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Jennys Story

My first Panic Attack was at the airport waiting to board a plane to the Algarve. Not that I was afraid of flying I'm not never have been, but for some reason I could not get on that plane. My husband said "Come on you will be alright when you are on the plane". He couldn't have been more wrong. The moment I reached the top of the plane steps and saw everyone in their seats looking at me, I wanted to turn round and run. We sat in our seats and as soon as the plane started down the runway I just wanted to go home. That two and a half hour flight was the worst experience of my life

I was convinced I was going to faint. I felt really sick and my now I was hyperventilating. I must have wore myself out, because for the rest of the flight I fell asleep. The first night in the hotel I didn't sleep at all. I just kept thinking I have got to stay here for 2 whole weeks and don't think I can. I didn't eat much because I couldn't swallow it. As the holiday went on I began to relax a bit more, but when the fortnight was up I was so pleased to get home.

Between June and October of that year everything was more or less normal until we were going away for the week-end to Harrogate to a family wedding and it all started again. I was in a room full of people all chatting away, but I didn't feel as though I was there with them. After the meal we went back to our room and came home the next morning. I felt I had let everyone down.

The last straw was when one evening at home I just could not rest. I was was pacing around, my hands were shaking and I thought I was going mad. My husband phoned the doctor and she spoke to me over the phone. I calmed down and went to see the on duty doctor the next day. He was very understanding 'Why on earth didn't you come and see me before you must have felt things were not right some time ago." He prescribed Seroxat and kept a close eye on me for the first month. At that time I couldn't let my husband out of my sight. He was and still is my SAFE person. Looking back it must have been a great strain on him. I felt like a burden around his neck, but he is always very supportive The Panic Attacks turned into Agoraphobia. I tried to go to work and many times had to turn back. To finish up with my practice manager came and picked me up and took me to work just for a cup of coffee, but that broke the ice, and to start with I just went into work for a couple of hours a day. The girls at work knew how I had been feeling and they were all very supportive. I am back at work now doing usual hours, no problem. I work in a very busy doctors surgery but I enjoy it. All these feelings of unreality and Panic are foreign to me. I have never been a nervous anxious person in my life, quite the opposite nothing would bother me much at all. I take after my dad for being laid back.

Life is now getting better for me. I have seen a good therapist and had a few Cognitive Behavioral Therapy sessions which has helped, but you have to want to do it.

From not being able to go round supermarkets, out for meals, or even going to friends houses. The thought of staying away from home scared me rigid. Now shopping is not a problem. I even go out for meals now WITHOUT MY HUSBAND and as for holidays. We have just had a week-end away. first time in 3 years. OK so it was only about 15 miles away at a B&B but I did it, and it is a start. My goal is to get back on a plane again and enjoy holidays like we used to. Maybe next year Who Knows?? Watch this space. You have to keep looking forward not back. I know it is hard. I still have days when I think I am not getting anywhere, and days when I feel a bit down, but they are getting fewer. So good luck to you all. Chin up! and we will beat this together. After 3 years of not feeling like me, I am sure it can be done.

This was my story I hope it has been of some help. Please feel free to e-mail me at any time. It would be nice to hear from you.

Jenny (jennymfarmer