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as you know i have been suffering from depression and anxiety for the past year or so. i started taking prozac 1 week ago. which it hasnt given me any side affects so far. she also gave me some xanax for what i believe were panic attacks.

im not sure they were panic attacks because i was calm when my heart started pounding out of nowhere and lasted for about 30 minutes or so.

the thing is that my cardiologist tells me that theres nothing wrong with my heart but i dont know what to believe because these heart palpitations come and go all the time. my heart rate goes up alot too.

what would you do in my shoes. if everything is ok with my heart and im very calm not feeling anxious what can be causing this. they have done so many tests on me and i still get this fast heart rate and shortness of breath even at rest.
 

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Hi Sushi

I would suggest you see how you go with the Prozac alone - at least for a few weeks - before considering taking the Xanax. Although it is effective, Xanax should ONLY be take as a very last resort. It is extremely addictive and almost impossible to come off once started.

Another possibility would be to go on Effexor which is used both for depression and anxiety - and would thus kill two birds with one stone.

Perhaps you might talk further with your doctor about your concerns.

Take care

Merle
 

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Sushi:

Perhaps you should re-address the issue with your cardiologist, ask for a 24 hour heart monitor test. This way the machine would record BP, Heart Rate and respiration and see if there is something happening that isn't being caught at the time of examination.

I'm sorry I cannot offer anything more...I have never taken wither Prozac or Xanax.

Good luck, I hope you get some answers really soon.

Stephanie
 

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I agree that the xanax should only be taken if you feel that you need it. I disagree that effexor deals with real anxiety as my doctor put me on it yrs ago and it made my anxiety worse. The effexor did nothing to help my depression and made me feel very weird.

If you feel that do need prozac and your doctor is monotoring you then of course you should continue. Personally I am against all anti SSRI depressant medication and am a proponent of CBT therapy but that's just my own feeling.

I do know that beta Blockers are sometimes prescribed in cases of palpitations where the cause is undetermined but likely to be anxiety. These take away the physical effects of anxiety. perhaps asking your doctor about these meds might be helpful
 

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HI, My son takes xanax for panic attacks. They come on out of nowhere. Just last week, he was taking a walk and had an attack. He says his heart begins to race and he breaks into a heavy sweat. He has had all heart tests and has mild Mitro valve problems which should not cause the other problems. I know xanax can be addictive, but I am grateful that it has helped my son's attacks to be less severe. Have you had thyroid tests? your thyroid can cause a higher heart rate. I would give the Prozac at least 6 weeks to level out. I have been on several anti-depressants and this is the time period my doctor asks me to give them a chance to work.
Take care and Good Luck, Rosie
 

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Hi,
I've taken xanax thru the years for panic attacks. I would not catagorize it as so addictive I would not take it. The addictions come from use where you do not always need the medication at that level. I've been able to reduce it and terminate without too much trouble.

The thing with all these "habit forming/addictive" medications is that if we have the need, then be thankful they are there. Use them ONLY as prescribed, and only to the level you need to get thru the problem the medication is designed to solve.
With the awareness the medical profession has on drugs which are habit forming/addictive, I would not worry too much.
If this is a serious concern, then talk to the doctor about your fears. He/she can't help you with what you don't voice.

fyi: I have found thru the years that the medications which can be habit forming are not too hard to stop once the need for the medication is no longer present.
The lone exception to this, for me, is prednisone. But that is another topic.
Sally
 

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Hello Sushi

First, I would want to be sure exactly why my doctor prescribed the Xanax and how it is to be used just when you feel the problem or regularly everyday and if so for how long. I would also want assurance that it is OK to take the two together and if there is anything you need to look out for such as excessive drowsiness.

Basically what you seem to be saying is that you think there is something wrong with your heart so why take the Xanax. On the other hand if you take it and it does help with these symptoms the point will have been made.

If all the tests show nothing wrong with your heart maybe your conviction that there is something wrong with your heart and general health, and dropping dead, is a reflection of your overall state of high anxiety. Perhaps when the Prozac kicks in after at least a couple of weeks, you will feel less fearful about everything. I think the Xanax works fast and is recommended only short term.
It sure took you long enough to start on the Prozac ! ;)

Where I live, I might get access to CBT ( on the NHS) if I walked naked down the High Street selling flowers I'd nicked from cemeteries. Of course I would be locked up too.

I hate to think what a wretched miserable state I would be in if these drugs weren't available. They can make the difference between functioning and being crippled, between finding some peace of mind and glimpses of happiness or living in a vicious circle of depression and fear that affects everybody around us.
Mental pain needs relief as much as physical pain.

