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Anxiety Attacks

sajimjo

Registered User
Jun 18, 2013
130
Staffordshire
Not posted for a long time. I read the forum occasionally, when I find time. Everyone gives such helpful suggestions and support to others dealing with this awful disease.

My partner, now 81, had all kind of check ups after having several funny turns. All tests proving nothing. A few days ago I dialled 999 when he had a turn. Paramedic witnessed the symptoms, which was shaking and rapid breathing. Again all tests showed nothing abnormal. The paramedic said he thought it was an anxiety attack! I cannot think of any reason why; my partner is normally very quiet and shows no signs of aggression, and he says nothing is worrying him. He is still capable of doing most things for himself.

Has anyone got any ideas please?

Best of luck to everyone.
Sarah
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,524
North East England
Hello sajimjo - I'm sorry you've had no replies yet, so am bumping your post up so that hopefully those who are able to help will see it.

I do know that anxiety or panic attacks can occur out of the blue and can be very frightening, so it may well be that this is what's happened to your partner.

My dad had one just as he was leaving the dentist once. Nothing untoward had happened but just as he was leaving he started to feel odd and breathless, so went back inside. He suddenly seemed very ill indeed, shaking, crying (most unlike him) and generally wobbly and unwell. The dentist called me, and I rushed round there, and also called an ambulance. When the paramedics checked him over, they said it was a panic attack, which is what I suspected had happened.

My dad is usually a very strong and capable man and this was totally perplexing to him. He didn't feel that he was 'panicking' in the way we think of the word.

The comforting thing is that, although scary at the time, as far as I am aware, panic or anxiety attacks will subside with no harm done.

I do hope others will be along shortly with more help and support and to share their experiences, which may be a comfort to you.
 

sajimjo

Registered User
Jun 18, 2013
130
Staffordshire
Thank you Collegegirl for your post, and the symptoms you described that your poor Dad experienced are very similar to my partners attack. It's quite scary but having the paramedic helped me a lot in knowing nothing was seriously wrong.

I spoke to someone I know who has had panic attacks following a car crash years ago. She found breathing into a paperbag helped her. It helps to get more carbon dioxide into the system, only needs a few puffs in and out into the bag. I have not tried it yet.

I thought sore gums was causing as he started eating then said something was wrong. I'm trying to ensure he brushes teeth for longer. First attacks occurred after over exerting himself in the garden. GP checked heart and lungs. At first we thought he had COPD but lung breathing tests showed he had lungs of a 69 yr old, he is 81! So the real results are rather a relief. Just hope it does not happen when out.
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,524
North East England
I think it's a good idea to try the paper bag; I've heard of that before but have no experience of using that method. Perhaps it would be worthwhile you taking a bag with you when you go out and about, in case he does have another attack?

I have a good guide on panic and how to cope with it that I got from my GP - I wonder if yours might produce something similar? Or I could send you the details of the one I have, via PM if you would like?
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,730
we've used the paper bag trick loads of times, it is extremely effective and quick too and as you say college girl not difficult to carry around with you x
 

Linbrusco

Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
1,605
Auckland...... New Zealand
having suffered anxiety attacks years ago, twice which landed me in hospital, it was only upon being referred to a Neurologist he said they were brought on by overbreathing or hyperventilating.
He said other than using a paper bag to breathe in and out of, cupping your hands over your mouth and nose, breathing in and out and slowing down your breathing would have the same effect.
I was also referred to a breathng physiotherapist, to learn breathing techniques.
They timed my breaths, ( and also sighs or yawns) over a minute.

Depends on what techniques that someone with dementia may be able to adapt to best.
 
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Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,061
Victoria, Australia
And it's important to understand that anxiety need not necessarily be associated with any specific event or situation and can be a quite a debilitating mental condition, sometimes leading to depression.

What you said sounds very much like a panic attack to me but I am not an expert and think that if it happens again, you need to see GP. I am sure that there is medication that can be helpful and it may be appropriate here.
 

Tara62

Registered User
This sounds exactly like something that's happened to my elderly father, twice, and which also led to 999 calls and trips to A&E. The first time they couldn't find anything wrong. The second time, he came back with "suspected anxiety attack" in his notes. I'm aware of the possibility of this happening now, and would definitely try the paper bag trick if it happens again. My father's attacks came on at home, seemingly out of nowhere and for no apparent reason.
 

sajimjo

Registered User
Jun 18, 2013
130
Staffordshire
Thank you everyone who has responded to my post, it's comforting to know there is nothing seriously wrong and many of you had similar alarming episodes.

CollegeGirl, I would appreciate your offer to send me info on panic attacks.

Wishing everyone a peaceful night.
 

sajimjo

Registered User
Jun 18, 2013
130
Staffordshire
Thank you everyone who has responded to my post, it's comforting to know there is nothing seriously wrong and many of you had similar alarming episodes.

CollegeGirl, I would appreciate your offer to send me info on panic attacks.

Wishing everyone a peaceful night.
 

Juliemae

Registered User
Aug 9, 2013
1
Liverpool
Thank you everyone who has responded to my post, it's comforting to know there is nothing seriously wrong and many of you had similar alarming episodes.

CollegeGirl, I would appreciate your offer to send me info on panic attacks.

Wishing everyone a peaceful night.
Hi
I have just seen the tweet that Alzheimer's Society (AS) put out today about your post and I am pleased to see you have had some responses. Your post has triggered me to get back onto to talking point , it was 2013 I last logged on. My dad has dementia and we are caring for him at home , he is 84 diagnosed in 2012.Within our family I would say we are now expert dementia carers , we had gone on the courses provided by AS. We also have a wonderful AS support team here in Knowsley and I don't know how we would have coped without the continued support of AS.

We as a family have agreed we need to invent a new word to describe how my dad is feeling. He is not anxious but he is not content as he can no longer do anything unaided and does not engage in conversation. Its so sad to see such a clever , happy man become so helpless. We keep him engaged and included in everything but we have had to adapt to Dads life and we live in the moment. I think our love and approach to my dads care is keeping him alive which is a heart breaking double edged sword as his quality of life is so poor as his brain does not function the way it used to.

In terms of your partners anxiety I would strongly recommend you visit your GP and I know in our area we have a Admiral nurse to support families living with dementia . People with dementia should get regular checks ups with their GP so that the GP can support you. The AS have a whole load of fact sheets which are so help ful and I think life saving. There is one on anxiety and depression which you can down load free

Depression and anxiety - Alzheimer's Society FACT SHEET which is available on their website. I tried to include the link for you , but because I have not posted 10 posts on Talking point it wont let me do it which is a shame

Do you have a support worker from your local Alzheimer's Society they are amazing . We take dad to as many activities as possible to keep in socially included . Singing for the brain is so uplifting.

Dementia is a harsh cruel condition and I don't believe we are geared up in society to support families living with dementia and people who have it. We are were we are with cancer in the 60s with dementia and I do believe AS are leading the way , however GPS , Hospitals , Carers , Families living with dementia need more education and support on how to live with it .

best wishes
Julie