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Question
Posted by: Gino | 2004/10/03

Panic Attack?

I've been experiencing pins and needles in my hands and a severe tightness in the chest with a serious rush of adrenalin and a fast heartbeat.

This is generally happens whilst driving and I have now developed a fear of driving. My job requires a fair amount of travelling.

What is the best treatment? I am not keen on councelling sessions.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi Gino,
Its actually quite common for panic attacks to generalize and help to create a form of phobia for situations in which they often occur, or where one dreads that they MIGHT occur ; and one can then be troubled both by the attacks themselves, and by the anxiety, between attacks, about antipating the next one.
Fortunately these related conditions generally respond very well and fairly rapidly to basic treatment. Medication, like some of the modern antidepressants reduce the steam behind the anxiety / panic, and some very specific psychological Behaviour Therapy or CBT ( not the more wishy-washy and general counselling you're not keen on ) can add to these benefits.
The pins and needles are usually related to part of the panic / anxiety, to chemical changes produced in the blood when we over-breathe ( deep, frequent sighing breathing being quite common when we're very anxious.) This can in itself be reduced by deliberately breathing slower and less deeply, or ( hardly practical while driving ) by breathing into a paper bag for a while, so there's more carbon dioxide in the ari we're breathing in ). Also some medications can help to slow the pulse and mabe the tightness felt in the chest.
Let us know in a future posting here, how you're getting on.

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: know the feeling | 2004/10/04

gino, just wanted to let you know that i experience the same while driving, to the point that i am also scared of driving. yesterday i really made a conscious decistion to not let the fear take the better of me, because it is completely irrational and i also tried to think of goodthings like how nice it is to drive on a nice road on a beautiful day. it is as if concentrating on the anxiety consumes all other thoughts. it helped to have positive thoughs. well good luck to you and me. let know how you are doing.

Reply to know the feeling

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