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I feel like my whole world has changed

Greenman

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After I had my major anxiety attack/breakdown I feel like my whole world has changed. It's like I am learning to live in a whole new way. At times it feels ok and at other times I feel very depressed. I used to love to play video games for example and now it's very hard for me to sit down and enjoy one at all. I still feel alot better than I did on the 20th but sometimes I get scared that I'm going crazy because my perception of life has changed so much. I do have my moments of relief but also sometimes out of the blue I feel anxious for no reason and it persists for long periods of time.

I saw a psychiatrist and she said that I have panic disorder. It really bummed me out to hear that diagnosis. I have had an easy life with no health or mental problems up to this point for which I feel blessed but now I feel like I am ill equipped to handle these changes. Also the psychiatrist told me that I would have this till I was 45 and that it would get worse. This really triggered me when I was already feeling very down. It was like she was trying to knock me down a peg or two. And also it's so hard to find a therapist that meshes with you. But I found one that I think might be a good fit for me but she can't see me until the 26th.

On top of that my girlfriend and I have a trip planned next week to go see my parents and man I'm really wondering if we should go because I am still so sensitive and they stress me out at times. But I want to get out of our apartment because I think since I had the attack here in the apartment it has started to trigger me to a certain extent. So I guess I'm starting to get the opposite of agoraphobia. Because now I try to be out of the house as much as possible and when I finally have to go home it makes me sad and scared a little.

Just wanted to vent. Thanks for reading. I hope that anyone feeling uncomfortable from anxiety or anything can feel some relief tonight!
 

Phillies Phan

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“Also the psychiatrist told me that I would have this till I was 45 and that it would get worse”

If she actually said that, run don’t walk from her. What utter BS. There must have been some context to that comment she made, or else she sounds totally bonkers. So on the the day you turn 46 it will go away?
 

Greenman

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“Also the psychiatrist told me that I would have this till I was 45 and that it would get worse”

If she actually said that, run don’t walk from her. What utter BS. There must have been some context to that comment she made, or else she sounds totally bonkers. So on the the day you turn 46 it will go away?
Well she kept saying how I was textbook panic disorder because of my age (36) and how according to the book most people don't feel relieve of symptoms until mid forties. And yes she used the exact words "That it will get worse" which really hurt me as I'm pretty new to all this and I felt like my life was over. I have bad luck with authority figures or doctors they seem to like to cut me down a size or two. Thanks for your response
 

Phillies Phan

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Well she kept saying how I was textbook panic disorder because of my age (36) and how according to the book most people don't feel relieve of symptoms until mid forties. And yes she used the exact words "That it will get worse" which really hurt me as I'm pretty new to all this and I felt like my life was over. I have bad luck with authority figures or doctors they seem to like to cut me down a size or two. Thanks for your response
Don’t believe her about it getting worse. When I was about your age, I got my first panic attack. It was frightening until I understood what it was. I had a few more in the coming few years then they stopped, until maybe a few years ago, over 2 decades later. While I have bad HA, I don’t fear panic attacks. If they come, I know what they are, and that’s the price for having HA. Others may be able to give tips on how to stave off a full blown attack by staying calm, and deep breathing, I believe.

She‘s nuts.
 

Jasper

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I'm sorry to hear that you've experienced panic attacks, Greenman. I started suffering from them when I was in my early 30s. At the time, I had no idea that they were related to mental health and literally thought I was having a heart attack. As a result, they scared the hell out of me.

All of us have different life experiences, body chemistry, and life circumstances, but some of our experiences with anxiety can be the same and it sometimes helps to share those experiences. For me, it makes me realize that I'm not alone, and it helps me realize that the symptoms I'm having truly are just related to anxiety and not a reason to run to the ER.

When things got absolutely unbearable in my early 30s, I couldn't even leave the house. Fortunately, once I got help, I made rapid progress. I used a combination of medication and therapy, was able to completely resume a normal life, and I was able to stop the meds within about three months.
Unfortunately, as the years went by, I started having anxiety issues crop up now and then. I've always managed to get through it, but in retrospect I think I should have been much more proactive and worked hard at beating back the anxiety. Instead, what I think I did was allow it to slowly grow to large proportions where it is once again impacting my life and preventing me from living the life I want.

So, I think this therapist of yours is way off with her pronouncement that the anxiety will just dissipate once you hit a certain age. If I can offer you any words of advice from someone who has lived it, do the best you can to hit the anxiety really hard. Pull it out by the roots and then watch it closely in the years that follow. If you notice yourself avoiding certain things because of your anxiety, get whatever help you need to kill it again before it grows.

