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Question
Posted by: Shelley | 2009-03-27

Effect of Panic attacks on body &  brain

I suffer from panic attacks and although I am on medication now (lexamil 10mg once a day) and it seems to be under control, I used to suffer from sever attacks - sometimes having upwards of 5 per day everyday.

I wanted to know if panic attacks can be harmful to the brain or to the body - surely that feeling of dread and the stress it puts the body and mind through does some damage or at least taxes the body? I know that I am usually very emotional and mentally and physically exhausted afterwards - I also crave physical contact - constantly asking my husband to hold my hand or hug me afterwards.

Also the Leximal makes me yawn - I yawn all day and people are starting to look at me funny! I have been on the medication for 2 weeks now - when will this side effect stop? I would rather have the yawning than have the panic attacks of course so Im not really complaining!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Suh episodes of severe anxiety do not damage brain or body, though o course they feel as though they could. There's some degree of stress during a panic attack --- but so there is during jogging. Yes, they are exhausting. Perhaps the lexamil is making you a litle drowsy ? There are other antidepressants, also very efective in helping panic and severe anxiety, which are less likely to make you drowsy --- you can ask your psychiatrist about this.
Most side-effects lessen after the first couple of weels

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