No More Panic > News > Emma’s Story

Emma’s Story

I’ve always been an anxious person. From as far back as i can remember I had a phobia of being sick. I still have it to this day but not as bad as i was back then. but because i had this phobia it made me anxious and because i was anxious i felt sick, it was a vicious circle. I didn’t eat much and as a growing girl nearly in her teens i was diagnosed with anorexia. I didn’t accept this as i knew i was stick thin and hated it. I hated it with all my heart. I knew in my heart i didn’t eat because i was afraid of being sick. As well as this i was a very nervous person.

I hated doing all the normal things a young kid should do. I avoided going on day trips with my family. I would always say i was too ill to go, which wasn’t a lie, i had worked myself up so much about going that i really did feel ill but as soon as i knew we weren’t going i miraculously felt better. I hated school so much. I know most kids hate school but i would feel sick from the moment i got there. I carried polo’s around with me all the time and would go through a couple of packets a day. If i didn’t have them then i would get hot and sweaty and start to panic. I just wanted to be at home. I realise now that this was my safe place. At the age of around 14-15 years i started getting OCD. I would do things in threes like switch the light on and off three times. if i did this i felt like i wouldn’t be sick that day. luckily my OCD only lasted this bad for a few years.

When i left school i started work and although i still had my sickness phobia I started to enjoy life a bit more. I was still a nervous person but i didn’t avoid all situations. I went for days out with friends. I still couldn’t go out for meals. I hated eating in front of people i didn’t know. I still to this day don’t know why i couldn’t do this.

In 2002 i met my partner. He is a difficult person to be with. I love him to bits but sometimes i wonder why do i love him. He’s caused me a lot of stress he’s cheated on me, never helped my with things around the house and very immature. But then sometimes he does little things that are lovely.

At the time of meeting my boyfriend i was working in a retail shop. I loved it but it was a very stressful job especially when i got promoted and in February of 2004 at the age of 23 I had my first panic/anxiety attack. I was at work and we were very busy. I felt awful because i had a bad cold all of a sudden i couldn’t breath, i was shaking and my heart was pounding. My boss told me to get myself straight to the doctors which i did. There i had an ECG. and was told to go straight to hospital. My mum drove me there and after having another ECG was told they would keep me in over night for observation. Next day i was told i probably had a viral infection and there was nothing to worry about. Fine i thought. except i was still suffering from palpitations. so went back to my doctor who sent me to a cardiologist. Who again found nothing wrong. He said i would grow out of it! In April 2004 I fell pregnant which scared the life out of me. The first thing i though was oh my got what if i have morning sickness!! Well guess what yep i had morning day and night sickness from the start until i was about 8 months pregnant. What luck. But i coped i had palpitations and breathlessness all through my pregnancy and was in and out of hospital because of this but now i believe it was just anxiety.but at the time didn’t realise this. When i had my son things got better i still had the palpitations but tried to ignore them really.

In December 2005 i had my second big panic attack. i was sitting in church when out of the blue i felt like i was in a sauna, i couldn’t get my breathing right i was dizzy, couldn’t see properly but i sat there like this till the end of the service then had to go straight home to bed. the next day i went to the doctors. this was a new doctor who I’d never seen before and he took 1 look at me and said it was because i was under weight. i accepted this because he was my doctor. even though when i was pregnant i put on three stone and only lost two stone after. but i got on with trying to put weight on. I went from eating three to four times a day to eight to ten times a day. I found that food was all i could think about. and it got to the point that if i felt my self getting hungry i would start to panic. I would panic in case i started to feel like i did in the church. But because i was panicking i would get the normal symptoms.

At the time my OCD came back a little. But this time i worried about germs. I would wash my hands all the time, i made sure my kitchen was spotlessly clean. I wouldn’t have raw meet in the house in case it contaminated anything. I seemed to get through this myself and now I’m not worried about germs I still have a little fear of raw meat but I’m learning to tell myself to not be so silly.

Now today, I found this website that your reading this story on and i sat hear crying reading everything in the website because I’ve never admitted to myself that i have a problem. Now i know i suffer from anxiety. and it’s getting worse. I struggle to go to work. I do it but not without having a panic attack first. I hate walking my son to school but i do it again when I’m walking I’ll be having a panic attack but i put on a brave face for my son and guess what I get through it each time. So i think to myself if i can do it once i can do it again and again until one day i might do it without thinking and there will be no panic, no worry.

I do have days now where i feel dread like something bad is going to happen but I’m determined not to let this get to me. I will work through this and i wish you all the best.

Thank you so much for reading i could go on there are lots i have missed out, but I’m sure gone on too much as it is.

Emma xx