I've been dealing with panic disorder and general anxiety disorder since i'm 12 years old, although I can recall having panic attacks as early as age 7. I am almost 25. My disorder seems to be health related. I find that when I become ill my anxiety skyrockets and I just expect the worst and it's all downhill from there. I can proudly say that it's been over a year since my last REAL panic attack (I did have one 6months ago when there was a family emergency but to me it was justified, my husband had an incident where he ended up in the hospital and I did not know what was going on nor would the staff tell me until I got there, so I panicked fearing the worst. But I feel like that is a natural flight or fight response and not the result of my disorder). But tonight I had a panic attack over not feeling well at work and being stressed. I came home and just went into a full blown panic attack.
Whenever I have a panic attack, I feel as though i'm back at square one. I can go a year without a panic attack, and then I get one and feel as though I spiral downward and have to pick up the pieces again. It's tiring. I've done it many times before. I'm currently on lexapro and klonopin as needed but I never take it unless I have a panic attack (I took it tonight). I was just recently talking to my husband about speaking to my psychiatrist about weaning off lexapro because i've been on it for almost five years, and I feel like I use it as a "cushion" for my anxiety. I fear that if I stop taking it, I won't be able to control my anxiety the way I have been. But I want to be able to live normally without medication, or at least try.
I feel as though I can go so long without a panic attack, without general anxiety, to where I feel like a normal person. When i'm in my good spirits, I can get through something that would normally make me anxious without feeling anxious at all. But once that first panic attack happens again (I call it relapsing…I don't know how else to put it), I feel as though anything will set me off into anxiety mode.
I just feel like as soon as I have a good run of feeling great, I get one panic attack and all the bad feelings flood back. It's as if all my progress has gone down to nothing and I have to start all over again. Does anyone else feel this way?