I felt like i needed to write a post to everyone suffering a panic disorder like i did.
About 2 months ago i started suffering bad anxiety shortly after my first panic attack (which came out of nowhere)
I was driving along the harbour bridge in heavy traffic when all of a sudden my heart started rapidly pounding, i started sweating, feeling like i was going to pass out and uncontrollably crying. It left me extremely confused until my mother informed me i had just suffered my first panic attack. I thought nothing of it until i started getting extremely bad anxiety.
It seemed like everytime i was in a crowded place or in public my heart would start beating really fast and automatically i would assume a panic attack was coming.
Then the panic attacks started and it got to a point where i was averaging on atleast one a day. As soon as it started to affect my work life i thought THATS IT i'm not living like this. I wanted to try every method without medication as i dont like putting unnatural things in my body. Reading up about zoloft etc made me cringe looking at the horrible side effects. It also seemed like it only MANAGED anxiety/panic attacks, rather then ridding someone of them. I read about a woman who took zoloft for 4 years and when she eased off it her panic attacks came back with a vengeance. So i took other measures like cutting out my daily caffeine hit and decided i would drink camomile 3 times a day. I also started drinking magnesium every morning. St Johns Wort made me feel nauseous so i instantly stopped using it.
When i started uni, things got worse. I left all my tutorials and lectures due to panic attacks brought on by my anxiety. My subconscious would instantly bring on panic as soon as i walked through the doors of my university. I felt like i needed to drop out in order to be safe.
However last week i decided i would see a therapist which instantly made me feel better after my first visit. She told me avoidance would only make things a lot worse and i needed to expose myself to what my subconscious was fearing. (Which was nothing but a silly panic attack.)
I went to uni this entire week (without a panic attack!) and did not leave once. Although the anxiety came as soon as i sat down in classes i let it wash over me and knew it would end. And it did - and i was able to concentrate and feel that sense of normality i wanted oh so badly. And its only getting easier and easier.
I honestly thought my life was over and my panic disorder was going to get worse and worse and found it so hard to feel positive. I would cry every night no matter what.
EXPOSE YOURSELF TO WHAT YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS IS FEARING!! I am confident now to go to classes, to go shopping alone and to go to work ! Yes i know anxiety and panic is a horrible horrible feeling. But if your heart rate starts, you start sweating... just remember
- You cant die
- This will pass
- You WILL 100% get through this
But don't avoid places you fear otherwise it will get harder and harder to do this.
I feel like i have almost beaten this battle and its only made me stronger :)