Let’s take this back to my PTSD & panic disorder. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety at 16 during my parents divorce. For years this woman swore that was all I had. My attacks kept getting worse, and by worse I mean I couldn’t breathe, I would start hyperventilating, I couldn’t see straight, I couldn’t focus, I’d get dizzy & a fuzzy feeling in my head. The list goes on.
After Will tried to commit suicide and I went through that trauma, I got PTSD. But this specific woman didn’t diagnose me.
It wasn’t until one night, the first week of august a week after I turned 21. I happened to be leaving my moms house and Will kept wanting me to go to his house, and with the way things were going I didn’t want too. But was scared that if I didn’t something would happen.
It just so happened I had the worst panic attack of my life that night. It started right before I left my moms house & got worse while I was driving. I just so happened to be close to an exit in my town with a hospital right off of it. At the time I exited the highway I couldn’t feel my arms, legs, face or feet. I couldn’t feel my legs to feel how hard to push my gas pedal. I was officially in a full blown out panic attack while driving. I was trying to get myself to the hospital. I was done living like this.
In the midst of me trying to get myself to the hospital I wrecked my car (because I couldn’t feel my legs or feet) & I was gasping for air, my whole body was shaking uncontrollably. I remember I parked under where the ambulance typically park because no one was there and didn’t even turn my car off. I just ran into the ER and was like I can’t breathe I need help I’m having an anxiety attack. (Because at the time, the only thing we thought I had was anxiety.)
I called my dad to tell him where I was and that i was having the worst one yet. I asked him to come up to the hospital. I just knew something wasn’t right. This was ruining my life, I had to quit my 2 jobs, I could no longer pay my bills because I couldn’t work due to the attacks I was having. It was a nightmare.
My dad told me I was crazy, something was wrong with me (as if I didn’t already know that one) & that I needed help. He was going to tell them to bring me to a psychiatric hospital and that he wasn’t coming to the hospital. Now, he wasn’t calm while saying this, he was yelling at me in the middle of my panic attack. I was crying, he did legitimately hurt my feelings. My dad literally honestly thought I was losing my mind.
At this point I had to go move my car so I went and parked it went inside tried to calm down. My dad finally came up to the hospital and I was called to the back. The doctor came in my room. I’ll never forget she was a blonde hair thin woman, she was asking me questions and I answered her honestly. I just remember crying telling her I needed help, this is more than just anxiety. I couldn’t even sleep, I was having nightmares of Wills situation, I couldn’t catch a break. She thought it was best I went to an in patient hospital to get a second opinion and there they can evaluate your actions and routine.
I remember being grateful and terrified all at the same time. Grateful, because I had the balls to actually bring myself to the hospital and the doctor actually believed me when my own dad didn’t. And terrified because I had terrible panic disorder that I had no idea I had at the time. I was terrified to go there. You hear all these horror stories about psychiatric hospitals and it’s nothing near the truth.
I waited in the ER for about 2-3 days before we found a bed open about 2 hours away from where I lived. Hell yes I was nervous. My driver arrived to bring me to the hospital (which looked nothing like a hospital by the way)
So he brings me to the hospital I get checked in and they give me a tour. I got a room and bathroom to myself. & they took my vitals. The woman asked if I was nervous and I said a little. She said she was going to give me a few minutes because my heart rate and blood pressure was out the roof high. So she checked it again and it came down a little.
I was in the hospital for 5-6 days. It wasn’t until then, I was finally diagnosed with panic disorder, agoraphobia & PTSD. FINALLY!
Going to the psychiatric hospital taught me a few things
1. There are people out there that did have it worse than me.
2. It’s not a terrifying place at all.
3. It saved my life
I stayed to myself for the most part, but It wasn’t until then that my dad understood what was going on with me when my counselor and doctors explained it to him. And I got a piece of mind, I got answers.
My experience honestly was life changing. and I wouldn’t change it or be embarrassed of it for the world.
Still I Rise,