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redirish28 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 09:12 PM
Original message
Advice on Panic attacks.
Okay. My wife has been suffering panic or anxiety attack since 6 months into the job she is working now.

As a result everything takes her to the point of one. The past week and a half had the stress of the land lady and the phone drama.

This evening (she seems to be putting it behind her. Feels the whole event was stupid) she is walking around restlessly her breathing was kind of erratic. Nothing drastic but not regular. I keep telling her just let it go. She tells me she is trying to her mind and body are "working it out".

We can't afford a psychologist or help like that. The meds like Zanxics (sp?) and stuff is just way too much. She did learn some training techniques to relax herself and is taking B complex which seems to keep her more level than she was before we knew she was suffering from panic attack.

I guess I'm asking does it take people a while to relax the situation? I tell her to just calm down and to her it feels like I'm yelling.

I want to help my wife and be there but I don't fully understand the attacks. I don't think she does either. It's like she has the attacks AFTER the stressful situation is over. Like she keeps herself together to get through the situation and everyone else than she goes to pieces.

Anyone know any good websites?
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. ibtl but she'll prob. need to get medical advice whether she can "afford" it or not
i don't think it's always easy to tell whether it's a panic attack or asthma, and the erratic breathing needs to be checked out because she might think it's panic and it's really allergy/asthma

in which case she'll prob. need some meds to control it rather than allowing the situation to progress

telling someone, anyone, to calm down is never helpful, never, it's pretty passive-aggressive and is perceived as criticism (which it is, of course) -- it would be better to say nothing at all than to tell her to "calm down"

you don't have to yell to be yelling, know what i mean?

if it's a panic attack, it's just as much of a medical condition as if it is asthma or a heart/respiratory disease, telling her to calm down does not help anything and prob. just damages your relationship on top of everything else

find the money somehow to have a professional handle this

she doesn't need a website, and i don't know of any, sorry, my phobias occurred before the internet and i actually used a new age cure that would be considered crackpottery today (kinesthesia, sorry, can't spell it) and while the phobias then vanished forever "by magic" the bad thing about magic is that it isn't a reproducible result so i don't know if it would work for your wife -- finding the money for the right medicines is much more likely to do the trick

but there was never a sickness or a stress in my life that wasn't made worse by someone saying "calm down," you can see a huge improvement in your marriage right now if you just take those words out of your vocabulary forever

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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Try the Mayo Clinic website.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. I did a lot of deep breathing for my panic attacks. FYI, saying "calm down" doesn't help.
Edited on Thu Dec-02-10 10:52 PM by Brickbat
She might find a back rub or even just rubbing her arm lightly comforting. But ask her. Don't tell her to calm down.

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The Midway Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. Breathe. Meditate,
Fish oil, vitamins EXERCISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IBTL
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
5. How long since she had a regular checkup?
IBTL, but I wonder if just a simple look-see by a family doctor would help. Just to get the basics out of the way. Sometimes it's just a matter of taking a nutritional supplement to get back on track.
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girl_interrupted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. Question for you
Edited on Fri Dec-03-10 01:51 AM by girl_interrupted
Has she been to a doctor? Because sometimes anxiety attacks can have a physical cause. So if she hasn't been seen by a doctor, it would be a really good idea for her to have a checkup. If a physical cause has been ruled out, I agree with the other posters, telling her to calm down is like telling someone with a broken leg to go put a band aid on it. I'm sure she wants to calm down, but anxiety attacks can be very severe.

Imagine your breathing accelerating, your heart pounding and the feeling something terrible is going to happen. It's very unpleasant and frightening. You don't want to feel that way, but you do. Relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, eliminating caffeine and sugar, a healthy diet and getting enough sleep and exercise, helps.

But what's also important, is the need to talk about what's going on in her life, if there are certain things that are troubling her, she may really need to vent. You sound like a supportive person, so see if you can get her to open up. She might feel like it's complaining, but if you assure her, you don't regard it as that, she can really unload. From what you said, it sounds like it all began with her job. It might be very stressful. She might want to consider making some changes, because no job is worth getting sick over.

I would also recommend the Mayo Clinic website or WebMD You say you can't afford it, but a lot of times it is short term therapy, including the medications, which she might really need to get some relief. So check and see if there are clinics with sliding scale fees. Good Luck to you both!
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State the Obvious Donating Member (561 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 02:24 AM
Response to Original message
7. Professional advice is best, but if that is not possible....
....there are things you can do. Give her support and encouragement when you can. Listen to her without judgment.

An excellent award-winning book by Edmund J. Bourne (4th edition) is The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. It will help to understand what you and your wife are dealing with. People who have panic attacks are usually highly-sensitive people....and dealing with ANY type of stress is a challenge. It is sometimes difficult for others to understand this.

Learn some good breathing and relaxation techniques. Medical websites are best (Mayo Clinic or WebMD)......but You can also find some "quick info" at (panic attacks)

Get professional help if you can. Good luck.
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TorchTheWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 06:54 AM
Response to Original message
8. they're an adrenalin release cycle
which can be because of certain stressors or genetic in origin or both. I've had panic attacks my whole life so I can only control them with meds but there are still certain things that trigger them and sometimes meds aren't enough to keep them entirely at bay.

A good book for her to read is "Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes". Understanding why the attacks occur and what fuels them is the key to finding relief. Mostly they become a problem because the person doesn't understand what's happening to them and their anxiety about not being able to stop them or keep them from happening actually fuels them. Dr. Weeks does an interesting exercise in the book where you try to MAKE yourself have a panic attack and it's interesting because most people can't. By concentrating on trying to make yourself have one it breaks the adrenalin cycle. I can't even count how many books I read on the subject and this was the only one worth it. Dr. Weekes' writing style is as if she's speaking casually directly to you and isn't the least bit like a text, and because anxiety sufferers generally have a lot of difficulty with patience, it's also a relatively short and engaging read. I've re-read it many times during times of crisis and it's always helped.

Could be the stress of her new job started it all and the problems at home with the landlord compounded the problem. Sometimes it IS necessary to change the environment in order to relieve the stress that causes them. It may be that the new job is a problem because it's a new job and she'll feel better once she gets more used to it, but it could also be something about the new job that she'll never feel good about which might mean having to find another job. Same thing with the home situation.

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lukasahero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
9. As others are saying
Breathe. Meditate. Chamomile tea.

She can learn how to talk herself down from them (I have) but she needs to do it - you can't do it for her.

And yeah, telling her to calm down is going to upset her more.
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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
10. When hyperventilating breath into a paper bag.
Edited on Fri Dec-03-10 09:00 AM by Swede
It helps. Also avoid alcohol and drugs until she gets a handle on this.
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MikeFoxtroters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
11. Take control
I know this will not apply to every situation but it has worked on occasion for some people I know. You need to focus on thinking clearly when you begin to panic. What is causing it? How can you dominate what is causing the panic? What can you do to alter or rid yourself of the cause? Do it. Take charge of yourself and surroundings, don't let situations rule you.
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-10 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
12. Locking
Seeking help for a medical/psychological condition. Panic Attacks can be horrifying - best to refer to a professional for guidance. Thanks.
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