Panic Disorder - Mercedes' Story
Sometimes when we are going through something terrible in our lives, we tend to suffer in silence, even though it can cause us more pain than what we are going through. Mercedes, who has suffered from panic attacks, believes that talking with others is the first step on the road to recovery and changing your life. This is her story.
"My name is Mercedes. I've had panic disorder for many years. The key symptoms are sever crushing sensation in your chest, feeling like your heart is beating so fast and so hard that it's going to pop right out of your chest, feeling like you're in a dream like state, feeling like nobody is listening to you or understanding. I can not get on planes. I was having panic attacks whenever I knew someone was traveling somewhere. I thought the planes would drop out of the sky, that cars would have accidents. It affected my close relationships very much. I had very young children at the time. My husband could not, it was very difficult for him to understand what was happening because unless you have one yourself, its very hard to relate to this. I became afraid of meeting new people, talking to new people. It made me a lot more reclusive. It made just shut myself out from the rest of the world. I was treated for many years with medication. Usually somewhere in the family of benzodiazepines, because that will meet up to the amount of anxiety that you have. Basically neutralize it. You'll feel normal again, you don't feel any dread. It's like a magical spell that makes things go away. Also I had a lot of therapy. I had behavioral therapy for several years. I was fortunate enough to have a very, very good therapist that helped me a lot, and a lot I learned from him, I still used today for the most minor situations. I haven't had a panic attack in probably 5 years now, and I feel much happier about it. I feel freer to do fun things, entertaining things, travel, take more risks. You have panic disorder, or just one panic attack, do not hesitate to seek help to talk about it. There are plenty of qualified professionals out there who can help you, who can talk to you, and never forget you have good friends you can talk to. At least talk about it. Talking is the first step. Seeking help, the next, and believe me you can be cured, and your life will be much, much better."