Don’t be too rough on yourself right now. Accept your situation for what it is. You are a person who is experiencing panic and anxiety. It doesn’t make you sick or crazy, and it doesn’t make you unworthy or bad. For me, I was so anxious to “be cured” that I really wasn’t paying attention to all the things that would make me feel better. At first, I was too anxious and overwhelmed to do much of anything except put energy and effort into worrying over my situation. I am a very body-conscious person, so my main fears centered around “what if” panic. “What if I have a brain tumor”…”What if I have cancer”…”What if I have a panic attack alone and I need help”….it took me a while to relax about those kinds of thoughts.
Also, with panic, for me, came depression. I was limited because of my fears and feelings, and feeling hopeless and helpless. It really seemed to be spiraling out of control. Bouncing back from panic wasn’t easy for me; but over some time I was able to listen to my body’s symptoms without thinking the worst because I was able to take them for what they were – just panic. Once I accepted my panic symptoms, I was more able to focus on teaching myself some better ways to think about things and better ways to cope with my fearful thoughts. But, it really is a matter of baby steps – a little patience at a time will truly get you far. I think experiencing panic has made me a better and stronger person. I know my body well now so I’m not so afraid of it. I am more sympathetic and sensitive to other peoples’ fears and worries (because I am The Queen of Worrying). I know it is important for me to take care of myself by being kind and patient to myself, by knowing the things that lead me to feel more nervous, by talking things out more, but seeking help when I need to ask for it, and by helping others because I can.
Medication is a great idea when dealing with panic too. I am terrified of taking new medications (my phobic issue), so I didn’t try any medications for a few years. Once I felt I was past the worst of my panic (meaning I stopped having full blown panic attacks every day and I was feeling less scared about things) then I did try some medications. I currently do not take anything, but I have friends who swear by it.
Don’t be ashamed of what you’re experiencing. For the longest time I didn’t tell anyone my panic “secret”. I was embarrassed for a number of reasons. But along the way, I realized that panic is a part of me, and I wanted those people close to me to know how hard a time I was having. And honestly, it was getting too stressful to always either make up excuses why I wasn’t going out or why I was acting a certain way when I was panicky. This didn’t mean that I shouted it from the roof! - Panic is a personal experience, so who you tell and when is up to you, but it felt better knowing that some people knew where I was in life at that time, and believe it or not, once I started chatting about it, I found out that other people were going through the same thing. Plus, when you reach out, you don’t feel so alone – I felt alone with panic for a long time because it seemed that everyone around me was “normal” except for me.
Panic attacks and anxiety can go hand in hand, or someone could have the anxiety (worried thoughts) without the actual full-blown panic attacks. Unfortunately I have experienced both.
At first I was too panicked and worrisome to even read something this long! But I promise you that there is a big wonderful light at the end of the tunnel – but you have to give yourself some honest time to get things in perspective. You may not believe me – and I understand that completely.
You will be fine even if you don’t think so right now. That’s ok. Give yourself some time to believe that you are ok even with panicky or worrisome feelings. I don’t consider myself cured by any means – I probably will always have the fear demon to deal with more than most people I know; but coming to terms with the kind of person I am has made things better for me when dealing with my issues. My panic waxes and wanes, so I do have my share of occasional setbacks, but I’m no longer the person who lies in bed all day and doesn’t go shopping! Everyone has their own issues; and some people can breeze past their fears and anxieties with little impact on their lives – I happen to not be one of those people, but that’s okay. One step at a time, even if it’s a tiny one. “It doesn’t matter the size of my steps, as long as I’m faced in the right direction”.
Remember, it’s how you decide to react to your anxiety level and your current symptoms that are going to make a difference.
Wishing everyone a nice day.
Last edited by Wowwwweeee; 09-17-2004 at 10:19 AM.
I have received and seen your great advice in the relationship board. Once again you have posted a very helpful thread. I too suffer from anxiety/panic attacks. Many things that help you also have helped me. Now with antihistamines I get anxiety so everyone is different. I'm sure many will try the steps you listed. I'm glad that you are feeling much better and have found a way to grasp the anxiety. It is very hard work to overcome anxiety. You are right, it is a daily battle. Thank you for sharing your story and your wisdom.
For some people, antihistamines can cause physical sensations that mimic anxiety symptoms. So can caffeine, MSG, and aspertame. If you ask your local pharmacist, you should be able to find something comprable over the counter with the ingredient that causes this symptom. Or, just experiment with taking a lower dose.
DBack, I'd be interested in knowing what you thought about the book.