I have been dealing with panic attacks for the last 10 years and I am only 22 years old. I was going into the 7th grade when they first started up and they were extreme. I just moved to a new school, and knew nobody. I remember it like yesterday when I got my first panic attack. I was playing a video game on the computer at around 1 am with a friend during the summer. All of a sudden everything went dark, and my face got really warm and tingly, and I felt like I couldnt breathe. My heart was racing so fast I thought it was going to jump out of my chest. I ran up the stairs and woke up my parents telling them I was dying. I ended up calming down, but had difficult falling asleep. For an entire summer, on an almost every other day basis I dealt with panic. I would scare my family to no end. I would jump up and start screaming and crying that I couldn't breathe. I would hyperventilate into bags, and my parents would rush me to the emergency room. I was in the emergency room at least 15 times that summer. Every time they told me it was all in my head. I refused to believe it. My body was going through crazy things, and I couldn't breathe. I refused to believe this was in my head because my symptoms were so scary, I was scared I was dying, at 12 years old! All I could think about was I was going to spend my life in the hospital and noone would be able to help me. I have always been worried about my health since I could remember. That summer I saw so many doctors outside of the emergency room as well. One decided it was time for me to see a specialist thinking maybe I had asthma. Come to find out I DID have asthma and I really couldn't breathe! I also was told to see a cardiologist. I was also diagnosed with a slight mitral valve proplapse. I remember my first day of classes I had to go to school wearing a heart monitor. Come to find out people with mitral valve prolapse often have panic attacks because of other symptoms that you can have associated with it. I was put on medications for my panic attacks, and my asthma and after a few months I didn't seem to have a problem anymore. I just stopped thinking about it. I was cured. Within the next few years I had a few episodes but nothing serious.
Then almost 3 years ago I went away to college. First time ever being away from my friends, my family, my boyfriend and from home. I struggled my first semester at college. It was happening again. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't concentrate. Everything around me was falling apart. I was failing classes, I was fighting with my boyfriend, I wanted to come home every weekend. I was scared to be alone. I layed in bed wondering if I was really dying. I knew what it was. I was denying what it was. I went to the doctor on campus at least 7 times trying to think of everything else other then what I knew it really was. I had chest xrays, I was taking my inhalers again, did I have lung cancer? This just couldnt be panic, I didnt feel right, I didnt feel like me. I then came out of my denial and decided to talk to a psychiatrist. I was put on two medications at really high doses. This medication made it worse. I was sleeping all day, missing classes because I was sleeping, failing classes because I had to leave or just didnt go, people had a hard time waking me up. My boyfriend told me that I had to get off the medication when he came to visit me at school on a weekend, and I wasnt answering my phone (that was sitting right next to my head), or didnt hear the door that him and all my school friends were banging on. I decided he was right. I took myself off the medications cold turkey. I started telling myself I can do this. I can fight this. I did it once, I will do it again. Everytime I had an attack I just stopped what I was doing and told myself this is just a panic attack. I am NOT dying. And eventually I stopped dwelling on my panic attacks, and stopped worrying when the next one was coming and it went away. I was cured. Again.
I graduated college in December. Almost two months ago I got a new job pertaining to what I went to school for. Its great and I love it. Its a stressful job but its what I know I am good at. I work as a veterinary technician. My boyfriend of now almost 5 years and I are talking about getting our first place together. My car is having a lot of problems and my best friend just moved to florida. I am dealing with some kind of sickness for 2 weeks now and <I DON'T KNOW> what it is (could be anxiety, could be migraines-worried about a brain tumor (I am also a hypochondriac)). And here is where my panic attacks come back, and the worry cycle begins again. I know I will get through it. I always do. But until then, it is a process that will take time. I have learned that my panic attacks always come from change. I do not like change. I like what I know.
Last edited by ms_mod; 07-12-2009 at 12:44 PM.
Reason: As per the posting rules, always use whole, real words in your posts. Ms_Mod