Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Development of Anxiety Disorders

04/03/2007

Question:

About 2 weeks ago I had a severe anxiety attack (according to my dr.) it started with nervousness, then numbness and warm tingling feeling throughout my body, shortness of breath and headache. Honestly I felt like I was having a stroke or something. I could barely focus. Since then, it has happend 3 more times although not as severe as the first. Nothing seems to trigger it and although I have the normal everyday stresses of life, I am not under any unusual stress. Is an anxiety disorder something that can just "show up" like this? I hate feeling like this but am aprehensive about beginning medication for this. My dr. perscribed Lorazapam temporarily but I can`t take it during the day. Does this sound like I have developed an anxiety disorder? I am scheduled to have a blood panel done and follow up with my dr. in the next week.

Answer:

It sounds like you and your doctor are doing many of the right things.  What you describe could certainly be a "panic attack" and many times anxiety disorders do seem to just "come out of the blue" and are not necessarily related to a worsening of life's stressors.

I encourage you to review the attached weblinks.  They do an excellent job of describing panic attacks.  After you and your physician complete the diagnostic investigation, you may want to consider therapy or medication (or a combination).  Therapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy, can be quite effective at treating anxiety disorders.

Good luck.

Related Resources:

Anxiety Disorders of America
NIH NIMH anxiety

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati