Ally88

Help: Anxiety/panic disorder after trauma

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Hi Everyone, 

I am a person that has suffered with anxiety for many years now. I have always been an anxious/worried person, even as a child, but I didn't begin experiencing full-blown panic attacks until I was involved in a serious car accident. I guess it could be called PTSD, but the panic attacks continued for several years after the accident and still occasionally happen today. I am wondering if anyone has experienced a similar evolution in their mental-health and would be open to sharing their story. I am trying to learn more about my panic disorder/generalized anxiety by understanding my predisposition to these disorders, as a naturally anxious person. If anyone is willing to share, I have some more specific questions to provide guidance: 1. When did you begin experiencing anxiety/panic disorder? How old were you and were there any specific circumstances that impacted you?

2. Did you experience any events/circumstances that were particularly traumatic that you believe might have contributed to/triggered your anxiety/panic/PTSD?

3. Would you describe yourself as a naturally anxious person? Do you recall being more worried about things (sickness/health, irrational fears, bad things happening) prior to the onset of your anxiety/panic disorder? 

4. Did either of your parents or close relatives experience similar anxiety problems/mental-health disorders? Do you think you were impacted by them at all?

I apologize if any of these questions are too personal, of course this is just a forum and I expect that anyone that doesn't want to answer/isn't comfortable won't. I feel that learning as much as I can about my mental-health and the nature of my "problems" is very helpful in understanding why I am this way and how I can help myself and others. I hope that maybe this can help some of you as well. I appreciate any responses/contribution, and I hope that maybe we can spark an insightful conversation here. Thank you! :)

Ally

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Hey Ally! I'm a little late to your post, but it sounds like an interesting investigation!

 

1. Some of my earliest memories (age 3 and 4) are of being anxious. I would hear a noise outside my window and ask my mom what it was. She would tell me it was our dog. And I'd say "no it's not". I was convinced that a man wearing a gold helmet (a reflection of a light fixture) stood in the hallway and watched me sleep, even though I KNEW there was a light there. So, even at that age I already had a wildly overactive imagination  and was unconvinced by reality and reassurance. I don't know that there were specific circumstances. I did keep my younger brother awake at night and so my parents moved me to my own room so that he could sleep and I know it started after that, but I can't say that was a CAUSE or I just don't have enough memories from before moving rooms.

 

2. When I was in 8th grade, my family was almost hit by a train while we were driving over the tracks. It was the first time I REALLY realized that my life could end at any moment in a completely unexpected way. That definitely freaked me out and made me feel very fragile and vulnerable. My health anxiety started with a run of heart palpitations that happened in 7th grade and again in 8th grade. 

 

3. Yes. I am a naturally anxious person. It has been my disposition for as long as I can remember. Before I had panic, I definitely had anxiety, but I just didn't have a name for it. I have worried forever:-)

 

4. My mom is annoyingly free of anxiety. My father, on the other hand, has anxiety and depression and I fully believe that it had an effect on me. I work VERY hard not to BLAME him for my problems (we don't have a good relationship for various reasons), but I definitely resent him for it. For passing on genes that made  me susceptible to anxiety and for unknowingly teaching me to react to situations in an anxious way.

 

 

This was interesting! Thanks for the idea! I hope to hear about other people's journeys! 

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Hi Ally!

it's good to have you on here! 

To answer your interesting poll: 1. I was under a lot of stress in my career and some in my private life in 2015. I got a misdiagnosis from a Doctor and bam, that started the whole ordeal :s. 2. pretty much the same as one, I tried to believe my GP but the misdiagnosis was in my subconscious and sent me down the anxiety spiral. 3. I was not a naturally anxious person and I would not say that I was overly worried about things. I had more of situational fear, as in if there was a reason in a real situation. 4. Nobody in my family has anxiety, at least not the generations we know. An uncle of mine was confined to a wheel chair since the age of 21, he suffered from bouts of depression because of that. That's pretty much it. But in life, we have to deal with the cards we get. And that's all we can do:) 

And yes, Beedot! This is such a journey, isn't it? We are all in it together somehow. The nice thing I can say about anxiety is, that it opened me up to other things in my life that I would have probably missed if I didn't get this condition. So there is some bad, reaaaaallll bad (Panic Attacks etc.) and still some good:) 

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