I am a 38 year old wife, mother of three, and the program coordinator for my church. I also have a panic disorder with agoraphobia - I had my first panic attack when I was about 21 years old.
Over the years, I have been on dozens of medication combinations, been to years of therapy, and have gone from being completely home-bound (WITH a safe person HERE) to being able to ride 400 miles with my husband and kids for vacation. I am currently somewhere in the middle. I do NOT drive, with the exception of my kids' elementary school (which is 3 blocks away) and my job (which is also about 3 blocks away). I can ride with my husband to my parents' house in a town which connects with our city - that is a new accomplishment that I achieved about a month ago after 6 YEARS of needing my MOTHER to come and get me.
SO - that is a bit about my history and my current condition in a nutshell. I am now working with a new therapist. He is AMAZING...I can be 100% honest and open with him, he works with my husband on his own issues (it sure ain't always easy living with me lol!) as well as us as a couple, and he is offering a new approach than anything I have tried before.
At our last session he did hypnotherapy with me for the first time. It was NOT what I expected, but I think it has been helpful. I was fully aware the whole time - he had me focus on things in my OWN arsenal to help me begin to overcome my avoidance behaviors and anticipatory anxiety. I felt myself intensely relaxed and saw a little black dot that I kind of followed deeper. It was scary for a few moments as I felt a bit of that dissociation that comes with the worst of the worst panic attacks. But I feel safe with John (the therapist) so I went with it.
That was a couple of weeks ago - but I am not sure if the session really helped me change my thinking. I have had my panic disorder for so flippin' long and done so much talk therapy and explored so many medications with my psychiatrist that I know better than to expect any kind of "quick fix". However, I am just wondering what I CAN expect from hypnotherapy if I continue with it. I would really appreciate hearing experiences from others who have tried it - I am open to hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly!!
I am sorry you have suffered with this, it is such a nasty disorder. I have also lived with panic and anxiety for approx 14 years, started when I was around 19 years old or so. Such a very scary and hard time.
I do think hypnotherapy can help. I often refer back to it when I am in a situation that makes me nervous. I will flip my mind back to that time and place and allow it to take me where I feel safe. I also like therapy that includes guided imagery. That is so amazingly peaceful.
Do you know what made you regress from being able to go on a long vacation to not being able to do that now?
I take Zoloft and have for years. I do also have Xanax on hand for severe panic moments. It has also helped very much as well as having a support network to help me get through :)
Thank you for your kind words and your input on the hypnotherapy!!
My panic disorder has fluctuated over the years after significant life changes...moving, having a baby (especially after my first - I did fine with my second and third), etc..., as well as with the seasons (I don't do well in the winter when there is not as much daylight).
Right now I am on the move FORWARD again, but I am worried about the days getting shorter again...I am trying not to focus on that right now :).
Thank you again...I didn't have any frame of reference for the hypnotherapy and really wanted to hear about the experiences of others!!
BTW - does your panic disorder/agoraphobia lead to any limitations right now? If so, do you tell people? My avoidance behaviors are so obvious that I HAVE to be open about it - not being able to drive or ride far affects how I interact with others. But I have had to deal with some very negative assumptions about my "mental health" because of my openness. It's not always the best trade-off.
Hmmm, one thing about hypnotherapy is that it is effective, but it requires successive sessions. Since hypnosis is a natural thing, you do it yourself as well and reserve some everyday to practice it. It works for me, and I thought I had the worst of anxiety, but I've come pretty far in a couple of months just by doing relaxation exercises, and getting aerobic exercise as well. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy works wonders from what I have read.
Best wishes, keep on moving foward and it will pass!
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.