Massive anxiety attack… how to deal?

Hello,

Ever so often, I feel like absolute shit about this condition. But I haven’t slept at all this night because I suddenly experienced a massive anxiety attack that lasted through the night. I took a benzo which did not help.

It started because of the thought of how utterly fucked I am and how traumatic the last 2 years have been.

I fear for going on like this. I can’t do it anymore. I try to deal with the trauma, but I told my therapist it’s not working because I am traumatised again and again every single day by these symptoms that just never stop.

I am actually losing my mind. My parents just see the depression and want me to go on SSRI but I can’t accept the risk of making it even worse. And they don’t understand that the source of my depression is always there. How will a pill solve this?

I feel so alone and misunderstood.

Any tips on how to get the crippling anxiety under control? My whole body is shaking.

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I’m sorry to read this @Crembo unfortunately it’s all too familiar for many of us. Something that helps me is striving to change the mindset that is brought on by the lowered neurosteroids and inability of the body to process feel good hormones/androgens effectively(telling u what you know already I know) . Regardless we can still try to change this with work. The giant of pfs is what tries to rule our minds and hearts. Accepting the giant and letting it rule you is unacceptable . I’m not saying you’re not trying, everyone on here is a fighter and a warrior but changing your path and battle plan is key. Don’t fight the anxiety by feeding it with its favourite food, worry, feeling defeated, nothing or no one can help etc. Trying more substances/supps out of desperation often results in an almost immediate worsening of the sides that are turning u upside down and I believe is what has pushed the ones we lost over the edge. It’s so heartbreaking , devastating - no fitting words
To what i do.
I start my day with speaking out aloud positive messages and repeat them over I breath the healing in… I also do this at night in bed and it puts me out. I repeat it on wakening during the night.
Watch and listen to you tube healing, near death experiences positive thinking, spiritual and last but certainly not least religious videos, Bring God into your life whether you believe in him or not.
Physcology, meditation all of these modern day practices of inner healing came from the Bible.
It won’t give an immediate effect but stick with it, you must.
At the least it brings down the vegal nerve and your heightened state resulting in a calmer you. 10 /15 minutes of this type of thinking takes the sting out of the heightened state.
Watching more of these videos brings hope and belief in to your life rather than the constant thoughts of desilation and the end.
People have recovered from none treatable/ terminal conditions. Even people who were expected to die imminently. Read the Bible it shows u the word of God and the true meaning of life. Whatever you think inside don’t verbalise your thoughts stem them by speaking only the positive. Whatever irritates and angers you, again don’t speak these out loud ask for these people to be shown the way of change and ask for you to be shown the way in letting go of the disease and healing. All of this curtails anxiety and will re educate/re train your mind to adapt to this altered state with time. You, I and everyone on here has nothing to lose by changing the way we go about things. It will become second nature. I’m still working on it. I feel like a better human being for it.
To note I’m no Bible basher I was a total boyo etc.
One other thing when i had the rare window I felt better than ever and I think it was due to this on top of the receptors accepting hormones momentarily. I hope this helps. You, we will prevail.
.Try and be good to everyone and forgive, it makes u feel better than harbouring the cloak of hatred/upset because of what is happening to you. Ask God to show those around u more understanding. It’s amazing how much better it makes u feel as a pose to the feeling of emotional
pain and feeling let down by everyone.

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Hey @LazarusRy,

Thank you so much for your kind words. As far as I’m concerned, you are the true warrior here, finding strength in encouraging others while suffering so tremendously yourself.

I was a strict non-believer. Religion had no place in my life at all.

I’ve prayed almost every day since I have been afflicted by this. A while ago, I went to mass in the Florence Duomo (beautiful btw), and was crying the whole time, asking for salvation, and crying more when the priest gave me the ‘corpo di cristo’.

I want to accept God in all of this, but I can’t find him.

Only ignoring my symptoms lessens the anxiety, but I can’t always ignore it.

