Panic Attacks After Childhood Trauma

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Fellrunner

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#1
Hi, New on here. I joined because i have severe panic attacks associated with heart attack. These have been triggered recently by a diagnosis of high blood pressure. This came as a real shock as i am very fit and health conscious & don't smoke, or drink. The root cause of it all is witnessing the heart attack death of my father at a very young age - i was alone with him. Am i suffering a mental health problem, or my panic attacks normal given my experiences? i recently called 999 for the 1st time - it was just a virus.
 
calypso

calypso

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#2
:welcome: to the forum. Panic attacks are awful and make people feel terrible. If your BP is controlled with meds as mine is, there is no reason to assume a heart attack will happen. Was your father undiagnosed do you think so it built up with him? MY mother died at 52 and so I get checked up regularly with the GP.
 
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Fellrunner

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#3
Hi Calypso, Thanks for your kind and understanding reply. I was prescribed meds by my GP, but since then it appears my very high BP was mainly caused by anxiety about high BP! My BP is still raised 140/90 area, but GP says i don't need meds quite yet. I'm still terrified of dying of a heart attack though. My dad did have raised BP and died at only 38. I'm 58 so really anxious and scared i could die any day!
 
Mischief

Mischief

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#4
Hi Fellrunner

That is a totally understandable fear/anxiety. Is your doctor aware of what happened to your father?

Have you spoken with anyone about your father's death and how it has affected you? It would clearly be a traumatic experience for anyone to go through and on top of the event itself you've naturally got the questions about what does it mean for you and your own mortality. They're big questions and one which most people would need help with resolving. A skilled counsellor or psychologist might be able to help. These sorts of anxiety issues can usually be treated very successfully through the use of talking therapies, often without the use of any medication at all.

When high blood pressure and anxiety are mentioned I always think about the possibility of a person having obstructive sleep apnoea. It's a condition where you wake up, usually without realising, because your airway has closed and you can't get enough air. Some people wake up hundreds of time during the night because of this condition. People with obstructive sleep apnoea have a very high incidence of anxiety. I just flag it, in case it's something which could be affecting you. You don't need to be overweight to have it.