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Author Topic: High Altitude and unexpected panic attacks  (Read 4130 times)

Offline taupo19

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High Altitude and unexpected panic attacks
« on: 15/08/2010 19:02:20 »
Several years ago while treking in Nepal I experienced a severe panic attack. A quick run down.

It was at night. I was at about 4,000 metres or 13,000 feet. It lasted about six hours. The symtoms were..
            Extreme shortness of breath, drowning sensations, gasping and struggling to breath and in a near panic state for the entire six hours.
            A strong urge to get outside and head down hill - very difficult to resist. Claustrophobic sensations and physically very uncomfortable

This attack was completely out of the blue. I had gone to bed feeling well, fit and relaxed. It woke me up.
I had not experienced anything like it before and do not have a history of anxiety.

To possibly demonstrate to any readers how awful it was I felt something similar was about to happen on a later trip (sucker for punishment I know) and so I preferred to go outside and look at the stars all night (jogging on the spot for 5 hours to keep warm) then to go through the experience again.

Any thoughts?  Oh as a postscript - The attack caused me to head down and consult a doctor. He did some tests and said I was physically fit and my oxygen absorbtion rates were very good. Physical exertion seems to aleviate the symtoms.

Thanks everyone

Andy


 

Offline RD

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High Altitude and unexpected panic attacks
« Reply #1 on: 15/08/2010 19:42:05 »
This attack was completely out of the blue. I had gone to bed feeling well, fit and relaxed. It woke me up.


Altitude + Snoring ? ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypopnea#Symptoms
« Last Edit: 15/08/2010 19:49:52 by RD »
 

Offline taupo19

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High Altitude and unexpected panic attacks
« Reply #2 on: 15/08/2010 20:06:36 »
Have looked into this and the symptoms don't fit but thanks for the thought.
 

Offline tommya300

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High Altitude and unexpected panic attacks
« Reply #3 on: 16/08/2010 02:36:54 »
Sounds like an severe allergic reaction to something, where the thought airway contracts to the size on a pencil diameter. Anxiety compounds the problem.
 

Offline taupo19

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High Altitude and unexpected panic attacks
« Reply #4 on: 16/08/2010 15:06:39 »
Interesting theory - hadn't thought of that but unlikely as it happens randomly and only after a certain altitude - I suppose it's some kind of oxygen deprivation related problem.

 

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High Altitude and unexpected panic attacks
« Reply #4 on: 16/08/2010 15:06:39 »

 

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