I experienced my first panic attack 9 years ago. My heart raced, nothing felt real, I felt lightheaded and just felt off. Anxiety and panic disorders run in my family so I was fortunately to pretty quickly realize what I was suffering from. I was too embarrassed to get help, so for years I listened to the fear and let it control my life.
It got so bad I didn’t want to leave my house or go to crowded places because I had a fear of not being able to escape if I had a panic attack and that I would faint or lose control leading to total embarrassment. After having 2 children, I decided to take control of my life for my family’s sake and mine and try counseling. Working with Kris was the jumpstart I needed to fix the damage I had done to my mind. She gave me the tools and confidence I was lacking for so long.
I didn’t realize that after years of leaving so many places the moment I felt panic, I boxed myself into not being able to go anywhere because I trained my brain that there were threats there. My world was so small. She taught me how to rewire my brain by exposing myself to fearful situations to prove there is no danger.
I also didn’t know how negative my thoughts were and how that makes so much of a difference to train your brain to think positively instead. It has changed my whole mindset. I used to be so anxious going anywhere (out to eat, church, shopping) and beforehand I would have such negative thoughts and think of how I would panic and how bad it would go. Now I don’t allow myself to overthink it and and imagine a good outcome. Starting anything with a good mindset sets me up for success and makes all the difference. I genuinely felt like anxiety and panic would paralyze me forever, but with these new tools, I now am able to go out into the world and enjoy my life. Anxiety never goes away, but I’ve learned every person experiences a healthy amount so it’s not something to eliminate.
I used to have panic attacks every day, now I can’t recall my last one. It is now managed and stays low, not peaking to panic right away. I can’t stress enough how valuable Kris’ counsel has been to me. -Lauren P.