Guest Blog: By Liana Scott
Anxiety/Panic Disorder – loosely defined as having the fight-or-flight urge for no damn good reason.
When I was ten, I woke up in the middle of the night scared to death – pounding heart, sweaty palms, rapid breathing, clenched teeth. Terrified, I prayed the symptoms would subside – and they did, some very long minutes later. I assumed I’d had a nightmare. This was the first of many similarly frightening episodes that woke me up – attributed (by my parents) to an overactive imagination.
After puberty, the episodes intensified. They started happening before I’d fall asleep, coming in terrifying waves – racing heart, accelerated breathing, palms clammy from sweat, jaw essentially locked. The symptoms had evolved. While before they stopped after a few minutes, they were now lasting hours.
By 2001, I was in my late thirties, and after countless harrowing episodes with no help in sight, one forward-thinking young doctor diagnosed me with anxiety/panic disorder. I was so relieved to learn that I wasn’t crazy! My imaginary, yet oh-so-visceral demon, had a name. And, there was help.
Help came in the form of a prescribed pharmaceutical to manage brain chemistry, psychotherapy to manage symptoms and self-stigma, and the knowledge that I was not alone.
Liana Scott- Twitter: @lianascott
- What are Anxiety Disorders WebMd
- Anxiety Disorders- MayoClinic
- Health.com – 12 Signs of Anxiety
- Anxiety – MEHEP.com
If you think you or anyone you know might be suffering from anxiety disorder, please seek help from a qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians or health care provider about your medical condition.