Anxiety Attacks

My 19 year old niece gets anxiety attacks.She started taking prozac 10 days ago. I am aware that many side effects can occur when the medication is started. During her attacks she experiences racing heart, difficulty breathing,nausea,vomiting,racing thoughts,shaking, and feeling faint. Last night was the worst ever and she went to the emergency room. She was given a sedative and sent home. Doctor and staff were wonderful. Has anyone had experience with these attacks and good recommend the name of a good doctor. Would appreciate any information you could provide. Thanks so much.

Claire Claire
May 19th

Hello Claire,
Panic attacks can be debilitating. The best description I ever heard was to imagine driving and out of nowhere an 18 wheeler is coming right at you. The good news is you don't die from panic attacks. I suppose you could pass out though. I suffered with them from the age of 16 to about 25. I chose therapy and in particular relaxation therapy. I did use medication but it wasn't maintenance medicine. It was a pill here and there to get me through rough patches. I'm almost 60 now, so they didn't kill me but I thought they would quite a few times. There's many reasons people get them but being crazy isn't one of them. I was amazed at the amount of people who suffer from this, from all walks of life but it's still something people don't feel comfortable talking about.

Nutcracker Nutcracker
May 19th

Hi, this sounds crazy but give your niece magnesium and calcium, plus a good B vitamin complex! Also try Bachs Rescue Remedy. Non- addicting:

This is the same age I experienced panic attacks and I had to withdraw from college over it. My Mom said "just get over it" and there was NO WAY I was getting over it.
A lot of times because of lack of proper diet and growth spurt, us women do not eat properly and we suffer. Also, is she attending college? can be demanding, no sleep, again horrible diet, etc.
Valium and Lorasepam are addictive physically. Try also to have her get a full blood panel done if possible (CBC). There might be other deficiencies going on.
I lived for years with panic attacks.

I recently developed this issue and started taking Zoloft… it did help and I am looking forward to start the reverse process of getting off Zoloft.

LibertyThinker LibertyThinker
May 20th

I certainly recommend finding a well recommended psychopharmacologist - excellent in prescribing --that's what it took for several friends to get the correct meds-
Hope for quick relief for her - I had one full blown one and that one was enough- terrible feeling

4catmom 4catmom
May 20th

Google Dr. Joe Dispenza - Watch all of his youtube material. He teaches how a panic attack can be stopped naturally without the use of meds. Very inspirational. It is work that needs to be done from within, but with some teaching and the right direction you can make positive changes through thought/emotional patterns and mediation. I know many people who can swear by him and they have had their lives changed. Myself included. I hope you can at least try it out. God Bless

That_Guy87 That_Guy87
May 20th

I also suffer from panic disorder. Been taking Xanax for over 20 years. Some days don't need them some I do. I did go to therapy recently in last few years due to I broke my ankle and was confined to the couch. Crazy anxiety. there are lots of great books and material that can help immensely. Some days I couldn't leave the house. But I have learned how to deal with it and stop it from therapy. Was prescribed other drugs that really messed me up so I stick with a safe been around for years low dose of Xanax to take when I feel I really need it.

Mes803 Mes803
May 20th

Hello Claire, I am 68 years young and panic attacks are part of my life. Talking with others was my path to understand my illness and to seek professional help. I currently take generic Prozac and Xanax which have given me my life back. As a boy they called me shy and as a man I am a patient. I take meds every day and I have accepted to take them forever. With therapy and the right meds I live a semi normal life better than before when I suffered with irrational fear. Your Niece will be ok when the medicine starts working in two weeks time. In the meantime no caffeine and a healthy diet will be an anxiety suppressant. Xanax comes in a dissolve on tongue version which when taken will stop a panic attack in five minutes. I carry a few with me at all times and they are my safety net. Just the thought of having them with me gives me confidence.

Robert Rowe Robert Rowe
May 21st

I totally agree caffeine consumption needs to stop … Once I stopped drinking coffee daily my panic attacks significantly reduced… and are manageable …

LibertyThinker LibertyThinker
May 21st

Make sure there's no underlying cause. I started experiencing anxiety and panic attacks when I was 17 years old. I literally stopped going to school (I was an honoral student and did not suffer from bullying) and I couldnt bring myself to walk into a store. I didn't find out until years later that my anxiety and panic attacks stemmed from an untreated case of Lyme disease with coinfections. Because I went so long treating the early subtle symptoms- which were constantly brushed off as teenage angst- I now have irreparable damage although I'm happy to say the anxiety is not what it once was. I know anxiety is becoming more common but the kind of attacks she's having sound so similar to mine. Make sure you get more than one medical professional's opinion no matter what you do

Animallove Animallove
May 21st

Animal love — I have a similar story. Panic attacks aren’t always just panic attacks you can stop by breathing through or meditating or listing things you can see,hear,smell. I used to get so frustrated because those therapy techniques wouldn’t calm down my heart rate. Twenty years later — Lyme, dysautonomia. It was my body, not my mind. Still dealing with so many horrible side effects (and we’ve added Long Covid to the list) that could’ve been helped when I was a child if it wasn’t just assumed to be anxiety.

My "Anxiety attacks" turned out to be undiagnosed dysautonomia ( PoTs)...make sure she is checked out for anything that can mimic panic attacks. I went from age 17 to age 52 thinking they were just panic attacks.. turned out my autonomic nervous system does not function correctly. When your heart rate can shoot to 180 standing for NO reason, It can feel like a huge panic attack.

May 21st

Tell her to check gallbladder , i also Had same Symptoms and they ruled to be panic attacks ,was treated for it for 3 years and finally I went to second open and did lot of test and found I had gallbladder attacks….after I had it removed my symptoms went away.

Mirsada Mirsada
May 22nd


Mirsada Mirsada
May 22nd

She is young with a whole life ahead of her! Panic attacks are triggered by “x” and she needs to find her x. Therapy can work wonders, it did for me! Also meditation and yoga! Find her a therapist who can help her increase her knowledge of effective/positive coping skills to best manage her panic attacks, while also processing difficulties and challenges she’s experienced to try and find her “x.” ..and that’s why I became a therapist :) A good therapist will also address sleep, eating habits, and will encourage a physical from doctor. Therapy, therapy, therapy!
Center for Assessment and treatment in Hackettstown has great therapists, and also Center for Family Services out in Denville.

Have her get a Hair Analysis to see if she is high in copper, lead, nickel, etc. from many sources.

Eck Institute can do hair analysis.

Hackresident Hackresident
May 28th

I’m sorry to hear about your niece. I too have dealt with anxiety and bad panic attacks. What helped me the most, although it was a slow process and I still have to use many of the things I learned, was to find a good physchologist to talk to. If you can find a good one who your niece connects with they can teach her the tools to use to start to gain control of the situation and understand and talk through what might be triggering them. The best tools taught to me were breathing and positive self talk. I had to overcome post partum anxiety with my last pregnancy and it was a doozy with at least one trip to the ER. Please try to have her talk about things and find tools to use to manage it. I too also saw doctors to try to rule out any health related conditions that could be contributing and agree with the posts above. It would be good to discuss it all with her GP. Wishing you the best.

Htown Gal
May 30th

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