here and there will probably help a good bit.

Hang in there...update us!
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