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Question
Posted by: Julia | 2011-11-18

Panic Attacks

I''m 36 years old and have 2 daughters. I have been living with panic disorder for the past 8 years. I used to be able to drive a car, go shopping, travel etc and one morning I woke up and I was just afraid, for no reason. I can''t do anything like that anymore. I feel safe driving in a car with my husband, father, brothers or sister, but anyone else I immediately start panicking.
I can''t go shopping with just anyone either, and places like shopping malls where there''s a lot of people just freaks me out. I rely on people all the time - like even going to see a teacher at school, someone has to come with me. I''m fine if I know there''s someone there sitting outside waiting for me, but if I know there''s nobody there, I immediately start with a panic attack.

I''ve been given medication to take by various doctors but I''m dead against taking any sort of meds, not even a Panado. I''m trying to deal with this on my own because I don''t want to be drug-dependent.

I''ve spoken to lots of people that have experienced brief bouts of panic attacks, like it happened once or twice and never again.

My question is, do you think I will ever get over this? Will this ever pass? How come some people get over their panic disorders but mine just stays?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

YOu are suffering from a condition that responds really well to proper treatment, but, even though it is very seriously distorting your life, you are refusing to seek proper treatment.
Firstly, this treatment should NOT be started by a GP or "various doctors". You need to see a really good local psychiatrist for a full assessment qand diagnosis, and a discussion of treatment options. Once he has begun treatment, maybe a GP can provide some of the follow-up prescriptions, but the specialist must be involved in planning and supervision.
Secondly, you need to face your irrational and self-damaging rejection of all medication. It is as damaging and unwise as someone who is addicted to meds and consumes everything she can find.
Medication, properly chosen by the appropriate specialist, can be excedingly helpful. For panic disorder, this may well include meds also used to treat Depression, which can be really useful for a range of anxiety disorders, too. And CBT ( COgnitive-Behaviour Therapy ) a scientifically well-tested method of talking therapy, can also be most helpful. It is better than shapeless and ineffective "dealing with this on my own", which is veruy obviously not working at all - yet CBT involves your very active involvement as the key ingredient in effectively unlearning unhelpful behaviours and assumptions and mastering your disorder. But using a metho that works, rather than just desperately giving in to the disorder.
With proper supervision you will NOT become drug-dependent - and what you are doing at present is insisting on being addicted to NOT using the right drugs.
Avoiding effective remedies is like refuses to use a dressing on a wound, or plaster-of-paris or its equivalent on a broken limb.
If you have spoken to people who claim to have recovered all on their own, then they almost certainly did not have a real Panic Disorder, merely occasional panicky anxiety feelings.
With the right expert help AND your own active involvement, you CAN get this nunder control. If you choose to refuse such assistance, then you are choosing to remain this way, which would be sad.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: panic_station | 2011-11-18

yeps, i have this for the past 20 years and im not even 40 yrs old yet. Get meds, they help hugely, i take aropax at the moment, but ''still'' suffer from this alot. I can''t do ''anything'' without knowing i have a beta blocker with me at all times, not even exit my home. Go see psych, get meds, as i cut down on my meds for a year, chaos!!!
Good luck.

Reply to panic_station
Posted by: Anon | 2011-11-18

Hi CS and Julia. I have had a few of these panic attacks but they have always been after a binge of sorts, drinking, snorting, aneasthetic (that was not binging, had an op). What I''m saying that with me it is my lifestyle that has been to blame for them, don''t know about you. Coming off of something, whether it be alcohol, drugs, over the counter stuff, all of it can have an adverse affect on you somehow.
I''m not of much help here, but would just like to mention that I have been to doctors who have tried to put me on all kinds of medicines, and diagnose all kinds of ailments, from bi-polar to psycho. The only medicine that I take is a anti-depr, Omego 3, and sometimes when I can''t sleep (4 days) I get sleeping tabs (strongs tabs that are given over the counter, you can get anything there, but don''t anyone ask me for the name, I will not publish them as I don''t believe what they are doing is right).
Anyway, just my 2 cents worth.
Hope you can establish what is wrong.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-11-18

YOu are suffering from a condition that responds really well to proper treatment, but, even though it is very seriously distorting your life, you are refusing to seek proper treatment.
Firstly, this treatment should NOT be started by a GP or "various doctors". You need to see a really good local psychiatrist for a full assessment qand diagnosis, and a discussion of treatment options. Once he has begun treatment, maybe a GP can provide some of the follow-up prescriptions, but the specialist must be involved in planning and supervision.
Secondly, you need to face your irrational and self-damaging rejection of all medication. It is as damaging and unwise as someone who is addicted to meds and consumes everything she can find.
Medication, properly chosen by the appropriate specialist, can be excedingly helpful. For panic disorder, this may well include meds also used to treat Depression, which can be really useful for a range of anxiety disorders, too. And CBT ( COgnitive-Behaviour Therapy ) a scientifically well-tested method of talking therapy, can also be most helpful. It is better than shapeless and ineffective "dealing with this on my own", which is veruy obviously not working at all - yet CBT involves your very active involvement as the key ingredient in effectively unlearning unhelpful behaviours and assumptions and mastering your disorder. But using a metho that works, rather than just desperately giving in to the disorder.
With proper supervision you will NOT become drug-dependent - and what you are doing at present is insisting on being addicted to NOT using the right drugs.
Avoiding effective remedies is like refuses to use a dressing on a wound, or plaster-of-paris or its equivalent on a broken limb.
If you have spoken to people who claim to have recovered all on their own, then they almost certainly did not have a real Panic Disorder, merely occasional panicky anxiety feelings.
With the right expert help AND your own active involvement, you CAN get this nunder control. If you choose to refuse such assistance, then you are choosing to remain this way, which would be sad.

Reply to cybershrink

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