Help! Really struggling with early morning panic attacks

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Hi. Someone tell me I'm not going crazy and how to fix this. I'm 44, on my own with 6 year old son most of the time. Mild anxiety and panic started just over a year ago but for last 2 months have been wakening up in panic attack. Doc had put me on citalopram a nd now up to 40mg with panic attacks still taking a hold of me in the mornings. Blood test confirmed I am perimenopausal. And i have loads of other associated symptoms. Should i ask for Hrt. I do t know what else to do I just can't deal with the panic attacks.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Very difficult. I can suggest seeing a psychologist, which is what I did, for mindfulness and CBT. It does help. Also perhaps you need a higher dose of tablet. Go back to your Dr and tell him about it all.
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  • Posted

    Do your symptoms affect your ability to be a good mother? Do they affect your ability to function normally on a daily basis? Luckily, as yet, my symptoms aren't too bad and I just use oestrogen cream in my vagina. However, if my symptoms became such that they affected my ability to function on a daily basis and they affected my ability to support my children (ages 12 and 14) then I would go on HRT patches. It's all well and good opting to take the natural route through menopause if it is just myself who is suffering, but if it starts to impact on those I love then, sod it, I'll use all the help modern medicine can offer! Whenever I am faced with decisions like this I just ask myself: how do I want my children to remember their childhood? Do I want them to remember a childhood with a stressed out / uptight / impatient / unhappy / unloving mother? No.

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  • Posted

    Have you tried breathing exercises they help to calm & slow the heart rate!

    1. Place one hand just above your belt line, and the other on your chest, right over the breastbone. You can use your hands as a simple biofeedback device. Your hands will tell you what part of your body, and what muscles, you are using to breathe.

    2. Open your mouth and gently sigh, as if someone had just told you something really annoying. As you do, let your shoulders and the muscles of your upper body relax, down, with the exhale. The point of the sigh is not to completely empty your lungs. It's just to relax the muscles of your upper body.

    3. Close your mouth and pause for a few seconds.

    4. Keep your mouth closed and inhale slowly through your nose by pushing your stomach out. The movement of your stomach precedes the inhalation by just the tiniest fraction of a second, because it's this motion which is pulling the air in. When you've inhaled as much air as you can comfortably (without throwing your upper body into it), just stop. You're finished with that inhale.

    5. Pause. How long? You decide. I'm not going to give you a specific count, because everybody counts at a different rate, and everybody has different size lungs. Pause briefly for whatever time feels comfortable. However, be aware that when you breathe this way, you are taking larger breaths than you're used to. For this reason, it's necessary to breathe more slowly than you're used to. If you breathe at the same rate you use with your small, shallow breaths, you will probably feel a little lightheaded from over breathing, and it might make you yawn. Neither is harmful. They're just signals to slow down. Follow them!

    6. Open your mouth. Exhale through your mouth by pulling your belly in.

    7. Pause.

    8. Continue with Steps 4-7.

     

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  • Posted

    Dear perivee

    I sympathise with you with the panic attacks, I have always suffered with them when put in open spaces but learnt to live with them but then peri/meno made me have them randomly which was very scary. I have had them on waking in the night and I have had the anxiety too. I tried cbt therapy but I guess it helped rationalise them but didnt take them away. The anxiety is better since I started taking multi vitamins for the over fifties and I would say cut the caffeine as I think this triggered alot of them plus lack of sleep too. Im two years post meno and although the anxiety has waned I still can get panicky at times but I try to push on as normal as much as I can. I have had friends who never had panic attacks before but get them in peri/meno. I didnt take hrt but it is up to the individual (I cant due to family history) x

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  • Posted

    Thanks ladies. I've been to docs this morning and asked for hrt. She said no, not at the moment whilst I am in this state with my anxiety. Said to continue on this dose of citalopram for another week and to try some online anxiety modules on mood cafe. So laptop out now.. .

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  • Posted

    Okay, so do try but also I really suggest seeing a Psych. Usually 6-14 sessions is all it takes.
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    • Posted

      I have been referred by my GP to a community psych nurse team but still waiting on an appointment.  They said it could take around a month. So another 3 weeks to wait..
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  • Posted

    Did your doctor suggest that the anxiety could have been brought on by perimenopause? I wonder if there is anyone who's anxiety has reduced once they went on HRT?

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    • Posted

      No the doctor didn't suggest it but everyone I talk to thinks it is. Like older aunties who've been through the very same. I've read write a fee posts on here about anxiety and perimenopausal and wonder if the Hrt had helped with that. According to my mum Lorraine Kelly was talking about it on the tv a couple of week ago and she felt like a new woman who could climb a mountain street only 3 days on the patches..

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    • Posted

      Yes, this what my friends have said ... that HRT patches made them feel like themselves again, gave them their life back, saved their marriages and family. My auntie called HRT her happy pills.
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  • Posted

    Hi Perivee, been through this myself thanks for sharing because many people don't seem to wake up this way..I use to get up frighten and scared to sleep because every time I drift off like I could feel like my heart drop down in my stomach weird can't explain this one to good..it will go away on its own it will stop one day, you realize it has subsided.. if you do get them during the day get a brown bag when it happens blow into it seems to help some people ok chin up onwards and forwards(((((( HUGS))))))

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