It was pretty bad.

by Mira

I have 2 recent panic attacks that really stand out in my mind. To put this into perspective I was diagnosed with panic disorder about 20 years ago, it gets better and worse but I have never got “better”.

The first was about a year ago. At times my Mum presses my buttons deliberately to cause panic attacks. This day I was in the kitchen doing something and she was pressing my buttons and I could feel the panic rising. I remember getting to the point where I yelled at her to get away from me and swore (first time I have ever actually got that bad). I walked away to another room and she followed me and was telling me not to talk like that to her. I just wanted to get away but she put her arm across the door and blocked my exit. I cant describe the feeling, I remember being doubled up in panic and yelling. I have never hit anyone in my life, I didn’t hit her but when she wouldn’t move I did put my hands on her arm and push it out of the way. I ended up in my bedroom, I blocked the door so noone could get in and sat on the floor shaking like a leaf. I had my mobile phone with me and was trying to call Lifeline (an Australian suicide prevention hotline) but because of my social anxiety I simply couldn’t ring. I just sat numb on the floor until I could pull myself together and pretend that nothing had happened.

Soon after I went to my doctor to ask for some help to move out of their home. I was refered to a community mental health program and a worker came out and said they could help me. Due to the problems at home I had to meet the support worker at the end of my street, we went for a walk around a local bush track. On the third visit he told me that I had to make a phone call (phone calls are one of the things I have trouble with). I could feel the panic rising and said no. He kept pushing me that I HAD to make this phonecall and telling me that if I didn’t they wouldn’t be able to support me. It went on for 20 mins with him arguing with me that if I didn’t make the call they wouldn’t be able to support me. I got into a completely irrational state and told him to go away. I simply couldn’t think straight. He went back to his car and left me there, still panicking. I went for a walk to calm down and went back home.

When I am alone I can manage panic attacks, but other people can make them so much worse.

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