Feeling anxioius 24/7 and scared of panic attacks

I’ve struggled off and on with panic attacks, fear of panic attacks and generalized anxiety nearly my entire life. I was so lucky to have 4 years of that time until recently where I felt completely normal. I could go on trips, meet new people and just experience a normal life until a few weeks ago.

I was at a conference, sitting on a bus full of strangers and had that familiar urge that I needed to get off the bus ASAP no matter what. I kept it together until we got to our destination but ever since then I haven’t been right. I managed to make it home OK with no problems and the night after, I woke up and had another attack. I couldn’t go back to sleep no matter what. Ever since then, I have a fear of going to sleep and now when I wake up in the middle of the night I can’t go back to sleep because I’m so anxious and feel panicky.

Every day, the thought of this problem runs through my head. Every, single day, dozens or more times a day. It’s starting to affect my work because it’s consuming my thoughts, my family life because I’m sleeping odd hours because I"m not getting regular sleep and so on. Essentially, it’s become the elephant in the room and I can’t kick it out.

I’ve been on Vyvanse for 2 years and that helped out so much with my ADHD and my work. However, now, because of this problem I don’t like to take it because it’s supposed to make the anxiety worse. My doctor started me on Welbutrin 300mg/day and I can’t tell any difference at all. In fact, I don’t know if it was because of the Christmas holiday or because of the Welbutrin but the anxiety has gotten worse. I’ve only been on the Welbutrin for a week now so I guess time will tell if it’s helping.

I’ve tried so many things to calm down, breathing from the diaphram, trying to focus on something specific, attempting to accept the anxiety and deal with it and nothing seems to help. Xanax helps but I’m not going to take that all the time when I feel anxious because I’d be popping them like candy.

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Are you seeing a therapist or psychiatrist? I would start there. It’s hard for us in this state to figure out why we are feeling what we are feeling but with guidance it can become more clear. In the last 2 months I have found out alot about myself and where my anxiety comes from. Although I haven’t been able to manage it well yet.

I didn’t mean to withdraw my first post, oops.

I’d like to share some resources that have really helped me. I hope some of this information helps you too.

Books:
Complete self-help for your nerves: Learn to relax and enjoy life again by overcoming stress and fear by Dr. Claire Weekes This book may be more difficult to find.

Freedom From Fear: Overcoming Anxiety, Phobias and Panic by Howard Liebgold, M.D.
This one is my favorite out of any I’ve read on the topic. The author, a doctor, had anxiety for many years and learned how to overcome it.

App

Calm.com (web and mobile). I listen to this when very anxious. There are some free guided meditations too.

Youtube:

Doctor explains how to stop a panic attack Helpful info about panic.

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I speak from experience with anxiety from the last 20+ years. I’m also a developer with mental health issues.

If you are experiencing anxiety CNS stimulants will only exacerbate the situation. Vyvanse is great for ADD/ADHD however since it’s basically in the amphetamine family it will stimulate norepinephrine/adrenaline which kicks in the fight or flight response (anxiety). Typically those with comorbidity ADHD/Anxiety do well on a stimulant and an SSRI such as Prozac or Zoloft (a non stimulating SSRI/SNRI). Wellbutrin is very activating and during initial therapy can give you feelings of anxiety. It’s really not a good med for anxiety.

There’s also the other option of looking into a benzodiazepene such as clonazepam or diazepam but most pdocs are really leery about prescribing them due to their addiction potential.

Myself, I’m comorbid BP II, Anxiety disorder, and mild agoraphobia. I’m stuck on clonazepam as it’s the only thing I can take to alleviate anxiety. I’ve tried several SSRIs/SNRIs and they throw me into mania pretty quick.

I would suggest going back to the doctor and telling him/her that your anxiety is worsening with your current polytherapy.

Anxiety is a bitch and I live it every day. It’s fucking crippling, for real. If you ever need to talk you can message me here or @shakycode on twitter.

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If one experiences symptoms of a panic attack, one may seek emergency medical care. Most people who experience a panic attack for the first time believe that they are having a heart attack, but this is different.

In any case, one may be asked to go for various blood tests to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, or an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check heart function. If one is normal in all the above conditions then it will be referred to as a mental health examination.

Treatment for panic attacks focuses on reducing or eliminating the symptoms. This is achieved through therapy with a qualified professional and in some cases, medication. Therapy typically involves cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy teaches one to change their thoughts and actions so that one can understand attacks and manage their fear.

Panic Attack Medication
Medications used to treat panic disorder can include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressants. SSRIs prescribed for panic disorder may include-

fluoxetine
paroxetine
sertraline

Panic Attack Home Remedies

In addition to these treatments, there are a number of steps that one can take at home to reduce their symptoms. Examples include:

Maintaining a regular schedule
Exercising on a regular basis
Getting enough sleep
Avoiding the use of stimulants such as caffeine

Welcome @flypped

DBT is a more modern choice now, though CBT is still a good form of therapy. There are risks associated with medication that the public generally hasn’t been informed of, and typically isn’t covered in depth during a visit with a doctor. The site for the Medicating Normal film has some good info about medication safety, much more comprehensive than what’s presented by the mainstream media, the pharmaceutical industry, or by therapists and psychiatrists, in many cases.

Maybe the most important thing to consider is if prescribed a medication in the benzodiazepene class (commonly prescribed for anxiety and insomnia), such as Klonopin, most experts say that it should be only used for 2-6 weeks. Some experts say 2-4, and not any longer, because of the common risk of physical dependence and severe withdrawal. There is extensive information about that on the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition website. The reason I mention this specifically is that it’s very common that doctors will prescribe benzos for a much longer-term. It’s very important to read the information sheet that accompanies the medication.

A more general website for drug safety is rxisk.org though.