Anybody who has recovered from Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia?
December 19, 2006 10:47am CST
Im the one suffering from these disorders. I want to see if there is really sombody out there who has recovered from panic disorder and agoraphobia?
• United States
20 Dec 06
Hello there Tayyabs Well recovered is a rough word to use when you're dealing with this kind of disorder. Personally I like to use the words, Mainting, and coping. The truth is I don't know anyone who has this disorder, and I know MANY MANY people who do as I used to run an online support group for this for many years but, I don't know anyone who has "fully recovered" but I DO know many people who have made great success in taming the beast that it is. Not everyone agree's with me on my theory of Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks but I'll give it to you and you can take from it what you wish. I personally feel that these disorders are physical in nature. Either kicked off by illness or some kind of emotional trauma. I feel the brain chemicals are changed by these events. We also know that certain physical conditions can cause these disorders as well as some medications but for those who don't have any diagnosed medical conditions or any problems with medications I feel that there was some kind of emotional trauma that made the connections and chemicals in the brain go astray. The reason I believe this is because if this theory weren't true even in part then the medications on the market such as antidepressants wouldn't work for some. Those medications change the brain chemicals. The medical community can not tell us how they do this because they don't know all they DO know is that somehow these meds balance the brain chemicals and connections to almost pre-panic disorder condition. As for agoraphobia, I say the same thing as I did about panic disorder. I was agoraphobic for close to 5 years. I can't even tell you how many events I have missed due to this and there are some I am ashamed of missing so I won't go into that much further but I was a prisoner of my own mind, literally. I basically couldn't go anywhere and I have a sympathetic husband who understood this so he went for me which when I finally started to take control I realized that while he did this because he loves me it didn't really help me. It only hurt me because I didn't have to face my fears of the outside world. Agoraphobia goes hand in hand with Panic disorder because in the beginning we fear having another attack so we avoid the place or places that they happened it and then it snowballs from there because we then fear what if we have an attack if we go some place else and then before you know it we apply this fear to going anyplace. I did this for five years and the truth I became complacent in it. Most of us do. While we hate that we are scared to go anywhere, at the same time it's much easier to stay home and not have to face the fear of actually going out. Now I'll tell you how I managed to get myself back out into the world. I still deal with my same fears every day. That part has not gone away and honestly I don't think it ever will. What HAS changed is how I cope with it and my response too it. I finally got to a point that I was so SICK of watching the world go by, I was so DONE with being stuck in the house all the time I knew it was time to do something so, I began to learn alot about Positive Self Talk. I know, most people will say, are ya kidding me? I was one of those at one time and my answer is. NO! And YES it does work..You need to retrain your thinking.. Alot easier said than done. For every negative thought I had I counter acted it with a positive one. I"ll give you an example: Lets say I wanted to go to a store. Soon as I thought about doing that my brain would say "you can't do that, what if something happens? What if you get sick? What if you have a heart attack?" Soon as those thoughts started I answered them back by saying to myself " Yes you can go to the store. You've gone there before and nothing has happened and nothing will happen this time and if by some small chance something were to happen to you well then you'd be in a good place to get help because there will be lots of people there" This works to get me out the door. Ofcourse once Im in the store the negative thoughts will come and with those come the horrible physical feelings we get. You know, the dizziness, the nausea, the weakness. When those start to hit me I remind myself that these symptoms are ALL apart of my panic disorder which I have felt a MILLION times before. They didn't kill me before and they won't this time either. I remind myself over and over that these symptoms and feeling so horrible passed before and they will pass this time too..Eventually they DO pass. I can't tell you this works ALL the time for me but it does work about 90% of the time now. I don't know how long you have suffered and I don't know how badly this has impacted your life but I can tell you, learning to cope and manage it is like anything else. It's an ongoing process and eventually after you have learned how to counteract those fearful thoughts and lousy physical feelings with positive thoughts, responses and self talk it WILL get easier.
