Panic attacks

Posted on: Tue, 03/07/2000 - 4:21am
Mruby's picture
Joined: 03/07/2000 - 09:00

This is something I have not read about yet. I have been living with PA since my earliest memories (29 years). Right before I graduated from college I suffered what I was told was a panic attack driving in my car. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something(peanuts). I felt like my throat was closing up and I ended up getting dizzy from hyperventilating. I stopped at an emergency room and the doctor said I was fine. Well, it has been 6 years since that first problem and I still have them occasionally. Is there any sure fire way to know if it is a peanut allergic reaction or just me freaking myself out? I know about the tingling mouth, but I can do that to myself psychologically. Any support would be appreciated.

Posted on: Tue, 03/07/2000 - 5:20am
Michele's picture
Joined: 08/04/1999 - 09:00

pI am the mother of a 2 year old PA girl. After her very severe reaction last year, I started experiencing panic attacks. At first they were occassional, then they started occurring every day. It was really getting out of control - and very frightening I might add. I would have such incredible terror - such fear - that something would happen to her and I would not be there to help her. After a few weeks of debilitating attacks, I ended up taking Xanax for about a month (1/2 in the am and 1/2 in the pm). Before I knew it, a week went by, then two, then a month, etc. After the attacks started to disappear while on Xanax, I stopped taking the Xanax and began Yoga. Knock wood - the attacks are under control. I ALWAYS keep a Xanax in a wallet in the event one comes on that I can't control, but the yoga is very helpful. As far as distinguishing between PA (panic attack) and PA (peanut allergy), the panic attack has similar symptoms, but accompanied by fear or terror. Some very good support groups for this. Good luck. Michele/p

Posted on: Tue, 03/07/2000 - 5:46am
KatieS's picture
Joined: 11/10/1999 - 09:00

pFear and terror also come with every allergic reaction, especially once you're older and know that you can die from it. So unfortunately this isn't a good way to distinguish between an allergic reaction and a panic attack./p
pYou probably should get medical attention for your panic attacks. You can't stop allergic reactions, but like Michele said, with the appropriate counseling, support groups, and/or medications, you CAN stop having panic attacks. Good luck!/p

Posted on: Tue, 03/07/2000 - 6:11am
Momma Kitty's picture
Joined: 04/04/1999 - 09:00

pI can empathize with you. My daughter (5yo) has pa=peanut allergy and I get pa=panic attacks. I had a history of them prior to her birth. With our nomadic lifestyle (husband/military), her reacting not only by ingestion but touch and smell and starting public Kindergarten this fall my anxiety has been coming back. Dealing with a potentially life-threatening condition in our children can be very frightening and stressful. It doesn't go away. I have to continually reassure myself and work through the stressful episodes. I hope to get better at dealing with it. I'm very pro-active and educated regarding her allergies. Hang in there and get help if you need it. Good luck./p

Posted on: Tue, 03/07/2000 - 2:14pm
Renee's picture
Joined: 09/02/1999 - 09:00

pI am in contact with several moms with PA kids in my area, and we are all on some type of anti-depressant. I am a very unemotional person, but when it comes to my childs allergy I really have trouble keeping the emotions undercontrol. I noticed that my church has a support group for caregivers and parents of children with disabilities. That kind of support would be helpful when the panic attacks hit, but I am not sure I qualify./p

Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2000 - 2:16am
rscollo2's picture
Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

pHi,br /
Just wanted to add my 2 cents. I also have a pa son and I have pa (panic attacks). I am currently on anti depressants to help me stay calm, I get very anxious whenever my son eats ANYTHING!! I am so afraid of the unknown allergy or the contamination factor. I thought it was just me having such a hard time coping with it, and I was hesitant to bring it up on the boards!!. Anyways, the medication has helped me in a lot of ways but I don't think I will ever be truly relaxed until there is a cure./p

Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2000 - 8:04am
Mruby's picture
Joined: 03/07/2000 - 09:00

pThank you all for the responses. I never really thought that parents of kids with peanut allergies would have panic attacks. My parents really didn't give a hoot. They figured I could survive myself. There was always peanut butter flying around my house even though they new I could die, I guess keeping myself alive has helped me become a responsible adult. Are there any other adults out there with peanut allergies that freak themselves out when eating, or am I the only one. Believe it or not, I have never given myself an EPI shot. I never new how common it was. And, I have only been in the emergency room once at 8 years old. With all the horror stories I have been reading I am beginning to wish I had not stumbled onto this site, now I am going to be beyond paranoid!! Or maybe this site may save my life. Again, any responses would be appreciated./p

Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2000 - 9:07am
KatieS's picture
Joined: 11/10/1999 - 09:00

pI am 20 years old and can often get a little crazy about what I can and cannot eat. I am in college now, and so it's even more frustrating--it sort of feels like I'm eating out every meal, and there's always the risk of cross-contamination. I've only been to the emergency room three or four times (only got epinephrine once) in my life, and have never had to give myself the Epi-pen. /p
pI have never had an actual panic attack, but I do get very worried sometimes. Usually if I find myself getting too frustrated and upset by my allergies, I'll try to eat something completely safe, like a whole fruit or vegetable. I find it calming just to eat something that I know has zero risk of contamination. /p
pI do believe that in the case of actual panic attacks, it is best to see a doctor. I know people (without PA!) with this problem, and I think that there is a lot that doctors can do for you for this particular problem./p

Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2000 - 2:25pm
rebekahc's picture
Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

pHi Mike,/p
pI'm 28 and PA too. I found this site after discovering my 3 year old is PA. After I started reading everyting here I became much more paranoid and sometimes am amazed that I ever survived to adulthood. I never even had an Epi until 3 years ago when our Pedi prescribed one for me. My parents were somewhat careful but would still eat PB sandwiches in front of me, etc. until the Dr. told them that, yes, the smell really was bothering me and I wasn't just being a hypocondriac./p
pI believe that my allergy is worse now and after a bad incident last weekend I'm getting more and more paranoid. I still don't really freak out when eating but am so much more cautious than before. Also, I figure that even if I do have a reaction I'll be okay - easier for me to live that way. Now, if it were my son having the reaction I would be a complete mess. Since I've never seen him react I'm not panicy yet.../p

Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2000 - 3:31pm
Donna's picture
Joined: 01/31/1999 - 09:00

pQuestion for Mruby:br /
Do you only have them while you are driving? Is it possible you are reacting to something else?/p

Posted on: Fri, 03/10/2000 - 3:49am
Mruby's picture
Joined: 03/07/2000 - 09:00

pRebekah, /p
pDo you know if PA is genetic? I have no kids yet, but I guess I should have my future kids tested early? What age?/p
pI first had the panic/anxiety attack while driving. For about a year I couldn't drive more than 10 minutes without hyperventilating and getting dizzy. However I did go to a psychologist and he told me I was just crazy and to get over it (not in those words), which I did eventually. I still get them occasionally while I am eating or after I have eaten. I think it has to do with my stress level at the time. One thing I did notice that helped me originally with these panic attacks(and still does) was alcohol. No I am not a drunk, just a social/weekend drinker. But it became obvious to me it was in my head and not a peanut that was causing this when after a beer or two I was fine. It is amazing to me how powerful the mind is./p



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