It isn't a foregone conclusion that you will have to remain on the medication forever. The rule of thumb really is that you stay on it for a minimum of 6 months, although possibly a year. Everyone is different and you may find that after a good period of less anxiety you feel ready to come off it after 6 months. Your baby will be that much older (the first 3 months are always the most worrying).
It can take longer to overcome PPD but as I said each woman is different.
I'm so glad the medication is beginning to work for you so you can start to enjoy your little one without the debilitating tiredness that comes from anxiety. Try not to think too far ahead is my motto when dealing with this sort of thing, take each day as it comes. I promise you it does get easier. I've survived PPD and went on to have more children. You will get through this :)
I'm sorry that you are going thru this at what should be happiest time of your life, and congratulation on your new baby! Some say there is no "genetic" link with anxiety, but that it does tend to run in families. But PPD is common and hopefully you will get over this. Medication will help you immensely, and if not then contact your doctor as sometimes it is trial and error as to what will work best for you. You're working with a psychiatrist so you're on the right path. You don't say how long you've been on medication, but it can take 4-6 weeks for it to reach a therapeutic level. If at that point you aren't feeling better, contact your psych and always work closely with him on your medications. Anxiety is different with each of us. Some go thru therapy and are fine, others have to continue on medication. For some reason many people feel having to take medication for anxiety every day is bad, but you have to view it like any other illness. If you had diabetes you wouldn't think twice about taking medication, and this is no different. It's a scarey thing to endure, but know you're not alone and we all understand what you are going thru, and are always here. Panic attacks occur when our "fight or flight" mode kicks in at the wrong time flooding our bodies with adrenaline. Since the adrenaline is not needed, it results in a panic attack. This is a normal response, just coming at the wrong time. Exercise is good during a panic attack, it gives the adrenaline something to work on. So know that there is nothing wrong with you during a panic attack, other than too much adrenaline which will pass. Nobody dies from a panic attack, although you may feel like you would. I hope this helps, and hope you start feeling much better real soon. Take care...
Thanks so much, I appreciate your input. I was resistant to taking medication at first as I wanted to try therapy on it's own, but I am ok with it now. I don't like taking anything if there is another option, but I was getting worse, not better. I am now doing the medication and therapy combined. I really am starting to feel like myself again, but I will say that the panic attacks were terrifying. I appreciate the explanation as to what causes them. I'm glad there is a community here to talk about it. I truly appreciate your input. Thank you again.