I just wanted to stop by here after a long time away to offer up some hope for people suffering.
Ive found on so many message boards (I belong to 2 or 3) that they are sadly missing stories of people who HAVE GOT BETTER. I guess when the problem has retreated people forget and don't come back and post.
I began having panic attacks in 1995, whilst travelling in india. When i got back home after 4 months away, i had a complete breakdown. I was severely agrophobic, was so panicky all day long i couldnt hold a conversation or look someone in the eye. I was having wierd tingles everywhere, sense of disassociation, panic, dizziness, numbness, insomnia, twitches, delusional thinking, inability to breath. you name it i had it.
After a month of this i managed to get myself to a doctor, who gave me beta blockers ( he said it was adrenaline that was causing all my problems - he never mentioned panic attacks or anxiety). They did nothing, and i had another few weeks of hell. I went back to a different doc, who prescribed prozac, just a months worth. After 10 days ago i felt something lift from me, and i started to calm down and feel a little better.
That wasn't the end however. I'd had no real help, advice or support and i battled my problems alone for a few more months. I did start being able to leave the house in this time though still feeling horrendous. My social life was nil - i just scurried to the shops to get essentials wide eyed and freaked.
One day,in a charity shop, i came across a book by Claire Weekes, called 'Self help for your Nerves'. I bought it, and began to read. Only now for the first time did i understand what was happening to me (id never even HEARD of a panic attack before), the process behind the 'circle' of panic attacks, and how to move on.
I'm rambling on here so i should cut it a bit shorter and not bore you all stupid! Over the next 4 years i continued to battle my anxiety, going back on prozac a couple of times. You all know what its like im sure living with panic disorder. We get relapses just when we think we have it sorted. I thought i'd never get better!
Anyway. I DID get better. Completely. It was a long road for me, with ups and downs and relapses, but nowadays i feel great. I even run art workshops for schools and stand in front of a class of 30 kids and teach! never in a million years did i dream i could do that when before i couldnt even go across the road to buy a pint of milk.
I just wanted people to know who are in the depths of it, that you can get over it completely. Its a different road for everyone, and what works for one might not for another, but you can do it. I reckon if i had had more knowledge from the start i may well have got over it quicker, butthen again maybe i had to take that long to work thorugh it all in my own way.
One thing that helped me was that i realised my whole lifestyle didnt suit me. I was living in a busy city, very trendy, a bit pretentious, with a group of friends who i didnt really feel comfortable with. i think i was trying to be someone i was not. I moved to the country and live a much calmer life in a small friendly village, and it suits me so much better than clubs, bars and trendy clothes shops. I know this cant be done for most people - a huge life change, but its worth taking a look at the bigger picture and whether the way you live your life is true to who you really are. I think we who suffer like this are sensitive souls and we need to go easy on ourselves!
I hope others will also post their success stories here - its so important to know you won't always be suffering. I wish everyone all the best!
Im an old member who's back to get involved again - i used to be just plain 'haze', but lost all my login details!