Hi Kate, I'm new here too. I'm 26 yr old guy, by the way.
I can relate to some of the problems you're feeling. I used to have multiple panic attacks everyday. I didn't take meds or see any therapist because my family believed they were all fake professionals trying to rip our money from us for nothing.
But when I decided to go see a psychiatrist and take meds, about 6 years ago, I can say the medication alone cured my panic attacks. I did not believe it until it happened. I've been free of panic attacks ever since.
You said you had bad experiences with meds, can you tell me more about it? There was a year during my treatment in which I was taking too many meds and they were not working properly and I was suffering a lot. I think it had to do more with my depression than my anxiety. But after seeing a different doctor I changed meds and was eventually feeling netter again.
My point is that you may not want to give up on meds just because of past experiences. You should be able to do better with a good doctor, and past experiences might actually help in dealing with problems. The bad part is that you might feel like you only work under effect of drugs. This sucks, but it's better than panic attacks.