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08/30/2009 09:15 PM

New to the site and having panic attacks

Posts: 3

I don't want to get too personal. But I'm a 26 year old female police officer and a mother of one. I'm seperated from my husband and going through a very nasty divorce. Basically he has screwed me financially and I'm unable to pay my mortgage anymore and am on the verge of losing my home.

I thought I was handling everything okay. I'm not an emotional person and I take a lot of pride in my strength. I had my first panic attack last year while sitting at a desk typing on a report. My heart started racing, pain down my left arm, slight dizziness and felt very weak. Not knowing what was happening I raced to the ER and basically got a, we have no idea what happened.

Several months passed and while sitting in my patrol car one day typing reports I had a much worse incident. Pain started shooting down my left arm and it went numb, heart started racing, had blurred vision, started hyperventilating, sweating, and an overwhelming fear since. Again, EMS was called. My BP was through the roof. And again, no real explanation at the ER of what had happened. All they could do was suggest it may be stress related.

A few weeks later I had a minor attack just as I laid down to sleep. My heart started racing and I was very scared. I called a friend and talked for a bit and calmed down but was unable to sleep the rest of the night.

The next just a few days ago was pretty severe. I was sitting watching tv and all of a sudden my heart starts racing, just pounding in my chest. A warm tingling sensation started in my chest and radiated out to every part of my body. The fear was overwhelming again and I was certain I was going to pass out. I was home alone, as always, and I was unable to navigate through my phone to talk to a friend. Only thing I could do was dial 911. I couldn't think clearly and my hands were shaking. Once they got there they gave me oxygen and slowly my BP went down and I was okay except for feeling very week....and of course, highly embarassed.

After several trips to the ER and some visits to my doctor I have been told that I am developing a panic disorder. I have a constant fear of the next one and am taking medications to help prevent them. The only thing that seems to be common among all of the incidents is that I'm always alone when it happens.

I usually love my alone time. Being a single mother, alone time is very valuable to me. However, I am becoming scared of being alone because this is always when I have the attacks.

I have a constant fear that I'm going to have a stroke or heart attack and that this is something more serious even though I keep telling myself, it's just stress, you're not dying. But it doesn't always work. Sometimes the attacks are completely uncontrollable.

I am starting counseling and have high hopes that I can work this out. I guess I'm just here because I feel very alone and embarassed by this disorder. I'm a police officer and a mother. I'm a professional. These attacks are the most frightening experiences I have ever had.

Post edited by: nk1982, at: 08/30/2009 09:18 PM


08/30/2009 10:27 PM
Posts: 148

Welcome to the group! This group has been a god send to me, and i hope it will be the same to you. Just knowing that you are not alone is a great comfort. I know exactly how youre feeling, ive been experiencing panic attacks for two years now and i know how scary they can be. Im a dispatcher, so i know how stressful your job can be. As much as i love my job, it can be a source of my panic. That alone with your home life, going through a rough divorce and being a parent must be extremely difficult. It seems like you are taking the right steps though! Stay strong, keep positive! If you ever want to talk, im here!

08/30/2009 11:02 PM
Posts: 3

thanks for the reply carrie! it really helps to know there are people out there who know what im going through.

08/31/2009 05:34 PM
GybekaPosts: 5


I am new to the group too. We have a lot in common. I just resigned as a Federal Agent with Department of Homeland Security. I was also a single mother for 9 years while I was in law enforcement. I was embarrassed to tell any of my coworkers what was happening. I struggled more days than not. There were a couple of times when I had full blown panic attacks while arresting someone or fingerprinting someone. I was very fortunate to have had a supportive partner to help me when I had these attacks. My symptoms are sweating, numbness, severe dizziness (can't tell the ceiling from the floor), shaking and can't focus or comprehend reality. I can't even read the instructions on the credit card machine at the grocery store. I have also been in the ER a couple of times when all of this just started 13 years ago. When it happens now, I recognize it and know it will pass.

I went to therapy and was placed on meds. The meds did not work for me. I also found myself taking more and more zanax. I knew the zanax was going to be trouble if I didn't stop it completely. Everyone is different. I just knew I was using it as too much of a crutch and was starting to get addicted. I just quit all meds and actually felt better. But like I said, everyone is different.

Anyway, I resigned from my job and left CA all within a week. I "ran away" to GA to live with my brother and make a new start. That is another long story I wont get into. I am much better now than I was then. DHS has just offered me a special Agent position. I am debating on taking it. Law enforcement is stressful, however, I loved my job. Please, talk to me anytime. I would love to hear from you. Take care.

09/01/2009 11:24 AM
shawnatwainPosts: 382

Hi nk1982 and welcome to the group. I am so sorry to hear that you have developed panic and have some stressful times happening right now. The good news is that you will find here that you are not alone with this and we are all here to help in anyway possible. Therapy can be a big help for some and in combination with medication you can hopefully get back to a point of normalcy and no longer worry about the panic coming. Best wishes Smile

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