To whom it may concern:
My name is Camelle and I am 30 years old with a husband and 2 children. I have a wonderful job and try to live a normal happy healthy life. So I had always thought. I really think my story needs to be told. Maybe just telling it to you will also help me .
When I was about 2 years old, my mother and father got divorced. My sister and I went to live with our mom. Not long after that my mom started having some mental problems (so we thought). She would tend to depend on my older sister (7 years old at that time) for daily tasks. She would cry a lot and go to the doctor all the time. No one could find out what was wrong with her. At times she would sleep a lot, other times she would be very nervous. This went on until I was about 6 or 7.
Then a doctor decided she needed shock treatment, so she did that about 3 times. That didn't work. Then she turned to different medications (always on some form of something, Valium, Xanax, etc.). That didn't help either. Finally she got to the point she didn't like to leave the house (agoraphobia). The only thing that seemed to help with that was drinking. So that was her next step.
When I started to get a little older, I moved in with my dad (my sister already did that earlier). When that happened, my mom then became even more depressed. During my teen age years, I would hate her at times. Always wanting her to be normal. Nothing she ever tried or did seemed to work for very long.
During later years of my life, I would avoid her as much as possible. I got married and had kids, and starting my own life. She would call for help or try to stop over, and I was always telling her that this problem was all in her head and she wrecked my life with it. She would cry and tell me how much it hurt her knowing I hated her and how much she loved my sister and I, and all the grandkids,and someday when I was older I would understand that this problem was nothing she ever wanted in life and tried everything to overcome it. Sorry wasn't good enough for me at the time. I would still have this anger and bitterness inside of me (at the same time wanting to tell her I loved her but never did). Don't get me wrong, she loved her girls and really tried at times to be the NORMAL mom. Bought us everything we ever asked for, did whatever she could for us, but always having this problem never being able to get the correct help.
Finally at the age of 54, she got sick with emphysema (smoking - we told her for years to quit) and she lay dying in bed. Her last words for me was she was so sorry I had to suffer from her problem and she loved me no matter what, and she forgives me for hating her. She died in my arms on her birthday (Feb. 25, 1999).
Well guess what... I had my first panic attack July 1997, two years before she died. I never told her, and I have been fighting them ever since. She used to say to me she would pray all the time her girls would never get what she has had, and was so happy they never did. Little did she know.
Anyway , the moral of the story is never say never, and if you're sick, or someone you know is sick with this, don't be embarrassed about it or try to hide it from loved ones. Seek help, but make sure it's the right kind of help. You see years ago, when my mother started having this, they never knew what it was and the shock treatments and meds where never the right treatment. But, now we know what it is and how to deal with it. By the way, in 1996, they did figure out finally that my mother had been, and was suffering from, panic attacks.
I love my mother even more now just knowing the pain she had to go through for years with out anyone to turn to.
May God bless you all.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
Anxiety attacks can be powerful and overwhelming experiences. But there is help available. We encourage you to explore our website for a comprehensive understanding of anxiety, anxiety attacks, disorders, and their signs and symptoms.
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Written by: Camelle
Reviewed by: Jim Folk.
Updated: March 28, 2019.