panic disorder: i need to know i'm not alone

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hi!

i'm very new to this and i'm not that sure i know how it works but here goes.

i'm 17 (nearly 18) and i've recently been diagnosed with panic disorder with added hypochondria (health anxiety) due to it and i have nobody to talk to. i've been depressed for two and a half years, since i was 15, but i've found it more and more easy to cope with because a lot of my friends and some of my family are depressed too. depression for me is a lot easier to control due to years of experience and unlike panic disorder, there's no sort of uncontrollable outbursts. 

anyway. i apologise if any of what i'm about to say is triggering in any way but i really just want reassurance because i feel so alone. i'm having panic attacks near enough everyday and safe to say, it's ruining my life. i have a job and have been employed within this company for nearly 6 months and having to constantly run off the shop floor due to spontaneous panic attacks is embarrassing and i feel like i'm putting pressure on my colleagues, spiralling into self blame and criticism which makes it lots worse. i feel like if this continues i will lose my job and i honestly love the company i work for, and it'd break my heart to lose it to my mental health (i had to drop out of college twice due to my depression). i feel like they don't understand the extent of how severe this illness is; i'm constantly on the till due to being the one team member that gives the epitome of perfect customer service (as i've been told) which i feel like puts enough pressure as it is. not that interacting with people gives me panic attacks - it's more the fear that i will have a spontaneous panic attack and i won't be able to escape. that fear stops me from getting on public transport by myself etc., and it's very difficult getting outdoors sometimes.

due to panic disorder i have hypochondria - it mainly started as cardiophobia (fear of heart disease; irrational as hell, i know) and has stemmed off into different things, especially since panic disorder i've also been diagnosed with IBS. this involves constant pulse checks to make sure my heart isn't beating too fast, or failing. the first symptom of a panic attack for me is chest tightness/pain, which leads to the thought that i'm having a heart attack. i've had an ECG (a heart scan) at the hospital down to minor serotonin syndrome and i've seen solid evidence that my heart is fine, we have no history of heart problems in my family tree yet i can't shake the thought that i'm going to die of cardiac arrest. i know that pulse checks are a terribly bad habit and i'm doing myself no favours but i can't seem to stop. does anybody else do this?

i'm feeling incredibly dissociated too at the moment. i can't differentiate between dreams and reality and it's confusing me a lot. sudden dissociation is another primary symptom of a panic attack for me but i can never seem to get rid of it. usually it's down to grey skies and grey walls/lighting (weird, i just really hate grey). 

lastly, does anybody else get the feeling that having a panic attack resolves the anxiety? like, kind of like when you be sick. once you're sick after feeling nauseous, you feel 10x better afterwards. i get the same feeling with panic attacks! is that normal too?

i apologise for the heavy detail but i've just had a massive panic attack before writing this, leading to a complete outburst and i just feel so alone. i feel like i'm going crazy and i've even recently had thoughts of taking myself to a ward. please help me, i need reassurance. i just need to know this is all normal.

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  • Posted

    Have you been on meds to help you? Are you in therapy? You are not alone at all. Oanic disorders are popping up in epidemics. 18-26% of the population has some anxiety related disorder. Thats ine on five people have some form of mental issue. Thats a lot of people im sorry this has befallen you its rough. Iver time you will better manage them as you adjust. Do you very best to accept them when you feel it come over you. Dont fear it, its not dangerous just fight or flight and you just let it pass thru and accept it it runs its course within ten minutes. Treat it like its a illness basixally, you know it will pass so no need to fear it, feed into it nothing. Easy to say at times its so scary but its the only way to manage them. Even shaky you can still mive about. You arent ignoring the, you are accepting the, without thought or dear so your body can stop thinking this is a good way to protect you.
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  • Posted

    thank you so much for your reply!

    i was prescribed 150mg sertraline when i was 15 for a year for depression, they worked amazingly. a couple of months ago i was re-prescribed 50mg sertraline for depression/stress which put me in hospital with minor serotonin syndrome... very strange. since that experience, i'm not entirely sure i want to go back on meds again.

    i should hopefully be starting therapy very soon, it's been a bit of a hassle getting into it as i'm 17 years and almost 10 months old, so it's a bit of a tricky age depending on whether to be referred to adolescent or adult therapy. hopefully after i'm 18, they'll put me through.

    thank you so much for your kind reassurance! indeed, this will pass, though i never seem to keep the thought in my head. it's difficult at times to convince yourself you'll come through fine in the end, but one day i know i'll be perfectly happy and panic-free again. thank you! ^.^

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    • Posted

      Thats the whole trick. All this time you let your thought be negative or go to what if stuff. You have to be aware of your thought so they dont tell your body your in danger and make the anxiety attacks happen. Everytime you have these bad thoughts and think and think your body think its all real and makes a connection. So you have to say to yourself these are only thoughts and they are not facts. And keep saying this and try not to react to them. You can think them but make sure you comfort yourself and say im being so silly here they are just thoughts and not facts.the only language the body can use is feelings, and the only language the mind uses is thoughts so thats why you think  stuff then in your body it cant speak it feels. You have to be careful of your thoughts.they are powerful. Then belly breathe it calms the body theres a bellybio app to teach you proper breathing. And play a game called i feel good. And imagine all the things you enjoy whilst feeling good. Do This every single day especially before bed. Feel it for real..feel good. Then you make new positive connection in your body and thise feel better. You want to de program yourself. You trained yourself to believe bad thoughts and then the body reacts and it goes on and on. Like a circle. You have to break that and the only way is reversing what you have been doing. Try it. Cbt will teach you this too if you learn it, theres a cbt app too you can download. You have the power in you to manage all this but it will be a lot work and well worth it. The body and mind connect things and then make them automatic, its just how we are made to survive but you did it in a negative way so you have to undo it and believe you can. Its okay for a while at first it will be work to keep good thoughts in your head, but a long as your aware of them and tell yourself they are there but useless because they are not facts and dont belong in your life because you want to feel good and be happy. too..it will help  retrain you anyway. I hope that makes sense. You will and do feel pains and weird stuff but its only because you thought it and believe and so your body went along with it. It works in reverse too, your body can have a symptom and make your mind think bad what ifs. They work together. So you be the middle man here. Use your rationale and say no. Nope sorry body i feel you but its anxiety/depression and im not involved so i going to think about happy stuff and go do an activity or breathe or music but dont feed into it. It will try lots of things to teick you and bully you. Its a bad bad habit amd will take time to manage it. Same with thoughts to body.  Its a step by step..day by day thing. Good luck and feel good.
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  • Posted

    Hi thissucks..  Im so pleased to know that you are going to see a therapist.. panic attacks rear its head when in public..  Last time I experienced an attack, half way through the grocery shopping & booooooom.. I ran like a gold medal olympian out the door..   My therapist helped with a strategy & how to stop these episodes in 3 minutes..    On a card, I wrote down positive thinking by repeating 'IM OK, Ive done this before,  I can do it now & repeat STOP STOP...    take control of deep breathing & repeating 'Im fine,  everything is FINE'...   'Im allowed to & feel this way & Im allowed to be in control of this'...    Since learning the 'brain storming' techniques,  I can now take my pace without the emergency sprinting back home...  Not sure if this will help you as we all have different ways of coping..    Just thought it was worth sharing that you are not alone....    Will be thinking of you confused
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