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Author Topic: Any other parents out there living with panic disorder?  (Read 442 times)

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Offline Danielle B

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Any other parents out there living with panic disorder?
« on: December 22, 2012, 01:58:59 AM »
Hi there, Just wondering if there are any other parents here on the forum who deal with a painc disorder???
I have two young sons, one who is about to start school (don't get me started that is a whole other kettle of fish) and I have mild agoraphobia. Kindergarten became a "safe" place when my son attended, as there were people there I trusted, a close friend, and my son felt eternally safe there. But now my panic is at the worst its ever been and staying at home feels like the safest option. I worry about going out days, even weeks in advance. We are supposed to go away after christmas and I am absolutely petrified of being 3.5hrs away from home. I know my children will have such fun going away but I also don't want to ruin it by going away and having attacks the entire time. Where we are going has many triggers the biggest being boats and the ocean....... the trip was organised months ago and accomodation is paid. How do you control your symptoms? Can I do it for my children, I don't want people to think im being selfish, or irrational.  :(
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Offline e77

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Re: Any other parents out there living with panic disorder?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 05:59:03 PM »
I'm diagnosed with panic disorder with moderate agoraphobia and a father of two children who are now adults so I offer some of my past experiences and suggestions for your consideration.  Panic disorder, as you well know, is debilitating and getting help for the condition, cognitive therapy and medication if necessary, will help you.  I regret trying to "white knuckle" it through the panic and keeping it a secret from my family.  They were probably confused by my behavior and I just got more depressed thinking I failed to be a good father because of this condition.  I encourage you to be open about your medical condition, and that is what it is,  a medical condition in need of treatment.  The more they know about your struggle the more understanding they will be of you and admire your efforts to manage it.  Trying to keep it a secret from them only made it worse.  Knowledge brings understanding.  Don't be hard on yourself,  you didn't cause this condition to happen, it's a part of who you are.  Work closely with a psychiatrist and/or counselor to develop skills to manage and cope.  Get medication to help you manage.  There's no shame in using meds in a pinch.  Be flexible with yourself and begin learning more about this condition and how to manage it. It can be managed.  This site is an excellent resource for that.  Wishing you all the best.
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Offline Wishingforcalm2

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Re: Any other parents out there living with panic disorder?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 06:40:53 PM »
I recently went to Disney World.  The scheduled trip was 8 nights....  I have a panic disorder and was an absolute mess thinking about it for weeks before hand. I couldn't pass it up because it was not something  I wanted my son to miss out on becuase of my issues!  But, I have to say, between flying/staying far away from home/being in big crowds/no hospitals around (I have health anxiety), it was the single worst week (anxiety wise) I've had in recent memory.  I was a mess and afraid I was going to fall apart.  I left with my son and flew home three days early.  As soon as I got home, I felt 1000% better.  I hate anxiety so much for that.  But I have to say, I'm still really glad I went.  When we were there, I did my very best to "enjoy" things or at least not ruin every one else enjoying things.  My son is little, so he doesn't know we left early, and overall he has wonderful memories of the trip.  I also know that for next time, that I CAN do it.  I don't want to...but if I would've stayed home this time, it would make it that much easier to stay home next time.   I'd say try.  Believe me, I know the total guilt and frustration that comes with being a parent and having this, but I suppose everyone has their burdens to deal with.  Try your best, and don't be too hard on yourself.  A few benzos couldn't hurt either.  (My doc gave me a handful of xanax and it really does take the edge off in a pinch.)

Good luck!  :)
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Offline JustWant2bWell

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Re: Any other parents out there living with panic disorder?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 10:12:20 PM »
I noticed this one a couple hours ago but something didn't seem quite right to me.

Still, I'm glad e77 jumped in so sincerely.  We need more like him.  Wishingforcalm2's seniority speaks for itself.  With the positivity, sincerity, and blunt honesty of both of them in embracing the situation I hope you find some solace. 

Keep in mind that controlling the associated symptoms of panic disorder to the quality of life one had before ever experiencing them may take a never-ending amount of work, self-awareness, and discipline.  Even then, only speaking for myself here, there is no guarantee that they will ever quite be themselves again.