All the best Sushi

Hugs
Clare
 

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Hi Sushi

I have have experience of panic attacks from the past.

Firstly the best ideas would be to .

1. Get your doctor to give you a 24 hour heart monitoring test
that way when you have one of these 'episodes' the monitor will pick it up.

2. Keep on the medication to see if it does help over time.

3. Question why you were not given beta blockers?

4. Familiarise yourself by reading up all about panic attacks and how they work.


The thing is although you may very well be experiencing panic attacks , which by the way can actually make you feel your heart is beating extraordinarily fast, it would not be good for anyone on here to tell you thats what it is despite actually thinking it probably is just that...a panic attack:)

Once you have had all the clinical investigations fully done and you are still experiencing symptoms then it would seem that the only lead for you symptoms would again be 'panic attacks'.

Believe me there are a lot of people who end up in Accident and Emergency because whilst they are experiencing a panic attack they truley believe they are having a heart attack and rush to hospital.

The very essence of a panic attack also is that it came come out of the blue, when your feeling really really good or happy, so do not be confused by that.

I have a whole theory why one can experience panic attacks but can bore you with that at a later date if need be.

There are help and techniques to manage and overcome them.

They are the most irrational horrible things to experience and I truely sympathise with anyone who experiences them.

Nicky:)
 

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Me again :)

Did you ever arrange another appointment with the therapist?

Cheers
Clare
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Clare i did go see the therapist 1 time. couldnt go back because we only have 1 car and she wasnt available to see me in the afternoon.

where i live there arent too many therapist to choose from its very hard to get them. and if i do theyre booked all the time.

sometimes i can go for days without these palpitations. then they start up all over again. i know it took me a long time to start taking these antidepressants i think it was mostly because i was in a bit of denial. i thought that i can get better on my own.

my gp was very clear about the xanax she said she doesnt like to perscribe them. but i let her know that i really needed something to calm me down so she gave me .25mgs and about 20 of them i only take it when necessary.

i really dont want to take something that is habit forming but i need to feel relief when i feel like this. its the most horrible thing i ever felt. everybody has given me very good advise and i thank you all very much. ive only been on the prozac for a few days with no side effects and i really hope this helps me. i hope everyone is feeling well. hugs
 

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Hi Sushi

Panic attacks need to be switched off or dampened down. If meds help to do that and give the 'cycle of anxeity' a break then I would go for it.

In essence a panic attack is an alarm switch in the body that triggers fear/terror.

It just turns itself on when we have no real need for it,

The theory behind that is a long story but if the meds help to lesson your bodys reaction and thus your anxiety around the idea of having one then that will go a long way towards helping yourself in the future.

Nicky
 

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Discussion Starter #12
wow Nicky, thank you for that explanation. now i understand what panic attacks are. i didnt know that it can happen even if im not feeling scared.

the first time i had one was when i went to get an mri mra. ive been getting them ever since. i just hope the meds will eventually work.:)
 

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The Other Illinois Tammy
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sushi,
It is possible to have a panic attack and be sitting and watching tv. The mind work on it's own and sometime the body reacts to that. I am not saying that is what it is but it does happen. I have a girlfriend that has panic attacks when we are just sitting and having lunch sometimes. She has learned to have her meds with her for it at all times. It seems that nothing sets it off. Her doctor told her that sometimes the brain is setting up an enivronment that causes the body to think it is in an enivronment that triggers an attack. There is not much that can be done about it other than to learn what is going on and try to put a block up. Just monitor the triggers and try to be aware that it is happening.
 

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Dear Sushi,
I have been really upset for you lately as you are really not yourself. I wish it would all turn around for you.
I am not an expert in Panic Attacks, have only had one in my life, that was enough!
Have a friend who has them. You may feel as if you are dying, you aren't. Try to focus on something small, look at the details on something patterned. Or keep a strong rubber band on your wrist and give yourself a little distracting twang at the first sign. These may sound cranky but are recommended by Experts. Sipping water slowly may also help.

On the matter of tablets, I do not feel at all qualified to advise you. This subject does draw up some strong feelings both for and against.

One of my family really needed Prozac and it was of huge benefit. The other drug you mention I have no idea of.

If you trust your Doctor and Pharmacist I would be guided by them at the moment.
Much love anyway,
Lola x
 

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I know someone who takes Xanex. I have been told it takes the edge off when you feel uptight or panic.

Please take care of yourself and give the prozac a chance to work. I have read that it could take a few weeks to kick in.

