What can I possibly say about Panic Disorder? Probably the worst couple months of my life. Back in 2011 when I worked at UPS 3rd shift, I had a huge panic attack on the shuttle going to my station. Sitting on the stairs by the door on the bus, crawled up in a ball squeezing my legs just waiting on the door to open. Sweaty, shaking, nauseas, dry mouth and pounding heart. In the horrifying moment of panic, I could feel myself disassociate from reality as everything went black and not having a sense of time. After what seemed like an hour (it was only 5 min), the door opens and I somehow stood up, not being able to feel my legs, and slowly walk to a bench outside my area. I just buriedmy face into my hands wondering what just happened and if anyone noticed.
I felt so sick. I thought I was gonna throw up at any moment. I hadn't even started work yet. When I got home that night, I figured the physical and mental symptoms of this terrible anxiety attack would disappear…it didn't. It lasted a few weeks of feeling really sick and very heightened anxiety to where I felt anxiety in places I never had issues. I knew I had to see a therapist. Long story short, the therapist had told me that because of the prolonged anxiety symptoms and the fear of getting back on any kind of bus at all, that I had formed panic disorder. After a few weeks of using the tools the therapist gave me while riding the shuttle, things began to look up. It wasn't so bad riding on this shuttle anymore. Can it be? Is it really possible to get passed this nightmare of experience? YES!
I could have easily gone from panic disorder to agoraphobia within months of each other. Although panic disorder seems like a very hard thing to overcome, it is posssible. Whether or not you need medication with the therapy is up to you. I have written a short story on this exact event with much more detail than this blog that one day maybe I can turn into a book. Panic disorder is known as the Fear of Fear….it is not a joke. It's not someone having constant panic attacks but the fear of being in places where you might have one or have had one in the past. I am a pretty strong person mentally, so when I wanted to quit my job, quit school, and not go anywhere, I knew something was very wrong. If you think you need professional help, don't be afraid to go get it. You deserve to live a life without constant anxiety and panic.