Help!! my wife has panic attack

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
I am carer for my wife I am also full time self employed,when she has episodes ,like today's one ,she goes wild and has tunnel vision all she can see is her need for another diazepam and will stop at nothing to get it,today I have had to lock the meds in the car and hide the keys,she even locked the front door and took the keys to stop me leaving and unplugged the phone when I tried to ring the crisis team,i did eventually call them,absolutely useless,not interested unless I took her to them,like her voluntarily going to mental health unit was ever going to happen!eventually I spoke to the duty Cpn whose advise was...wait for it...if it was me I would giver her another tablet!!!
Hmm, two thoughts - why can't she have a diazepam, and is that because they are addictive if taken too often?

Second thought, could she not be prescribed placebo diazapams? I've had 'mild' panic attacks in my time, and the main problem is that the panic attack gives one the very symptoms that cause one to panic! ie, they are 'self-caused'.

That said, of course, your wife's sound incredibly intense.

I get the feeling there's a lot more to her condition than 'just' panic attacks? )

You say you couldn't get her to agree to go to a mental health unit, yet she craves diazepam! Why does she accept taking diazepam, but doesn't accept that that is because she has a mental health condition??

If she does get a diazepam (ie, when she's allowed a dose on a non-addictive basis?), does it calm her down (and is that because of its intrinsic relaxant/calming properties, or because she 'relaxes' simply because she's got a diazepam inside her?)

How long has she been like this, and is there anything in particular that (a) caused it originally and (b) triggers the attacks now?

What does her therapist say she/you should do when she has such attacks?

Hoping that things can improve somehow. Caring for someone with MH can be incredibly hard. Sometimes impossible. Don't forget you're entitled to your own life....(!) does she recognise that right?
Love the placebo idea, Jenny: you get the November 2016 C-UK prize for imagination > that is pure classic! :lol:
How old is your wife? I'm wondering if she is going through the menopause?
Is there anything else she is super stressed about right now? I've also had a few panic attacks, after my husband died, I had a serious car crash that ruined both knees, and I was caring for a son with severe learning difficulties and a housebound disabled mum. My GP was useless! In the end I found a lovely counsellor who helped me sort out my priorities, and also helped me realise how I could managed everyone else's expectations.
I always do my best, whatever I do, and usually this works well for me....however when there is too much to do it works against me, as I'm not good at lowering my standards.
Someone needs to sit down and talk to your wife when she isn't in a crisis to help her explain what is going on in her head on the lead up to an attack. I suspect that it's not one thing, but a number of things, which have led up to this situation, maybe over a few years.
When she is having a crisis she surely needs appropriate medication, which is why she's been prescribed Diazepam to help her? Why don't you want her to have them? If you have toothache you take painkillers, surely the same should apply to a panic attack?
If you can explain a bit more how you are feeling when she has an attack, it would really help for us to help you.
There are no rights or wrongs with caring, everyone has a unique situation.
Sounds like the crisis team are not much help to either of you. :) Wondering what advice you have received from them in the past.
Hang on, I will post some info from MIND for you.(RETHINK is another org you might find useful and maybe you can locate local support groups too for Carers of those with MH issues. WOrth a try and some research??

(Have a friend whose son has GAD and therefore frequent panic attacks. Been on DLA for ten years, confined to house (and occasional Forays into their garden). Had he had further support in the earlier years this Might have been avoidable.)
Back soon...
"Ask them how you can help
Your friend and family member may already know how you can support them – for example by going through a breathing exercise together, or by calmly offering a distraction. By asking them what they need or how you can help, you can support them to feel more in control themselves.
You might also like to show them our page on self-care for anxiety, to help them think about things they could try, and how you might be able to support them.
Reminding me to breathe, asking me what I need...
Learn about anxiety
You might feel more able to help your friend or family member manage their anxiety if you learn more about the condition yourself. Organisations such as No more panic, Anxiety UK and Triumph over phobia (TOP UK) all provide information and support for carers, friends and family members."

Nicked from MIND website. DR
Also think a Meds review is in order. Diazepam unlikely to be of use in Situation you describe.....suspect she needs a review anyway.
Good luck!
Scally, well I do think in this circumstance it might be an idea!

But that's only because panic attacks are so largely 'self-caused' ....ie, the SYMPTOMS of a panic attack are the things that scare one into HAVING a panic attack. I can remember sitting at the kitchen table with my heart jumping, hands clenching, and that awful feeling of impending 'doom', begging my husband to phone 999......and of course my own fear was causing the symptoms that were scaring me. You have to 'break the cycle' and with your 'rational mind' (!) accept that IF you stop panicking the fear will go, and so will the symptoms....

But that was a pretty mild attack, I grant you.

However, I think Danced is right - diazepam, from what I understand (I learnt it here on the forum actually!), is never prescribed to be long term and regularly used, it's for 'spot treatment' only, the pharma equivalent of a small glass of sherry to 'steady the nerves' that sort of thing. No one should 'live' on it.

That said, I'm not sure that going on long-term anti-depressants is brilliant either - maybe yes for a few months, but the danger is one ends up 'living on them' (my niece has been on them for years, the sister of a friend of mine for decades.....) and that isn't really any help either in tackling the underlying problems and seeking a 'cure' for them.

The real challenge is to find out what is causing the panic attacks, both in terms of their origin, AND what triggers them so they can be 'managed away' or 'nipped in the bud' or whatever.
My mother (and no, I will not turn this into another of those multi-page 'my mother' rants), is 92, and I suggested that I stay at their place for a couple of nights when visiting after Christmas to save on hotel fees.
She threw the biggest psychic wobbly I have ever seen: I wish I had it recorded on tape. Not anxiety, but pure, head on, panic.
She has been on a toxic mixture of prescribed psychoactive drugs and painkillers for the last forty years: nothing really wrong with her brain, as her IQ is very high, but she cannot cope with anything of the slightest substance.
bowlingbun wrote:How old is your wife? I'm wondering if she is going through the menopause?
Is there anything else she is super stressed about right now? I've also had a few panic attacks, after my husband died, I had a serious car crash that ruined both knees, and I was caring for a son with severe learning difficulties and a housebound disabled mum. My GP was useless! In the end I found a lovely counsellor who helped me sort out my priorities, and also helped me realise how I could managed everyone else's expectations.
I always do my best, whatever I do, and usually this works well for me....however when there is too much to do it works against me, as I'm not good at lowering my standards.
Someone needs to sit down and talk to your wife when she isn't in a crisis to help her explain what is going on in her head on the lead up to an attack. I suspect that it's not one thing, but a number of things, which have led up to this situation, maybe over a few years.
When she is having a crisis she surely needs appropriate medication, which is why she's been prescribed Diazepam to help her? Why don't you want her to have them? If you have toothache you take painkillers, surely the same should apply to a panic attack?
If you can explain a bit more how you are feeling when she has an attack, it would really help for us to help you.
There are no rights or wrongs with caring, everyone has a unique situation.
it's not that I don't want her to have them its her constant demanding of more than is prescibed.she will have one at 11pm and the refuse to let mecsllep anout 1am until she gets another one.she has even locked us in the housecdo i cant go to eork and hidden the keys