Hi, my name is Tim. I’m 39 yrs old and I live Oxfordshire, England. I am happily married with a wonderful little boy and girl. I'm blessed with a great life and awesome friends, but it has not always been like this.
I consider myself just an average guy who started having panic attacks and anxiety in his early twenties, although I did not know that’s what they were at the time.
It’s been a long hard road but eventually after suffering from this condition for over 10 yrs, I am pleased to say I am totally panic free. I no longer have anxiety hanging over me all day long, but when stressful events happen I still get anxious feelings like everybody else does. That’s just part of human nature.
Looking back now I see all the mistakes I made in prolonging those terrible thoughts and physical sensations. In some ways this illness has made me a better person. I look after my body and mind now. I am a much more positive person. Panic attacks and anxiety feed on fear, stress, poor lifestyle and bad thoughts. Correct these things and you stand a much better chance of breaking free from the shackles of panic attacks. Below is my brief story.
Up until the age of 21 if anybody had asked me to define anxiety I probably could not have done it. I don’t consider myself thick (I although some people may say so!) as I had just completed a degree in surveying. However because I had never suffered from anxiety I just did not know what it truly meant. I was probably the last person who you would think could suffer from Panic attacks. I am laid back and people who know me say ‘nothing seems to upset me’. However this is quite a common trait in panic attack sufferers as they tend to be inward thinkers who do not rant and rave. They are usually of above average intelligence and can be quite introvert.
Like most people I use to get nervous before exams, driving test, presentation at university, etc; but nothing the average person didn’t feel. It certainly didn’t prevent me from functioning as a human being, if anything it gives you ‘extra energy’ to perform when you need to. But that was about to change……..
To cut a long story short over the next decade I would decline into a world of panic attacks and feelings of constant nervousness. When I first started suffering from panic attacks I started to worry about these weird sensations that I’d never experienced before. They seem to happen more after I had been drinking alcohol. The main symptoms I was experiencing was
- feeling my heartbeat/palpitations,
- feeling like my head was going to explode,
- tightness in the chest/stomach
- my eyes use to feel like they were on fire.
I now know every symptom is unique to each person but there is usually a theme of common symptoms that everybody feels.
This happened about the same time as the mad cow disease thing in the UK. I first thought I was suffering this, them Multiple sclerosis, then a heart problem, brain tumour, etc.
With all these negative thoughts I was on a spiral downwards. I started to develop lots of phobias
- standing in queues,
- driving but especially on motorways
- Social situations
- large crowds
- crossing large bridges
As you can see they are kind of interlinked.
At about the age of 24, I ended up in A & E. I drove there myself from work as I just could not stand the horrible feelings anymore. After waiting about 6 hours I was told there was nothing wrong with me, it was just stress. They sent me to my local doctor’s surgery where I was told I had ‘acute anxiety’ and promptly put on medication.
I now had something to work with - a diagnosis. I started to read lots of books on the subject and bought countless self help programmes. For the rest of my twenties I would educate myself on this condition and I slowly started to accept this is what I had. I went on medication twice but I knew this was not the way to fully recover. During this period I was certainly not curing myself and the doctors offered little help either. I was just using coping strategies to get by.
At my worst it was difficult just to leave the house. I somehow managed to keep working but I was not functioning as a human being. I was having 4 or 5 panic attacks everyday and the slightest thing would trigger them off or sometimes they would just come out of the blue. The weird thing was I really had nothing to be stressed about. I tried everything under the sun like hypnotherapy, Thought Field Therapy , etc to try and help myself. I can confirm there is no quick and easy solution to this problem. The answer does not lie in medication either. Although I would recommend it as short term help to get you back on your feet.
Recovery comes though hard work, motivation, desperation and perspiration. There are no quick fix solutions, but slowly my body calmed down. I started to do things normal people could do without feeling anxious or panicky. After many years of just coping I realized certain tools, strategies and knowledge was the key to overcoming this.
How Positive Panic Attacks began (PPA)
I would like to say I had message from God to build a website but it was nothing so profound!
I have a couple of other websites and it’s been a hobby of my mine to do this for a while. It never occurred to me though to have a blog or website to help others what I went through.
Anxiety and panic attacks are a HUGE problem in society. Anxiety and depression are ranked as the no1 mental illness, although I see anxiety more as a bad habit then anything else. For some reason depression seems to get more media attention. Like most people who get over this, I basically wanted to forget this whole episode in my life.
I had hardly told anyone that I had suffered from anxiety and panic attacks; it had been my ‘little secret’. After one day aimlessly surfing the web I came across an anxiety forum. Posts after posts were people lost in this world of fear and I wish I could just reach out to help them.
So in late 2012 I set up Positive Panic Attacks. I could now reach lots of people who may need help as anxiety sufferers or people who may just need advice. I am not claiming to be a medical expert or anything like that, I’m just an average guy who through trial and error has managed to find out what works and what doesn’t to cure panic attacks.
If you need help the first thing I would do is read my FREE EBOOK. It provides lots of helpful information. If you have only just started to have panic attacks and anxiety, this may well be all you need to know to get yourself back on your feet.
In 2014 I developed my own program to help people overcome panic attacks and anxiety. I personally believe if you have been suffering anxiety for many years you need to follow a recovery plan and stick to it. Persevere and you will reap the benefits, after all it’s your health and happiness at stake.
The emphasis of the recovery programme is based on the ‘Golden Rules’. You may ask what are the ‘Golden Rules’?
The ‘Golden Rules’ are simply important techniques and tools that you must follow (i.e. rules should not be broken) that will lead you to calm your nervous system down, and your wellbeing will automatically improve. A lot of the rules you may have heard of before, but I have found the devil is in the detail and how you apply them.
I have read so much rubbish information on the internet about anxiety and panic attacks over the years. You really have to know what you’re dealing with inside and out, before you can beat it.
I wish you every success in overcoming panic attacks, or if your experiencing an anxious period in your life. My resources page provides lots of tools I used in my recovery. Even if you don’t have this condition I sure PPA will be a great resource simply to find out more about it.
If you want to be updated wth the lastest informative articles that can help make a real difference to your life then join up to my emailing list below.
As stated before you can find my Free Anxiety and Panic Attack Recovery eBook here.
If you wish to contact me than I would love to hear from you - I can be contacted here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to see you on the blog sometime soon!