Monday, 27 August 2007
Posted by: JessieBee on Monday, August 27, 2007
When I first started with my panic attacks, I was in grade 5. The first memory that comes to mind when I’m asked about my very first attacks in when I was watching Titanic with my parents. My parents insist it was a different time, but that is the first time I can remember. Watching the characters on Titanic die triggered something, and I snuggled up to my mom, scared to death that she was going to die.
She told me to just breathe and sat outside with me for some fresh air. I was fine after that.
Then a couple weeks later my parents had plans to go over for dinner at their friend’s house. Ten minutes before they were about to leave, it started. I felt nauseous and scared. This time I thought I was going to die. My parents decided to have their friends over at my house. They laid me on the couch and put a cold face cloth on my head. All through their dinner I groaned on the couch. My stomach hurt, I was dizzy and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. It went away after a couple days, but I knew my Mom was still concerned.
Then one day, about a week after the incident, my Mom told me that she had a good idea of what was wrong with me. She told me it was panic attacks. Being eleven years old I didn’t know what it was, but soon I found myself on different kinds of pills and seeing weird doctors. After I was on Prozac I was better and went on with my grade school years just fine.
After I graduated out of grade eight, I went on with my summer just fine. Then I started high school. There was a specific school I had to go to because it had classes for people with learning disabilities. I have attention Deficient Disorder and needed those classes. I was separated from all the close friends I had made and was starting a brand new school where I knew absolutely nobody. The first day was fine, but on the second morning, I felt it again. That same feeling of being scared to death of nothing, nauseous, dizzy, difficult breathing and everything else I had experienced back in grade five.
I missed two weeks straight of high school. Every morning my parents would try to get me to calm down and go back to school, but I would scream and cry until they gave in. We took another trip to the doctors and I was prescribed rispridol. From what I can remember, he told me it was a very low dose of an anti-psychotic. It worked, but made me gain weight. As a child I was teased daily because of my weight. My parents said I was never over weight but now I’m convinced that I was and am now.
After a couple of weeks I was taken off of rispridol and put on celexa. I was able to go back to school. I only got feelings of anxiety, but nothing more then that. I went through grades nine, ten and eleven without having a full-blown panic attack. Some side effects of the panic disorder lingered. I became anti-social and very phone shy. My Mom tried me on other anti-depressants. We decided to stay on Zoloft and I am currently still on it.
During my grade eleven year I was irresponsible about my medication and skipped them three days at a time and only took them once a week. Sometimes I would skip taking them for weeks at a time. The summer that I finished grade eleven, my panic attacks came back, full-blown again. It started when my Aunt asked me to baby-sit for her. The night before I had to baby-sit it came back. I felt sick to my stomach, scared and my fingers tingled. I got flushed and chilled and I couldn’t breathe. I felt too terrified to move. This lasted for a week.
Since then I have been taking my medication regularly. My panic attacks aren’t all gone yet, but I’ve come to realize that my medication is only a crutch. I have to tell myself that this is all in my head and that I am safe and nothing bad will happen. I never would have been able to get over my panic attacks without my Mother’s support. I feel lucky that my panic disorder showed up at such a young age. At first I didn’t understand it, but now I am prepared that now in my coming adult years I know what it is and that there is help out there. I feel that the consequences of having panic attacks at such a young age has affected my social life and interfered with my pre-teen and teenaged years. I also am thankful that I am now fully educated on what is happening with me. I find that talking to people who have the same problem as me gives me extreme comfort, along with my medication. With those two things I feel that I can move on and life my life normally and I hope that you can too.