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Stories of Sufferer's

of

Panic/Anxiety

These stories are with permission by the writer. I hope you will email me to let me share with others how these attacks have or do affect you and your life.

 

A woman from Florida wrote me: "I enjoyed reading your page and my name is (withhheld for privacy) from Ruskin, Florida.   I used to have bad attacks for several years and never knowing when they would hit could not work or leave the house often as driving is really bad timing to have one...lol...Strange but once I found out what was wrong I could then work on not having them so mine must not have been chemical as deep breathing and a refusal to let them take my life from me was my way to overcome them...you describe them well and are very brave to share with others..."

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lin' it is amazing how much our stories are so very alike and our ideas , and thoughts, about the big question"WHY" ! i do have the agoraphobia, but it is somewhat under control since i can go out now into what i call my safty zone......... which i keep trying to expand upon... i feel it is a combo of things that causes this and you have to have a combo of things /tools to fight it ! i know there is no cure as of yet. i look at it as a blessing and it makes me feel better. ive had P&A&A disorder for 7 years, although when i look back i feel i had certain symtoms as a preteen & teen. i am med phobic so i refused drugs for 3 years until 4 years ago i ended up in the mental hosp for 5 days where they got me stabelized on meds and my whole life turned around (compared to how it was going) i was one of the blessed ones i started on 1/4 mgs of xanax 4xs a day =s 1mg a day, and also 50mgs of elavil at bed time. so for 4 years ive been on these meds same ones , same dosage and have not had a full blown panic episode! Email me sometime. im 42 years old married 3 children 3 grandchildren my husband is a god send and my rock......... Love your friend in panic and beyond!

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I don't know you but I have read your page on the internet. My docor has diagnosed me with anxiety disorder. I would like to tell you my story and find out what you think. Last fall I experienced someting that has never happened to me before. I was up very late on a project (I am a computer technician) and went to bed very late. Suddenly I felt very weak and sick. I went to bed. I suddenly had the feeling that I had to lay very still or something bad would happen to me. I became very afraid and began to cry because I thought I was going to have a heart attach or something. After a while I began to feel that I could move around but not get up yet. My wife gave me a St.John's Wort pill and a little later I was able to go to sleep.The next day I woke up feeling very weak and and dissy. I managed to get up the next day (this was a weekend) and go out to the living room and watch TV for a while and then felt bad again and went to bed. The next day, Sunday, I felt just a little bit better. Over the course of the next week or so I got progressively better until I could wake up and feel good and manage to make it all day without feeling bad. I attributed this to the flue. A few weeks later (just before Christmas) I had a convention in Las Vegas. I worked late a few days before that and the night I got to Vegas stayed up very late. The next morning I felt awful. I showered, went down to breakfast, and started to feel worse. I went back to my room and went back to bed, thinking I had the flue again. I arranged for an early flight home. I really felt that I couldn't even walk to the front desk. I had them offer assistance with a wheelchair to get to the cab and to the terminal. When I got to San Diego noone was around to ask for help so I attempted to walk from the terminal to the parking lot where I had left my car. I never made it. I just felt so weak that I could not go on. I took a shuttle home and left my car at the airport. The next day I went emergency care and told the doctor the story. They ran tests for blood, urine and heart problems. All tests were negative. There were no symptoms of snuffy nose, coughing or other things you would associate with the flu. The doctor concluded that I was simply exausted and recommended rest. So I went home and rested for 2 or 3 days and went back to work. I seemed to get better day by day, feeling good in the morning and then really bad by the end of the day. Again I stayed up really late one night and the next day couldn't go to work until like 11:00 am. I was afraid to go out the door that I might get on the road and not be able to make it home. Eventually I reached a point over the next few weeks where I felt pretty good. A week or so later I was up late and the next morning felt really bad. Almost like I had the flu. I made an appointment for a general practitioner and a few days later went to see him. He reviewed the reports from the emergency care and felt that I had anxiety disorder. He put me on Paxil and Alprazolam. I began to take it with the understanding that there must be a chemical imbalance. For the most part it stopped the feeling that I had to lie down or I would pass out and I no longer experience the feeling that I am having a heart attack and am going to die. A few days ago, on Wen., I again was up really late because my wife had won tickets for the kids to see a preview of a new movie at Disneyland on this past Saturday. The next morning I felt bad again. We went up Friday night and stayed in a motel. It was lousy for sleep and the next morning I felt like I did in Vegas and felt that I would have to lie down and not be able to get out. I took the Alprazolam which after a little while made me feel a little better and I was able to go to Disneyland with mininal walking around. So here I am. My wife says your job is making you this way. My doctor says if I was on a desert island I would still fee this way. I have always been very healthy and don't even have a regular doctor. Your website indicates you are someone who cares. I am asking you, does this sound like depression or anxiety? I do have a stressful job and it does seem to be worse if I am on calls with customers a lot during the course of the day. I have been doing some research on what anxiety/depression definintions are but I do not have all the symptoms. The truth is, I like my job, except for helping users on the phone, I am relatively health at home and don't particularly have a lot to worry about. Please tell me what you thing.

