For years me and my sister have suffered with panic disorder. She has suffered with it for 11 years, I have suffered with it on and off for 8 years. My sister is more closed off and reserved, and doesn't like to talk about
her panic disorder, whereas I tell everyone I have it and not to be frightened if I start having panic attacks, only that I just have to ride it out.
My father always tried to shrug our disorder off like it didn't really exist, until I got really bad a few months ago.
Finally over the past two weeks he started opening up.
Yesterday he told me he had a panic attack in Cub Foods two weeks ago, and that his sister used to have panic attacks all the time and would have to breathe into a paper bag. (hypervenelating I imagine, his sister just passed away in December at 80 years old)
He also told me that many of my great aunts and his own mother suffered with severe panic disorder, one of my great aunts was institutionalized for 11 years with it. I'm sure back then they didn't know what to do with us anxious souls, so we were just thrown into a psyche ward.
I think he just didn't want to accept the fact that his daughters also suffer with such a difficult disorder, but now he has to as I just kept getting worse and had to get on meds a few months ago.
I talk openly about how I feel and when I feel anxious and why, and now he just started recognizing that it isn't just "an excuse to get out of events and family things" but rather a debilitating disorder that I can't help but deal with and try to get better. I told him of my fear of Target yesterday, and how I'm taking steps towards getting used to pushing myself forward, even if I feel panicky.
I feel really happy that I finally have some sort of support from him, and now it makes sense to me. The disorder is hereditary, and he told me the majority of the sufferers in his family were women, which makes sense because they say 80% of all panic disorder/anxiety disorder sufferers are women. He tried to hide this from me and my sister all these years but for some reason just started to talk to me about it over the course of a month.
Strange that he now just decides to recognize it.
But helpful to me.
Just thought I'd share that all with you.