Friday, October 30, 2009

"There are people out there who are just like you and me."

Meaghan, age 18. Brooklyn, NY.

"Have you ever tried to describe what a panic attack feels like to someone who’s never had one before? It’s a bunch of conflicting physical and emotional reactions that only other people with them could understand. How could someone be perfectly fine on the subway or in an airplane, but be paralyzed in fear in a shopping mall? I could never quite answer those questions myself. My attacks are very few and far between, but when they hit, they’re crippling. The thought of them always lingers in the back of my mind. I wonder, “Is today going to be the day?” The feelings are so spur of the moment; you can’t help but think of it on occasion. I’ve been told to ignore the fear and anxiety, but it’s impossible to do when all that’s on your mind is the idea of escaping the situation you’re in.

No one has ever been able to fully comprehend what it’s like to go through an attack. That is, until I read I Don’t Want to be Crazy. Someone was going through the same thing I was. A person actually understood what I was going through. I think that’s all I’ve wanted. When I told my doctor about it, she said, “Don’t worry. You can get help for this.” Those were the greatest eight words I could hear at the time. I remember I was so happy and relieved at the time, I ended up crying in the doctor’s office.

Have I gotten a list of therapists? Yes. Have I made an appointment with them? No. I don’t think my parents wanted to fully accept the fact that their daughter could be placed on Klonopin or Paxil to control herself when she’s out in public. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t resent them. Maybe I wasn’t ready to accept the fact that panic disorder could happen to me too. They’ve comforted me; they just have a hard time realizing how panic attacks can truly hurt when they do occur.

That’s why I’m truly excited that this blog has been created, so others can see that there are people out there who are just like you and me.

Stay strong everyone. Xoxo"

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