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i was just reading your page about anxiety attacks and i think you are on the right track in saying a chemical imbalance 3 years ago i fell off a horse and was pretty beaten up by that but wasnt frightened to get back on.it was a few weeks later that i started getting these panic attacks shortness of breath pains in the chest and heart palpatations that would go for hours at a time i know a few minutes before i get them i seem to get light headed and forgetful just before i have an attack and sometimes i can control them by walking along the road and not thinking of them i have been in hospital on heart moniters a few times with my heart going over 200 beats a minute for hours at a time i find the computer keeps me pretty well involved if you find something to keep your brain active there must be chemicals that get used more and when you are alone get all these thoughts racing round thanks for reading this letter

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I too suffer from panic/anxiety. I have been working on this for almost six years with intensive therapy and medication. I am an incest survivor. I take klonopin to control the anxiety and occasionally use xanax as a backup if I know I am going to be in a stressful situation. I've tried many anti-depressants but am extremely sensitive to them so I now do light therapy to keep my seratonin level up during our winter. Oh, I live in the country in Northern Ca. and we have a fair amount of rain in the winter here. I also don't like being in crowds but get by with Xanax for my family's sake. They are diehard Nascar fans and we are going to a race in Las Vegas in March. I would like to get off my klonopin as it's affects my balance but until something better comes along, looks like I'll be on it for the rest of my life. The vibration alone of a race and the adrenalin will trigger a panic attack so I don't actually go to the race but I love to watch them on TV (especially since my youngest tells me he is going to be a race car driver.) I try to stay away from anything that induces adrenalin as it is very harmful to my system. It takes a week for my body to return to normal after a heavy dose of adrenalin. I also want to say I am 52 ,and I have a husband of 16 yrs. and two WONDERFUL boys that are 9 and 13( I had them late in life) but better late than never. They are such a joy to me and were what kept me going through all the rough spots of my therapy. I am pretty much through with my therapy and now feel like I am the kind of person that I would have grown up to be had it not been for the abuse.

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hey i saw your e mail address in cherri's guestbook. i am 16 and i recently started having these attacks. i just wanted to know how you handle yours, what motivates you to stay strong. no one understands, unless they have been through it. this is the hardest thing i have ever had to deal with in my life. it has stopped me from doing alot of things! 16 is supposed to be great, all the dates, all the fun, but for me it has been one rough ride! everyday i try to challenge myself, some days are better than others. my fear is going far places, so this weekend i went like an hour away i got a little sick but i made it! in 8th grade when it all began i did not even go to school that year! thanks to the lord above i am now back in school, and i am even going to be in the beauty pageant saturday night, which is a huge step! please write back and give me some words of wisdom.

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Dear friend, You have hit the nail on the head describing your nightmares with panic attacks. I am 38 years old and had my first attack during my sophomore year in college. I thought I was dying and for several weeks I avoided the cafeteria and dragged myself to classes. I lost 20 pounds and dealt with the day to day fear. It went away and then after I had a miscarrage at age 25 I started again having these attacks. I was so afraid everyone was going to think I was crazy and unstable so I tried to hide them. It made me miserable and making up excuses of not going out. Even my husband did not understand. Eventually they subsided and life went on. Occasionally I would have an attack but I dealt with it on my own. The scary part is my mother, 2 sisters, grandmother and other relatives suffer from this disorder and have different degrees of severity. Some have gone to shrinks, taken many different medications or dealt with it on their own. I only hope my 3 children do not suffer from this. I did go on prozac for 1 year and felt it helped and was panic free for 2 years. Now I have just lost my father and my attacks seem to be coming on again. Especially the fear of dying when one occurs. I haven't seeked out a doctor or help, only the support from my family. Thank you for giving me the support to let me know that there is hope and help out there when your ready to seek it. My family keeps telling me this also. I have sought out a part time job to keep me busy and my mind off "those thoughts". I have many books and tapes on the subject and will go back on medication if it gets worse. Sometimes reading about other sufferers makes you feel alot less lonely and afraid. Thank you

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