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Anxiety attack again (I think)

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  • #386156
    Mr. Ritz
    Participant

    A couple weeks ago, after supper I’m watching TV and my heart starts racing, 140-150 bpm.
    Not sure what’s going on, so I go to bed. I don’t sleep well as it keeps waking me up. Next morning I’m OK, so I go to work (tired).

    Next evening it happens again so I take 1/2 of Xanax (Recently switched from Klonopin, as it no longer seemed to be working very well, but I had been using them kinda often). No relief after an hour, so I take the other half. Noting after an hour so I decide to go to bed, but the wife insists on taking me to the ER.

    After spending a lovely evening there getting tested, the Dr. shrugs her shoulders. Don’t see anything wrong and my heart stopped racing after I was there for a couple hours without the Dr. giving me anything to calm it other than a ringers lactate IV.

    Last night it happened again! This time I took the full .5mg dose of Xanax and waited about 2 hrs, then it finally calmed down. Maybe Xanax doesn’t act as quickly as I expect? Last time I used it, I had relief within a half hour.

    A couple years ago I landed in the hospital overnight for the same thing. and they chalked it up to an anxiety attack.

    Working backwards….
    1: A couple years ago, a neighbor who grew up with my boys (and is like one of my own kids to me) was over to the house telling us about how his marriage failed and the details of his divorce.
    2: A couple weeks ago I got the news that my 78 yr old Mother in Law, who is has asthma, was on oxygen and having breathing problems. She had all the symptoms of covid, but so far has tested negative.
    3: My wife has been having mental issues. Lack of concentration, forgetfulness, brain fog etc…

    All these events have seemed to correlate with my racing heart, and I think have crept into my unconscious as they were not particularly upsetting when I learned of them.
    I have tried my deep breathing, circular breathing, trying to distract myself, etc, but nothing is working other than drugs. Also, I was not drinking on these days as I’m trying to cut back.

    Apart from the breathing exercises, any other suggestions?

    #386157
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mr. Ritz:

    Apart from the breathing exercises, any other suggestions?“-

    – having read through what you shared previously, what has caused you the most anxiety over the years has been interacting with people, particularly in the workplace, starting with your first workplace: your father’s (a critical, harsh, never-pleased man) machine shop, where you worked full time a year out of high school.

    Back in September 2020, you wrote: “I was furloughed for 4 months once this pandemic started and on the days when I wasn’t having anxiety.. I found myself enjoying the time off. I started a garden and was able to spend the day on my terms.. The days went by very quickly“-

    – my suggestion: minimal interactions with people= minimal anxiety. Have a lot of Alone-Time. Spend time gardening or doing other activities where you are safe from the anxiety and distress that’s involved in talking with people, hearing their stories and problems, etc.

    My wife has been having mental issues. Lack of concentration, forgetfulness, brain fog etc.“- I wonder if she was tested in regard to these symptoms and how is her anxiety situation..(?)

    anita

    #386242
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Mr. Ritz,

    it could be that this (specially No3) triggered your racing heart/possible anxiety attack:

    2: A couple weeks ago I got the news that my 78 yr old Mother in Law, who is has asthma, was on oxygen and having breathing problems. She had all the symptoms of covid, but so far has tested negative.
    3: My wife has been having mental issues. Lack of concentration, forgetfulness, brain fog etc…

    I took a look at your previous threads. You’ve shared that you were struggling with money and issues at your work place, as well as that you were eagerly waiting for retirement. In your last thread you wrote:

    If the wife finds a new career far from here we’ll be moving, but even if we stay here, the security we had with her teaching job will be gone now.

    We both have health conditions that make it vital that we have good affordable insurance. I guess I’ve leaned on her so long that loosing the secure feeling is gone.

    You said your wife will be eligible to retire this year, but she was planning to keep on working for 7 more years. But now with her health issues, perhaps you are afraid that it will affect her ability to work, and that your financial situation will get worse? This is what could be causing you anxiety.

     

    #386243
    Mr. Ritz
    Participant

    Anita: minimal interactions with people= minimal anxiety
    Normally I would agree, except these are people I care for greatly.
    My wife also suffers from anxiety and she will be seeing her Dr. about her mental issues.

    TeaK: Actually, things have worked out well concerning my Wife’s career. She was able to retire from her long term teaching position and take another one, moving from High School to Middle School, which she finds much easier and gratifying.
    So, she is making her same salary as well as collecting her pension from the first job! That and my job is going better, so the money issues have moved to the background.

    I’m pretty sure my attacks were due to concern for family and friends.
    What I find strange is I didn’t have the feeling of fear, dread or other feelings you’d normally have when I heard the news.
    Very puzzled by that.
    Still looking for ways to calm myself without relying on drugs.

    #386244
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Mr. Ritz,

    good to hear that your wife has found another, more gratifying job, and that you are now better off financially!

    My wife has been having mental issues. Lack of concentration, forgetfulness, brain fog etc…

    Do these issues affect her ability to work? It’s good she’ll be seeing a doctor about it…

    I’m pretty sure my attacks were due to concern for family and friends.
    What I find strange is I didn’t have the feeling of fear, dread or other feelings you’d normally have when I heard the news.

    It could be something below your conscious awareness, but still getting triggered. I don’t know how else to calm yourself down (beside various relaxation techniques, which you’ve been already doing), except by looking deeper into the problem and see what it is, i.e. what you are afraid of.

     

    #386252
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mr. Ritz:

    “minimal interactions with people= minimal anxiety“- I don’t mean that you should neglect your wife and people you care for greatly.

    Good to read that “money issues have moved to the background“, but I am not surprised at all that your and your wife’s anxiety were not resolved because of it.

    What I find strange is I didn’t have the feeling of fear, dread or other feelings you’d normally have when I heard the news. Very puzzled by that“-

    – reads like you were not aware of “the feeling of fear, dread or other feelings”- this is what emotional repression is about:  not being aware of what we feel (unlike emotional suppression where we are aware of what we feel and intentionally put the effort to not express what we feel).

    Still looking for ways to calm myself without relying on drugs“- emotional expression is the logical answer: responsibly expressing our emotions through art (doesn’t need t be professional quality art!), drawing, writing, participating in a drama class, etc. Aerobic exercise serves t relieve the body from the stress that’s involved in emotional repression and suppression.

    anita

    #386714
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Anxiety turns into anxiety disorder when it disrupts daily life. Knowing the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety will help you cope better. Only you can help yourself. Eat healthy food, reduce consumption of caffeine, alcohol. Physical activity helps relieve stress and tension.

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