Friday, October 9, 2009

Rachel's Story - Panic

I just started a new panic group at the ROH to try to deal with the panic disorder I’ve been experiencing. Apparently, panic disorder is present if panic attacks are accompanied by a persistent anxiety or worry about having another attack, are associated with a fearful interpretation of panic symptoms or result in life changes as a result of the attacks. I’ve been experiencing several panic attacks lately, predominantly at bedtime. I suddenly become very fearful, my heart begins to race and pound, my body trembles, I sweat, feel dizzy, feel short of breath and have thoughts that I am “going crazy”.

Due to fear of panic attacks, I have often avoided certain situations. These have included public places where lots of people are in a small space such as public transportation (buses, subways), concerts, parties, shopping malls, etc.

Historically, to deal with my panic attacks, I have frequently depended upon self-harm (which I realize is destructive and not a good solution) and medication (clonazepam and lorazepam). I am hoping that the group I’ve just started will provide me with some good alternative solutions. Does anyone have any suggestions?