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Question:What can I do to handle SEVERE panic attacks? I have no support from my husband and other family. I have no medical insurance so I have E.R bills pilng up quickly and my husband doesnt try to support me while going through an attack, he just complains its

in case anyone wants to know..during my severe panic attacks my heart races uncontrollably, has gotten up to 171, or my heart beats really hard as if trying to work overtime, my brain gets a weird feeling as if my world is fuzzy, like Im not in reality. ometimes even my feet tingle. I shake all over, cant walk without help. I have fainted twice, become extremely light headed and dizzy. A feeling of fear and dread, and thoughts that I am dying. I have even told my children goodbye and to never forget that I love them. The fear is EXTREMELY scary. Ive developed a fear of leaving my home, being too far from a hospital really freaks me out. Also, my arms and hands tingle. I get chest pains that move to different areas of my chest, and at times the pain runs all the way through to my back, which makes it really hard to try to breathe normally. I woke up thinking of these attacks and go to sleep doing the same.

Asked by englishrose_12 on 1/4/10 1 Answer»


First I'd like to let you know that there are many people who suffer with the panic attacks you describe and they are real, so don't let others diminish the serious nature of your condition.
My feeling is that you really do need to see a professional - counselor or physchologist - probably not a psychiatrist initially.
But how will you be able to do that if you have no insurance and can't afford the bills? Have you looked into whether there is any medical assistance available to you in your county or state? If you haven't, you can go on-line and search for services or check the local phone book and make some calls. Often, there are services available for those in your situation but unless you seek them out you won't know about them.

You are asking for advice from others about how to handle your panic attacks and your fear about leaving your house. Others may share the suggestions they received from their physicians/counselors about how to handle these attacks, but everyone's situation is unique. What might cause others to have this problem may be very different than the source of yours.

While there may be some techniques (breathing, meditating, etc.) that help to control your symptoms, you really need to find out what is causing you to have the attacks. Most likely they are symptomatic of an underlying mental, emotional, and maybe even physical problem that you are trying to control. You can only handle so much stress before your system begins to rebel. Sort of like - 'enough is enough' - you're body is telling you that you need to get things under control and until you do that stress will convert itself to panic attacks and all kinds of things to let you know there's something that's just not right and you've been 'tapped out'.

If you can't get medical assistance and the cost of seeing a professional is prohibitive the next best thing would be to go to the library and get a couple of good, professional books on the subject. Reading about the nature of anxiety, stress, panic attacks, etc. may give you a better understanding of what's happening to your body when they occur. Getting the full picture and some clinical advice may allow you to develop some strategy to try to head them off before they occur.

I'm not a professional, but I've battled the stress demon and know that the solution begins with identifying the problems that are causing the stress. A counselor is a wonderful 'helper' in this process - I hope you can manage at least a few sessions to get you on track.

Do not, do not feel that you are a burden. Quite the contrary. You are a very important person who needs some support and love to get through this.

Answered by: cap123 on 1/7/10
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