Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Depression from the age of 16
by Janette Macleod
I was only 16 years old when I became a victim to panic attacks and anxiety. My life crumbled to pieces from that day onward. I was away from home doing a 2 week block release course in hairdressing when I had my first panic attack -money was tight and I was struggling to fit in with my class as I was not as knowledgeable as the rest of my class mates. I've never been the most confident and was always quite nervy but not to the point of few that I suffer now. Going back to that first panic attack I was out in a club with the girls from my class and a group of men were sitting watching us. I remember sipping the last of my cider from my glass and thought I seen something shoot up my straw, the men were watching me like a hawk and instantly I started to think they had spiked my drink with drugs, for all it i knew it could have been a floater in my drink but I was hell bent on the fact that these men looked up to something. Anyway, I started to feel really numb, the room started to spin around me, my heart pounded so hard in my chest, I was convinced I was going to have a heart attack. I remember looking in the mirror, in the toilets, and seeing the colour drain form my face. My pupils were so dilated I looked like I had black coloured iris. It was the most terrifying thing I ever experienced. I ended up going in a taxi back to the digs I was sharing with the other girls, two of them took me to the hospital. I was convinced I had been spiked with some sort of drugs. As the feelings were like those if a chemical high, the doctor took one look at me and said I think your having a panic attack. I laughed out loud, "a panic attack!" I said, "I think I'm dying, I've been spiked with drugs!" I shouted - The doctor didn't seem worried and left the room and a nurse came in and said that there were no drugs in my system apart from alcohol. I felt really confused and lost. If I hadn't been spiked with a drug why was I experiencing these awful symptoms? None of the medical staff explained a thing to me about panic attacks and they sent me on my way to deal with what was going to be a regular occurrence in the life. This incident happened in 2002 and we are now in 2012 and my symptoms are pretty much the same. I've had numerous counselling sessions, numerous antidepressants, diazepam, all of which do nothing to help me. I amazingly managed to have three children and cope remarkably well with what I suffer from mentally. Life has been tough and not many understand anxiety and the depression it brings to your life and your loved ones who have to try cope with someone who's suffering in such a way. I wish I could be cured from this awful illness and be given my life back. I have three beautiful children, a fiance' that I love and can't enjoy life like I used to thanks to my condition, please offer me advice, I'm 25 and fed up.