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Edward’s Story

I am 28 years old and for the last ten years I have been suffering with panic attacks and depression. I will never forget my first attack. It was early on a Sunday morning and I was standing in the bathroom brushing my teeth when I suddenly my face began to burn up and then proceed to feel numb. All that morning my throat was dry and I was convinced that something was caught, but I shrugged it off and did my best to forget about it. Then suddenly, as I stood in that bathroom with my face feeling numb and my breathing getting shallow, I panicked and began clutching at my throat and screaming that I was going to die. I had never been so afraid in my life and my mother came rushing to see what was happening. As much as she tried to calm me down and reassure me that I was safe, I couldn’t grasp that concept and the panic went on all that day.

Later that evening when I was even worse, I was brought to the Doctor, who proceeded to check my heart and tell me I wasn’t going to die before sending me away and telling me to breath into a paper bag. As you can imagine, the panic just kept on going all evening and by the end of the day I was just emotionally drained and all I wanted to do was sleep. I was still terribly afraid though and I really did think that as soon as my eyes closed I would be dead. That was the start of my nightmare with anxiety.

The worst attack I ever suffered was just five months ago. I wasn’t feeling well that Saturday morning when I woke up and as the morning went on I began to feel myself decent into a full blown panic attack. I hid in my room and tried my best to calm down but then my arms went dead to me and my fingers curled up, leaving me with no control over them at all. The first thing I did was scream and tried to get out of the room and it took me ages to do because my legs were weak, the sweat was pouring out of me, my head was pounding with pain and my eyes couldn’t adjust to light. I honestly thought that my heart was going to explode in my chest.

When I finally managed to get out of the room I dropped to the floor with hyperventilation, crawled into the bathroom and rocked myself back and foward in a ball. I was hysterical at this point and I just wanted to die so it would end. My Mother, who had been out walking the dog at the time it started, arrived home and found me screaming on the floor and called for help right away. By the time the Doctor arrived I was so hysterical and so sure that I was having a stroke that he sedated me and then helped me into bed. I was still screaming and crying but when the Valium kicked in it was a relief and I just cried until it helped me to finally sleep. I will never in my life forget the horrors that went through my mind that day as the attack took full hold over me.

I have had more attacks since, but thank god they have been nothing compared to that Saturday. I just hope that the people who read this know that they are not alone in their suffering and I really hope that it helps in some small way,

Edward