My primary care doctor just prescribed escitalopram. I have not yet been to a psychiatrist. My medical insurance will not cover that, but I will have to pay out of pocket. I tried a therapist once a week, but it was not of any help with my panic attacks. Is this something I would see a psychiatrist about? In self diagnosing, I believe I do have a subtle but significant issue with OCD.
I had my first "panic attack" about 20 years ago, hellish paranoia in the middle of the night that lasted a few hours the first time.
Over the years, I tried to self diagnose, thinking my attacks happened when I was living wrong. I always felt it was somehow my conscience trying to get me to live differently. I always felt guilty and paranoid about how I was living.
It is only in the last year or so, that it occurred to me that I actually might have a more severe case of OCD than I thought. It is not anything obvious, but I know that I spend hours a day with my lists of things. I don't have friends although I am very friendly. I can't "waste my time." I don't get out a lot.
I usually notice my "panic attacks" occurred after having had some Alcohol, although often not a lot.
I have become afraid of the night coming because then if I get an attack, I cannot talk to people, I cannot drive places, do stuff to distract my brain. The main thing is that I cannot sleep or even try to lay my head down because if I do not distract my brain, the terrifying feeling overcomes me. I will be exhausted but afraid to lie down.
My attacks have started to last throughout the day because I sense that total unbearable fear of things I cannot control or are futile. For example, never speaking to my ex again, the unbearable thought of my mother passing away, even little stuff like where I lost a pair of glasses. Terrifying!
I never thought my panic attack symptoms were like the classic ones I’ve been reading about-no racing heart, just an absolute paranoia and NOW I HAVE concluded that my problem is related to my OCD.
It is only in reading all of your comments that I begin to really understand that this is biochemical. Is this something that is best treated through a psychiatrist? I tried a therapist once a week but that was useless. It feels so wonderful knowing that I am not alone in my craziness.