Hello everyone. I'm new here and looking for support and connection with people who suffer from panic disorder and slight agoraphobia. I have been "dealing" with this disorder for almost 5 years now and it is exhausting, as I'm sure you all know. I don't really know how it started but it just seemed as though, one day, I just lost control of myself in fear and the panic took over. I think maybe it was because I had just graduated and all of the expectations put on me by myself and family were let down- I decided to live life my way and I sort of feel like I'm paying for that in some odd way...My feelings are very up and down everyday. One moment I can be completely confident and know what I need to do and the next I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack or lose my mind. I am a first time mom to by beautiful daughter who will be turning one soon, and as beautiful as this experience has been so far, this disorder is robbing me of my life. I never feel like I am "enough" because I'm a stay at home mom (even though I realize it IS enough and a VERY important job/role) I can't help but feel overwhelming anxiety constantly. (I do not have PPD or suffer from depression).
Most of my anxiety is anticipatory on a daily basis, whether it be having to go interact in public to figure something out or an event coming up etc.. My panic attacks are fairly spread out (a couple a month) but they are still consistent and completely incapacitating when they occur. Luckily, my panic attacks occur mostly at night after my daughter is in bed so I don't have to worry about her during an episode. I saw a therapist for quite some time and did fairly well, she taught me many tips and tricks on how to get through a panic attack without using my medicine (xanax as needed) and I'm happy to say that what I learned has truly helped me, but they still occur and I'm still burdened by their over bearing, exhausting, frustrating, company.
I just want to function and cope with my stress well but some recent life events have really made my PD much worse **TRIGGER** My mother was diagnosed with a rare lung cancer in November 2013 and is going through chemotherapy right now. A lot of the weight of her care has fallen on me because my dad doesn't comprehend or want to admit she is terminal, and he is VERY lazy =( That on top of being a mother and wife, I'm losing myself. Even when I take time away and try to do what I used to enjoy doing (drawing, knitting, painting, playing guitar) I just can't. The anxiety of what I think I 'should' be doing kills my joy. In many ways, PD has been a blessing as well. I've learned more about how our physical and emotional bodies work and it's started me down a new path (last few months) of doing yoga, meditation, eating well and trying to release the things I have no control over.
I'm sorry this is so long. I just wanted to give a little insight to my life. Feel free to ask me any questions. I'm here to connect with people who understand and to even help those who need it as well.
**I also suffer from severe migraines/icepick headaches, which can often be a trigger for me depending on my mood when the headache occurs.