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Anxiety, panic attacks after trying legal STIMULANT. ANEURYSM?

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Hi there,

I'm a 34 year old who doesn't smoke, drinks moderately, exercises regularly, and tries to eat healthy. I do have some weight to lose and am sometimes prehypertensive (though often normal or near-normal in the morning and not too bad later on) but am making progress getting it lower (and part of it may be anxiety related as I have had health anxieties, which I'm seeing a therapist and nutritionist about).

I had a question about some things I did in the past and chance of having increased risk of aneurysm later in life (as aneurysms particularly scare me).

My main concern is an incident that happened several years ago (4-5 I'd say). I had tried a legal stimulant (I don't know exactly what - it was supposed to be herbal and was an extremely stupid thing to try), and ended up having anxiety/panic attacks with a heart rate that stayed between 120-160 for a little less than 10 hours (it was only up at the higher end of that for 2 hours or less). It was a scary experience, but I've always wondered if a single incident like that could have compromised my health, specifically whether it could have caused an aneurysm or blood vessel weaknesses making me prone to problems later (as I know things like chronic heavy cocaine use can, and while this was a single experience, it was a longer duration).

I've never smoked and do drink moderately (used to drink a bit heavier but I've cut back considerably as I've gotten older). I did experiment with pot, and I tried a small amount of cocaine twice in my twenties, but never a lot, so I'm not as worried about that.

As I mentioned, my lifestyle now is pretty healthy, and I'm working to make it even healthier. Is there much of a chance these stupid decisions I made when I was younger could have led to an aneurysm that may be a problem later in life?

Thank you very much for your help!

Category: Neurosurgeon

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Category: Spine Surgeon
 23 Doctors Online

Thanks for posting your query at
I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through.
The condition that you are having is basically panic attacks. This is a disorder of anxiety and occurs cause of imbalance of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. especially serotonin, nor adrenaline, and dopamine to some extent. Medicines are the best options to take care of these symptoms. Mostly such episodes will not lead to any blood vessel damage or weakness. You can be assured of that. Panic attacks generally dont lead to any physical illnesses.
Paroxetine is the the most popular medicine and my drug of choice. I generally prescribe my patients 12.5 mg per day at night which takes care of anxiety symptoms. Also certain medicines like propranolol and clonazepam can be give as required when there is a panic episode or expected situation where panic attack can appear.
Also there is an option of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This therapy is taken by either a psychologist or a psychiatrist in which the therapist identifies impaired cognitions (Thoughts) and try to correct them. They are 15-20 min weekly session and there should be around 8-10 sessions to help you with your illness.
Hope this helps,
In case if you have any further query, do let me know.
Kind regards

Patient replied :

Thank you for replying to my question.
I am working with a therapist (using CBT) on anxiety issues, as I do indeed have some anxiety.
However, the situation I'm asking about was due to a legal stimulant that I reacted especially bad to. (Also some very brief use of cocaine in my 20's, but I'm less concerned about that as I didn't do much beyond trying it).
I'm concerned about the herbal stimulant because of the long duration (up to 10 hours), high heart rate (up to 160 or so for a couple hours...and above 120 for the rest of that time), and an unknown affect on blood pressure (since I think it was a vasoconstricter).
Are you saying anxiety/worry is the only issue here, and even with the long duration of that experience, you're not worried that I could have started formation of an aneurysm from that single experience?
Thanks much for taking my question!

Yes, that's what I meant to say. There is a practically no explainable and expectable risk of aneurysm by a single exposure of the stimulant and the long duration of panic. You need not bother about it and just focus on the treatment of anxiety disorder.
Kind regards

Patient replied :

Thank you! =)

Dr. Goutham Cugati
Category: Spine Surgeon
Residency: Neurosurgery, the Post-Graduate Institute of Neurological Surgery, Dr. Achanta Lakshmipathi Neuro surgical Center, VHS Hospital, Chennai, 2011

Postgraduate in Neurosugery: DNB, National Board of Examinations,
Part 1 - 2008, Part 2 -  2010

Medical School: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, JSS Medical College, 2004
Dr. Goutham Cugati and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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