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Hi, sorry in advance if my post is a bit long – it’s the first time I’ve ever really written down about my experiences with anxiety and panic attacks – its kinda nice to just get it all out there.
I’m 24 – I had my first panic attack about 2 years ago – luckily for me I was at the medical centre when it happened. I was concerned over a swallowing problem I’d had for a few days and whilst standing in line I had dreadful problems breathing – it was so terrifying I thought I was going to die or something! the dr told me it was a panic attack
(oh something I might also mention – about 1 or 2 years before this I actually did have a breathing problem – I think it was bronchitis or something – it started by feeling like the air was warm and stuffy and had difficulty breathing – I was given antibiotics at the time and mostly felt better by the end of it – but for a long time afterward I felt like it hadn’t entirely gone away. looking back I now wonder if the problem was exacerbated by panic/anxiety?)
the second one I remember was in a shopping centre and completely out of the blue – I don’t think it was that long after my first.For a while there were decent gaps between panic attacks and i'd think - 'oh its all good now' - then one would just come out of nowhere.
Then last year I had to catch a bus because of train track work – there were no toilets on the bus and I was feeling unwell- I felt so awful - i think I was hyperventilating for the whole trip– after I finally arrived at work I had the worst panic attack so far – I was hyperventilating so badly it took over an hour before I could go inside to work. luckily there weren’t many people in the office to notice.
I’ve been afraid of further panic attacks ever since my first, but much more since the bus incident. it seems to be a daily thing atm. Panic and anxiety seem to affect me more than ever at the moment – when at the movies, public transport, in the car with others, driving others etc – even at home watching tv. breathing problems seems to be the main problem – that and almost constant tension in my neck and shoulders. tightness in the throat is another one which worries me - also in recently I’ve experienced new symptoms I hadn’t felt before – hot flushes and tightness in the chest being the most terrifying.
I’ve borrowed/read numerous books on panic and anxiety, listened to cds of relaxation and hypnotherapy, been taking St John’s Wort, herbal teas, rescue remedy, and now that new all natural ‘anxiety aid’ from the chemist – yet I don’t know how much any of this has really helped because its still very anxious – even as I’m writing this I can feel the tightness in my chest.
I haven’t been to the doctors since that first panic attack– but from reading some of the posts on the forum I guess I probably should – it sounds like proper medication can be helpful.
I guess I just wanted to try to handle it myself, but its just been getting worse and worse. its really affecting my life – I seem to be making excuses not to do things, go places in the hope of feeling ok.. – even simple things like going to the movies (which I used to love as I’m a real film buff) I struggle with the breathing difficulties that seems to accompany most visits.
so that’s me. sorry for boring you with my anxiety life story!
I’m really going to try to work through this program – some blessed relief from anxiety and panic would be very much welcomed!
also it’d be nice to have people to chat to who are having similar experiences and who have had successes – it can be hard talking to family or friends when they have no idea what you’re going through.
thank you :)