Tuesday, 06 March 2007
Posted by: jan50 on Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Hello there! I began having panic attacks in 1971 at the ripe old age of twenty one. At that time the term "panic attack" or "panic disorder" wasn't around that I know of. My story is very long but I will try and bottom line it with the most important details.
I went to every doctor imaginable, psychiatrists, hospital emergency room visits, I couldn't sleep or eat (I went from 130 lbs down to 90 lbs in about 3months!) I had two toddlers at home a husband who worked nights and NO one could understand what was happening to me. The worst part was that no one understood the reality of how terrifying these episodes were to me! I then developed depression..very severe!! I had several extended stays in the psych ward at the hospital where I became suicidal. I ended up at home with agoraphobia for over 2 years.
Fast track to the present for a moment, I am now 56 years old with a wonderful life free of anxiety!! Back to the past...it didn't happen over night. I went on medications of every type and not much worked, I was going to a psychologist and a psychiatrist regularly. Basically I had to learn my own coping mechanisims by myself.
On a day when I was ready to give it all up and finish myself off (literally) because everyone around me was just getting "tired" of my dependency and my depression and my attacks...I remember thinking "why can't anyone understand?" it was then I felt God spoke to my heart and said "I understand"
Thus began my journey towards finding out more about him.
I got a bible and started reading, I have to say that I feel without a doubt that God led me to verses that were meant for me at that time. They were words from Him that I could hold onto and believe. The main one was Gal. 2:20
Long story short, that was the beginning of my healing to be able to continue on with this hell I was living. I don't remember exactly what year I went on the medication I am now on, but it FINALLY was the right combination. For me it has been Paxil and xanax. I only take the Xanax occassionally now, but I am on very firm and steady ground when it comes to being free from anxiety and panic and depression.
There are many details to my story that space prevents me from telling. The two main things for me have been giving my life to God and number two, the right medication. Through the years I have read everything I can get my hands on about this disorder and they have all been helpful! The one thing that was especially helpful was when I realized that I was not alone!! In 1978 there was a newspaper article about something called "panic attacks" and after reading it, I felt euphoric!!! All those years, when I was made to feel "crazy", other people were apparently having the same problem!!! I even thought back in those days, "I would rather have cancer or be going blind or ANYTHING besides what I've got, at least those thingsare tangible. Thank God, he didn't give me what I asked for!!
I want to encourage everyone going through your own "private hell" right now to not give up....there is so much good advise out there in books and from those who have gone back to normal lives, I am one of those people and I am here to tell you right now, that if I can be well and living a normal life free from panic and anxiety, so can you!!!! I never in a million years would have thought this to be possible...but I give all the credit and thanks to God for showing me a way. By the way, medication may not be for everyone, I am only saying that I believe it was part of my total recovery for ME.