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Anonymous Story

My “panic attack” starts at the end of august 2003. It’s consequences on me was disastrous and terrible. I have never dreamt myself of having this attack and seeing psychiatrist and psychologist

… How it begun

It was after some time after the “SARS” period when one by one stopped wearing masks and that I began to realize the insecurity of removing masks, as I can’t do without it fearing that people are watching me doing my work. One day, I started having palpitations and trembling of my head when I was administering medication to a patient in the presence of the parent. I was wearing a mask so no one could tell that I was trembling. I was working in a children’s ward.

I began to feel that what I was experiencing was something not right and I began to worry over it. I consulted a psychiatrist and he told me I was having panic attack. I was relieved in a way that I was not suffering from any mental disorder. He referred me to a psychologist. I had two sessions with the psychologist, she asked to purchase a relaxation CD and also asked me to visualize myself not wearing mask facing the patient.

Visualizing was a torture to me, my anxiety increased and I lost weight gradually, I stopped seeing the psychologist.

Day by day passed and my anxiety increased, I began to lose appetite and lost weight. Going to work was a struggle each day, the tremors and the fear of the parents and doctors remained in my mind and that affected my working ability tremendously.

Being worried that I could not function and losing my job caused me to become scared and depressed. What if I lose my job, who is going to support my dad and sister and pay for the house?

I became depressed and suicidal, irritable, lost appetite, vomiting and was warded for dehydration. Those two unpaid weeks were a torture. I had consulted a psychiatrist and psychologist but that didn’t help, things started to get worse as the future seemed so bleak. I prayed to God every night and day to help me overcome this problem.

I started to get back to work and stayed on my job for 6 days. I was able to nurse some patients, which I thought I could remove my mask and not trembling. But I still need to wear the mask and cover my fear and trembling towards some patients.

Before the sixth day, I consulted a psychiatrist and was prescribed some antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. On the following day, I was irritable and asked to go home. I cried and breakdown when I reached home, I don’t understand why I was feeling so irritable.

Those few days were horrible and I was crying and crying.

I took another one another half month of unpaid leave. That was from September to mid October. In December the sudden death of my father had led me to even intense depression in addition to my panic disorder, I cried and breakdown so many times.

Furthermore working in a daycare center facing the cancer and elderly patients had added more sadness to my life, I was asked to leave though I think I am performing quite okay but still I had phobia of returning back to my pediatric ward which I had my panic attack.

So I handed in my resignation letter and my officers were nice to me hoping that I can start afresh after my resignation.

Initially, I felt upset, not knowing whether can I get a job in the future, anyway I tried to think positively and it is not the end of the world!

With the help from friends and relatives, I must also help myself!

Now I am feeling much better. I hope can do better.

Since January till now, it had been nearly three months. Now is March.

I went to the library, borrowed books on how to keep oneself healthy in both body and mind.

The book taught about using exercise and taking healthy diet in helping anxiety, depression and panic attack

To a certain extent, it has helped me and I also used distraction to help me in focusing myself to other ways of life.

Reading the Bible, attending Christian meetings, going out with friends, and going to library.

I also tried using aromatherapy.

I tried all ways to get better, and I believed I will, of course it is not an overnight thing, you need to have motivation.

Of course I am still see the psychiatrist, but remember the psychiatrist can’t help much besides prescribing antidepressant and anti anxiety medication. If you think you want to try taking vitamins, and other methods, not seeing the shrink, you can give it a try, tell yourself to Distract from your anxiety, it is not easy, and it comes with effort and prayer.

It is maybe advisable to have some minor tranquilizers with u if you feel u need it.

Try to reduce caffeine intake or avoid it.

I am on my way to recovery, but not 100 percent, though I am on SRRI which is favouring a kind of antidepressant, I hope to break free from it and get well.

Remember, the psychiatrist or psychologist can only help u to a certain extent, they do not know you well, they don’t know u long enough, sometimes talking to a friend is better than seeing shrink.

Remember , the doctor will not provide extra information on how to get away with your anxiety, trying taking vitamins, getting exercise, distraction, going out with friends, reading Bible or materials associated with the Bible , using aromatherapy, positive thinking will help.

But it takes time, endurance, motivation to move on, to get out of this monster.