Edit: after re-reading your post, I noticed that you are considering avoiding staying in the apartment because that's where you had the panic attacks. From my understanding, pretty much ALL anxiety/phobias are just different manifestations of avoidance behavior. Only you can decide whether, at this date, you're able to push back against that desire to avoid the place where you had the panic attacks. You know yourself, and I don't. But I wanted to draw attention to this because the pattern of fear and subsequent avoidance of certain places or activities is what seems to feed the disorder. I'm just suggesting that you keep a close eye on that, because it could easily lead to more problems in the future based on my own experiences.
 
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Greenman

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Don’t believe her about it getting worse. When I was about your age, I got my first panic attack. It was frightening until I understood what it was. I had a few more in the coming few years then they stopped, until maybe a few years ago, over 2 decades later. While I have bad HA, I don’t fear panic attacks. If they come, I know what they are, and that’s the price for having HA. Others may be able to give tips on how to stave off a full blown attack by staying calm, and deep breathing, I believe.

She‘s nuts.
Phillies, Thanks for sharing your personal experience. It's nice to hear from someone who started having troubles around my same age. And yes panic attacks are very scary when you dont have any idea what is going on. Actually the other night I was able to prevent an attack in a restaurant by going to the bathroom and breathing for about 5 minutes. I am learning that when it comes to anxiety breathe is everything. I think I may have found a good therapist so we will see how it goes. And I won't be seeing that psychiatrist anymore thats for sure.
 

Greenman

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So, I think this therapist of yours is way off with her pronouncement that the anxiety will just dissipate once you hit a certain age. If I can offer you any words of advice from someone who has lived it, do the best you can to hit the anxiety really hard. Pull it out by the roots and then watch it closely in the years that follow. If you notice yourself avoiding certain things because of your anxiety, get whatever help you need to kill it again before it grows.

Edit: after re-reading your post, I noticed that you are considering avoiding staying in the apartment because that's where you had the panic attacks. From my understanding, pretty much ALL anxiety/phobias are just different manifestations of avoidance behavior. Only you can decide whether, at this date, you're able to push back against that desire to avoid the place where you had the panic attacks. You know yourself, and I don't. But I wanted to draw attention to this because the pattern of fear and subsequent avoidance of certain places or activities is what seems to feed the disorder. I'm just suggesting that you keep a close eye on that, because it could easily lead to more problems in the future based on my own experiences.
Jasper, Thanks for your response and welcome to the forum as I see you joined today! In regards to avoidant behavior I think I'm pretty lucky in a couple of ways. First my girlfriend is pretty in the know about avoidance in regards to panic so she has already been getting after me about avoiding the apartment. So I have some good accountability there. And second I think that whether I like it or not I will have to come eventually so hopefully I will start feeling safe in my apartment again soon. Just this weekend it has felt better in here.

I also appreciate your advice in regards to attacking the problem by the root as soon as possible. I'm hoping to do just that. I'm glad to hear that you have been able to feel relief from anxiety throughout the years. It gives me alot of hope in dealing with this!
 

Jasper

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Thanks for the welcome, Greenman! It's nice for me to read about what other people are doing to tackle their anxiety and just share their experiences a bit. I have indeed been able to find nearly complete relief from my anxiety at different points in my life, but it obviously impacts everyone differently. I do completely believe that you will also be able to beat this thing with hard work and the support of loving people around you. I don't want to make it sound easier than it is, though. It can definitely be very challenging, and the damn anxiety finds ways to mutate and has attacked me in more sneaky ways than I can remember. For me personally, it's just been something that I have to keep on top of. Sometimes I do a good job, and sometimes I slack off, and it gets tough again for a while. It's kind of like keeping on top of weeds in the yard, LOL.
 

Greenman

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Thanks for the welcome, Greenman! It's nice for me to read about what other people are doing to tackle their anxiety and just share their experiences a bit. I have indeed been able to find nearly complete relief from my anxiety at different points in my life, but it obviously impacts everyone differently. I do completely believe that you will also be able to beat this thing with hard work and the support of loving people around you. I don't want to make it sound easier than it is, though. It can definitely be very challenging, and the damn anxiety finds ways to mutate and has attacked me in more sneaky ways than I can remember. For me personally, it's just been something that I have to keep on top of. Sometimes I do a good job, and sometimes I slack off, and it gets tough again for a while. It's kind of like keeping on top of weeds in the yard, LOL.
I like your analogy of the weeds in the yard. We have a community garden here, where my girlfriend and I have plot and it's right about what you said keeping on top of those weeds. As far as gardening goes I had to learn that the hard way and I guess it's gonna be the same with anxiety. But the way it always works with me is I get knocked on my butt and feel sorry for myself but eventually I get up and I'm ready to do battle with whatever knocked me down. But yeah reading stuff on this forum has been humbling. There are a whole lot of people that got it worse than me for longer and have had good lives. And that's really inspiring. Take it easy Jasper
 
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