Not Recently (knock On Wood)

I began having panic attacks as a child, in lower school. They tended to happen in math class, or during rapid-fire question and answer sessions. Later, in high school and middle school, they would happen only in geometry and trigonometry.  By the time I was 21, I thought I had gotten them under control on my own, yet I wasn't really even sure what they were (no professional help yet at that point).  Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come.  At 22, I was in a drawing class and began to have an attack.  It was very early on in the year, and I was pretty anxious about wanting to do well - the prof had just given us a timed draw, and a "let's see what you've got" kind of on the spot audition.  I ended up having to leave the room to calm down, and luckily he let me complete the drawing in the time that was left. A couple of years later at 24, I had the worst panic attack of my life in a painting class.  It was so bad that I left the room and everything I brought with me in it. I got on the subway in a state of panic and shock that caused at least one passenger to try to talk me through it, but all I could think about was getting home to my apartment.  I didn't return to class that year, and found that I was extremely scared to leave my apartment.  It was a bit late in the game, but I finally sought professional help, and through a combination of cognitive therapy and freudian analysis (plus a conscious increase in my meditation practice), I was able to keep myself from panicking long enough to get back into a normal routine.  It also helped when I found my feline companion.  My family was pretty supportive of my problem, but surprisingly to me, my friends at the time were not very understanding.  Anyway, I haven't had a panic attack in about fourteen years, and I am keeping my fingers crossed.  One thing's for sure, it helped me quite a bit to get some professional perspective, because I really thought I was losing my mind.  In analysis, I found out that I was certainly carrying a large amount of baggage, but that a lot of it did not belong to me!  My deepest empathy to anyone who has gone through this.  It can truly throw a monkey-wrench into some of the best laid plans.  If anyone wants to talk about it, I can't give professional advice, but you have my support.
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3 Responses Jan 14, 2008

There's things I wished I'd got help with sooner too.You seem very level headed now, thank you for sharing this!

ooh, that's a good answer. congratulations again :)

i'm so glad that you are free-er now!