Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Panic & Anxiety Disorders

I have agoraphobia with Panic disorder. As agoraphobia literally means fear of the marketplace it is a bit of a misnomer.

As opposed to anxiety and people thinking the two are almost the same thing they are about the same as some one poking you in the chest in and someone firing a shotgun into your chest from a foot away.

Panic means fatal fear. It came about as a word in the time of the Ancient Greeks. Most of the Greek gods were handsome and perfectly built. There were two notable exceptions The God of Fire who had been born with a crippled leg and Zeus threw him from Olympus. He built his forge in Volcanoes and made most of the gadgets which gave his brothers and sisters their powers. He even made Zeus his thunderbolts.

The other was Pan god of the Forest. Those who worshiped him were called Pagans and he was half man half goat a say tar. However he was said to be exceedingly ugly. So much so that to suddenly see if one would die of fright. This explanation was given for anyone who died in the woods with a look of terror on their faces. They were said to have died of Panic due to seeing the god Pan.

When I was 4 as my family was leaving church the minister asked my Grandparents would do him do him a favor and take some groceries to a lady who could not go out herself. Being 4 I asked my parents if I could go and all said it might be a good idea. The lady was an older lady older than my grandparents and very nice. I remember her home was immaculate and hand made dollies covered everything. I was told she couldn't go out herself. After we left I asked my Grandparents why. They told me she had not been able to go out since her husband had been killed in the war. Whenever she tried she had to be rushed to hospital for a bad heart. I said "Wow the war was over 10 years ago. " ( Not bright my Grandfather had served and in 59 there were events taking place to celebrate ten years since the wars end." My Grandmother took my hand knelt down and said " No Sidney, The First World War ". It was first experience with what now know is agoraphobia. Since she had the heart problem it today would have had the words Panic Disorder added to it. I have not idea by why monetary means she was supported 4 year old boys don't think of such things.

Panic attacks can happen because of some trigger being activated. ( My Mother was robbed at shotgun point and afterwards could not go were there were groups of older teens to some stage even now roughly 20 years later ) PTSD can manifest itself as panic disorder. Sometimes nothing seems to trigger it it just goes off. People tend to avoid where the attacks took places until at it's worst you are housebound. At present my world consists of a few blocks. To make matters worse I had to move here to move here to live with my Mother when I could no longer afford to live in the "retirement" home I was in as I had only my disability. My work pension had not kicked in till the 29th year employed was done. I had used up my sick time and they were good enough to keep me on the rolls a couple more weeks so I would qualify. The 30 years of paying into insurance didn't help as the insurance company refused to cover so called mental lionesses.

Anxiety disorders can rage from social anxiety disorder being unable to be in a crowd to stage fright which is the most common to an almost limitless variety of phobias.

Anxiety disorders are similar in ways to Panic disorders but are vastly different in degree. One will raise your heart rate the other if not got to in time explode your heart or more likely cause a stroke. The extremely high blood pressure combined with the high pulse can break free plaque from an artery wall and send it to the brain or elsewhere. As an example in terms of numbers I have shown up in hospital and had a BP of 220 over 180 and a pulse over 290. that after being given meds in the ambulance. That I am still alive is very unusual.

For most getting upset can be unpleasant for people like me it may well be fatal.


  1. After writing this I probably won't be doing any more bloging for at least a few days. Writing this was not easy. Getting this after a fairly active productive act though it should not have has resulted in me feeling a great deal of shame. The fact it is classed as a mental illness does not help and the problems I had with the insurance company have left me unable to deal with similiar beauacracies such as the govt.

  2. I sympathize totally, as you know my husband has bipolar and the similarities are there. I truly wish you well. XXX

  3. Sid, I really do sympathize with you. You are still young, and I hope that you will find a way through your illness. You deserve to be happy. I'll be praying for you and sending positive vibes your way.

  4. there is nothing to be ashamed of Sid. advances in clinical psychiatry are beginning to show that what we might think to be personality quirks are in fact, various forms of deviant behaviour that indicate that one's brain is chemically imbalanced. i think agoraphobia is among them.
    there is no simple explanationfor what causes this illness, but i do pray you will be able to manage and control it. writing down your thoughts, and your fear might be helpful rather than bearing it alone. we are here for you and you can always depend on us to listen and hold your hand during the storm, ok?

  5. Sid, I agree with Odette! We are here for you, and sharing your feelings and fears with us may help you feel better.

  6. Sid,
    Don't be too hard on yourself and please don't feel ashamed of your situation. We all have weaknesses we don't want anybody to know. All the things you've described having been through would make anybody a little antsy after a while. I can't imagine doing some of them myself.

    Many cops end up alcoholics and wife beaters because of the constant stresses and trauma from dealing with some of the things you've dealt with. You've done so many things in your life and most people could only hope to accomplish them. Be proud of them and the fact that you're still grounded in reality.

    It could be worse. You could be like my mother believing your tv and modem are watching you, or your pc is randomly changing chanels on your tv because of hackers.

    You once mentioned aikido as a great martial art to practice. It is. But, I would suggest looking into basic chi gung (qigong) techniques or even basic meditation. I can't do the more popular forms of meditaion because of all the background noise in my head.

    But, learning how to consciously manipulate your energy will do things for your health you can't get with any other exercise, including tai chi. I'm kind of at the intermediat level because basic energy manipulation came natural to me, but more advanced techniques are still next to imposible. You might discover something that can actually provide real world help for your

    You probably feel like you're trapped inside this illness. Most people with mental illness, like myself, do. But, you're smart and very strong willed. I'm sure you can find a way to overcome your physical conditions, even if you never get rid of the illness itself.

    I wish I could hang out with you. You might get tired of me asking to hear more of your stories, but you'd feel so much more normal after meeting me. lol 8)=

    Keep on keepin on.