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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2006, 11:17 AM
firewaterfarm firewaterfarm is offline
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Default Panic Attacks!

Hi everyone!
I am going on my first cruise in 2 months.
I am scared to death!
Just thinking about it makes me a wreck!
I've suffered from panic attacks, agoraphobia for years.
I know I need to confront these fears, and that is why I agreed to go on this cruise.
I have a prescription for Klonopin which I haven't filled.
I would love to hear from others who have anxiety problems and have coped with being on a cruise!
Any advice, what kinds of meds would be the best would be great too.
Thanks so much!
AAHHHH!!!!!
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  #2  
Old April 4th, 2006, 01:09 PM
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Smile Just trying to help...

Howdy Firewaterfarm!

Welcome to Cruise Critic! We are so glad to have you aboard!!

I used the search feature and here are some oldie but goody threads from the First Time Cruisers Forum that may help:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=26066

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=188335

Now this last one is NOT meant to give you another thing to worry about, but it does mention your Klonopin medication.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=176896

I sincerely hope the threads will help you have a wonderful first cruise!

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  #3  
Old April 4th, 2006, 01:40 PM
mared1 mared1 is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by firewaterfarm
Hi everyone!
I am going on my first cruise in 2 months.
I am scared to death!
Just thinking about it makes me a wreck!
I've suffered from panic attacks, agoraphobia for years.
I know I need to confront these fears, and that is why I agreed to go on this cruise.
I have a prescription for Klonopin which I haven't filled.
I would love to hear from others who have anxiety problems and have coped with being on a cruise!
Any advice, what kinds of meds would be the best would be great too.
Thanks so much!
AAHHHH!!!!!
I don't have panic attacks but would like to suggest you discuss your upcoming cruise with your doctor - she/he should be able to prescribe something to help.
Overall, there is little motion on a cruise ship and lots of space.
I hope you will go and have a great time!
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  #4  
Old April 4th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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SheilaInAL SheilaInAL is offline
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Hi,
I DO suffer from very severe panic attacks due to my bipolar disorder. In less than 2 weeks, I will be going on my third cruise. I can assure you that there is plenty of space on the ship and that you will have a thoroughly enjoyable time.

I do recommend that you get the klonopin filled though to help with the anxiety levels. I used to be on that and it helped me tremendously. I'm on another med now but I think the klonopin works better for panic.

Have a great cruise and enjoy yourself! If you feel the need to discuss your feelings with someone who does suffer from very bad panic attacks, my email is SheilaInAL@hotmail.com .
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  #5  
Old April 19th, 2006, 04:17 PM
cnr1stcruise cnr1stcruise is offline
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Default Anxiety!

Firewaterfarm. I posted about this same subject last month. I will try to copy and paste the link. It is under the same category as your posting. (Cruise questions) http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=310326

See if that helps. It as been a great support for me.

Cindy
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  #6  
Old April 19th, 2006, 09:11 PM
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cherylatwork cherylatwork is offline
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Hi Firewaterfarm

I have panic attacks too. Actually I am having one right now because we leave in 5 days. I find that once we are on the ship I am fine. It's just the planning and getting there that sets them off. My MD prescribed Valium for the pre-cruise stage but I haven't needed to take one yet and I am glad because I am not into pill popping either...

If you are anything like me, you will be fine once you get there

Cheryl
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  #7  
Old April 21st, 2006, 02:27 AM
daisee daisee is offline
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Default try this...

I used to get them years ago (anticipating major surgery), and it was recommended counting backwards from 100. Sounds basic, but this has pulled me out of many an anxiety attack.
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  #8  
Old April 21st, 2006, 02:42 AM
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caribbean dreams caribbean dreams is offline
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Trust me, you will be fine, i have had severe panic attacks for 20 years and am on meds, i to was very nervous about my first cruise which triggered several lengthy attacks, i went to my Doctor and basically cried on his shoulder, he assured my everything would be fine and stay on my meds.
By the time i arrived at the ship the excitement had over come the attacks, I had a great first cruise and have had many more sense.
relax and have fun!

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  #9  
Old April 21st, 2006, 01:17 PM
LHP LHP is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by firewaterfarm
Hi everyone!
I am going on my first cruise in 2 months.
I am scared to death!
Just thinking about it makes me a wreck!
I've suffered from panic attacks, agoraphobia for years.
I know I need to confront these fears, and that is why I agreed to go on this cruise.
I have a prescription for Klonopin which I haven't filled.
I would love to hear from others who have anxiety problems and have coped with being on a cruise!
Any advice, what kinds of meds would be the best would be great too.
Thanks so much!
AAHHHH!!!!!

