The not so Secret Society of anxiety and panic attack sufferers

anxiety, panic

I am a 32…(ok 42..man that’s a hard number to type) I am a 42 year old woman living in middle class America with a wonderfully supportive husband and 3 awesome beautiful and healthy children. We have 2 awesome doggies. We live in a great house, we are part of an AMAZING church, I volunteer as a youth leader for some awesome young ladies and have a wonderful extended family. I have everything in the world to be thankful for and I AM…Everyday…that’s what makes my story even more frustrating.  I suffer from Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Not just an occasional tinge of butterflies in the stomach or a slight nervous feeling…nope…I suffer from Anxiety that plagues me every day…Panic attacks so bad that they wake me from my sleep or cause me to have to pull over my car and call my husband to come and rescue me.

For 20 years I have suffered from some sort of symptom that has been contributed to anxiety. Since the birth of my last child, 9 years ago, I have suffered from major anxiety symptoms and panic attacks that can debilitate me. I have spent 20 years hiding my symptoms and pushing through my day putting on a happy face while secretly going through a daily hell of emotions and symptoms.

Here’s the thing about panic and anxiety…the symptoms are VERY real! They are not imagined your body really is doing the things you are feeling.  When my symptoms were so out of control that I couldn’t hide them anymore, kind of hard to hide it when your being carted away in a an ambulance from your child’s school…yes that was embarrassing, you start to find out how common anxiety and panic really are and how many people are dealing with the same experience especially women. It’s like some secret society that you learn about when you start talking about it!

Hi “I’m Candy…and I “FREAK OUT “for no reason”…”My Sister “FREAKS OUT” for no reason also…” That’s usually how the conversation goes and you start to uncover an entire underground world of women and even men that are dealing with this in silence every day.  Every time a conversation goes that direction I start asking myself why didn’t I ever know about this…how is it that all of these people are walking around like this and yet the doctors  have no idea what to do to really fix it …how is it that we are all comfortable to just brush this off?

Anxiety and Panic are HUGE…did you know that? According to the AAG website over 40 Million people are affected by some sort of anxiety or panic disorder.  More specifically 6 Million people are dealing with anxiety on a daily basis!! That’s CRAZY!! That’s 6 million people who should be focused on careers, family, fun, hope etc. that are daily battling the symptoms of Anxiety and Panic. Let me give you some perspective.

That’s 144,000,000 hours a day that are WASTED ON FEAR

1,008,000,000 Hours a week WASTED ON FEAR

52,560,000,000 A YEAR WASTED ON FEAR!!!

WOW!!! That’s 6 million “FREAK OUT” Sisters and Brothers!  So I’m not alone and neither are you!

My reason for starting this discussion is to let you into the secret world of anxiety and panic and by doing so I hope to give my own anxiety and panic less power over me and hopefully encourage others in their journey with this. And equally important it’s time to get healthy! I’m tired of wasting my days giving in to false FEAR! I personally have wasted

20 years, 175,320 hours and 7,300 days on FEAR!!

ENOUGH is ENOUGH. What lessons am I teaching my children by giving into this FEAR and not getting myself the help I need? Speaking of kids…get this fun fact. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse. 1 out of 8 people…that is HUGE! Anxiety is horrible difficult to process as an adult I can’t even imagine dealing with this as a child!

If you are a part of this Secret Society please let me know. I would love to encourage you and pray for you! Thanks for following along on this journey with me!

6 comments
  • Jennifer FancherFebruary 14, 2015 - 2:11 am

    Candy,

    I know how difficult it is to be open about this vulnerability, but I am so glad to know I’m not alone. Just Monday night, I had one of the worst attacks yet. Mine started at the end of 2013 and I’m still navigating the ebbs and flows.

    You’re brave for taking the step forward and voicing this. Thanking God for His perfect timing in this post.

    Glad to see you are doing so well!
    Best to you,
    Jennifer (Wesselman) FancherReplyCancel

    • CandyFebruary 15, 2015 - 12:51 pm

      Oh Jennifer…I’m so sorry that you are struggling with this also! I know how scared you must have been Monday night and I’m so very sorry! There is nothing fun about an anxiety attack!! I’m humbled that God has crossed our stories so that we can be assured that we are not suffering alone and that we can pray for each other and walk with each other through this! Praying for a calm day for you today and a restful nights sleep! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Darlene YagerMarch 24, 2015 - 3:34 pm

    Candy, Jennifer’s blog led me to your blog. I found Jennifer’s quite by accident reading a “New Nostagia” blog that had a link in it to Jennifer’s blog, “Noting Grace”. A link there led me here ☺️. Yout secret society term made me chuckle. As a 15 year Panic/anxiety attack society “member”, I know there are WAY too many of us. I posted a wayyyyy too long comment on Jennifer’s blog, in fact having to post in increments because I was WAY over characters. It’ll be a miracle if it appears there at all. The world of women, men, children enduring this is staggering. I have a mantra “thoughts only thoughts, thoughts only thoughts” to try to over ride mine. Crawling into a ball is preferable. I’ll listen to Plumbs “Blink” because the entire cd on mu ipod is like a lullaby. Lifting you in prayer & will continue to do so.ReplyCancel

    • CandyMarch 25, 2015 - 3:59 pm

      Darlene,
      I’m so glad you stumbled unto my blog! lol..So sorry to hear that you are a member of my secret society 🙂 but glad to know I’m in good company! I LOVE Plumb!! One of my favs! I totally get the crawling into a ball thing…someday’s it take every bit of strength I have just to get out of bed and fight it yet another day! I appreciate your prayers more than you know and I will be praying for you as well!
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!
      CandyReplyCancel

  • Dave EarpJuly 2, 2015 - 2:34 pm

    Hi Candy … I thought you might find this video by Whil Wheaton for Project UROK interesting. He talks about his own journey with anxiety. His story is some what different than mine and likely different than yours but it is still a good one to watch. Just goes to show how people quietly live with things and others are completely unaware…

    http://www.upworthy.com/whats-it-like-living-with-mental-illness-ask-wil-wheaton?g=2&c=ufb1&fb_ref=DefaultReplyCancel