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That’s is great to hear like me your looking for God. Anxiety is a potential blocker. Keep faith the greater the suffering the closer we get to him. He’s with u/us no matter what. As I’ve said before in other posts imagine who we’ll be with this behind us. Better human beings, fulfilled, with a happy warm giving heart and our health. Stay strong we have more than we think. Some people who seem to have everything have less than us and thanks for the kind words my friend. One step at a time be patient.

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I’ll try your earlier suggestion some more. I did try to calm myself down last night, but it felt so physical, if that makes sense. Normally I can dampen it, watch something to take my mind off things, just breathing calmly. But none of it worked.

The trauma runs deep. Very deep.

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I understand and find it unbearable at times and have to retreat until it becomes manageable. It is physical, the disregulation causes the body to react to a false threatened state which derails the brain into catastrophic thinking… A viscious circle. Knowing and telling ourselves that the fire will dampen is settling in itself.One other thing try to do a 24 hour fast 1nce per week if u can. It helps reverse epigenetic changes and fasting is in the Bible too :heart:

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LazarusRy is a true warrior and inspiration. He gave great advice. Look up vagal exercises on Youtube to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. It is responsible for calming you down, basically the opposite of adrenaline. It can release trauma as well.

My 2 cents on what else helps me>

TL;DR > Define your values and stick by them No Matter What Happens. Rediscover your purpose. Find a friend to relate to.

Some of your symptoms might be due to physical or chemical changes in the brain and body so they may not be rational. So it’s important to develop a core set of values to live by that you follow regardless of your emotional state. This will be up to you to define or you can have religion guide you. One value that helps me is to accept there will be things I can’t control. I believe those of us who took hair loss medication did so out of an unhealthy urge to control what we should have accepted. Our pathological desire for control brought many of us here. Unfortunately this need for control makes PFS that much more unbearable because we have lost control of things we hold most dear and have no solution. PFS is teaching us a lesson on the importance of embracing change. And it does so in the most brutal way, by robbing us of who we were. People who lose limbs, get severely ill, experience death in the family all get taught this lesson. But it’s up to us to learn it and let go of our ego that mistakenly makes us believe we can play God. This is an ongoing process and the toughest to do. You probably know all this but it’s always good to hear it again.

Another value I follow is to alway help others because I could be in anyone else’s position someday and vice versa. We are all one and should strive to bring peace to each other. Doing volunteer work or even just lending a sympathetic ear can be a good start with this. We are in terrible shape but there’s always someone we can help. It is my purpose. Finding your purpose will help immensely because PFS makes us feel we have none but that’s not true. No matter what happens, if it’s your true purpose, you will stick to it and it will guide you through anything. My family is something else that gives me motivation to fight on and spare them further grief. Suicide is thus no longer an option for me and I have no choice but to figure out a way to live as best I can. Removing suicide as an option was freeing. It’s not a one time thing either. It must be reaffirmed every day.

Not being understood is tough. Humans need this. PFS is rare making it hard to find people we can relate to. And when those closest to us can’t understand what we go through, it’s just another dagger in the heart. It makes us feel isolated and alone. I imagine it’s how soldiers feel when they return from war. Finding a good friend to talk to has helped me. He doesn’t have PFS but is grieving the future he envisioned that no longer is attainable. Talking things out together has been really powerful. That connection and understanding is another key to my mental health apart from my values. So it doesn’t have to be someone with PFS who you connect with. Although I know finding good people you connect with is hard.

I could go on but this is already too long lol but hope it helps. We will have bad days like everyone else. Try to survive the downs and enjoy the good days, few as they may be.

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Hey @Wegotyou, thank you for your reply. It means a lot and I will definitely try the vagal exercises.

