Old 03-29-2014, 10:42 AM #1 (permalink)
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Question Can FM change the form of a panic attack?

Hi everyone!

This is my first post on this forum. I should say that I haven't actually been diagnosed yet with FM but I will be seeing a specialist in May who specializes in it. My symptoms fit fibromyalgia 100% and so far my blood word agrees with this diagnosis. I have a question for you all though. I understand that panic attacks are pretty common for FM sufferers. I get pretty terrible panic attacks, but the form of my panic attacks has changed in the last few years, and they are not the typical panic attacks you hear about. I think the best way to describe them is as an acute flare!

I used to get the typical kind of panic attack that feels like a heart attack with body pain all over, confusion, dizziness, and where you see bright lights and so on. Now, however, a panic attack includes this strange whole body flushing feeling with weakness, pain all over with extra waves of worse pain, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and worst and scariest of all, my body either slowly or very swiftly goes stiff (depends on how strong the trigger). If it gets bad enough I become incapable of moving! It's crazy too in the sense that I don't have to be emotionally distressed for this sort of attack to occur. It's caused mostly by physical triggers such as the sun, extreme humidity, heat, cold, any lights other than LED, and travel. Also, since a panic attack is an acute flare they take a lot longer to recuperate from now than they did before. It's typically a day or more before I feel alright again. I'm going to try taking clonazepam to help with the attacks but I am skeptical about its efficacy :S

Has anyone else experienced this strange change in the form of their panic attacks since becoming sick with FM? If so, I would love to hear your stories and any advice you could share!

I wish you all the best on here and I feel your pain and share your hope and determination!

Cheers!

Alison
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:35 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can FM change the form of a panic attack?

Alison,
Welcome to the forum. Is your doctor positive that this is just panic attacks? Some of what you have mentioned sounds like panic attacks, that can be brought on by to much stress or worry, or not understanding the many ways fibro can affect your body. Some symptoms are down right scary.

But I wondered as I read some of the other symptoms that you mentioned if they might be seizures. there is a type of seizure called "tonic seizures," that make your body stiff and you can not move. You are aware of what is happening and sometimes the ability to talk is lost for a short period of time. There is also a seizure called "partial seizures." This one can cause the first symptoms you described, plus the fact that flashing lights can bring on your attacks. You might want to ask your doctor about seeing a Neurologist and getting a second opinion on your condition.

If this is what is happening you need to get diagnosised soon as possible. Don't get scared and have a attack, I just want you to be safe and be aware of this other condition. Do a web search on these two types of seizures and see if the symptoms sound similar to what you are experiencing. Let us know how you are doing.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:49 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can FM change the form of a panic attack?

i agree with 1sweed's very knowledgeable info. i've had panic attacks, but nothing like what you are describing. and they havent changed over the years. i hope you can find a resolution.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:08 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can FM change the form of a panic attack?

I agree with 1sweed, some of the symptoms you mentioned are way too extreme for a panic attack... I know because I also suffer from panic attacks, but mine don't resemble yours that much! I really think you should ask your doctor about those seizures 1sweed mentioned, because some of the symptoms you mentioned do sound like the ones you experience during a seizure. See a neurologist asap!
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