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At the age of 18 I suffered my first major panic attack. Before that I had never even felt butterflies in my stomach. I was carefree, easygoing, and never worried, but that all changed very quickly when I faced a 4 month struggle of intense fear, pain, and suffering. Fortunately, I was able to pull out of it, but throughout the next 10 years I had small bouts of panic. However, I continued taking medicine and led a very normal life.

My first pregnancy was emotionally easy, and even after the delivery I felt blissful. Because of my history, I thought I had dodged a bullet. Unfortunately, when I became pregnant with my second child, fear, panic and despair came roaring in. I was unable to eat, sleep, or care for myself or my son. I was in a constant state of panic with absolutely no amount of relief. I feared for my life. I thought I would never get better. My husband spent endless nights trying to comfort me as I cried and paced the house. I tried to escape the pain by lying in the shower for hours.

It was a very scary time, but because I was pregnant, my doctors were very nervous to give me any kind of medication. After 3 months without improvement, the doctors decided they would allow me to take a fast acting anxiety medication. Within a day, I started to climb out of the hole of despair I had been in. I had hope for the first time in months. I eventually recovered and had a very healthy baby girl.

I’m lucky my husband and mother were vigilant in never leaving me alone and insisting I seek help. I was not myself for those 4 months, and in fact, I barely remember them. Modern medicine saved my life, and my baby’s life! If you are suffering, ask for help. Do your research and find a qualified doctor to get you the help you need. Remember, there is help and the pain can end.

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