Love,
Lyn
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thank you all for all your comments and support. it really means alot to me.:)
 

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Hi Sushi

I went on a learning course re panic attacks many years ago and it helped me best understand them.

This is my best shortened down version of what was explained:) and my own interpretation of that from my experiences.

The origin of an the panic attack is primal.
Lets say neandethal man went out hunting, heard a rustle in the bushes and out popped a sabre toothed tiger.

An adrenaline response 'flight or fight' kicks in spontaneously in reaction to the event of danger.
The heart pumps faster and all the physical and chemical reactions of fear kick in , in response.
This primal response is required in order to overcome the danger and fight and win and save his life.

Which he does:)

He fights andn kills the tiger and goes back to the village and happyly carries on with life.

On another occassion he goes out again and hears again the 'rustle of the bushes'.

Now instead of considering if the rustling sound is
1. The Wind
OR
2 . A sabre toothed tiger

His body reacts , its automatically triggered into pure fear, heart pumps, mouth drys etc etc.
This is in essence what we call a panic attack.

The reason he needs to 'panic' is motivational and saves his life.

Interestingly and natrually he does not stop to 'consider' for one millesecond if the sound of the bushes is ' the rustling of the wind'

Thinking could delay the response and get him killed.
The body is programmed to respond not to think about possible wind theories.
The brain has learned something.
The 'rustle' of the bush means danger.

He will panic when he hears this sound despite himself.
Its a primal switch or trigger necessary to save his life.

Luckly for us we dont have sabre tooth tigers jumping out of bushes to contend with but we do of course have events that we are or at the very least 'feel' threatened by in our lives.

Unfortunately the switches can get turned on when we do not need them, a bit like a faulty car alarm going off.

A panic attack can be just that , an alarm system that is not required but none the less is a real event of pure fear and terror.

There was an example of how a man was being treated by the person doing this course for problems he encountered emotionally.
The man had been in a huge train crash we had in the UK.

He had huge panic attacks when he went to go out of his house and saw moving cars and then eventually went onto cars merely parked outside .
He became agrophobic.

So he had an obvious phobia to cars.
The instructor explained how the car being made of metal represented the metal in the train and the 'speed' was also representative.

The trigger was the metal and speed to elicite a panic attack.
The man from the crash was a statician and knew all the logic and numbers of the likely hood of being hit by a fast moving car but this made no difference.
He simply reacted despite logic and despite himself.

This is a simple example of how a panic attack can work.
They can and do become more complex.

I will try and write more later
:)
 

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Just a comment on the Prozac. When I tried to take it, I wound up with extreme insomnia. It was bad enough I couldn't tell if the prozac was working or not. What has helped with my anxiety (which turns out to be a big part of my depression) was Paxil. I'm just saying this because while everyone is different, if you find Prozac doesn't help, you MIGHT want to ask the doctor about Paxil. I thought I had occaisional anxiety attacks but didn't think it was that bad until I started the Paxil and found out how much it helped. In all honesty, I think its almost impossible to know what will work until you try it. There's just too much we don't know about the mind.

Anxiety attack: I had just moved to a 32 story building in Chicago and was on the 18th floor. The windows could be opened but there were no screens so I didn't open them because I had two cats. Walking home from work in the first 2 weeks after moving in I looked at the building and it looked like every other window was open on the entire building. I immediately thought that the air conditioning had gone out and the building staff had opened every other window in all the apartments to help with the heat and that when I walked into the entry way the receptions would say "I'm really sorry." and hand me the dead body of my cat Xena who would have fallen out the window to her death. I KNEW that was not logical and couldn't be true, but I couldn't get the picture out of my mind until I got in my apartment and saw that all windows were still closed.
:hehe:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
nicky00, well done, thank you for taking your precious time to explain panic attacks to me. and it made me :lol::lol::lol:too. thanks, i dont really know whats going on with me but all these doctors seem to find nothing wrong with me. so i guess ill wait to see if these antidepressants work. one thing i want to point out though is, when i feel my heart racing its starts slowly and works it way up. then i take a xanax and a few minutes later everything is over so i guess its panic/anxiety attacks that i have been getting.

i have been having negative thoughts for the past couple of months. i want to stop it so bad but it stronger than me.:sad::sad:

thanks Jirel, i havent had a problem yet with the prozac but if i notice anything diffrent i will definetly talk to my doctor.
how did you overcome your anxiety? i was never like this and it has changed the person i used to be. thats why i pray to god that these meds do work.
 
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