How is it that you can be completely normal for 40 years, then suddenly have a panic attack and now have life long anxiety? Did I flip a switch in my brain?

by Scott
(Redlands Ca us )

I have always dealt with life's emotions. I have a family and life was quite normal. I suddenly had some kid change stress and suffered my very first panic attack. I now suffer from anxiety and a panic disorder that consumes every free moment. It is destroying my family and my life because it never stops? It's completely destructing, and depressing. I can no longer sleep more then 2 hours a night and the only pills that help, benzodiazepines are destructive. I feel so much better on them but they are addicting. I'm so frustrated with myself, as I try and talk to my wife and kids all I can think about is my new anxiety and is this now my new reality for life? How will I work when I cant even get through a day?

Comments for How is it that you can be completely normal for 40 years, then suddenly have a panic attack and now have life long anxiety? Did I flip a switch in my brain?

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You CAN recover ...
by: jude @ anxietyunravelled

Hi Scott,

I’m sure there’s no-one who visits this site that can’t relate to your story in some way. It is a massive shock to develop panic disorder – it nearly always feels like it happens completely out of nowhere (though it never really does...) and you are left feeling confused, out of control and fearful for the future.

But, it is definitely not a life sentence.

It does mean though that you will need to make some changes. There is no drug that will cure anxiety, so that means you have to do the work yourself.

Some wise person once said that you can’t get rid of darkness by fighting it, you can only get rid of it by bringing in light. So what light can you bring into your life to start to dealing with your anxiety? This site is full of tips and tried and test techniques – start adding some to your life day by day. Make sure you check out Causes of Panic Attacks.

Recovery can be frustratingly slow and full of ups and downs. Don’t expect to get better overnight. It takes time. It is inevitable that you will recover if you can start to reassure your body that it’s OK to turn off the red alert now. Don’t give up.

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