Panic Disorders/Attacks/Panick Attack
I am fifteen years old, and a girl.
I have been getting panic attacks recently (I looked up the symptoms, they were all there, and my mum says that's what they are too) and every time I get them, for the rest of the day I find myself having to breathe deeper than usual, and experiencing dizziness. Every panic attack I have had, has occured during, or immediately after my shower. I have not experience a panic attack at any other time.
The first time I had one, or, well, acknowledged it as being one. I had been feeling that sick to the stomach like I'm going to throw up feeling that I used to get often as a child. Always whilst I was showering then too. But back then, all I had to do was cut my shower short, and I would be fine. Now it lasts until after my shower, and after I am dressed. The first time I acknowledged it as a panic attack, I had been dressed and my hair halfway dry before I started to breathe normal, and during that time I had been trying to breathe deep, and my mum had told me to put my head between my knees. She said I had been hyperventilating.
Everytime i get one now, nobody is home, so I have no way of knowing if I'm hyperventilating, so I don't know to breathe slower or deeper.
I had one this morning, and it was bad. It didn't last too long thankfully, perhaps a minute compared to the ten of my first one. But I was bent over trying to breathe, I couldn't move even to turn the water off, and I almost crashed into the wall trying to get out of the shower, so I could get out of the steam. I always blame the steam for being the reason of my lack of breath.
But I still have not recovered from this morning. It has been three and a half hours now since my attack this morning and I am still feeling slightly naseous, short of breath, and my eyes blur every five minutes.
I have been disgnosed by a doctor with depression and anxiety. But this was before my attacks started to become pronounced. I never properly noticed them before, and would just put it down to feeling unwell. I know better now.
I don't know what to do about my attacks, I know it would be bad to ignore them. But we are short of money at the moment and can not afford a costly trip to the doctors. What could I do?
I am going to first tell you that I am NOT a doctor so, use your common sense when reading this as I am not trying to replace a doctors advice in any way! I will only give you my opinion of what I believe may be happening and you can take it from there...
Here is my opinion:
First of all I am going to tell you what I told my own daughter when she was exactly your age...LOL
Turn on the bathroom fan and leave the door cracked open when you take a shower. If you are having a fear of getting a shower because you may experience a panic attack, I am going to suggest what I just mentioned along with getting a "see through" shower curtain so that you can see out. You are most likely feeling a little claustrophobic being in the shower.
Then, you steam up the bathroom and feel like you can not breathe. Being that you are a girl, you also have your periods and those make it worse... My daughter used to get as weak as a noodle because she was on her period and would steam up the bathroom and then yell for me because she was going to pass out. She finally took my advice and left the fan on and the door cracked open so the steam would go out. She also used a little cooler water because she did not need to take that hot of a bath.
As far as the panic attacks go.... remember this. Sometimes, being your age, we are in a hurry to do most everything. Life is fun at your age...BUT, you can still have fun and slow yourself down some. Limit the DRAMA that is in your life. Try to think ahead before you make a wrong decision. If you are not running in high gear all of the time, your body will have time to rest.
Don't let your fear of the shower turn into a phobia. It is only a matter of re-adjusting some things to make you more comfortable and while remembering to "slow down".....
As far as the depression issue goes.You said you were diagnosed by a doctor but you did not mention that they put you on a medication for it. There is a lot of drama in being a teenager nowadays. I am giving you a really big girl credit for writing me like you did. That tells me you are a very smart girl. You can write me anytime and I will answer you as honest and clearly as I know how. I only have so much information to go on when someone writes in to me. YOU know better than anyone else what goes on in your life that causes you stress. Work on those issues and be honest with yourself when you look at your life to see what you can be upset or depressed about.
I am here if you need me. I hope you have an awesome day!