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12/19/2009 09:54 PM

Being a partner of someone that has panic attacks

TRAE74
 
Posts: 6
Member

I am living in the Atlanta, GA area. I am in a relationship with a wonderful woman that I am happy to share my life with. For two years now I have watched her have to deal with panic attacks. I have been through many medicine changes and panic attacks with her. She has panic attacks with agoraphobia. I try my best to research panic attacks and how as a support system for her I can help and what to do to help. It is hard sometimes though. I get frustrated with having to go in the store by myself all the time but I'm not frustrated with her just frustrated that our lives are limited to what we can do together and what we can't. I want to everything possible to let her know I am here for her and she is never a burden on me. Her love over powers any trip to the store by myself or having to walk her out of a store during a panic attack. Her love means more to me than any event we may not be able to attend because of her panic feelings she gets at the thought of it. I just want to be the best support I can be for her. I want her to know I am not going to let her have to be alone in this. I would do anything to take this burden off of her, she deserves to live a life with no boundaries but I know there is nothing I can do or medicine that will just completely take them away for her to be free and without limits. I want to know everything I can to help her, guide her when she isn't strong enough to guide herself, and most importantly be her rock when she needs to lean. To all of you that have to deal with panic attacks everyday I am sorry for everything you must face and commend you on your strength to keep fighting a mighty battle.
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12/20/2009 02:01 AM
Kalsky1
Kalsky1Posts: 38
Member

TRAE74,

I commend you for addressing this group. Sometimes it is difficult for those of us who have panic attacks to explain to others how they make us feel without sounding silly. I detected a genuine concern in your post. Regarding how to provide support for your wife, you are doing it in my opinion. Managing panic attacks is the job of those of us who experience them but the support we receive from others gives us strength and purpose through the process. The presence and support of love ones help us to understand why we must stay focused and not give into the panic. While your wife is having a panic attack constantly remind her that everything is okay, you are by her side, and the panicky feelings will pass. I imagine it can be frustrating for the person who does not see a reason to fear. For example, if the house was on fire everyone involved would see the reason for the panic. With panic attacks the fear is in our minds and it can take over our body. Then we start to feel physical symptoms that increase the fear. In order to control panic attacks we must control our minds. This is why verbal and physical support is so helpful. Help your wife to see the importance of not giving into the panic and why limiting her world is not the answer. Do not force her. You do not want her to rush back to the "safety" zone and panic more than she did before. I do believe your wife appreciates all your efforts. Based on your post, your wife is blessed to have you in her life.


12/20/2009 08:03 AM
TRAE74
 
Posts: 6
Member

thank you for that comment.. it helps to know what i do really does help.. she thanks me a lot but with every time she can't go in a store or can't bring herself to go back to work i feel like a failure to her. it is hard... i try to understand the best i can but i know there is no way i will fully understand.. she feels a need to push herself to not let me down but i just want her to work on herself and not worry about having fancy things... i just want her to feel free

12/20/2009 07:08 PM
jrose72
jrose72  
Posts: 1055
Senior Member

Hi Trae74!

I'm so happy to have you here with us. It is so great for supporters to educate themselves on what we go through. Do not feel like a failure. You are doing what you can. As Kal said, dealing with them really is the our thing to do. Your support is incredibly helpful, but you can not "own" them. Also, it isn't going to do her any good for you to do that. She needs to learn how to cope with them so that she can build her self esteem, love herself, and the panic and agoraphobia will get easier.

I'd also like to invite you and your partner over to the agoraphobia support group, which I am also a member of. Us agoraphobics don't get out much (lol) and there is a very active group of folks over there. We LOVE support people and we LOVE new members. We've all been trapped at some time or another and we can all relate.

Please feel free to gander around this forum's threads and the agoraphobic threads. Hop in and comment and ask questions.

I am so happy you've come here and I hope you and your partner can find some help to ease the struggles of living with these things.

Big hugs!

Jen


12/27/2009 06:26 AM
Cody
Cody  
Posts: 76
Member

WOW, God Bless you for your support to her!!

Alot of sufferers dont get support from their familiy or love ones.. Has she tried any type of CBT treatment either self taught or by means of a counsler? I have learned and benifited more with CBT than anything else, includng meds but it takes a ton of effort.. Can I suggest a copy of Claire Weekes book, "Hope & Help for your nevers" and then reading it as many times as needed.. I have wore my copy out already from readng it so much but it has helped me tremendously.. I can now step back into stores again.


12/27/2009 03:52 PM
TRAE74
 
Posts: 6
Member

she has spoke with a councilor and it has helped but seems to have issues with being able to keep going... its like she starts to face some issues with her past and she gets scared or runs from her problems... she has tried medicine and is now on zoloft... it is still in the course of changing to the zoloft but it seems to be helping so far... I am looking at getting that book for her.. thank you for the recommendation... she loves to read and would find reading material very helpful i believe.. thank you for the comment back it helps to hear the comments... if you have any other books that have helped please let me know... she has looked for some but can't seem to commit to getting any.. if i get them and they are here for her to read she will find it gratifying... she has a hard time committing to investing her time into helping herself but if she knows i am reading material and in support of it then she has an easier time admitting to the need of resources.. thanks again..
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