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20 November 2008

Oh, yay, my second-ever panic attack. Well, that was roundly terrifying. Five hours long! I think I read every Web site on Earth about coping with panic attacks in the meantime. I feel for all of you who have to deal with those on anything approaching a regular basis... *sigh*
FIVE HOURS?! holy crap. Five minutes seems like eternity to me.

posted by divabat 20 November | 01:44
Go skydiving. Srsly. Cured me of panic attacks. Or at least gave me the ammunition to blast them away when they encroached.

Once you've jumped out of a plane on your own accord, very little is terrifying.
posted by BitterOldPunk 20 November | 02:38
Yeah, panic attacks suck big time. I haven't had them in years, but I remember more than I want to. Hang in there, and if it becomes a regular thing (and skydiving doesn't work) you may want to consider an antidepressant.
posted by Specklet 20 November | 04:13
the panic attack. the dreaded panic attack. and yes, they can last quite long. five hours must have been an eternity to you. did you at least have some good anti-anxiety meds to keep you from bashing your head in?

... oh. second ever. darling, i do recommend you get yourself to a doctor, just in case this should ever happen again. i'd be a fruitcake without my meds. a fruitcake with lots and lots of nuts.

wait. is fruitcake a pejorative term for "gay"? or is it a pejorative term for "crazy"? i hope it's the latter, because i strongly belief you can only mock groups to which you belong.
posted by brina 20 November | 06:02
brina, I think it can be both. We must rely on context!

Five hours? Whoa...the worst I've lived through (and I guess I've lived through them all) was about 10 minutes, while driving. That was messed up.

Meds, yes, but also look into Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I'm off meds these days, and while I hate to say anything to scare anyone away from potentially life saving meds...I wish I'd read up on CBT before I'd tried medication. In the end, I found that the meds didn't stave off the deepest depression of my life, and getting off them was harder than any of the panic attacks I'd had. Of course, that's just one guys's experience. Just please do read up on CBT and try that route before committing to meds. And, involve your doctor too!

/end rambling.
posted by richat 20 November | 09:04
A cold, wet washcloth on the face prompts the mammalian dive reflex, and it can stop some panic attacks. Well worth a try; it has worked for me. Panic attacks are quite physical. They may be a response to stress, but once started, they take on a life of their own.
posted by theora55 20 November | 17:33
Mykescipark, here are some tips, and here is some general information. Last year I had panic attacks. Right now I'm taking medicine and also having CBT. In studies receiving both really helps people get better.

Let us know how you do, ok?
posted by halonine 20 November | 23:26
So sorry to hear about this. I've been wrestling with panic for the last 10 years or so. The good news for you is that you know what it is. It took me a very long to admit that panic was just panic and not me losing my mind/dying/fainting/etc.

I would say that I hope you never have another one, but that would just re-enforce the notion that there's something to be afraid of. So let me say this -- if you have another attack, I hope you're able to recognize it as such, to the degree that you're able to approach it consciously and rationally, using breathing or whatever other techniques calm you down.

Panic attacks are all about vicious cycles -- you think something is wrong, but you can't put your finger on it, and the fact that you can't put your finger on it makes you even more sure that whatever's wrong must be deep and severe.

The only way out of the vicious cycle is to recognize panic as panic and not as something else -- and it sounds like you've already made quite a lot of progress in that direction.
posted by treepour 21 November | 22:47
YAY YAY We got our wedding photos!! || Today I turn 50!