Just a note for anyone currently suffering from these:
I suffered from panic attacks for literally years…I took Paxil for five years during the worst of them. You can say what you like about SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) but it literally saved my life and my sanity. I have also taken Zoloft (didn’t work) and Lexapro (did!) as well as training in biofeedback and counseling.
This can be done. You do not have to be a prisoner of your own brain chemistry! You do not have to be medicated for the rest of your life, though if you need it, PLEASE take it! Don’t look at it as a stigmatic thing; medication is there to help you and you wouldn’t hesitate if you were a diabetic and needed insulin, would you? It’s the same thing – yes, it IS.
I strongly recommend a combination of medication and therapy, as well as learning techniques like meditation and controlled breathing that will help you to head off the attacks when they do happen. I won’t tell you that I don’t occasionally get hit with one – but now I can deal with it in the first minute or so and stop it in its tracks. I never get to the dizzy, breathless, hyperventilating, hallucinating stage that used to be standard. I can nip it in the bud.
I am no longer on medication, nor am I in therapy, but I have regained control of my life. You can, too, and it’s worth whatever it takes because life is too beautiful to waste in mindless terror!
Don’t give up on this. You can get through it.