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The one thing about being an INFJ I particularly despise is my susceptibility to panic attacks. I guess in a fight or flight decision my personality nearly always drives me to flight. Depending on the severity of the situation it can almost be debilitating, and if it goes on for weeks will lead to outright depression.

A few years back I had my life "dialed in" - very fit, worked out 4-5 times/week, making a good living, praying, socializing - and then a panic episode crept in and derailed me to the point to where I'm still recovering.

I don't know about you - but the saying "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is the furthest truth for me. Whatever doesn't kill me seems to take a part of me away permanently.

Am I alone in this? If you have similar tendencies, what do you do?

Thanks all - I'm new to this board and kind of thrilled to connect with people who have similar tendencies via this INFJ personality.
 

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I've had a couple of panic attacks. For me, these would be moments where I was on the phone with my employer discussing a rather sensitive subject. I could feel my chest expand, my eyes gushing tears, my nostrils filled with fluid, my voice was shot, and I had to lie down as I wasn't sure what else I could do to try to be more comfortable. At the same time, I felt like such a failure and loser for being more frozen than going for either flight or fight.

I could see this as making me stronger in the sense that I can have an idea of when I'm getting near my borderline as while it did scare me rather royally at the time, looking back I can see that I did make it through. I still haven't found the solution of how to tell the person at the other end of the phone line that I'll be fine when I hang up as I am in rather severe distress when these happen.

I tend to take anything that happens to me and find a way to look for some lesson in it that I can roll into my life to make things better which usually works on some level of moving things into a better space for me.
 

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I have them as well and they tend to be exacerbated during times of stress or increased anxieties in general. I take medication to help keep the attacks more under control, so I have not had a full attack in a few months. I tend to hyperventilate, sweat, have tachycardia, and feel like I'm going to faint. Sometimes nausea. My extremities get numb or feel like thousands of pins are pricking them.

The thing to remember with a panic attack is, while it is terrifying and can lead you to feeling terrible about yourself, it will not actually kill you. No one has died from a panic attack. When you're starting to feel one come on, try to steady your breathing or simply let it go and overtake you. It will pass. I'd agree with you, though - whatever doesn't kill you wounds you instead. I do not feel stronger from having had panic attacks or continuing to have anxiety disorder problems. They make my life hell when they are in control, and anyone who thinks they are just simple issues can get bent.

Right now I take about 7.5 mg of generic Lexapro. (I'm going down to 5 mg because 10 was making me drowsy and 20 mg made me so fatigued I could barely function.) Doesn't stop the generalised anxiety, but it does help with panic disorder.

You're not alone in the struggle.
 

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OH - but I'd like to recommend something. If you have an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, there's an application called SAM, developed by the University of the West of England, and it's an anxiety-help app. You can track your anxiety, things that make you anxious, log your anxiety on any given day or time, get help for anxiety in the moment with various techniques and things you can do on your device to help distract you and calm you. The easiest way to find it is to search the iTunes store, click iPhone apps, and it should be the second or third result. Give it a try, if nothing else. :3
 
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