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Re: Please read
Jun 14, 2003
You sound EXACTLY like I did when I first started having panic attacks two and a half years ago! Obviously it is different for everyone, but I will share my experience with you.
At first, I had NO idea what it was and thought that I was dying of heart attacks, then something in my brain, or ANYthing that I could think of! It took about two months to realize what exactly was happening! During that time I DID find relief from praying (I am Catholic)as I prayed that I would not die! I began ALL different medications over the course of the next few months, and NONE of them helped except Xanax. Finally, I gave in and began seeing a therapist and my doctor gave me Paxil. Within TWO weeks of the meds AND the therapist I began to feel a difference! I was no longer contemplating death (I cant really describe it - not suicidal, just kind of like "anything is better than this")and found FEW ways to relax!
I STILL do the same system when I begin getting nervous, and have not suffered a REAL panic attack in about 6 months! I still take Paxil CR, but do not need my "emergency" meds anymore (I changed from Xanax to Klonopin). I still have them JUST IN CASE, but have not needed them. I didnt even take them when I got married LAST MONTH!
My relaxation system involves MOSTLY praying and meditation (they can be seen as the same thing). I focus and tell myself "I am NOT dying, God, please help me through this, let me be strong." My therapist thought that I developed anxiety disorder because I need to control everything, so I have to let myself know that I am in control, everything's ok, etc. If I am anxious at a restaurant, the mall, or ANYPLACE, I just leave! Its OKAY to do that! And by ALLOWING myself to leave, now I do not feel the need to RUN AWAY from that place or else faint or throw up. I am much more in control, and getting better at mastering my anxiety. The feeling does NOT go away immediately, and usually I get a BAD stomach ache, but its better than panic!!!! (plus the meds DO help when needed!)
As for the future. . . I have GREAT hope for myself and ANYONE with panic attacks, nervousness, etc! I was told sinceI developed them that it is something you outgrow. I did not believe it, but I am living proof that it works! I know I am not TOTALLY better, but I FEEL 100% better than I did! Have faith in your medication, your religion, but most importantly - have faith in yourself! YOU WILL OVERCOME IT! It takes time (sometimes years, I'm told) but the relief will come and everything goes back to normal! God Bless!!!

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