Panic Attacks

Hi,
I suffer from panic attacks and depression over the sillest of things. When these panic attacks occur, it is very difficult to focus on anything but the subject causing the panic attack, even though I know the subject is silly.

It’s making life unbearable & its difficult to keep things into perspective.

Why do you think God is permitting this to happen?
I could understand if it caused me to turn more to Him, but it causes me to turn away from Him because I ask Him for these panic attacks to stop, but they don’t

Does anyone know of a Patron Saint for Depression/Panic Attacks?

I would appreciate some advice please and/or prayers.

I found this:

Lord, our God, you graciously chose Saint Dymphna as patroness of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders. She is thus an inspiration and a symbol of charity to the thousands who ask her intercession.

Please grant, Lord, through the prayers of this pure youthful martyr, relief and consolation to all suffering such trials, and especially those for whom we pray. (Here mention those for whom you wish to pray).

We beg you, Lord, to hear the prayers of Saint Dymphna on our behalf. Grant all those for whom we pray patience in their sufferings and resignation to your divine will. Please fill them with hope, and grant them the relief and cure they so much desire.

We ask this through Christ our Lord who suffered agony in the garden. Amen

Lawstudent…I have nervous problems as well…I’ll say a prayer for you.
God Bless,
Aimee

Hi Aimee,

Thanks so much for your reply.:slight_smile:

I will now use the prayer you provided and ask for help through the intercession of Saint Dymphna.

God bless,

Lawstudent

Panic attacks and depression may also be chemically based – eg – your brain is changing as you mature and the needed chemicals are not being made or utilized.

You should talk to your doctor – be honest and tell him or her exactly what sets off, when and how or if you can do anything to control the attacks.

God allows people to be diabetic and worse – yet there is treatment available for most conditions. Talk to your doctor. These problems may not need treatment, but don’t be too proud to not accept help.

Yes, I am living better through chemistry – I don’t have anxiety per se, but depression and ADHD. My life is vastly improved now.

Hello, fellow panic-y person,

You’re not having panic attacks over silly things - it just seems that way because of the way that our brains process events. We tend to associate the attacks with the situation we are in or with the last train of thought we were on before the attack began, but those are not the causes for them. Depression often comes with panic attacks because of the way that the attacks can limit us and our lives.

Are you seeing a doctor? You’ll need to rule out or treat any possible physical causes - rarely, a tumor on the adrenal glands, a little more commonly a defect in thyroid function - there are some other physical causes, too. Get those ruled out if you haven’t already, so that you can go on to treat the symptoms and get back to your life.

If you have heart palpitations during panic attacks, you might be able to alleviate them by cutting out caffeine, eating at least one banana a day (potassium) and taking calcium, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and a stress-formula multivitamin. Keep it to the FDA minimum recommended requirement - don’t take mega-doses of anything without a doctor’s advice.

Have you followed a course of Cognitive Behavior Therapy to learn how to defuse some of the terror? There are some very good books available to help you out of the spiral of terrifying thoughts. Be cautious about them, because a few are rabidly anti-medication, thus talking people into rejecting medication - people whose lives could change drastically for the better if they accepted them, instead.

I would like to see these anti-med crusaders trying to tell a diabetic to just snap out of it and stop taking their insulin. Or tell someone with Chronic Heart Failure that they can talk themselves out of needing Laissix if they’ll just get with it and stop with the "stinkin’ thinkin’." :rolleyes:

Stinkin’ thinkin’ doesn’t do us any good, that’s for sure. Learning how to stop it in its tracks is a huge help, no matter what actually causes the attacks. And for some people, that’s all they need - there are psychological causes for anxiety which are effectively addressed just by knowing better ways to react to the cacophony of symptoms which assail us. Other people respond to medications with this CBT. (I’m one of those)

I don’t know why God has allowed it into my life - I guess I might not ever know. I don’t know for sure why He has allowed any of the bad things in my life, but I can sometimes see afterwards ways in which I benefitted from something that seemed like a complete setback at the time it happened.

I will certainly pray for you and I’m sure many others will, too.
Elizabeth

[quote=LawStudent]Hi,
I suffer from panic attacks and depression over the sillest of things. When these panic attacks occur, it is very difficult to focus on anything but the subject causing the panic attack, even though I know the subject is silly.

It’s making life unbearable & its difficult to keep things into perspective.

Why do you think God is permitting this to happen?
I could understand if it caused me to turn more to Him, but it causes me to turn away from Him because I ask Him for these panic attacks to stop, but they don’t

Does anyone know of a Patron Saint for Depression/Panic Attacks?

I would appreciate some advice please and/or prayers.
[/quote]

Almost 25 years ago, I suffered from them. They can definitely be terrifying. In my case, it was stemming from a sudden change of environment and triggered “agoraphobia”. This makes it difficult to leave the house.

After a counselors listened to me and never really gave me anything more than his ear, I finally fired him after 3 sessions and took matters into my own hands.

I realized that I had to confront the very thing I was afraid of - leaving the house, which is when the panic attacks would strike. So, I signed up for a softball team - something I like. I was in the middle of a panic attack when the ball was hit to me the first time, and that was about the end of it. It got my mind off of the attack.

First you have to realize that no matter how hard your heart pounds, people don’t die from panic attacks. Its a great time to say some Hail Mary’s. Use your intellect to reason with the unreasonableness of it.

If you need to, find a counselor or psychiatrist, or even talk to your family doctor. You need to understand what condition is triggering it. Is it agoraphobia or something else. More than likely it is something that can be identified and once you are there, it is a matter of confronting that head-on.

