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I have had panic disorder for 16 years. I have found that I cause my panic attacks by the way I am thinking (negatively). It took a long time to come to this conclusion. I was prescribed Xanax initially, along with therapy. The therapy has been the most helpful (talking, journaling, etc.). When I feel overwhelmed, the anti-anxiety meds help. I watch what I think and what I say. I have taken words like "worst," "horrible," etc., out of my vocabulary so that I can talk myself down. For example, "This may not feel very good, but it will go away." My panic attacks now last a few seconds at most. I grew up in an abusive home and discovered that the little girl in me needs to be loved and accepted. I try to make time for me every day: taking a bath, journaling, walking, working out, etc. These things help immensely with my self-esteem.
I am still working on my agoraphobia now. I keep pushing the edge because I want to be totally free. The last thing I have to conquer is flying and driving alone. It's hard, but it feels so liberating when I succeed!.
I have General Anxiety Disorder with Panic Attacks. I have always been an anxious person, even as a child. My panic attacks started about 20 years ago and like others it was very debilitating. To me they are the worst feeling that you could ever imagine having. After my sister died in 2003 I started going to therapy to deal with the loss of my sister and discovered that it was very helpful also with my anxiety. I was against medication because I thought it was a sign of weakness and couldn't understand why I couldn't stop the panic attacks myself. I was so miserable that I decided to try Lexapro. I knew several people that were taking it for various reasons with little to no side effects. It has been a Godsend for me! I wish I would have started it a long time ago. Within 2 days of taking it I felt so much better. I have accepted and realized that I will probably have to be on something the rest of my life. So if you are experiencing panic attacks please don't give up! There is help out there for you! Every type of treatment is trial and error and what works for one may not work for another. I'm no longer embarrassed about my condition. I talk to others about my experiences so that maybe I can help someone else..
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