Posted by: Concerned | 2012-11-24

Please help!Panic attacks and right hand numb for 7days now

Hi doc,
I''m 30 and I''ve been diagnosed with meds resistant depression and panic disorder. I''ve been treated with trepiline. haven''t been good with the meds lately as decided to stop due to the fact that maybe I don''t need them anymore and the side effects are getting to me. I have realised after 2 weeks of not taking meds, I do in fact need to stay on it unfortunately due to my panic attacks...I''m not sure if this could have something to do with my problem.

I had my 1st in a while bad panic attack 7 days ago...later that afternoon I started losing feeling in my right hand. It''s been tingling from my wrist down to my finger tips, my pinkie finger being the most affected...the whole hand feels uncomfortably numb with pins and needles as well as some throbbing pain that comes on in waves....

In the 1st couple of days my hand was changing colour and swelling, however it doesn''t do that anymore (I started taking some dispirin and vit B thinking it circulation). Even though the colour of my hand doesn''t really change anymore, the sensations haven''t improved and my hand feels ice-y cold even though it feels the same temperature as the other hand when I asked a friend to feel...My pinkie finger is the worse and i constantly have to flex my fingers by gripping motion and it helps for few seconds....The longer I leave my hand unused (except for sleep strangely) the more pain and pins and needles come in currents down to my finger tips...My thumb seems to be the only finger not really affected.

I had 2 more panic attacks 2 days ago and that seemed to have made my hand worse for that day but it went back to it''s usual state described above I have been feeling for the past 7 days. Could this be due to the initial panic attack? I thought it was circulation issue but it feels like nerve damage of sort.

I have come across that pinched nerve at C8 could cause this. i do suffer from tension headaches and my shoulders and neck muscles always being tense due tho my posture in front of the pc...the back of my neck is feeling hot as if the muscles are inflammed...but not sure how pinched nerve should feel exactly as there''s no sharp pains there...

Anyway, I''ve been tryin to determine the cause but not 100% as there are all these factors. I don''t have medical aid and so I''m posting the question here to find out if it''s something serious where seeing a doc is necessary or will this issue resolve by itself eventually or by any home remedies...

Your help will be greatly appreciated as I''ve been in panic mode due to this concern and not being familiar with it at all as it has never occured before.

Thank you in advance

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Our expert says:
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I'm rather puzzled, and wondering who exactly has been treating you. Obviously such a complicated case should NOT be handled by a GP alone ; and Trepiline, about the very oldest antidepressant still on the market, is a rather odd choice if someone has diagnosed treatment resistant depression, where there are various complex variations in treatment that can be used, including careful combinations and the use of adjuvants of different kinds.
The odd hand feelings and tinglings you describe sound like the effects of hyperventilation and over-breathing ( which people quite often do when very anxious and panicking ) which changes the chemical balance of the blood and causes such feelings, which are often reversed if one can control the sighing and deep breathing, and re-breathe in and out of a paper bag.
The main way to clear it up is to get proper treatment of the underlying anxiety and panic disorder.
As you have no medical aid, explore what you can do to be seen and help[ed at the psych department of your nearest medical school or large state / provincial hospital. And ask them about CBT, a form of counselling which their psychology dept should be able to offer, which is good for treating depression, anxiety and panic even without meds.

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.

Our users say:
Posted by: Nicky | 2012-11-24

Dear Concerned.
I am sorry about your recent panic attacks. Who diagnosed you with that condition? Have you consulted a psychiatrist? You will find many that are not so expensive and may just have the right answer based on your history. You also only really need 2 sessions and then a annual checkup. There are many treatments for depression including psychology which i swear by. I recently had sever depression and anxiety and have improved in leaps in bounds. It is a slow process. There is no quick fix and medicines take a few weeks to be at their most effective. You really should not alter these medicines without consulting a doctor. You may be going through withdrawal. You can got to any pharmacy and ask a pharmacist for free. And many pharmacies have a sister who will see you at a very low rate.
Best wishes

Reply to Nicky

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