Hi there! I'm 29 years old, and I have been dealing with panic attacks and anxiety for years now off and on. Normally I would worry about dying or losing control, going insane. I recently went to the E.R because of my panic attack. After leaving there I got a number for something called a "mental emergency" I would call them when I was feeling a panic attack. Then they would ask me well what I thought to be crazy questions, like do I feel like hurting myself or others. Of course I said no, the whole point of me calling them is because I was afraid I was going to die. So I wouldn't want to hurt myself or anyone else for that matter. That question has now always been in the back of my mind. So now thats become one of my scary thoughts. What if I do hurt someone else. I don't want to, but the thought alone is freaking scary. Then I think to myself what if I can't control myself, which now makes me more scared and panicky. I don't take any med's because I'm afraid of the side effects like suicide. I want it to help me, not make it worse. So I tried this thing called gaba-plus, which has gaba, insitol, and niacan. I'm just scared to take any pills, but after taking that I had another panic attack. Not because of the pill I don't think, but because I scared myself about the pill. I started thinking, well what if the pill makes it worse or what if die from taking it. So then that started a panic attack. I want to give it another chance, but to be honest I am afraid to take it. I just want the stupid thoughts to go away. I actually don't have the thoughts to do so, I have the thoughts of what if I have those thoughts. I know that doesn't make sense. It really upsets me that I'm afraid of my thoughts. Pills in genaral scare me, but I do want to get better. I feel like a nut job. Please help. Tell me... am I the only one? Is there hope? I mean I have had panic attacks before but I don't think I've ever had these crazy thougts before. Am I getting worse? PLEASE HELP!!!
-At My Witts End
Response from Sound-Mind.org
Your story sounds all so familiar! You are definately not the only one! Promise!! Sometimes when people are in the middle of anxiety, all it takes is for someone to say the wrong thing. It happened to me the very same way! In the middle of my high anxiety, someone had expressed their fears to me and their scary thoughts and then I had suddenly adopted them as my own! I was horrified because those thoughts became my obsessive thoughts and no matter how much I wanted to push them out of my mind, the more they persisted. I thought for sure I was losing my mind and my grip on reality. I too, had fears taking anything. Even when I tried natural remedies, I thought for sure I was experiencing side effects when indeed there were none. The mind is so powerful... this is the very reason for the word "placebo"!
With scary, obsessive thoughts, whether about hurting yourself or hurting another person, it is rather the fear of doing something out of our control than it is about anything else. The mind always seems to pick the worst things to obsess about. It works hard to protect us from doing the unimaginable.
Think about it, the idea alone of losing it, doing something we don't want to do is NOT the same thing as someone who is seriously contemplating it. With anxiety, you are in "hyper-control" (if that's even a word)... this means that you are trying to control everything, even your worst imaginations from ever happening. It is completely exausting!!
Be sure to read Obsessive Thinking - Ending Scary Thoughts for some helpful tips. There is also a great book that I talk about there that helped alot, called The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts
The book is also available at your local library and so I encourage you to read it.
When it comes to natural supplements, there are quite a few that help, be sure to check out Natural Stress Relief:
Supplements that Really Work I also used GABA and found it helped greatly when taken at night. If you want to try something to help alleviate your anxiety, then I encourage you to try again. Remember, there is no magic pill, only medications and supplements that can help aid in recovery. How you choose to do that is completely up to you.
Hang in there - stay strong and remember, you are not alone!