My third episode came on after finding out a friend was terminally ill with ALS, and it was the last straw among other stressors. And on top of that I lost both parents while I was sick. So you are doing the right thing in seeking help, stress plays some role in this, as well as biological predisposition, IMO. Meds can be difficult to adjust to, I still feel not 100% at times (but have on meds in the past, this time its taking more time), but I am back working and socializing when I can on the weekends. If you haven't taken meds before, you may find they work well and fairly quickly, or they may take some time. It might be best to take a benzo while adjusting to an antidepressant if the latter makes you more anxious, sometimes that happens at first as you no doubt have read here. Therapy is also good if you can do it, loss is a major trigger for these kinds of things and there can be ways to look at it that allow us to move on. Its not easy, and it takes time, but it can be done. To me the feelings of anxiety and depression, let alone a panic attack, are the worst things that can happen in my life, all external things can hurt but nothing sucks like not feeling right so much of the time (and the physical manifestations of anxiety or depression can be quite "real" and just as uncomfortable as any other illness, it amazes me, actually). Seeking help is the right thing to do, and while the journey can be a bit rough in the beginning, you will cope and get better. Keep the thought in mind that there is a way to get better, it may not come as quickly as we want, but it does get better with effective treatment and time. Best of luck!