Hello Erin, and welcome to Anxiety Zone! My name is Chuck, and I am one of the Global Moderators here on the site. I am also a fellow Alabamian, living in Mobile.
You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations. It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.
We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation. Feel free to explore the rest of the forum. You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.
We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18. Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.
Erin, panic disorder/panic attacks is a real disease process with an actual organic origin. This disorder has nothing to do with situational anxiety, which we all get from time-to-time. And no, this is not a disorder that you can pull yourself up by the boot straps, and go on your merry way.
Over time, brain cells in the hippocampus region of the brain can be damaged or destroyed by stress hormones, such as cortisol, that our own bodies produce. This can lead to chronic conditions of anxiety and/or depression.
For my mental health needs, I see a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They can provide you with a diagnosis, prescribe medication if necessary, and develop a treatment plan tailored just for your needs. I also see a psychologist/therapist, and she is teaching me cognitive behavioral therapy. I am on anti-depressant therapy for my anxiety/panic attacks, and plan on being on an anti-depressant for the rest of my life.
If you haven't already done so, I would highly suggest that you seek out medical professionals that deal specifically with the treatment of anxiety disorder. Also, if your husband knows that you are on the Anxiety Zone site, you may consider sharing my response with him. It might give him a clearer picture of what you are dealing with.
Again, welcome to Anxiety Zone, Bama. The very best to you!... Chuck