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Will Panic Attack Symptoms In Early Recovery Keep You From Staying Clean?
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Will Panic Attack Symptoms In Early Recovery Keep You From Staying Clean?

Have you recently started a drug and alcohol free lifestyle and out of the blue comes these wonderful panic attacks that make you feel like your skin is crawling and you can not breathe?

Panic attacks can make you feel like you are going to die. They are the most unpleasant experience, and one of the leading causes of people relapsing.

Panic Attacks in early recovery started for me about 30 days into trying to change my lifestyle from many years of living a not so healthy due to drug abuse.

I was finally free of drugs, and wham, along came these attacks.

What is happening to me?

At first I had no idea what was happening to me, and why. All I knew was I was sure I was going to die, and I

My skin would feel like it was crawling, and I could not breath, and this sudden panic would envelope me

I found by relapsing, they would instantly go away, but I still did not know why they were happening. Thus, I became the classic 30 day relapse king.

Defining the problem.

I found this site on AOL called Addiction and Recovery, and did some research about why these happen in early recovery.

One of the first things I found was that Panic Attacks in early recovery are quite common, usually temporary if a person has not had a history of having them, and are caused by the withdrawal from drugs or alcohol.

OK, so they call them panic attacks.

They are common in early recovery and usually last less than 5 minutes, very long minutes I might add, and no, you will not die.

That was good enough for me. I scrolled down to the how to deal with them section and read about how to get through them.

Fighting panic attacks.

First and fore most, you must understand they will pass. Control your breathing, and walk it off so to speak. The hardest part is to not give into your fear, you are not going to die!

I have learned by breathing very slow and very deep, and telling myself over and over it will pass, and even walking the room to burn off excess energy helps.

I found that attending 12 step meetings for support in my quest to live drug free was essential, and started talking at meetings about what I was going through. I was amazed that the topic quickly took off and many people shared the same experiences.

You now know the whats and whys of Panic Attacks.

I believe having defined the problem, and finding out I can get through them and they will pass will give me a much better handle on completing the day clean and serene.

Remember to use your support group, talk about it and share with other new comers what is going on, and just take it one day at a time.


Street Talk

One of my friend suffer from severe panic attacks and it is so hard, thank for the information

Reply
  about 9 years ago

The suck for sure. Only thing worse than watching one have an attack is having one yourself.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

An informative article about panic attack, glad for a nice read.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Alfred

Reply
  about 9 years ago
melissa3  

Good Article. My Mom and my Aunt both have suffered for the longest time with them and there was a dark time in my life where I would wake up in the middle of the night and so scared, with my heart beating fast. I remember just trying to breath deeply in and out and like you said, it only lasted for a few minutes, but felt like forever.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I know the feeling and it s#@ks. :) Glad you got through it!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thank you. Informative and valuable article. I've been on a wide ranging cycle of prescription drugs for what feels like way too many years, from antibiotics to steroids to whatever. 'Twas necessary. Still. Will see if can get off and go mostly-raw-food healthy! I'm on day 20 of removing stuff - and day 3 of a cleanse without eating anything. First time for both:-) Will see where this takes me - thanks for the heads up on possible breathing and skin feeling stuff. I appreciate knowing what it might be if it happens.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Knowing is half the battle Cynthia, it really is.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Joan S  

I know someone who is getting off of doctor prescribed drugs for depression. His panic attacks are so severe, he's suicidal. It's scary. Seems to be coming through it, recuperating slowly. I'm glad you wrote this article. Helps people to understand better what's happening and how to deal with it.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Tell him the best thing he can do is number one, stay clean, using will only make them worse when he quits again. Second, learn how to stop or at least get through them, and third, if he never had problems with them before they will pass as he gets more clean time. Hope this helps.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Golfspice  

Interesting article and good advice Shawn.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I agree with Rob, by talking to someone close and just trying to remain calm can help. And as Heather said controlling your breathing also works if you can practice and master it before you have a panic attack.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yes, or when you feel it coming on, thanks for reading!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

It was friends that got me through these pink elephant periods... just talking to someone else on the phone about something else helped get those seconds past... good article Bud...

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I hear ya, had my time with dealing with this. thanks!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I agree with Sherry. Knowledge is power. I love your technique to control your breathing (staying calm) and keep moving. I would also add to look up. There is a reason we have the terminology in our language of 'down beat' and 'up beat'. It really does affect our moods.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

It sure does, thanks!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Good Information! It is incredible how much Knowledge can provide us with a shield of protection! Looking forward to more of your articles, Shawn.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Sherry. Thanks for following me

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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