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Panic Attack during MRI for my chronic Migraines-

Hi all-

I have had MRIs before and I didn't care for them but was able to manage. Today, I went to get an MRI of my brain and right before I went back into the tube machine, the tech attached this cage-like thing that went over my head/face (about an 1" -2" from my nose) and locked into place on the table. I didn't get but 1 minute into the MRI before I had to press the emergency button. I think this was the first panic attack that I've ever had. I couldn't control my breathing, sobbing, shaking and sweating. All I could think about was getting out of that room and hospital.

I couldn't finish the test and now I'm dreading having to go back in. I'm wondering if I'm alone in this fear? I felt so ashamed and silly but I couldn't help but feel out of control of my emotions.

  1. You are certainly not alone. There's nothing to be ashamed of. Lots of people have panic attacks. It's more common than most people realize.

    Anxiety is a common comorbid condition for migraineurs. Many patients (not just those with migraine) have trouble with MRIs due to a type of anxiety known as claustrophobia (fear of small spaces). My local hospital always asks me if I have this problem before scheduling an appointment. Most doctors will prescribe a small dose of short-acting benzodiazapene (i.e. Xanax or Valium) to use when getting an MRI. You might want to ask your doctor for help before you return for the MRI.

    NOTE: Benzos can make you drowsy, so it would be best if you can get someone to drive you to and from your appointment just to be safe.

    Let me know how it turns out.

    1. Sarah I have had the same problem especially since I am claustrophobic.I agree with Tammy ask your Dr for something to help you through it. It does help somewhat the rest does require some brain tricks. I make lists of groceries or list things to do etc.I hope this helps.

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