New to Chronic Anxiety Disorder

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I have had only a handful of panic attacks in my 33 years of life, all of which I blamed on drug overdose, too much cough syrup, too much pot, caffeine withdrawal from taking 6 espressos a day for months, etc. Two months ago I suffered a horrific full blown panic attack on an airplane as I was flying over to visit my father. I have flown many many times in my life since childhood and had something almost this bad happen only once before and only while I had a bad cold and to much cough syrup. This time I turned white and blood pressure drop to the point of near unconsciousness and they carted me off via paramedics. Doctors could not find anything wrong, blood pressure came back to normal, etc. After telling my family what happened my mother spilled the beans and told me this was a panic attack, I had inherited them from her and that thankfully it did not seem as bad as it was for her. She had been on medications all her life for this and we once had to commit her to a mental hospital, I never knew or understood that anxiety disorder was the cause of her problems, I always thought it was alcoholism, turns out that her primary medication.

Right after I managed to make it to my father's I was in a state of continues dread, fear and panic, just emotion devoid of any reason, for several days. Eventually I went to an ER to get pharmacological help immediately. I got a prescription to 1 mg lorazapan every 6 hours and 10 mg propanolol once a day. I can read drug side-effects on-line and despite how well it works I have restricted my lorazapan use to just once roughly ever 3 days. The propanolol works nicely but only for a few hours and I have taken roughly 1.5 a day. I take no caffeine anymore and try to stay away from alcohol even though it works as a sleep aid.

I have tried meditation, that being sitting still and counting and drawing in my head numbers in different languages I know, basically focus as much mental will on a specific continuous thought. I count up to 100-200 full breaths before I reach a relaxed enough state to let my mind wonder. It works but only while mediating or for a few minutes afterwards. I try to run several times a week, daily if possible, 2 miles at 6 mph, 1 mile at 3-4 mph, that feels good and helps but again only for an hour at most. Focused meditation works as normal meditation does but I can't just go to a session or plug in headphones and laydown anywhere. Cellphone apps like chess or Simon also have helped me dissipate a budding panic attack. None the less a constant low level dread is present in my conscious existence now.

Distractions help greatly, if I have tasks at work or at home that occupy my mind effectively I feel totally normal, but when I'm idle my mind focuses on feelings of dread that leads to panic which feeds-back into my mind trying to find thoughts to attach dread too, feeding back exponentially. This makes sleep hard, sitting still doing nothing active (like watching a movie, worse in a movie theater where I feel I have to stay sitting) is the worse and I feel most comfortable pacing. I have started a “Wellness” Journal to track my day to day performance and try to improve my means mentally suppressing anxiety.

What advice could any of you provide in how to deal with this?

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello bentice

    You need to take your full medication doses to make everything work. It will take an extended period of five weeks to gain full benefit of your medifications.

    I would imagine your Mother would have told you to take your medications 

    You know where we are to talk if needed

    In my condition I suffer chronic pain and I do use distraction to help me cope We all have our own ways of hiding the sores of our conditions and over the years we begin to control our negative thoughts, that our conditions give us


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    • Posted

      Quite the opposite: she said she would get immune to lorazapan and also found the side-effects and reducing dosager very disagreable (addictive) she recommended use it only occasionally when things get bad.
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  • Posted

    I agree with border about taking your medication.  I've been on lorazepam for the past 5 years with no side effects.

    My mother had a panic years ago and thankfully it was the first and last one.

    Distractions DO help with anxiety and in my case chronic pain.  Exercise (running) daily is a natural high and takes your mind off over-thinking so I really think you're helping yourself in that direction.

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  • Posted

    Take the lorazepam. You were prescribed it and typically for someone who is mega-anxious, you don't follow the doctor's instructions.

    No wonder you don't feel better.

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    • Posted

      Again from what I'm told by my mother as well as what I can read online from reviews of the drug lorazpam is very addictive, the brain becomes resistant and the withdrawal is as bad or worse then anxiety disorder its self. The propanolol on the other hand looks good, I want more.

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