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Question
Posted by: Panic Pants | 2012/06/18

Anxiety Attacks

Please help!
For the last year or so I have been suffering from what I can only guess are anxiety attacks.
I will suddenly start feeling panicky (The " fight"  or " flight" ) feeling, shaky, nauseous, sometimes hot and sweaty, excessively hungry and if I dont eat that very instant I gag on my food when I try to eat or I vomit.
I never used to be such a basket case - used to be very " happy-go-lucky" . But I work fulltime, then I started an event planning company which was going well - more like a hobby on the side, and I have also started an accounting practice with the view to being fully self employed when we have a family. But I have had quite a bit of stress in the events side which has not helped (difficult clients). Also in my day job I feel unmotivated and like I have so much work being piled on me and then I just cant seem to focus and complete anything.

One day last year I did a function and was unable to eat anything all day. Eventually when I did try to eat in the evening I was so shaky I threw up and nearly passed out. Had to get my in-laws to take me to their place cos my husband was away and I was so scared of fainting and being alone. Now everytime I do a function I do take snacks etc but still feel that panicky feeling.
Also, I am ill at the moment and my husband is away on business and I can start feeling the anxiety creeping up. The more I think about it or worry about it happening, the more it happens. I take Alzam when I feel the attack coming on. My doctor has prescribed Aropax now for me which I havent started taking yet because I believe it can make you nauseous and due to my flu and already being nauseous and vomitting I am not keen to take something that might increase the nausea. I have heard of 5HTP - is this something one can take instead to control the anxiety attacks?
I hate feeling like I am out of control and I feel stupid for panicking over nothing.
Also another trigger is I recently had third party contact about an ex that I never got over and I started feeling all panikcy about him and the past cos it was the most painful period of my life. I had hardly any direct contact with him over the past few months - I only corresponded 2 or 3 times in the last 8 months cos I was trying to face my fears (or my transgressor) and hoped it would give me closure. I dont feel so panikcy about that now cos I know he is no good for me and that I am with the right man now.
Another HUGE problem is hubby and I have been trying to conceive for over four years now with no success. It is also difficult as I dont feel any sexual attraction to him even though I love him dearly... sex just feels like a chore to try and conceive. It doesnt help when everywhere you turn you see ultrasound pics, pregnancy updates and baby pics from friends or baby bumps and you start to feel that it will never be your turn.
I have also a personal loan and run up my credit card - neither of which my husband knows about : he would freak! So I am worrying about how to pay the credit card back as well.

What can you advise for me to try manage my anxiety? I have tried making a list of things that I am anxious about and then plan to try and form a plan of action on dealing with each. What else can you suggest? I cannot afford therapy - I was seeing a psychologist to deal with the " ex"  story but I cannot afford to pay R1000 a month for this now.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

5HTP would be useles, as it almost always is.
best see a good local psychiatrist for a full assessment and a discussion of treatment options. There are meds which can help curb anxiety without causing nausea ; and psychological treatments like cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ( CBT )can be very effective, too.
Contacting your painful Ex is not wise, and is very unlikely to have any benefits - leave him behind in the past and stop contacting him.
Try to simplify your life until you have got the anxiety under control ( which should be practical and shouldn't necessarily take very long ). Its not a good idea to tackle too many anxiety-provoking and challening things at the same time.
Deal with trying to conceive once the anxiety is controlled. Discuss your financial difficulties with your husband, and with his help, and maybe advice from the bank, make a realistic plan to settle the debts and not run into any more of them.
Check with resources like FAMSA and your nearest medical school's dept of psychology, about affordable counselling.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/06/19

5HTP would be useles, as it almost always is.
best see a good local psychiatrist for a full assessment and a discussion of treatment options. There are meds which can help curb anxiety without causing nausea ; and psychological treatments like cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ( CBT )can be very effective, too.
Contacting your painful Ex is not wise, and is very unlikely to have any benefits - leave him behind in the past and stop contacting him.
Try to simplify your life until you have got the anxiety under control ( which should be practical and shouldn't necessarily take very long ). Its not a good idea to tackle too many anxiety-provoking and challening things at the same time.
Deal with trying to conceive once the anxiety is controlled. Discuss your financial difficulties with your husband, and with his help, and maybe advice from the bank, make a realistic plan to settle the debts and not run into any more of them.
Check with resources like FAMSA and your nearest medical school's dept of psychology, about affordable counselling.

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