In controlling these symptoms, learning and applying therapies and/or medication seem the only routes.  Good therapy (some books are better than some therapists btw) and applying CBT, REBT, meditation, breathing exercises, true friends, getting a little better in shape, and dialectical behavioral therapy are all useful in dampening the symptoms of the disorder.  Even then, it is still an inexact science even tho we are nearing the end of 2012.

Like a significant other we may have never quite gotten over enough to put life's pieces back together again yet, such is often the same with this haunting disorder.  However, staying positive and genuinely trying to tackle the problem with the tools mentioned above are pretty much all any of us can have in our arsenal.

One day at a time.
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"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

Offline Danielle B

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Re: Any other parents out there living with panic disorder?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 01:12:02 PM »
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I really appreciate coming back and reading your sincere replies. It's so nice to be understood for a change. I have been on medication for just over a week now (8 days) and for they work wonders. I have only had minor attacks since taking them, my chest pains are mainly gone. I only notice them I out myself in a stressful situation. I have spoken only about our trip away with my husband, laid boundaries if you will that I know will help me cope. I am not going on any of the family boats. I have made other plans during the trip close by so I can ensure my children have the best time. I still would absolutely prefer not to go but like someone above mentioned letting the panic rule your life just isn't fair, not on me or on my family. I have a lot to prepare today as we leave tomorrow. My stomach is already feeling a bit off. I really hope ican get through the next 5 days relatively stress free.
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Offline jwall378

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Re: Any other parents out there living with panic disorder?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2012, 02:35:46 PM »
I have a 5 year old son. It's sometimes hard to get out and do things with him, but the more I do with him, the easier it gets. I now love going to his soccer games (where before I used to worry about going to them). I too recently went to Disney World 2 weeks before Christmas. We drove from NJ to Disney and the ride down was absolutely horrible for my anxiety. I felt trapped...but I made it through it and I'm a better person for doing it. My son loved the car trip and I enjoyed seeing him enjoy himself and that calmed me down a bit. We stayed in Disney for 7 nights. I'll admit, it was sometimes a bit tough. But when I had some rough spots with my panic, I excused myself and my wife completely understood I needed a break. I would sit for 10 minutes and people watch at the theme parks....it seemed to help me not taking things too fast. For the most part, I really did enjoy myself. When you're busy with your child, you seem to forget about anxiety. My son seems to have a calming effect on me and I wouldn't trade my life for the world right now.....even if I still do have "bad days." I've started to embrace my anxiety as a challenge and to overcome it (even if it is small steps) builds my self-confidence. With more self-confidence, anything is possible.
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The more we think about things, the worse they get.

"Don't worry, about a thing. 'Cause every little thing's gonna be alright"-Bob Marley

Offline ShiningStar

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Re: Any other parents out there living with panic disorder?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 04:59:27 PM »
I am a Mom of 3 kids under 5 and suffer with GAD and panic disorder. Its is very hard going as I dont want the children to pick up on my anxieties and insecurities. I have gone to CBT sessions and they have helped greatly. While my anxiety is still there my panic is practically gone. I am not afraid of it and have the tools to deal with it should it happen. CBT changes your way of thinking. Hope this helps  :happy0151:
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Offline scaredca

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Re: Any other parents out there living with panic disorder?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 06:28:13 PM »
I was supposed to leave with my daughter and boyfriend (of 7+ years) for a family trip this morning.  As you noticed I said supposed to.  Everything has been good leading up to this point even last night we were discussing the 4 hour drive up there.  Then this morning came I was all ready to go put my last items in the suitcase and hopped in the shower.  About half way through my shower it started, I felt weak, naseuated, my stomach was going crazy.  After a couple hours of this it still wouldn't stop and well we stayed home and he went to work.  We are supposed to try again in the morning.  My daughter is 11 and so very helpful or at least she is trying to be, actually they both were trying.  Telling me of how many people were going to be there and to think of it as going to the mall. (it is a convention we are going to).  I don't think it is the end results that are bothering me I am panicing over the drive.  Austin to Dallas.  There is not much in bewteen and I think that is where it is all coming from.  How do you just GO, feeling like that?  We are even taking my car which usually helps, I feel like I have a little more control that way. 
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