Hello folks. Just joined up because I'm badly in need of advice regarding how to deal with panic and anxiety.
In a nutshell, I'm regularly suffering from anxious/weird/odd/depressive moods, although I don't really feel that depressed........maybe I actually am and I've just gotten used to feeling like this almost constantly and it has become my 'normal'? Sometimes I'll get a 'flash' or burst of what I used to consider 'normal', or something very positive, but then it disappears - like a light that just flashes in the distance for a second or two.
I can't go on any journey without having a few drinks first/during the trip, and sometimes maybe a valium or two on the journey as well. I live in the south-west and haven't been to Dublin in about five years (although the panic hasn't been there for ten years), simply because I'm afraid of going places. Sometimes I can't leave the house - or I leave and have to turn back. I haven't undertaken a journey without alcohol and/or valium for the bones of three years, and more recently even when I arrive at my destination I feel uneasy, edgy and/or unhappy - which is a newer developement. I don't have a drink problem (despite needing it as a crutch at times), and I don't think I'm overly reliant on valium, as I really only use them in periods of crisis........10 5mg tabs could last me a fortnight or so. I also have been taking Lustral for a few years, but I feel it does little or nothing any more (despite having increased the dose). I've tried Cymbalta recently but couldn't tolerate them, so went back on the Lustral for the time being. I don't smoke/take any illegal drugs.
I've been going to acupuncture and counseling for a good while, but this year the symptoms have continued to get worse, and the episodes more frequent. When I get an attack they can last for up to five minutes, but usually they pass quicker. It's the intensity of them, though, that is really frightening........I'm almost always convinced that I'm actually literally dying, or that I'm about to 'pass over' into some other realm/the afterlife/whatever comes after this, or that I'll have some kind of out-of-body experience, or that gravity will give way and that I'll fall up into the sky, or get dragged into some mad vortex. I call them 'death attacks' and I don't use that phrase likely.
Sometimes I think crazy things; things that are beyond the realms of physical possibility (like the gravity thing)........I have asked my counselor could I be bi-polar or something like that but he seems to think not - a psychiatrist who he recommended to me agreed with that. The counselor seems to think it's just my reaction to lots of stress/certain situations, and said that what I'm suffering from is more like post-traumatic-stress rather than a psychiatric condition.
So, I'm apparently not mad - but it feels, at times, that I am - and the panic attacks are pretty unbearable.........I'm afraid that if they continue I'll become housebound.
Can anyone advise me how to escape from this nightmare please? I'm pretty desperate and would really appreciate some good advice from people who've been down this road themselves. Thanks!