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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Severe lightheadedness, panic attacks. Scared to drive. Need help

Chronic lightheaded ness for over 9 years. Used to drive everywhere up until 4 years ago and now I can't as I had a big panic attack one day at the traffic lights, probably because I'd driven while not feeling 100% (lightheaded feeling). As a result of that I have a phobia of being stuck at a traffic light or in traffic in general. Resulting in me giving up my job. I have had MRI, ears checked, blood works, physician (who says I'm fit and healthy) yeah right. I have noticed the light-headedness gets worse a week before my period. I'm at my wits end trying to think what causes this. I don't feel worried, and score low on the anxiety test. But my doctor just said it must be anxiety. I'm so confused by this condition and miss driving anywhere like I used to. When I do drive I cannot go over 70kph max, as it feels too uncomfortable and dangerous. Usually I just go around my local suburb at 60kph no worries.
Thu, 23 May 2013
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hello,
welcome to Healthcare Magic.

You had panic attack, which is defined as extreme anxiety attack for short duration without any precipitating factor. Panic attack is followed by avoidance behavior for place and situations, in which person had panic attack, similar to your case.

Panic attack is a subtype of anxiety disorder and lab investigations are usually normal. It is better to get evaluated by psychiatrist and start treatment accordingly. For long term control of anxiety following measures are helpful: relaxation exercise, medicines like SSRIs and non drug treatment like CBT.

Wish you good health and all the best.

Regards,
Dr Ashish Kumar Mittal
www.99doctor.com
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Psychiatrist Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi's  Response
Hello
Welcome to HCM

After reading the history you have mentioned I can tell you that the symptoms you are having are definitely due to anxiety disorder associated with panic disorder. The symptoms are getting worsened when you have to drive and stand at traffic intersections. These symptoms have resulted in poor occupational and social life. There is a lot of anticipatory anxiety and this is causing headache. I would advise you to consult a Psychiatrist for expert opinion. Medicines like SSRI and SNRI are useful in such symptoms. Non pharmacological management like Behavior therapy is very useful.

Hope it helps you, Thanks
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Severe lightheadedness, panic attacks. Scared to drive. Need help

Hello, welcome to Healthcare Magic. You had panic attack, which is defined as extreme anxiety attack for short duration without any precipitating factor. Panic attack is followed by avoidance behavior for place and situations, in which person had panic attack, similar to your case. Panic attack is a subtype of anxiety disorder and lab investigations are usually normal. It is better to get evaluated by psychiatrist and start treatment accordingly. For long term control of anxiety following measures are helpful: relaxation exercise, medicines like SSRIs and non drug treatment like CBT. Wish you good health and all the best. Regards, Dr Ashish Kumar Mittal www.99doctor.com