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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I dont know where to start. I have suffered from Panic attacks

Resolved Question:

I don't know where to start. I have suffered from Panic attacks since I was 15. I am now 40. For 4 years I was severely agoraphobic and lost my job and couldn't leave the house at all. I started to get better at the end of 2010 after some intervention from a cognitive therapist and a brilliant GP, but then in June 2011 my husband committed suicide. He hung himself at our home and I was the one to find him. My life was turned upside down and into complete chaos. I lost my husband, my home, my step-family and our business. Since then, all my old symptoms are back plus more besides and everything has now just blurred into one. I don't know if what I am experiencing is down to grief or if it has deveoped into complicated grief, if I have PTS or if I am just depressed and anxious. I just don't know how I feel anymore and people are becoming frustrated with me. I have started to have feelings of depersonalisation and it scares me. My new GP just wants to prescribe drugs which I dont want to take. In all these years I have never been to referred to a psychiatrist and I just want someone to tell me what is wrong with me and what we can do about it. I don't want to carry on being afraid to live and being afraid of my future. I just want to feel normal. Its been a long time since I have felt peace in my life. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am truly sorry to know about these overwhelming situations in your life.

Customer:

Hello Rafael

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I cannot imagine hoe painful and frustrating it could feel to be in your shoes, since you have faced several dramatic life experiences, from trauma to grief. I would say that you have developed further anxiety triggering your panic disorder, depression, plus further symptoms rooted in your unresolved grief and from being a suicide survival.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hi! thank you for replying. The chat interface did not allow me to see you were here, but now I can see you.

Customer:

I am here. Yes being a suicide survivor is absolutley horrible. I know that this has complicated my anxiety further but I get so confused as to what is atually happening to me. I feel scared of being on my own at home. I can no longer drive without panic.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

People undergoing trauma and grief could take from months to years to rehabilitate from them, even more if there have been other mental health conditions like panic disorder and depression, triggered and fueled by such painful events and other significant stressors like each one of those you reported happened after your loss.

Customer:

I also have two severely disabled parents (one with advanced Parkinson's) who I look after and this is another stressful situation.

Customer:

Some days I feel ok and can manage to stay alone at home but there is always an underwhelming fear of a panic attack happening when I am on my own. My parents only live 2 mins away but when I start to panic this may as well be 100 miles!

Customer:

then I seem to hit a low and it all comes crashes down on my again.

Customer:

I have flashbacks to finding my husband and nightmares too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You need to get back to therapy, ideally to get intensive psychotherapy, including both CBT and humanistic therapy, focusing on your rehabilitation from trauma, grief, anxiety and depression. You are absolutely right that drugs would mostly numb your symptoms and everything else and would not resolve any concrete problem here, but could easily add new serious issues.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about your parents, and see you have ben doing so much, but also need and deserve support to take better care of yourself. The longer it takes for you to start your rehabilitation process, the harder things could get. You are experiencing symptoms of trauma, thus require both, individual and group therapy, or at least individual psychotherapy and to join a support group for suicide survivals.

Customer:

Do I need to be referred to a psychiatrst? No-one has ever referred me to one before and everytime I go to the GP he just keeps saying it is grief and depression and tries to persuade me to have drugs. he just keeps saying it will take time and thats it.

Customer:

I have a support group for suicide survivors in my area which I will be attending in the coming weeks.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do not agree with that GP at all, in my professional opinion it is neglectful and unhealthy to push drugs while absolutely neglecting to provide essential psychological therapeutic support, the only one that could lead you to start and develop a real rehabilitation process. Most professionals and people do use drugs as an easy fixing, which is the worst thing they could do, but people would get offended when their approach gets confronted. I di support you and your initiative to actually work on yourself and life instead of using drugs to eliminate symptoms without working on your self, like most people do.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You do not need a psychiatrist but a psychotherapist, then you should request referral for mental health services, to be assessed ad provided with psychotherapeutic support for all these conditions, from being a suicide survival, to panic, and depression. You have the right and need to receive necessary support, and if your GP is unable or unwilling to do his-her job, then request a new GP who can listen and support you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Perfect do so, that would make a difference and complement the benefits of individual counseling.

Customer:

Thank you for confirming that for me. I have used Citalopram in the past and I know that they ony work short term. They mask symptoms for a while but then only return when the drug is stopped or reduced. I need to be firm with my GP about a referral to a psychotherapist and if he won't listen then I will do as you suggest and ask to see another GP.

Customer:

Or maybe even find one myself privately.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

very good, that's the way to go. Please be sure that you can and would get better as long as with the right tool and support you deserve. Whoever disregard your needs or refuse to provide necessary support should be confronted and healthy - ethical and competent services contacted, since it is through that sound rehabilitation process that you would be able to get your own power back, heal and grow from these overwhelming life events.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, you can always do that or directly go to a walk-in mental health clinic and request support, but we know many time s there would be a waiting list and services offered may be limited too. But the more you try the better.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What is important is not to delay getting necessary support any longer.

Customer:

Thank you Rafael. You have confirmed what I already thought. I can't carry on like this so I will arrange to see the GP today and see what he says about a referral. I will ask him outright to refer me. I won't wait any longer. I need to get my life sorted so I can start living again.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You bet! You're very welcome. Please take gentle care ad consistent action, with all the help you can get from your support system and competent professionals.

Customer:

I will do. Thank you for the advice. Bye.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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