Sunday, 07 January 2007
Posted by: june24saj on Sunday, January 07, 2007
I first remember my anxiety when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Whenever a storm would pass by, I would get my teddy bear, blankie, find my cat ("Kitty"), and my dog and not let them leave my side so that they wouldn't be lost if a tornado passed through. As I got older, I was still a worried kid; I worried a lot about my body. Every lump I felt, even totally normal ones, I asked my mom.
My mom started behaving crazily when I entered elementary school, to this day she is undiagnosed, but we believe she is has paranoia schizophrenia. Eventually, the courts ordered her unfit to see me, because she was emotionally abusive and was very frightening to me.
All through high school, I was a nervous nellie, and thought I was sick with one thing or another, but I never experienced any panic attacks that would prompt me to get help.
One day, when I visited my then boyfriend at college, I stepped off the plane, and my world changed. From that day on, I was plagued with persistent depersonalization or derealization. I felt like I was in a dream, like I wasn't there in my body. This triggered numerous panic attacks one after another. I went to the emergency room and they prescribed Ativan for me to take when I started panicking. These nonstop attacks lasted for a couple months because I convinced myself I was dying.
My story has a happy ending! I found Panic Survivor and finally after googling for hours realized that derealization was a common side affect of anxiety! I found people who experienced what I was, and just KNOWING that I wasn't dying, and finding support, my whole mindset changed. Eventually, everything went back to normal.
I feel I am lucky because I don't have constant panic attacks. It seems I have bad times every one in a while, mostly hypochondria, but sometimes I can go years without having a big attack.
The biggest advice I would have to give anyone is that this really truly is something that is beatable. Support from people is so important in overcoming anxiety. Whether that support comes from your friends, family, or at Panic Survivor, it is essential. I'm so thankful I found this community to help cope with my anxiety, especially since I'm so young. I'm still learning a lot, and hopefully one day I will be COMPLETELY panic/anxiety free!!