Follow Up to Panic Attacks

After my blog post regarding panic attacks, it was brought to my attention that there can be other causes other than psychological and physical. A dear friend mentioned the following to me and with permission I would like to share.

{quote}It is crucial that anyone experiencing panic attacks get a full physical exam, blood work and so forth. Why? Because sometimes, people get sent off for counseling or psychological testing when an underlying medical condition goes untreated.

It is equally as important that anyone that knows someone who has panic attacks not assume that person should just get a grip and pull up the big person’s pants and deal with it. Panic attacks are real, whether physical or psychological. I lived it, Jan. I’d be on the expressway headed toward Monday morning court and have a frolicking panic attack. Heck, I’d be in my office, typing away on the computer and have a panic attack, out of the blue… but it was my heart.

However, there is a difference between depression and mental anxiety and a physical condition. A physical condition, like a heart problem, cannot be corrected with therapy, but a non-specific anxiety condition that causes panic attacks can be psychological can.

So, please be careful when you describe panic attacks and be sure to encourage anyone that is experiencing them to get a full physical examination.{quote}

Link ~ More Info

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Panic Attacks

pencilToday is all about panic attacks. No I’m not having one at the moment thank goodness, but what brought it to mind was the gas explosion in Durham, NC 4.10.19. I wasn’t thinking so much of my panic attacks, but of these people, towns and countries who experience terror such as this. This will have a lasting effect on Durham I am sure. 

Panic attacks can come on at any time and is a mental illness. I sure wish there was another term for it, but there is not. To my knowledge 1 in 4 people have a mental illness, so we are in this together whether we want to be or not. The most difficult part to having anxiety is talking about it to others who say, “are you all right?” I’m one who “appears” higher functioning and sociable on the outside but it doesn’t invalidate my mental havoc at times. Many don’t carry cue cards or banners advertising their malady. Just a “are you ok today?” is a real pain reliever if one asks. 

What is a real heart breaker is when someone says just “get over it” or “snap out of it”. Wouldn’t one think, “if we could we would?” It isn’t like one morning we wake up and look at our Rolodex and say, “Geee, what mental health illness do I want today?”

Signs of an anxiety attack:

I am one who experiences shortness of breath and it feels like I’m in a paper bag. To help others here, I usually just stop what ever I am doing even if  it’s pushing a grocery cart, reading the paper (which will cause anxiety in anyone) or in a crowd. Following I found some symptoms that may be recognized to possibly help others if you see and individual struggling/suffering in silence. 

                  Sudden overwhelming fear

                  Palpitations

                 Sweating

                Trembling

                Shortness of breath

                Sense of choking

                Chest pain

                Nausea

                Dizziness

                A feeling of being detached from the world (de-realization)

                Fear of dying

                Numbness or tingling in the limbs                                                                         

Let me just add here, “why is it when someone has cancer we don’t shun the individual or diabetes?” A question to keep in mind. 

As I say in closing, onward and upward  care about the one next to you. Love yourself as well and mostly. Just by chance the person next to you may be fighting their own inner battles with mental illness, cancer or diabetes. 

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Walking ~ Enduring

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Its been a year now and for some reason I set a goal. At the time, it was a haphazard goal since I’m not very discipline at keeping goals and never was. An unfortunate thing happen to me when I fell on a friend’s front porch with a very high step. I wasn’t trying to challenge the height at all, in fact, I didn’t realize it was even going to be a challenge. I had a kind moment and was bringing chili to my friend which I toiled over the night before. In the process of the step up, I fell but I saved the chili! I also, received a torn meniscus that I have been dealing with ever since in the right knee for a year.

That day, was an epiphany moment and the first day of the rest of my life. I’ve begun to realize there are a few things to keep to be independent. A pair of eyes, two legs that bring along two good knees along with horse liniment. This incident literally brought me to my knees and the realization that I’m going to have to indulge in self-care. I entered the traditional physical therapy ordered by my NP and a very good specialist. It worked for a while but I realize I would have to put more of myself into the process if ever I wanted to feel human again and not a Neanderthal dragging my knuckles. 

I took it upon myself to walk, walk, walk! For a year now it hasn’t been easy, but I keep going even when I don’t want to. In the beginning it started out only .2 miles to a friend’s house. Of course and then back. Very painful but I kept telling myself “No pain, no gain”. Ohhh how I hated that motto over time. Then it was only a half mile. Then back down to .2 miles.

Now here is the triumph! I am now up to doing a mile when I can, which is about every other day and weather permitting over a years time. The moral to this blog post is to “Never Quit”! I plan to keep going and my goal is two miles if and when I can arrive at that. My biggest fear is that it won’t take another high hurdle or fall to realize “keep on keepin on” has its pay offs. 

For goodness sake save the chili and rehab the knee. 

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