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Panic attacks

Hi there. I am new to shift and I am glad I found it through the BBC article. I am struggling with anxiety big time. When I got diagnosed 3 years ago I then also lost my job and my boyfriend left me. As I couldn't walk and pay the rent, I left London and moved in with my parents again for 6 months. I can walk again now :–) have found a new job (they don't know about me having MS) and moved into my own little flat :–) So I should be happy, but I keep getting bad panic attacks, that I might loose it all again. It is affecting my work and my private life. Any suggestions how I could help myself?



I'm sorry you're suffering with these attacks, I know how terrifying they can be. I suffered with them just after diagnosis, mainly through the night. I have found that meditation and gentle breathing exercises have helped. I'm thinking about taking up yoga too as I've heard that can help. Obviously it's a personal choice as to why you haven't informed your work, but maybe to take an element of stress away, tell your boss or someone you trust, then at least if you do have a relapse they know what's going on? Wish you all the best.xx



Be sure to tell your doctor about these problems with panic and anxiety. There are several medications out there that can help you out.



I am sorry you are feeling this way, but I do understand.. I have been signed off work... currently on my 4th week re I totally burnt myself out re work.. suffered terribly from insomnia.. which then progressed on to panic and anxiety.. (a good friend made me go to the GP) The Gp was lovely.. after "listening" to me.. he signed me off for 4 weeks.. to reevaluate my lifestyle.. but the best thing that has helped is my CBT counsellor.. I have a private counsellor but I know the GP can refer you on.. it has been so invaluable source to enable me to realise why I was so anxious and more importantly gave me the "tools" to be able to cope when I am most anxious. Self care is so important.. go and see your gp and ask to be referred.. what have you got to lose :) hugs



Sounds to me as though you have done really well to sort your life out, when a lot of folk in your position would just have given up. Everyone here is saying the same thing - spread the load, take some support from the GP to keep you going on the right track. I don't get panic attacks as such but I do get 'spirals of worry' where I can't deal rationally with 'minor' worries. My GP told me that whenever someone is diagnosed with any chronic condition, their mental state changes - it's natural and doesn't mean you're weak or incapable. She prescribed amitriptyline which is both an anti-depressant and treats nerve pain. It has worked perfectly - the spirals of worry have gone (and the neuropathic pain!)



The first, really important step I found with panic attacks was identifying them - a lot of the terror comes from not realising what's happening to you which just makes the body panic more. You will have read all the things about steady, deep breathing but it really does help, as well as telling yourself you know what is happening and it is going to pass without damaging you. Having a "safe place" can be very helpful - sometimes you'll find that there is a place or person that seems to calm the attacks right down. If possible, when caught out with an attack on the move, contacting this person/going to that place can calm it down. I've never found medication to be the best way to deal with panic attacks unless they are very severe. Learn to cope with them and eventually you will know exactly what to do, thus taking away, or at least minimising, their disruptive power. The problem with a panic disorder is that, once it happens, panic can become your body's default reaction to problems but, again, once you are accustomed to them it is easier to identify and stop an attack in its tracks.