Death from panic attack – panic attacks forum – ehealthforum gas bubble


It started when I was 17 years old. I never had any real problems with health or huge fears. One day they just hit me. When it started it felt like I couldn’t take full breath, as if no matter how hard I tried to breath or how many breaths I took, I just couldn’t get a ‘full’ breath. Then I noticed a nervous sort of burning sensation/nausea and than my throat felt really tight and it began to be difficult to swallow. I thought I was going to die. It was horrible. As time went on the got worse, and sometimes my face and nose would get numb from having to yawn so much(it was the only way I felt I could take a ‘full’ breath). I would get light headed and I felt like I was really going to die.

NONE of this occurred until I was prescribed "Paxil" for anxiety when I really felt like I didn’t have any anxiety, but the doctor said it was supposed to help depression too. After a year of taking it off and on I finally removed myself from it and I kid you not, a few months later I suffered my first bout with anxiety/panic attacks. I’ve always wandered if that med is what helped cause all of this for me.

It took a few years for me to start battling it on my own. I just decided that if it was going to kill me then I didn’t care because dieing from it would be better than living with it. However, it never killed me. I began to learn how to fight them mentally when they start so that they don’t get too bad. However, that can rob you of some of your abilities to be emotional. Any extreme emotion can bring you a panic attack. Even being really happy and excited about something can trigger them, so to fight them you do have to learn to ‘numb’ your brain a bit. I’d be lying to you if I said that it doesn’t change who you are socially, mentally, and physically.

After having the upper hand on my panic attack issues for over ten years they have returned with a whole new bag of tricks to try and destroy my mind. I now get numbness in my left arm and cold finger tips with an odd tingling sensation in my chest(near my heart) which makes me fear that it’s a heart attack. I also get very light headed and dizzy, and I suffer random migraine-like headaches, I’m more sensitive to light, It’s become more difficult to create tears in my eyes and my visions a bit blurred in general, yet I test just fine at the doctor on everything from my heart (ekg), my vision/eyes, to even my blood work being clear and clean.

It started one night when I went to lie down to go to sleep.I couldn’t settle properly and no matter which position I lay in I felt I couldn’t breathe properly.The next thing I felt was a tingling sensation creep up my neck and throat.I felt something wasn’t right and sat straight up.As soon as I did I felt my heart begin to race out of control.I thought I was beginning to suffer a heart attack.I was terrified.

My body began to shake uncontrollably and I felt a tingling in both hands which led to terrible numbness where they felt like they were going to explode.They were rigid and I couldn’t move them.Next,my whole body went numb and my mouth also.I couldn’t speak very well and had slurred words.I felt a sudden tightening in my chest where I felt a huge weight was on top of me.All I could do was close my eyes and try to control my breathing as my heart was still pounding.

I was brought to the ER then where my body kept going in and out of the attack for 5 hrs.At this stage nobody could tell me what was happening to me.I was convinced I was going to die.It was the most frightening time in my life.I have since been prescribed Xanax(which controls the heart) and told that I will have to control future episodes using a paper bag over my mouth.I was also told I won’t die from an attack only go unconscious in an extreme case.There is no cure I was told only a life change and a better understanding of it.Since then I have suffered more attacks but have controlled them myself.This has come out of the blue as I have never suffered bad health and have always had a positive outlook on life.Now I fear death and can’t seem to let go of what happened.It has opened my eyes to how vulnerable life can be.

I had this happen when I was 16 at a dentist when he gave me a shot which caused extreme pain in my upper mouth. What happens is that something (in your case probably the fear of the strange symptoms, but could also be low calcium or other blood problem) causes rapid breathing, and since the body isn’t doing anything to use up the oxygen being added to the blood, this changes the acidity of the blood and the body goes into an alarm state. The various muscles (usually starting in the hands or feet) tingle and then go into cramping and this spreads through out the body. The heavy weight you felt on the chest is the muscles cramping there. This feels like paralysis and it gets difficult to breathe and leads to feeling like you’re going to die. Once you know that the cause is hyperventilation, you can stop the attack in the early stages by forcing yourself to breath more slowly and regularly, or breathing into a paper bag or (more available), put your shirt or coat over your nose — these things increase the ration of carbon dioxide and usually the symptoms will subside. As I said in my previous post, sometimes the early symptoms are the result of an earlier trauma being triggered. Also, the panic attack itself can be a trauma that affects you later. Both of these can often be treated and ameliorated by a competent trauma therapist.