It was 1971, I turned 20 and three days later I was wandering around London with basically no money. For the previous 5 years I was doing what basically so many others of that time were doing; smoking a lot of pot, Hash, and doing LSD with a smattering of cocaine, Opium, and sniffing cleaning fluid. I feel pretty sure that what was to come was somewhat brought on by this history. At 15 when I was in school we were getting stoned all the time. I would get on the train to go home and that is really when it all began. I did't understand any of it, but there was a really long ride between 2 stops. 125th st to 59th st. This is NYC by the way. And that is when I started to feel faint, terrified, clammy with increased heart rate. That was my introduction to freaking out. Call it what you will. For many years to come the only time I felt these things were when I was stoned. When I was 21 and living in California I had an affair with a married man. His wife was having an affair with his brother-in-law. What can I say....it was the 70's. It felt so cool! What I didn't think about was what would become of this whole thing. and sure enough he went back to his wife. And so began the beginning of my panic attacks. Now, I really had no idea what was going on. I had no works to explain the terrible panic i was experiencing and no one to turn to. so what did I do. I left the country and returned to Europe with the panic growing and growing and my life becoming more and more limited. Finally a year later while sitting in a cafe in Athens trying to read Zorba the Greek in Greek I kind of, and I don't know how to explain it but it was as if you are crossing the street and it's too late to turn back. I knew my life would never be the same. What I was to realize later, was that I was having a "nervous breakdown". It would be a long road back. I managed to get medications in Athens. One pill for anxiety and one for depression. Once I figured out the dose they did help, till a friend told me they were addictive and I should stop. By that time my family has sent me a return open ticket to come home. I stopped the meds and within a day or so I was completely crazed; ran down to the airlines and booked an immediate flight home. It was when I arrived back in NY that my real problems were to start. My mom took me to a hospital where I was given a drug that I was to later learn was Thorazine. My mom took me shopping and while in a singer Sewing machine the medication started to work. I completey went crazy. my mom took me back to the hospital where I was put into a Dr.'s office and given a shot of who knows what, except that now I couldn't talk or move. They couldnt't admit me to the hospital because I was no longer covered or something like that. so there I lay on the Dr.s table unable to talk or move. I was finally sent home. It was a Friday. My mother was to go and apply for Medicaid and SSI back whenit wasn't so hard to get it. I began therapy which did nothing and couldn't take medication because the only thing they had to give me was either Thorazine or Stellazine and I was terrified of them. I moved back in with my folks, slept with my mom, took baths all day long and drank herbal tea, sometimes just praying to die but to scared to take my own life. I was 24 years old and I thought my life was over. But little by little there would be a ray of light and I could go out for a walk. My parents lived in Coney Island and I could go and sit at the beach. This was a really good thing. Anyway I seemed to get better over the next couple of years, returned to school and went on with my life. For at least 30 years I was basically okay until Menopause when the old Panicky feelings returned. I thought I had returned to hell. I couldn't believe that this was coming back, but so it did and with a vengence. The difference this time was at least there were new meds: SSRI's . I tried to fight it but I couldn't so I started on Lexapro which really did save my life and stayed on it till about 6 months ago when I weaned myself off using the liquid Escatalipram. It really wasn't that awful. I did it so slowly, which is very doable when you have the liquid, that I never suffered any withdrawal.
Now here I am and it's starting all over again. I have a large supply of Ativan and had a whole bottle of liquid Escatalipram and I started using the liquid two days ago. I know I must give it some time but right now I'm in hell. I just called a hospital near me that has an integrative medicene dept. they have bio feedback and other assorted stuff. I hope I will be able to get accepted into the program.
I also wanted to ask anyone who actually makes it through my story, has anyone heard of or tried the Fisher Wallace Stimulator, and if so is it helping. It is pricey but the price has come down from $700 to $600. This is a lot of money for me, but I feel desperate and they say if it doesn't work you can return it for a 90% refund after 2 months. this seems reasonalble to me. Anyone have any knowledge about this?
This is supposed have a happy ending. Well, it has to! I have 2 cats that need me and although I live alone I am actually married and I believe my husband does love me and wants me to be okay. this has been so hard on him. 26 years we are together and he is just a simple country boy who has lived a simple life. One of those people that never gets depressed or anxious. Really doesn't understand the meaning of depression or anxiety and this makes it really hard for me because he really can't understand me at all. I do have quite a few friends who dod understand all too well. I get a lot of help from them. But still you know, your hell is all your own and no one else will ever fully understand it. We live alone and we die alone.
I am now 62 years old and I made it this far; I am not giving up yet. Cyd