Suicide is never the answer. But it feels as if I’m on the edge of a cliff while the PFS monster is pushing me over the edge. I don’t want to jump, but I’ve got nowhere else to go. I also do not want to burden my family with the immense grief of losing me at such a young age, which is what keeps me going for now. But honestly, it’s not enough. At least, that’s how I feel right now. It just means a lifetime of coping with anxiety and depression until we are cured. I don’t know how long I can hold on like this.

Sorry to be a downer. I really appreciate your great advice.

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I’m glad you can be honest with us. No worries. You’re in pain brother. We know the feeling. No one will judge you here. Know you’re not alone. I hope you can go on because better days will come, even if you can’t feel it. The worst always passes.

None of us know how much time we have. Anything could happen so Not assuming you have all this time to live can change your perspective.

I like this video for more immediate relief of anxiety. The bowl sound chills me out. Might help you too. There are other videos with just the sound and no talking if you prefer.

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@Crembo hang onto the 100% fact that with a cure all of the lights will come back on. There is also a high probability that genes will revert to when the changes occurred so we will feel and look like we did not the older version. We’ll be reborn. Imagine that. Think of it as a huge bonus for the suffering we’ve endured. Not one of us wants to miss being part of that. When I used to have mini recoveries I felt super strong and looked young great people would comment on how young I looked. .

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Hey @Crembo, I also had a hefty anxiety attack a couple of months back that came out of absolutely nowhere. There wasn’t even a real trigger. I was just sitting at home playing a videogame and out of the blue it felt like I was in immediate grave danger. I had never experienced anything of the sort before and I was convinced I was having a slow, weak heartbeat or breathing problems or something all of a sudden. Completely bizarre and real scary shit. I was lucky someone came over late in the evening and helped me calm down, that person gave me some paracetamols that I would normally not have taken and I still don’t believe they did jack sh*t, but I guess it was something of a placebo effect because the person was there and that helped me calm down.

There are a couple of things that I personally do ever since to avoid further anxiety spikes:

  • Avoid needlessly stressful situations and long term stressors. I tend to overload myself at work by taking up too much on my shoulders and these days I try to be more resolute in what I can and can’t do. I also zealously use Google Calendar to keep my life as organized and predictable ahead of time as possible. It really helps with staying on top of things and never run into surprises or shitty situations that might trigger negative thoughts and stress.
  • Be careful with regular intake of energizing substances like sugar/caffeine/ or anything else that might affect your dopamine or adrenaline. I can get really on edge simply from a can of cola.
  • Try to actively interrupt yourself if you notice you are in a negative thought spiral and distract yourself with a different activity
  • If all else fails, maybe just calling someone and having a conversation with them on the phone is enough to help you calm down when you’re having an anxiety attack. It would be ideal if you knew someone who could come over and help you calm down if you’re in the middle of another attack.
  • introduce things in your life that make you ever slightly happier, despite the condition and everything that comes with it. I know it sounds kind of silly and overtly therapeutic but accepting the presence of your sickness as a currently unmoveable and unchangable fact, and allowing yourself to be kind and caring to yourself in compensation of it, is very important when dealing with depression.
  • try to remember things in your life that you are actually proud of. It’s very easy to forget that kind of thing. If anything, making it through this awful condition eventually will be a lifetime achievement by itself.

In any case, don’t give in to anyone who is trying to prescribe you an SSRI or something of the sort. It’s quite frankly poison and it’s just ‘symptom management’. I’ve tried a lot of substances to battle depression in my life but the only things that have ever truly worked anyway are lifestyle and mentality changes, and those simply take time, and sometimes you just need some help from a coach or whatever, and that’s okay.

Most important is to take it as easy as possible and be kind to yourself.

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Thank you for the useful tips and sharing your experience. I really appreciate it.

No I will definitely not go on SSRI, that’s for sure. It’s insane how people do not understand, let alone the unacceptable risk of pssd, that I will not take an antidepressant that messes with my sexual functioning when my sexual functioning is the bloody source of my depression.

My doc did prescribe me a long acting benzo, but I only use these sporadically.