Hey all,

About six months ago I went to the hospital with what I thought was a heart attack. I'm only 24 and I've never had any serious health problems. At the time, I was a few months away from marriage and a surgery which had been stressing me a bit, but not overwhelmingly. Anyway, I came home from work one day and felt terrible. Then... out of nowhere... my heart let off several massive beats and a feeling of numbness and dizziness swept over me... kind of like I was in a completely different state. Not ever having experienced this, I panicked and went to the ER... by the time I got in the ambulance my limbs were numb and i had a terrible pain in my upper abdominals... I went through a series of tests at the hospital and everything came back normal except that my potassium was low. This made sense because I had worked 12 hours that day and was surely dehydrated and poorly nourished. I believe the final diagnosis was indeed a panic attack. In the days following... the feeling returned... although never that intense. But it would sort of build up during the day and then a few times I would snap into "panic mode"... which if you haven't had it, is like someone flipping a switch and then all of the sudden you're in an awful, indescribable state. To shorten this up I'll get to the point. Eventually I went to a psychiatrist who seemed overwhelmingly convinced that I did in fact have panic disorder. My current state is this. I take xanax every day and when I'm on it, I never have symptoms. When it leaves my system after about 10 or 12 hours, I begin to feel dizzy and as time goes on, it seems like my cognitive abilities go more and more downhill, until I get to the point where i feel like I could have an attack. Now ordinarily, this discomfort compels me to take another xanax, and then 20 minutes later, I'm fine again. My concern is that there is never a time when the xanax wears off and I feel normal. Whether I'm thinking about it or not... when that chemical leaves my system, the symptoms start in. There was one time that I left my prescription out of town and didn't have access to it for 48 hours. By the time I got it, I was in a ridiculously pathetic state. I don't know what would happen if I just stopped taking it, but with work and now grad school, I haven't had the luxury of testing that out. Has anyone else had similar experiences? I would appreciate any and all thoughts on the matter.

Thanks All