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How I beat Panic Attacks/ Disorder


When I had my carotid artery surgery years ago at the age of 37, I had a very rude awakening as to where I stood in this fragile life and how quickly God could take me out of it.  One side effect I ended up with from this surgery, was a condition called Panic Attacks or Panic Disorder


Anxiety and panic attack disorders are the most common emotional disorders. It is reported that one out of every 76 people worldwide will experience a panic attack in their lives. Each year around 1/3 of American adults have at least one panic attack while most of these adults never develop repeated panic attacks. Only 21% of people who ever suffer from anxiety and panic attacks reach out for professional help as did I.


When I first started having the panic attacks, I really didn't know what to think of them.  I would become extremely anxious, become short of breath, have chest pains, and basically end up feeling like I was having a heart attack.  After 3 trips to the emergency room to be told I was having a simple panic attack and not a heart attack, I knew I needed to understand more about the problem I was experiencing.  Anxiety attacks seem to happen for no reason at all. Feelings of fear and panic happen in situations in which most people would be perfectly calm. These anxiety attacks come on suddenly with no warning and with no outright reason for them to happen. After awhile a sufferer of these attacks begins to live in fear of the attacks themselves, wondering when the next one is going to happen.  I decided I needed to seek help from a professional to get this under control.

Before long, and without treatment, both anxiety attacks and depression can begin to affect the sufferers lives in negative ways by not allowing them to hold a job, have a relationship, or even go out into society. Remember that anxiety is treatable. If the situation is serious, your doctor may recommend prescription medication of anxiety disorder drugs such as Klonopin, Zoloft, Valium, and Xanax, but before you get to that point, you might consider a number of natural ways for dealing with anxiety. With this, not only can you bring the anxiety attack under control but also help prevent the attacks in the future, which would be the ideal solution.


After seeing a Psychologist and getting some counseling from him, it decided that the best treatment in my case was a regimen of drugs since the counseling and natural ways of dealing with the disorder weren't working for me.  I was given Xanax, Klonopin, and Zoloft as my treatment.  The Xanax was for the immediate treatment of the symptoms, as Xanax is a very fast acting drug when taken.  I could take the Xanax with onset of an attack and this would take the edge off of it very quickly. 


The Klonopin was for the long haul.  It is a longer lasting and slower release drug to help prevent the onset in the first place.  It was for me, a less addictive option than taking Valium.  Valium, when I took it, always made feel like a zombie and I didn't care for that at all.  Valium is also very addictive, although many say they have similar results with Klonopin.  I also was put on a an anti-depressant called Zoloft.  This was to treat the main problem causing my disorder which was depression from the surgery I had.  I took this for 2 1/2 years and I found that over time I had one serious side effect that I didn't expect and that was the fact that it killed my libido!  I literally got to a point where making love didn't matter and that wasn't acceptable to my wife or myself.  Zoloft can have SERIOUS sexual side effects (make sure ask about this before taking this drug).  I quit taking this drug once I learned that it was causing this issue and the problem disappeared within a month. 


I continue to take the Klonopin and I haven't had a panic attack in over 4 years now and I can't tell you how wonderful that is.  Unless you've experienced it, you can't appreciate the disabling nature of the disorder.  I spent a lot of time on my knees in prayer and with tears in my eyes trying to get past the disorder and with God's help and the therapies, I am once again a functioning human being.


written by WM8C:  June 3rd, 2006.  Not for use without permission.


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