Almost every day...

by Caity

Well, I thought I had gotten panic/anxiety from my mother but I am thinking otherwise...

My father died in '06, and I was 11 years old.
I have been mollested multiple times by a family member.
I just recently lost the only father figure I had, my uncle, last year.
I live on my own, pay my own bills, etc. (With my fiancee)
I have severe back problems and migraines.

Whenever I am at a store - even just a convenience store - and I am (what I think at the time) "stranded" inside of the store (basically at the time I cannot find who I was there with, most of the time my boyfriend) I have a panic attack, I think.

What happens is, i'll start to wander around and search for him - or whoever i'm with - and if I can't find them, my heart races fast, my knees and legs get shakey and turn numb, I feel like I'm going to black out, I have to hold on to things or I can't walk... It's very very scary. And every day from the moment I wake up I feel as if I'm in a dream - or nothing's real. I second-guess everything. "Is this happening" or "Am I really here?" stuff like that. I've had cat scans and MRI's done, and nothing has come up... so I don't know what to think of it and NOTHING will help!


It is no wonder you experience panic and anxiety, when you have so many stresses going on. The loss of your father must have been incredibly hard to deal with, and the recent loss of your uncle must be devastating. Being molested is a tremendous violation, both mentally and physically. Abuse like this can cause deep emotional scars that can become apparent as anxiety, physical illness, depression, and other difficulties.

You have gone through extreme loss and trauma, and as a result your body tends to be in a state of high alert. This is a normal, protective response - but instead of being helpful, it leaves you feeling stressed, anxious, and physically ill with migraines and back problems.

Your panic attacks do sound very frightening. When you are in the store and cannot find the person you're with, it probably feels like a life or death situation. Very scary! The feeling of unreality you experience is called depersonalization. Below I have included links to some relaxation scripts that may help decrease your symptoms and help you feel more calm.

In addition to relaxation, I recommend that you seek some professional support such as face-to-face counselling, self-help resources (I have included a list of useful books below), support groups, online counselling, or telephone counselling. Your family doctor can refer you to local resources available in your area.

I do hope you decide to seek some support, because you do not have to go through this alone. It is possible to overcome past trauma and it is possible to cope with anxiety and panic. You deserve to enjoy life.



Relevant Relaxation Scripts:

Relaxation for depersonalization

Relaxation for Coping with Panic

Relaxation to Relieve Anxiety

Emotional Awareness Sensory Relaxation

Visit the Members Only area to download the relaxation audio.

Helpful Books:

When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life

The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment

When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

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