I recall being shy quiet child I would find it difficult to talk about things and be chanted at for bottling things up at primary school, I also wet the bed until my mid teens and this was quite disruptive in more ways than one as you can imagine. I had a relatively happy childhood despite some major set backs at key stages
I was diagnosed as being in an “Anxiety State” when I was 14 after my mum noticed a change in my behaviour I was prescribed Beta Blockers but my mum wasn’t keen on my taking them so I didn’t. When I was 17 I dabbled with recreational drugs and took an ecstasy pill and within an hour I had what I would say was my first panic attack although I didn’t know it at the time. I really did think I was going to die, I felt so scared I wanted to die everything was so distorted and I was hyperventilating and wanted to vomit. For about 3 months afterwards I turned into a recluse and by the skin of my teeth kept by job but had to take a lot of time off. I used to think it was S.A.D. as I would feel terribly low and not be able to communicate as I would normally during the dark winter months. Friends and family helped me out of it and I managed to carry on.
It wasn’t until a few years later in my early twenties that I would start to get panic attacks more frequently, they would happen in social situations, brightly lit shops/shopping centres, bars or pubs I also felt paranoid that people were laughing at me and that I had done something terrible, everything seemed magnified and I was hypersensitive, I also completely lost my sense of humour which is pretty essential I feel! I was told by G.P. that I would “always be this way” to “get used to it as they will never go away”. I have taken courses of SSRI’s and always wanted to get off them as soon as possible as the media were publishing scare stories about them and just didn’t want to become dependant on medication. I have seen physiologist and had counselling which I found difficult as it made me feel worse as it dredged up feeling and experiences from my past that were mostly unpleasant and so I didn’t carry on seeing them for more than about 6 sessions.
I’m now 31 and although I have lost touch with some friends along the way I have been lucky to have some good friends (some of whom have similar experiences) and family plus a wonderful husband to support me, however I still have these bouts of anxiety that seem to come out of the blue and affect me physically and mentally. I feel that I should address the situation and do something positive instead of hiding myself away and going off sick at work every time I feel the darkness descend.
There are so many things that can help and I recently have lost sight of them but I have decided I’m going to look at alternative therapies such as C.B.T. and see what help there is in my area, look after myself more, change my thought process and ultimately not listen to the fear messages as I am going to beat this illness and can’t believe its taken me so long to do anything like this.
Thank you for reading my story.