I have suffered with panic disorder, Generalised anxiety disorder and depression for 7+ years, I started having panic attacks at 16 when I started a Saturday job waitressing however I ended up being asked to leave because I either called in sick due to panic or got sent home so that was the beginning. once I stopped working there I improved drastically only having an attack maybe once every 3-6 months although at that time I had no idea what anxiety or panic attacks were
Then started having all sorts of stomach problems which required an operation on my stomach, (nissens fundoplication) I was absolutely terrified but it needed doing so I had to just get on with it. Once the operation was over and I went into recovery that was when the real serious panic started, because of my op I was unable to eat properly for over 3 months living on liquids /soups and gradually building up to stodgier foods to solids, however I was not told by my consultant that instead of the180degree wrap they did a 360 on my stomach so this doubles the recovery time, me not knowing this having real trouble eating anything even soup after 3 months, I started to push my self to eat more stodgy food being an 18 yr old I wanted to recover quickly so I could get on with life and go party!
This was a very bad idea as because my stomach had been wrapped back together the opening to my stomach was a lot smaller, scarred and sore so when I did try and eat non mushed/liquidated food it couldn't physically get in my stomach so I'd have to bring it back up and this terrified me the pain was excruciating and my panic disorder started, after months of panic, agoraphobia, depression etc i was hospitalised 3 times because my panic attacks were so bad I went into kidney and liver failure through being sick, but the doctors thought I was either pregnant had gastroenteritis or something had happened with my stomach op. it wasn't until over a year later that generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder was diagnosed.
At his time I was working and kept having attacks at work and eventually going on long term sick as much as they tried to help me I didn't understand my conditions my self so how could they have? I couldn't go anywhere by myself always had to be with my sister or mum otherwise i wouldn't leave the house the longest was 5 weeks i think, my mum would literally have to drag me to tesco or out in the back garden to make me leave the house bless her, so going to work was the worst thing ever for me at that time as they didn't understand my condition and I couldn't explain it properly because I was just learning about it so in the end I quit which was for the best at that time.
I missed a lot of major events due to my panic/anxiety a few examples, leeds festival, my mums hen do, a few of my nieces , sisters, friends birthdays, christenings, concerts, nights out, holidays, jobs, etc which at the time I was devastated but I've got the whole of my life to do anything I want to do so I try my best to not let that get me down any more because it used to and played a massive part in my depression.
I eventually after being in hospital again and having been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder,depression, i sought counselling and had cognitive behavioural therapy they both definitely helped CBT made me challenge myself, put me out of my comfort zone and challenged my safety behaviours (which do still come back now and again) and recognise that I could do things I wanted without a major disaster, but I wasn't doing myself any favours as when I had my good days I'd go out partying and smoked like a chimney then I would wonder why I was such an anxious panicking mess for weeks after! Because kids alcohol and ciggarettes are not the answer to your problems they only make it worse, I learnt this lesson the hard way!
Other therapies I tried were reiki, mindfulness counselling, reflexology, person centred counselling. Also tried a variety of different food diets because of my ibs which played a massive part in my anxiety.
So the past four years have definitely been the better I met my current partner at my 21st birthday party through a friend he's so sweet and got the most beautiful smile you've ever seen it was hard having to explain my conditions to him and his family but he has been with me at my worst and best and is still by my side he is my soulmate and best friend, I couldn't have found a more supportive boyfriend and family.
This brings me to having hypnotherapy in hull by a man called Rich Scott @ grey matterz hull he's NHS registered and the first consultation is free so I thought I'd take the mother in law with me and see what was what and it turned out that he is fantastic it has helped me so much to re train my brain out of negative thinking and to be able to stay more calm. he also has helped my IBS as this flares up really badly when I'm anxious so I get in to a vicious circle of panic an pain but hypno has really helped this. Stopping smoking also made a massive difference.
I do not know where I would be if I did not have my mum + fliss and the support of chris and his family, in all honesty I probably would have tried to do something daft and have felt like it at times, but I'm very fortunate to have such good people around me.
I realise the effect this must have on them it must be very draining and hard because they struggle with what to do for me and get frustrated because there's not a whole lot they can do when I'm having a really bad attack because I can't speak I get really irritated am retching or being sick totally tense etc and like to be just left alone, which is not always best.
I will be forever thankful for them though they will never know how much I appreciate them and the love and patience they have shown and given me, and support to help myself.
one thing that is key ALWAYS RECOGNISE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL and remind yourself of them, it's always a step forward. Like going swimming for the first time ever on your own, or attending a class you want to take on your own, or simply just getting up washed and dressed, going shopping somewhere really busy or getting through a whole concert without panicking, meeting a trusted friend for a chat. passing your driving test getting a job or just an interview, going for a walk - every little thing is a positive push forward. Always keep trying.
The symptoms of my panic- can last hours sometimes day
Extreme Ibs pains
Full body really tense
Feel like if I let the tension go il die/explode
Extreme Negative thoughts
Sensitive to sound/light/touch
Can't think straight
Can last for days
After having a bad attack it can take me a while to get over it as my IBS flares up and makes me anxious and I tend to get depressed, I wake up panicking about panicking and it is very hard to break the cycle but it can be done as it has many times before.
I hope this provides some insight and shows other sufferers they're not alone, take it one day at a time.
Don't worry be happy xxx