21 Dec 06
Well thank u very very much for such a thorough answer. Whatever u ve written about the +ve self talk, im doing it now. It is helping but my progress is really slow. I also like to share that im suffering from this problem for about 3 n ahalf years and it has comletely taken over my life. I was i Air Force, working as an aeronautical engineer when i first got the attack 3 yrs back. Now im jobless. I cant go out with my wife n kids. Kids r small, so they dont feel that much but my wife is upset and she has a right to be. She has to attend almost all the events without me and she feels terrible about it, specially when she sees no improvement over a period of three years. One thing that disturbs me alot is that ive seen very few men getting into this trouble and more women.... Is it true that more womensuffer from this diease than men??
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Dec 07
I recovered from panic attack disorder a while ago. I still have times where I do have some kind of panic in my life, but certainly not anything like I did before. I had gotten to the point where I was not able to drive anywhere without feeling like I could not breath and ended up on Zanax b/c of it. I found a group that was a lifesaver for me and attened the classes for it. It was called Managing anxiety and panic (MAP) and it was, by far, the best thing I have ever done. I learned a lot about the reasons that kind of thing happens in our brains (which is exactly where it is and causes this kind of disorder)and how to get past it and exactly what it is. I think that you need to talk to your therapist (if you have one..if not, find one) and ask about this type of class. It is definitely worthwhile! Good luck and believe you CAN get past this...YOU CAN!
18 Oct 07
I was recently diagnosed with panic disorder and agoriphobia (which was actually a relief, since I though I was dying from some horrible physical condition...). I've been on leave from work for 5 months, I've missed more events and outtings than I care to keep track of, including my own birthday party and a disneyland vacation. But I find that the worst part of this disorder is the stigma and misconceptions surrounding it. A few people are under the impression that I suffered a complete break-down. Some people think I stay home because I'm in training to be a hermit. The worst are the people who say "it's all in your head." Because they're right - it is all in my head, and that's what makes it so hard to overcome. Unlike a broken bone, you can't just slap a cast on me and send me on my way. I don't usually look sick, and I think that's why people seem to have a hard time understanding just how diffiult it is to cope with. Many of them don't understand how much we suffer, because we "don't seem all that sick". Seeing a psychologist has had some positive benifits. He gave me some great relaxation-type cd's - there's one in particular, a mix of "soothing nature sounds" overlayed with some really nice classical music, that I'm pretty sure you could find in local music stores (or online, so you don't have to suffer an attack to get the music to stop the attacks...). I find that when my attacks get bad, I pop the cd in and just lay back for 10 or 20 minutes, and it usually brings it down to at least a manageable level. Daily journaling is also really helpful. If I have a bad day or 2, I can look back in the journal and see if there was anything that might have set it off. It's also nice to be able to vent in a private way. People use the phrase "just brush it off" quite often. Think of the journal as being the physical act of brushing it all off - get it out by sticking it in the pages of your journal. I set aside 30 minutes each evening for journaling time, and everyone in my house knows not to bother me then - it's Sira time! Most importantly, think positive. You will be able to beat this, and you have the power to take back your life!
• United States
6 Oct 07
I don't think recovery is the correct term. You can control panic disorder with medication and sometimes cognitive behavioral therapy. It's pretty much a life long condition. I have it, and I'm a pharmacist who has studied anxiety disorders extensively. Panic disorder won't kill you, but it can make your life miserable if you don't treat it.
• United States
5 Apr 07
I've had Panic Disorder starting from an unusually early age undiagnosed till I was in my 20s. I don't believe that there is a CURE for it but you can improve, cope, and live a normal life with it! I liken it to someone with diabetes. They'll never be CURED but they can learn to live with it and lead active, normal lives. I was once boarderline agoraphobic simply because I was afraid to leave my comfort zone and risk having a panic attack. Now I'm down to maybe a few attacks a year and go anywhere I darn well please! I know it's hard on those around us too but tell your wife to please understand and have some patience while you learn how to cope.