I’ve been free of them since I learned to gain control during that softball game. Each day it was easier until they were gone weeks later. Freedom!

I hope my story gives you hope. I did not rely on medications to deal with it, but you need to decide that with a doctor or psychiatrist. If you go to a pscyh - find one that is willing to work first without medication, then fall back on it as a last resort.

God Bless and good luck

Have a priest friend who had these attacks. He was put on Zoloft and has been able to cope very well. Apparently, he has a chemical imbalance. He is very thankful that this medication exists.

Hi ** Law Student **,
I too suffer from panic attacks and depression. I started getting panic attacks 2 years ago when I started suffering severe acid reflux (was diagnosed with Gastritis).

It seems that suffering from depression for long periods of time will do a number on ones nervous system and from the nervous system being overloaded the body reacts in this way to compensate and cope with the continual stress.

What helps me to overcome the beginnings of a panic attack is to take the focus off my body… What I mean is that when you start getting panic attacks you become SUPER AWARE OF EVERY SENSATION IN YOUR BODY and it makes you paranoid for any little sensation in your body that you may mistake for a panic attack coming, which causes you to become anxious. It is a vicious cycle.

When I feel a panic attack coming I try to busy my mind by doing 2 or 3 things at once… For example, talking to someone on the phone while watching a tv program or doing some house work all at the same time.

Once I stop what I call the ‘SUPER BODY SENSATIONS FOCUSING AWARENESS SYNDROME’ and take the focus away from my body, the anxiety from the panic attacks just goes away by itself.

I tend to hear over and over that those with panic attack/depression tend to suffer from nervous stomach conditions and low blood pressure. My doctor told me to take a ** Vitamin B-12 ** supplement as this helps to balance out ones blood pressure and handle stress better.

As was posted by others… I too have a devotion to** St. Dymphna as well as the Archangel Raphael who is patron of healing.**

God bless you and will be praying for you.

Law Student,

You are not alone. Stick with it. Ann Landers published a letter from another panic attack victim. I clipped it and tucked it away after I got over that episode in my life. Two things I remember about that letter on how to cope w/panic attacks were: 1) No one has ever died from a panic attack.
2)When a panic attack came on, the letter said, count backwards from ten, slowly and with measured breathing, imagine the panic attack lessening as I worked my way to the one count.

A year after starting therapy for these, I came across a segment on ABC’s 20/20 that researchers found that Inderal–originally intended for patients with heart trouble, actually suppressed panic attacks. My doctor prescribed it and it worked!

Today, I’m married, father of two and panic attacks are ancient history.

Intercessory prayers from St. Dymphna were a big help.

If I can do it so can you.

Peace

I suffered from them too. I prayed about it and they didn’t go away. So i told God that i was going to see a doctor to get treated. I hadn’t been to a doctor since my pediatrician. I was 27 years old and did not have a doctor so i got one. I went and they put me on Paxil and i have been fine since and very greatful. I am a changed person!!! When i went to the doctor they found a cyst on my thyroid. I would have never found it if i hadn’t had the attacks and went to the doctor for them.

Suffered from these for about a year and a half in the late 90s…

Xanax (Alprazalam) was my miracle. Once under control, I then weened myself off them by using only when needed (as opposed to Drs advice) and was breaking off tiny pieces from the pill itself … Drs wont tell ya about the ways to do these things, so you gotta take control yourself with these meds cause they are powerful drugs and you can get psychologically addicted.

you can also cut down the panic attacks by limiting yur caffieine intake… I found that thru the years…if I do an overload, it can trigger a minor panic attack.

Thanks so much for all your replies. I appreciate people taking the time to write such conscientious and detailed replies. You have really helped me. :slight_smile:

I’ll try and write a more detailed reply later.

Today was a much better day for me:D No panic attacks, no anxiety, just a lot of joy which is good. I feel much better in myself

Finally, just on one point that got my attention especially re. diet.
I have recently cut down a lot on my coffee, chocolate and general sugar/caffeine intake. I each a lot more fruit, yoghurts etc. I think this has definitely helped.

God bless you all,

Finishing with the words of St. Francis : “May the Lord give you His peace”.

I too suffer from Panic Attacks. My panic attacks were triggered by a sexual assault. I am getting better now. But some of the attacks lasted for three days. I could not sleep of function at work. Sometimes I would scream uncontrolibly. I even lost a job due to a panic attack. I was startled when I had a very important report due, I totally botched the report. I saw a counselor and she recommended meditation. I realized that is a very dangerous place to go. So I consulted a a friend who is a nun. She told me about meditative prayer. I was given a picture of Jesus calming the waters. Now when I feel a panic attack coming on I read any of the Gospel accounts of Jesus calming the waters, I imagine myself on the boat with the apostles. It helps a lot. I am slowly recovering. Of course having a pet helps alot too.

[quote=Barbara Ann]Now when I feel a panic attack coming on I read any of the Gospel accounts of Jesus calming the waters, I imagine myself on the boat with the apostles.
[/quote]

Thanks for that. I’ll mediate on this Gospel Account.
God bless.

[quote=Jguerra]When a panic attack came on, the letter said, count backwards from ten, slowly and with measured breathing, imagine the panic attack lessening as I worked my way to the one count.
[/quote]

I will remember this and use it whenever I feel a panic attack occurring. Thank you.

That’s interesting about the depression. I also suffer from varying degrees of depression and that makes sense now about the nervous system.

I will also pray to the Archangel Raphael. Thank you for mentioning him and replying.

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