Monday, March 17, 2008

Panic attack follow-up

Ha ha, oh no!! You guys probably think I crashed and are saying little prayers for my family! No, no. All is well. I went driving that day and had no issues at all. Within another week I was back to driving anywhere without even thinking about it. I do highly recommend that panic attack CD from health journeys. If you're on anxiety medication, or have ever had panic attacks and worry that they might come back without warning, I highly recommend this CD. Of course, if you are on medication, don't stop taking it without consulting your doctor, but if it can help you sleep a little better, maybe even help your medication work a little better, why not?
What I like about it is that it's guided imagery and affirmations. Guided imagery helps you create a 'happy place' in your mind that you can 'go to' whenever you feel stressed. Affirmations help give you the power of mind to take back some control of these terrifying situations.
I'll say this. I was listening to the CD in bed when a panic attack struck. With the phone nearby -just in case-, I wanted to ride it out. This CD talked about every piece of what I was feeling, almost in order, and talked me through the whole thing. I have never had a full-on panic attack since. It was simply amazing. From the first initial zap, to the shallow breath, the racing heart, freezing/sweating, and the overwhelming feeling of dread... she talked me through all of it. She taught me how to control my breathing without hyperventilating. That was very key. She taught me that my feeling of danger was an illusion in my overprotective mind. Very true for me. She taught me that thousands of mentally healthy people have these kind of attacks and get through them, never to have them reoccur. Very reassuring. I thought I was going crazy.
I'm so glad I sought therapy without medication. Mine were mild enough so that was an option for me. I'm on my last therapy session, and I feel great. We were even able to touch on some of the issues that may have led me to that scary day.
Side note: My doctor recommended I stop drinking coffee. She said caffeine can trigger anxiety attacks. I have been caffeine-free since January. Turns out I don't need it for my energy level. I'm just naturally pretty hyper. None of my friends seemed surprised. ;)