Is there any direct connection between anxiety attacks and pain? I have been having full blown attacks out of the blue. Not sure if this is connected to being removed from pain meds or not and whether or not this is something I should bring up at my first appointment at the pain clinic.
Pain started years ago. Social anxiety about 4 years later. But since going off pain meds and put on an anti depressant recently I am being hit hard out of nowhere with major anxiety/panic attacks. My doctors solution? Counseling. I'm hoping to get better treatment at the pain clinic in 2 weeks.
Azade - not all pain comes from anxiety, take mine for example - I have some serious nerve damage going on that is causing a lot of my pain. my body dealing with that has caused the wider spread pain. to be honest if a doc is telling you that all of your pain is from anxiety they are spouting crap. it may make it worse, or make it harder to treat, or even help spread the locations of the pain but there are other things going on too. the fight or flight response from anxiety is hard on your body yes but, there is very likely an underlying physical issue that is making that muscle tension, epinephrine and the like cause more physical damage leading to pain.
as far as the op - for sure bring it up to your doctor. they need to know all of the issues going in to make an effective treatment plan, if you have anxiety issues there are medications that would make that worse and thus shouldn't be prescribed. also it would be good to be able to work on treating the anxiety. there is a decent likelihood that having panic attacks can be conditioned to occur more frequently. for example if you have a couple if panic attacks in a crowd your brain can condition itself to have more panic attacks when your in a crowd leading to a higher level of anxiety and more physiological damage. it can also really damage your quality of life if the attacks are associated in your brain with common situations. this is actually likely to occur if you have regular panic attacks because the chance if having one in a reoccurring situation is higher thus your more likely to condition yourself to feel anxiety during those situations. it's complicated but anxiety is one of those things that is easily conditioned into experiencing more often because of the high rate of behavioral conditioning that occurs with it. talking to your doctor about it and getting help to stop that conditioning cycle is really important.
I'd also recommend keeping a journal or log of the situations your in when you have panic attacks or feel a high level of anxiety so that you can see if a common environment is happening. that way you can develop strategies to lessen the anxiety in those situations and help stave off some of the conditioning. sorry about the overly psych heavy post but I'm a behavioral psychologist and have studied this kind if conditioning rather extensively.
oh and Hannah - counseling can help, if the councelor your going to go see doesn't seem to be helping you make progress I'd recommend looking for one in your area that does cognitive behavioral therapy. it's one if the most effective types of psych based treatment for anxiety issues and also offers a lot if resources to help you alleviate the anxiety on your own. the goal of cbt is to give you the skills you need to change the patterns that are causing the anxiety. good luck with it either way though. anxiety is so hard to deal with. even as a behavioral psychologist trained to help people deal with this stuff I've had to do it myself since I started having panic attacks about a year after the pain finally got high enough that I couldn't do a lot of the activities I used to.