Panic Attacks/CBD

I’m 23 and have been a type 1 diabetic since I was 12. I started getting horrible panic attacks about a year ago. At first I thought my sugars were just low and would just drink a juice (I never used to check my sugar). The more I started taking care of my diabetes the worse the panic attacks got. My doctor put me on Lexapro (didn’t help), then I tried prozac (also didn’t help). The panic attacks are so bad I fear doing normal daily things such as going to the grocery store, mall, job interviews, etc. I’m not sure what else to do and how to stop them. My mom suggested trying CBD oil.I was wondering if anyone else has tried CBD to calm their anxiety and panic attacks. I’m willing to try anything at this point to stop them. Does anyone have any other suggestions on what to do/take to help?

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hi @ashleyuhl27, sorry to hear about the anxiety attacks. I started having issues with anxiety a while back, no where near as severe as you describe, but the little ones did feel like a bad low and the big ones many times felt like I thought I couldn’t breathe or that I would die. big or small , they stink.

I found out there may be endocrine issues to make sure to rule out, such as Adrenalin/kidney/whatever. I worked with my endo first and we checked possible actual issues, when they were ruled out I went into therapy. I have no experience with oils, sorry.

I cut caffeine, cut alcohol, added exercise and went to therapy for a long while. it improved but it took work. hope you can find relief!

Hi Ashley,

I’m really sorry to hear about your struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. Unfortunately, I have had many, many years of experience with this. I currently take Lexapro daily and Klonopin as needed (when I feel especially anxious or a panic attack coming on). And I always check my sugar when I start feeling panicky because as you know a low blood sugar and a panic attack feel remarkable similar. I’ve also been in therapy for a long time and it has helped tremendously. For me, a lot of my panic around being diabetic came from feelings of vulnerability and being “helpless” when my blood sugar drops, which of course I am not. It also had to do with me being comfortable advocating for myself- excusing myself to check my sugar or deal with a high or low. Sometimes this means putting your needs ahead of others or being slightly disruptive. The more comfortable I’ve become with those things, the less anxiety I have.

I also use CBD, but it’s effects are more subtle. It would probably help but it is not a stand alone remedy.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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Hi I’m so sorry to hear that your going through this too. I have panic attacks sometimes mainly if I know I’m gonna be in a situation with a lot of people ect… sometimes it takes a long time to stop panicking. I get really sweaty and shaking and breath really fast and my heart is racing. One time I was under anesthesia for finding if I had celiac (which i do) and when i woke up i had a really bad panick attack. Having panick attacks is one of my biggest fears.

Hi @ashleyuhl27. It looks like you posted this a while ago but I’m just seeing it now. I can’t speak to CBD but will share a few thoughts.
What struck me was when you said your panic attacks got worse the more you started taking care of your diabetes. If you’ll allow me to play armchair psychologist, I’m wondering if the tight/er control is causing you to worry about the possibility of low blood sugars - a very reasonable and understandable concern, especially for people who are trying to maintain tight control. If you’re not using one, have you looked into getting a continuous glucose monitor (CGM)? I started using one close to 10 years ago now, and I do feel much safer with it. Before I had one, if I was staying home alone I’d set an alarm clock or timer to wake me every few hours to make sure I was okay. Now I have alerts to let me know if I’m low or dropping/high or rising - and I feel much more secure at work, driving, and simply “living life.”
Several weeks ago I started waking up about the same time each morning with some anxiety, although not as severe as yours. My first thought was it was my numbers, but they were generally in the 150s (I can start to feel low around 100), which meant I needed to check other possibilities. So a CGM could help you discern between a low blood sugar and actual anxiety (as others have said the two can feel very much alike).
I have a couple of other medical conditions unrelated to my diabetes, and I asked one of the specialists if the medication I was taking might be responsible for the anxiety - it was in fact listed as a possible side effect. He lowered the dosage and it has helped greatly with the anxiety while still managing the other issue well - in other words, I was on too high a dosage.
So in a nutshell: I’m a big advocate for CGMs and again would suggest you look into getting one if you don’t use one already. If you find it’s your BG that’s causing your symptoms you can take steps to treat it, and if not move on to determining other causes (which may not be easy) - one of which could be a reaction to a treatment you are taking for your diabetes or something else. Wishing you the best - keep us posted.

Hey Ashley,

I’m also 23 and have had type 1 since age 9-- it has been super hard to adjust to being an adult with this! But I also suffer from rather extreme panic attacks and anxiety. I would suggest a number of things: first off, I’ve been on many different antidepressants, and the first one is normally not the answer. if you have a psychiatrist and therapist you like, i would suggest continuing to try different anxiety medications to help you. I also have a prescription for a fast acting anxiety medication (adavan) to use if I’m having serious trouble with a panic attack. Furthermore, I’ve started meditating - just using the app calm once per day, ten minutes - and it’s greatly helped me with my anxiety. People always suggested this and I never listened, wrote it off, but then after finally giving it a consistent shot it’s been super helpful. I haven’t really tried CBD oil but I’ve heard it’s helpful to help you relax, so maybe a conjunction of different approaches will help

I’m late to this thread, however, I have suffered sever anxiety attacks for most of my adult life (49). I recently tried CBD oil and it did nothing for me. In fact, I was awake most of the night with lots of energy…lol. Ugh! Anxiety is a beast to deal with.