Like nearly every other sufferer, panic struck and I had no clue why. I am 21, was about to return for my final year at university after a long summer off and was generally feeling good about my life. Good family, good friends, everything was fine. I was however already on the drug prozac, which I blamed for masked happiness. The drug also had side effects of anxiety and in rare cases, panic attacks.
I developed a fear of medication, or any thing that would mess with my already messed up brain. Im sure other panic sufferers will understand what I mean when I say that you want to be in the most normal state of mind when it strikes. I was terrified to even go out drinking with my friends. I stopped drinking coffee, I stopped everything that made me happy. I felt so trapped because I wanted to deal with it naturally, but at the same time the effects were so utterly horrible I just wanted it to go away. Panic physically drains your life and your mind, and the doom that overtakes all happiness you ever had is just so unfair. I didn't want to let anyone down and knowing I had to deal with this before university started again was added pressure.
I was lucky enough to have an extremely supportive Dad who had beaten panic attacks and as much as I tried to listen to his words, and although they helped, I needed more.
This book is amazing. I read it in two days because I just could not put it down. I thought the mention or thought of panic would inevitably spark one but that is not true. I truely believe that if you know every in and out of what is actually happening to your body when a panic attack occurs, you are half way there. This book gives you every possible understanding you could ever need. I think the turning point for me, was reading that panic attacks were merely an accidental triggering of the body's fear reaction - designed to protect you in dangerous situations. So why would a bodily mechanism designed to protect you, kill you?
Of course, I am not saying everyone should remember this and be cured instantly. The severity and effects of attacks vary depending on person - but this book covers every possible effect, every possible trigger. It is cognitive behavioural therapy - just without a person telling you what you should do. I advise any one that feels lost, alone, terrified, horrible and completely worn out to get this book. You will NOT regret it.
I am not there yet, but i'm well on my way. I only wish I could meet the author to give him the biggest hug ever. If he only knew how many people he had helped and provided a light at the darkest hour.