Oddly enough, I had been cruising for years and am in my 50's and never had any kind of fears....a typical type A personality. (kick fanny and take names)

However, about 2 years ago, I had a panic attack the day before our cruise. We drive to most of our ports and this happened as we were pulling into the hotel the night before we sailed. Never having had a panic attack, it took me a little while to realize that it wasn't a heart attack or anything more serious. (it was that bad)

After dinner, I took a couple of PM Tylenols and went to bed at 8PM. When I woke up the next morning, it was gone. The next time we "drove" to a port, I got a panic attack at the hotel the night before the cruise. It does not happen if we are flying to a cruise (which is much more stressful).

Go figure. Doctors have ruled out any "disorder" since it was "cruise specific", just happened twice and does not affect my daily life. I don't take any meds.

Since it happened at an older age, the docs are thinking it could be somehow related to "the change of life".

Again, the next morning I am fine and have no flare ups on board at all. It has only happened twice and who knows if it will happen the next time we drive to a port.

Just knowing you are not alone and there isn't "anything wrong with you" I hope will help. Every normal folks like myself have incidents of this. They should not be "dismissed", but handled in a way that is as comfortable for you as possible.
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  #10  
Old April 21st, 2006, 05:35 PM
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abitaturbodog abitaturbodog is offline
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Default

I too suffer from Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia. Being in a place where I can't easily escape from is my trigger. I've had it since I was about 10 years old and was diagnosed 2 years ago at the age of 35. I just thought that I was a "worry wart" and that everyone felt the same as me. WRONG!

I just about ruined a cruise years ago because I suffered panic attacks at least 3 times a day and even during the night. I swore I would never go again...

Then I was diagnosed and found a doctor that completely understands this condition. After trying a couple medications I have been very satisfied with Paxil. Sometimes I need to take a Xanax when I feel the panic starting to rise, but this is maybe once every few months.

I went on a cruise last November and had the best time ever! Two months before the cruise my doctor increased my Paxil dosage. I went from 10mg a day to 40mg a day. I also feared sea sickness and Vertigo so I started taking Bonnine 2 days before we left and took it every night of the cruise and for a couple of days after. This worked great! I brought along the Xanax and took it a couple of times at the beginning of the trip but didn't need it past day 3.
(I slowly lowered my Paxil dosage back down to 10 mg over the course of 2 months.)

I know that I may sound like an advertising for drug companies, but the plain fact is that I was able to take my kids on their first cruise and have an awesome time!

So....Go get your prescription filled and start taking it, find a doc that understands how to treat your condition and take along some back-up medication such as Xanax/Valium just in case. It can change your life!

We're booked again this November and I'm so looking forward to it.
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Last edited by abitaturbodog; April 21st, 2006 at 05:39 PM.
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  #11  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 01:20 PM
TrustNoOneKMC TrustNoOneKMC is offline
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Just a minor warning about Klonapin - make sure you know how it affects you before you leave for your cruise. You don't want to "sleep" through your entire vacation!

Also, my mother swore she would never get on a plane, and had never considered a cruise. A few years ago, I needed a vacation, and planned on going alone. My mother feared this, and I told her either she could come with me, or I was going myself. She agreed to go, and was scared up until the time we got on the plane. She had no problems once on the plane, and absolutely LOVED the cruise, talked about it for months afterward. (All this coming from a person who thinks a 20 minute car ride is too far to drive). You will be able to find a place on the boat where you are comfortable, weather its an open deck with music playing, or a uninhabited library. Be sure to walk the ship your first day to look at the different areas. Enjoy.
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  #12  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 01:39 PM
patwell patwell is offline
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To the OP...you have my sympathy. I know how debilitating this can be too. Suddenly, years ago, I was hit with panic attcks for no real reason. I would get paralized at the thought of going over a bridge for instance...and I lived in Florida and the only way to and from home was a bridge!! The attacks would trip off the worst heart palpitations to the point I thought I was dying. So frightening. I don't take drugs of any sort...just a personal thing...so I looked for ways to control these attacks. I found acupressure (not acupuncture) and deep breathing to be absolutely reliable ways of controlling this. Once taught the right spots to press it was a handy means of dealing with the problem when it started. It sounds so simplistic I know but it does work. After seeing several Drs, and being brushed off as being a silly woman, I later found that there was a direct connection with hormonal changes that had no doubt been the cause. Please give this a thought...even if you take medication, knowing these points could help you take less with the same result. Cheers, Penny
PS...I'm claustrophobic too but for some reason being on a ship doesn't cause me problems like planes do. I guess it's all that open space when on deck...and even just knowing it's there helps when in enclosed spaces.
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